Sunday, January 30, 2011

Red in Bloom

Red in Bloom
8 x 10
Acrylic on Canvas

"Everyone discusses my art and
pretends to understand,
as if it were necessary to understand,
when it is simply necessary to love."
Claude Monet
Reference photo I took was of a wild patch of flowers in New England.
I loved the bright bold colors and wanted to see if I could capture some of them.
Loved Monet's work of Wild Poppies and
Jeanne-Marguerite Lecadre in the Garden
So I thought I'd try to do the blooms in a
quick impressionistic technique...
not quite like Monet (of course)
but good to practice anyhow!!!

I painted a light blue background color for sky
and added a mass of green along the bottom.
Painted in some trees and added leaves and blooms
by dabbing on a variety of color ontop of background
then added some stems for flowers in a variety of green mixtures.
I could get used to this style of painting!!!
Monet is truly a master, an inspiration
and truly loved!!!
After a bit more of color and value study,
 I'll try and try again!

Check back soon!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Music in the Soul

Music in the Soul
16 x 20
Newsprint and Acrylic on Canvas

"Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest,
heals the heart and makes it whole,
flows from heaven to the soul"
-author unkown-

Inspired by a photo I took in New Orleans.

I used the same type of method of mixed medium,
the newsprint in the background is actually an inspiring article
I found about a local youth church band. 
The symbolic meaning of them included in this piece is two-fold. 
The importance of music in our community,
what it means to develop musical talent and skills in our children
so they can express themselves creatively
 and also to represent the inspiration of how Jazz music
is the foundation, heart and soul of New Orleans. 

The power of music from the soul can move us to emotion,
 set a mood, bring back a memory, and instill hope!
Rarely is there a time I sit down to paint
without putting on some of my favorite tunes!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Day at the Beach

A Day at the Beach
10 x 16
Mat Board
"Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities.  Seize common occasions and make them great.  Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them."
-Orison Swett Marden-

I love this quote...
so many times life is what you make of it...
it's up to you. 
Find out what you enjoy to do and do it!

I've used this many times so far in life, here are just a few examples.

When I dreamed of playing basketball in college I went to the driveway and shot baskets.
When I dreamed of making wedding cakes I got some books and ingredients and baked.
When I dreamed to being an artist, I found instructions, supplies, practiced and went to italy.
I've used this theory on and on...

And if they don't have it...
Start it!

Anything is possible.

For this piece I was drawn to another photo taken at the beach in San Clemente, CA
A scene you see at most any beach, completely ordinary, I was excited to add another dimension to the scene with pieces of torn fabric and papers to make it extraordinary. 
Layers of acrylic paint were added with a brush and palette knife to keep it loose.  I wanted to imply the figures but not an idenity I left out details in the faces...
so they could insinuate just about any child playing in the sand!
When you look up close there are patterns of fish peeking through in the water on the paper and the fabric pattern in the sand looks like a vintage scroll pattern.  I chose to use the cursive text paper as well by the figures to represent how they would be chit chatting together while they play in the sand.
It was  fun design process and liked using the bold summer colors in the
umbrella and the beach chair with a towel thrown on top!

Don't let everyday be ordinary...
Be your best today... who knows what tomorrow brings...
Everyday can be a day at the beach!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Painting With A Twist

Black Dress
Painting With a Twist Logo

Ok, so it takes a bit of juggling at times, but aside from commissioned work, and as a busy stay at home mom I have instructed classes at a painting studio in St. Petersburg, Fl called Painting With a Twist... they are opening another location in Tampa!
The Grand Opening is Thursday Jan. 13th.  The photos above are decorative paintings I did for them inside the studio.  I painted their Black Dress design on the ladies room door and the logo on the studio wall along with their tag line:
A Little Paint...A Little Wine... and a Whole Lot of Fun!!!
It's an awesome place to have a party, get together with friends for a fun night out, or help raise money for a local charity with their monthly Painting With A Purpose class!
You don't have to have any painting experience, just show up and have some fun!!
There are over 600 designs in their database and the calendar changes every month with new paintings!
The best part is walking away with your own 16 x 20 painting!
It's a great fun and I love my time there being able to share some of my ability as an artist, meeting great people and helps me to keep my creativity flowing!
I am so grateful to be able to work at what I love to do!
Working there has given me time to really have fun with paint, and now in my own work be able to explore color and acrylic painting and mixed medium on another level for my commissioned pieces!
Hope you come join me sometime with friends...
Check it all out at
Tampa Location

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friendly Pears

Friendly Pears
11 x 14
Acrylic on Canvas Panel

Having cleaned out my art room to make space and get organized for the new year...
 I stumbled across some old paintings I had done a couple years ago...
looking at them now, I thought...
wow, I think I could make that much better.
So I used the original painting as an underpainting and went to work...
originally it had a black background and gray table...
had a blah look just the pears in a light gray bowl.
First thing I did was change the color of the background with a chocolate color
and added a beige tone to the table.
Then I decided the pears looked lonely in the bowl...
they needed some other friends. 
I added the lemon and cherries to give another dimension of color to the painting. 
I then changed the color of the bowl to some darker shades of blue
and added some in the shadow and added some other greens to the pears...
it was like giving them a complete makeover.
The original was just taking up space in storage
I am far happier with the painting now than the original,
... well at least till next year!!! ;)
Next time I do this I will be sure take a photo of the before so you can see all of the differences,
it is now a completely different painting than what I started with!
The point is that it is fun to see how far you come
and with some practice and learning new technique
you can actually see your progress when you look back
I realize i need to continue to practice  mixing colors,
but the fun part of exploring is to mix away and see what you get.
It's all part of the journey.... enjoy it!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lazy Daisies

Lazy Daisies
8 x 10
Mixed Media Collage
I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.

This quote embodies the result of today's piece.
I started with a photo of daisies I had taken during the summer.
Something fun about painting daisies on a gray winter day!
I had tossed around some ideas of mixed media and then an idea totally changed the piece.
Since daisies make me think of spring and summer, I found some design papers, one happened to have an old bike and the others had cursive writing...
(as though summer letters you would write to a far away friend).
I tore up the papers into different sizes and
layed them out on illustration board.
Working like this is completely different than sketching
out a subject and then painting it.
I enjoyed the design process of letting the paper create a
background effect and then started the various layers of the piece.
It was a different way to figure out the composition.
Next step was to add some strokes of acrylic paint in various colors and directions, but carefully allowing some of the decorative paper to peek through as another element to the background.
Then I was ready to incorporate the daisies...
I chose two daisies I liked best out of the photo and painted them in quickly with small brushes, trying not to worry about too much realistic detail.
Since I only had an hour for today's piece this process allowed me to think quickly in a new way. Keeping it simple and colorful was today's goal!!
I'm excited to try this approach again with some new pieces...
and using new techniques...
one day at a time!!
Follow your heart and let new ideas become something completely different!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Surfs Up

Surfs Up
4 x 12
Acrylic on Canvas
Brush and Palette Knife

As a self-taught artist one of the ways I continue to progress and improve is by going to various workshops across the country.  I try to pick one per year that would really make an
impact on my work and development as an artist. 
In doing this, researching the right artist and location that would benefit you the best is essential.
This past year in June 2010 I chose national award winning pastelist Sally Strand.
She was fabulous teacher, everything you could ever want and expect out of a few days of intensive training!It was inspirational, motivational and I walked away feeling like I really got something out the experience.
Even if I don't figure out how to apply all I learned till next year, it was completely worth it!
One of the best parts of the trip was the quaint picturesque town of San Clemente...
and of course, having my sister come along for support and fun times!
While I learned diligently in the studio,
she went for walks, took in the local sights,
and researched the best places in  town for good eats!
One of coolest parts of  San Clemente is the local surfers looking to catch the next wave of the day!
Trying to take home a piece of our trip, she snapped a photo of a local surfer at the beach heading down to the water for what was I'm sure his favorite part of the day.  We were amazed at the amount of surfers around town and it seemed like every age from small children to senior citizens would find time
to 'catch a wave'! What a life!
I found the photo last night and  thought I would try and
see if I could get it to work on a canvas size I have never attempted!  After all, it's all about trying new things!
The original photo was a landscape of the beach, so cropping it to work in the focal point of the surfer in a narrow horizontal shape was a bit challenging, but fun and I'm pretty pleased with the end result!
There will be other paintings to come inspired by our trip last year!!!
Thanks for your visit...
hope today you find your inner spirit of creativity in ways you never thought of!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Set Sail

New ventures for 2011...
Palette knife painting
Acrylic on Canvas
8 x 11
Starting the new year feeling inspired by a photo I had taken at Rye Beach, New Hampshire this past summer... thought I would continue off from yesterday with another boat painting.  When I took the photo it was a misty gray day and the boat was off in the distance...there was something calming about watching it out on the water.
The point of the quick painting today was to paint in a limited palette using only a palette knife to apply colors.  Using quick short strokes to render the sail boat without too much detail...
since I usually do portrait work in pencil and very fine details, it is refreshing to completely alter the creative process and think only about the big blocks of color without many layers and working in loose strokes allowing the paint to create the image in stead of my hand.
Thanks for stopping by....
let's see what tomorrow brings!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A painting a day

Happy New Year!! 
Still wet on the easel...

Red Dinghy
8 x 11
Acrylic on Canvas

Best advice so far for the new year:
Continue to do one thing really well...
Stop doing one thing you don't enjoy...
Start something new you always wanted to do!!
We all have new year resolutions, some we stick to, some we don't.
Getting inspired to get to an easel for a short time everyday is what I hope to achieve in the next year (which could be a bit unrealistic) so, ok, maybe every-other day... but since it's Jan. 1st and the motivation is there to do something different, I'm goin with it!
My plan is to begin a series of small quick one to two hour paintings in a
variety of mediums as often as I can.
What better way to practice than to do it daily...
My journey as an artist is never-ending,
hopefully I will set out to learn a whole lot more,
get a bit improved as I go, and see where the wind blows me!!!!
Be sure to check back in and see what's at my easel!!