Blog Post 8.28.12 (Just doing it!)

I have been having a lot of conversations with a lot my artist friends lately, trying to figure out the future, figuring out how to be an artist & make a living at it.  Also have come across a lot of articles on the subject (funny how these things pop in front of you just when you need them).  One thing I noticed is that the more painting I do, the more thinking I do! I guess it opens my mind, to think deeper than I have before.

Tranquility 36″x48″ Acrylic on Canvas

A thing I came to realize is that if you want something, really really want it bad, you will work really hard to accomplish it.  I noticed a lot of people want things now, they expect it to be easy, or they say they don’t have the time to work as hard to the depth they need to to accomplish that goal.  Then in the next breath, almost always is “I don’t know how you do everything that you do!  I’m just not you!”  Well, I know I am no super-woman, I just have this emergent urge to reach my goals.

I always wanted to be an artist, or I guess I always “have been” an artist.  But I was waiting until the time was right, when I could quit working and go to school so I could learn how to be an artist.  Well, time kept coming and going and the time to go to art school was not going to happen.  So, I decided that I could just do it, teach myself.  I have read everything art related I could get my hands on.  Got brave enough to try different techniques, got over the fear of “wasting money & materials” (you have to do that!), took some painting classes at the local museum, joined an art guild, learned how to hang exhibits, learned how to publicize, learn to inspire other artists, finally took a painting workshop, got a studio and have been painting like crazy!  And, all this while working full time at a non-artistic job!

Maybe I am a bit crazy, hyperactive, or just desperate to get my art created before time runs out.  Either way I am having the time of my life!!  I don’t have the answer on how to get my goals accomplished, but I am figuring it out along the way.  And I am still determined to make a living with my art!!!

(The photo above is not perfect.  Taken with my phone camera)

Blog Post 7.23.12 (Dino Paintings)

Inspiration comes from all over!!
I just became a grandmother for the first time, and Mom & Dad wanted to get dinosaur things for the baby’s room. Dinosaur kid things are not that easy to find! Also I decided that he just had to have some original paintings from his grandmother, so I decided to paint a series of dinosaurs. This is one of the paintings from my “Paxton’s Dinos” Series.

I really like the way they came out!  They are playful & bright!
I decided I will sell prints of them, since the originals obviously belong to Paxton!  I will be posting the series on my website shortly with prices for the prints.

I did giraffes a few months back that came out really cute also…

This got me thinking about making different animals also, so I will have a whole children’s line of paintings!  Stay tuned!

Blog Post 4.10.12 (The Abstract Painting Continues…)

I have had several paintings in the studio I have been “stuck” on.  I just have not know what to do next on them.  I have started and finished other paintings and those still sit there, staring at me.  Am I afraid of “messing up”? Waiting for them to “speak to me”?  That’s one of the things I find fascinating, challenging & frustrating about abstract painting.

Finally yesterday I decided to take desperate measures and just add paint to them.  I feel that at least something changes on them and maybe then they will “speak to me”.  This is the experimental part of my painting.  If I am stuck, the painting will never get finished, so if I at least add paint, whether good or bad, the painting has changed.  That is when I have found some of the most exciting things happen in painting!  Sometimes it’s a happy accident.  Sometimes it’s just something I would have never thought of that just comes out in frustration!  But it sure is exciting!

Here’s a few photos of my stuck paintings in progress… (excuse the photo quality! cell phone photos at dusk!)

I finally know where I am going with this one… stay tuned for the final version!

Red in progress

Red in progress

Works in progress

Works in progress

Please share what you do to get unstuck! Would love to hear!!! 🙂

Blog Post 4.2.12 (New Painting…in progress?)

Finally got back into the studio to do some painting.  I do find it hard to get “warmed up” after not painting is a while.  I should have done some painting or drawing exercises, but being impatient, I jumped in and wanted to work on some paintings in progress.  I wanted to do “something” to all the paintings that are started in the studio.  But I kept looking at this one and I am really liking what’s happening so far.  Not sure if I am done or not with it.  I may have to stare at it a bit more.

I would love some feedback!! 🙂

Blog Post 1.5.12 (Another painting- in progress?)

I have been working on several new paintings in my studio.  Some of them I know where I am “going” with them, some are just plain experimental.

A bit of history about me and abstract paintings.  I love abstracts.  When I go to museums and galleries, the paintings that are my favorites are usually the abstracts, or very loose paintings.  My history with art has been mostly drawing.  As a very young child I started drawing everything I would see.  I learned by copying, a lot.  As a teenager I drew faces for fun (yes, I really did!).  As a result my artwork was very “tight”, realistic.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but the abstracts are what has always excited me, what I am drawn to.  Since I am mostly self-taught, I have struggled with how to even start an abstract painting.  I have bought several books that have guided me through the process, but as any of you artists know, it takes a lot of work to make some of that very “simple” looking artwork.  At least for me anyway.  You can look back at some of my previous posts (last year) with some of my abstract paintings, which I have been very happy with. The workshop this last summer also helped me a lot, learning some techniques, and also knowing to just trust my instincts and have fun.  (And I am having a blast!!)

Now to my latest piece.  I “think” I am happy with this new one.  It has gone through many many layers and reincarnations.  I think it looks like a loose landscape.  This has been a painting that I have had sitting in the corner of my studio and I keep looking at it and adding to it.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.  With the last layer I decided I like it.  Let me know your thoughts!!!

Blog Post 12.31.11 (What I learned as an Artist in 2011)

I think this has been a very good year for me as an artist.  No, I did not sell tons of art, but I think I finally realized how seriously I want to be an artist.

Up till this year I passively was waiting till something would happen so that I could be an artist full time.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was just waiting.  Now I feel this determination to just make it happen!

After The Storm

After The Storm

Several things happened that I think made me feel very strongly about it.  Starting 2010, with an artist friend’s encouragement, I read the book “The Artist’s Way”, by Julia Cameron.  I had it for a while, but I had a hard time getting into it.  My friend was going to join a meet-up group to go through the book and asked me to join her.  It was the best way for me to get through the book, and even though I did not think I got much out of it, everyone I know said I definitely got a lot out of it!  Then this year, another thing I think helped me a ton was investing in an art workshop for myself.  I took a 5 day Abstract Acrylic & Collage workshop from Robert Burridge.  Well, let me tell you, it definitely lit a fire under me to get painting!  Since the workshop (5 days of painting, a bit of eating, painting, sleeping and more painting) all I want to do is paint all the time!  I think also, just watching a successful artist paint and go through their “process” was fascinating, and made me realize that I “do” know what I am doing and I am not doing it “wrong”.  Watching someone go through their creative process was amazing, and I could understand what was going through his head while he was painting.  It was just awesome!!!  I strongly recommend all artists invest in themselves and take a serious art workshop.  Last but not least, thanks to an awesome friend (that I met during the “Artist’s Way” group- talk about serendipity!) I got a studio space to paint.  It has made such a difference!!  Now I can paint for hours non-stop, have several paintings going at once, it’s just too fun for words!!!

I think also getting involved with social media helped me.  There is a lot of information out there from different artists, and a lot of encouragement also.  Doing blog posts sort of regularly about my art, sending out info on Twitter and Facebook, and also helping other artists with their social media needs has been good for me.  I started “Flourish Social Media” this year, after I had artist friends wanting to pay me to help them set up their Facebook pages, Twitter & blogs.  I hope that with that on the side I can support myself with just than and my art!  That is the goal anyway…

In the works...

In the works...

I am really looking forward to what 2012 has to offer.  My goals are to paint as much as I can, and get my work out in the world.  Along with a few other artist friends we will be brainstorming together and encourage each other to be able to make a living through our art.  It’s a scary “art world” out there, but I am determined to do it!  Life is too short to not do what you love and were meant to do!!

Blog Post 12.29.11 (The Finished Product- Photo of my Painting)

Ok, here it is.  This is a better photo of the finished product.  Let me know your thoughts!  This photo is better than yesterday’s.  You can see the detail better.  This is not the official photo of it.  The glare was terrible, so I had to work on this image.  I think I will take this one to get photographed by someone with the right photo studio space.

My latest painting

My latest painting

Blog Post 12.28.11 (New Painting: Done? I think so!)

I walked into the studio this afternoon, planning on adding more layers to my painting.  But, when I looked at it I really liked it the way it was!

To know when a painting is done… That is the question.  I think that is when our instinct as an artist has to step in.  If we take one look at the painting and love it, we need to listen to that.  Artist Robert Burridge told us in a workshop, “If you have to ask, the answer is always YES!”. I like that.  Also, what’s the harm in putting it out there and if you decide later it’s not done, you can always take it up once more!  Here is the photo I took today.  Not a good one, just with my phone in bad lighting and bad angle.  I did not do anything to it from the last post.  I will try to get a better photo in the next few days.

By the way, I decided to try different color combinations with the same techniques and see what happens.  I love the organic shapes in this painting, and I hope I can recreate it! 🙂

Blog Post 12.26.11(Painting Progress- 3rd layer)

I added another layer to my painting today.  I was not happy with what was happening when I mixed my own purple, once I added alcohol or it was watered down (done on another piece).  So I added some already mixed violet color to add a bit of a different color.  also added more blue, black and gold drops.  Here is a shot with some of the up-close details also.  I just LOVE the details!!

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail