Wednesday, September 21, 2016

More Lilacs

Whew! This is not the easiest painting in the world with all those tiny little flowers! My eyes start to blur a bit with all that blue/purple going on. A bit challenging to keep it fresh. To give it depth and variety. Adding the green should really help me see how the rest of it's working. But I have to sleep tonight! So tomorrow hopefully?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Lilacs WIP

So after painting so frantically for that art festival, I understandably wanted a break. Then sadly I was suddenly out of the habit, and it is so much harder to get back going again! But I actually have three commissions right now (it's never happened all at once like this!) so I really needed to get working! I decided to start with this 11x14 painting that this guy commissioned me to do of his wife's favorite flowers. Then he can give her flowers that won't wilt! Ahhh so sweet (he did have to give her a call to ask what her favorite flower was ;) )! Unfortunately, lilacs come in bunches. Bunches and bunches of tightly-packed, delicate little flowers. I so wish her favorite flower was a lily right about now! But that's the thing with commissions. Sigh. I don't get to pick. On the other hand, there's a for-sure customer waiting when I'm done! So here's tonight's start:

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Northwest Art and Air Festival

So I survived my first art festival! That was a bit of a wild ride. It's kind of like stepping into another world. A world that pops up for a weekend at a time and then disappears into nothingness. I spent way too many hours prepping and stressing and reading articles, along with way too many nights rehashing all of that in my brain instead of sleeping. But overall, I think it was a good experience. I can't say for certain because I'm way too exhausted at this point! I have no idea how some people do like 30 of these type of things a year! The coolest part was probably the night glow:
How cool is that?
 But back to the art side of things - I learned lots, got plenty of compliments, distributed business cards, met lots of people and sold a few things here or there. And I got some painting done at the same time! This is an 11x14 watercolor on aquabord that I painted out there for people to see as they walked by. I love the bright trees on the right and the clouds I added into the sky. I fought with the water for a crazy long time, and am mostly happy with it now except it really looks to me like there are snakes in the water. Ha! And ew.
And I got mostly done with this one as well: 
I'm really digging the sky! Kinda nervous about adding the water, which is silly because that's usually my favorite part!  Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Going 'round the bend

I'm so happy with this painting I finished last night that I'd just like to step into it and enjoy a lazy afternoon floating the river or possibly lying on that soft grass reading a book or painting. Sounds so nice. Mary Poppins has all the fun.
And I finally finished this one that I started months ago. It started very poorly, which discouraged me so I put it on a shelf. Kept looking at it, thinking I should finish it but really not wanting to. Finally I ate some chocolate chips and just did it. Glad I did!

Every painting deserves a 2nd chance...

Okay so I don't actually believe that. Some are just bad and should be learned from and forgotten. Or started completely over if you don't resent the subject by then ;) But I pulled this one out of a forgotten pile (I posted the finished product January 11th) and tried to implement some constructive criticism my critique group had given me plus some of my own ideas. And I think it worked! 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Looking Up

Having hit a bit of a painter's block, I spent a stupid amount of time looking through pictures to find something, anything that would really inspire me. I finally found this photo by Michelle Lykokapis that she'd put on the Photos for Artists page for artists to use for free. It's such a cool site and so supportive! And it managed to snap me out of my funk! I loved the perspective and then had fun magnifying the little bits of color into a wider spectrum.
 It was a challenge to see more than was there but it was a fun challenge - not like that tower of laundry trying to catch my eye. 
After I'd finished the tree, I had a big dilemma because I really liked it and didn't want to ruin it by messing up the sky. The trunk said the sky should be dark so it's lights would pop, but the darkish leaves wanted it to be light so that they would get to shine. My original plan had been to make the sky into kind of a stained-glass window with each section being a different color, separated by the branches and leaves. But I was no longer certain it would work. Thankfully, my husband encouraged me to go for it so I did! 
And I love it! The yellow and light purple areas were a real risk but I knew they'd help bring the color from the tree around to create repetition and balance. The risk paid off!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Lacecap hydrangeas

I went to this gorgeous garden with my mother-in-law recently and loved looking at these lacecap hydrangeas. They're just so delicate and unique! I hardly took any pictures of them though because I thought they'd be rather frustrating to paint. And they don't make for a good Georgia O'Keeffe style, like I prefer. Well, I wasn't wrong about either assumption, but I painted one nonetheless because as I said, they're just so unique! Roses I've painted and will paint again. Same with lilies and tulips and sunflowers. But never one of these. And they're cool. Can you tell I was almost equally drawn to the bright leaves? Hopefully they don't take over the painting entirely.