Cinda Jo Bauman: Children's Book Writer & Illustrator, Cut-Paper Artist, and More!

Hello,

When I created this website, I had no intention of blogging.  But I have really been wanting to share an experience I had this past fall, so here goes.

Through browsing artist’s websites, I heard about an artist named Flora Bowley.  I checked out her website.  WOW, talk about bright, beautiful, free feeling paintings.  After I saw she offered an online ecourse, and then read all of the reviews from people saying their life had changed after taking her class, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I’ve always wanted to take painting lessons.  I tried once, but being so self-conscious around other artists just left me frozen.  By the time I relaxed enough to paint, the class was over.  Seriously!  This class would last 5 weeks, offered online video tutorials five days a week I could do at my own pace with no one watching, and a Facebook community for the others in the class.  I tried and tried to talk myself out of it, because I shouldn’t have been thinking of spending money on something I probably wouldn’t finish.  But, every time I read the comments from people who had taken the class I was more hooked.  Finally, I just did it!  I signed up.

If you watch any of the videos on her website, you will see the gentle, encouraging person that was my teacher.  Her love and enthusiasm for art and life is shown the first time you watch her and keeps growing to the very end.  I didn’t just learn about painting and how to have fun with it again, I learned about myself .  One of the best parts is I have met a whole group of online friends who everyday take a second to encourage each other and share their beautiful creations.

Flora suggested we  journal during the class.  I found my journal today and decided to share what I wrote:

October 4, 2012   Today, I’m starting to feel the changes this class brings.  There have been tiny changes along the way, mostly just noticing attitudes I want to change.  But today I’m feeling something different, maybe something like “acceptance.”  I’ve always known how important it is, and that it was something I lacked.  But, you can’t just wake up one day and say, “I accept who I am.”  Flora’s daily words and exercises have let this come about naturally.  As for the painting part of the class, I am still learning, and most of my paintings are still in “the awkward teenage stage” that Flora tells us is exactly where they are supposed to be.  So, even though after I added another layer of paint last night, and my painting hasn’t seemed to evolve much from the last six layers….I can look at it and say, “It’s okay, we’ll see how it looks after the next layer.”  And, I actually look forward to the next layer. 
So, while looking at my art and saying, “I accept that,” I am also looking at myself and saying, “I accept that.”  Who I am is pretty darn cool, and knowing that I am getting braver, and truer, and loving life more each day is pretty much priceless compared to the cost of this class.

That pretty much sums up the class.  I’ll post the three paintings I have finished from the class, and I’m happy to say I just started two more and can’t wait for time to work on them again!  Oh, and here’s the link to Flora’s class in case you are interested.  I highly recommend checking it out.  http://braveintuitiveyou.com/offerings-workshops/e-course/ImageImageImage

Yikes!

Not quite the visitor Spider was expecting.

I finished this illustration using the feathers I posted a LONG time ago……well, a LONG time ago.  But I’ve been waiting for a sunny day when I had time to photograph it.  The little blue bird actually started out to be a Blue Heron.  As I built his feather covered body though, I realized by the time I finished he would be HUGE!  So after studying him, and being determined to use all those feathers I had cut, I just chopped off his head and neck and “whalla!” a bluebird. 🙂

I got the postcards in the mail today that I had made for Liberate Your Art postcard exchange.  Can’t wait to start getting fun mail!                     http://kateyestudio.com/liberate-your-art-postcard-swap

 

I can’t believe it, March is almost over! It’s time to dig those picture book manuscripts out, dust them off and send them out to a new batch of publishers. After all, no one will publish them if they are sitting on my desk, now will they?  I’m afraid I lost my submission momentum when the publishers got so busy they decided not to reply to manuscripts unless they were interested.  I understand, really I do, but it sure leaves us writers feeling a little lost.  I need that closure of a rejection, even if it is just a form letter. (Of course, a CONTRACT would be MUCH, MUCH better!)  It’s like my signal that it’s okay to move on to the next great publisher on my list.

I’m working on something with those feathers I posted, too.  Hopefully, I’ll post a picture soon.  Enjoy this beautiful weather. 🙂

Image

What should I name you, Ladybug?

I started with one big painting of two roosters and got some good feedback.  Friends told me to paint more roosters!  So I added a midsized and a smaller one.  They are a bit funky, painterly, or maybe expressionistic–definitely bright and happy.

I’m so addicted to them! My friends and family know that more than anything I want to be an oil painter, but I can’t seem to get past all the head games that go along with it. Those voices that tell me this looks awful, you’re joking yourself. The truth is, painting is hard work! Most paintings look awful in the beginning! I so admire artists who’ve reached the point where painting is not so hard anymore, and they can trudge through those ugly phases knowing it will soon be beautiful.

What I’ve learned from the speed painting videos is that painting is made up of two main things: darkening your darks, and lightening your lights. Over and over the artist does this. They even darken the same places they just made lighter! Again and again, on and on. I watch and wonder what is the point! But, each time the artist makes a tiny adjustment, and in the end it is always beautiful. I could spend hours watching these. (hours I should be spending painting through the ugly phases)

I’m so glad I discovered cut-paper sculpture art. It takes all the fear and negative self judgement away for me. It lets me play and move things around to check composition before I make them permanent. Cut paper illustration is so easy to just start over if I mess up. And, with cut-paper art I can play with my camera and computer to get the shadows and effects I love.

I’ll keep making my children’s illustrations in cut paper while I work through the head games of oil painting.  But, I’m not giving up on becoming an oil painter.  I’m just stubborn like that.

We have geese in our backyard lake, and I love waking up to their squawking and splashing!

Text from Chicken Licken: And they went along and went along until they came to Turkey Lurkey.....