Monday, January 30, 2017

Can't Stop Painting the "Wisdom of Winter" series!

Collage of the "Wisdom of Winter" series for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
Each painting is acrylic on paper, and measures 24" x 18" - and they sell for $295 each including free shipping
I have to say I'm smitten with this series for a number of reasons, and just because the challenge is officially over as of today, it doesn't mean I'm going to stop painting more for the "Wisdom of Winter" series!  Why exactly do I want to continue?

1.  I really like the neutral tones and moodiness of these works, and am falling in love with working on this wonderful French watercolor paper I found from Canson.  It's affordable; flexible; and strong enough to take a massive beating (I absolutely pummel my substrates like a mad woman).

2.  Working on paper has its advantages in that it's easy to store; takes up very little room; and is a size that interior designers and art consultants seem to use often.

3.  I want to continue exploring the abstract landscapes further, and want to incorporate additional colors into the palette I've been using (cool pinks, purples, and oranges).  

4.  This past weekend I sold 3 paintings from this series including 1 to the UK and another to a dental office in Australia.  I really feel many of these works would do very well in medical settings, and plan on promoting them to the consultants and designers as such.

5.  Shipping is a breeze!  I simply place the painting in a cellophane bag; roll it up carefully to fit inside a mailing tube; and take it to the post office where they type up the mailing labels for me.  So much cheaper than shipping a canvas the same size.

6.  I'm on a roll and I really don't want to stop.  Eventually I will want to get my dining room back to a usable dining table (for entertaining); but I don't have any social gigs planned this next month so why not keep painting?

7.  My social media numbers have jumped quite a bit since I've been posting consistently, and I want to grow my audience.

8.  I have a marketing campaign planned that I'm excited about, and will be using the images from this series for it.  

9. I want to continue being able to offer affordable, original works for sale.

10.  My mission for 2017 is to sell a LOT more art, and I plan on adding more work to this particular series as well as my popular "Vessels" and "Table Talk" series.  

This challenge has given me the push I needed to get the New Year started in high gear, and I am going for it!  I thank you all for your wonderful comments and continued support, and hope you stick around and follow the journey.  


Full Circle - Day 30 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Full Circle" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping
Done!  Another 30 Day Challenge is now under my belt and I think this is my favorite series to date. "The Wisdom of Winter" series was supposed to be a thought provoking journey of feelings and emotions during the Winter season, and ironically a lot of the titles turned out to be in sync with our weather conditions here in Sacramento, CA.  Since I had been working ahead, I had no way of planning these coincidences, and I'm just accepting the serendipity for what it is. 

I am very grateful you've followed along during this journey and hope you stay tuned for more upcoming series I'm planning for 2017.  Also I'll be announcing a surprise shortly about "The Wisdom of Winter" series that I'm really excited about.

Thanks for all your wonderful comments - I've read each and every one and want you to know your support means the world to me.  XOXOXO!!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Night into Day - Day 29 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Night into Day" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

Another black and white painting that can be flipped to be "Day into Night" or orientated vertically instead of horizontally.  

A huge benefit of these challenges is learning new things about ones likes and dislikes, and I've discovered I absolutely LOVE working with neutrals and a limited palette, and am even more in love with the minimalist look and mark making!  

A year ago you would have had to restrain me with handcuffs to keep me from throwing a spot of red or another bright color on this piece, and at this late stage in the challenge, I was able to walk away with just the black and white.  Guess you can still teach this old dog a few new tricks :-)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Reflections in the Wind - Day 28 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Reflections in the Wind" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

Look at those clouds!  I have never been much of a landscape painter but have discovered I'm really enjoying these "accidental" ones that have occurred during this challenge!  Thanks to my trusty brayer and many layers of paint, the textures and lines that I wanted in my original idea sometimes morph into a vibrant landscape before my very eyes.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Towards the Light - Day 27 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Towards the Light" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping
This painting can easily be oriented vertically or horizontally and looks great whichever way you choose!  I originally thought it should go with with the darker part at the bottom and the lines running vertically, but had to do a double take when I flipped the paper around to this orientation.  It looks like the lines are reaching towards the light in a mystical, Heavenly manner. 

I can't believe the challenge is nearly completed - I have discovered this color combination is one of my all time favorites and am sure you'll be seeing many more paintings with these colors in the future!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cracking the Code - Day 24 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Cracking the Code" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

This piece took FOREVER to finish!  I began by laying down two thin coats of gesso onto the 140# watercolor paper; then added a 3rd coat of black gesso to give it a solid black look.  Afterwards I used a yardstick to draw 1" squares all over the paper with a white pencil; then used my masking fluid to "paint" various designs in the squares.  I wanted a planned yet random look, and originally began with the double "ss" and "x" marks in a pattern.  Then I expanded the patterned look to include the six dot squares and the small circles, then began filling in the empty squares with random marks including the triangles, horizontal and vertical lines and mini dots.  

After the masking fluid dried, I got a can of moss green acrylic paint and sprayed it over the sheet. Once it dried, I rolled on two light coats of white paint then gently added some umber; sienna; ochre and Golden's Payne's Gray (which is Navy Blue in my eyes!) with a brush.  (you have to work lightly when using masking fluid because it's easy to remove the gummy substance when using a brayer or paint brush).

The fun really began once I started removing the dried masking fluid with my rubber cement eraser. Because of all the layers of paint on top of the designs, it took a long time to remove the paint, and some areas removed more layers, exposing some of the moss green paint.  I decided to let the scrapes and scratches remain which wasn't easy because I wanted to go in and make each mark perfect, but I forced myself to walk away and left it to dry overnight.

I'm glad I did - I absolutely love the finished, rough organic look.  What do all the lines and patterns mean?  To me, it's a life's code type of thing, and each person can read into it whatever they wish.  I haven't determined my meaning of the piece yet, and I probably never will.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The River, She Rises - Day 22 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"The River, She Rises" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping
As you know I'm trying to keep ahead on my paintings for this challenge, and I'm writing this particular post on the evening of January 18th.  Living in California gives us enviable weather compared to many other parts of the nation, so I feel like a big whiner whenever I talk about our storms or heat or drought.  But tonight in Sacramento we're having a hellacious storm with high winds and heavy rains that are downing trees and fences in my neighborhood, and our Sacramento and American Rivers are swelling to capacity.  It's nerve wracking and I'm trying to keep busy so I don't go into panic mode.

This painting was done several days ago and is called "The River, She Rises" - very appropriate for the current storm.  Also I love the clouds and colors in this piece - I didn't intend on making it into a landscape but here it is in all its glory :-)  Here's hoping tomorrow brings less turbulence and fluffy clouds with a hint of sunshine.  But for now, I'm going to grab a glass of Merlot; light my candles and hunker down with my dog as we wait out this storm.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

On the Edge of Darkness - Day 21 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"On the Edge of Darkness" - 24" x 18" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

I wanted to do another painting using my favorite yellow-green, black and white combination, and became inspired to create this very bold composition after I found a small half-circle of paint I had pulled off my brayer.  This painting reminds me that sometimes we need to take a giant leap into the unknown before we can enter a new stage of life.  Do we keep playing it safe and stay with what we know?  Or do we close our eyes and leap over the precipice, floating through space to a new life journey?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Flames in the Mist - Day 19 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Flames in the Mist" - 18" x 24" acrylic on canvas - $295 with free shipping
This piece took me for a bit of a loop.....I had been going for the moody yet peaceful neutral grays, browns and whites and kept working the painting until I got the composition to where I wanted it to be.  But it screamed for color, and as I listened I was led to the small bottles of Golden's Indian Yellow Hue & Quinacridone Burnt Orange.  Armed with my gel medium, I added a dot of each color (separately) and spread them on the paper.  Such boldness!  My eyes needed some rest so I got out my spray bottle of water and lightly misted some dots over the orange and yellow mixture.  When I lifted the water, I was delighted with the little dots dancing through the glazing and yet still wasn't satisfied.  So I added some more water then applied a very small amount of dried pewter metallic gouache, which exploded into a fine silver coating.  Done!  Yet OH SO HARD to properly photograph the true beauty of this painting.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Collage Update - Days 1-17 for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Collage of Days 1-17 for the 2017 "Wisdom of Winter" series & 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I enjoy putting these little collages together so I can see all the new works at a glance, as well as critque my color and design choices.  There's a couple programs I use for making collages:  the first is PicMonkey (there's a free version and a $30/yr. version which I use for the added fonts and templates).  The second one is an app called LayOut which is for Instagram users.  The link I've provided here is for Apple users, and there's a version for Android users as well.

I just open the LayOut app; then it shows my photos from my Instagram account and I pick the ones I want to use in the collage.  Easy peasy - and you can make borders around the boxes or keep them together like I did here.  Check it out!

Land Slide - Day 17 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Land Slide" - 24" x 18" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Misty Night - Day 15 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Misty Night" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping
The challenge is halfway over and overall I'm delighted with this new series!  As you know I've been working furiously to keep ahead so I'm not overwhelmed with trying to paint every single day.  This means some days I'll do several paintings and other days I'll concentrate on marketing and cleaning my house which has become a hot mess thanks to paint, supplies and half-finished paintings taking up space on my tables and counter tops.  

I've been diligent on uploading my new pieces to my various online galleries including:  Artfinder; Saatchi Art and my newly updated ETSY store.  Eventually I'll add them to my Fine Art America site where you can order prints and other printed items including pillows; shower curtains; etc. but that may not happen until after the challenge is over.

I've found the constant uploading to various sites has increased my stats considerably, and in my heart I know it's what needs to be done on a consistent basis in order to keep the algorithm robots happy. But the reality is it takes a lot of time and a lot of work, and I'm starting to hate sitting in front of my computer for hours on end.  

I'd love to find a student intern this year to help with the marketing and will look into this at the nearby high school and university to see if they have a work experience program.  In the meantime I'll keep doing everything myself and am looking forward to getting the next 15 paintings cranked out so I can clean my dining room and start seeing my counters again!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Face of the Storm - Day 12 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Face of the Storm" - 24" x 18" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping
For full disclosure's sake, I'm painting these as fast as I possibly can so I don't get behind on the challenge.  For example, today is actually Sunday, January 8th and I'm 4 days ahead with this little number being painting #12.

The first two times I took the challenge (this is my seventh or eighth time doing the 30/30 challenge) I tried to do a painting every single day.  And. I. Failed.

Life got in the way and I got behind and I felt like a big loser for even trying.  Then I realized this is NOT a Daily Painting challenge - it's a THIRTY paintings IN THIRTY DAYS challenge!  So basically I'm creating 30 paintings in 30 or fewer days.....and it's NOT CHEATING!!

Whew - I needed to get that off my chest - sort of like confession.  Good for the Soul - and a burden off my Catholic school girl mind :-)

And another reason for sharing this?  The name "Face of the Storm" is because we're in the middle of a horrific storm here in Sunny Sacramento, California - and winds are intense along with the rain.  So far no flooding near me, but a few areas are experiencing some.

So when this post actually posts, it may be sunny again.  But for right now at this very moment, I'm staring the nasty storm in the face, and it looks like the painting above.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Back and Forth - Day 11 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Back and Forth" - 24" x 18" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

This little number has lots of lines and loads of visual texture, in addition to layers upon layers of paint, gesso and mediums.  The random mark making with the masking fluid lends a final finish to the many designs, and for me adds an element of movement to the piece.  In other words, my eyes keep moving back and forth - hence the name :-)

I have to admit I'm enjoying working on paper much more than I ever thought I would.  I'm using a 140# cold press watercolor paper by Canson which is a quality yet inexpensive (compared to Arches!) product made in France.  I was hesitant to use this larger product since I wasn't sure if it could hold up to the torture I put my paintings through, but I am impressed.  I love the feel and the weight of the finished paintings, and can't wait to see what happens when I add an additional two coats of my UV protective varnish with a satin finish.  I think I'm going to want to run my hands all over it!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Steady Drip - Day 10 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

So here's another minimalist painting I created using the Daniel Smith masking fluid that I like so much. The background on this piece had many layers of various earthtones, and with the fluid "dots" and a coat of my special white medium paint that I mixed up, it allowed the darks to still show up and made the dots stand out while blanketing the piece is a peaceful, zen white look.

Many years ago I used to paint with watercolors and gouache, and I always used masking fluid in my designs because I loved that element of surprise that you get when you finally remove the dried fluid from the piece.  These last few paintings have brought back that excitement and I hope you're enjoying these new designs for the 2nd week of the challenge.  Not sure what week 3 will bring, but they are guaranteed to be abstracts on paper in neutral colors!

"Steady Drip" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

Monday, January 9, 2017

Alone in the Cold - Day 9 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

It's hard to believe I'm nearly 1/3 of the way through the 30/30 challenge already.  The adage about "time flies when you're having fun" is definitely appropriate as I've been having a blast with this new series.

Here's "Alone in the Cold" - another visually textural piece in light gray blue shades.  And I've put together a little collage of all nine paintings to date - check it out!
"Alone in the Cold" - 24" x 18" acrylic on paper - $295 with free shipping

Collage of the first 9 paintings for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Denim Skies - Day 8 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I wanted to do something a little different today so opted to mix up a fabulous denim blue color to add a "shibori-like" appearance to my painting.  I masked off the small "x's" and singular "o" with a liquid masking solution from Daniel Smith, then painted over the dried designs with the paint and a gel medium.  After the paint dried I removed the masking solution with a rubber cement eraser which exposed the original surface. I wanted some visual texture to show through the designs and am happy with the results.  I'm looking forward to doing more of these mark making pieces for the challenge in rich earthy tones!

Here's "Denim Skies" - my 8th offering for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge and my "The Wisdom of Winter" series.

"Denim Skies" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 incl. free shipping

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Wisdom of Winter - First Painting of the Year

Happy New Year, everyone!  I'm beyond excited to get this year started and was off to Mishka's Cafe in Davis, CA at 7:00 a.m. this morning to hang a new show.  The show is called "Table Talk" and features thirteen of my recent paintings from the "Table Talk" series, which is a tribute to our Farm to Fork movement and my grandparents who were farmers in Chico, CA.  Simple living; good home grown food and family is what counted the most to my grandparents, and I strive to carry this tradition forward in my own life.

I decided to participate in another 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge, and here is my first offering from my "The Wisdom of Winter" series.  All will be abstract expressions in acrylic on 24" x 18" paper, and each will be priced at $295 which includes free shipping in the US.

Here's "The Drifting Fall" - the first of 30 new paintings for 2017!

"The Drifting Fall" - 24" x 18" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping