Blog Archives

New Paintings!

I haven’t listed any new work in awhile, but today I’m posting a few new small paintings in the shop today:

11X14 Acrylic and Cracked Gesso on Stretched Canvas, $85

Purchase here.  This painting features layers of crackled gesso painted icy blue and white with a black tree. I really love this one and I had a great time making it. I’m not sure what prompted me to paint something so…frosty looking, but I’m really happy with it.

8×10 Ghost Girl and Tree on Green, Mixed Media. $35

Purchase here. This painting features a young ghost girl standing under a white tree with collaged red orbs and a stamped moon. I love the veiny texture that comes from using thick paint on hand-carved stamps!

8×10 Linocut Tree and Acrylic on Newsprint and Canvas Board, $35

Purchase here. In high school, I carved this linoleum block stamp of a tree, and I’ve used it quite a bit since then (like in this piece). I love combining linocut with collage and painting. I printed the tree onto newsprint and sealed it onto a flat canvas board.

I love these pieces because they’re the result of creative playtime.

Have a great…what is it, Thursday? Wow. One of those weeks.

Whatever it is today, have a good one!

Advertisements

Shifting Creative Gears

Ok, I’m going to keep this quick because I’m in a mood that I haven’t experienced in quite awhile.

The writing mood.

This happens to me sometimes. I’ll be working on one creative project and then wake up one morning feeling like doing something completely different. This happens with my art and writing. Thought I’m both an artist and a writer, I can’t seem to do both at the same time; I’m always both feet in either one or the other. I’ve made more art in the past couple months than I have in years, but I haven’t touched the novel I’ve been working on off and on for three years. Most of my readers probably have no idea that I’ve even had that project on the back burner. Two weeks ago though, I went to bed with all kinds of art ideas and a plan for the next day’s painting session and woke up with a hankering to work on my book.

That’s what I’ve been doing ever since, nearly every minute that I’m not at work. I’ve been living off watermelon and pb&j because I don’t have the patience to make anything else.

Some creative people have a single, burning patient to which to devote their time. Others, like me, have more than one. Sometimes it’s possible to split their daily activities to include both, but I don’t work that way. I’ve had to learn to go where my creative urge takes me. If I feel like painting, I paint. If I feel like writing, I write.

It’s kind of an unpredictable cycle and it makes it hard to set any long-term goals, like a goal date for finishing the first edit of my manuscript or introducing a new item to my shop or a new series of paintings this summer. I have to ride the waves though, because if I do anything else, the work won’t be as good.

I’m a writer at the moment, but I’m still an artist too. Who knows when the winds will change again. Don’t worry, I’ve still got plenty of art in me!

Trust the urge to create, no matter what that may be.

New Painting-A Mix of Techniques

I like to play with different techniques when I paint. I like using different brush strokes to play with the visual texture, I love wrapping the canvas with string to create a little “frame” right on the surface, and I like using linoleum blocks to stamp right onto the canvas.

I have a linoleum block tree and some rubber circles that I carved on high school, and I’ve used them in dozens of projects since. I think that’s where I got started with celestial bodies and trees.

Anyway, I’ve just listed this result of some creative playtime:

11X14 Acrylic Paint and String on Canvas Board

I think I like stamping on canvas because the print never comes out perfectly like it’s supposed to in traditional linocut prints. I like to mix the colors that I apply to the block so that the colors blend into the print, and by applying paint instead of ink and using a brush instead of a roller or brayer, the paint goes onto the block unevenly and leaves behind a gorgeous texture that reminds me of leaf veins. That texture really shows up here in the suns.

This piece is on 11X14 canvas board. It would look great in a frame! Available for purchase here.

10 Things I Love about Art

I love art. That’s no secret. I’ve met people that don’t love art, and I just can’t wrap my brain around it. How can someone not love art? How can someone go through life without encountering a piece of art that moves them? I don’t know.

Mixed Media, 8X10 canvas board

Why do I love art? Here’s why:

  1. It can be deep and thought-provoking, or just pretty.
  2. There’s not right or wrong way to be an artist.
  3. It scrapes to the very bottom of my soul and gets to the little crevices. It brings things to the surface that I never knew were there.
  4. It fills us with emotion.
  5. It’s a universal language. It helps us communicate feelings that transcend words alone.
  6. Art is fun!
  7. It brings us together, and also brings us closer to ourselves.
  8. Anyone can make art. Anyone can have fun with it.
  9. Art heals.
  10. Art allows us to exercise one of our most divine traits: creativity.

What do you love about art? What do you love about your passion?

New Painting-Tree, birds, and crystal water

Was it just me, or did that weekend go by way too fast?

I posted a new painting this morning, and I really like this one. This is an example of a painting that was supposed to be one thing, but spontaneously turned out to be something else. The water was a surprise. I just liked how it looked when I divided off the part of the painting that was going to be the ground.

8X10 acrylic on stretched canvas

This painting features a tree growing out of crystal clear water, along with a flock of birds and a stamped, textured sun. This piece is available here for $55.

Sorry for the short post today, but I have to run. Have a great day!

Two Spring Paintings

One of my favorite parts of spring is the gorgeous blossoms! I’ve been taking tons of walks and photographing all kinds of trees in my town. Yellow, pink, purple, white, I love the colors with the new green grass and blue sky. Spring is so colorful!  It’s a nice change from the very brown winter we just had.

I made two blossom-inspired paintings, and I really love how they turned out. I had fun playing with the layer of gesso I laid on the canvas before I painted anything. I figured out how to get the gesso to crack as it dried, and I think it’s really pretty. I have another painting coming soon that’s super crackly, and it looks pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I will definitely play with this technique some more.

Here they are:

11x14 Gesso and Acrylic on Canvas

Purchase here.

11x14 Gesso and Acrylic on Canvas

Purchase here.

Both pieces are available in the shop for $85.

Have a great Monday!

Creative Play: Small Paintings

I’ve written about creative play here before, and I think it’s a valuable practice for everyone, not just “creative” people. I like to spend my creative playtime messing around with new motifs and techniques to incorporate into my artwork.

I’ve been loving the results of my creative playtime, so I’m adding a few small paintings to the shop:

Mixed Media, 8X10 on canvas board

Purchase here.

Mixed Media, 8X10 canvas board

Purchase here.

These paintings involve collage, linoleum block printing, and “string wrapping”, a fun little addition that adds a sort of “framed” effect. Both I especially love the “tree rings” linocut stamp used on the first painting.

Both of these pieces are available in the shop for $35.

I have a ridiculously early optometrist appointment to get to, so I’d better scoot. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! We’re one day closer to what I’m sure will be a glorious weekend!

New Small Painting-Time and Light

One of my favorite things about spring is the lengthening days. It’s interesting how I may feel like going to bed at 7 pm in the winter, but in the spring when it’s still light at 7, I feel like playing. Our sense of time changes right along with the light.

11X14 Acrylic on Canvas

This is now available in the small paintings section of the shop. It’s is acrylic on 11×14 stretched canvas, and the sides are painted to match the frame, so it’s ready to hang! It also features real clock hands! I love this piece so much, I’m planning to play with this idea some more and even create a large painting with this theme.

Available for purchase here, just $85.

Have a fabulous Monday!

Art is for Everyone

I’ve written a few times about my experience as an art major in college. It only lasted my freshman year, and then I switched to a (highly useful) English degree after that. After changing my major, I often wandered the halls of the art building feeling sad and lost inside. I felt like a starving person with no money standing outside the Bellagio buffet.

Still, I felt like I made the right decision, just like when I dumped my theater scholarships to study art and still to this day feel a twinge of sadness when I hear showtunes.

Why did I leave art?

Lots of reasons, all of which I hope to explore here later because I feel they’re valuable, but one of the biggest reasons is that I felt like art “abandoned” me somehow. Art was like a lifelong friend who turned into a jerk once we got to college. Instead of finding my artistic voice and feeling free and creative, we debated the definition of art and whether beauty has value. The art department praised the new, edgy, shocking, and obscene while scoffing at “decorative objects”, or “pretty” art. Crucifixes in jars of urine were “art”, but a simple drawing with no other purpose than to be pleasing was not. “Hard” art was “good”, while “soft” art was not. Real art was either be sold for thousands or millions of dollars, or not sold at all. Art was for people with money and doctoral degrees, or those who were willing to starve for it.

While I took notes and felt my spirit shrinking, I could only think “Man Art, you used to be cool.”

Don’t get me wrong, I had some good times as an art major. I met some great people and had my moment of zen moments perched on a drawing horse while sketching wads of crumpled paper, but I came into the art program wanting to be an artist, and I left it wanting nothing to do with the art world. The art world was a crooked, elitist place and I wanted nothing to do with it.

Luckily, I’ve come to my senses.

I barely made any art in college. I made art for assignments, but that was about it even though I haunted the local art galleries and put all kinds of good ideas on the back burner until I felt like being an artist again. Last spring, I started painting for fun again and in the fall, Sam suggested that I try selling art. I started learning about the real world rather than the art world, and I realized that it’s not such a scary place after all; at least it doesn’t have to be. I learned about Etsy and met all kinds of artists who are real people and proud of it. (I’m not saying that edgy, post-modern artists aren’t real, it’s just the image that’s not real.)

Most of all, I realized that owning and enjoying art isn’t limited to rich collectors or people with alphabets behind their names. Art can be affordable, approachable, and most of all: fun. It doesn’t have to make a huge statement or be shocking (though it certainly can). Sometimes, art can just be pretty. It can just make someone happy when she looks at it. It belongs in homes, offices, on desks, in wallets, in our jewelry boxes, on our notebook covers, everywhere! Anyone can make it, and anyone can enjoy it. It can say anything or nothing.

Art is for everyone, and that’s one of the messages I hope to send with my own art. I don’t mean that my art is for everyone, because not everyone will like it and that’s fine. I want my art to be approachable, thoughtful,  beautiful, and fun. I want it to be accessible and positive. Not everyone has room or money for large art, so I’ve started making small art as well, and I have plans to expand my shop and share my art with as many people as possible.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. What do you think about the art world, or what art “is”?

New Painting: Let Your Mind be Free

It’s good to be back! I had a fabulous time in California. I got to spend some great time with my family and I got a lot of much-needed thinking and soul-searching done. A twelve hour car ride each way will do that. I’ll write about my trip sometime in the next week or two when I can get the photos ready.

I’m so excited to show you what I’ve been working on lately!

Most of my paintings are fairly large. The smallest one in the shop right now is 24X24. I love making large paintings, but lately I’ve bene having a great time making smaller paintings.

I started doing the smaller paintings to experiment with different ideas and techniques to use in larger paintings, and also because the smaller ones allow me to play with more ideas than I could with the big ones alone because they don’t take as long to make.

It started as creative playtime, just playing with different ideas, but I loved the results so much that I decided to post them! I know a lot of people don’t have room/money for large art, so this is a great way to allow more people to own original art. I believe art should be for everyone.

I have quite a few to post with more in the making, so you can expect to see more items added to the shop. I’ll post each one on the blog as well. These will be added to a new “Small painting” section of the shop. All items in this section will be 16×20 or smaller, and many will be on thin-framed, back-stapled canvas or canvas board. There may also be some work on my usual thick-framed, gallery-wrapped canvas.

I’ll still be creating large work as well, but I’m excited to play with these new small paintings!

I’ll leave you with this one today:

11x14 acrylic and paper on canvas

Sometimes, we get stuck in thought patterns and habits that don’t serve us. They keep us in the same old issues, the same fears, the same blocks. We forget that we can change them. We can set our minds free with new ideas and new thoughts. We can recognize those old grooves and try something new. We can be free.

This painting is acrylic on canvas with words handwritten on collaged bits of paper. I also incorporated some stamping in the orbs behind the tree. I love using lots of paint on the stamps because it leaves behind a beautiful ridged texture, like the veins in leaves.

This painting is available for purchase here.

Stay tuned for more paintings this week!