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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.
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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.

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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.

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 brush resource guide.

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Sign up by clicking on the painting below.

Click HERE to view my online beginning painting courses.

Thanks for stopping by today!
Happy Painting!

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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 and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.