Blog Archives

Roots

So much is going on in my life right now. Sometimes I feel like I’m standing at the bottom of a mountain looking up and feeling overwhelmed by the humongous climb, or like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff looking down and feeling terrified of the leap I’m about to take.

This is good though. It mean I’m growing, or at least that I have the opportunity for growth.

I’m 2 pages away from filling a 300 page journal. I always feel like a big change is on it’s way when I get close to finishing a journal. My new art site is in progress, I’m preparing to apply to a big art show, I’m readjusting a lot of things in my life right now, and some other huge changes might be just around the corner. With all this going on around me, sometimes the best thing I can do it be still and feel my feet on the ground. I like to pretend I have roots and that no matter how crazy my life gets, I have stability and peace built into my soul. I can find peace in my roots.

“Roots” 24X48 Mixed-Media on Canvas $500

I tried something new with this piece. For awhile now, I’ve been thinking about incorporating 3-D elements into my paintings and sculpting right on the canvas. It took a few tries and tests to find the right product and technique, but I finally settled on a special non-contracting, self-drying clay for the roots. I also mixed dirt with the brown paint for the underground area around the roots.

Creating this was an interesting experience. It took me around a month and at times, I wanted to throw the hole thing in the dumpster. Sometimes I didn’t like the way it looked, sometimes my back hurt from working with such a tall canvas (I don’t use an easel. I usually work on the floor or sitting with the canvas propped up), and the emotions that inspired this feeling were difficult to sit with for that long. I think this is what I needed to work through some fears and scary thoughts.

I don’t think I’ll be with Etsy much longer (stay tuned on that one), so I’m not going to post this is in the shop just yet. If you are interested in purchasing it, send me a convo or email me at mckella11@yahoo.com so I can create a listing for you!

Best wishes for a wonderful week!

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Mixed-Media Minis: To the Beach!

After my short visit to the beach in April, I stared thinking about beach art. Most of my art is more inspired by the Utah landscape of mountains, brillant sunsets, and solitary trees, but I truly adore the beach.

I’ve acquired tons of seashells and sand dollars over the years, but I’ve kept them in boxes because I’ve never been sure what to do with them.

Now I know:

3×3 Mixed-Beach Art and Easel, $25

Available here.

3×3 Mixed-Media Beach Art-Blue with Pink Shells-$25

Available here.

These are a little bit bigger than the other minis I’ve done; these are 3×3 instead of 2×2. I had so much fun making these! I love using natural materials like sand and shells in my art. I think I’ll play with that technique a little more.

These little guys are available in the shop. I made my mom one of these for Mother’s Day and it looks great in her beach-themed living room.  They’re also perfect for office desks or small rooms that don’t have a lot of wall space for original art. It’s nice to squeeze a little art in where we can, isn’t it?

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!

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!

New Painting: Galaxies Inside 1

Even though it seems like forever since I last finished a painting, I think this one was worth it.

16X40 Acrylic on Canvas

This is the first painting in what I hope to be an entire series of works in my usual style but with more emphasis on the night sky and celestial bodies. If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that I’ve been adding spacey pictures to my “Art Inspiration” board for quite awhile now, and I think I’m ready to work with that idea now.

I can think of two things that inspired this series:

First, a doodle I did a few months ago. I was working through Laura Hollick’s Create Yourself e-course and I had been doodling as well as taking note. I let my pen dance around on the page according to what I felt, and then I made another small doodle to “sum up” that energy I’d just captured with my “pencil dancing”. I wanted a tiny snapshot of my soul, the joyful energy that is McKella. It was a spiral with lots of little arms coming off of it, like a galaxy.

Secondly, a poem I wrote in my senior year of high school. I can’t seem to find it anywhere. It was about the complexity of being a human and the vastness of the human soul. I felt so big inside, like I could spent my entire life exploring and never understand it all. The very structure of my body and soul, the cycles that I lived by, and the thoughts and emotions I experienced seemed so miraculous. I honestly don’t remember any of that poem except for one line: There are galaxies inside. 

I may go back and rewrite that poem, because the theme has never left me.

The series will explore this idea further. I don’t know how many pieces I’ll do. It may be three, maybe a dozen. I’m going to let it unfold as it needs to.

This piece does have some significance on its own though. I usually don’t fully understand the meaning of my paintings until I’m finished, and last night as I washed out my brush for the final time, I realized that this piece is about goals, possibilities, values, experiences, plans, and how they can change or become eclipsed by something else. I’ve always been very driven, which is a good thing, but on the flip side I also have a hard time letting go.  I’ll hold onto something-be it a goal, relationship, job, or old story long after it’s lost its magic. I have a hard time moving on, letting go, and giving up control.

The figure in this painting watches the events in the night sky, but doesn’t try to change them. She observes, but makes no effort to interfere. She trusts, she is connected to something that is rooted to the ground, and that is all she needs. She knows who she is, and that is all that is necessary.

Purchase this piece here.