Fear is

I think as an artist, a huge part of my process is confronting fear, and in so doing learning a new trick, a new technique, or even a new way of looking at things.

For the life of me, I'm not a realist artist who can paint or illustrate photographic portraiture of anything. I'm just not interested in depicting things realistically, and rather prefer to interpret the subject through representation or some kind of conceptual extrapolation. 

Practice sketch in watercolor. Still fantastical with realism accents. 

For the longest time, most of my art focuses on fantastical illustrations that are NOT faithful to reality in every sense of the word; and I really don't give a two figs. When digital rendering was made possible with the creation of photoshop, illustrator, and CAD; I jumped onto the band wagon and never looked back. 

Over a decade later I found myself at a loss for not understanding why many of my artworks were flat flat flat. Something was missing but I didn't know what it was until I signed up for Dacia Gallery's residency and boom!

My very first life painting session knocked me down with the horrific realization that I have lost the cognitive ability to see the in-between colors, which blend everything together and give you that realistic facade. 

When working in digital media everything is manipulated to the point that a subject's exposure, and colors are so heightened and intensified that all the middle tones are squeezed out. Working in digital media also doesn't allow one's brain to really see the many colors that make up the blues, the greens, and the reds. Under the sunlight, a leaf is never just green but an array of greens and yellows, sometimes even red and blue depending on the light and the cloud coverage. 

So I flipped, big time, still freaking out the fact that my brain has lost the ability to observe, discern, and execute. And yet, I'm still here, like millions of other artists practicing one sketch at a time to redeem myself.

Again and again 

Underwater, in watercolor, digital textures, and who knows what else mixed media. 

Until I can choose NOT to be a realist artist not because I can't draw realistically, but because I choose not to. 

I suppose fear is, for many artists like me, the perfect motivation to learn something new and in the process solving the many problems, which eventually will develop into our own unique styles. Definitely not for the faint hearted.