Tag Archives: mixed media

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.
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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 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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Well, This Could Be Awkward

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So, I read today’s Zero to Hero Challenge, and it sends the challengees to a new link and suggests we participate in the Daily Prompt. Okaaaayyy. Do I have a reputation? Hmmm. But first there’s a post I HAVE to post today, and it’s about my dad. Maybe these things are connected. I mean, I was a “daddy’s girl” and all, and yeah, years of therapy have taught me that many of the things that I’m about, my “reputation” as it were, have to do with things that happened in my childhood.

I thought that it would be hard to start writing this post. I wanted to set the right tone, without being shocking, maudlin, or look like I needed sympathy or condolences. But the reason I have to write this particular post is that today is the 23rd anniversary of my father’s suicide. Did you see the sentence above about years of therapy? For me, I mean. My dad was an alcoholic and we (my immediate family and others) are pretty much in agreement that he had bipolar disorder (undiagnosed). It was almost half a lifetime ago, and I’ve come to terms with it. So today, I wanted to focus just a little bit on something else that made my dad my dad. Gave him his reputation.

Dad was an artist (writer, painter, photographer, among other things) and he LOVED anything to do with aviation. LOVED. That was his reputation. He always had something he was creating. Always taking pictures, writing, and painting. Usually not all at the same time, but who knows what was going on in that always scheming and plotting mind of his. He had lots of projects. Mostly in the garage.

It was in our garage where he  developed one style of artwork that was so identifiable, that when Roland (see new widget with my “cast of characters” in the sidebar) saw my latest painting, he knew the reference immediately.

Mine painting is much smaller, because my dad did everything big. He would paint a large canvas or board all black. Then take the time-honored artist technique of flicking paint with a toothbrush, and create stars. His piece de resistance was the planets. He would raid our kitchen “stealing” round items, usually pie plates, much to my mom’s dismay. I’m pretty sure he used oil paint and he would squish blobs of paint from the tubes, randomly on the bottom of said pie plate. Then he would flip the plate over, and press the pie plate to the canvas, slowly spinning it to create his planet.

He spent hours perfecting the technique of planet creation, and I confess that my planets were created more timidly. Ultimately, I just painted the circles. Sorry, Dad. The airplanes on my painting were originally drawn by my dad when he was in high school. I found the drawings in an envelope with some old photos, scanned them, and inverted the colors. The photo of the little boy in the plane is actually my dad, taken in the late 1930s. You can see his love of aviation started very young. So the painting above is a collaboration of sorts.

Today’s post is not about me, but my dad, and his reputation for a love of all things aviation and creative. Boy, I can only imagine what he would have done with a digital camera…

Happy flying, Dad.

Trying a New Header

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Not a super exciting title, but just a quick post for the zero-to-hero challenge.  Today’s challenge is to try different headers. My original header was a photo I had taken on a trip to Douglas Lake in Tennessee a few years ago.

After struggling with the resizing (and not 100% pleased now), the new header is a snippet of one of my original mixed media paintings. It’s late here (for me), and I just need to re-edit and move the text down a little. Of course, there are helpful links in the Daily Post linked above which I totally ignored.

Anyway, the painting is a current favorite. Sometimes simple is best.

Baby in a Red Cape

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Little Red Baby-Hood

Continuing with the winter theme, I created this “Little Red Baby-Hood in the Woods” a couple of months ago. Painted with acrylics with some fabric glued on. The baby is me. Cute. Still can’t paint people, so old photographs are a great stand-in. And they fit so well with the whole mixed media thing.

And this one is completely complete… there’s a bird on it. Doesn’t having a bird in your creations totally elevate them to Art? Anyway, I did a similar painting (as yet unrevealed) that I like better, but this one is more wintery. And the other one is also as yet unscanned, which I think makes them look better on the computer than taking a picture.

Acrylic paint, fabric, photo (printed on a laser printer)

Original photo:

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My Own Style

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Sure, doing exercises from books is really useful for learning the “rules” of painting, but I really want to develop my own style. So this is my first that’s not from any book. I started with a photograph, painting with acrylic paints. After the landscape was finished, I printed the photo on tracing paper, and cut out the picture of my dad and one of the trees. Then glued them on. Not exactly my complete vision, but for me, I like this direction.

Acrylic paint, tracing paper

Photo inspiration:

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The Color Wheel

photo 1

Sure, the color wheel is Art 101, but knowing the it really is the backbone of everything, well, color. Art, fashion, interior design, how to coordinate your car’s interior and exterior. And it’s lesson #1 in the book Creating Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker. I’m working my way through the exercises in this book, though not particularly speedily.

Watercolor and acrylic paint, micron pen

Learning Shading

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Working a full time retail job leaves little time for weekend painting classes, so I turned to books. I purchased Acrylic Painting with Lee Hammond, and one of the first exercises was learning the Elements of Shading. Just painting random gray spheres seemed kind of boring, so this is my interpretation. The rainbow didn’t turn out quite like I envisioned, but it works for me.

Acrylic paint, magazine pages