Tag Archives: acrylic paint

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.

Craftsy Teaches Flower Painting: A Review

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I’ve mentioned Craftsy before, back in this post, where I revealed the rose painting, that was created taking the Painting Flowers in Acrylics. Before I get too far away from that experience, I wanted to sum it all up with a little review.

I have no connection with Craftsy whatsoever. The opinions expressed here are completely my own.

If you haven’t heard about Craftsy before, it is basically a website where you can take crafting classes online. Some are free, and some you pay for, but there are topics for anyone who has even the slightest creative bent. The free classes are a great way to give it a try, and that is exactly what the Flower Painting class is. Free.

But free does not mean second rate. The main difference, as I am experiencing it, is that with the free classes you do not get any additional interaction with the instructor, as you do with the paid classes. I’m currently taking another acrylic painting class that I did pay for, so I’ll let you know how that one goes, and if there are other differences.

Back to the flower painting. This “class” had approximately 100 minutes of instruction, just a little over 1-1/2 hours. Once enrolled, it’s yours until, I suppose, Craftsy doesn’t exist anymore, so you can repeat it over and over if you want (that’s true of any of their classes).

The instructor, Micah Ganske, goes over the underpainting, blocking in the colors and layering the colors, and finally, adding the highlights. That’s really a lot of ground to cover, and you are not going to learn more nuanced techniques of mixing your colors, or how to draw the flowers. Painting 101 it is not. In my blog post linked above, I documented my progress, which basically followed the course.

Initially, I tried to paint along with the videos. Um. Yeah, that doesn’t really work. For one thing, duh, they are edited, so he isn’t painting in real time. What I found worked the best was to watch the video lesson all the way through, and then work on my painting going back to review in places that I needed the repetition.

There are questions posted alongside each video that deal with the topic being discussed at the time. In a free lesson, the questions are answered by other students, and I did, in fact, learn quite a bit from my fellow students.

Best tip from a student… use chalk to draw your outline. That technique worked better for me, than the one that Micah was teaching. Which doesn’t his bad, I just didn’t have success with it.

I would rate this course advanced beginner, and I would definitely recommend it. It was great for trying out a online craft class platform, without making a huge investment or either time or money.

Keeping in mind that it is free, if you only learn one thing (and I definitely think you will learn more), it is worth a try.

 

 

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.

Learning to Paint: Roses are Hard

I’d love to be able to boast that I am a self-taught artist, but  the truth is, I’ve had a couple of teachers besides myself. Let’s see. I’ve taken one art class at a local art gallery, and I’ve bought (or had given to me) a number of “workshop” type art books that plan to work my way through. I think that takes me out of the “self-taught” category.

And now I’ve taken my first craftsy class. Craftsy offers online video classes of crafty topics from Cake Decorating to Weaving. I haven’t clicked on all the topics, but at least a few of them (maybe more) offer free mini-classes as well as the ones that you pay for. During a recent sale, I bought 2 classes and signed up for 2 free ones. Today, I completed the first free mini-class, Painting Flowers in Acrylic.

I’ll do a review of the class in another post (short story: really good!). But for now, no more words… just pictures (ok, maybe a few words will accompany):

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Good start.
Good start.
Not too bad. Sure. I can do this.
Not too bad. Sure. I can do this.
No. This looks bad. What have I done?
No. This looks bad. What have I done?
OK. Redraw the petals with chalk. Just keep layering.
OK. Redraw the petals with chalk. Just keep layering.

All done…

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