Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Self Administered Art Therapy

This month I ended up in some self administered art therapy sessions. As with many others, I have found myself at home with more time than I ever imagined. With home delivery of groceries, prescriptions, and just about anything else, there is a huge savings of time.  Who knew? Not me.

So much news, so much time, what does one do? I invested some time in exploring learning platforms. I've always enjoyed teaching myself and learning new things, so what better time? It didn't take too long until I stumbled upon Skillshare, a wonderful platform full of all kinds of instructional videos and workshops.

I've been a painter all my life, so the videos on learning to paint didn't really draw me in. I've always practiced drawing skills, but I have too short of an attention span to become an artist with refined drawing skills. Drawing portraits and detailed still life just didn't work for me so I bypassed most of those, too. But then I stumbled upon a video about doodling by Cathy Wu and how it is beneficial to your creativity and memory skills. I used to doodle a lot, but then just drifted away from it.  It inspired me to spend my evenings doodling rather than playing solitaire on my phone. So I began.

Here is a snapshots of some of my initial doodles.



Very basic, indeed, but I kept at it.  Then I found a lot of videos on using Photoshop in your art. I don't have the full Photoshop version, but instead Photoshop Elements, a basic version that has enough features for a beginner. I took a photo of one of my doodles, colored it, and created a png file. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out Skillshare, you can learn.  Anyway, here is one of my images all colored and pretty.


It is quite simple, but it made me happy that I had learned something new. I turned to my printshop and placed it on a t-shirt as well as some other products.

Now I am going somewhere.  I modified the design and created this:

Now I am having so much fun that I am learning about some new venues where my simple doodles look wonderful on a variety of products. I am going to keep creating and hope to turn my doodles into some passive income.  Stay tuned, I'll let you know where I go from here.  In the meantime, checkout Skillshare. It is a great way to productively spend your time and learn a thing or two. Here is a link to a free trial offer. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Little Memories


Another year has passed and I continue to paint! January has been a month of looking back, reviewing photos from my travels, and then creating sweet little paintings.  It is a joy to turn on a little music and revisit my adventures this way.  One in this collection has already sold, but most will be available in my Etsy Shop until mid April. All are 6x6 inch oil paintings on stretched canvas. Hope you will stop by and take a look.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Keeping Busy and Loving the Clouds

It has been a while since I have posted, but not for lack of activity on my part. I've been busy this past year with lots of experiments in my art, lots of travel for inspiration, and lots and lots of painting.  I've been doing a lot of quick updates using Instagram since it is quicker than a blog update.  If you would like to follow me on Instragram, you will see my works in progress and some of my experimental art.  Here is where you can follow me: https://www.instagram.com/smallimpressions/

I've also taken on quite an obsession with painting clouds recently. If you visit my Facebook Art Page here, you can view a video of some of them. 

Here is one of my favorites which I listed today in my Etsy Shop:


Prairie Cloud
14x14 Oil on Canvas

Sunday, January 27, 2019

It's All About the Trees


Oil on Canvas
8x10 inches each

Trees have my attention these days. Color, light, and texture all help to convey the quirky personalities of each.  They have funny twisting shapes, branches that sprout haphazardly from their trunks, and a vast depth of color and texture. 

River Park Tree
Oil on Canvas
11x14

The hardest part about painting in the winter season of the Northwest is that it takes forever for oil paint to dry. The moisture in the atmosphere prolongs the process and then I run out of places to store the paintings while they dry.  

Monday, November 26, 2018

Water and Clouds--A Nice Little Discovery



Oil on Canvas

The past few months I've spent a lot of time focusing on how to paint clouds, the shapes, the colors, the way they travel across the landscape. I painted quite a few little paintings and felt happy about the outcomes. You can see some of them in my Etsy Shop.  When I finally tired of painting clouds, I decided to focus on seascapes, a subject I had not spent a lot of time with in spite of the fact that I live near the coast. My mother was a seascape painter and I always felt she did a wonderful job, but I was a bit intimidated with the idea of following in her footsteps. Then I tried a few little ones.


6x6 inches
Oil on Canvas

What I learned was that painting splashes is not unlike painting clouds. Logically I should know this, after all, clouds are made of water. So recently I've been experimenting with some little seascape paintings. So much fun. A couple of them have found their way to my Etsy Shop, others are still sitting on my drying rack and will eventually join the one above. Lesson learned:  look for similarities, not just differences. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Interview with The Earning Artist


6x6 Oil on Canvas

So excited about an interview I had recently with Monica from The Earning Artist. We talked about my experiences selling art and my Etsy shop Small Impressions. You can read the article here

I'm also excited about a series of paintings I created after a recent trip to Montana. I definitely recommend visiting Montana in September. It is gorgeous with beautiful weather and amazing scenery. Most of the trip was spent in the Bitterroot Valley just south of Missoula. If you go, take a bicycle, ride the Bitterroot trail, take your sketchbook and a camera. The experience has provided me with subjects that will last for months.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Travelling Artist


On the road almost all summer visiting wonderful places around the Northwest, I kept painting even though I neglected posting. Now that September is here, I will share some of my adventures and plan to be more consistent with my blog posts.

First of all, I've quit trying to travel with oil paints. At least for now. I decided I needed something with a quick setup and clean up.  Oil paints can be messy and challenging to transport. Instead, I take lots of photos for when I return home and can take my time and paint in my studio.  

In spite of the trouble with oils, I haven't quit painting on the road. Instead I've shifted to using gouache paints. They are a water media that dries quickly like watercolor paints. The setup and cleanup feels more efficient than oils. Unlike traditional watercolors, however, gouache is opaque. I can layer and apply in a manner more like oil paints and I like that they dry to a nice matte finish.







Now that fall has returned, I plan to be more consistent with my blog posts. I'm pretty good with my instagram posts and I list items almost daily in my Etsy Shop.  You can see more of my gouache work and my oil paintings there.



Saturday, May 19, 2018

Spring Update--It's About the Palette Knife

Since my last posting, I've continued to play with abstractions in a square format. Using palette knives and oil paints on canvas, I've found the delight of experimentation with color and texture. Nature has continued to inspire me. The color of the land, the sky, and the horizon line have been pulled and pushed as their reality moves into a place in my imagination and appears in a new form on the canvas.


6x6 Oil on Canvas
Sold


6x6 Oil on Canvas
Sold

More in the series can be found here as reproductions. My originals in the series are here.

I still work on landscapes, still life paintings, and a few little birds and animals, but right now these little squares are personally the most rewarding.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest are used to a good amount of rain. We buy raincoats, boots, and waterproof pants. We are used to gray skies and soggy ground. As a lifetime Northwesterner, I've also developed some mental coping mechanisms to get me through the season of water. First I think of all things warm and sunny; I recall places I've been that were warm, pleasant, and peaceful.  I pull out old photos and reminisce about sunshine and dry ground. Finally, I paint. This tactic has motivated me this past week to paint a series of little paintings, none of which involve rain. All are 6x6 inches square and completed with oil paints on stretched canvas. When the paint is dry, I will probably list them for sale along with some of my other small landscape paintings. You can check them out here. Stay dry! 






Saturday, January 27, 2018

Playing in the New Year



The new year has begun and so has a spark of abstract inspiration. I've recently been working on a series of little oil paintings that help me understand color and design a little bit better. The series involves working on some little 6x6 inch square canvases, using a palette knife, and experimenting. Some of these little compositions turn out well, and some do not, but I've enjoyed the effort of playing with paint.



As the paint dries, I will be listing the original paintings for sale in the Abstract Art section of my Etsy Shop. I hope you will stop by. There are more to come, but the paint isn't dry yet. 








Sunday, November 19, 2017

Nice Day for Ducks


As a native Northwesterner, I am well versed in the culture of rain. When the days of endless drizzle get to be too much, we imagine we have webbed feet, put on a raincoat, and try to pretend we don't mind. Often, when the moisture is heavy, I've heard people comment that it is, "a nice day for ducks." With this in mind, I had a fun afternoon last week painting some little web footed creatures. This is one of my favorites. I placed this fellow on a sunny bank, gave him a shadow, and tried to imagine a little warm weather. In my world, it was definitely a nice day for ducks. The little painting was created with oil paints on a small 4x6 canvas panel. He's for sale in my Etsy Shop where I will be listing the rest of his friends as soon as the paint is dry.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Getting Ready for Snow


This week I've been doing some more small studies, auditioning my ideas for something larger. Both of these paintings were inspired by a series of photographs I took while on a snowshoeing adventure in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State last winter. Both are oil paintings, the top one 8x10 and the smaller one 6x6. I have some canvases that are 24x30 and 30x30 that need to be covered with paint, so these little ones might go big, or might stay small. Undecided at this point.

You can find my original work at Smallimpressions and at Ugallery, or click on any of the links to the right.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Painting Process




It feels good to be back in my studio after several months of travelling. Although my paint brush was still, I continued to store up ideas for future projects. The first step in my painting process is to take numerous photographs, store memories, and think. After I am back in the studio, I spend time reminiscing and reviewing. Exploration of different scenes follows. These two little paintings, size 6x8 and 8x8 are explorations of the same scene on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. I couldn't decide whether a square format or a landscape format would serve the scene best, so I painted both with the idea of creating a larger version. I eventually sell the smaller studies here and the larger versions here. The decision on format is still percolating, but completing this exercise has help me draw some conclusions. What do you think? Square format or landscape? 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Mountains and Coast

Hurricane Hill
8x8 Oil on Canvas
SOLD

Salt Creek
8x8 Oil on Canvas
SOLD

Last month I had the pleasure of visiting the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State with a group of friends. We ventured from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Hurricane Ridge and hiked along the sea and in the mountains all within one day. I arrived home with lots of inspiration for painting the lovely landscapes of the area. A series of 8x8 square format landscapes emerged after the trek. The two paintings above are my favorites. The rest can be viewed here in my portfolio. As the paint dries I will be selling the originals in my Etsy Shop and perhaps doing some larger versions to submit to my Ugallery portfolio

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Encaustic Journey

Red and Black 1
6x6 Encaustic

Always eager to experiment with new art mediums, encaustic painting is a method with which I had no experience until recently. The ethereal sense that the process produces has long intrigued me, so I finally did some research, bought some supplies, and jumped in. Encaustic is a classic form of art that uses bee's wax and heat to produce a design.  Above is one of my first paintings using the process. I am delighted to report that it was fun and not nearly as difficult as I imagined. I'm sure I will continue to play with the process. Below are two more compositions from my exploration. I hope you like them.

Red and Black 2
6x6 Encaustic

Red and Black 3
6x6 Encaustic