Monday, February 28, 2011

Get Your Paint On, Week Three

Get Your Paint On, Week Three Progress

Get Your Paint On, Week Three
6" x 6" acrylic on canvas
This painting started out as something completely different. I painted and painted on Tuesday, then painted over everything on Wednesday. I liked the colors I was working with, just not the image. Then I figured, hey, just keep it simple, paint what you like, and here you go: I like foxes and I like, baby fox portrait.

I started out with two layers of dark green. Added a layer of teal, then more dark green, and a layer of off-white. Then painted on the fox, added the dark gray lines, then painted the teal background. Then adding touch-ups here and there, and added more teal with a little hint of dark gray.

I was so excited about this adorable painting, and I couldn't wait to share it. I already see a few small (very small) things I'd like to change, and probably will after this weekend.

I've been wanting to paint animals lately and I'm so glad I finally had the chance to do so!

FYI: Totally late on posting this! I got caught up in the frenzy that is last minute preparation for the annual spring play. I'll get back to regular blog posting this week!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Get Your Paint On, Week Three Progress

Get Your Paint On, Week Three
This week's Get Your Paint On assignment involves mixing your own colors. I chose a few colors from my everyday life, and tried my best to mix the right shades. The green's like my car, the red is very much like my favorite lipgloss, the dark grey is from the hoodie I was wearing this morning. The off-white is, well, not matched to anything, but I felt I needed a lighter color in my palette, and white wasn't going to work at all. 

I painted for a little bit today, not as much as I wanted, though. The school called and said my girl wasn't feeling good and wanted to come home. We're enjoying the rest of the day on the couch and in front of the tv. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Get Your Paint On, Week Two

Week 2, Get Your Paint On
24" x 12" Acrylic on Canvas.

I kept Week Two's painting simple because I only had one day to complete it due to my super-busy schedule. I still need to put a few coats of clear medium on it, and that's just going to be on my to-do list for a hot minute. Painting this brought me back to my college days (remember my inspiration post?) and I think I started missing how I used to paint back then. I feel like I used to experiment more with texture and layers (spraying water on wet acrylic, scrubbing the paintbrush on the canvas, etc.) and perhaps it was because I was trying to figure out my artistic voice.


This week is just as busy as last, and I'm worried I won't do as well as I should in this class. But! I shouldn't spend too much time worrying and more time just making art. I have some props to create for a play that's opening next week, as well as some tattoo designs to create, so my plate's pretty full.

Here's to being an artist! I wouldn't change it for the world!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Get Your Paint On, Week Two Progress

Progress - Week 2

For week two of Get Your Paint On, I'm allowing myself to paint freely and without a specific plan. I started with a canvas that was mess from an unfinished project and painted thin layers of ivory over it. The Basquiat crowns were applied with a thick layer of Crimson acrylic and Soft Gel Medium. I'm waiting on the crowns to dry before adding a final touch. If this painting turns out half as good as the image in my head, I'll be happy. 

Progress - Week 2

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


I graduated high school in 2000, and after a quick summer waiting tables, I started attending the nearby college. Classes were early, a little too early, and I found myself not caring about any of the courses besides Art. The introductory art class started at 8 a.m. and I had to get up much earlier to make the 30-45 minute drive. My professor was brilliant, calm, encouraging, and well, just wanted his students to do what they wanted. He'd give us a general direction and we'd make art.

This was ten years ago, I was 18 going on 19 going on the rest of my life, and I always knew I would create, maybe not for a living, but I'd still make stuff. I'd spent most of my childhood drawing (mostly copying cartoons and comics) and after a sudden move to the city, I did very well in High School Art classes.

Three (maybe two and a half? I started skipping a lot towards the end) semesters of Art class passed before I dropped out completely and moved on to just waiting tables and being pregnant, but one thing stayed with me: the love of art and the art-making process, and more specifically, the love of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

One of the finals in the Art class was to watch art-related movies and documentaries and write papers about them. The professor provided a long list of accepted movies and that's where I came across Basquiat. I rented it from BlockBuster (they had a very small number of the movies on the list) and watched it...and watched it over and over. I admit, Jean-Michel looked a lot like a friend from Middle School that I missed dearly so my attraction to him and his artwork felt sentimental.

On my table, a photo created using the Poladriod Project.
Basquiat's work appeals to me and continues to inspire me because it feels vulnerable, and in some ways innocent. Jean-Michel took his experiences and put them on paper or canvas for everyone to see. He told a story every time, whether or not you could see it directly.

I've never been one to ramble on and on about art, and in all honesty, if this were a real life conversation there would be plenty of hand gestures and sighing. Words fail me when describing important feelings and ideas, and perhaps that's why I paint, so to hear me talk about art would be like: "I feel *sigh* about this".

Cadmium by Jean-Michel Basquiat
I finally got to see one of Basquiat's original paintings at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta this past December. When I spotted it across the way, right after the elevator doors opened, I almost sprinted right to it. I was lost in this feeling of gratefulness, since in previous visits to the High I had been unable to find this painting. Finally, I've seen his work in person, not in some book or online gallery, in real life. *sigh*

This week's Get Your Paint On assignment includes finding work that inspires you. At first, I was overwhelmed about trying to find just one artist; I have a tendency to change my inspirations from week to week, but then I found out a new Basquiat documentary had been released and available to watch instantly on Netflix, so I sat down to watch it this morning and felt inspired to write this post. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat is an inspiration to me, and watching footage of him working makes me want to sit down and paint for hours. I cannot wait to get down to the studio.

Other inspiring DVDs in my collection: Frida, Pollock, How to Draw a Bunny, Exit Through the Gift Shop, & Beautiful Losers. What DVD do you watch when you're in need of some inspiration?

Monday, February 07, 2011


Early Morning Painting
Marilyn is upside down! I move my canvas around and around when I paint. 

Current book: Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland
Current album: The Shin's Chutes Too Narrow & The Decemberists' The Crane Wife
Current shame-inducing guilty pleasure: Pop Music!
Current color(s): Red and Teal
Current link:
Current fetish: Planning, making lots of lists, marking items off the list.
Current drink: Coffee, tea, and lots of water.
Current wish-list: Heat in the basement.
Current favorite song(s): Anything on Chutes Too Narrow.
Current triumph(s): Making money with art & tattooing. Taking chances.
Current Celebrity Crush: Ryan Adams and Drew Barrymore.
Current indulgence: Too much candy!
Current slang: "Word?"
Current excitement: Trying to built an artsy community in the area. It's slow-going, but will get better.
Current mood: Determined and caffeinated! Watch out!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Get Your Paint On, Week One

Week One, Get Your Paint On
8" x 10" Acrylic on Studio Panel
The first week of Get Your Paint On is going well. Yesterday I shared my progress, and here's the completed painting. The inspiration was the Quilts of Gee's Bend, and I thought I would keep my painting simple and neat.

Usually, for such a graphic painting like this, I would measure out exactly where each rectangle would go and tape off the lines so I could easily get perfect edges. Well, not for this painting. I sketched in the rectangles and started painting! I limited my palette to three colors, a teal, an ivory, and bright red. I spent plenty of time fretting over the lines until I thought, eh, just let go...just paint...enjoy the process. I listened to a few episodes of This American Life and focused on just the simple act of painting, something I haven't done in awhile.

Here are a few things I've learned:
  • I need to upgrade my acrylic paints! I cannot keep painting with cheap paints! (living in a small town does have its drawbacks, I'll have to drive an hour to the nearest art store.)
  • I love painting on these Artists Boards, I had one leftover from a project from last summer. (I want to buy more, but I vowed to not buy any more supplies for the rest of the month.)
  • I really should sketch and think my projects through instead of just jumping right in to it. (But what's the fun in that?!)
I'm looking forward to seeing what the other students have painted! I'm enjoying this class so much! Especially since I can totally stay in my pajamas all morning. 

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

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