Attempts at creativity: street photography, acrylic painting, machine drawing

So I’ll admit that I’ve procrastinated posting here because my latest attempts at being artistic haven’t gone very well. That, combined with the fact that I’ve been busy with other things like setting up my garden plot, biking anywhere from 70-100km a week, and preparing for the Mud Hero race that I just did yesterday.

Okay fine, being busy is not a real reason for not posting my work. I suffer from perfectionism. If I make something that I think looks like crap, I don’t want to share it. Since the creative process includes making mistakes, I’ll include my less than great creations. This wouldn’t be a very good creativity blog if I didn’t admit to my own imperfections. Besides, they will be a good point for comparison later on, after I’ve improved.

First up are some photos that I took as part of the street photography workshop that I went to last month. I’ve been trying to use my camera more often and I want to take photos that are a bit more artistic.  I found that I gravitated more towards the flowers than to people.

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I tried to take a few shots using the element of “natural frames” I believe it was called. I was out in the open on Parliament Hill, where there aren’t many structures to use as a “frame” but I managed to get these two. I’m not thrilled with them but I guess they are better than nothing.

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I don’t think street photography is really my thing. That’s okay though, because I learned some great tips and techniques from the workshop that can be applied to any photo, not just street.

In fact, I got my chance  to practice what I’d learned later that week at the community garden. I was planting a bunch of seeds in my plot, and it began to rain. While hiding inside the garden shed, I noticed the way the rain droplets clung to the metal gate. They sparkled like rainbows in the sunlight. Once it stopped raining, I tried to capture the colours reflecting off the droplets. I couldn’t quite get it, so I used the “diagonal lines” technique to make the photo more interesting.


I also edited it in Picasa using “Cinemascope” effect, which enhanced the shadows and added a border. I think it looks much better at this angle than it would from a full horizontal angle.

Next up is acrylic painting. I bought this “how to paint in acrylics” book years ago and haven’t used it yet, so I sat down with it, took out my paints and attempted to recreate this look.



Maybe I should have sketched it out first, instead of free-hand painting it since this is how it turned out.




Yes, I know it is terrible. I feel tempted to give up painting altogether.  Instead of throwing out my paints, I tried to lift my spirits by picking up a paint-by-numbers kit from Giant Tiger. Surely I can paint something that looks good.




Wow! It’s only four dollars. What a great deal!


Hmmm. Now I see why this was only four dollars.  The colours don’t look the same, and no matter how many layers of paint I put on, you can see the blue lines and numbers underneath it. I feel tempted to throw it out, but I will make myself finish it anyway. Maybe it won’t look as bad as I expect it to.

Finally, I tried to get back into drawing last weekend. I had read the book The Cyberiad for a book club meeting, and it had several sketches in it. Thinking they were quirky and fun, I began to sketch one out.


As you can see, it’s not finished, and I’ve returned the book to the library so I guess it will never be finished. I thought that it looked crappy, but now I don’t think so. I think it looks pretty decent. Too bad I stopped partway through.

Sometimes it takes a while to find something we enjoy. What new activity have you tried lately? Did you like it or was it not for you?


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