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  • Writer's pictureJimmy Craig Womble II

Searching for Me. Warning: Artistspeak below:)

Being an artist is an incredibly rewarding existence. It is a dream I've had since my youngest days, and I'm actually making a go of it. It's an incredible feeling to want to get to work every day. And not only that, but it's hard for me to take days off. I am captain one track. I paint, I think about painting when I'm not painting. I've painted full time for 13 years, and have painted in a loose realist / impressionist style most of that time... with a few fun, psychedelic projects thrown in here and there.

30th Annual Beaufort Music Festival poster.

Since the turn of the new year and the move to the new space, I have made a conscious effort to play more in my work. I am on a search to get to the true me, the artist I am meant to be.

I have many influences, both alive and deceased, that I look to for guidance, inspiration, and some sort of path forward. You see, there is no finish line to reach, no objective to meet, no There to get to. The path of an artist, at least for me, is to constantly push yourself to try new ways to express yourself. The journey is life long. There's certainly no retirement waiting for me!

Play in many styles and media, learn from those who don't paint or draw like you. I look at what my kids do, and feed off of the power they possess with an uncluttered approach to making art. I've found techniques to disrupt ways I'd normally go about doing something in order to push against my own style, and see what happens. Contour drawing, blind contour drawing, using only a ballpoint to draw- all of these are great ways to create raw images, things you'd normally not do, but that have a power that may not come out in your normal work.

I've found over the past 6 months that the more you do, the more you begin to see a common thread between all these different modes of working. I spent an entire month doing contour drawings every day, and it helped me in beginning to focus on the space around things, and the shapes of my subjects in oil painting. This line of thought gave me the Womble Whites Series. I am still drawing in ballpoint this month, but am using it in a way kind of like a pencil, creating mass and form. This has recently influenced my thought on painting again, and I'm now focusing on pulling the light around a painting in order to create a believable painted space.

A painting of an abandoned gas station.

My new way to play for the month of July is to do some paintings in acrylic paint. They dry so fast, and have different working properties than oils. I feel there is a lot there to like about this medium, so am giving it a spin! Play, the key to an enjoyable existence...

A painting of a child playing astronaut.

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