Red Tulips

Red Tulips
Red Tulips

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Prints of Paintings

Currently, I am in the process of researching methods of making prints of my paintings.  I think this would be a great way to promote my work.  Two methods that I have researched are scanning and photographing.  Seems like scanning would be the preferred method, providing more high res images.  Keep your eye out for prints of some of my paintings on etsy, and some that have not been listed, in the near future!

Monday, December 26, 2011

How to Paint the Edges of a Painting

Happy Holidays to all!  As I've recently started selling artwork on Etsy, I've been thinking about painting the edges of my canvas more and more.  Painting the edges makes the painting ready to hang, without the need for a frame, which appeals to many people (including myself!).  It seems like many artists paint the edges of their canvas black, so it mimics a more modern framing around the picture.  I think this works beautifully will many paintings.  Other artists continue the painting onto the edges, so it wraps around the stretcher bars.  I have done this myself for a few paintings and I think this is a really neat effect.

My dilemma is that I never use straight black paint in any of my paintings.  Many of my paintings are very colorful, and I feel that black paint would take away from a lot of my colors.  So for these paintings, I tend to paint the sides a dominant color found in the painting, or a neutral color like brown.  For example:

I painted the sides of this particular painting a flat yellow-green.  This helps to match the overall tone of the painting without being distracting, and I think it works really well.

For this painting:

I painted the sides a dark umber brown.  I love this color on the sides because its an earthy color, which goes along with the organic nature of this painting.  I didn't want any one color of this painting to become dominant by painting the sides of the canvas that color, so the brown was a good choice for this particular painting.

Overall, I think painting the sides of a canvas (as long as it is gallery wrapped) is a great choice for artists.  Personally, I love hanging paintings on my wall without the frame, because that is how the artist was looking at the canvas while painting so that is how I want to view it as well.  It also gives a more modern feel to the room the painting is hanging in.

You can find these paintings and more at my etsy store (hey I rhymed!):

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Retro and Bicycles

Lately I've been inspired by retro bicycles.  They give off a feeling of simple times, carefree existence, and community.  I'm not a big "vintage" or "retro" person, but retro bikes appeal to me and they make great subject matter to paint because they are SO dynamic!  I took it upon myself to do a retro bicycle painting a few weeks ago on a 24x36" canvas and I really love how it turned out:

I think next I want to try to do a retro bike from various angles, in different settings (maybe one on a beach?).  

Sometimes I have a problem after I paint something; I want to keep it!!  I think this is a good thing, because I put so much effort, thought, and soul into my paintings that they become a part of me.  This specific painting is being entered into a local art show, but hopefully I will have more to post on my etsy soon!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Impasto & Palette Knife

So I have been experimenting lately with palette knife painting after seeing some incredible paintings online that used this technique.  The paintings are so textured and alive!  For my first attempt, I decided to use a photograph of pink flowers I took last year at the park as inspiration and used the palette knife to paint the background.  I mixed my acrylic paints with a heavy acrylic gel medium to give them more weight and texture.  Here is the photograph:

And here is my painting interpretation:

I love how the palette knife helped me to make the background imitate the grass texture, while keeping it somewhat blurry so that the focus is on the flowers.

Obviously I did not paint the flowers using the palette knife, because I wanted them to be more clear and show up more realistically.  They still have a textured feel because of the textured background.

Another palette knife painting I finished this week was inspired by the colors gold and red.  I think those two colors together are beautiful, so I was inspired to paint red tulips on a gold background to imitate dusk, fall, or a sunset (depending on how the viewer interprets it!).  Here is the painting:

I think this is a technique I will teach to my art students this year because it makes them think about how colors are used together and the marks they are making on the painting.  I think it will also help to loosen up my "perfectionist" art students  =)

I'd love to hear some of what you guys have experienced with the palette knife!

Be sure to check out my etsy site for examples of my paintings:


Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Blogger?!

Well here it goes, I'm starting my first blog since the Live Journal I had about 7 years ago!  I hope this blog will help me to connect to other artists and art teachers, share my experiences and ideas, and learn from others.  I am a dedicated artist working mostly in acrylic and oil paints.  I am also new to etsy, trying very hard to get my art out there!  My realistic acrylic paintings feature still life, landscape, portraits, and flowers. 

This is my third year teaching high school art and it has definitely been an experience.  Some days are very frustrating while other days are extremely rewarding.  I am always trying to think creatively and teach the kids what will help them to become artists in their own way, but it is DIFFICULT!  I would love to connect with other art teachers out there who have some great ideas to share.

Well, I guess that is it for now... I hope to post again soon!