Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Painting my Garden

Hello, long neglected blog. It's been a while! But summer is here, and I'm on vacation until September which means I have time for my art once again. For those of you that don't know, I teach ESL part-time at a local college when I'm not doing art. I squeeze in time for art whenever I can, so even though I haven't been blogging much, I have been painting, collaging, and drawing quite a lot this year. I'm focusing more on my painting skills these days and recently took Diane Culhane's wonderful online class "Paint Your Garden: The Language of Paint." Using a garden theme as inspiration, Diane teaches various painting techniques in this class such as pointillism and masking.

Lucifer and Becky
Inspired by the Crocosimia Lucifer and Daisies (Leucanthemum × superbum 'Becky') now blooming in my garden
acrylic on canvas
8" x 10'

I used a lot of masking in this one, both with masking fluid and masking tape. Can you tell where I used the tape? I might go back in and do more line work, but I don't want to lose the spontaneous feel I have. Diane uses the liner brush a lot in her paintings, but so far, I haven't been happy with my results. Like anything else, it will take practice.

Which brings me to another question -- How do you learn from an artist that you admire, but at the same time, keep your own 'voice'? I love Diane's style, but I don't want to copy it (and indeed, I am not able to copy it, at least at this point in time)?

Thanks for visiting today! I appreciate your comments.


  1. Oh Debbie this is beautiful and would fix our current
    Theme at Art Journal Journey!

  2. Oh I know this...you SHOULD copy her work, over and over until all of the sudden you find your voice. It really happens. You will see that some part of the copying becomes your own and changes and you start to focus on a "tangent" until it's nothing like Diane's! Anyway, that's how I found my artistic voice :) Your work is lovely, I really like all the vivid colors you use!

    1. Thanks for this advice, Tam! I hadn't thought of that way, and it makes so much sense.

  3. Love your flowers, a wonderful painting. Valerie

  4. I like the rich colour and layering - very expressie. I too studied art many years ago...but then taught it for a long time without do anything much myself. Now it is my turn:) I like your work very much:)

  5. Lovely creation! Love the colors and texture you created.

  6. I think your flowers are delightful. I'd love to have such beautiful ones in my garden.

  7. Hi Debbie-good to "see" you again! Gorgeous painting- I love it! Thanks for the links too. I'd never heard of this artist. Her paintings are unique and delightful. I couldn't agree more with Tam's comment-sometimes copying teaches you so much, allowing you to move away in your own direction. Happy PPF!

  8. Gorgeous and I love Tams answer! Also check out Tommy Kanes blog and find all the portraits others have done of him.....I think it will put everything into perspective for you!!

    Hugs Giggles

  9. I think this is a fabulous piece of work and when learning from someone I always think that your natural style finds it way back the more you work... I always think you can't escape your natural voice...it just goes into hibernation every now and again, and then emerges again refreshed...xx

  10. Sounds like a wonderful class, and you got a great result already. When I do a class with an artist I admire, I try to use her/his techniques, but my own images. For example: when someone paints a lot of flowers with a certain technique, I will try out that same technique but with images of people, as that is what I like to paint most and what I always come back to. That way you learn, but you still keep your work "you" ...

  11. This really is very pretty. I like the masking and the detail is wonderful.

  12. I really like your painting - copying is ok - that's how you learn what your style is. As you said - it's hard to make exact copies - so you are already letting some of yourself creep into the painting. Copying is how all the master artists of the past learned - think of it more as an apprenticeship.

  13. Beautiful mood created here! Love the colors! I find that no matter what workshops and mediums I experiment with, my real self shines through. I can't help but paint like me! Happy PPF!