Monday, December 31, 2012

Prep Work

I roughed in my first 7 paintings for the challenge. Five of them are ACEOs, one 4x4, one 5x7. None of them are much to look at, at the moment. This is the only one that makes some vague sense:

 I don't know why this app insists on rotating it.

Interestingly, this ACEO paper seems to dry faster than canvas. And I love my black gesso. It's a lot cheaper, especially on large canvas, to base coat it with black rather than using expensive oil paint to make a dark background. Not to mention it dries super fast.

Maybe I should explain what an ACEO is.  It stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals, and they're also called ATCs (Art Trading Cards).  You can browse the Art Cards site to check some out, and you can also find lots of them on Etsy

They have one main rule - they must be 3.5 x 2.5 inches, the size of a trading card.  Collecting them is a cool way to buy affordable art (they're affordable because they're so small), and support artists, without breaking the bank.  They can be any subject, any media, or mixed media.  If you make them, I'd be open to trading, just because it's fun :)

If you buy some, check to see whether you're getting an original or a print, just so you're aware. 

Because I'm trying to crank out 30 paintings in the next month, and because I've always wanted to dabble in making ACEOs, I plan to do a significant number of these this month in oil (mainly), watercolor, pastel, maybe colored pencil, and probably a few Zentangles and other similar stream-of-consciousness art (expect spirals... I love spirals).  You may even see wire show up on a few of them, since my main art at the moment is jewelry.

A good start, I think, and some of the work I've been doing for the past few weeks is close to being done too.  Wish me luck! :)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Challenge: 30 Paintings in 30 Days

I've been thoroughly enjoying Leslie Saeta's podcast, Artists Helping Artists.  Through it I discovered the concept of Daily Painting and it's been great for keeping me focused and motivated to keep going with painting as often as I can (life happens... I can't paint every day but I can shoot for that as an ideal).

Because I paint in layers, and my paints take days to dry,  it's been a real challenge for me to finish a painting every day.  I've been at this three weeks now and haven't really finished much of anything due to drying time, holidays, and I'll confess it, a little bit of artistic timidity ("Not quite right... I'll have to wait for this layer to dry and work on it another day").

So, when Leslie first talked about the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge, I thought, that's unrealistic for me, with my painting style.

But because of the aforementioned timidity, and because I can't seem to loosen up enough to paint something abstract without fussing about it, I decided to go for it.  I'm going to be working on a lot of ACEOs, and playing with watercolor and abstractions, maybe some drawing and maybe some other media.  I'm going to rough some stuff in on the same day I finish things so that I can keep up.  But I think I can do it, so... I'm in!  I'm hoping I'll loosen up a bit in the process.  I figure if nothing else, I can do a Zentangle in a day, right? 

Maybe on top of watercolor.  Hmm...

This starts January 2nd and goes through the rest of the month.  Ready, set...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

There is Beauty Out There

I thoroughly enjoyed this painting session, although. I was mean to my brushes.  Is it taking shape yet? It's abstract but it's not.  Got a guess?

I was happy to discover that NASA's photographs were public domain.  I have wanted to try something like this for a while.

Friday, December 28, 2012


The valley spirit not dying
Is called the mysterious female.
The opening of the mysterious female
Is called the root of heaven and earth.
Continue on the brink of existence
To put it into practice. Don't try to force it.
-- Tao Te Ching

This is a Zentangle. I'm playing with it so I can work on my abstracts.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sakura Sakura

A little more definition on the foreground blossoms. I'm headed to Hobby Lobby to spend my Christmas gift card from my son Brandon on painting stuff, and maybe some fiber stuff.  :D

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What am I?

I'm playing. Otherwise... I have no idea where I'm going with this.

True Colors

I was listening to the Artists Helping Artists podcast the other day. The painter - Hedi Moran - said that she gets her vibrant colors by painting an undercoat in transparent paints.

This really was not something I had paid much attention to. I tend to mix a lot of titanium white into my colors, which means that they are all opaque, for the most part, with the exception of some of my greens and blues.

So today I pulled out some canvas paper and wrote the names of each of the paints I own, with a black line to paint over so that I can gauge the transparency of the color. I made these little charts, which I think will be very handy to refer to while I'm painting.

I definitely want to experiment with this concept of a transparent underpainting. Karen showed me how to do a burnt sienna underpainting (burnt sienna seems to be at least semi transparent) and I love starting a painting that way.

I got a Hobby Lobby gift certificate for Christmas... I may use it to buy more transparent colors.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


A little work on my cherry blossoms. I darkened the lower corner of the sky, defined branches, filled in some background blossoms, and defined the shapes of the foreground flowers a bit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I want to try painting something abstract, so I thought I'd lay down a base coat for a couple of abstracts. So I basically just played with colors and brush strokes.

I feel like I cheated and didn't "really" paint today.

Also, abstract painting is messy.  My easel looks like an artist uses it, finally.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Grey Ghost

A little more work on the Weimaraner. Ears and face mostly.

I didn't get a chance to paint this weekend. Lots of social activities, went to see the Hobbit. Which in my opinion was art in itself. If I lived in New Zealand I think I would be a landscape painter. That is, If I could ever commit to painting just one thing... Which I doubt.