Sunday, January 31, 2016

Challenge Complete - Here's the 30/30 Collage for January, 2016

January, 2016 - Collage of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
I am ecstatic to have completed my sixth (6th) "30 Paintings in 30 Days" challenge time and am happy to report two of these paintings have sold to good homes.  In the past challenges, I always worked "small" - usually 4" x 6" up to 12" x 12" but this challenge was comprised of larger canvases that were in need of a makeover.  The series was called "Reflections" and were all done on canvases/panels that had previous paintings of mine on them (some done from the late 1980's!!)

Part of my own personal challenge was creating something that corresponded with the title from the original painting.  This wasn't always easy, I assure you!  But at the end of the day, I was happy with the new work and didn't regret letting go of the old paintings one single bit.

The next step will be finishing these paintings so I can begin the marketing process.  I didn't focus on sales this time - mainly because there simply wasn't time.  Painting larger also means painting longer, and this challenge had me putting in some long studio hours. 

I'm excited to take these new works and upload them to my website in addition to marketing them to my group of designers and consultants.  Many of them will also hit an on-line shop or two, and a couple of them will remain in my personal collection until I'm ready to let them go.

Thank you again for following along - there were a lot of things going on during this challenge, but I managed to finish and for that, I'm proud of my accomplishment.  I'm also thrilled to report I wasn't alone this time - we managed to get a group of 15+ artists from the Sacramento area involved in the challenge, which means one heck of a lot of new art was made in our Capital city this month!

The next challenge begins in September, 2016 - I can't wait to do it all over again!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Day 30 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Oceans Between Us"

"Oceans Between Us" - 30" x 24" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to post this last painting!!  This was a redo of a piece that almost went into my current show that is currently up at FE Gallery.  It didn't make the cut because I wasn't able to get it done in time.

Besides the time factor, I just didn't like the layout and decided to gesso over 95% of the painting instead.  I pulled out my acrylic pens and sketched in some flowers with my left hand, then made an abstract "cityscape" portraying the ocean in between two places.

I was on the fence about posting this one because I didn't feel it was complete enough, but after I penciled in the words "Oceans Between Us" I felt it was finished. 

This 30/30 challenge was indeed a game changer for me in many ways.  For starters, 85% of the paintings are 20" x 16" or larger (biggest is 48" x 36").  Then there was the part about trying to match the old name to the new painting (these were all "do-over" pieces) - not an easy thing to do!  And of course, there was the pneumonia that decided to set into my body 10+ days ago. 

I'm going to celebrate with a Grande Chai Latte from Starbucks then will decide how to best market these for sale.  The finish work is going to take several days, but overall I'm happy with most of the new art.  A couple will get redone again but overall I think I've created a cohesive series, and I can't wait to publish some of the new paintings on my website.

Thanks for following along and for all your wonderful comments - the next 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge is in September and I am already excited about doing it again!!

Day 29 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Dream"

"Dream" - 48" x 36" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
The largest canvas that I've redone to date - here's "Dream" - 4' x 3' and layer upon layer of color and finished with metallic gold raindrops/fairy dust/use your imagination :-)  The gold dots are shown at the top but are interspersed throughout the painting with random patterns.

Only one more painting to finish and it's already about 75% completed.  Can't wait to post it and be able to say I finished my sixth (6th!) 30 Paintings in 30 Days!!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Day 28 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Did You Realize?"

"Did You Realize?" - 48" x 24" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
Someone told me today my art looked like "New Age" art.  She said it was ethereal and peaceful, and looked like a dream.

I'll take that!  There's also something very fulfilling about sticking my little paws in the paint when I'm almost finished and letting my fingers dance over the canvas.....

I'm almost caught up (just two more to go and I've completed my sixth 30/30 challenge!) and am already salivating at my next project - four 36" x 36" canvases along with four 36" x 18" canvases for a show I'm doing at ArtHouse Gallery in Sacramento this coming June.  I'm excited about this show because I'm doing it with my talented artist friend Michelle Andres, and I'm writing poetry/haiku for the show too!!  Somehow I'm going to be incorporating the poetry/words into the paintings - not quite sure how that's happening but I'll figure it out.

Until then, I need to concentrate on finishing two more paintings; completing each and every one of them (signing; finishing the sides; wiring; adding them to my inventory list; photographing; and varnishing).  The finish work can sometimes take as long as making the painting itself!  It's the least sexy part of an artist's job, in my opinion......but a necessary one.

Day 27 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Zoom"

"Zoom" - 40" x 30" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
Still playing catchup for this challenge - here's Day 27's offering....only 3 more to go!  This pneumonia is kind of kicking my butt.  I feel better; go out for a couple of hours; then spend 8 hours paying the price with dizziness; hacking; and general feeling like pooh. 

Seems like with all this "free time" on my hands I should be able to just knock out a few more paintings, right?  But the reality is when I go to paint my head starts to throb and I get queasy or dizzy then have to lay down again.  I'm committed to finishing the 30/30 though - even if the next 3 are small pieces I have to do while laying down.  We'll see how it goes - stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Day 26 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Splash"

"Splash" - 40" x 30" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
"Splash" is a multi-colored cityscape with numerous layers of color in the sky and water portion.  As usual, the photo doesn't do it justice!

Day 25 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Love Notes"

"Love Notes" - Mixed media on 24" x 18" canvas

Gosh, I've fallen behind on this challenge and am finally getting a chance to start painting again.  Having pneumonia has really put a damper on my well being!  Besides being super dizzy and having a head that feels like a foreign object, I haven't been able to stop coughing and my energy level has been at the sub-zero stage.

Woke up this morning feeling much better though and am going to catch up and finish the challenge.  Here's my first "catch-up" piece - "Love Notes."  There's some metallic gold highlights that are glazed over parts of the notes and collage piece.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day 24 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Bay Breeze"

"Bay Breeze" - 36" x 24" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
This piece reminds me of the windy day on the beach in the Spring - flower petals dancing in the air with a gentle sea mist floating over the sand.  I enjoyed working with the pastel colors on this painting and making the various squiggles as I painted over the layers. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Day 23 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Time to Grow"

"Time to Grow" - 24" x 36" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
I've been fighting a respiratory infection this past week that has unfortunately turned into a case of pneumonia, so painting for the remainder of this challenge will be happening as the meds continue to work their magic and in between bouts of coughing and dizziness. 

I really liked the painting that was painted over for "Time to Grow" - and I almost set the original aside to keep intact.  However, an inner voice guided me forward with the knowledge of what I was doing was indeed growth as a person and an artist. 

The original was rather dark and very personal - it was one from my dress and cups stages.  This new painting covered all that darkness, and at the end I decided to collage one of my canvas house pieces over a particularly personal area.  I just noticed it now appears as though it is "housing a secret" which indeed it is. 

Isn't it amazing at what appears when we let our psyche's through and hand them the control of the brush? 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Day 22 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Sweet Surrender"

"Sweet Surrender" - 24" x 24" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
More soft and subtle colors in this abstract painting - covering up a mid-range palette with lots of marks.   With the exception of a couple of paintings thus far, I can safely say I'm loving this new style that has been emerging from this challenge.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day 21 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Inner Peace"

"Inner Peace" - 24" x 30" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
This painting gave me everything BUT inner peace while painting fact it was painted over and over and over again before I finally said "enough."

The original piece had a ton of texture - molding paste; fiber paste; gel sand; gel medium.....and at one point I became so frustrated I actually grabbed some more molding paste and started texturing over the texture!!

No matter what I did (graphite lines; ink drips; bold cruciform composition) I couldn't seem to create a focal point of interest.  And then it hit me.....I didn't NEED a focal point!  The texture WAS the focal point and the soft, blended colors that danced over the surface were the perfect background.  I added gold metallic highlights and that sealed the deal.

I know the photo sucks and you can't really see the shimmer but you can see the subtle colors that  float on the surface.  The finished piece has so much depth it is actually quite beautiful.  This one might just stay in my personal favorite stack!

Day 20 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge - "El Pueblo"

"El Pueblo" - 24" x 18" acrylic on 1.5" canvas

I love the way this piece turned out....the colors are very subtle Southwest colors (hence the moniker "El Pueblo") and there's an inkling of a homestead/house in the upper right corner.  I didn't want to commit to a decipherable form so left it very abstract, then added some metallic gold for good measure.  And because for some reason I can't seem to get enough of the shimmer right now, I threw in some powdered silver gouache to make it really glow!  The gray areas are really the silver spots, but when I tried to get the photo, the glare was blinding.

One of the biggest problems I'm having with this challenge is with the old names of the pieces.  Because these are all "do-overs," most of the canvases were already named.  So trying to make a new piece work with the name sometimes doesn't work - like at all.

The old painting for this canvas was called "Decisions" and was a geometric work with numbers and letters sprayed on (yes, I went through that phase....).  However, when I was painting this piece, the name "El Pueblo" came to me and my rule is once a name comes to me, I know it's time to stop painting. 

I don't want to white out or gesso over the previous name, so will somehow blend the names (ie Decisions - El Pueblo).  Maybe it will attract a buyer who can't decide which house to buy?  Or someone inthe  real estate industry?  I'd be happy if it just attracted a buyer, period!!

Only 10 more days to go - and today I pulled some large canvases out of the shed in my backyard.  Watch out, folks - things are going to get freaky now :-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Day 19 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "City Dreams"

"City Dreams" - 20" x 16" acrylic on 1.5" canvas

This painting was done entirely with a palette knife, something I haven't done in years.  I like the texture and blended colors you can get with acrylics and a palette knife, and may try to do a similar style piece or two before the challenge is over. 

Another cityscape using complementary colors - again a very limited palette.  I wanted to do something that looked Mid-Century, but didn't want to do turquoise with orange, so I opted for a creamy soft Light Ultramarine Blue by Golden instead.  The building shapes look contemporary to me though - and that worked for me.  I had to really hold myself back from trying to add more colors or change the "sky" - and I'm glad I did now.  I like the end result and would have lost it entirely had I gone rogue with my earlier desires!

I'm behind again in finishing the paintings (ie signing; wiring; varnishing; finishing the sides), and need to get a jump on that this week.  I know - in my spare time :-)  But seriously - I need to get those paintings finished so I can show them to another art consultant and her client.  Nothing like a little pressure to get this artist busy!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Day 18 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Building Dreams"

"Building Dreams" - 36" x 24" acrylic and graphite on 1.5" canvas
With a strong background in the real estate industry, I have a love for buildings; houses; and dwellings in general.  They house our spirits day and night, and I've always been able to "feel" their soul.  When I was developing commercial real estate, each building or project that I worked on felt like a child to me, and I would always get excited when the new tenant or owner moved in.  True, I had built the structure but the people who moved in were what ultimately made the building come alive.

Inside these structures, the occupants build their dreams.  Doesn't matter if it's a home or a building - it's where the creativity begins and life actions take place.  It's almost spiritual, hence the desire I had to add the liquid metallic gold at the lower left part of the painting. 

Another fun makeover piece - and it can be hung either horizontally (as shown) or vertically with the black circles on the bottom. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Day 17 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "My Funny Little Valentine"

"My Funny Little Valentine" - 24" x 24" mixed media on 1.5" canvas
Looks like I need to get busy this Holiday weekend and get some more paintings done!  I thought I was ahead of the game when I completed this one last Friday, but yesterday wiped me out.  Long story and nothing I want to share right now, but I'm back on track now.

In an earlier post I mentioned two friends who are both fighting life-threatening diseases - one is being treated at the Mayo Clinic (fortunately she has excellent insurance) and the other just got accepted to Stanford's cancer center.  Unfortunately her insurance seems to be fighting her every step of the way, and one of her friends started a funding campaign to help with the bills.

I decided to do my share to help and am offering the following:  Any of the paintings in the collage below will be for sale at A PRICE YOU NAME (no reasonable offer refused) - and 100% of the sales will go to help my friend.  The offer is good through Monday, January 18th at midnight.  I normally charge an average of $1.00 per sq. in. of the canvas (for example, a 12" x 12" canvas would be $144 - but make me an offer I can't refuse!).  Here are more details.  Please consider helping this family in need.....cancer ain't cheap and the treatments are going to bankrupt this family.  Stage IV inoperable cancer can be treated and the Stanford oncologist team is hopeful Tammy's type of cancer responds to the treatments which start next week.  At $3500 a pop (out of pocket expenses), this isn't easy.  Send me an email with your offer and get some original art.  100% goes to Tammy - inquiries at:

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Day 16 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Sky Watch"

"Sky Watch" - 24" x 24" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
Here's something different - bright, bold and tons of texture.  I wanted to paint something that reminded me of David Bowie and these colors and geometric shapes screamed "80's" to me. 

I was a huge Bowie fan  back in the day and was so bummed to hear of his passing this week.  Another rock and roll legend has joined some pretty talented superstars who went before him.....just think of the music they're playing now.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Day 15 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Midnight Celebration"

"Midnight Celebration" - 30" x 24" acrylic on 1.5" canvas

Another abstract cityscape that's kind of a hot mess but I forced myself to walk away before I overworked it.  There is a lot about this piece that I like and I knew if I didn't stop, I'd end up ruining it.  So - I'm going to set this one aside for the time being and leave it in plain sight for a few days so I can decide what, if anything, I want to do next.

I'm enjoying this challenge and am thrilled with the progress I've made in paring down my vast inventory of canvases that needed some love.  It's hard to believe we're already halfway through the challenge and halfway through the first month of the new year.  I'm excited about completing the rest of this series, and then developing a marketing plan to promote both the challenge itself and the individual pieces.   I know I should have been uploading them into my on-line shops each day, but I just haven't had the time or the energy to do it. Painting large is actually great exercise, and after a few hours of painting each day, I'm wiped out!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Day 14 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challege - "The Perfect Man"

"The Perfect Man" - Mixed media on 24" x 18" canvas
I've always been intrigued by da Vinci's Vitruvian Man - he sort of "wrote the book" on the perfect symmetry of the human body.  So - I guess you could say he's to blame for the body issues we have today??  Maybe we could have avoided all that had he done a Vitruvian Woman.....

In any event, I've always been fascinated by this particular figure.  When I saw this drawing on a royalty-free design book, I grabbed the book and made a copy.  I then enlarged it and created an image transfer.  I ran into a couple of problems making the final transfer but filled the missing spots in with my Micron fine liner pen.  Then I added some cardboard for more interest and texture along with some metallic gold acrylic paint by Golden.  A bit of burnt sienna glazing and some tinted Manganese blue set the final tones for this piece.

I'm not sure it's finished quite yet but I like the direction it's headed.  And yes indeed, Vitruvian Man is backwards.....proving once and for all there is no perfect man in today's world.  Way to go, Leonardo!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Day 13 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Lies We Tell Our Self"

"Lies We Tell Our Self" - 24" x 24" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
The original painting underneath this one was a big house from my House series of paintings, and was called "House of Lies."  It was a bit on the dark side and I never showed it to anyone or put it on-line. 

So when I decided to add this painting to my "do-over" pile of canvases, I debated whether to paint out the words and leave the house; or paint over the house and leave the words.  Underneath the two figures is the word "why?"  I intentionally left it partially visible to add more interest and give the painting a mysterious feel.

While painting the various layers over the house and rest of the painting, I somehow developed the black figure on the left side of the painting.  After looking at the piece for a long while, I decided to put the white shadow figure in, and it felt as though the black figure was telling something to the white one. 

Hence the title "Lies We Tell Our Self."  I don't think it's nearly as dark of a piece as it was before (dark as in ominous; foreboding; depressing) and I believe the figures add a spiritual, more personal feel to the piece.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 12 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Harbor Lights"

"Harbor Lights" - 48" x 24" acrylic on 1.5" thick canvas
Now this painting is bright.....bold and vibrant and more than likely a work-in-progress vs. a completed offering.  I really liked the movement I got with the fireworks and various "structures" that were done in a blended minty-blue color - but the indigo blue and light cad red with the cad yellow are screaming "rookie primary colors" to me and need to be toned down.

That said - I had fun making this piece.  It was large (48" x 24") so I painted the background inside on my wall (I use a big piece of stretched canvas on my wall as a backdrop and hang the piece I'm working  on with a nail).  When the background dried, I took the piece outside and placed it on top of a large plastic tarp.  Next I grabbed my bottles of Lukas acrylic paints and started squirting them across the canvas.  Then I took a credit card and started slicing in my design. 

The end result is a city that looks like it's on fire or in the midst of a celebration or perhaps both?  I'm thinking of blocking in some more colors with the buildings and toning down the blue and red. 

Definitely a far cry from the neutrals I've worked with this past year, right?  And a bit shocking for my own eyes, but truth be told, I kind of like it!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Day 11 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Snowdrift"

"Snowdrift" - 30" x 30" acrylic & cardboard on 1.5" canvas

I'm happy with the way this painting finally came together.  I covered everything from the previous painting with the exception of the small horizontal white lines at the bottom right side of the piece.  For some reason I have been wanting to paint some abstract cityscapes and at the last minute decided to add the little white "snowflakes" with some finger taps across the canvas using some gesso.  Not too many dots - just enough to give it a feeling of snow drifting over a city.....

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Day 10 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Imagine the Possibilities"

"Imagine the Possibilities" - 20" x 16" on 1.5" canvas - mixed media
Wow - it's hard to believe we are 1/3 of the way through this challenge already.  It hasn't been as easy as I hoped it would be but it's infinitely more rewarding than I had expected.  I'm having a blast painting over old pieces and seeing what comes next, and I'm enjoying the process.

I knew working larger again would take more time but what I hadn't factored into the time crunch was the final finishing of the paintings.  I don't know about you, but I'm a procrastinator.  I love to do the paintings and can usually get them photographed and named - for me that's the best part of the process.  

But afterwards, the paintings sit in a "finished but not really ready to sell" state.  I let them stack up and just wait until a show comes along or someone wants to buy something.  Then I go into a panic mode because I need to install the hanging wire; finish painting the sides if they weren't already completed; sign the piece in the front and the back; and complete the piece with 2 coats of UV protective varnish (satin is my favorite finish).  For me, this set of chores is the least sexy part of painting and I dread doing it for some unknown reason.

Well - yesterday one of the art consultants I work with called to see if I had any new work she could look at for a client who needed something now.  I told her to come by this morning and I'd show her what I had.  Then last night one of my friends said she wanted to buy one of the paintings from the challenge and asked if she could stop by this afternoon to pay me for it.  And of course I said yes - but I was in a state of panic thinking about how I was going to get all of these pieces sale-ready before my meeting.  Yikes!

So I was up very late last night and got up early this morning to finish off 10 canvases.  I had an assembly line set up in my kitchen and dining room, and was freaking out thinking the varnish wouldn't be completely dry before the consultant arrived.  Thankfully it was and she loved the new pieces - now I'm keeping my fingers crossed her new client loves them too. 

What a way to learn an important lesson though - you can be sure that from now on, I'll be more diligent about completely finishing a painting before jumping into another one.  If I'm pegging myself as a professional artist, then obviously I need to act like one - and having a nice inventory of ready-to-sell work is preferable to having a studio of half-finished works.  After all - what would have happened if another consultant or designer had needed something in a hurry and I wasn't prepared? 

"Precious Moments" - SOLD
And later this afternoon I said good-bye to Day 8's offering called "Precious Moments" - which happens to be one of the highest rated paintings on my Instagram account to date and a personal favorite.  Suffice it to say, today was a very good day for this artist :-)

Once again this project is challenging me in more ways that I expected, and I would like to think that each and every challenge makes me a better artist.  So now I know I need to treat each painting like a commodity, ready to sell at a moment's notice.  Lesson learned - bigtime!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Day 9 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Day's End"

"Day's End" - 36" x 24" acrylic on 1.5" canvas
"Day's End" is another mysterious-looking painting from the "Reflections" series that I'm doing for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge.  The wispy white lines you see at the upper left corner are dotted in silver for a luminescent veil that covers several areas on the canvas.  Of course you can't see all those silvery lines because of my sucky photographic skills (or shall I just say non-existent photographic skills??!!).

But I'm happy with the way this piece turned out.  It's mostly neutral grays, celadon, black and white with some light pthalo-blue and red oxide washes to add some interest.  Some of the original painting still remains - the striped running down the right side and the white dots above - I didn't want them to go away but the rest of the old painting is history!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Day 8 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Precious Moments"

"Precious Moments" - 16" x 20" x 1.5" - mixed media on canvas
I generally sign my work in the front and the back of a painting when it's completed, and one of the challenges with painting over old canvases happens when there's a title already on the back of the piece.  I've been trying to create pieces that go with the previous titles and so far I think it's worked.  But I thought the new painting was a bit dark for the "Precious Moments" moniker. 

So I grabbed some Golden's Iridescent Gold (Fine) and painted the textured leaves and a few accent areas.  The result is quite beautiful, if I do say so myself.  It's really hard to capture the glistening leaves without distorting the rest of the painting, but I assure you they do shimmer brightly.  I had always shied away from using metallic paints, thinking they were more of a novelty item.  But with this challenge and all of the redo's, I think I'm beginning to change my mind!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Day 7 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Get Peace of Mind"

"Get Peace of Mind" - acrylic & gouache on 24" x 18" x 1.5" canvas

I'm getting into my stack of larger canvases now and here's a reworked one called "Get Peace of Mind."
This painting has lots of texture and is painted with acrylics, gesso and powdered gouache in addition to some upcycled, torn cardboard.  The cardboard is from the wrapping around packaged light bulbs, and is a thinner version of the cardboard found from boxes.  It absorbs the paint beautifully and gives the painting an added dimension that I really like.

Once again I apologize for the quality of the photo.  It really does look a LOT better than this photo shows.  After this challenge is over, I've decided I'm going to challenge myself and learn how to use my Panasonic Lumix camera with a Leica lens.  I bought it over 3 years ago but soon found I could take decent (and easy!) photos with my iPhone, so just abandoned it.

One more thing to add to my ever-growing "to-do" list for 2016! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Day 6 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "The One That Got Away"

"The One That Got Away" - mixed media on 8" x 8" x 1.5" canvas

No matter how I tried, I couldn't get a good photograph of this piece.  I used some torn paint samples and a tiny piece of a Gelly print along with some torn cardboard for texture.  On top of all that, I used my white Jelly pens; Golden metallic gold paint and added an area of sgraffito adjacent to the area with the 3 dots.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Day 5 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Wherever the Wind Takes Me"

"Wherever the Wind Takes Me" - 7" x 5" acrylic & graphite on MDF panel
Many folks do not understand abstract art and think it's just the result of some crazy artist gone wild with some brushes and paint.  And some artists may very well work like that, but I find the abstract genre to be like an intricate puzzle, waiting to be solved. 

This challenge, I'm working on doing more abstracts and am painting over/reworking old paintings.  It's been ages since I've painted abstracts and I've really missed the "problem-solving" that needs to happen in order to make a successful work.

For example: I have to pay attention to shapes; colors; form and line in addition to keeping a balanced ratio of lights to darks; warm colors to cools; brights to neutrals and more.  And let's not forget composition!  Some pieces are easy to figure out while others are like those 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzles that take FOREVER to finish.   

I got a head start on this challenge by prepping 15 canvases before it started.  Right now I'm working on seven pieces but they aren't coming together quite like I'm wanting them to.  Analyzing each piece takes a long time, and I'm getting a bit stressed thinking I won't get all 30 paintings done by the end of January. 

Failure is not my strong point, so I do plan on finishing the challenge and completing 30 new abstract paintings.  Will they all be successful pieces?  Undoubtedly no.  I'm striving for 80% though and we'll see if I can finish this challenge with a passing grade.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Day 4 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Washing Away the Fears"

"Washing Away the Fears" - acrylic and graphite on 12" x 12" x .75" canvas
Creamy amethyst, lilac, sage green and celadon blend with the white, umber and vanilla shades for a peaceful yet thought-provoking little piece.  I still see a face in this one as well and am looking forward to changing the composition from the "random/meandering" style to a "cruciform" one.  I've got one more painting that I'm working on in this style then I'm off to painting a couple of crosses - perfect for this ex-Catholic School girl!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Day 3 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "A Pale Mystique"

"A Pale Mystique" - 12" x 12" acrylic & graphite on .75" canvas
Here's "A Pale Mystique" - a makeover of another old seascape, leaving very little of the original piece intact.  I see several faces in this piece that I didn't see until posting this blog - how any do you see?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Day 2 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - Whispers in the Winds"

"Whispers in the Winds" - 12" x 12" acrylic & graphite on .75" canvas

This was a "redo" of an old seascape that I had created while on vacation this past July in Sea Ranch.  I just couldn't seem to get the piece to work, so decided to cover most of it with the neutral colors but left a couple areas of the old ocean for good measure.  The dark turquoise area in the center reminds me of a vessel, and the swirls are list quiet whispers in the wind.....

Friday, January 1, 2016

Day 1 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge - "Bound for Glory"

"Bound for Glory" - 12" x 12" on .75" canvas - acrylic & graphite

I'm excited about participating in my 6th "30 Paintings in 30 Days" challenge.  Each time I try to work with a theme, and for 2016, I'm on a mission to simplify my life and let go of things and stuff in general.  Since I've managed to collect a rather embarrassing number of paintings over the years that just don't rock my world anymore, I decided it was time to paint over them.

The old paintings are all different sizes and on different substrates including canvas, wood panels and paper.  Many of the canvases are larger ones (12" x 12" to 36" x 72") and I'm excited about painting larger for the next 30 days.

Here is "Bound for Glory" - a redo of an old abstract that needed some work.  I'm also trying to use more neutral colors in my newer works, and am looking forward to incorporating them into this new series called "Reflections."  I toyed with the idea of posting "before and after" shots, but decided to just let the old designs pass peacefully away as I attempt to breathe new life into their memories.  Let me know what you think!!