Summer reading and finished artwork!Read More
I recently had the fun challenge of creating a name canvas to display while I am teaching at the Painting With a Twist Studio where I work. I wanted to create something that not only represented my personal artistic style, but also conveyed a little bit about who I am. I used colors, symbols and words to get my ideas across. I chose the butterfly symbol because to me it represents new life and new beginnings. I always love the idea that we can start fresh; we don't have to be "stuck" in a place where we aren't happy, whether it is a physical place or an emotional one. The butterfly is also is an illustration of my faith. As for my name, I decided to use my own handwriting rather than a certain font, again this adding a unique part of who I am to the canvas.
I spent quite a bit of time deciding on the right quote to include. Ultimately I went with the above quote by Van Gogh because I knew my classes would be looking at it and I wanted something that would encourage them. Especially since many people are battling nerves when they come to paint! It is also a great reminder to me to not let the negative voices in when it comes to my own personal artwork!
As far as my process for this piece, I began with the back ground, layering paint, papers, stamps and visual textures. Once I was happy with the amount of layering, I created the butterfly. I drew a quick template and attached it with painters tape to the canvas. Next, I used white acrylic paint to create a border around the shape. I feathered the paint out away from the template with my fingers to create the soft, fading look. After the paint was dry, I removed the template revealing the untouched background behind it.
I love this masking technique and use it in my work often! Finally, I used white paint to sketch out the letters of my name and then filled them in with my favorite color. To finish it up, I added the ribbon and lace accent, some outlining around the butterfly and some highlighting around the letters. I feel like it turned out very "me"!!
As always, I take commissions and can create a similar work for someone special in your life using a few of their favorite things and of course their name!! Contact me if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Now that the holidays are over and the the gifts have been received, I wanted to share some of the art I created for some of the special people in my life. For the past two years I have created handmade ornaments for my team at Painting With a Twist. It's always so fun to create on this tiny scale! The ornaments are mixed media paintings, much like my larger work, only these are created to be little treasures to hang on a Christmas Tree!
Last year I had an angel theme.
I also decided to throw in a cute little snowman for fun!
I also decided to throw in a cute little snowman for fun!
This year I decided on a Christmas Tree theme.
Here is a look into my process:
It will be fun to see if this tradition continues over the next years to come, (I'm hoping it will) and how the little mini paintings will continue to develop with each new collection!
Wooden cross in the prayer garden at our church
Happy Belated Easter! I hope your holiday was wonderful and an amazing celebration of Christ's special gift of love and saving grace! Our weeks have been full and busy. I can hardly believe we are already halfway through April! My, how time truly flies...
I've been super busy creating the past few weeks. I had the privilege of doing my first "live" painting during the Easter services at our church last week. What an exhilarating, scary, but amazing experience it was!! It was most definitely all God! I prayed He'd show up and He never let me down! It usually takes many hours to complete one of my artworks and when I was first approached I was thinking there is no way I can do a piece during the 3 to 4 minutes of a worship song. But shortly thereafter, the ideas starting rolling and I knew God was speaking and gently pushing me to step out of my comfort zone!
I knew I'd have to do a lot of the background layered work before hand. The idea was to create as I usually do with multi layers of paint and collage elements but then leave some dramatic finishing touches to do while painting live. I had to work larger than I normally do which was a challenge in itself! I decided to use two (one for each service) 40" x 60" canvases. Here is a peek at my process:
First layer of paint; getting rid of that intimidating blank, white canvas!
More paint (white blended into the center)
Both canvases in my studio
Placing collage pieces
Using matte medium to glue collage pieces down
A closer look!
I use found papers, scrapbooking papers, tissue paper and what ever else I can get my hands on in my collage work!
Layering more paint and design elements
Notice the darker elements are around the edges and the lighter elements are in the center. There is a reason for that....!
Here I'm adding actual bible pages from an old bible as collage elements
I love to tear my collage pieces!
My next step was to create a mask in the shape of a cross. To do this I just tore poster board and taped it down with painter's tape onto each canvas.
My last step was to paint over the crosses to make them less noticeable. I also painted the outlying areas of the canvases a mix of black, dark crimson and red. I payed close attention to the edges of the crosses, making sure they were painted well and made sure some of the darker colors blended off into the surrounding background.
Now I was ready to paint live at the Easter services!! I gathered up my paint, brushes, some printing supplies and a small cup for water and put them all into a black box to set underneath the easel on stage. Here is what happened next.....
Our worship pastor chose the song
and put together a wonderful arrangement that actually gave me around 8 minutes on stage. It worked beautifully!
The paintings illustrate the separation between our sin and the saving gift of eternal life that Christ provides us with through the cross. I wrote the words
on the cross before pulling it off and revealing the pure, clean, softer colors underneath. Hopefully the paintings share the true meaning of Easter with each viewer!
Close up after revealing cross
Me with my painting!! :)
I still need to add a few finishing touches to the paintings. I always see areas that I feel need more layering or something else added. I think I'll add some of the words from the song lyrics as well! I'll post photos of the finished piece soon. I think one will be on display in the church for a bit and then I'll put it in my Etsy shop. The other one has already been requested for purchase! Super excited about that blessing!! :)