Friday, March 27, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Happy Friday to you all! I cannot believe how fast a week goes by! Today I have a few things to share with you in addition to some art.

1. The flowers and plants in our garden are finally starting to come alive again. I took some pictures after a rain (which seems to happen daily at the moment - a very wet spring for us), that were just too pretty not to share.




2. Daniel found this amazing little abandoned wasp nest in our garden the other day. Isn't it perfect?
It now lives with the two huge dead bugs on our piano.
In good company!
3. Here is the progression of a pet portrait I worked on as a commission. As usual, I just started with some colors and shapes. These were so pretty!  
Then I did a very rudimentary sketch and started with the eyes. I always start with the eyes.
Then some more color and definition.
And finally, after all the shading, adding more color and some detail, Zachy was finished.
Zachy is Winslow's best buddy and he has a sweetness about him that I tried to capture in the painting. Winslow and Zachy thought I did a good job...

If you would like me to paint your pet, just send me an email (the link is in my profile) for the details.
4. It's actually been warm enough on a couple of days to go take a walk on the beach. Barefoot!
 It was glorious! Although the cold water made me jump when I put my feet in.
Not Daniel. He loves walking through the water, no matter what temperature.
5. The newest member of our family. He came to us from the storm drain on our street, wet during a rain storm, with a wound on his cheek and bad ear mites. We kept him outside at first and checked around if someone was missing him. He is quite young and very sweet. When the nights got very cold, we took him inside (he wouldn't go into the garage with our two outdoor cats) and discovered that he loves both Winslow and Ramses. It seems it was meant to be. The vet thought that someone probably moved and didn't take him, something that's inconceivable to me.

Meet Peabody!
And with that I wish you a beautiful weekend, an even better week ahead and as much joy in your life as you can stand!

I'm linking this to the amazing folks at Paint Party Friday and at I Heart Macro.

With lots of love and appreciation for you all,

Silke

Friday, March 20, 2015

Finding Routine

This year I am determined to find a routine that works for me. A flexible routine because I always need space for changes and spontaneity. 
Love is Kind
Acrylics on 11 x 14 inch canvas

Available. Click here. 
Part of that has been trying to figure how to blog, when to blog and most importantly how often.
When I first started my blog, that was all there was. I'd do a little art (not quite daily) and I'd blog (daily). Now, six years later that has changed dramatically!
Now I spend most of my day - every day - painting. And I'm very active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get my art out there and seen (and to connect with all my friends). Plus, I have an Etsy shop, an Artfinder Gallery Store, a Society6 shop and my new website to maintain and keep fresh, which takes a good bit of time. And then there's the rest of life...
Instead of always feeling like I'm neglecting my blog, I decided I will post every Friday. If I have art to show I'll link to Paint Party Friday, my favorite art blog hop!
The more creative my life becomes, the more I find I am in need of a little structure that gives it all a good framework so I have time and energy for everything I want to do! And I seem to be figuring it out!
Do you need a little bit of a routine? What works well for you?

Linking to the wonderful and inspiring Paint Party Friday.

With lots of love and light on this gloomy first day of Spring!

Silke

Friday, March 13, 2015

Arguments with my Inner Voice

Does your intuition or inner muse talk to you? I recently discovered that mine does. In form of thoughts that won't let me go. It's a very persistent inner voice. And sometimes downright annoying....
Gentle Eyes
acrylics on 11 x 14 inch canvas
Available here.
Here's what happened with this painting.
I had it to this point and decided it was finished. I even put it on Facebook and listed it in my shop.

Inner Voice: "It's not finished."
Me: "Yes, it is!"
Inner Voice: "It needs more. Here, I'll send a picture to your mind."
Me: "No, I decided it's finished."
Inner Voice: "It's not finished yet."
Me: "I can't hear you!!!"

Later that day, Daniel got home. I showed the cow to him. His response? "Is it finished? It doesn't look quite finished to me." Me: "Ok, I give up. It's not finished."

So, I painted the decorative items around the cow that I had seen in my mind the day before. 
I looked at it and thought, well, that's nice. I wonder if that's it.

Inner Voice: "Yellow"
Me: "No, not yellow."
Inner Voice: "Yellow."
Me: "No, I like it white."
Inner Voice: "I'm telling you, yellow. Listen to me."
Me (almost sulking): "Ok, let's try yellow."
Me: "Wow, that's yellow! Are you sure about that?"
Inner Voice: "Sandpaper."
Me: "What?! Sandpaper? Are you kidding me?!" 
Inner Voice: "Sandpaper. Go get some." 
Me: "Really? Sandpaper?" 
Inner Voice: "Sandpaper. NOW."
So, I went to the garage to rummage around and find some sandpaper.
And I sanded my cow.
And you know what? My inner voice was right. The cow hadn't been finished before. Yellow was a good choice for warmth and the sandpaper was an excellent idea to make it all look a little textured and less intense.
The moral of the story? I don't take direction well..... (Never have and probably never will.)

Linking this to a fabulous creative blog hop over at the talented Veronica Roth's blog.
And to the always fun Paint Party Friday.
And, because cows and inner voices are "strong" (this week's theme) to Illustration Friday.

Silke

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gorilla (New Art)

My last painting that's finished (I have two in progress) turned into this beautiful and intense gorilla. Some of you may have already seen him on Facebook, but I thought I'd show you some progress photos here.
He started out with a layer of light molding paste on canvas. You can see the texture in the photo below. When you spray that with water and then drip high-flow acrylics on it, it brings out really beautiful patterns. Hard to control, but then control is highly overrated...
I added some yellow, which mixed with the teal to make a beautiful green. I also added some phthalo turquoise for a little contrast.
When I turned the canvas to see what I might discover, I immediately "saw" a proud gorilla. Can you see it?
Once I know what I'm painting, the first thing I finish are the eyes. They help me connect to the rest of the painting and to the animal itself. Everything else flows from there. I had never noticed just how soulful and human gorilla eyes are!
Then came the rest of the face and the ear. The nose took the longest. Have you ever looked up close at a gorilla nose? It has so much dimension to it and folds and creases. Quite amazing, really! My challenge was to get it to look "right" without going into really realistic painting, which is not a direction I want to go in.
And there he is. A proud and strong gorilla!
Lean on Me!
acrylics on 9 x 12 inch canvas
***SOLD***

I'm linking this to the super fun and inspiring Paint Party Friday.

We have had some cold and rainy days and even today it's still cloudy and won't warm up for another few days yet. But by next week we are expecting more spring-like weather, which is much more normal for us.

I hope you are all faring well this intense winter, especially you all in the northeast! Stay warm and cozy!!

With lots of love and appreciation for you all,

Silke

Monday, February 23, 2015

Painting in Layers

Layers! I love painting in layers. There is something so meaningful and mysterious about them.
My favorite Monkey
acrylics on 9 x 12 inch canvas
Much like us as humans, isn't it? We see who we are right now, but really if we were to peel back the complex layers of our lives, we could see everything that helped us be the person we are today. I'm sure I've written about this before, but I keep being reminded of it at this time in my life. All the layers are so necessary, even the ones we would like to wish away. I'm learning to embrace them and I'm certain that my painting process is helping me with that.
This painting started out simple with a few colors, some thin washes and some paintbrush doodling over top. I did not like the painting at this point - I didn't like the colors or the shapes very much, but i knew that they would contribute something to the whole painting. And I knew the final piece would look nothing like the beginning.
I kept doodling, this time with red and teal and still wasn't thrilled, but it was starting to show some depth, which I always like. As soon as there is depth, my subconscious gets engaged and starts looking at the shapes to figure out into what they might evolve.
Then I did something I never do (and this is almost too sappy for me to show you here), but I was thinking that this was going to be a gift for Daniel and so I wrote some words...
... and quickly covered them up.  :) Another layer that would not be visible, but still add to the painting!
Finally, I added a few drips. Those I always love - they are somewhat controlled but also quite unpredictable. Sort of like everything in life - you make a plan and then you watch as it unfolds. Hardly ever as you had planned, but often so much better than you imagined.
And finally My Favorite Monkey for my favorite monkey. :) Daniel loves monkeys and I when I "saw" it in the layers, I thought it would be a perfect gift!
Ramses approves! Which is very important!

Are you having a good day? Did you have a good weekend? My friends up north - are you thawing out? I hope everybody's week is off to a creative and fun start!!

Lots of love!

Silke
P.S. If you haven't done so yet, click on the link for my new website in my sidebar. And - if you feel so inspired - sign up for my newsletter. The first one will come out in March...just as soon as I figure out how to create them. :)