Saturday, June 26, 2010

Finger Paint

~ 10" x 13" abstract acrylic

This was my first attempt at abstract art.

Kind of.

I found this "painting" today while going through all of my art stuff from up in the attic. I made this years and years and so many years ago I had forgotten all about it.

The truth is, I remember making this and it did not start out as art. It started out as a piece of waxed cardboard that I was using as a palette. When I finished the other piece I was painting, I had so much paint left on the palette but it was too mixed up to put back in the bottles. So I decided to add some more colors and see what happened.

I added the last few squirts of some almost empty acrylic paint bottles. Then I mixed and swirled with my finger until that voice artist's have said, "STOP!"

I stopped. And stared. And even though it really is just five minutes worth of grown up finger painting I just fell in love with it. I love the texture and the colors and the whoopee-ness of it.

Who knew?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Coconut Palms

This is a painting I completed for The Virtual Paintout, another online artist group. I'm loving all of these great groups and challenges to participate in!

This particular challenge uses Google Streetview to help you find a great image to paint. Each month a different location is given and by going to Google Maps, you can explore that location using their new Streetview angle. It's this little yellow dude you can hover over the areal map and when you drop him in a location you get to "see" what he sees! Pretty cool!

You can follow this link to see what I "saw" with the help of my little Google guy in Hawaii:,-156.97506&spn=0.081694,0.363579&z=12&layer=c&cbll=21.070763,-156.975151&cbp=11,0,,0,5&photoid=po-8503495

This is a pen and watercolor painting measuring 11" x 14" painted on tracing paper.

If you've never watercolored on tracing paper you should try it! The paint does not adhere very well so you can blend and remove paint easily. The paint dries quickly but removes easily making blending and washes really fast. The texture of the tracing paper once it gets wet instantly adds depth to any painting.

I chose this image because I love coconut palms and because I liked it. It sang to me.

Wish I was there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lake Aquitaine, Part Deux

After receiving some great suggestions from other artists at Paint and Draw Together, and after staring at the original painting for the past 24 hours obsessing a little, I decided to update the painting and add some more color, some more *pop*.

I like this version better. With the more yellowy green, instead of gray/green, one less annoying cloud, and a few more water lines, I think this painting is more pleasing to the eye.

I already see six things I want to fix. Again.

But that's why I love painting with acrylics. Mess up and just paint right over that puppy!

What do you think?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Canada, Aye?

"Canada, Aye?"

11" x 14" acrylic on canvas board

This is my version of Lake Aquitaine in Canada, painted for the most recent painting assignment over at Paint and Draw Together.

I am not a landscape artist. I do not know how to paint clouds. Or water. Or trees. But this was the assignment, and part of the challenge of doing these online artist assignments it to get out of your comfort zone and paint things you would normally never in a million year paint; like Lake Aquitaine. Not that it's not gorgeous, it is, it's just that I usually shy away from landscapes.

The photo I was copying was that of a stunning lake, full of reflective glory and surrounding peacefulness. I want to go there. Right. Now.

As far as the painting goes, I know there must be some "trick" to painting clouds. Some flick of the wrist, splaying of the brush, to make clouds quick and easy.

There also must be some "trick" to water. I avoid water like a plague because as a self-taught artist, I have tried to invent a water/cloud trick of my own mostly to disastrous results. I think this one came out pretty well considering my extremely limited experience with landscapes.

When and if there is a beach assignment, I will be up a current without a lifeguard!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paint and Draw Together

"Last Berry Standing"

Here is a recent submission for Paint and Draw Together, an online artist group. I've been finding more and more groups to participate in; if only I had more time to paint!

This 9" x 12" gouache is entitled "Last Berry Standing" and was painted on watercolor paper.

I typically lose myself in the details when I paint. But since I don't have as much, or any, time lately but still have that need down in my bones to paint regularly, I've been trying to let some of the details go.

The photograph this painting is taken from is rich with details. You can see it by clicking here. I knew I wanted to paint for this group but also knew I would never have the time to get all the details right.

A great time to let go.

This berry reminds me of the times my children and I have binged on strawberries. The juice starts flying around, our fingers and mouths stained red, and tummies full. By the last strawberry, we're all too full to finish so there's always one lonely berry left.

But don't feel to bad for the berry. It only has minutes remaining.

Can't wait to see what's next on the agenda over at Paint and Draw Together.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Calypso Moon for June

This month for the Calypso Moon Artist Movement assignment, we were to paint light from darkness:

"There is something mystical and inviting about the illumination of light in darkness. I’m sure many of you already have a favorite night scene image in your mind. This month’s challenge will be about capturing the glow that appeals to your senses. Be dramatic. Use whatever light source(s) you desire.Sometimes what your eye sees is not what's directly in front, but behind. Backlighting can be dramatic and surreal."

Without the shadows there can be no light. Without the dark how would we know what is light?

This is a 10" x 13" gouache on watercolor paper.

Two of my favorite people with some of my favorite animals.

(I think it's awesome how it looks like the dolphin is giving my husband, Jerry, a kiss and a high five! Totally unintentional as my photography skills are so poor!)

Texture Daisy

This was my first attempt at adding texture to my acrylic paintings. Or, my first four attempts.

For my kids' teacher appreciation gifts, we parents were to choose something from their lists of favorite things. All four teachers had "daisy" as their favorite flower so instead of buying them flowers like everybody else, I decided to paint them a flower.

I think they came out pretty well.

It was fun and exciting to try something different.

What do you think?

Assignment #2

The May painting assignment for the Calypso Moon Artist Movement was to paint a "Secret Garden". A place outside, full of natures beauty, where you find serenity, peace, and rejuvenation.

I borrowed this "secret garden" from my mother-in-law. She is a fantastic gardener, growing gorgeous flowers and shrubbery. Her roses are thrilled with the slow and wet coming of spring at her home in North Carolina. Her chives were excited, too, reaching for the sky and daring you to pick them and put them in a soup.

This is an 11" x 14" acrylic painting on canvas board.

I just want to sit on the bench, prop my feet on the mouth of the chiminea, and enjoy the day!


Calypso Moon Artist Movement #1

Here is my first submission to the Calypso Moon Artist Movement. We were given the task of painting bad for you food. My favorite bad food is without question Ben and Jerry's Phish Food Ice Cream.

If you haven't tried it, go out and buy yourself a pint and then forget about eating the rest of the day. You'll probably not be able to stop and will inevitably consume the entire thing in one sitting.

This is a 11" x 14"watercolor on paper.