Blog Archives

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.

Painting-Contemplative

Modern life requires us to go fast. Rush from errand to errand, work hard, play hard, sweat at the gym, crunch those numbers, go go go!

We all know the importance of rest (who wouldn’t crash  after all of that?) but sometimes we neglect the need to contemplate.

I painted this in August, but I haven’t talked about it here yet. In fact, this is the first piece I ever painted with the intention to sell.

"Contemplative" acrylic on canvas 24"X24"

Back when the grass was green and I still lived in tee shirts and cargo shorts, one of my favorite things to do was to walk to the park down the street, cozy up to one of the trees and watch the world around me while I processed my thoughts and fished for ideas. Sunset was my favorite time to do this.

I was always amazed at the thoughts that would run through my head as I sat under that sky. Everything from “That is the most vibrant pink I have ever seen” to “I hope my kids aren’t into sports-I wouldn’t know what to do” to “I want to paint the sun.”

I’d always bring an notebook or a sketchbook, but most of the time I’d just think.  Just thinking is one of my favorite things to do, and I find that it’s a critical part of my artistic process (aka My Life). It’s how I recharge, it’s how I refine ideas to the point that I can start making them real.

I also get some great thinking done in the car, but that’s not nearly as fun to paint.

This piece is available for purchase here.

Where’s your thinking place?

New Painting: Ribbon Dancer

I actually started this one in late September, but I just finished it last week. Sometimes it just works out that way, and that’s fun. I have a few other unfinished pieces floating around,  but the time will come.

The inspiration for this one came when I took a drive through the mountains with my husband and two of our good friends. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous it was, so of course my artist brain was going nuts. I was so enthralled by the yellow leaves and glowing sunset that I forgot to take pictures or sketch anything, which is fine too. Sometimes it’s better to look and soak in the moment than waste it by trying to capture it.

I spend the week after that reading nature poetry and taking lots of walks, try to process what I’d taken in. Finally, I painted this. I usually use references as loose guides when I paint trees, but this time I wanted them to look less realistic and more cartoonish, like story book trees. I collaged red tissue paper and string, scraped the paint on with an old library card and built up the texture by adding layers of bright color. Finally, I added a poem by my favorite poet, Emily Dickinson in the red sky, written in sumi ink:

Nature rarer uses yellow
Than another hue;
Saves she all of that for sunsets,–
Prodigal of blue,Spending scarlet like a woman,
Yellow she affords
Only scantly and selectly,
Like a lover’s words.
It just fit so perfectly.
It wasn’t quite finished, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to add. There was no figure yet, so it didn’t feel complete to me without the juxtaposition of humans and nature.
Then last week, I was going through one of my pinterest boards (by the way, if you really want a thorough look at my brain, follow me on Pinterest) and I found a picture of a woman dancing with a ribbon. Something clicked in my brain, and I knew I wanted to paint a ribbon dancer celebrating her own joy and the beauty of nature.
So I did.
This piece is available for purchase here.