Category Archives: Original Art

Blue Fruits

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Last Friday, I took an art class at Spruill Arts. The workshop was “moving from representational to abstract” which I took to mean it would be more of changing your mental mindset. It was that in theory, but in practice, it was more of how to paint real things in an abstract manner, and not outright abstract.

That didn’t really matter though, and I probably need to take the abstract subject in baby steps anyway.

Our first “warm up” exercise was to paint 3 mandarin oranges or cherries abstractly. My fruit really doesn’t look like oranges or cherries, but that wasn’t the point anyway. In fact, looking at them on the computer screen, they kind of look like tiny earths.

There you go. Now that I’ve immortalized it digitally, I can paint over them, and use the canvas for something else. Unless I decide I really love them. You never know.

Painting for Someone Else?!!

Thus far in the saga of my learning to paint and acknowledging that I am an artist, everything I’ve painted has been for myself or an unrequested gift. Of course, the odd room here and there … oh, wait… that’s a different kind of painting.

So, I’ve been asked to paint 3 pictures for someone else! OK, that someone IS my daughter, Laura, but, oh, the pressure. She had 3 24×30 canvases that she had used for a pinterest Christmas project that she wanted to take home with me and make good use of. She says she likes abstract art, and wants the color coral to be in at least one of them.

Her birthday is in September, so that could be a good deadline for at least one of them, but at the rate I’m going, it’s not likely. I decided to paint a “practice” picture, just to see if I’m on the right track. The colors are wrong, but if it turns out, it will be for me (unless someone wants to buy it, heehee) so I’m using colors I would want for me. Mine is also smaller (16×20).

I’ll let the work in progress pictures do the talking. Seeing the pictures on the computer is a useful tool for me to see it through a different lens. And Laura, if you’re reading, tell me if I’m on the right track.

Here ya go:

Texture and undertone added.
Texture and undertone added.
More undertone.
More undertone.
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Collage piece added, and first layer of color.

 

Second layer of color. (yellow rectangle is still there, I just didn't want to get other colors on it
Second layer of color. (yellow rectangle is still there, I just didn’t want to get other colors on it.

The Process of Art

Did you know that creating art can be therapeutic? Well, of course you did. There is even a branch of therapy called art therapy, and of course you knew that, too. I learned recently that the art created for the purpose of therapy, is often referred to as “process” art (versus “product” art which is the kind of art you create to sell, or turn into a product of sorts).

I did google process vs product art, and it appears in my (very brief) investigation, that the interwebs use this term primarily regarding children and their free wheeling creation of art vs children given a structured art project to make, complete with the right colors, etc.

So. When I think of art therapy, I think of someone going to an art therapist and art is used in their therapy. Imagine my surprise to learn that much of the art I’ve been creating this year has been very therapeutic. Sometime this spring this began to dawn on me, starting when her therapist made a comment about wondering what is really going on in my blog header picture.

My own therapist went crazy (well, not literally) when I showed her these insightful creations I’ve made. I’ve written about some of them here, but I haven’t really gone too deep here in blogland about the meanings behind them. Hell, I was unaware at first that there even were meanings behind them, but it turns out there are. The ideas for the paintings are often triggered by family photos, but the feelings behind these ideas often don’t show themselves until some retrospection has taken place.

Sharing these paintings can be intensely personal, and some I’ve made may not be shared at all.

This is all a very long introduction to my latest painting that is part of the Baby in a Raft series that I introduced here and here. I’m relatively certain that you’ll figure out the meaning of this one. I did not write the poem and traced it back from pinterest to this blog on tumblr.

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The Journey

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“Little by little, one travels far.” says JRR Tolkien. That was one of the inspirations for this new painting. This was Roland’s other birthday painting, and one I’m really proud of.

Since April, I’ve been joining him on his weekly hikes which are mostly taken in the Chattahoochee River National Park. Being in a beautiful setting like this area, the hikes have a very calming and healing effect on my anxiety, and are, of course, great exercise. We bring our 3 dogs, so it’s both an upper and lower body workout!

The painting is of one of the paths. At the bottom of those steps is a deck area where you can stop and look over the river. Admittedly, we’ve had so much rain this spring and summer, that the foliage is very lush, and blocks much of the view right now.

Everyone should have somewhere that restores their soul.

On Full Moons and Birthdays

What a happy coincidence! As luck would have it, last Friday (claimed by some to be the luckiest day in the year), 7/11, was both Roland’s birthday, and the appearance of the full moon, which just happened to be a “supermoon”.

This year, Roland said that a soon to be taken trip to visit our daughter, Laura, was the only gift that he wanted. Well, yeah, I still wanted to have something for him to unwrap on the actual day. So I painted. Two paintings.

The first was directly inspired by him and his comment about the trees vs. the dancers.

Moondancing
Moondancing

And I did not even know about the moon until last Thursday, when I noticed that the full moon was near.

Changing Perspective

 

The Forest
The Forest

Can’t see the forest for the trees. This little saying was my inspiration for the painting above. I’ve been wanting to try painting some abstracts, but really, abstracts confuse me. I’m more of a literal kind of girl, hence my first foray into abstract is a fairly literal interpretation. You know, green background = forest; black, lumpy tree shapes = the trees. Yep.

But then Roland came in and turned my world (erm, my painting) upside down. Do you see them? The dancers?

The Dancers
The Dancers

Going from a negative feeling to a positive, joyous feeling? I love it!

It just all depends on your perspective.

Looking Skyward

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Dropping off today’s artistic accomplishment. More of a palate cleanser after the rose picture which took more than several days. This one just took an afternoon. Of course, it shows, but sometimes you just gotta paint. When I was in the backyard the other day, I took picture, looking up into the trees, and wondered if I could recreate it.

And I did semi-successfully. Perfecting painting techniques from mixing colors to figuring out the best brush to use takes some practice, so I’m chalking this one up to practice, and the odds are, I’ll just paint over it one of these day.

So here it will live on, in all its glory.

I hope your skies are sunny and blue.

The Baby in a Raft #2

Raft Series: The Rescue
Raft Series: The Rescue

So the story goes like this. I started painting. Pictures, not walls. I love landscapes, and love combining landscape-y kind of paintings with the unexpected placement of a photo. But not just any photo. One from my own family archives. And in doing that, exploring some of the deeper emotions that emerge.

Baby in a Raft: Alone was the literal interpretation of the photo. Taken at face value, a completely innocent of a family outing at the beach.

This baby, Baby in a Raft: Rescued, takes the situation to a new level. Who is rescuing her? Why? What danger was she in?

Since that baby is actually me, do I feel that I needed to be rescued from something or someone? Or that I should have been rescued? Maybe she is just rescuing herself… saw the chance to escape and took it.

 

The Baby in a Raft #1

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Most of my original art is inspired by personal photographs. Pictures taken of me as a child, my family through the decades, landscapes of places that I’ve been. I like to explore the feelings that I get from these pictures, especially the ones of me as a pre-memory age child.

The painting is a literal interpretation of the photo, done with acrylic paint, and a printed photo colored with a sharpie. The waves were made by adding a soft glossy gel medium. No feelings explored here.

The inspiration for the “raft series” of pictures is this photograph, taken of me bobbing along in the surf of the Gulf of Mexico at Galveston Beach. I’m not 100% certain that this is a safe thing, or how far out I actually was (probably not very far, really), but way back when, people didn’t obsess about safety like they do now.

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