Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Painting together

When your 2-year-old princess asks you "Mommy, can I use your paint? I'll be very careful..." while making the sweetest hand gestures to help explain HOW careful, she pretty much doesn't leave you any option but to say yes. But bringing her little table to my carpeted "art room" doesn't work - I've tried! So I decided to take everything to the dining table and ask my son if he wanted to join us. He did.

So the 3 of us sat down and started working on our master pieces...

We only had the primary colors to work with, plus black and white. So I started explaining to them that if you mix yellow and blue you'll get green, red + yellow = orange and so on and so forth. And they got really into it! Well, mostly my son. If you look at his art (below), you'll see orange, green and purple, and he made all of them. Cool!

My daughter, well, what she really enjoys is to keep slapping paint on to the paper. And I mean A LOT of paint. Her brush might as well be a spoon, because that's how she gets paint! Can you imagine the scene? Her piece is more...abstract? :-)

And this is Mommy's art. Hey, I had limited resources, alright? Only ONE brush!

This is our poor palette after we were done. But all joking aside, we enjoyed our family time. All 5 minutes of it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Like a kid in a candy store...

...that's kinda how we feel when shopping for art supplies, right?

Well, I did a little shopping this weekend and I have to say I was really proud of myself. I was focused and assertive, and I only got what I really needed - nothing more, nothing less.

I noticed that I've been using pink, orange and purple a lot, so I got new paint. I know that I have all the primary color already and, therefore, I can MAKE all the colors I want, but honestly, I don't like it. I hate when I'm "in the zone", in the middle of a creative spurt, and I realize "Ooh, I need orange.... oh, no, I still have to make it." With my new Cadmium Orange Hue it's easier. It may not always be the exact hue I want, but it's a better starting point and easier to get know what I mean? Am I rambling? Oh, well...

Another thing: brushes! Oh, I'm so in love with my new brushes that I've been - brace yourselves - washing them RIGHT AWAY! Right after I'm done with them! I just can't leave my new babies in the water for 3 days...

And that's it: paint, brushes, a big canvas, and a very happy customer. Oh, did I mention that I got most everything on sale (40% off) and I had a 30% off coupon on top of that? HAPPY customer, I tell ya!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Love Forest"

Today my son decided to give me some advice: "You should name your paintings, mom." I told him I'm not very good with names, so I usually DON'T do it. That's when he said he would help me - and proceeded to point at every one of my paintings and giving them names.

So this next progression is now named Love Forest, apparently...

Monday, May 16, 2011

A word on globalization and kindness

Soon after I started painting, I decided to start this blog. I've seen SO many GREATS artists' blogs - that I now follow - and I feel it is such a great way to not only get to know their work, but their way of approaching art, their tips and tricks, and, yes, a little bit of THEM as people, not just as artists. Every morning I get my iPad, open Flipboard (thanks, Cristina!) and browse the latest posts of all the blogs I follow. I like it, it makes me feel...connected. Plus, you always get to learn a thing or two.

In a way, the 'feeling connected' played a big part on my decision to keep a blog. I wanted to not only 'feel' connected to other artists, but actually BE connected. As long as I only read everybody else's blogs, nobody knows I'm here...but by having a blog I can give back, I can participate... I feel like one of the group.

And let me tell you: what a cool group this is! Up until now, I haven't had one single bad interaction with any artists I came in contact with. Everybody is very kind and generous, and every question I've ever asked, somebody answered. I've emailed - and heard back - from Flora Bowley, Jesse Reno, Mati Rose, Cathy Nichols, Sunshine Barlowe, to name a few. And they all had nothing but nice and encouraging words. That's the artistic community for you.

On Flickr and Twitter, some of the artists I admire (and follow) are now following me back! How cool is that?
(I sound like such a dork right now...)

The encouragement is coming from other places too. My friends, from the dearest and closest to the ones I haven't talked to in years and even the ones I have never met in person, they have ALL been so kind and receptive, it is unbelievable! It really fills my heart with warmth and makes me feel like I'm on the right path.

So, thanks. Online and "offline" friends.

PS: boring post with no photos, right? Sorry...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Who did this?

I took an online painting workshop a few months ago - Get Your Paint On - and one of the teachers once said that painting is like a U-shaped process, meaning that you start on top, get frustrated along the way, until you reach the bottom of the U - which is when you want to give up, throw the painting away and pretty much find a new career. However, if you push through and keep going, you will go back up again and come out on the other side.

It's a simplistic explanation, but quite true. Plus, it was nice to be reassured that FRUSTRATION IS A PART OF THE PROCESS and that every artist goes through that.

Anyway, why did I start with that? Because I'm feeling at the bottom of the U today. Weird thing is, instead of happening in the middle of a painting, it's happening in the middle of a 'period of paintings', if you will.

I painted something this weekend, and I went in with NO PLANS whatsoever. I had absolutely nothing in mind in terms of colors, subject, style...and in the end, I didn't recognize the painting. I didn't see ME in there. Is that weird?

Here's the progression:

(note: these are 2 separate 12x12 chipboards that I taped to the table. I wanted to paint them together, so they would look like they "belonged" together, even after separated.)

Mess of colors...

Closed my eyes and drew a little bit with a pencil. Then I started painting some of the shapes.

Decided to add black to the outside. I still have NO idea where this is going.

It was at this point that I saw a dog...

So I painted black everything that WASN'T the dog.

And that's the painting after I separated the 2 halves.

Seriously, WHO DID THIS?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Can we talk about something else?

Today I wanted to talk about a few things I'm loving right now...


This is THE BEST thing when you don't feel like (or don't have time for) styling your hair, but you don't want to risk a bad hair day. Seriously. I've had it for some time, but now it has been even more useful, ever since I decided to cut bangs (let's face it, bangs can be a little temperamental...). I swear I just get out of the shower, put a little bit of this all over my hair and let it dry. No blow drying. Awesome!


 I am a little bit of a mint fanatic, and that makes me a hard person to please when it comes to this subject...nothing ever seems good enough. But now that I found these...I can't stop eating them! Damn you, See's Candies!  SERIOUSLY delicious! Help!

Best solution to use with racerback tops. You just attach those little thingies on your regular t-shirt bra and voilĂ ! You got yourself a racerback bra!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Another progression

It all started with this canvas:

Like it usually happens with me, after that first mess of color I kinda get stuck. And the painting stayed like that for a few days...I kept trying to find something in it, kept turning the canvas, and nothing. In the end, I simply got tired of looking at it and decided to start working on it...

And that's what happened:

Hey, maybe a see an owl...and a bird!

You know what? No...

 And here is the final (?) result:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seeing the whole picture

I had an empty wall in my studio, and yet all my ongoing paintings were either on the floor or leaning against some today I decided to hang them all. Not permanently, of course, but just as a way of 1) uncluttering the mess and 2) making it easier to see them from a distance and decide which one needs work.

What I wanted was to be able to see them all together and find the similarities, analyze the colors, compare the styles and - why not? - see the evolution.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Time to last!

I have been so involved in this blog thing - setting it up, making it look pretty and fully functional, trying to find out the difference between being a follower and a subscriber, and blah blah blah - that I hadn't painted in...well, awhile!

Anyway, this weekend, while dear hubby took the kids to the pool, I finally had some time to myself and decided to work on a painting that I had started awhile ago.

When I first started this piece, I was very much with Flora Bowley in mind and the fabulous way she creates layer upon layer of color, not worrying about what's she's gonna pull from there later on, but instead just being in the moment and having fun with the process. So I tried to mimic her style so I could have a good first layer, with lots of variation and color, to build upon.

That's my piece after the first layer.

And that's Flora. Photo by Tara Morris. You can see her photos here.
Anyway, I was so proud of my accomplishment afterwards (I really think I let go and made a good 'mess' here!) that I fell into the most basic mistake of all: I got attached. Now I was scared to touch it and ruin it! And so it sat in my studio for awhile...

I guess I finally got tired of looking at it, because yesterday I grabbed and thought "ok, time for a makeover!" And here's what came out of it:

In the end, I don't think I ruined it after all. I'm pleased with it. But I'm glad I took my time too. The wise Jesse Reno once said that's why you should work on several pieces at once. Less chance of getting attached to them. And if that happens, you can always work on another piece until you're ready to come back to the first one.