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

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,


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!

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. :) 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Website!

Dear friends, I have been somewhat absent from my blog because I've been busy painting AND building my very own website! I can't believe it! After thinking about doing this for months, I finally decided to do it! 

I took this picture from my Facebook page. If you want to have a look at my website, click here. And when you are on my website, feel free to sign up for my newsletter. I'll send the first one out sometime soon (as soon as I figure out the ins and outs of newsletters...). 

The ideas are just swirling around in my head and I've been so busy trying to figure out all the tech stuff and at the same time my brushes and paints keep calling to me. I'm amassing quite an nice body of paintings! Each one of them different and each a little part of me.
acrylics on 9 x 12 inch canvas
The painting below is one Daniel and I both painted. I painted a couple of layers, then he did, then me again. It was fun and I want to do more of that when Daniel is on break again!
The Messengers
acrylics on 18 x 24 inch canvas
And here my beautiful colorful sea turtle. She makes me happy. Lots of light molding paste adds great texture!
Into the Light
acrylics on 11 x 14 inch canvas
I have two more paintings to show you but I'll do that in the next post. Life is good right now. Quiet and creative and I'm taking advantage of that.

I hope you are all doing well! And that you are staying warm...

I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday, where I haven't participated in a long time! And where you can always find amazing artists and inspiring art!!

With lots of love and gratitude,


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Evolution of a Painting

Many of my paintings go through an "ugly phase" when it seems like I've chosen all the wrong colors, wrong shapes and there is no way this is going to come together. (With this one, I chose colors specifically because they aren't normally "my colors.")
Because I work in layers and mostly intuitively, I have learned to just keep going as though it will all work out. :)
I even did a little video where I'm adding another layer. I still didn't like it.
But I kept going. I knew with the way I work that every layer adds to the richness of the final painting: showing through, adding texture, making it interesting.
It's sort of like life, isn't it? Our lives gain depth and interest by all the layers we have lived, the beautiful, the not so beautiful, the difficult, the easy, the sad and the happy.
I kept at it and suddenly, it all came together.
I can always tell when that happens - my heart beats a little faster and I find myself enamored by what the canvas has revealed at last.
As is the case so often, the paintings that proved somewhat difficult for a while, end up being my favorites. The colors in this little fox are so rich and beautiful! I love it!! 
Close to You
Acrylics on 11 x 14 inch canvas
With that I wish you a beautiful Thursday. Ours is gray and rainy and cold - a perfect day to get my hands into some paint! 

With lots of love,


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Off the Hook!

Dear Friends (somehow this opening always reminds me of "Dear Diary"...), something interesting has happened in my life lately. I let myself off the proverbial hook.
Come Play with Me
Acrylics on 12 x 24 inch canvas
I am one of those people who is very hard on themselves. As lenient as I am with everyone else, I never cut myself any slack about what I'm doing, not doing, thinking, not thinking, changing, not changing etc.
At the end of last year I had enough! I decided that I was going to be as kind to myself as I try to be to other people. I noticed that I'd never treat anyone else the way I treat myself. I'd never talk to anyone else the way I talk to myself.
I added coarse molding paste and glass bead gel to this painting.
You can see both quite well in this detail photo - the glass bead gel toward the top and the molding paste on the left.
So I gave myself a heartfelt apology and decided that I was good enough and kind enough and considerate enough and pretty enough and and and. You get the idea.
I cannot tell you how relaxed I feel this year about everything. Apparently being critical with myself was hard work and took up a lot of my creative energy. Now I watch others do the usual beginning-of-the-year fasts and cleanses and 30-day, 100-day challenges, vowing to turn their life, eating, bodies, habits and whatever else around this year. I don't feel the need to do any of that (and I have in the past).
I have goals for this year with my art and my list of 100 things I want to do, but even about that I am feeling relaxed. I am trying out a daily schedule to figure out when it's best for me to paint and to do everything else. Some days it works, some days it doesn't. And that's ok!
Most of all I have goals as to how I want to FEEL this year. And I want to CELEBRATE what's working in my life, which is pretty much everything! I am creative, I am happy, I am healthy, I feel good, I am painting every day, I get to spend my days with Daniel and our pets, I get to cook and eat excellent food, I live near the ocean, I get to travel, I get to connect with all of you and so much more. SO much more!

And in that spirit I celebrate all of you! May you have a beautiful, relaxed and sunny day today with some fun surprises sprinkled here and there. With love and gratitude,


Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Theme and New Paintings

Dear friends! Time is flying by. I cannot believe that January is already gone and today is the first day of February. I try to savor every day, but somehow they get away from me....
Raven Magic
Acrylics on 12 x 12 in. canvas
Remember how before the new year, I drew an oracle card for each month to give me a theme to relax into and explore. Of course I use an animal oracle deck (surprise, surprise!), which I just love and my theme animal for the month of February is the Dove.
The Root of All Wisdom
Acrylics on 24 x 24 in. canvas
I had completely forgotten about it. This afternoon I sat in our yard with Daniel and heard a pair of doves cooing and said to him that I don't know why, but that is one of the most peaceful sounds for me. I think I associate it with summertime when I was a kid. It's peaceful and comforting and makes me feel loved and safe.
Leading with Love
Acrylics on 12 x 24 in. canvas
The symbolism for the dove is (among others, I'm sure) hope, serenity, slowing down, breathing and inner peace. I like all of that and need more of it as I plunge head-first fully into my life as an artist.

I am looking forward to this new month. To relaxing into my inner peace, to breathing deeply and remembering to take time to just be.

Wishing you inner peace, hope and lots of love! And a few giggles along the way...

P.S. You'd think I'd have painted a dove for this, but not so. I hope you enjoy my other paintings instead.