Friday, November 18, 2011

Paint Past the Photo

Here's a wonderful exercise I learned from Dory Kanter in her beautiful book Art Escapes. It's called paint past the photo. Basically, you put a picture down in the middle of the page and paint past the edges. It's a wonderful way to practice color mixing and working on your ability to use a realistic style.

Here is one I did using a photo I took at Joshua Tree National Park. It was approaching sunset when I was there, and the colors and shapes of the rocks were amazing.

And this one I love, because the small person walking on the trail is my husband.

Thank you to Dory Kanter for this great idea!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Beyond Self Interest: Small Mixed Media Collage

Another busy week! But I did squeeze in some time to work on some small mixed media collages. This one is collage and watercolor. I'm quite new to collage and love integrating text, patterns & textures with paint. It appeals to my love of a process-oriented approach as well, letting the composition unfold and surprise me along the way. The title jumped out at me from the text -- creating a gentle reminder.

Here's a link to another small collage I did this week, in case you're interested.

p.s. Thanks for visiting PPF friends! I hope there is enough painting here to qualify. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Working Small

I used to think I was an artist who did big paintings, which was fine, except that it became my excuse for not doing anything at all. Working big is great but it also takes bigger amounts of time and space than I often have. And as a consequence, I did nothing, for many years. Recently, I've given myself permission to work small and guess what? It's great! I can start and finish a piece in a relatively short time, and do more artwork than if I were working on a single, large piece. Of course I'll still do bigger pieces if I want to, but I'm so happy for this newfound freedom, and burst of creative energy I've found by doing something different and being willing to let go of an old, unhelpful constraint.

This is a small collage I did this week on a busy day, sandwiched in between my work and family responsibilities. In fact, on this day, I did six 4x6 collage paintings with watercolor in under two hours. While waiting for paint or medium to dry on one, I would switch to another for a time. Working back and forth this way gave me time in between to figure out what do if I was stuck on one.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Crafty Interlude

I don't don't consider myself to be a crafty person, yet I love the idea of making things that can be useful. If I can repurpose some old, otherwise discarded items in the process, the more the better.

This idea was inspired by Jenny at Jennibelle studio, who makes marvelous handcrafted journals and other items. When I saw her post about turning a junk box into a beautiful new item, I was inspired to try it out myself.

I used paper scraps, including one with an inkjet image transfer, paint, and my own handmade stamps to decorate the papers. The papers were decoupaged on to the box. I then added some miscellaneous beads and buttons for a bit of embellishment.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Works in Progress

Life is busy these days now that I'm back at my day job. It's harder to find time to for art, but I"m determined to keep at it, even if it's at a slower pace. I did manage to start these two pieces this week. I love playing around with paint and had a lot of fun collaging and layering textured washes here:

At this point, I'm thinking of this as the background, but I need to decide what else to do to finish the painting.

This one is also a mixed media painting with collage elements that I've been working on. Again, I used a lot of textured washes and papers in the background. Then, I added the collaged leaf and did some more painting. It's not finished, though I'm not completely sure where I'll head with it, either by adding more collage elements, painting, or both.

Thanks for looking! I welcome and greatly appreciate your comments!