Friday, February 5, 2016

Fearless Painting

I am taking the year-long Lifebook course again this year (a link to the site is on my sidebar) and just January alone was well worth the cost of the course. I am learning to take risks again, to let go of being careful with my art and it was exactly what I needed.
These process photos are from a lesson by Annie Hamman and her little daughter, Tallulah. The lesson was to paint a portrait, but to take turns either with your young child or with your inner child. As you see in the photo above, my woman looks pretty tame in the first layer (adult version).

But in the photo below, my inner child came out to play. The challenge was to not look at it as a face, but just as a canvas to play on. It didn't matter if "important" parts get covered up.
Wow! My inner child sure loves color and has discovered stencils. And was hard to stop! But then my adult(ish) self got her turn and the face started coming to the forefront again. I did love some of the abstraction and made sure to leave some of it.
And again: PLAY! Stencils, stamps and fingerpainting. And color, color, color. So much fun!
And for the last layer I felt that both my adult self and inner child got to have a turn together. I cleaned her face up a little and added a few more stencils. And given how I usually paint, I couldn't resist the drips...
Such a good lesson in connecting to the uninhibited part of ourselves. Not just for painting, but for life. So often we forget to have fun because life can become quite serious. Everything seems to become easier when we inject a little levity. And course, this new approach is already making its way into my other art, but more of that in another post.

I'm linking to the fantastic Paint Party Friday. Head on over for lots of amazing art!!

I hope you are having a wonderful week. Here's to a great weekend ahead.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Not Enough Hours!

I can't believe another week has passed. There are just not enough hours in the day for all the things I plan to do, I have to do, I want to do and for all the "some day" kinds of projects.

I did a lot of painting last week and completed five small paintings, all of which can be seen in my Daily Paintworks Gallery.
I tried to take before and after shots for all of them, but I forgot to do so for one of them. The horse below has such a peaceful feeling. And I love how you can see some of the Gessobord texture through the paint.
The shapes below immediately suggested a stag to me. Do you see it? 
I just had to define it a little more.

The next little piece was interesting and an experiment. When I looked at it, it suggested the shape of a manatee. Very loosely, but I could see what it might look like. And the colors reminded me of the ocean.
I needed to darken the area around the manatee, but I wanted to preserve some of the fun bright colors (oh, how I love these colors!!). So, I used some masking fluid and painted bubbles with it (I have a fine-tip applicator, which works really well).
When the dark blue wash had dried, I rubbed off the masking fluid and was left with bright and colorful bubble. Fun!!
I thought I had taken a picture of the background for this lioness, but I didn't. However I changed very little of it when I painted her, just added a little teal and the features, but largely I wanted to preserved the gorgeous reds and pinks. 
This last one was a challenge. Sometimes the background is really busy. The colors don't mix well and they don't flow much and it's hard to see anything in it. However, I woke up that morning thinking about wolves (don't ask me why) and decided that's what I would paint.
I had to work a little harder at getting these busy color patches to read right, but I think it turned out really nicely!
Last weekend we went to see The Danish Girl. I can't believe that we've already seen three excellent movies this year! Usually we manage to see one a year at the theater if any at all. :) The costumes were beautiful, the art inspiring and the story, based on the life of Danish painter Einar Wegener (later known as Lili Elbe) and his wife Gerda Gottlieb, heartbreaking and courageous. All I can say is I am grateful for my easy life!
Head on over to Paint Party Friday for more inspiring art!! I'm always blown away by all the creativity!

I hope you all had a beautiful week and I wish you a relaxing and inspiring weekend!


Friday, January 22, 2016

Art and Movies

This week I've had a few things going on and only finished two small paintings.
I Like You
acrylics on 5 x 7 inch Gessobord
available at Daily Paintworks
I did prepare these four small Gessobords and will paint the other two this next week. And hopefully more. I love the daily practice of painting something. It really helps me stay loose in my work and not worry about it being "right."

I already know what the third painting is going to be, but I have no idea about the background in the lower right corner. I just don't quite see it yet...

The armadillo is a little more whimsical than my "normal" paintings, but then armadillos are really whimsical creatures. I had never seen them in the wild really until a few years ago. We were down at Cape Canaveral National Seashore around this time of year and saw them everywhere. Their faces are just adorable!
On my Way
acrylics on 5 x 7 inch Gessobord
available at Daily Paintworks
During the last few weeks Daniel and I went to see these two movies and we loved both of them! Not only where they good stories with good actors, but the costumes and the colors were just so beautiful! 
And the other thing we both noticed was how calmly they were filmed. I've gotten so used to the modern way of filming where the camera angle changes every few seconds that these movies felt downright relaxing to me.

It also made us both think back to the time when we weren't so connected electronically (both stories took place at a time before cell phones and such). We both love being connected to our families, friends and the world at large, but I sometimes find that I can barely remember what it was like to not be reachable around the clock.  But only for a moment.
And then I remembered how much I love everything that's possible now - being able to skype with my family and friends in Germany, connecting with friends around the world with such ease, writing my blog, being connected to you, being incredibly inspired whenever I need it, taking online classes with people from around the world, many of whom have become dear friends, and, and, and. 

How amazing that I get to live at a time when this is possible! Otherwise I probably would not have connected with most of you and I can't quite imagine that.

Speaking of connecting, I am linking again to the always wonderful Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day

I hope you will all have a wonderful weekend! And those of you in the path of the winter storm up north, stay safe! And warm!!

With love, 


Friday, January 15, 2016

Color! I love it!!

Good Friday morning, everyone! Or afternoon or evening, depending on where you are. We are having a rainy day, which is perfect for blogging and painting. I have been busy this last week. I am trying to get one painting done a day or at least paint everyday, which I have been able to do to date.
These are all small paintings and my goal is to stay loose. To do "my" intuitive backgrounds and then to see what I see and paint that without overworking it. I am having FUN with this! So, the moose above came from the background below. I saw it immediately in the shapes. Can you as well?

The sea turtle came from the shapes below. The colors reminded me of the ocean and I wanted to preserve that very dark edge on the bottom. The color is so gorgeous! When I got finished with this one, I had to laugh at the expression on the face. He does not look pleased!

The backgrounds above were on small Gessobords (5 x 5 inches) and when I turned them and looked at them, I saw the following animals in them.
The beautiful pattern the colors made while drying in the painting above, reminded me of feathers.
The gorgeous reds in this one wanted to be preserved for sure! Out came this sweet orangutan baby. I just want to hug it!
This one was so obvious to me when I saw the two dark circles in the shapes of the background. It makes me smile.
And then this beauty! I loved some of the shapes and wanted to preserve them. I did have to gesso over some of the background because it was so dark, but tried to preserve most of it. He is a thoughtful fellow and maybe a little sad, but so sweet!
Now for something different. I'm taking the year-long Lifebook class with the inspiring Tamara Laporte and about 25 other first-class teachers, and this was the first lesson. We had to paint ourselves with the spirit animals that will accompany us on this journey. Anyone who knows our critters is probably not surprised to see a cat and a wolf. It was fun using my high-flow acrylics on paper - a totally different experience and look. I'm sure I'll try it again!

So, this last week, I got some of my hair dyed blue. It seems to be just a superficial fun thing, but for me it was so much more. My whole life I have practiced "fitting in", "being normal", and "not being seen."

Becoming an artist has shown me how futile (and damaging) this has been, and I needed to get rid of that thinking in a big way. In a way I couldn't hide (or wash out). In a way that everyone will notice. In a way that not everyone will like (particularly in a way that not everyone likes). In a way that pushes way beyond my own comfort zone. I needed to make a commitment to being me. In a small, but for me quite significant way. So, here I am!
And here is where I play, which I hope to do a lot of this coming week.

I am once again linking to the fabulous inspiration over at Paint Party Friday and at Creative Every Day. Hop on over to see some amazing art!

Of my little paintings, one has sold already and one more has been bid on in the auction. If you want to check them out, click here to see my gallery at Daily Paintworks. All of them are very affordable!

With gratitude and blue in my hair,


Friday, January 8, 2016

Painting, Painting, Painting!

I have been painting every day this past week. I've worked on a couple of bigger paintings, which I'll share in a later post. In addition I've been painting a number of small paintings.  
Best of Both Worlds
acrylics on 6 x 6 inch Gessobord
The idea is to paint fast and not overthink the process. To stay loose and paint intuitively 
Winter is Coming
acrylics on 5 x 7 inch Claybord
 I've been having a great time with these. They are all small, just 5 x 7 and 6 x 6 inches in size.
Winter is Coming
acrylics on 5 x 7 inch Claybord
And I've been trying out a new site I have seen some of my artist friends use: Daily Paintworks. I really love many of the paintings on there. The idea is to paint every day and offer those for sale. All super affordable. Plus, you can link to Etsy, which I did for a couple of mine.
Being There
acrylics on 6 x 6 inch Gessobord
Here's my little gallery on the site if you want to have a look.

I'm linking to the always inspiring Paint Party Friday and to Creative Everyday.

Soon I'll be back with a more newsy post. Daniel started teaching again this week and we've almost got our routine down again... And then I'll be more organized with my blogging. I hope. :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!