30/30 Daily Painting Challenge- The latest…

Here are the latest in my daily painting challenge.  Numbers 17 & 18 I have been working on for a while, but I think I finally finished them.  Also had a hard time photographing #17 so I will need to go get it scanned.  Number 18 is a large version of a small 6″x12″ painting I had done several months back.  I really liked it so I wanted to try a larger version of it.  I am not as happy with the large version for some reason.

Numbers 20, 21 & 22 I did while on a trip to the beach.  I did not want to take my paints down there so I took my Aquatone Watercolor sticks.  I love those things!  I did have to play with them and did several versions before I ended up with these three.  They were fun!

(17/30) no name yet, 24"x36" Mixed Media on Canvas

(17/30) no name yet, 24″x36″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(18/30) no name yet, 18"x36" Acrylic on Canvas

(18/30) no name yet, 18″x36″ Acrylic on Canvas

(19/30) Mini Ruins #13  5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

(19/30) Mini Ruins #13 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

(20/30) Flowers in Purple Vase  5.5"x8.5"  Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(20/30) Flowers in Purple Vase 5.5″x8.5″ Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(21/30) Beach with Stormy Sky  5.5"x8.5"  Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(21/30) Beach with Stormy Sky 5.5″x8.5″ Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(22/30) The Ocean  5.5"x8.5"  Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(22/30) The Ocean 5.5″x8.5″ Watercolor Sticks on Paper

Well, 8 more paintings to go!!! I guess I should make a trip to the studio…

Blog Post 1.2.13 (So you want to be an artist, now what…)

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

So, it’s the beginning of 2013, you have always wanted to be an artist, but you have been discouraged from pursuing your artistic interest by most people.  But now your creative urge is strong.  You feel that something has been missing in your life, and just maybe that may be it.  Well, get to it!!  Start drawing, painting, sculpting, or whatever artistic medium you feel compelled to do!  Yes, it’s overwhelming, and if you think you have to wait till you can go to art school, DON’T WAIT!!  Just do it!  Otherwise you may never do it.  My decision to start painting was one of the best things I ever did.

Early work- Leaf- 2002

Early work- Leaf- 2002

I had a friend ask me today about how I got started painting, how long it has been, etc.  She has had that creative urge, and luckily decided to listen to it.  So I thought that would be a good topic to write about and share my experience, since I kept waiting until I realized that if I waited till the “perfect time” it would probably never happen!

First of all, I have always been artistic.  I have been drawing since I was a toddler (please don’t let not growing up drawing stop you!).  I was intimidated by the idea of painting.  I didn’t know anything about materials, how to use them, what I needed, and I let that stop me for many years.  I finally decided to sign up for a painting class at our local art museum.  It was very helpful!  Once I got that out of the way, I decided I could try and teach myself some techniques.

Early Work- Flowers in the Stream 2003 (I think)

Early Work- Flowers in the Stream 2003 (I think)

One of my favorite pastimes was (and still is), going to a book store, sitting down with a cup of coffee and a pile of art books and magazines.  When I found a favorite, I would buy it so I could try some of the techniques at home.

As I got some paintings done, I was brave enough to hang some in a group show at a cafe I was working at, then at the hair salon I went to, and eventually joined The Creative Arts Society, one of our local art guilds.  Some of the artists I have met through that group are now some of my closest friends!   By being a member of the group and participating as a chair & member I learned painting techniques, how to frame, how to hang shows, and just talking to people about my art!

The next step I took was going to a week long painting workshop.  THAT changed my life!!!  I think I was finally ready to take that big jump into taking my artwork seriously.

Early Work- Peach Rose 2004

Early Work- Peach Rose 2004

Some of the most important things I learned are:
-Get lots of art materials, if you just have a few, you will worry about “wasting” what you have.  I bought a lot of materials with my weekly 40% off coupon from Michael’s (you can now sign up online to receive the coupon in your email, or if you have a smart phone you can download their app).  And don’t be afraid to “waste” materials, you are not wasting, you are learning.
-Give yourself permission to “play”.  By playing around with the paints I learned how to work with them.  And painting should be fun anyway!
-Draw, even if you don’t think you can.  If you can’t come up with things off the top of your head, get beginning drawing books to guide you.
-Join a local art guild if you can, or try to meet other artists.  It’s wonderful to be around “like minds” and you learn a lot from each other.  If there is not a good art group in your area look online.  You can also find other artists on Twitter & Facebook (I have found many of them very encouraging).
-Go to art galleries & museums for inspiration!
-Read The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron.  I know many artists that say it has changed their life (including myself).  You can find links to my favorite books including this one on the “Favorite Books” page.

I can say that I am definitely not ready to quit my day job to be a full time artist, yet… but I have not given up on it.  I am working hard to realize that dream.  I have set goals for myself along the way, which has been helpful for me.  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions just let me know!  You can also find me on Facebook & Twitter, and I am always happy to share what I know!
Above you can see samples of my early paintings.  You can find my latest work on my Facebook page and website!

 

Blog Post 10.30.12 (Favorite Art Supplies)

I thought I would share some of my favorite art supplies and stores with you.  I paint mostly with acrylics, and lately I use them pretty watered down or liquid (for my Cosmos Series).  My new favorite place to get paints is Nova Color (in California).  I found out about it through Artist Robert Burridge, when I took one of his workshops.  First of all I LOVE the price, they are extremely economical.  The colors are highly pigmented, and I have not been disappointed yet.  I have been using bold primary type colors so far, but I just ordered several earth tones that I can’t wait to experiment with.  You can also order large quantities, which is nice if you use a color a lot!  Also they are super nice to deal with!

One of the coolest things EVER is the Gold Gesso from Daniel Smith.  It’s like liquid gold! I have not experimented a lot with it yet, but I have used it as gesso and painted over it with acrylics and you get a wonderful metallic sheen that comes through the color.  I have experimented doing some drips with it and it’s beautiful, but it is on the thicker side, so keep that in mind.

I also love the high pigment content of the Holbein Acryla Artists’ Acrylics.  I usually get them through Dick Blick, they are pricey compared to the Nova Color paints, but they are worth it, specially for specific colors! The violet purple is my absolute favorite!  I have not found one with the same intensity.

I am still searching for the best deals on canvas.  I may stretch my own, it is more cost effective, but it does seem harder to do the larger the canvas, so my local Jerry’s Artarama get’s most of my business on that.

Almost forgot!  Also super fun to use are the FW Pearlescent Acrylic Inks by Daler Rowney, I like the very liquid metallic consistency.  It’s easy to drip them since the bottles come with a dropper.  I also get these at Jerry’s and they have a ton of colors!

Hope you try some of these out if you have not done so yet.  Also share with me any other great places to shop for art supplies!