Tuesday, August 7, 2012

His first painting

I really haven't been able to do much of anything aside from work and take care of the family. Very little "me/free" time has become standard. However, today I decided to find a way to paint and not draw the ire of my preschooler. Today I introduced him to painting. Using Basic Acrylics, a 16x20 canvas' and 2 bushes I let him go to town. I sat next to him with my own smaller canvas to try and grab his attention.

Keeping the attention of a 3 year old is really a futile task. He would paint for a little bit, run away to something else, come back and do the whole thing over again. I tried to paint on his canvas as well so we could paint together. This worked for a little bit. The work around the edges is mine, he is responsible for the middle. I think for a first attempt it's not too bad. I've displayed it here along with my own. Just to prove that I did actually paint today. Let's hope this is a start of a trend.

Painting with my preschooler. Acrylic.

His First Painting

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Creativity Backlog

So much has happened in the past 5 months. And in that time not a single sketch was drawn or picture painted. How devastating is that?! Within these past 5 months I've moved across the country, set up house, started a new job in my actual field (I'm a Dietitian), painted the house (ok, I hired a painter, but I've been busy!), drove back to Iowa for a family emergency, prepared for Christmas which included two rounds of family visits, and that brings us to now...

As much as I really do love my new job, I miss painting so much it's excruciating. I can't even find the time to figure out which box or closet my pencils have been stashed in. Oh yeah, and I have a 2 year old! Pretty much less than nothing has been accomplished on the creativity front. I have an exceptionally large blank canvas waiting for me in my closet that has been patiently waiting for my attention.  However, even as I wrote this I still have no clue when I'll be able to get to it.  I just want my life to settle down a bit, maybe even give me an extra day in the week. That'd be great.

Alas, I will continue to take care of just about everything except for myself.  I know it's a bit melodramatic, but there really is some truth here.  I hope I haven't lost everyone's attention as I really do mean to find a way to get back into things.  For example, I've scouted a plant in the nursing office that would really be a simple step that I could made sketch while I await my patients. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just a little something...

A small burst of the creative spirit. My first wreath for my first home.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Virginia is for Lovers

So we've settled into our new home in Virginia.  The move itself was full of trials and tribulations.  Barely made it through a single state with some sort of issue.  We've been here for just over a week, and a few house related things have been accomplished or at least identified as future project.  One of the most important things we've taken care of was selecting a palette for our home.  We chose Valspar's Colonial color scheme, with colors like "Sandy Cove", "American Schooner" (dark blue), "Bliss" (light yellow), and "Polar White" for aaallll the trim.

On a more artistic note, we have a large open space right above our fireplace that is just screaming for a painting. So I've decided to do one.  One of the many great things about where we live is the proximity to a large Jerry's Artarama.  Heaven on a budget! I purchased a set of palette four knives for $10 and a 30 x 36 in 1.5" gallery wrapped canvas for like $35.  Stellar deal if you ask me!

The next task was to what exactly I wanted to portray.  I've ultimately decided to find a scene from around the area, and I think I found it.  It's a view of a local park and it incorporates just about every color of our colonial color palette.  So that is my big project!  Pretty excited about it.

However....in the mean time, I have a small autumn themed wreath to make with tiny woodland forest creatures.  I'll be sure to post a picture of it once completed.  Big thanks to hanging around.  I hope from this point on posts will get more regular and feature more work.

Friday, September 16, 2011


As if it wasn't already evident, but I will be taking a temporary hiatus from the blog and painting/drawing/crafting in general until my family and I have completed our move to VA.  These past few weeks have been filled with house hunting, home inspections, and general nonsense related to general home procurement. And these next few weeks will be a whirlwind of packing, driving cross country, unpacking and settling. I do hope you'll stick around.  Our new home has a 3rd room that I can transform into my artistic working space! Not exactly a studio but space with a door at least.  In the mean time, thanks to everyone for following and I hope to be back and active by late October.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Touch Ups

Since I completed "The Poppy" it's bothered me. It just screamed "Come Back, I'm not done!"  I liked how the colors for the palm came out and I was happy with my rendering of the flower, but there was just something that felt unfinished.  I received many compliments, but when I put the color pencil Poppy next to the acrylic I felt that the color pencil piece had a greater presence and sense of completion.  So I thought and thought about what I should do, if anything, to the acrylic Poppy.

A few things had to happen for me to approach my painting again.  First, having completed some more ATCs (which I will post later) I felt more creative and accomplished.  This gave me more confidence that I could maybe achieve what I wanted to.  The next trick was to figure just what that was.  Due to the sad demise of our local Border's bookstore, every week there have been heavy discounts.  Surprisingly, the art books have actually gone quite quick.  So even though it was discounted as much as I wanted, I went ahead and bought some art books that I had kept my eye on.  "Botany for the Artist" by Sarah Simblet, "Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultra-realistic Effects" by Alyona Nickelsen, and lastly "Acrylic Landscapes in a Weekend" by Keith H Fenwick.  The last one about acrylic landscapes finally introduced me to the technique that I figured would be perfect for my Poppy Problem.  Sounds so silly not to have thought of this before, but what I learned to do was to use glazes.  The examples in the book really helped to spell it out and make it a very easy technique.  

After stewing on it for awhile and finding the time, I set out to apply some glazes.  I started on the palm first.  I layered a Permanent Green Light and Thalo Blue mix glaze to help define each leaf.  I went back and forth a few times.  Touching up here, adding there. The palm now has characteristics of  watercolor, which I really like.  I think there's more depth now, and I like how they stand out more.  The next area that I figured needed correcting was the poppy.  After I finished it and referred back to the original photo I realized it was WAY too orange. I decided to go with a straight Cadmium Red Medium glaze.  This definitely deepened and brightened the flower.  I think that I have now achieved a color that is closer to the original and is a lot less orange.  

Below are the before and after so you can determine if you can see the differences. Finished with my touch ups I think that I am now TOTALLY done....(I think...)

"The Poppy" -Before-
16x20 Acrylic on wrapped canvas

"The Poppy" -After-
16x20 Acrylic on wrapped canvas

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In the mean time...

As I continue my search for my next painting subject (which has been excruciating) I've completed a few more ATCs in the mean time.  Virtually all the ATCs I've completed have been for private swaps with my aforementioned friend.  Only one have I swapped with someone else.  The kicker is, in that larger non-private swap my friend was randomly selected as my partner!  So I sent mine to a stranger and she sent one to me.  Needless to say I have a rather extensive "e" ATC collection.

The themes for the 2 ATCs I'm going to post were "Favorite Places" and "Tin Foil".  The "fave places" ended up being a bigger challenge than I anticipated.  I knew I was going to do an Maine themed one, but I had a hard time figuring out just how to go about it.  I ended up doing it in two phases.  I started with a computer printout of Quoddy Head Lighthouse and the Sea Dog Blueberry Ale logo.  I had another image of a moose I was going to include but I just couldn't make it work.  The final push to put the finishing touches came when I discovered and old "Downeast" magazine and my friend's stash of extra craft supplies arrived. From the magazine I included the Lobster Festival logo, and the Maine heart.  I included the word "home" because that is what Maine represents to me.  Even though I'm not from there and I only spent roughly 2 years there, there hasn't been a single place I have been or lived that has felt like "home".  My husband and I share the same sentiment and one day we will go back to stay.  We can't wait to go "home".

The second theme, "tin foil" I chose to mix it up a bit.  I figured working with an unusual material would be fun.  I also knew exactly what I was going to do when I came up with the idea.  My brilliant idea was a toy robot.  It was Erin's craft supplies that provided me with the materials for the details.  All the little embellishments came from her stash.  I pre-cut and wrapped each part of the little robot's body then glued him onto the cardstock.  I chose to do his robo-claws with red glitter, just because.  I loved this little card and I'm happy to know that in my friend's possession he'll be appreciated.

Our next to themes are "layers" and "coins".  I've finished the "layers" one and will ship it out this week before I post it and I already have an idea for "coins". So until I find that perfect piece for my next painting, I'll just have to be satisfied working on these little creations.

Favorite Places ATC- Maine Sweet Home
Tin Foil ATC- iRobot