Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Week 1 - Brotherly Love - Love of Humanity

Reaching Out
12 x 12
Acrylic on Canvas

I was thinking the other day that it would be helpful to concentrate on a simple concept every week for my life but also incorporate it into my art.   I decided to sit down and write some words - for example, love, light, gratitude, harmony etc.    I thought it would be great if I could think of 52 words and work on one each week for the next year.   I didn't think I would be able to think of 52 but it was easier than I thought!   I actually could of kept going.   Just thinking of the words and writing them down was extremely cathartic - I would highly recommend it.   Anyway I wrote them down on little pieces of paper and threw them in a box.  Monday started week one and I just put my hand in and pulled out "Brotherly Love"   I had written on the back "Love of Humanity"

So this is what I am trying to keep in my heart and mind and art this week.   I am contemplating what it really means.   I figure that in the beautiful magic of this world --this life-- that my lessons will meet me - they always seem to when I beckon. 


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Healing Heart - Listening to our dreams and our art.....

I got terrible pictures yesterday so I thought I would share some better ones today.  
.The story behind this painting:  I am a big believer in listening to your dreams - I mean the dreams we have at night while we are sleeping.  We all dream and I think dreaming is the psychiatrist/spiritual counsel that God gave all of us.  I have been dreaming about healing/watching a golden heart (to really summarize) so I often put whatever I am working on in my dreams into my art.  I figure it kills some birds with a stone.  Sometimes though if I am working on it in my waking/sleeping life then it also snags me in my painting.  
This painting was a bear for me.  Something was wrong that I just couldn't figure out.  Finally, I realized she wasn't taking up enough space, at that point she just had this big blue wall behind her.  Hmmmm, leading with your heart makes you feel powerless maybe?  Ha ha. 
So I went back to the good old impressionists with their crazy compositions and came up with this.    I added a door, a ceiling, a turn in the wall and most importantly the screen which mirrors her and makes her bigger.   She is still a little nervous about leading with her heart not her head but she's taking her first steps!

Monday, March 15, 2010


As I continue to learn and grow I have decided to tackle something that has been a challenge for me - composition.   I was always amazed at how Degas could put reds in the background and blues in the foreground and make it work.  Or how he would have dancers strewn all about the place and it looked great.  
 I did two pretty large pieces this week (20 x 24) both with more complex compositions than I normally paint.  I worked from a photo I had taken to paint this one.  Normally, I would have taken out the third girl to the right because she is kind of in an odd space,  but since I have been studying Degas a lot - I know he often has a figure placed like this - or sometimes a door.  I looked at some of his paintings and tried to learn from how he uses color to make the composition work.  So here it is.  I am really happy with how this one turned out and it was a lot of fun to paint.   The colors are really vibrant in person. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In The Garden - she's done!

Well I actually finished her yesterday but I usually like to give it a day or two.  This way I can look with a fresh and eye and make sure the painting is finished.  Also, I noticed sometimes the colors "sink" as they dry and I need to retouch their vibrance.  Not with her though, she was just fine again today. 

I am a member of grittyjane's ning network for faces and figures and she had this GREAT idea for us to share non copyright photos to work from.   This angel came from a photo an artist so kindly shared of her mother.   This angel's pose was taken from that photo.  Of course, the tapestry background was added.   I also put in this flowery dress.  I am not going to lie - I actually took the wings and halo from imagination too.   I changed her face because...I don't know the emotion on the faces is usually something that comes from within.  The photo was black and white which helps assess values.  The colors are greatly inspired by this Impressionist kick I am on.   Oh I could go on and on but it is probably getting boring so here she is!  Up on ebay tonight.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Not finished yet but coming soon!

Well this is a lady I have been working on.  She is so close to completion and I am looking forward to listing her.  This obsessive studying of the Renaissance and now Impressionism has opened up doors in my my art and my heart.   This pic was taken indoors but I just wanted to share.  She wil probably be ready to go tomorrow or Tuesday.  My husband said he is going to miss all the paintings hanging around these last couple weeks but we both know this is how the creative process works.  Keep moving......

Oh and I just wanted to say to you all --- I LOVE reading your comments.    I try to visit all those who comment but don't always get around to responding but believe me, I notice them and enjoy them so much so Thank You! 


Saturday, March 6, 2010

I got to go to Grittyjane's show!

Well by such good luck I happen to live not too far (about a 45 minute drive) from the place where grittyjane has a show going on right now.  My husband took some pix of us but they all came out blurry.  This is the least blurry one.   I look a little stiff - probably because I was so excited to meet Jane in person.   As you probably would imagine the art looks soooo amazingly rich and beautiful in person.   If I would have been thinking I would of tried to get some good pix of the art but maybe she will be sharing on her blog.   
We just could not get a good picture!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Three Graces

The Three Graces 20 x 24 Acrylic on Canvas
As you all may know by now this is a theme I keep revisiting.  The composition is taken from Botticelli's 3 graces in La Primavera but appears over and over again in art throughout history.  
The angles and the harmony are always a stretch to capture, but get easier everytime.
Above: Detail of La Primavera (Botticelli)
Painting these three ladies feels a lot like when I paint the celtic knots.   My brain has to move in a different way to capture the dance of the lines.   I meshed the composition with the Impressionist style which I have
 been so captivated with lately.
Below is a painting by Edgar Degas that I kept looking at while I was painting the above painting.
Above:  Edgar Degas, 1890 Oil
Dancers in Blue

As is usually the case, the picture of the painting I have listed does not capture the depth of color.  I layered hundreds of colors and there are loads of reds, yellows, greens etc in their skin and dresses.  

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A couple tricks and an old train case....

 I have always been hungry for information about painting so I thought I would share a little bit.  This is an old train case.  It was meant for a lady traveling, with a place for cosmetics and a mirror so she always looked her best.  It may have been my great grandmother's, I'm not sure.  I stole it from my mother's basement.  Ooops she probably knows now.  Hope she's not too upset.   Anyway, while I am painting I often pop it open to look at my hand or face in the mirror to check proportions, shading etc.   I also hold back up paint in there.  It has become so valuable to me and helps the ladies to look their best.   If I can't get the right angle and I am struggling I also sometimes take a picture of myself in the pose I want so I can make sure all the angles are falling correctly.  The photos are just awful, otherwise I would share.  They are just quick snaps and I look weird but they do the trick.  These recent discoveries have been a real time saver.