Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I Heart Painting

As any creative person can tell you, inspiration can be elusive.  There are days when I just sit and stare at my paper, wondering what to paint.  While some days the Muse simply doesn't visit, I do have some default ideas to get my paint brush moving.

On those days when I'm just not "feeling it," I paint hearts, I paint wreaths.  I also draw and paint a lot of mushrooms, but since I've already mentioned my weird relationship with mushrooms, I'm sharing a few hearts today.

There is that oft spoken rule that you should only share your best work, and these heats and wreaths certainly aren't my best; but, isn't overcoming a slump, a total lack of inspiration, truly a personal best?

I have learned that it doesn't matter what I paint, as long as I paint. Something magical happens to me when I swirl a brush in watercolor.  I have tried to explain it to my husband, and when I start using words like energetic and universe, it is then that I once again realize I have truly found my calling.

I love painting more than anything else in my creative world.  And you know what? It loves me, too.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mushroom Absolution

With seeming regularity I wonder how I happened to be in whatever place I was in to receive inspiration to paint. Sometimes I know what inspires me to do a thing, sometimes not. With watercolor, I wonder if it's leftover from childhood. Regardless, it seems to have arrived, unbidden, into my own personal sphere of existence, as does the inspiration for the paintings themselves. 

Case in point:  My favorite thing to paint these days are mushrooms.  

I've had a rather negative life-long relationship with mushrooms.  They were horror-inducing fungus that arrived on the dinner plate or hidden within the front lawn to be squished between my toes. I don't use the word hate very often, but I hated mushrooms.  Mushrooms, and my eighth grade violin teacher, are the only things in life I have truly hated with any vehemence. But out of that proverbial nowhere, I needed to paint mushrooms. And then quite suddenly, mushrooms and I became very good friends.  

My fascination for and the voracity with which I research mushroom varieties astounds me!  Anyone who has known me for any length of time will understand my perplexity; this is not a subject I would willingly seek out.  But, here they are, mushroom and friend.  Mushrooms, and all manner of mycology, have forgiven my ignorance, my foolhardy dismissal; a granting of clemency. They have welcomed me and offered free reign to interpret them however I choose.  If only people could be so forgiving! 

And sometimes I find fairies sitting on my mushrooms - but that's another story.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Week of Mandalas

This past week, I participated in the InstaJoy Project, a project where we were to create a mandala each day for a week. Given the timing of the project, I thought it would be a great way to insert some necessary creative time into the busy Thanksgiving holiday.

During the week, the participants were able to share with one another their artwork as well as whatever arose within their awareness, mandalas being a meditation tool and all!  Below are my creations, all very different from one another.

A note about the drawing themselves:  Each mandala was drawn in about an hour, but not a continuous hour. I drew them all in my art journal so I could carry it around with me and draw when I had snippets of time.  Because they are in my journal, there are a lot of smudges and such from various art supplies as well as being photographed in different lighting situations, so the photos will depict that.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

They all ended up to be so different!  Day 6 is my favorite of the bunch, my favorite because of what I learned about myself in the process, but Day 3 is my favorite as far as being creative with my mandala design. That morning I had coffee in a cup with poinsettias painted on it and that cup inspired my artwork all day!

It was a lot of fun and I'm happy I took the time, having learned first hand how it feels to dedicate specific time to my creative side.

Do you schedule time for your creative needs?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Yuletide Watercolor

Hello again. A bit of a blogging break was in store as I reclaimed my creative mojo. I've got a few projects to share now, beginning with a bit of holly jolly watercolor.

These first photos show my process of sketching out the design. The photo below is actually more indicative of how they end up. When and if I sketch out the design, I erase until the sketch is barely visible, making the finished painting less muddled.

I absolutely loved it at this point, but I didn't feel it was quite finished. I had initially planned on painting a holly wreath, but it just didn't feel like a wreath anymore. A light popped on in my brain, I felt I needed to paint a candle. I've never painted a candle, so felt it would be a good challenge.

When the candle was complete, I immediately had second thoughts about it, which caused me to fuss a bit, but I think it turned out alright for a first attempt. I added some white gouache for snow as a finishing touch. A gentle glow was needed, so I added some spatter to indicate light. Oh my, I love to splatter!

Anyone else playing with paint and yuletide themes?  I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Butterfly Chase

I started a new canvas with the intention of including a face.  I have seen some fantastic mixed media work lately and wanted to try some of it. 

I began with a 12x16-inch canvas board and just started smooshing the paint around, then adding papers. 

I recently purchased some Color Shine and wanted to try it - um, not a fan, it smears horribly.

Toned it all down with some zinc white and a brayer. I added some stamping here and there with white paint.

Grabbed my Stabilo All pencil and started sketching.  I still can't believe I can draw anything, let alone a discernible face! 

I made several teeny changes, then started to fill in the facial features.

Then I went to bed for three days with a chest cold. 

I got back to work yesterday and added more elements and ephemera.  I jokingly told my husband my canvas was starting to look like some sort of fictional advertisement for Mother Nature's annual butterfly chase.  It made me laugh and we had fun "organizing" the fictional butterfly chase in our minds, but I liked the thought so much, I just went with that feeling, and I was extremely pleased with the results. 

"You are totally and completely awesome."

I'm mighty surprised how butterflies continue to show up in my work lately. I won't read too much into it, I just notice for now.  

I might add some shading tomorrow once everything is dry, but again, I'll just wait and see what it tells me in the morning.  

Have gorgeous day!