My Crafts and Cocktails group loves to play with different crafts together. One member of the group recently broke her right thumb and is in a cast. In a nod to Karen’s dilemma, we decided to each bring an inspiration photo of flowers in a vase and replicate it in acrylics using only our non-dominant hand. I had a few slips, resorting back to my dominant hand, but the effort loosened me up and made me laugh. Here’s mine — inspiration photo and replication.
Because Dan the Man is a pastry chef, we have several cute chefs decorating our kitchen. We had two chef pictures hanging on the wall by the dining room, and DTM asked me to replace them with something that I made. (Quite a compliment!) I’m afraid I can’t say these are 100% original. Since I’m a crappy draw-er, I used the lightbox in the studio to trace (using a Micron permanent pen) the outlines of the spoons and rolling pin from images I found on the Internet. I then used water colors to paint the images.
As you an see from the pictures below, they don’t lack some skill if you look too closely. But they look good on the wall, and that’s what counts, right?!
I know you’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the third installment of my Paint and Pass pictures (wink, wink). Last week, though, I was busy with my eight-year-old granddaughter, who hadn’t stayed with us for a year due to COVID. I skipped a week of blogging to play with Lulu, but I’m back again full steam.Read the rest of this entry
Our main Christmas tree (we have five!) is very tall and very skinny. Each year, we take down the art work that usually hangs on the wall behind where the tree is now situated. Every year, the wall looks empty except for the little area taken up by our thin tree. Art to the rescue!
I bought two 16”x20” canvases, and began with a layer of blue base paint. I varied the color a little and used some bubble wrap to add some texture to the blue (see close-up photo below).Read the rest of this entry
I played around with an app I purchased called PopArt. The photo below is one of my sweet granddaughters after eating something berry-flavored at Dairy Queen. Cute, huh?
I sent the photo to PopArt and converted it into this image within the app.
I saved the pop photo, sized it, and sent it to my printer. I then used a printed copy and a light box to trace the photo onto mixed media paper. Painting the picture was a pain, but here are two versions.
The colors of the bottom photo match her bedroom. The picture is now framed and ready for Christmas!
BFF and I have decided to work through a book of art lessons when we meet in the studio. The photo above shows our reference book — The Complete Painting Course, edited by Ian Simpson. So far, we’ve only managed to do the first lesson. The task was to set up a still life and use a limited palette to paint it. We set up the scene in the middle of our work table, BFF on one side and me on the other. BFF is a much more accurate draw-er than I am, but I still gave it a go. I won’t tell you whose is whose, but which one appeals to you?
Last week, I shared my progress in understanding artistic principles as I worked on an abstract canvas piece. (If you missed it, see https://crapsmanship.com/2020/08/09/progress/.) I worked more on the canvas today, covering up a few parts I wasn’t happy with and adding some texture using a piece of screen material and some gold paste. I haven’t decided if I’m finished with it yet, but I’m liking the improvement. Now to decide which way I want to hang it. What do you think?
I used an app called “ArtRooms” to “hang” the picture in a home setting. I used the free version of the app, but you can get rid of the watermark with a paid subscription. I like them both of the imaginary settings for my art. I just wish my house looked that good!
BFF and I recently bought two big canvases (70% off at Michael’s!) for the studio, and I’ve been experimenting with an abstract piece. I used to say that abstract art was easy — just slop some paint on a canvas. But it’s surprisingly hard. My photos today will show you my progress on the big canvas, which was also my first time painting on an easel. I am now much better at:
- mixing colors,
- avoiding making all the colors look like mud,
- being willing to paint over a section I’m not happy with,
- knowing I need to find balance,
- varying the sizes of my marks, and
- understanding that the piece needs to look good from afar and look interesting up close.
I still very much struggle with the ending — knowing when the piece is finished.
Here are several photos of the piece I’m working on right now. It starts with an attempt, then a total paint-over, and finally a direction to go, even though I’m not finished.
I’m also learning that art isn’t about the finished product, but rather the process and progress. Good learning!
BFF and I enjoy watching artists’ YouTube videos, and I just recently learned a very helpful trick from artist Adele Sypesteyn in this video “How to Get Unstuck in a Painting” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMgGFqJUVyE. You see, I do a very crappy job at imagining what a painting is going to look like if I’m contemplating a change to it. Here’s an example. I made this abstract picture that I really liked as is (see https://crapsmanship.com/2020/05/31/betty-krause-ish/), but then I decided to make it a little more representational by making my marks into flowers and creating a “pot” for the plant. CRAP ALERT: Below are my revisions. I DO NOT like it now! That pot is damn ugly!
With a little bit of elbow grease and a baby wipe (my granddaughter insists we call them “art wipes”!), I cleaned the sheet protector and then added a pink and yellow pot that brings out the colors in the flowers.
This I can live with! So I painted the yellow and pink directly onto the painting, added a few black lines, and I’m now much closer to a finished product.
As I usually do, I’ll live with the painting as-is for a while before I make a few more changes. But Adele’s trick kept me from making a difficult-to-fix error. Thanks, Ms. Sypesteyn. I’ll keep this trick in my crafting toolbox!
I’ve been drawn to abstract art lately, and it looks so easy to do. Just slap some colors on the canvas and call yourself an artist. NOT! This process has surprised me with its challenge. I’ve been watching the instructional videos of Betty Krause — her work is luminous, the colors are gorgeous, and her tutorials are explicit. (See her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_LtcQkDngMzTtnGtdl1gxA.) So I’ve tried to follow the general direction of her work. Here are two of my attempts.
The one above started life as a filler paper for a frame. I painted it with gesso, and then, ala Betty Krause, filled it with random marks using colored pencils.
I used water to spread the pencil marks around. Big slashes of black acrylic paint came next.
Here’s another one I made, following the same steps as I’ve described above.
This one’s hanging in my half bath with a wrong-color mat. Once quarantine lifts, I’ll need a trip to the craft store to try out different mat colors!