Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Summer of Painting: Abstract Mixed Media


For the last three years, I have been obsessed with learning about every possible technique I can use in mixed media artwork. Even though I can really see a lot of improvement overall, my painting skills with acrylics are not that strong. So this summer I have been focusing most of my effort on painting. I'm finally getting to a comfort level with them, and am enjoying the process so much. Most days I take my "studio" outside so that I can enjoy the beautiful weather we're having here right now. The funny thing is that the more I paint, the less I blog! Did I mention that I am obsessed?

I started out the summer painting whimsical, cheerful garden scenes and florals Diane Culhane's wonderful online course, "Paint Your Garden".  I do love flowers, but my heart has been leaning more toward abstract compositions in the past few years. Recently I've been working my way through a fantastic course offered by Julie Prichard and Chris Cozen - Layer Love 2.0.  The class focuses on painting abstract paintings with Golden Open paints. And finally, all of the techniques and things I've learned in the past three years are coming together exactly how I want them to. Here are some of the abstract paintings I've been working on this week.


"Climbing Higher"
Acrylic on 10" x 12" panel

One thing I'm learning about painting is to slow down and trust the process. The Open paints dry more slowly which gives you more time to work with them. That has really helped me to relax and not panic over paint drying faster than my brain can think of what to do next! It also is forcing me to work on a painting over several days. I tend to want to finish a piece all in one sitting, but I'm finding that I can't do that with these paints. At some point, you just have to set the painting aside and let it dry before working any more on it. Otherwise, you'll end up with pure mud on the canvas.

This next one is actually done over a floral painting I'd started earlier but wasn't happy with. There were too many different colors and patterns and it felt too busy. Plus, my flower shapes felt tight and didn't look loose and free like I wished they would. So I mixed some grey and covered a lot of what was there, adding some sgraffito (scratching into wet paint) so that some of the bright color and patterns still showed. It all came together so quickly and felt right. I love when that happens!


"Find Your Way"
mixed media on 8"x10" stretched canvas




This was another painting I'd started a long time and was not happy with. So I added more collage and layers of paint. Today it occurred to me to add an image transfer. This photo is actually one of my own, which makes me so happy!

In the Mist
mixed media on 10"x10" cradled canvas



Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I appreciate your comments so much! I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday. Take a look and check out the exciting work artists from around the world have been doing this week.

32 comments:

  1. Wow Debbie! I adore your abstract paintings.. the colors and layers and compositions are just fab!
    Happy PPF!
    xxx
    Susi

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  2. Wow, your abstracts are stunning. I especially like In the Mist, it just calls to me. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. The abstracts are wonderful, love the soft colors. Valerie

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  4. these are bloody awesome... like seriously fabulous... love that middle one especially... lovely to see all that learning coming together in amazing work...xx

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  5. Beautiful work. Happy PPF, Annette x

    http://nettysartadventures.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. Wonderful paintings! I love the depth and the texture in them.

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  7. I am so impressed with these abstracts. Abstracts can be fiendishly difficult to get right but all three here are fabulous, great compositional designs and use of colours. I tried hard to find a favourite but couldn't choose between the three.

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    1. Thank you, Sheila. You are so right about abstracts -- it is really very challenging to create an abstract composition, at least for me. But I love the challenge of it.

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  8. I think your hard work has paid off, because all your abstracts are beautiful. I'm especially drawn to the first one with all the blue shades with contrasting ambers. Blessings!

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  9. Awesome! Love the layering as it does seem to create dimension. These are wonderful, you must be on the right track. Happy PPF and thanks for sharing. These are inspiring.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. Layering is a big part of it. The more layers, the better, it seems!

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  10. Wow, and double wow!! Your abstracts are AMAZING. I have been trying myself to do abstract, but I find it hard to do. I for sure love abstract and yours are one of mi favorites today. If you don't mind, I will pin them. Have an excellent and very, very creative weekend!
    Nora Clemens-Gallo

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    1. Thank you so much, Nora! Yes, you can pin these. I'm very flattered! I started out doing collage to learn how to do abstract composition. I feel very relaxed with collage, but trying to paint abstract is harder, at least for me!

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  11. These are beautiful. I especially love the first painting--the colors, composition and feel of it are soothing to the very soul. These paintings fill my eyes, which is the greatest compliment I can give.

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  12. I love the quiet mood of the first and third paintings - Climbing Higher is my fav! You have so much depth in the layers - and I love those open acrylics!

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  13. Ohhhhhh wowow all of these are amazing. I absolutely love the first one. Your abstracts are very good and I would never have known you just started.
    Have a great weekend
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  14. Debbie I love your abstracts. They look great and very, very inspiring! Beautiful work!!!!

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  15. Great paintings, I really like them! - Irma

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  16. Sorry for the cliche but : Practice makes Perfect and I have to remind myself of this often. I think the abstracts are excellent. I like studying them. Blessings, Janet PPF

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  17. LOVE your paintings!! I loved the muted palettes and such interesting shapes....
    Thanks for visiting and happy PPF :)
    PS I used the paper to wrap a friend's birthday present - and yes, it's perfect to do with the kids :)

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  18. Sometimes a blog break to create is a good thing. These are wonderful!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  19. Beautiful abstracts, Debbie. I appreciate what you all do even if I can't do that myself. Love the Mist one.

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  20. I really love your style Debbie. Wonderful work!:)

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  21. such beautiful work with so much thought put into them, I could get lost inthem,

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  22. Really love your paintings!! That last one really is the cream of the crop ♥

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  23. Your abstract work looks amazing. I once did a workshop with Julie and Chris, and I learned so much. Really interesting. "Climbing higher" is my favorite" ....

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  24. Debbie these are fabulous, I love them all so much, your work is really looking great!

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  25. Wonderful abstracts! I like the colours and textures a lot!

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  26. Thanks for visiting me and commenting at 'a r t i c k l e' , Debbie. I feel like I could have written this entry of yours myself! I find myself leaning more and more towards abstracts. I love the variety of techniques that create different results. These pieces are just terrific. You should be very proud of your experimenting and hard work. It shows.

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