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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Trying to Find My Voice - Literally!

What Is an Artists Voice?

And How Can I Find It?

Is an artists voice similar to their style?

Style seems to me to be how you paint,
and voice seems to be what you say through your painting. 
Style, to me says things like painterly, abstract, impressionistic, realism, and on and on that can go.
I'm not sure what my style is.  

Voice is what am I trying to tell the
 viewer about the subject I painted.
Am I making a political statement, is it something I just love, do the colors speak to me?

Does that make sense and can you see the difference?

I personally, am having trouble with my voice,
as I explained in yesterdays blog post.
I'm not talking about my painting voice,
I'm talking about my "I want to say something but nothing comes out" kinda voice.

It's been 5 days since my vocal cord surgery,
and if anything, my voice is worse.

But hey,
I had a great day in the studio.
So let's talk about that voice.

I follow about 20 or so artists on a regular basis.
Becky Joy is one of my favorites and have taken some of her online classes.
Recently, she did a blog post about painting clouds
and how you have to have the gray in your painting to really see the white in clouds.

I love beautifully dramatic skies,
so while I was trying to come to grips with not being able to speak, I decided I'd speak through clouds today.

I know this doesn't look like much of a sketch,
but you can see I have a very low horizon line
and there are several layers in it.

I got a little carried away before I took my first photo.
I started out with the furthest horizon of dioxazine purple, ultramarine blue, cad orange light and white.
The goal was to make the distant horizon look very far away.
I added more purple and blue and orange, but not much white to make the closer horizon line so the two would show distance between them.

Unfortunately, I painted much more than I should have before I took the first photo.  
I started on the sky with ultramarine blue and dioxazine purple and white, and as I came down to the horizon line, I kept adding more white.
Then at the horizon line I made a mixture of Alizarin Crimson, Cad Red Light, Cad Orange Light and a touch of Cad Yellow light and white.  As I came up towards the bluer sky, I added more white so the two could blend together.  
I was looking for the gray color Becky Joy talked about in her post.  Click HERE to go to Becky's Art Tips page. 

 Here I am using a palette knife to add in some rough and scraggly trees and some of the layers of trees and bushes.  
I also added some light on the road/path.

I  began to add in the clouds trying to remember Becky's instruction about having gray in the clouds to see the white.
In these clouds I used some of the lightest color of the sky and then added the complement of purple, orange and then more white.  There is also some tourquoise deep in there, but just a tiny bit, because a little bit goes a very long way.

 I got out my script brush and added in some bare tree limbs and a few weeds and bushes, especially in the lower left front.

A Walk In The Clouds
11" x 14" acrylic on stretched canvas - unframed
$150 + $20 shipping 

One of my goals in this painting was to paint very loose and impressionistic.  I have to paint quickly to paint loose, and although I didn't give myself a specific time period,
I did not allow myself to play around for long in anyone passage.
I love the colors in this painting and I also think it proves, you understand it is either a sunrise or a sunset and how the colors bounce off the landscape.  Also, I worked with values more than correct colors.  The values can be seen as the color of the clouds on the bottom seem to just melt away into the sky and on the top they are much more pronounced and bright.   

There was a lot of backing up and seeing where things were and where they were telling me they should be.  I think if you really look at your painting, it will tell you where things should be.

In order to paint loose,
I need to use fewer tools.

These are the three brushes I used to create this painting.
(Ok, so one is a knife, but I used it.)

 There's a # 12 bristle brush, 3/0scriptliner and a palette knife.

Today was a good day in the studio and I hope you enjoyed this painting also. 
Please post in the comments what you like about this painting.

Hopefully you've subscribed to my blog and enjoy what I post on here.  If I can ever talk again, I plan to post more videos explaining my process.  You can subscribe to my blog by scrolling up to the top and putting your email address in the box on the right.  

Please feel free to share this blog with anyone you feel would be interested.

Have a great day.

See you next time.     


  1. You may have lost your voice but it has not affected your painting! I love the clouds and the colors,lovely warmth in this!
    I hope it's not too long until your voice returns:)

  2. Thanks so much Karen. I'm having a great time painting clouds and skies right now.


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About Me

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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.