My friends, I am so sorry to have been away for so long. I have been a bad blogger.
What on earth has been going on to keep me from you and not put up work here? Well, I have been sketching and painting in between teaching digital arts at Cumberland High School in Cumberland RI. I'm also teaching and taking a course at RISD Continuing Education, not to mention the normal amount of adulting we all deal with.
So here are some samples of the latest meanderings of my mind.
I am hoping to keep generating work as I start with some collaborations and a brand new series. Stick around for more, I promise I'll be more frequent with my posts! :)
So Many finds on my adventures through my sketchbooks. Here are some highlights... I think I may rework some of these into full out digital pieces. Thoughts?
October has been full of surprises!
I was honored to be in the Rhode Island Art Educators Show at the Warwick Center for the Arts. I was doubly honored to be awarded 2nd place overall at the show!
This past Thursday 10/21/21, My work was greeted in a gallery night. I have had my work in a show at URI Providence campus, six pieces in total. You may know some of them as they are frequent flyers in this blog. The show was full of tremendous art including a piece from ReTech.org. I met many fellow artists and steampunk/fantasy enthusiasts. One of the stars of the show was The Greenman.
The gallery manager and beautiful person, Steven Pennell, Had been pushing the image all over social media and it stopped many folks who wanted a closer look.
I feel like this painting is a turning point for my art. I now have the confidence in my work to stand by it without excuse and put myself out there. For far too long, I wondered what would sell. Making art for that reason clouded my creativity. With the weight lifted of that need to fit in with other "legitimate" artists, I find myself loving my work.
It's called "imposter syndrome" and it affects many creatives who pour so much into their work it hurts. These amazing creators tend to feel they do not measure up to the barre that has been set by those before and/or their contemporary creatives. I have seen this in my students for years. I have always been that kid who needed approval from someone else to be an artist.
I'm taking back that need to be accepted and please all. I want to redefine it. I want to walk tall with the confidence in myself and my work so that when people see it, they fall in love with it as much as I do.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and make Art!
The latest works are going into a show at the end of the month through to Halloween. I will be showing at the University of Rhode Island in Providence. More details to come.
Pieces like this Steam Drake are very special to me. They are intensive and very detail oriented, so I take my time with them. Working the nuances in and finding new places within the structure of the initial sketches is my favorite portion of these works!
So, it turns out that my long absence was do to Tension Headaches. I'm to reduce stress to make sure they are as under control as the meds can get them. What does that mean for you and why am I bothering to share this? Making art - specifically drawing and painting - is my best de-stressor. So on with the show, my friends! Get ready for artwork onslaughts as I fill up the blog with my artsy shenanigans...
I have neglected to post for quite a while now.
Allow me to explain.
I have been steadily working on my portfolio of work and finding ways for you to purchase and enjoy the work for yourselves. I am so happy to report that the shop is back online. Currently we are running with limited stock to test the waters. Here's how it works - Go to the portfolio and hover over a piece with your cursor. If it has a link, it's available for purchase! Click and you can see what is in stock.
Years ago, if you had told me I'd be loving creating paintings and art on a computer, I'd probably laugh so loud I'd hurt. I was so closed minded about what I could do. For years I though I was nothing but a mediocre talent at best. That is not to say that now, I think I'm the be-all and end-all, rather I recognize that I can still learn and that I really do love all sorts of art making. A few things have given rise to this.
1. I started listening to people who had more confidence in me than I did. People other than family. I just put myself out there with no expectations of pleasing other people with my art. I started making it for me. That really started with making tutorials for RISD CE over the summer and with Inktober, I think. The deadlines and ability to create without constraint was very freeing. I was working within parameters but was allowed to create for me. The tutorials also allowed me to really consider my process.
2. I got recognition in the form of contracts. First, the Alice in Wonderland job, then the Nutcracker gig, the murals I have been generating for Coffee Connection, and smaller side gigs. I started looking at my work and being pleased with not only the product, but with the making of it. I think that was the part I was missing. I often start a project and then cop out once the self doubt kicks in.
3. Going on Clubhouse and realizing that there are many definitions of success in the art world. Starting my art career in earnest at 46 is not a deterrent, but a real advantage. I know far more skills and am far more patient than I was at 23 coming out of college. It took another lifetime for me to gain the ability to respect myself as an artist after I graduated college. It was nothing that Mass Art or my professors did that surpassed me. It was all on me. There has been a fear of taking risks most of my life because I told myself I was not "good enough." It's funny because I've been preaching to students for 21 years about accepting failure as a teaching tool and not comparing yourself to others because all art is unique to the artist.
With the work represented above, there are experiments, like the beach scene or the pocket troll using acrylic and paint marker on canvas, fun stuff like working lettering on Easter bags, and full blown contracts that I took countless hours with and lived every stroke like the instagram wall. Finally, there is the digital painting of a Greenman. Something I started months ago and finally went back to using the painting techniques I was honing with the mural and applying it to the work in Procreate on my iPad.
All in all, these new techniques will grow and manifest in new works over the next year and years to come as I keep working as a professional artist.
Thank you for reading. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Make Art!
It's a monthly check-in from yours truly!
What's happened, well loads of exciting and fantastical stuff.
I joined Clubhouse and met dozens of amazing artists!
Started a channel on Happs and happy to be using that platform for my broadcasts every Friday and Sunday! You can join me or start your own channel at: https://happs.tv/invite/@JasonRobertLeClair
My Patreon is live and has great fan benefits for your support. https://www.patreon.com/jasonrobertleclair
And have been super productive these last few weeks. working on a mural at Coffee Connection in Providence, and experimenting with different painting media as well as publishing loads of new tutorials and broadcasting efforts as I mentioned before. This is the start of a new adventure for me and I am so grateful to all f you for believing in my art and in me over the years.
Here are a few of the new works! Stay safe, stay healthy, and make art!
It's a short month, with no ending of art being made!
So I started a SUNDAY SKETCHING LIVE! event every Sunday on FaceBook. It's going pretty well. So far only a few friends and a couple of wanderers by popping in. What I discovered is that folks like to see a picture come fully into fruition. In order for that to happen, I've got to either record some, or use quick media. This week it's quick media - Watercolor!
Here's a couple from the SSL! sessions:
What can we expect from art in the future? No clue? Me neither.
What I do know is that the world depends on the creative pursuit of artists to maintain history and fuel the vibrancy of humanity. We are here to create art so that we remind ourselves that we are more than animals, more than machines, more than bags of flesh and organs appearing as a blip on the timeline of the planet.
We have something that goes beyond us. It is a need to express emotion, empathy, sympathy, and community. Art is the heart that pushes these portions of humanity's blood through to it's memory, and in turn feeds the spirit of it.
Keep making art.
Keep teaching art.
Keep art alive, so that humanity can live and not only survive.
Jason Robert LeClair
I've been drawing and creating fantastical worlds for over 30 years. This is my area to put any visual or written musings. You've been warned...