Pour Me…cheap therapy

beauty rising from the darkness

Art has become my therapy. Creating is very satisfying. Today I poured paint and torched it to make this cell effect. I am learning how to execute a technique and recreate it again and again. It’s a learning process for sure. I think a master artist is one who can create something over and over. I’m still a novice with paint but it’s a cool journey.

world on fire
untitled
lava fields

Art with a 12 year old gamer

Feels like yesterday when my daughter and I would color cute animals with crayons and colored pencils. Now, she games, a lot. Her game du jour is called “Hollow Night” and she loves the characters so her artistic outlet is to create new ones who would fit in the game. This one is called “Vine” but I told her it would be cooler to misspell it to “Vyne” because…you know.

My horoscope said to hang out with a kid tonight so I asked her if she wanted to paint with me (I really suck at her video game and neither of us felt like playing a game)…nope. She didn’t want to draw either but she suggested I draw one of her characters in “my style” (I don’t feel like I have a style). Well, ok…why not? That is good, quality family time, right?

So, here you have her (all her characters are female)–Vyne! (She approved although did critique her a bit.)

Avoid Click-Bait Temptation and Use Your Resources!

watercolor octopus

I’m often tempted to click on those persistent ads on FB when they pop up in my feed. One that I did click on recently is a watercolor subscription. They send you an adorable kit once/month for $35 that includes the image, the paint, brushes and a how-to video. So, I thought…hmmm…I could sign-up and review this on my blog and have some fun too. Then I realized, I have watercolor paint, brushes, graphite paper, mixed media paper and a whole bunch of google expertise! 🙂

So, I downloaded my favorite octopus tattoo picture, busted out my graphite paper and traced it to the mixed media paper.

Then, I watched the video on the website (you can view any of a thousand on youtube for free too) and painted my first octopus. Not too bad. I have some room to grow but I am digging it so far. I love water color because it doesn’t make a big mess, you use far less paint and it feels less toxic (I honestly don’t know).

Bottom line–check your inventory before you spend a bunch of money of more of what you probably already have in your garage! Happy painting!

Portraiture Photography Takes Trust

Emma

You can take a photo or you can develop a relationship. If your heart stays open it gets bigger and fuller (kinda like the Grinch). I love portraiture photography because I love faces and stories and connections. If someone trusts you, it’s amazing what you can capture. It feels like a gift every time too. I love the safety of having a lens between us but not taking away from the moment.

This is Emma. She has no idea how beautiful she is…her heart is open, she is kind and funny and generous. We are taking a journey together to capture her own personal before and during …her after has yet to come. She’s lived too many experiences to capture in one image but as you can see here, she trusted me to take the first step with her and so far, she’s timeless.

Perfect practice makes perfect-ish…

I painted today. This always makes me smile–in spite of all the wankers who try so hard to ruin my day. Some people jog to clear their heads, I get my hands dirty. Funny enough, my grandmother liked to paint with her hands too but I never once saw her paint. I saw the art on the walls but she never shared that with me…I wonder why? Sharing your art is a gift.

So, back to the fun. I have been thinking about my triptych project and although I’ve been thinking about horizons, I don’t want all 3 pieces to look the same or for the horizons to look uneven or forcibly random (is that a thing?). This is why I practice with small canvases.

Here’s today’s attempt. I created my horizon first and worked from there. I appreciate the layering process so I began by painting the canvas with 2 colors on opposite ends of the color wheel–my favorite combo of red and blue.

inspiration colors

Next, I decided to play around with 6 different colors that made me think of a sunset at the ocean. From the bottom up I mixed black, blues, purple, more blue and transitioned to warm yellow hues and back to black/blue. I applied these colors with a small brush and then dabbed a small, round sponge over each color.

While the paint was still wet (but drying fast) I took a wet paper towel and cleaned up the silver line and then pulled the paint from the silver line down to give it some movement. I also took the wet paper towel and dragged it across in a horizontal and vertical pattern to make the “sky” feel more natural but still abstract. Voila! I have my little sample!

sample abstract sunset painting

What do I like about this? The colors are gorgeous. I like the pull you see in the blues and the gradual fade of the oranges into the black. The texture isn’t captured well here but it is very textural–another thing I enjoy. What do I want to do differently next time? Move the horizontal line away from center–it’s too balanced. I don’t like the 50/50 look here. It’s much more interesting when you view things in thirds vs halves. Next time I will consider elongating the sky and minimizing the sea. Another thing to make your art amazing is to share a story or at least create a head-scratching name for your piece. I call this my sample (because it’s a practice piece) but I could call a final version something much more abstract like “poets dream” or “sadness” or “through the lens.” You get the idea. 🙂 It’s a journey you want to take your viewers on with you or at least make them think you are deep and artsy.

The Blank Canvas Challenge

Blank Canvas

Does a blank canvas motivate or paralyze you? I used to be paralyzed until I began painting and repainting and another coat of gesso and more paint…and now, I love them. I keep small, cheap canvases on hand for practice and inspiration. I’ve painted over this one at least 3 times in the past month–it’s a 5×7 canvas and I have 3 of them that I’m using for practice. My plan is to paint a large triptych when I finally figure out what I want to look at for a while (because once I ask the hub to frame them and hang them–they will be on the wall at least a year). I tried a few Rothko style paintings and they felt heavy and clunky. Then I tried Bob Ross style fan brush tree and it was too light and practically flew off the canvas. My next attempt will be a variety of brush strokes and sponge work with a little horizontal line to center the eyes…we’ll see what happens! I was inspired by my photo of the ocean yesterday and want to capture it in paint.

Grab a canvas or a piece of paper and some colored pencils and join me, or, like my daughter, grab your tablet and stylus. It’s blank canvas week!

https://www.nga.gov/features/mark-rothko-introduction/mark-rothko-classic-paintings.html

Comfort Zone = Cop-Out

The ocean in my memory

We spent the weekend at the coast and this truly is my happy place. It is the place that holds my heart, sweeps me into bliss and makes me feel safe. It’s my church. I always feel creative at the beach. I want to build sandcastles, write poetry, read classic novels, and paint. I did some of that–wrote poetry yesterday but today was “clean the house and drive 4.5 hours home” day…so I thought, “what am I going to blog today?” Hmmm…my fallback is my photography. I’m a photographer because I earned my MFA in Photography therefore, I should be a photographer, right? But, what if painting is calling me? Well, I didn’t have time to paint today so I leaned back on what I know and didn’t “create” something new. It feels like a cop-out because I didn’t exercise my creative mind. But, I still captured something I love, something that soothes my soul and something I’m proud of…even if it was captured with my iPhone (not my DSLR).

You have to be gentle with yourself too.