Tropica

I recently joined an art networking site called paintingsilove.com, and it is a wonderful site for getting feedback on your paintings/drawings, and for the inspiration aspect to it, as well. I often gather creative energy when I visit there! One comment I received on a painting I posted, called it “lush”, and that word was a great prompt to break through the creative block I was experiencing at the time. 🙂

I thought of the word, and what it meant to me, and I immediately went to Hawaii in my head. The lushness of that place is beyond amazing! The scenery notwithstanding, it is lush in other ways, as well, like the scents, and the tastes, and the general feeling of the place.

I felt inspired to do a painting with tropical colours, with the objective being to give me a sense of being in the tropics every time I looked at it. And also a feeling of peace and joy. 🙂

I wanted also to do it intuitively, instead of having a detailed plan. I wanted to see where my mind would take me, just by using color and imagery such as flowers. I started my usual way, with just a background of smeared color, and then looked at it to see what would emerge. I found three birds, a large heart surrounding two of them, and another smaller heart to the right of them. Birds seem to keep appearing in my work! Hearts always did, and continue to do so. Must be some kind of symbolism in that for me, I suppose. lol

I added stencilled flowers, and began to paint the top layers, sketching out my shapes with white chalk, and going with the crackle gel effect again, in spots because I love it so much! 🙂

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Painting a slightly translucent layer of white, then going over it in a color gives a lovely luminosity with acrylics, so I tended to employ it quite a bit with this piece. The finished painting fills me with color joy when I look at! I hung it in my foyer, so I see it a LOT. It turned out as happy and tropical as I had intended without using stereotypical tropical imagery like palm trees, etc. Have to be different, ya know! 😛

Tropica
“Tropica”

I have it posted at my various art shops. It looks great as prints and on products such as tote bags! 😀

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“Tropica” @ society6…..Click pic for link! 🙂
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“Tropica” on leggings @ art of where….click pic for link! 🙂

Wonderment

Another intuitive painting. I had made this big peace heart stamp when I was on my stamp making kick, and was itching to use it. Then I got stamping fever, haha, and used a few of my other homemade stamps over a color blocked background….

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Effect happy was I, so I went all out with some experimentation. Very fun was that!

I used a stencil to create the swirls with modelling paste, and did the streaking thing again with the crackle gel…

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Then I also tried plastic wrap over wet paint….I love how that turned out….so random and beautiful! 🙂

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I built up layers, and then I found some iridescent blue in my stash of old paint, and thought I would throw a little on my swirls…

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I found these wonderful pens at the art supply store. Perfect for adding little details, like dots and words. They are acrylic, not ink, so will not smear when I put the varnish on at the end, and also are refillable, so that rocks! 😀

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After layer upon layer, and tweaking with little details here and there, I ended up with something intricately colourful, joyful, and “wonderful”to look at. 🙂

Wonderment
“Wonderment”

BTW… It looks great on a shower curtain! 😀 @ society 6….

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click pic for link! 🙂

Harmony

Another intuitive painting….because they are so much fun to do! And very mind freeing, too. 🙂 I love to play with color, and I love to play with layering and different effects.

Started out as usual…with blocks of my fave colors…using acrylics. Found some old crackle gel medium in my stash of stuff…and while it had gobbed up quite a bit from age, I used it anyway. Instead of letting it do its crackle thing, though, while the top paint coat was still a bit wet, I stuck a chunk of cotton ribbon on it, and pulled it off, and what I got was a very cool distressing, which revealed the bottom color layer….like it had “weathered”. Love it!

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Did the crackle thing in this section too, and also used my homemade circle stencil, with modelling paste, to create more texture. Also stuck a word on there. 🙂

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Colored the circles and painted a nice contrasting color around them…plus some “sun bursting” around my word. 🙂

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Used some crackle paste next…which is a different species of crackle medium. lol

It is opaque, and has more of a cracked plaster feel. After it dried, I spritzed it with water, then added thinned down paint, and let it do its thing. Added a couple of my homemade stamps in there too….daisy, and a swirl. Love using those! 🙂 Building up more and more layers, as well.

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I added some more words, some sgraffito, little dots here and there, and the finished painting turned out beautifully! Color is my joy. 😀

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“Harmony”

Find it as prints and also on a wide array of other products, at my society6 shop! 🙂

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Click pic for link! 🙂

 

Serenity

So, I’m on this intuitive painting kick, where I start with a blank canvas(been working with wooden ones lately), and just add color and go where IT wants to go, not a direction I lead it in.

I love to play with colors, and their relationships to each other, and I love trying out new effects…or surface treatments. It is very fun to see which direction my painting will go, and what color combinations I can achieve when I do this.

I started this one with just laying down a blue background, and then using lots of water, adding white spots to it. I like the soft edge effects I get when the canvas is wet, and I add the color onto it, and it spreads like it does when using watercolour. I used thin consistency acrylics. I glazed a bit of magenta over some parts of it, after it had dried, then used modelling paste through a stencil to add a flower.

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At that point I knew I wanted to go with some kind of flower theme. I added another large flower, then when the paste was fully dry, glaze painted them with multiple layers of color. I also added more color, using glazes and water effects.

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I liked what I ended up with, and then needed to decide if it was finished, or not…sometimes a tough decision!

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I decided it needed more, and I wanted to employ my newly handmade flower stamps. Instead of stamping directly onto the canvas, I printed the flowers onto tissue paper, so I could arrange them to my satisfaction. The amazing thing(I found out doing it) with the tissue paper is that it required no glue to adhere it! All I did was wet down the area where it was to be placed, and it stuck itself to the canvas! And the white parts nearly completely disappeared, to leave just the black printed parts, and the blue background. Very cool! I then glazed a bit of color over them, and painted around the edges a bit….just to make sure they were stuck! lol

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I needed to incorporate line into it, so I added a few flowers on tall stalks, did some more color tweaking, and ended up with “Serenity”. I love it. I love the colors, and the joyful subject matter. I know when I succeed at a painting if it makes me happy looking at it. 🙂

serenity
“Serenity”

Side Crafts With A Purpose

Recently I discovered how much fun it is to make my own stamps…using play foam sheets, and scraps of mat board. 🙂

I originally wanted to make a few to use in my mixed media paintings, because to buy stamps at the craft store requires a small fortune!! ugh!

Anyway, I had seen it done in one of my many art reference books, and being that play foam is about $1-2/package of 4 sheets at the dollar store, and I have loads of scrap mat board gathering dust, it was looking like a nice economical option.

So, I set out to make some swirls, and ended up making hills, a tree, flowers, hearts, peace signs, a sea horse, a sun, a dolphin, and even a whole mountain landscape(not pictured)! I couldn’t seem to stop…it was so much fun! I made a few more than one or two that night! lol

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I just cut the shapes, used white glue to attach them to the mat board, then when they were stuck, distressed them with various metal tools, to get texture marks, and add interest.

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They work well even with full strength watercolour! I am happy with how they turned out. 🙂

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I also tried to make stencils with a glue gun. It was loads of fun to do, too! Haven’t tried them yet, though. I need to figure out how to make them lay flatter! 😛
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Reverie

Back to acrylics again, and I wanted to try a few different things. Collage for one, so I decopaged a few pieces of decorative paper onto my wooden substrate, in various shapes and sizes.

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Thus emerged my color palette. Trying to keep it to a few of my favourite colors, so as not to get too overwhelmed. I love how they work together. 🙂

I wanted to try some intuitive painting with this one. No plan in mind, just working the paint around and seeing what would emerge from it. I laid the initial background colors down completely with my fingers, which was wonderful, and tactile, and very intuitive. Blend, blend, blend, and blend some more. Loving the new color combination places I was going! 🙂 I then used an old damp rag to wipe off some of the paint here and there, on the papers, to let their design show through.

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I’m someone who can see faces, or shapes of things really easily in clouds, wood grain, tile floors,  glass shower doors, etc… 😛 ….So I knew something or somethings would emerge if I sat back, relaxed my mind, and looked for them. Off the bat I spotted a couple of hearts, and a couple of birds! So I started to define the things I was seeing.

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found a bird or two…

It needed more contrast so I added some black and dark blue. I never really expected what happened next…The wooden canvas surprised me with wonderful distress marks that I hadn’t even tried for! Once I put the darker colors on, and started wiping with my rag again to expose some of the underneath color, there they were! Also revealed, by complete accident were more heart shapes! So awesome! I love it when I get happy little surprises! I also love glazing, as I have mentioned before in another post. The luminosity achieved with it is so beautiful! It takes the coloration to whole other levels. 🙂 I glazed over my newly discovered hearts with more color to make them stand out a bit more….

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I then found a shape that proved itself to be a ladybug waiting to happen! 🙂

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I’m liking this intuitive painting process! I find it very calming to paint anyway, but to paint without any plan…to see what will happen, where it will lead you, what images will pop out….when you experiment with colors and techniques…is incredibly freeing! And so much fun! 🙂

Finally, after a few stars and a swirl laid on with stencils and white paint, then glazed over to blend in a bit, plus some more color tweaking here and there…I ended up with “Reverie”. 😀

 

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“Reverie”

 

 

Dreamy Watercolor Delicacy

Watercolor painting is not what I would call my forte. I have never taken painting with them too seriously, but I love to dabble in that medium from time to time. For me, they are just intuitive and delicate little studies…in color, shape, & mark making. Relaxing, to say the least. I can get completely lost, like I do when I am in “the zone” with my acrylics, but it is a different feeling…more like floating on another plane of existence, I suppose. lol

There is some delicacy with acrylics, like when I do extreme detail, but it is also different. With watercolors, for me, it is a very dreamy-like delicacy. My colors(not always, however) tend to be softer. The water takes care of that, although they can be strong as well, and that is one of the things I love about it. Depending on the wetness of the paper, the color can be as strong as I want, or as barely there as I want, while all still maintaining a sort of softness, that I can’t get with acrylics. I also love to play with masking fluid, salt, and other effects, to take it to unexpected new places, whereby then I try to see shapes, or whatever. I never know where it will take me, and that is part of the appeal of doing abstracts in any medium! 🙂

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masking fluid fluidity

I LOVE my “water brush”! Except for the smallest detail work, or when I need a separate clean brush for wetting the paper with clean water, as I go, I pretty much just use it alone. It is VERY convenient to have that water reservoir! No dipping in water required! It came with my particular watercolor set, and I had no idea it would be so wonderful! 😀 Also, it has held its tip point remarkably well for being almost 4 years old! Sometimes, like today, I hold it in my right hand to lay down the color, while in the other hand, I have a brush for keeping the paper wet, or to blend as I go. I was thinking today, as I did this, how it felt kind of like playing an instrument. I know…I’m a little weird. 😛

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Two hands needed for this one!

I tend to like lots of delicate themes, as well…flowers, hearts, swirls, circles, and squiggles. My favourite tool for going back to add them, after the paint has dried, is a wonderful illustration pen with a double point. One end is a bendy, paintbrush like nib, and the other end is a very pointy, but stable nib. I can get super delicate black lines with it….perfect for doing dreamy little doodles, and the smallest of details! I learned early though, that it has to go on last, and can’t get wet(unless I want it to for whatever  effect), or it just runs black all over the place!

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I have a special table away from my other painting area, where I like to sit and play with my watercolors. I have my tea, and usually 60s “hippie music”, haha, or soft rock playing.  Both inspire me….

It is also my sewing area, as once in a while I feel the urge to quilt. Yes…many interests, not enough time!! It is a clean area compared to my painting area, and the art desk where I make my jewelry. I don’t use my OTT light over there, just soft desk lamp lighting. The white, natural light  of the OTT lights is a must for my acrylic painting, and I have two, since the room I paint in does not get enough natural light through its one window. For my watercolors, though, I am not as concerned with it. I like the softer , warmer feel of the “yellow” light, as it helps set the mood for the particular subject matter I like to do with the watercolors. Funny that they actually turn out! 😛

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Anyway, I’ve been watercolor painting, here and there, over the last few weeks….late at night, sometimes in the afternoon…between trying to come up with inspiration to do another acrylic, and trying to just relax my sometimes chaotic mind! I bought a small watercolor sketchbook of sorts, and do it on a small scale, without ripping the pages out, or even sizing the paper. Maybe one day I will feel so inclined to take watercolors more seriously, and do larger pieces with a plan in mind, but for now, it is just a little side trip… a happy, delicate, and dreamy little escape….. 🙂

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flower doodle
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flower doodles on background
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“Scribble Flower”
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“Vibrant Flower”
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“Three Flowers”
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“Marsh”

Unicorns Live Here

Catchy title for a painting, yes? hehehe I sometimes have a hard time coming up with titles for my paintings. I stare at them forever, and hope something pops into my head. That is what popped into it today…looked kinda like where I might spot one. 😛

First I laid down the background in my favourite colors….they have a happy, tropical feeling to them. 🙂img_7954

I used an old brush for this to give it a “scratched” effect. I always keep my brushes…even when they get gummed up, or old and ragged…there is always a creative use for them!

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Finished background ready for its sketch of the final idea. I didn’t get attached to this one, so it was easier to paint over it! hahaha

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Did some glazing and sgraffito effects on it. My two favourite things to do! I love the luminosity with the glazing, and the surprise under color with the scratch marks!

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Also, I did this one on a nice thick canvas, so the sides, top, and bottom got a wraparound paint job! 😀 I really like painting this size, too. Quick feeling of accomplishment! I think I get a dopamine rush from painting….no, I KNOW I DO! 🙂

 

Finished piece. …My first painting of 2017! 🙂

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“Unicorns Live Here”

Makes for a pretty pillow! ;D

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“Unicorns Live Here” throw pillow @ society6 🙂 (click pic for link)

This post calls for a little “island music” methinks! 🙂

 

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