January 14th, 2019
Why do You Paint?
I asked myself this question prior to painting this scene with the antelope. For the past 4-6 years I have been painting quite regularly, mostly on a daily basis. Naturally, I experienced slumps. Lately, I found myself struggling with my work whereas it had always been a rush and filled me with excitement. Other artists go thru this just as writers experience "writers blocks". So I have been thinking about this and realized that the reason I had been passionate about wanting to be an artist was very simple in my mind. I loved the beauty that I saw everyday. I had always hope that one day I would be able to have the time to try and capture that beauty on canvas with oil paints. I wanted to share what I saw with others in hopes that they too might walk thru life enjoying the natural beauty that is all around us. Thats how I began my painting passion. Everyday I would find something that inspired me to paint.
What happened to my drive? After several years, I started to see what other people were painting, looked in galleries and of course found painters on Face book. I started to become influenced in odd ways. It made me question what I was doing, and then I would compare myself to others. Big mistake. My confidence was wanning and my style was changing.
When I came back to my own realization of why I am painting.... my enthusiasm returned. I am once again excited to paint.
I ask you.... why do you paint?
by Cheryl Nancy Ann Gordon
Montana Oil Painter
Inspired by Nature
December 2nd, 2018
I have been out of the painting mode for some time now. It is my passion, this I know. Away from it.... why? I don't know, but I lose confidence. I forget the real reason I paint. It fulfills me. It triggers something within me. It directs me out of my normal business responsibilities. The creative process is and always has been what makes me find purpose in living. That’s a big statement, but the truth of it is that I love to create. Painting with oils is so exciting to me. It fills that emptiness, it brings joy to my deeper self. I only hope this is not all too self-centered….. but what the heck. We all must do what fulfill us.
When the world gets in the way of who we really are…. Life becomes a chore. When you find your passion, maybe then you offer back to the world something that will expand it in new ways for others.
Others have encouraged me to continue to paint. Just today a couple of my artist friends said….. “YOU SHOULD PAINT THAT! “ Little do they know how encouraging those words were. I reached deep within, found courage and decided…. OK! I will do that!!!! Thank you – Jess and Maria – for saying that. I have been hesitating. And even though this is just the beginning of another round, I think it was just the spark I needed.
Listen to your peers, follow your passion….. start when there is doubt. Let it happen.
Creativity for some is the necessary “drug” of life to keep on going…….
October 15th, 2018
By Cheryl Nancy Ann Gordon
A couple weeks ago picked up the Bible and read The Book of Revelation. The symbolism is intriguing. This painting is inspired by Revelation – Chapter 6. I had no idea how this would turn out or actually where I was going with the painting when I started. It only to me piece by piece with the last item being the cross, reflecting the sun’s final rays. I will often start a painting and just trust the something within me will want to express itself. This kind of trust came after a few years of painting more rigidly from photos and reference materiel. Painting without an outcome is an interesting way to let your inner self out. It may surprise you, as I was when this painting completed itself. I am by no means a perfectionist in my painting, rather, I like the rough textures, abstraction, landscapes and a sight bit of realism. Working on a large canvas, 24” x 48” is a challenge for me and I love trying new things. To me being a painter is all about experimentation and the joy of seeing something emerge, especially when you go in without a clue. I will call this Revelation The Sixth Seal. Something to ponder upon.
April 2nd, 2018
Not every painting will be a "work of art" you really want to share. Sometimes you have to break away from whatever you are working on and experiment. Those practice sessions can be most helpful. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and don't want to work on a project. That is where I am at with a large horse painting. Ready to add the mane which is usually the most fun for me. But I just don't know what to do..... so I pulled out a small 5 x 7 canvas and just tried some colors I never used before. I see some potential. Not that this example is very great, but it gives me ideas. As an artist, thats how you go forward. If you are just starting to paint, never be discouraged. Everything you do in this craft takes you forward. Paint, paint and just keep painting. Like with this quick sketch.... its pretty rough, but I think I got some new ideas.
March 22nd, 2018
When I was 42 and all alone, wondering what in the heck the world was to become for me..... I made decisions about my life that would serve me today, some twenty years later. Oh how the time has flown by. But there were things important to me.... independence, pathways for my children, security, stability, peace of mind, financial security, following my passion..... helping others, finding love- true easy love, being in the country, enlightenment, joy, and by knowing what I wanted.... They became my life. I am living my dream, painting is my passion, and it all worked out. No miracles, a lot of hard work and long hours, worry, ups and downs and all around. Losing faith and questioning sometimes but living with a deep faith in a power beyond my control and a willingness to work - doing whatever it takes - I discovered God provides and will be there for those willing to believe in something greater than this limited earthly wonderful experience.
Today I give thanks, and am grateful for the passion I have found in painting. I paint the spirit within me. It has been a dream come true since I was a teenager. But those 35 + years of never giving my hand to a paint brush left an emptiness that I never understood... The haunting desire to paint was always there. If it were not for my perceptive husband who somehow knew that is what I needed, I could never have found this fulfillment.
Today.... I find myself exploring different possibilities with the simple tools of brushes, palette knives, canvas and oil paints. This month I received my first Social Security check , which I can't believe.... but it all ties in with my hidden desire to be a Painter when I retire. Working towards that end for 20 years.... Well, I still work, but not so much, and I paint.... paint to my hearts desire.
I write only to encourage you to follow you hidden desires and let them evolve.... do what you must and let the inner you become what it needs to become. Life is an enriching short time... .Enjoy and Find your passion.
February 14th, 2018
Sometimes life gets in the way and our art takes a back seat. For example in early January while out on a walk when it was very icy my loving dog blindsided me and down I went. The full force land on my wrist put me out of commission. As soon as I could I figured a way to get back into painting, I did. Oil painters know clean up is half the battle, doing that with one hand is difficult. After a couple weeks of healing I discovered that using a palette knife was just the thing with limited mobility. Not only did it make for easier clean up, in the process I discovered some new techniques and started an entire series of paintings which I call my WIld Horse series. ( http://cherylnancyanngordon.com/ see Horse Gallery).
We are often moved in directions when life's adversities hit. So go with it and see what happens. But never let life get in the way of your passion, just find a way around it. You just might be surprised at the outcome!
December 30th, 2017
Getting a good picture without glare for your art work is not that hard!!!
I usually finish my paintings at night and like to photograph them right away. Plus I live in SW Montana and its not always possible to go outside and shoot a nice picture with natural light in the shade. Too many weather factors.
I struggled to get a good photo of my art and found this to be so frustrating. A lot of my work has high gloss and that just reflects as white light so often. I searched for what other people were doing and didn't find much. By accident I discovered that if a I take a 16 x 20 sheet of white or cream mat board, and simply hold that up between the light source and image and I can virtually eliminate most of the glare. It is important that the room be fairly well lit in order to bring out other details.
With the great cameras in phones and point and shoot digital cameras we have much greater options. A couple other pointers that are important is to make sure the angle of your camera is the same plane as your painting. Try to get the image to fill the picture as much as possible but leave some edges, then crop it clean.
Sounds so simple and like most good solutions.... it is!
Cheryl Nancy Ann Gordon
Check out my current work and Like my FB Page
December 15th, 2017
If you are an avid painter, I bet you have lots of completed pieces laying around just waiting to be framed. You would much rather be painting and creating than the tedious task of framing. Anyone relate? Well, that's my story for sure. Its not that I mind the framing, its the gathering of materials and putting everything together to do this task. Once I actually, get a piece matted and framed, it is very satisfying. I need to work on this part of my process.
Yesterday, I bought 20 frames and am in the process of actually completing some of my work. I discovered that I really like the "floating mount" idea. For many of my pieces that is ideal. Well, I haven't the first clue in how to go about doing this. In my typical fashion, I just did it.
The picture here is an example of a Floating Mount. Its 12 x 16 on canvas in a 16 x 20 inch frame. I was pleased with myself for completing this task. In the process of hanging it in my hallway, and I should of used two hands. Low and behold, it slipped out of my hand and fell to the floor. I damaged the frame and the image came loose from the mat board. This is the reason for my post.
I learned that the green gorilla painters tape is probably Not the best adhering material. So out of this "slip up" this morning, I researched the process of Floating Mount and I thought I would share that with you.
I discovered that it is important to use an archival bonding material and the most recommended one is: filmoplast. I found some on Amazon. Neschen Filmoplast P Archival Mending Tape, 1"x100' for $17.98. It is also helpful to have a burnishing bone to adhere the tape for added strength. Those are also easy to find on Amazon.
Just the bit of information was all I needed. Can't wait for these two items to come in so I can get framing.
Hope this bit of information is helpful and you too can start completing your art projects!!!
April 24th, 2017
I am an impatient painter.
I never want to quit til I am done...
I have to give these oils some drying time!
on pause for the time being.
April 24th, 2017
Many artists struggle with self doubt. Especially after being away from the brush and pallet for a few days. The past week I was working on the road, away from my painting studio. Coming back home, I was excited to do some painting but the thought of starting a larger size project was intimidating to me. So I pulled out a smaller cedar board that I like to have on hand. Its 7 x 16 and decided I would just do a random sketch of whatever might want to express itself. That is how I created this Oil on Cedar small Impressionistic Landscape Painting.
My advise is don't let your brain get in the way of creativity. Just go for it, break the ice and enjoy the process! Once you get warmed up and in the swing again.... those ideas will rush right in and your fun continues!
Enjoy your passion,
Cheryl Nancy Ann Gordon