Studio Mama

The Studio Diva has returned with a couple of big changes!

First is SD’s new look. Darlin’ husband has kindly given the blog a much-needed makeover in style and content. Previously I used the blog to show my process in life painting, to help me (and hopefully others) reflect and learn how to better paint and refine techniques. In this new blog I’ll still have demos, but they’ll be in a Tutorials section. I’ll also document more behind-the-scenes of how I make my art, and use this place as a platform to post about cool art stuff.

Secondly, and most fantabulously, the Diva had a Divette. “Ploto” (don’t remember how this nickname came about, but it did, and stuck) was born in October 2011, and in addition to bringing limitless piles of joy to our lives, has reignited my passion and eagerness to pursue my artistic endeavours. This comes as a big surprise to me; I was told repeatedly that after a baby, my life would “CHANGE”. I received many a warning about sleepless nights, no time for myself, and overall inability to maintain a brain for anything but changing diapers and nursing.

While there is a degree of truth to all these prophecies, I find being on mat leave has cleared up the time I was spending on (and perhaps more consuming, thinking about) work. In the role of Mama-Ploto, my hours are much longer (24 a day or so), but I don’t feel pulled in a thousand directions. I have time to do a really good job, if I may say so myself. In fact, I've realized a single-minded focus with the baby that is - dare I say it - peaceful and refreshing. It helps (an understatement) that she's a super-awesome kid who (blessedly) sleeps often, at regular intervals. When she’s snoozing and I’m not mulling over the chance of her one day getting unsightly tattoos and piercings (kidding...sort of), I have time to make art.

Lastly, as a direct consequence of my second piece of news, the Diva has gone largely digital this past year. I’ve discovered the joys of digital painting with a Wacom tablet and Photoshop, requiring no studio space (that room's now a nursery) or messy cleanup. This transition has been a looooong time coming. Stephen bought me a tablet 4 years ago, but it was only after having the baby and some much-appreciated tutelage from Marco Bucci that I started to get serious about it.

I’ve discovered to my delight that the latest digital painting technology has approached looking and feeling like real painting. I’ll be the first to admit that nothing is like smearing actual paint on actual canvas, but honestly, this is a pretty decent runner-up. I’ve also found I’m still working with the same concepts (i.e., values, shapes, compositions) that I would in a traditional painting, so I think my learnings will improve my oil painting when I get a chance to pick up a brush again.

Below is a sample of a loose digital painting, featuring my favourite niece!

Welcome back and please read on!

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