Tag Archives: painting

Goals, Schmoals and Flores Brilliantes


Flores Brilliantes

Flores Brilliantes

Just realized when updating the Passion Flower post that I had set a goal to create 6 representational abstract flower paintings by the end of the month.  Well, that fell by the wayside for many reasons.

The first is that I got discouraged.  I started with blue background and yellow daffodils.  But I tried to make them look too realistic.  Then I tried bigger flowers and less background.  It was a mess.  I painted over this canvas so many times, I finally had to carve out the flowers.  And now it has become one of my favorite paintings.  The colors are awesome, and the rhythm is so perfect, but photographing it has been somewhat of a failure. Still learning to use my camera.

I’m going to get back to just picking three colors, like I did with Passion Flower.  Then making them work, and calling it finished!  Time is money, as we all know.

The other distraction has been getting my art studio set up.  It’s really great, well-lit and inspiring.  So, now I’m back to work today, I promise.

The Power of Gifts

Early Success

What is so important about gifting? You may think it’s a cool way to get your feelings across, or perhaps you’re just doing what’s expected.  My opinion is that it’s not about you at all.  Here’s a story of what happened when one of my commissions was received as a gift.

Recently I did an acrylic painting of a fruit stand.  Pretty mundane, right?  But the man who commissioned it asked for a lot of things to be in it. He was giving it as a gift to his very successful realtor for the fine service she provided on the sale of his home.  He had remembered a story she told of growing up in Fredericksburg Virginia and having a profitable fruit stand with her shy sister. So he wanted her name, the place, the sister peeking out from behind the shack, and, of course, the fruit. Together we named it “Early Success” and agreed it was the perfect title.

He tells me that upon presentation of his beautifully wrapped gift, she was extremely touched and amazed that someone would acknowledge her in this way. but once she saw the details of the painting with her hometown’s name nestled in between the flower pots, and her name across the top of the fruit stand, she broke down with emotion. Then she saw her sister peeking out from behind the stand and saw herself doing business behind the fruit and flowers. It was a wonderful moment for both giver and receiver.

So, what’s the real power of this gift? …..ACKNOWLEDGMENT!……  He had actually listened to her and remembered her story. This painting was a way of acknowledging her “Early Success” as well as showing appreciation for who she is today. Every time she sees that painting she will be reminded of who she really is.

As artists, we worry about how “good” our painting is, both technically and aesthetically. Our real gift is that our work acknowledges others in a way nothing else can. A picture really can be worth more than those thousand words.

So I’m back in the studio every day with the joy of painting ever present in my life. If I’m happy, my paintings will show it and can bring you joy.  What about you?  What are your plans for your artistic endeavors in the new year?

Happy Holiday blessings and love to you all.


Sedona Sunset - Experimental Painting, Acrylic Ink, Collage, Papers, Gauze

As a business woman, I have lived by my wits, using creativity and invention to fulfill on client requests.   As an experimental artist, I live in this same place of Curiosita.  Currently, I am re-reading How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb. He describes Curiosita, this first of seven Da Vincian Principles, as “an insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.”  How fun is that?

The experimental artist starts by asking a question: “What would happen if…..if I let these two inks merge….if I added washi paper here….if I collaged on some interesting shapes…if I scrunched up plastic wrap and left it there until the painting dried?”  The entire piece is created through inquiry.  And it’s one that doesn’t stop after the painting is complete.  You will see something different each time you look at it, if you’re curious.

Many times I’ve tried to think in advance of what I want to paint.  It really never comes to me until I start.  It’s a lot like writing.  If you just start writing, the ideas and characters show up.  There is something to be said for doing sketches if you’re trying to create something recognizable.  Value studies are good to see if your piece is balanced.  My value studies come from photos of the painting as I’m working on it.  I will switch the photo output to black and white to see if I have a preponderance of one value in an awkward place or whatever else might need tweaking.

Soulmate - Experimental Art, collage, acrylic ink, weaving

Usually I will choose three colors of acrylic ink that will be interesting alone and in combination.  For example, the colors of purple and yellow when run together, make a luscious brown that you can’t get any other way.  One of my favorite pieces “Sedona Sunset” (shown at the top of this post) was an experiment to discover what would happen if I mixed turquoise blue ink with orangey red.

“Soulmate” was also an experiment in color with blues and reds, so it comes off as purple.  This one I sketched out and carefully designed.  When it was finished, I thought it was too structured, so I cut it into strips and wove it back together, collaging on some of the leftover pieces.  Then I wove gold wire through it for a final touch. It’s one of my favorites.

When you look carefully at “Disk Derby”, you’ll see that I used a variety of textures, but all the shapes are circles.  This adds consistency to the piece.  For more interest, I ran threads of dyed gauze throughout.

Disk Derby - experimental painting, collage, acrylic ink, papers, gauze

The joy that erupts when I’m creating is equaled only by singing in a choir that is so good you can feel the overtones.  It’s an energetic experience and one that I hope for you when you purchase and enjoy my paintings.

The Dancer

This figure has been drawn, painted, scratched and generally imprinted in my brain for many weeks, now. My friend Diana Prevot, a wonderful landscape artist, advised me to draw a figure so many times that I could do it in my sleep. She said that pretty soon it would become organic and take on a life of its own.

Finally I have a design for the minimalist painting for my architect friend in Minneapolis. His hi-rise condo is very structured and angular with concrete floors, visible duct work and lots of corners on the gorgeous furniture which he crafted himself. I wanted to give him two things: An oval rug for the living room, and a painting for his bedroom that had movement and curves.  He’ll get the painting.

What you see here is a small piece, but matted and framed is 16 x 20.  I am going to do several more of these with different backgrounds and different angles and posture, maybe superimpose some over the other to indicate movement.  This might become a series, who knows?  Enjoy!

Addendum:  I was playing around, trying learn the incredibly difficult Adobe PhotoShop Elements and thought these three versions looked pretty neat.  What do you think?

Used the "distort" feature which lets you decide on the wave action

Added a "diffuse glow" - love the darkness of this one

Added some ink lines for interest without distracting