Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Abstract Seahorse

Abstract Seahorse   

The Seahorse is probably my favorite animal.  I was fortunate to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California a few years back when the had an exhibit on seahorses.  One of the things I remember was the dedication seahorses had with their mate.  Not only are they pretty to watch but their movements are so graceful.   I used a very tiny brush on this particular work with a color pallet of bright "happy" colors.  I first outlined the areas I wanted to make sure and keep white.  Have to think in negative here!  The shadowing is done with darker colors and dots that are closer together.  This particular is somewhat time consuming but easy to do and meditative.   For those of you that live close to Livingston, TX I will be teaching a class on this May 15th, 2015 at Across the Tracks at 6:00 p.m.

Monday, April 27, 2015



This piece was worked and re-worked at least 50 times.  I started with just an abstract blend of color, felt it was too soft, then added in lines, then felt it was too harsh.  Worked and re-worked.  Then finally was somewhat happy then added in splatter.  Let it dry, looked at it and couldn't decided if it looked like a psychedelic mess or space.   It needed something.  The more I looked at it the more it felt like it was leaning toward space.  My nephew Jake has been into astrology for years and even gives stargazing tours in Minden, Nevada.  He can tell you just about anything you want to know about the stars and planets.  He kept coming to mind as I started at the work and decided to add in planets, keeping the colors bright.  I don't know what it is exactly that lets you know when a painting is done.  I tease it is when you are sick of working on it, but in reality it is more than that.  I finally completed it and gave it a gloss spray finish to enhance the planets.  Both my husband Brian and daughter Lass say it is one of their favorite pieces I've done.   It is completely different than anything I have done before but I like it.  Acrylic on Canvas.  16 x 20.  Original: Etsy/StudioQuest,  Prints: Fine Art America.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Shark Abstact Impressionism


This is a variation from just using the pallet knife.  This particular work was created using a combination of both pallet knife and small brush strokes.  I left the background white to simplify the piece and so that it would not compete with the stokes of paint on the shark.  Shading was done by simply adding more paint to the areas I wanted darker.  I sketched in the outline in pencil then simply used pallet knife small strokes to start the work.  Surprisingly relaxing.  Once again a tribute to my love of the sea.  Acrylic on canvas.  16 x 20.  Original: Etsy/studioquest.  Prints: Fine Art America.  For those of you that live near Livingston, TX.  I will be teaching a class at: Sew Fancy on Tues. April 28th at 6:00 on this technique.  Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wild and Free Abstract Impressionism

Wild and Free
The pallet knife can be a very useful tool, not only for mixing colors but creating an image with lots of texture.  I started with a blank canvas and worked in negative.  I left the outline of the horse with a little detail and filled in the background with pallet knife strokes of paint.  When I got the look I wanted I added in some splatter to enhance the movement of the piece.  While living in Nevada a few years back I was fortunate enough to see wild horses roaming the BLM land.  Most of them stayed away from people but now and then one would come fairly close to my camera and were as curious about me as I was about them.  Acrylic on canvas.  16 x 20  Original: Etsy/ StudioQuest.  Prints: Fine Art America. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Zen Hummingbird

Example of Tangles you could use.
Zen Hummingbird

Pen and Ink is one of the most relaxing forms of art.  While it is not very forgiving, tangles are!  Most of you that are over the age of 50 remember this type of work called doodles.  One of the things I love about this is there really is no right or wrong.  I start with an initial sketch (outline) in pencil.  Then I go over that with a fine sharpie. I chose to use just one size on this particular work just to show that you could achieve a lot of variety with only one pen.  There are many sizes available as well as colors.  Once my outline was complete I then blocked off certain areas to fill in with tangles.  This type of work is therapeutic.    You can put it down whenever you want and come right back to it when you are ready.  I have added a sheet of 89 different tangles I created as an idea of some of the ones you could use.   If you liked to doodle or color as a child, give it a try.    Pen and Ink - 11 x 14.  Original: Etsy/StudioQuest.  Prints: Fine Art America. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Boat Oars - Watercolor

Boat Oars x 3

I was asked to do a watercolor demonstration for Livingston Art League.  I wanted to create a simple work that I could nearly complete in the time allotted.   They had a nice lunch and I was set up at a table at the front of the room.  Above was a huge mirror at an angle which allowed everyone to watch me work as my paper laid flat on the table.    There was a lot of interaction and I met some very nice people.  I used both wet on wet techniques and dry brush techniques for some of the wood grain.   I thought these boat oars would go well with some of my Lobster Sea Float watercolors I have done in the past.  Watercolor - 11 x 14 on fine watercolor paper.  Original: Etsy/StudioQuest.  Prints: Fine Art America.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Water Movement

Water Movement
Abstract with water.  I had so much fun with abstracts that I decided to try a new technique using lots and lots of water.  I first used a spray bottle to completely wet the canvas then began applying blobs of paint and turning my canvas to get the paint to run where I wanted it to.  This process is very messy and you will drip paint everywhere so make sure you are outside or have a tarp down.  Once you have just the movement you like, stop and let the canvas dry.  Once the canvas completely dried (over a day) the colors dulled.  I really liked the shiny sheen when wet so sprayed the entire canvas with a gloss finish.  The movement and colors remind me of water and I like the finished effect.  Acrylic on Canvas.  16 x 20.  Original: Etsy/Studio Quest.  Prints: Fine Art America.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Abstract Octopus

Abstract Octopus
Our family vacation this year was to Galveston, Texas.  We stayed at a cute little cottage and walked the beach for seashells (one of my favorite all time things to do).   The Strand has many cute shops and art galleries and yummy cupcake shops.  When we arrived back home I was inspired to create the abstract octopus.  The background was created using brushes, combs and a spatula.  Once dried I drew in the octopus and used a pallet knife and brush to add in details.  I cannot look at an octopus without smiling.  Years ago while our family was in Greece our oldest daughter was fearful of stepping into the ocean.  The water was crystal clear and beautiful but she was sure something would grab her if she stepped in.  After what seemed forever she took a few steps into the water and quickly retreated with arms flailing screaming wormy thing, wormy thing!.  She was near the dock and a baby octopus had peeked out to take a look at her.  No amount of convincing could get her back into the water and to this day she refers to an octopus as a wormy thing!  Acrylic on canvas.  16 x 20.  Original: Etsy/Studio Quest.  Prints; Fine Art America

Friday, April 10, 2015

Derby Lady

Derby Lady
Love drawing and painting women.  We are all so different and I have wondered how much of who we are is affected by where and in what time period we have lived.  Culture, our age, our families, and social standards all play a role.   So many more options are open to women today yet we tend to romanticize bygone eras.   Maybe it was the clothing, or style that appeals to us.  Most of us assume that life was simpler.  While it is true that the women of the past did not have some of the same worries we have today, I think that they had many worries that never even come into our frame of reference.  Most of us do not worry about the weather and the influence it may have on crops or travel.  We do not have to set aside food for the long winter months.  Starting the evening meal is as simple as flipping a switch on the stove or pressing a button.  We do not have to chop wood, haul wood, light a fire, haul in water just to name a few chores that would have been required to provide a meal for your family.  I am grateful that I live in a time where I can pursue whatever it is that I want to pursue.  I am grateful to a mom and grandma that taught me many of the life skills I would need to survive but most of all loved me for who I am.  I have three daughters and they could not be more diverse and different from each other.  Something I celebrate.  Each has her own unique skill set and personality that makes our family a bit quirky and never dull.  As I worked on Derby Lady I wanted to stay primarily with sepia tones and have the background be a simple white.   She needed just a touch of color and I added in the blue.   Acrylic on Canvas.  16 x 20    Original: Etsy/Studio Quest, Prints; Fine Art America.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Abstract Impressionism

Lady of the Mist

Abstract Bike
Abstract Impressionism is what I am choosing to call this particular style.  Are we allowed to make up our own name?  While the background is abstract, I did add in something recognizable (thus the impressionism part).  Our neighbors are such good friends and Randy is an artist in his own right.  Primarily creating sculptures and folk art.  I invited his wife Cheri over to play with abstract art one day and we pulled out canvas and paint and just dived in.  We had a wonderful time and she did a great job.  I ended up creating two different works.  I started with Lady of the Mist and used a pallet knife, lids, scraper and brushes to create the background.  Fortunately, acrylic dries quickly and while it dried I moved on to the other painting "Abstract Bike" .  The colors reminded me of traffic lights.  Once the back ground was completed I moved back to the first painting and started to sketch in the facial features.  I used a small detailed brush to complete the work and really liked the mysterious feel that began to develop.  Once I was finished with the piece I moved back to the traffic light background and did not feel that drawing a car would do anything for the work.  I remembered riding my cruiser in town and having to wait for a signal to change.  I sketched in the bike, intentionally leaving it a bit more primitive.   A few days later Randy stopped by and asked how much I wanted for the "Lady of the Mist" , saying that Cheri had talked about it and had a connection with it.   We decided on a trade of one of Randy's sculptures and he personalized the work by making a very unique custom frame for it.   It now hangs in Cheri's office.  Lady of the Mist Prints: Fine Art America.  Abstract Bike - Acrylic on Canvas.  16 x 20.  Original: Etsy/Studio Quest, Prints: Fine Art America.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Simply Abstract

Shades of the Sea

Here it is, abstract, simply abstract.  I have finally been very happy with just leaving it abstract and not feeling the need to add anything in.  I love the textures and colors.  Having grown up in California and spending as much time as possible on the beach I came to love anything nautical and seaside related.  The colors are calming to me and while I went on in a previous post about not seeing a common thread in my work, I do see that I use these colors quite often.  I had so much fun creating this piece and made a "huge" mess.  I had paint in my hair, on my face, on the ground and even managed somehow to get a nice blue dot on my toe (I was painting outside in my flip flops).   I am not a neat painter to say the very least and desperately need a studio!   My grandson, Zane kept coming over and trying to "help" so he was covered in blue and green too!  The biggest challenge for me was determining when to stop.  I probably re-worked this piece at least 50 times until I was finally happy with the result.  Abstract Acrylic on Canvas.  Measures : 16 x 20.  Original: Etsy/Studio Quest.  Prints: Fine Art America.

Friday, April 3, 2015

I'm Back - Thoughts on a specific artists "look".

For all of you that have been kind enough to check in on me I am finally back.  This past year has been a bit crazy to say the very least.  My garden is now planted, all 25 trees are planted and some of the construction work on our home completed.   For those of you just checking in, we have begun to homestead a piece of property and I do hope to start a separate blog to record the progress.  This however is my "ART" blog,  so I will hush about the homesteading projects.  It isn't that I have neglected my art,  I have somehow managed to create during all the craziness, have been doing demonstrations, judging contests, had exhibits and art talks and taught classes.  I have had the most fun experimenting with some new styles and ideas.  Those who know me well, know that I have had a personal hang-up about creating abstract art.  I could never just leave it alone and had to put something recognizable in each work.  While I also enjoy adding the mixture of elements I wanted to be able to move past my own mental block.  I have finally done it and have created some abstract that has nothing obviously recognizable (although each piece does remind me of something).   I often look at other artists works and usually can see a common thread or "look".  It has bothered me that I can't seem to pin down a specific "look" that I have.  I have decided that I must be a little, yes, just a little, ADD.  I get bored easily and perhaps that is why I bounce around with so many different styles.  My daughter was so sweet and said, Mom, why fight it, celebrate the fact that you have so much diversity.   The reality is, if I try to create only one "look" I will probably get bored and not create as often.   Maybe my "look" will eventually emerge on its own, if so, great.  In the meantime, I will continue to follow my own flights of fancy and just have fun experimenting with different styles.   I am going to try to be more faithful in my postings, no promises, but will give it a good go.  If any of you want to share how you found your own personal style I would love to hear from you.

Playing with Abstract Art

I have always loved Monet's Impressionistic Style and the calming effect it has.  While traveling to Napa Valley a couple of years ago, one of the vineyards (Chateau Montelena) had this wonderful pond that reminded me of Monet.  It took me several years to finally paint it but here is it.  It much more "abstract" in feel than some of my other work and I was determined to not get too detailed.  I tried to stick with a variation of greens primarily and used both brushes and pallet knifes to create the work.  Acrylic /  Measures: 16 x 20 on canvas.  Original: Studio Quest / Etsy.  Prints: Fine Art America.