Friday, December 31, 2010

Winter Sunset and A New Year!

winter sunset over the reservoir, 12/30/10

I took this photo yesterday at the walk trail. It was my first time there since the blizzard. I was happy that the sun had melted enough snow so that I could walk across the bridge to be near the water. It was so quiet and peaceful. And I couldn't help but think about how important creativity has become for me.

When I look back on 2010 I will always remember it as the year I began my art journey. In February when I picked up a paint brush for the first time I had no idea how far I would go, how much I would learn, and how many great people I would meet!

I am thankful for each and everyone of you who have warmly welcomed me into this creative blogging world! My art has begun to take on a life of its own. I am excited to see where goes next! And I am so happy to have you all to share in this journey with me!

As the sun sets on this day I wish you all good health, happiness and much love for the New Year!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

She's A Bit Different . . .

Sketching is always exciting. I had now idea how this would come out but I really like her! My hubby bought me a 6x8" sketch book and a set of graphite pencils for christmas. I sketched her last night with my new supplies!

I am trying to stick with the realism especially in the eyes. I don't usually sketch hair this way but I love it. Not sure yet if I will paint her. For now I am enjoying looking at her in black and white.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shooting Stars . . .

Shooting Stars
mixed media on 9x12 canvas board

While we were snowbound in a blizzard the past couple of days I did some painting. You may remember seeing the sketch of this girl that I shared in this blog post. I wasn't sure at the time if I wanted her gazing at the sun or moon. But the darker colors called to me and there you have it! In shading her face with my water soluble crayons I added a rose pink to the mix instead of only salmon and I like the tone it gives. I added some stamping along her top because I just love that stamp but didn't feel it would fit in the starry background.

I tried the molding paste again and originally was only going to add it to the moon but decided to use it everywhere except her face and hair. I wish I had the patience to wait for it to fully dry! For the stars I used a q-tip with some iridescent pearl and smeared it around.

For those of you in the northeast hope you are safe and the blizzard is over where you are!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Back to Some Face Painting . . .

mixed media on 9x12 canvas board

I hope everyone had a great holiday! Ours was quiet with my husband and I spending the day home together. I made lasagna which is one of my favorites and ate way too many italian pastries from our local bakery! Right now we are watching the snow fall here in NY. There is a fire in the wood stove and the pug is sleeping in front of it. A nice place to be.

After so many abstracts I took some time the past couple of days to work on painting one of my recent sketches. You can see the original sketch HERE. Of course the painted face looks nothing like the sketch but here she is!

I had more fun with the background than the face. I used light molding paste for texture and used payne's gray with burnt sienna for the background. It was hard getting back to faces after loosening up with the abstract work!

I hope that wherever you are you are staying warm and enjoying the day!

Friday, December 24, 2010

In The Cove . . . New Abstract

"In The Cove"
acrylic glazes on 5x5" birch wood

These colors inspired me to think of the ocean. I don't normally go for colors this bold but thought I would give it a try to see what they looked like glazed on the wood. I used magenta and phalto blue (green shade) and I love them together! I also added some water soluble crayons in areas for shading. I mixed in some titanium white to lighten things up and to make waves on the left side.

In this one I found an image on the right that to me looks like a couple hugging while leaning against a rock wall. The title popped into my head as I was painting. It looks like a nice place to be. I really do enjoy creating these abstracts and feel a freedom I don't allow myself doing other types of painting.

For those of you celebrating Christmas I wish you a wonderful evening and a memorable day tomorrow spent with those you love!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Back to Some Sketching . . .

I sketched her the other night. I really like sketching the eyes more realistic style. I changed her hair around a few times and landed with this.

Yesterday my husband told me that this sketch looks like his mom in her younger days. I never met her. She died just before we met. I have seen pictures of her though and she was beautiful.

I don't see her when I look at this but I am glad that he does. Maybe it brings him a bit of comfort.

Maybe she helped me bring this face to life . . .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday and A Winner!!

Rockland Lake at Dusk, Spring 2000
taken with film camera

The only words I will say today are. . .


Cindy from CinLynnBoutique!!!

Send me your address and I will get the butterfly print in the mail!

Congrats!! :)

Thanks again to all who entered this giveaway!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Angel in the Forest . . . A New Abstract

Angel in the Forest
acrylic glazes on 8x12 birch wood

Hope everyone is having a good weekend! Thanks for the nice comments on my last post! I am so happy you are all enjoying my wood abstracts! I had some time today to work on another one.

This time as you can see I used different colors! Although I stayed with the burnt sienna I added sap green and naples yellow. I saw these colors in my head last night. And as I was glazing and blending in the bottom right I saw images appear. In this one I see what looks like a man holding up an angel with tiny wings!

What do you see?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Spirits in the Storm . . . A New Abstract

Spirits in the Storm
acrylic glazes on 16x12" birch wood

I wish this piece was on a smaller piece of wood so that I could have scanned it. The colors look a bit richer in person. It was hard to get a good shot with the camera. Lately I am liking the scanner for taking images of my art.

I feel like it is easier working on smaller pieces of wood. But maybe that is because I am intimidated with a lot of blank space! I am still not tiring of my favorite colors so here they are again.

I titled it spirits because I see some ethereal beings over on the right. They look like they are floating in the air back to back. The colors look stormy to me in this one. Like things are being stirred up around them. And I feel as if they are being pulled toward the light near the center.

Thanks for all the great comments on my giveaway post! I am excited to see so many of you have entered!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blog Giveaway and an Etsy Treasury!!

I just realized that this week I wrote my 100th blog post!! So I thought what better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway!

I am giving away the above photo. What you see above is a scan of the actual photo so in person the resolution of the image is much better but I wanted to show the digital matting. This image is one of my butterfly photos you may recall from my Bronx Zoo post. It is printed on 81/2 x 11 glossy photo paper with a digital double mat.

All you have to do to enter is comment! To enter your name twice become a follower. And if you want to enter a third time share this giveaway on your blog. Be sure to let me know in the comments what you do!

I will be picking the winner next Wednesday 12/22! Good luck!

If you get a chance check out this lovely etsy treasury "Blue Frost" by Dawn from The Scroll Shoppe! I was excited to find out she included my "Heart in the Sand" photo card!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Embrace" . . . Acrylic Glazes on Birch Wood

acrylic glazes on 5x5" birch wood
prints available in my etsy shop
I am hoping that you can tell where I got the title from for this one! Feeling inspired by my last piece with its image that came out and spoke to me I longed to try another! So on another piece of birch I used the same colors but added titanium white this time and began layering. I was trying to not "look" for something and just be random about it. I stepped away for awhile and then went back to it. I felt that it just wasn't done. Then when I added the last layers of payne's gray over on the right I noticed that an image appeared. I saw a couple standing in an embrace.

Once I saw that I immediately connected to this piece. I am hoping you see what I see!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Angel In The Shadows . . . Do You See What I See?

"angel in the shadows"
acrylic glaze on 5x5" birch wood
prints available in my etsy shop

Saturday I asked my hubby for a piece of birch wood. He always has some laying around in the garage. I wanted to try painting on a wood surface for the first time. So he brought me a 5x5 inch piece of scrap he had.

I added a coat of gesso first and when it was dry just tried adding some paint. I made glazes of my two favorite colors of the moment payne's and burnt sienna. I was just practicing adding paint to this new surface to see what it would do. I immediately felt the difference in how the paint moved on the wood and when I tried blending the paint I ended up just smooshing it around. I noticed that it gathered in some areas and wiped away on others. I liked how it looked with the wood grain showing through the glaze. It was all random. I was in no way hoping for a piece of art to come out of this. At one point I became very frustrated that I couldn't move the paint the same way as on a canvas wondering if I even liked painting on a wood surface.

I walked away and left it be till later on that night. When I went to go check on it my hubby got to it first and told me he loved it. I thought he was crazy until I looked at what came through. We both saw the image of a woman to the right who looks as if she is leaning up against a wall. Below her looks like rocks and water. I was shocked at the image and the depth that this piece has all without me trying to do anything but smear some paint around. It almost looks ghostly to me. It looked completely different to me when it was dry. This has become one of my favorite pieces!

So tell me . . . what do you see?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Love is How . . . More Abstract Mixed Media!

Love is how . . .
abstract mixed media on 6x8" canvas board

This painting did not come out of me easily. Although I woke up yesterday with the vision for it in my head, knowing what photos I wanted to collage as well as the color palette I would use, to get it on canvas was quite another story! I used one of my photos with a heart in the sand. I used light molding paste along the edge and carved hearts into it. I laid down a first glaze of burnt sienna and then used payne's gray to make some shapes on top. I thought it looked awful but continued on to add my molding paste.

Then patience got the best of me and I couldn't wait for anything to dry! The more I tried to work additional layers onto the board the worse it got! And the more frustrated I became. It got to the point where I couldn't get anything to blend! After 2 hours of trying I finally walked away. I just couldn't get in the zone. I felt like I would never be able to paint the way I wanted to again. My mind was completely jumbled up.

Then after a few hours late at night I went back to it and tried again. And I was pleased to see that I could do it after all! And I continued with it until I felt it was finished.

The quote I used "Love it how you stay alive even after you are gone" is by Morrie Schwartz. It is one of my favorites.

And thanks to all of you for your great comments on my last post! I am excited to be trying out new things and your encouragement means so much!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Abstract Painting . . . Playing With Texture!

abstract mixed media on 9x12 canvas board

Here is a new abstract I couldn't wait to share! I really love how it came out! I pushed forward through the uglies and it payed off! It is so exciting to see what it becomes after that first layer is put down.

I used glazes of alizarin crimson and payne's gray. Light molding paste (love this stuff!) and tissue paper were used for texture. The paper collaged on is a piece of scrap paper with stamping on it. I hated the first layer of crimson glaze! But I tried to ignore it and push onward! I also added titanium and zinc white to lighten up the gray in some areas. I am learning how important glazing is to be able to allow your previous layers to come through.

And best of all . . . I didn't over analyze with this one! I tried to let go and have fun! I know it won't always be that way but it would be really nice if it did!

Can I tell you how much I love payne's gray?!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bright Eyes . . . A New Sketch

More sketching last night. Not sure yet if she is gazing toward the sun or moon. I think that will come through when I paint her. I know I went a bit crazy with her lashes but oh how I love to sketch eyes! Ignore the shadow in the bottom right of the sketch . . . that was a photography glitch.

I also have a new abstract painting in progress that I am hoping to share with you soon!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Something About The Eyes . . .

After I finished the sketch from my last post I decided I wanted to try and sketch just one eye. I liked how my girls eyes came out more realistic. So here is my attempt at a realistic eye. I used graphite pencil on 5x8" paper. I think it came out really cool!

I don't know what it is with me but I really like sketching eyes! I want to try and paint this on a canvas, just this one lonely eye, so stayed tuned! I wanted to keep going and style it up with some makeup but I stopped myself because I thought it looked good as is for now! lol

PS . . . Today is the last day to enter book giveaway over at my blog In My Life! So if you haven't entered yet there is still time! All you have to do is leave a comment. Check out the details in this POST.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sketching . . . Trying More Realism

I have been having fun sketching the stylized faces but for this one I wanted to go for more realism in the features . . . especially the eyes. Although I am unsure about the nose and mouth I like how the eyes came out. As you can see from the smudges I changed the hair. Originally I had it just down on both sides. Then late last nite practically in my sleep I saw hair swept over her shoulder on one side. I like that better.

Funny how with the realistic eyes I feel as though I created a face and now wonder who she is and where she has been . . .

We shall see if I have the courage to put her on a canvas!

Oh, and I made my first blog header! I made it from the photo of my "Love Me" abstract. What do you guys think?

Friday, December 3, 2010

NYC . . . New Abstract Mixed Media

abstract mixed media on 8x10 canvas board

First a big thanks to everyone who commented on yesterday's post! I am constantly amazed at the encouraging and positive community I have found via this art blog. I am beyond excited to hear that you loved my first abstract mixed media!

So on to another one! I started this one last nite on a board that I messed up a couple of months ago attempting something abstract. I already had payne's gray and some tissue paper for texture. I thought it would make a good starting point for this piece. I had in my head that I wanted to use some of my NYC photos. Although I used the same color palette I felt like these pics needed a darker grungy feel. The water drips were a last thought. And I scratched in the letters through a glaze of paynes gray. As I finish my second one I wonder where I would be without acrylic glazing liquid!! Love this stuff! So important for blending!

When I first got started this morning with this piece I had a panic moment where I thought it was coming out all wrong. I thought it was awful. But instead of quitting I pushed forward and I am so glad I did!

PS . . . If you get a chance check out Kolleen's great blog Heart Wing Sisters. She has started a weekly series called "I am better for it" where you can share your personal story to inspire others and I decided to share mine. You can check it out HERE!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My First Abstract Mixed Media Painting!

Love Me
abstract mixed media on 6"x8" canvas board

I started this piece last nite. As you know I have been dabbling in abstract paintings. I have been thinking about incorporating my photography into some abstract pieces. So that is what I did here. I used one of my favorite images and printed it out on regular printer paper to collage on to the canvas board. I used payne's gray, burnt sienna, titan buff and zinc white in various shades. There is some gel medium for texure and to help incorporate the photo into the background. I added the stamping at the end as I felt that there was just something missing. I think it helped the composition.

I am pleased with how it came out! And I felt a bit looser during the process! There is hope I may start using my left brain more after all!

If you are interested in abstract mixed media I learned some of these techniques from a great book I just started reading. Its called Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed Media Artists by Ann Baldwin. I am loving it! You can check out Ann's website to find out more about the book and her artwork HERE