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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why Artists Go Crazy

Are Artists Crazy?

Not much doubt there.
And here's one of the reasons.

I did this fun, abstracty (I know it's not really a word)
background the other day and I thought I'd do a progression of a painting using it, so I took a photo of it.
Didn't like it.
So I moved it.
Didn't like it.
So I moved it.
Do you see a pattern evolving.
With every pic I checked
to see if it was closest to the actual colors. 
They weren't!
You hear all these suggestions for taking photos of art
  • Take it in natural light
  • Take it in the morning or evening
  • Have your camera on a tripod
  • Make sure the painting is parallel to a wall
  • Hang your tongue out the left side of your mouth 
Are you kidding me?
These pictures were all taken within2 minutes of each other,
in my studio.
If I had taken them outside, it is so humid here now,
it would have been as if you were looking through fog.
The last photo is the most correct,
but that's not really saying much.
See you later when I can calm down and paint something
on that background.
Don't forget to sign up to win my free painting this month.
Scroll back to the top and on the right hand side is a box to put your email in to follow my blog.  Put your email in there and you're in for every painting I give away.
Click HERE to give a little look see to my online beginning painting course and individual iris painting class. 
I just created a Pinterest board, Motivation Monday, featuring all my Motivation Monday blog posts.
Click HERE to check it out.  
Lots of great stuff on there to keep you motivated
for anything.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by today.


Monday, July 25, 2016

How Can I Find Joy

Finding Joy

Allowing Joy

Planning for Joy 
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Planning for Joy

Allowing Joy

Finding Joy

It's sort of a which came first,
the chicken or the egg syndrome.

Can we simply find joy?
Is it just lying around waiting for us to pick it up?

Do we allow joy into our lives?
I think often we don't allow joy into our lives because we feel we don't deserve it or we are so miserable with an aspect of our lives, we don't allow joy in when it's knocking right on our door. 

But do we plan for joy?
How do we plan for joy?
I believe joy can be planned for.  We can consciously make a decision to be aware of what brings joy into our lives and hearts and then put ourselves in a position to receive or experience that joy.  

There are certain colors, like watermelon and aqua and lavender or rose that I love.  I need to see those colors in my world around me and plan to feel joy when I see them.
I use those colors in paintings and it brings joy and I allow it to come into my heart.

  This is a joy painting to me.

Fav subject matter, fav colors.
I know that when I look at this painting, or other similar paintings, I will have joy, if only for the moments I am looking at the painting.

Joy can be fleeting or more permanent.
As we decide to plan for and allow joy in our lives,
because we are worth it
and we do deserve it,
We will find joy more and more often.

We should surround ourselves with the people and things and food that bring joy into our lives. 

How and where do you find joy?
Plan to get more of that into your life every day
and push out some of those things that rob us of joy.
Negativity can really rob us of joy.
What robs you of your joy?
Chaos, addictions, control, are a few more of the things that can rob us of joy.

Post in the comments about your joy, what robs you of joy, and what you plan to do about that.

As for me, I intend to be nicer to myself and surround myself with more of the colors and things that bring me joy.

Can't wait to hear your plan.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Technique Tuesday - Let's Paint Sunflowers

Let's Paint Sunflowers

We had a gigantic sunflower pop up in one of our gardens
this summer, we hadn't planted.

It's got gorgeous, deep green leaves and one super huge sunflower head and a stalk as big as a childs arm.

My husband cut it and brought it in for me to use as a model.

I've been painting daisies and echinaceas for over a week,
so the change to a sunflower was very welcome.

 Here's the sunflower.

I chose a 14 " x 11" stretched canvas for my painting.
I wanted the sunflower to fill up the canvas.

I toned the canvas with various shades of burnt sienna.
I wanted a warm painting and the purpose of toning the canvas is the color can show through and you can either warm up or cool down a painting from the inside out, depending on what color you use to tone the canvas.

You can see on this canvas it is lighter at the top than at the bottom.  I'm planning on putting a large sunflower in the top section of the canvas.
At this point, you don't have to have all the details of the painting planned out, but it is helpful to know approximately where the main focus of the painting will be. 

 Next I did lots of criss crossed strokes, simulating leaves in many shades of green, using Hookers Green, Ultramarine Blue, Tourquoise Deep, Cad Yellow Medium, and Cad Orange medium.

It is very abstract at this point, but again, it is darker near the bottom and lighter at the top.
The toned canvas comes through and gives not only warmth, but also depth to the painting.

I painted some very large leaves in the background first, but of course most of them are covered up by the flower, but they do still peek out from beneath.

The important thing to remember when painting anything is to give it some depth, you need different values.
Otherwise your painting will look very flat.
There are basically two rings of petals around the sunflower and the top one is not only lighter, but they are also shorter.
The petals at the top are hanging down so you are seeing the back side of the petals.  That's why their color is so much different than the ones you see directly facing you.

Once finished with the flower, I went back and added some highlight to a few pieces of leaves to bring them forward.

Depth Rule of Thumb
Things in the distance are cooler and lighter.
Things closer to the viewer are warmer and brighter.

This rule is true even if the distance is just a few inches.
You need the value shift to create distance.
Or the flower would look very flat and the perspective would be off.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy painting.

Click on the pic below to receive your acrylic paint cheat sheet.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July

Happy Fourth of July

Here's hoping your holiday is filled with

To all those who serve in the armed forces and
first responders,
Thank you for your service.

 May we ever remember the blood, sweat and tears,
it took to make this great nation,
and the sacrifice of those who continue
to keep us safe.

Thank you for your service.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Good Practice Paper

What's The Best Surface to Practice On?

Any surface is better than nothing,
here's what I like to use.

This is canvas paper.
It comes in several sizes.
I like it because it has tooth like a stretched canvas,
but it is much less expensive.
If you get something you'd like to keep,
you can matt and frame it.
It feels like real canvas in the way it moves,
but it comes on a pad and you get at least 10 sheets,
usually for under $10.
 I tape it to a board all the way around using painters tape.
I leave it on there until it's completely dry.
It sort of warps while wet, but dries completely flat.

 Here's what I practiced on today.
We have lots of daisies and cone flowers in our gardens 
right now,
so of course I have to paint them.

We have lots of huge clumps of daisies along our driveway.
 Echinacea (cone flowers) are another flower we have lots of.

I'm sure I'll be doing more practice on these.

Click the pic below to receive your FREE
 brush resource guide.

Don't forget, 
I give away a FREE painting every month.
Sign up by clicking on the painting below.

Click HERE to view my online beginning painting courses.

Thanks for stopping by today!
Happy Painting!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Do You LOVE Suprises?

Well I Sure Do!

I give a painting away every month to people who sign up to receive my blog and newsletter in their inbox.

Last month I gave away this,

 a 7" x 5" palette knife painting of a dahlia.

I pulled out the name of Torrie Smiley.
She is a fellow artist who also subscribes to my blog.

It may surprise many of you who read my blog,
that artists subscribe to lots of other artists blogs.

I know I subscribe to 20-30 or more artists blogs
because I love to view art work, 
and artists are often very free with information
on how and why they painted their most recent work.
You can learn a lot by following artists blogs.

Any way, I sent Torrie an email, as I do with everyone who wins a painting and the winner has 24 hours to respond.
She responded within 10 minutes
and was so excited she said she was going to send me a painting in return.

Boy was I shocked and surprised.

This is me and my new lovely painting from Torrie Smiley.
It's beautiful and I love it!
And you should see how she packaged it.
It was a thrill to open the box it was in.
Click HERE  to view more of Torrie's beautiful work.

Here it is sitting on my sofa table in my living room.
I have a small collection of artwork from other artists.
It's like having my own mini art gallery.
 Thank you so much Torrie.  
I love it!
Collecting art from a single artist,
artists with similar subject matter,
a particular medium,
or all of the above,
is very rewarding.
The best thing about having original art
is every time you view it,
you can't help but think of the artist hands touching the piece,
why they painted what they painted,
the colors they chose,
the effect it has on you.
I have some prints,
but I don't really appreciate the art as much as I do 
when viewing original art. 
I am always looking at the brush strokes,
the composition,
what the artist saw and felt
as the piece was painted.
If you don't own any original art,
I suggest you start with a small piece
of a subject you love and colors you love.
There are places to go to view original art.
You can google original artists,
or there is a site for Daily Painters
who, as the name implies, paint every day.
They have challenges and auctions on this website and you can pick up some beautiful original art
at affordable prices.
Click HERE to view Daily Paintworks.
When you go to an art show or art fair,
most artists will have small work as well as their larger more expensive work. 
FASO is a company that has software for artists websites.  They promote their artists with a daily art show and they show off the work of many artists.
You can see thumbnails of lots of original art by many artists and you can go to their website to view their art and follow those ones you like.
Click HERE to see their Daily Show  
Hopefully you'll check out some new artists
and their original art and begin to invest in your own original art. 



Monday, June 13, 2016

Re-Kindling The Fire

Re-Kindling The Fire

Since I haven't posted for almost two weeks,
you might think my fire went out.

And since that almost never happens,
you might be right - 

Sort of!

I've been sick.
I have no voice.
I've had no energy.
I'm having computer problems.

But now I'm ready to re-kindle my fire.

When you lay a fire the first thing you put in is some paper or something else easy to burn.
Then you add some material that is a little sturdier, like cardboard.
Then you add some dry twigs.
Next you'll need something bigger, but not much bigger.

Then you light it and wait a few minutes.
You might have to fan the flames at this point.
You might need to add more small dry material.

Once it starts to go, then you'll add some bigger pieces of wood
and finally you'll add logs when it's really going.

In my re-kindle my fire activity
I went to my go to activity first.
1. My go to activity is something I paint with ease or something I really like to paint.  In this case, it was a re-do of a painting.  (I'll show you later).

2.  Start Small and Build Up.  Just like in building a fire, you don't put the logs on first, but you start with the small stuff that burns easily and build up from there.  I didn't start out with a brand new painting, but I pulled out something I had done a while ago that I wasn't happy with and worked on a section of it.  

3.  I fanned the flames by watching a few videos of what I wanted to work on, painting clouds, and then I decided what I wanted to change in the painting and finally I started painting.

4.  In building a fire you have to add more wood in varying degrees as the fire grows, so in my painting, once I had the clouds finished, I worked on the background trees, hay field and finally the hay bales.  

5.  Enjoy what you create.  As I created/repainted this painting, I enjoyed every section along the way that I re-did, and if I didn't repaint it, I totally enjoyed that portion.  After all, I had nothing to lose.  I already didn't like the painting so I only had one way to go - 

 So, I've been motivated and I hope you have too.

Have a great day
and let's paint together sometime.

About Me

My photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows. I work almost daily trying to improve my art and all that entails. I try to learn all I can from others and from the earth itself by being aware of all God has created and its beauty. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at You can also purchase through my gallery website at . Thank you so much for stopping by.