Monday, January 20, 2014

January 2014 Nibblefest & 30 Day Challenge Entry

Here is my entry for this month's Nibblefest contest. The theme is "blue" and blue this is. Blue is my favorite color and the sky is one of my favorite things to look at so this came naturally. I've titled it "Stormchasing."

This is a 5 x 7" painting on canvas. I textured the background and thought it resembled a window with raindrops on it.  Anyway, there is no doubt what the subject matter is, and you might have guessed by my last post that I love storms. I've dreamed of doing a storm-chasing vacation, and hope to one day.  

Here is the link to my Nibblefest entry, and once there, click on the banner to see more art.

Another painting for the challenge: Moirai

Here is another piece for the painting challenge. I feel a lot better since I made the decision not to pump out a painting a day. It just isn't me, and there is no way I can do my best work in a day. I have done two paintings in four days though; both rather small, but I am happy with them. 

I will post one tonight. The other one is for the Nibblefest contest, and I just finished it so I  have to photograph it tomorrow in daylight. For now, here is "Moirai," a 12 x 12" painting on canvas, with paint chips and paper collaged on.  

The choice to use the word "Moirai" as the title has nothing to do with Greek Mythology; I simply wanted a pretty word that meant the same thing as "fate." 

The painting shows a tornado in the background spinning and scattering debris, with a rather oblivious woman, apparently surveying the scattered pieces. Three vapor trails can be seen in the sky, heading to, or maybe away from, the tornado, but the viewer has no idea which. Yes, this is a rather dark piece, but this is the sort of thing that comes out of my head.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

30 Paintings in 30 Days (but I'm only on #7)

Well, it's been over a week since I painted.  It seems I just can't be happy completing a painting in one day. I would be cheating myself if I forced it, so that's why I just decided I would do it when I can. After the arctic blast I wasn't feeling well, so I took a few days off.
But I'm back at it and I finished this piece over the last three days. It's called "Blue Dress" and measures about 9 x 12". It was completed using Golden acrylics on Morilla 140# cold-pressed watercolor paper and a little paper doll dress from the 1950s.  

I initially did this with the Nibblefest contest in mind, but it's too big and I fear it won't sell for what it's worth, so I'll be doing a smaller one for Nibblefest. The theme this month is "blue" so I might try my hand at one half the size - or even an ATC, although I really don't like working that small. 

If you want to learn more about Nibblefest, please click HERE. For details about 30 Paintings in 30 Days, click HERE.

Friday, January 10, 2014

30 Day Painting Challenge, Day 10, and I'm way behind.

We had a couple days here that were just crazy because of our arctic storm, and on those days, our furnace went out. At the peak, the outside temperatures were -33 Fahrenheit with the wind chill, and even with the heat running, the wind blew through our house like it was a wind tunnel.  I really wasn't prepared to feel cold like that and now I know what it feels like on the summit of Mt. Everest during climbing season. It was actually colder here than the average summer temperatures there. That is crazy!  

I bundled up and went outside to see what it felt like because I read a lot of books about mountain climbing. I walked to the back of the house to wipe snow off the gas and electric meters but realized that I had ventured too far. I couldn't breathe. I ran back to the house in a panic. There is no way to describe that kind of cold except to say that it was scary. Despite the many layers I wore, the cold bore through them instantly and I was shivering just a minute after being out. By the time I was indoors again, less than three minutes after stepping foot outside the door, my skin was icy cold to the touch everywhere. My chest hurt to take a breath for almost an hour.  I realized how easy it would be for a person to perish, and hoped that nobody was stranded in their cars along the roadside. My thoughts went to the many homeless people who have no place to go, and I hoped that they were getting help.  I noticed the stillness and quietness of the frigid night--not a car could be heard, and we live only 20 yards from a busy road. Surreal is the word that comes to mind.

We made it through that night unscathed but, after having the Consumer's Energy technician out to fix a leak at the meter the following night, our furnace went out. It was a night of hell, and the fault of the tech. He left air in the line, which triggered the furnace to shut off. After several calls to Consumer's they sent someone out, but he was rude and unkind--he said it was up to a furnace specialist to fix the issue. He wouldn't acknowledge that it was a Consumer's Energy problem.  It all happened too late to call anyone, and we couldn't get in our car and drive anywhere because the roads were nothing but ice and non-essential driving was prohibited.

I looked like a giant marshmallow, all bundled up trying to stay warm. It wasn't easy. The thermostat read 43 degrees, but because our house is drafty, I believe it was colder than that. I stayed under the covers as much as possible until the furnace repairman arrived at noon the next day, but I couldn't sleep. I only got about 3 hours of sleep two nights in a row. We survived it but I was unable to paint. Now, two days later, I'm just not feeling up to it. I'm still catching up on much needed sleep and I feel drained. 

I will also admit that I'm not enjoying the painting challenge. I feel forced and I'm not doing my best work. I also have a lot of joint pain and the daily painting is causing it to flare up. One morning I couldn't even move my wrist. I don't think that it's helping me to force out a painting a day, so I'm not going to spend the month doing it. Instead, I will paint what I want as I can, and take my time on the work so I feel a true sense of accomplishment.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Day 6 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - Pop Art

Today I chose Pop Art. I have always been fascinated by it, but was never really interested in creating it. I chose politics as a topic. This is a painting created with acrylics on Morilla 140# watercolor paper. It measures 11 x 13" and is titled Bacillus Reptilikochus Superclown.  The tags all say either "Made in China," "Made in Mexico," or "Made in Bangladesh."

To see more art from the 30/30 Challenge, click HERE

Monday, January 06, 2014

Day 5 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - Abstract Art

Well, here we are, still officially awake on day five, but already into day six. Does it really matter?  I think not. Today's personal challenge is "abstract art."  I'm not good at letting myself go outside the lines, or at least my own lines. I find that I am too precise in most of my creative endeavors, which is why I created this personal challenge within a challenge. 

In looking at this completed painting, I feel I am still too precise. This didn't turn out how I envisioned it. I feel I need to loosen up and spread out a bit. I tried. I do like the composition and the way I mixed my colors. I just don't want obvious dots of color. I wanted to be a bit more splotchy about it. I even felt funny splattering some fine misty paint. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? 

Anyway, here it is. Finished. And I will keep moving on.

Click here to purchase: PASTILLE 12 x 16" $125 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Day 4 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

For my fourth painting I chose to work in a style known as "Color Field." This offshoot of Abstract Expressionism was practiced by several wonderful artists in the 1940's and 1950's--Mark Rothko is the granddaddy of Color Field artists, and several other well-known artists like Clyfford Still, Ad Reinhardt, and Helen Frankenthaler practiced this style. 

Color Field artists created expansions of color, devoid of a subject - the colors themselves are the subject.  The idea was to keep the surface flat. The paint, colors, brushstrokes, shapes, and lines were meant to be appreciated as they were laid out by the artist, who used the canvas to express her/himself.  For more information on Color Field artists and their art click HERE.

Click here to purchase: "Along The Dotted Line" $175 

For more information on the 30/30 challenge, click HERE.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Day 3 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Part 2 (see below for part one). Well, I can't believe I finished this painting by 12:30 a.m.  I haven't been feeling well today and I had to start and stop a few times. I hope I'll be able to keep up with this 30/30 challenge. Having chronic pain and, lately, a lot of IBS flare-ups, it's hard to keep up with things. I will try my best.  

Click here to purchase: "Ghost Trees" $45
My challenge tonight (besides completing my third painting in three days) was to use nothing but white paint to create something interesting. Of course, that required using a background with color. I decided that rather than use a solid color, I would use a background with a pattern. I am calling this "Ghost Trees" and it measures 5 3/4 x 7 1/2". 

To see more artists participating in the 30/30 challenge, click HERE

Part 1: Well, here it is and I haven't even started my painting yet, not physically anyway. I have a good idea what it will be but I haven't begun to put it down on a substrate. I feel a step ahead of the game because I was going through my unused canvases and substrates and became inspired when I saw a canvas I had started working on a few years ago that I had scrapped. I just put a coat of primer over it and then decided that I would wipe some of it off, leaving the subject matter (a tornado in the distance) still visible. I think that will come in handy. So now I have three substrates prepared and ready to use.  

As I mentioned yesterday, I have come up with a list of styles that will challenge me, and here it is so far. The second day of my month of experimentation ended on a positive note last night, although, the painting was far from a masterpiece. It's humorous and fun though, and I think it will probably sell to someone who loves Loch Ness lore (or me). Anyway, for now, here is the list. I will add more to it soon - or maybe not. Maybe I'll just repeat a few of these styles using different mediums. My first painting was done in my "usual" style, so it will not be used to tick anything off this list.  I will allow myself to paint with acrylics, watercolor, pastel (soft and oil), ink, and watercolor pencils. And I will use graphite as needed. If I use collage, which is my favorite medium to work in currently, it will just be added as detail, but will not take up a majority of the work.  Here is my list so far.  Stay tuned for the third piece later on tonight, which I will add as a revision.

30 Days of Experimentation:

1. Miniature Painting (done)
2. Expressionism
3. Surrealism
4.  Still Life
5. Soft Pastel
6. Oil Pastel
7. Palette Knife painting
8. Abstract
9. Portrait
10. Landscape
11. Pop Art
12. Contrast / Complimentary painting - two colors
13. Reverse glass painting
14. Monochromatic painting
15. Color Field
16. Biomorphism
17. Expressionism
18. Outsider Art
19. Painting on something unconventional
20. Cubism (because cubism is my least favorite style of art)
21. Pop Art 

Day 2, 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Well, I did it; but I almost didn't. I have decided to really challenge myself this month by going outside my comfort zone. My theme is "experimentation." 

Click here to purchase: "Nessie" $21

I've titled this "Nessie" and it measures 1 3/4 x 2 1/2". It took longer than the one I did yesterday and it's a fraction of the size. If you think you're going to cut corners by making a mini painting, and you're used to painting larger paintings, think again.

Since I have never been able to work small I decided that my first challenge would be to work in miniature. I have discovered that it isn't a style I like very much. I created a landscape, which turned into a seascape, which turned into a mudscape. I gave up, but thanks to my friend Vicky Knowles, from the World of Wibble, I decided to change it. I won't post the first attempt because it's too embarrassing - it looks like I did it blindfolded. 

The second attempt worked, although it's not really a subject I would normally pick for myself.  I jokingly said maybe adding Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, would improve it, and she did. It's not a masterpiece but it isn't in the trash either, which is where it was headed. What an accomplishment! I went out of my comfort zone twice. I painted a miniature painting AND I chose a subject that I never would have chosen otherwise. 

Click HERE to see more from the 30-day painting challenge.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Day 1, 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Happy New Year! 

It's been ages since I last posted anything here and, in fact, this was closed down for what I thought would be forever. Instead, I've erased the history and resurrected it, mainly because I needed a place to post thirty paintings in the next thirty days, and blog about it. I've joined a challenge and I actually completed my first painting on schedule. It's just a small thing - 6 x 9" or so. For lack of a better name, I'm calling it Three and Six (there are three balloons and six trees).  

Click here to purchase: "Three and Six" - $60
I see there are still 29 followers, but maybe you've all given up on me by now. That's o.k. This will serve as a place for me to share my work, and babble on a bit. It's late and I don't have a whole lot to say tonight, but I'll go ahead and share my work and we'll see what pops into my brain tomorrow. 

I'm doing this thanks to artist, Leslie Saeta. I don't know her and she doesn't know me. My friend Vicky Knowles directed me to her blog, so thanks Vicky! Click HERE to see all the inspired work for the month of January - there will be a new blog post daily that we all share our paintings on. There will be links to see works from previous days, as they pass.

Here's to the beginning of a great year - fingers crossed.