Category: pastel

The Icing On the Cake

 

The Icing On the Cake

The Icing On the Cake

I honestly don’t know where this painting came from.  It’s almost like another artist did it.  There is a struggle going on inside of my artistic self.

I had a very hard time with this one.  I’ve only been painting for two years.  I used to do textile art.

Painting is a real adventure for me.  It has been a journey of some amazing discoveries, but also some very difficult struggles.

Chiringuito Life

 

Chiringuito Life-kcm blog

Chiringuito Life-kcm blog

Many of you are probably saying Chirin what?  That was my reaction.

I belong to a group on Facebook run by Louise Gale.  Louise lives in Spain on the Costa de Sol.  Lucky her.

Every month, she posts a Creative Challenge for us.  She gives us a topic and five colors.  Then we create.  Either, art, poetry, photography, whatever.

This month, the challenge was Chiringuitos.

Chiringuitos are little bars on the beach with thatch roofs.  So the challenge was to create something that reminded of us of these.  I have seen similar bars in Mexico.

This is my contribution to the group this month.

If anyone is interested, you’re welcome to join us.  Check it our here.

 

 

The Blog Hop

Wonderland

Wonderland

I’m so excited.  About two weeks ago, I discovered that art bloggers were doing blog hops.  Blog Hops are where one artist blogs about his/her art, and then asks three other artists to talk about their art in their blogs.

I really wanted to be asked to do one.  Then, last week, Yanik Falardeau asked me to participate in an art blog hop. Wow!  Thank you, God and Yanik.  Check out Yanik’s fabulous blog here

The lyme has flared back up.  Apparently general anesthesia, which I recently had, can cause this to happen.  I had been feeling very despondent about this, because I am very sick again.  So this has come at a really good time for me.

There are four questions I am to answer as part of this blog hop.

The first question is:  What are you working on at the present time?

I have just finished this painting, called Wonderland.

I took my first painting class from Flora Bowley in September, 2012.  I have been painting ever since.  As most of you know, I paint digitally.

Since I took Flora’s class, I have been working very hard to get my paintings to look like what I see in my mind.

I have been pouring over other people’s work looking for help and inspiration.  I look at work by Flora, students of Flora’s, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Matisse, Klee and many others. I want to paint as the big kids do.

I made progress and I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel in Peace at Last (posted here) and another painting.  But they were still not quite what I was trying to get.  There was just not enough going on in the paintings.

With this painting, I feel like I finally started to get what I wanted.  I finally got a painting to do what is in my head.  This is a huge break-through piece for me.  To me, Wonderland is freer and has depth.

I know I have a long ways to go, but I’m very encouraged.  I’m starting to really have a lot of fun painting.

The second question is:  How does my work differ from others in this genre?

Flora Bowley calls her students the Bloomers.  I really like the way Flora and many of her students paint.  However, in many of the student paintings, there is a tendency to pretty much copy almost exactly what Flora does.  People use the same exact symbols and color combinations she uses.

I decided that one thing I don’t want to do is have someone look at my work and say, “Oh, yeah, she took Flora’s Bloom True class.”  I want my work to reflect the unique creative person I am.

The next question is: Why do you create what you do?

I have FM/CFS/lyme and spend about 75% of my time in bed.  I had been a textile artist prior to becoming ill in 1994.  Then, I no longer was well enough to do textiles.  I thought I could no longer do what my soul wanted to do.  Then, I found out I could paint on the computer in bed with a Wacom tablet.  Being able to paint again and be creative has filled a hole in my soul.

I am driven to create.  It is like I don’t have a choice.  For some reason, God wants me painting.  I hope that it brings joy to others.

The last question is How does your creative process work?

While I work on a painting, I stay focused on that painting.  I work only on it.

When I paint, it takes me away to a very special place.  When I can find that place, then I can tap into what makes me creative and makes me feel very good.

I work in layers.  I start out with just throwing paint, pastels, whatever on the canvas.  I build up the layers of paint and marks, to hopefully give the end painting a lot of interest. This is the part I have been struggling with so much.  I think I touched it in this painting.

I have chosen three other artists I admire to carry on blogging about their art.  I hope you will check out their pages.

They are,

Karen Bonaker at Karen Bonaker Art;

Mary at Oil Pastels By Mary;

Mo Davies, at The Crazy Crone’s Arty Farty Studio

All three of these women are wonderfully creative artists.

 

Peace At Last

 

Peace At Last

Peace At Last

This painting was done using pastel brushes I made in Painter.

I took a painting class from Flora Bowley in September, 2012.  Since then, I have had an idea in my head of how I wanted to paint.  But getting it down on canvas has been a struggle.

I look and look at other art work.  I see what people are doing, but I can’t seem to do it.

This piece was a huge break-through for me.  I am closing in on how I want my work to look.

What I strive for in my art is to have a lots of light and dark contrast.  That is what makes a painting pop.  As much as I try, dark and light values have been a real challenge for me.  It sounds easy, but it’s not.

I learned a trick to use with digital painting.  In Painter, I open a new layer on top of the other layers.  I fill it with black and put it on colorize composite method.  When I am painting, I open this layer and it shows my painting in black, white and greys.  This lets me know if I am getting a good variety of values in my work.

With this piece, I did better than I usually do.  However, I discovered that if I use all highly saturated colors, they will all have the same value.

I was able to get a feeling of depth in this piece.  I have learned that I was able to do that because I used more light and dark values.

 

Wowie, Maui!

Wowie, Maui!

Wowie, Maui!

I have been absent from my blog for quite awhile.  I got tied up in this pastel and lost track of everything.  I had such a difficult time with this piece.  It really challenged me.

I do iterative saves of my work.  What’s that?  I too wondered when I saw this feature.  That means that as I progress with my painting, I save it as, Wowie, Maui 001, Wowie, Maui 002, etc.  That way if the painting takes an ugly turn, I can go back to an earlier version and restart.  It’s a great feature.

This pastel has 100 iterative saves!  The clouds have been through many changes in several different colors.  First, too dull, then too bright, then too this and then too that.  Ugh.  I finally got almost finished.  I decided to call it quits and just post it.

I showed it to my husband,  He said, “I don’t think you want to do that.”  Huh?  He’s supposed to love all my work.  However, I really appreciated his honesty.  In my heart, I knew it just wasn’t right.  But I was so frustrated.

What to do?

Ah, ha.  I called my friend, Aaron Rutten.  Aaron is a fellow digital artist.  He is incredibly knowledgeable about Painter and about composition, color theory, and on and on.  You can check out his web page here.

In addition to his web page, he has tons of videos on using Painter.  He is so generous with his knowledge.  I think this is just wonderful.  You can see his You Tube videos here.

Aaron also teaches at the Digital Art Academy (DAA).  His classes are a lot of fun to take and everyone learns a lot.  Check out his advanced landscape class here.  I have also taken his introductory Landscape class and the Collage class.  I never could have done any of my landscapes or sunsets without the knowledge I gained in his classes.

So, Aaron came over to give me a lesson in Painter and art.  I showed him this sunset, and he immediately had some very simple, but incredibly helpful suggestions.  I was thrilled.

Aaron gives lessons in person and via the web.  If you ever want input on your art, I highly recommend him.  His charges are very reasonable.

So, after being lost in this pastel, I’ve come through the other side.  I hope you enjoy it.  I finally do.

Maui at Dusk

 

Maui at Dusk

Maui at Dusk

Here’s another pastel sunset I did.

This one took forever to do.  I only started painting in 2012, and I’ve only been doing anything realistic for about six months.  So there are a lot of lessons for me to learn.  Like perspective, colors of objects close and colors of objects far away.  The further away, the lighter is the rule.  This doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s true.  I went outside and looked.

I have been using reference images, to help me with my landscapes.  However, in this piece, I took a giant leap forward and used a first image, then added the palm trees and ocean in on my own.  So I feel like I’m making progress.

I want to eventually paint in a way that is unique to me.  I want people to look at my work and recognize my style.  Like, “ah, ha, a Mitchell.”  Ha ha ha.  But I know from prior experience that if I just work at this, show up and stay positive, it will happen.

I want to thank everyone who is reading my blog and liking my art work.  It really means a lot to me.

 

A Field of Poppies

A Field of Poppies

A Field of Poppies

I am very pleased with how this pastel turned out.  It was initially called A Tree in the Sunset.  I struggled with the clouds. It was unbelievable.  I just couldn’t get them right.  I redid them and redid them.  The advantage of digital art is my two favorites, undo and erase.

I was still not liking this piece, when I ran across a picture of a field of poppies.  Red is my favorite color.  Anytime I get an opportunity to add it to my art, I grab it.

I still struggled with this piece further, but finally it is done.

I belong to several private art groups on Facebook.  They are a great place to hang my art.  They are all very supportive.  Everyone always just loves your art.  Of course, if there were some helpful suggestions, we could all grow as artists.  But sometimes, artists just need to know their art is liked and loved.  Artists mostly work alone, and can get isolated.  This is especially true in my case because I am limited because of the FM.

I found a new FB page recently.  It is called Magically Mixed Art Community.  It is filled with fabulous art.  It has over 15,000 members.  It was started by Tracy Verdugo, a very talented artist and writer.  You can check out her blog here.  You can check out the Facebook group here.  I posted this pastel there and got an overwhelming response to it.  I was blown away.  It feels so good to have so many talented artist like my work.  It has been a long time since that has happened.  Like 20 years.

I hope you all enjoy the poppies.

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