This week, Tom LaBadia, from Florida, USA, describes his recent focus on painting portraits.
I was attracted to Tom's style when I saw one of his first portraits of a bearded male. In no time, I was searching specifically for Tom's work in our Facebook group, Let's Face It.
Tom's art exudes strength and sensitivity. He accentuates the bold angles of the male figure while suggesting a softness from the palette selected for each portrait. His work is captivating.
Leave comments for Tom in this post's reply box below.
Thank you, Tom, for being a guest on my blog.
Please contact me if you are interested in being featured as a guest artist.
Creative activities: a lifelong pursuit
Creativity has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember.
I am an art director, a self-taught graphic designer, and most recently, a mixed media artist.
When I was a child, I used to play the piano, but when I wasn't making music I was either drawing or painting.
As an introverted only child, I was accustomed to spending long periods of time entertaining myself with a variety of creative activities.
Returning to traditional methods of painting
Although not nearly as introverted as an adult, I can't say things have changed all that much. The perfect day for me is one spent alone, surrounded by art supplies. I have an abundance of ideas that seem to be swimming around in my head almost constantly.
Although I am very grateful that my career is also my passion, a few years ago, I decided I wanted to step out of the digital realm and work more with my hands.
Sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours, then spending all my free time creating digital art was fun for a while. Eventually, I felt like I wanted to pursue more traditional methods. Unexpectedly, working this way has influenced my professional work, an added bonus.
Rethinking my creative journey
I struggle, as a creative person, with being visually stimulated by almost everything.
While having a lot of ideas can be a blessing, it can also get in the way when you are not able to maintain a clear focus.
When I first re-introduced drawing and painting into my routine, I was completely intoxicated by the wide variety of classes, art supplies and techniques available. I would hop from one thing to another, never truly mastering anything, and I was often frustrated by my lack of growth.
Mastering any skill requires hours and hours of practice, the ability to accept that not everything will be amazing or even good. Most importantly, it entails the ability to stay focused on one goal.
Exclusively focused on portraits
Last year I decided that it was time to focus exclusively on portraits. Prior to learning how to draw and paint portraits, I would often include images of people in my mixed media work by using image transfers and collage.
Faces have appeared in my work consistently and I wanted to be able to draw and paint them. I still work in a variety of mediums; however, I have really narrowed down my focus to this one subject.
I find the whole process quite challenging, but I have learned that this is what I love most about creating. There is always so much to learn and experience. Even the paintings that do not turn out as well as expected still have value and teach me something.
When I am not designing, drawing or painting, I am most likely spending time with my two dogs or working on my blog.
Follow my work and the work of other artists
If you would like to see more of my work, you can find me at either of the links below. If you are looking for inspiration and enjoy looking at art, you can find a wide variety of artists on my blog.
My Blog: http://elusivemu.se