Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What to do when you're running out of art supplies

1. When you're out of colors that you want mix them

2, when you run out of things to mix them with, switch media.

I start working by doing paintings with tube acrylic paints, when I run out of those I go back to using bottle acrylics on wood with either furniture projects, bird houses, boxes or dala horses.

When I run out of those there's always watercolors or colored pencils on a variety of different papers.

If I run out of those too it's on to found objects or junk mail. the main thing is that if you're motivated enough there's always a way to do something creative.

 Don't wait for that perfect moment or think that you have to have something special to work with, just live in the moment and grab whatever you've got to make your world a better place.

Creative Design and Re-purposing Solutions for the Dining Room

As you can see the little stand that I've got this toaster oven on is not an ideal solution so I grabbed a pencil and a yardstick determined to find a solution.

I've had my eye on the small vented door in this old kit built cabinet and decided to include it in my design because it's the perfect size for a breadbox.

Here's the design that I came up with to make better use of that space under the toaster oven. You'll have to admit that having the breadbox under the toaster is bound to come in handy.

This old kit build is starting to get wobbly, the cams are popping out and the shelf is sagging so we've decided to salvage the solid pieces, doors and drawers and incorporate them into a built in wall to increase our storage space and improve the look of the room.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Capturing the power of the garden in a painting, unveiling the completed painting

 Those of you that have read the blog for some time will not be surprised that I'm as passionate about my garden as I am about painting. It all comes together nicely here, don't you think so?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Impressionism, expressionism and whatever this is

These photos were taken in different light, (night and day)

Not sure where this is headed today, just using up some of the last bits of the tube acrylics and playing with it a bit.

I stood it on it's head a while to try to get some fresh perspective and then just abandoned that and dived into the paint again reveling in it's ability to take me to another place and keep my mind off my problems for a while.

 I can't recommend it enough. Remember you're not trying to do anything or please anyone, you just want to relax and slip away from the real world for a while. You'll be surprised at how refreshing this little recess can be. You return to your day relaxed, refreshed and ready to go.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cool blues, Cardinals return and life goes on

Bits of blue swirl around the painting and even dance into the center of the flowers. It's a cool blue, like the sky outside today as the cold snap begins to lift and the cardinals return to the garden.

 I also stained a small shaker box made by a friend in a local woodworking group. It's amazing the level of craftsmanship all around us if we look for it. There seems to be a special warmth and life to objects carefully made by hand, don't you think so?

I wasn't happy with the finish I'd applied to the box so I went back to this and reveled in the fact that flinging paint is SOOO therapeutic and always makes me feel better. Give it a try, I think you'll like it.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Morning coffee, growing berries and the day ahead

It's another cold and sunny morning here. Below zero temperatures cause school delays and I find myself missing the garden until I remember that I don't have to, I've still got raspberries in the freezer.

The varieties of black raspberries that I grow now seem to freeze much better than the red and gold ones that I used to grow. They are much smaller but firm and hold their shape well. I wish I'd been keeping notes back when I planted them so I can tell you which ones we're using. Of course that wouldn't matter much because the bees cross things and the types of berries you get will change over time.

That has been most noticeable with the strawberries, I'd been growing 3 or 4 different varieties that had traits that I wanted and over the years they've kind of all run together and seem even more amazing that any of the single varieties used to be.

I'm planing to add some alpine strawberries this year and am excited about a variety called Elan which is supposed to have 30 - 50% higher levels of vitamin C and be certified organic seedlings. I'll let you know more about this later in the year.

Well, I'd best get on with my day. I'm getting low on tube acrylics so I'm going to switch from the large, fun painting to the small sunflower with the red background because I've promised that one to someone and I need to be sure I'll be able to finish that first. 

Well, I finished this and sent it on its way before jumping back into the fun one.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Warm Colors

 It's a bright and sunny day here in spite of the bitter cold outdoors and as always I consider myself lucky to have a roof over my head in this weather.

I continue to crochet hats for the homeless,I thought I'd put a pretty edge on this one to cheer people up as I consider ways that I can use this painting to help fund them if I ever get it finished.

Meanwhile I reach into the warm end of the paintbox and take the colors for another wild ride.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Beyond the Sunflowers

It stopped being about the sunflowers a long time ago, there's just the paint, the process and the feeling that they give me.

People have been painting sunflowers for hundreds of years and I don't expect to have anything new or exciting to add to the party, there's really no reason that I should expect to.

The colors dance around and I float along with them, my breathing slows, I relax and begin to feel a warm glow that begins to creep into the painting with each new color choice.

It probably could have been left here but I pulled out a few more paints and took it for another spin.

I was having so much fun that I reached for another canvas to take along for the ride.

This is the point that I left it at tonight. It's getting late and I need to make some supper.

After supper I went back to work on this one for a while. It's no where near finished yet but I signed it early because I've already promised it to someone.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Remembering the garden, it's not about the sunflowers anymore

Somewhere along the way the focus on this painting changed from remembering the garden and trying to capture the sunflowers.

Now it's just about the paints, the tools and the brushstrokes and whether I want to carry on with it.

It's beginning to remind me of a lot of things and pull me in a lot of directions but I still can't tell where it's going, I'm just along for the ride.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Continuing to paint and wondering when to stop

I'm still not really sure where this is going and am beginning to wonder is I'm overthinking or over working it. sometimes I just don't know when to quit.

Perhaps the fact that it feels good to paint is reason enough to continue working on this.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Between creativity, imagination and Sunflowers

Some projects go on and on and this painting is likely to be one of those so I've been back to my Zazzle stores in between the painting to design some new things and delete a few old ones.

It's a wonderful thing to design anything you want with your favorite pictures on it. I must confess to indulging myself creating things I'd love to have instead of targeting products for customers. For me it's all about the creative urge and letting my imagination come out to play.

Another day and a night went into the sunflowers sends me back to Zazzle to look at the sunflowers that I've done before to see if I've really got anything new to say about them. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Back to the Sunflowers

Not much I can really say about least so far, there's still a lot of work ahead before it will be anywhere near finished.

The flowers seem to be going better but I'm still not sure where I want to go with the leaves and background.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Bad Television, Good Writing and the urge to Create

Do you ever watch so much bad television that you find yourself thinking about writing just to see things turn out the way you want them to for a change?

In between all of the work I did on that painting the last few days I watched TV and ventured to some shows I hadn't seen before...and resolved never to see them again. Things that end badly leave me frustrated and depressed and worse yet, some shows don't really end, they just leave you hanging and wondering which way it went.

Yes, it's clear that I'm hard to please and usually stick to an assortment of old favorites that I can rely on to fill the hours and set a mood I'm comfortable with.

I'm too lazy to do any real writing and can't spell anyway so the thought fades and I go back to my paints.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

step by step sunflower painting

Becoming the Sunflower

There's something special about living with art as it grows and changes and I find myself wondering if I ever would want a separate studio even if I could afford it.

The easel that this painting lives on is right behind where we sit at the dining room table. I sit on the side of the table where my eyes wander to it from time to time during pauses in conversation. Seeing it from a different vantage point and in different lighting  always gives me more ideas as the canvas draws me back to it.

I decided to eliminate one of the leaves because I felt that it threw the balance off. Here's a detail view as I work over that section.

It feels like an improvement to me but you never know where the work will take you and I'm always looking forward to see where it's going next.

It's always interesting to see and feel the image seem to emerge from bits and smudges in the paint... still, my mind wants to interfere and choose a background color instead of allowing it to happen.

I like it best when the art becomes more of a meditative practice and comes from a calm center. Mindfullnes and mindlessness at once. As always I can't wait to get back to it.