A Life Remembered

Today’s painting is a tribute entitled A Life Remembered. This past weekend our family lost our longest living member. At this point I am at a loss for words. A blog post is not what I want to be doing at the moment. However, this painting is directly related to that loss.
A Life Remembered is an abstract cross section of a white calla lily. The lush green and blue background is a color I felt safe inside. The bright white petal of the flower is the brilliance of the family members spirit and soft glowing pale yellow is his soul. The flame, or stamen, found inside is the spire of fire, the life shown from inside out. Thin orange, red and blue shows the intensity of his life form.
His was not a fleeting life but one of lengthy service to others. He will be missed dearly.

A flame for him wm
A Life Remembered
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She Loved Red Poppies

She Loved Red Poppies is a new venture for me. As someone who is trying to find her voice using paint the outcomes are varied indeed. This particular piece was inspired by a memory and my use of abstract was the backdrop. The background of colorful brush strokes was a twenty minute exercise in combining colors quickly and heavily. The beginning process for this process is explained in the post entitled When One Thing Becomes Another.

As you can see within that first post the colors were quite bright, brighter than what I had envisioned the final painting to look like. Taking sandpaper from my husbands workbench, I gently sanded down the gloss of the acrylic paint. My reasoning to dull down the background was the poppies would shine and stand out from the painting.

An abstract painting that includes large brush strokes and three poppies.
I am quite proud of this painting. Perhaps I will create similar pieces to find my own style.

I think my trick with the sandpaper worked. And enjoyed working on this painting very much. I have been thinking of similar paintings but of course, you never know where my inspiration comes from.

 

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When One Thing Becomes Another

You have to be flexible when one thing becomes another, it is so with any kind of art form. Rarely I look at my painting and say to myself, “it is finished.” But today was different as I found out with help from friends.

I also had decided to record the process of this work. I’ve always enjoyed to see how the work progresses in stages with images. There are no trade secrets to reveal so I grabbed my iPod and snapped a few shots.

Today I had a plan in my head for a new acrylic painting. My goal was to paint the background first in the morning.. I envisioned a distressed yet colorful work with red, orange, yellow and white. I started with an 8″ x 8″ stretched canvas and within 20 minutes had completed what I hoped would be the background.

Deep red, orange, yellow and white abstract painting.
The first pass of this project’s background.

Though this was a good start to the project, the painting lacked a certain punch. Taking a leap of faith I added a deep purple using a drier brush to get that “dragged paintbrush” look.

An abstract painting with warm colors of red, yellow, orange, white and purple.
An unexpected finished painting Summer Waterfall.

I decided to share the projects progression with friends on Facebook. There were a lot of friends who enjoyed the then unfinished piece. One friend even gave it a name, Waterfall In Summer. Many thought it was finished and said so. Who am I to argue with them?

This painting is still evolving. My original vision is still unfinished and when one thing becomes another, it is worth sticking around to see how it will end.

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Vinca Vine

It is full on summer now. The air is heavy with humidity, fireflies are rising at dusk and the owl is king at night. Summer also is when the garden is blowing up with riotous colors. Vinca vine creates a carpeted ground cover where ever it flourishes. The waxy green leaves shine underneath the layer of bluish purple petals of the vinca flowers.

Inspired by nature again, I decided to try to capture the colors and shapes of the vinca vine. This squared 12″ x 12″ canvas was the perfect size. I chose to create a background of a complimentary terracotta rust mottled with white. Acrylics are becoming easier now to work with now that the heat has arrived and my studio isn’t so cold.

A painting of a five petaled vinca flower with a green vine and leaves.
Vinca vine is easy to grow and enjoys a shaded area.

If you enjoy art in your home in a functional object may I suggest a beautiful wall clock with my vinca vine painting. Also check out my vinca vine category in my Lasgalen Arts Redbubble store.

 

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Where Ideas Come From

A Year Ago This Month

I enjoy the challenge of exploring other mediums. Back in February of 2013 I decided to try acrylic paints. I’d never used them before and needed to read up on their properties and techniques used for them. My past experience with anything close was with oils. Oils was a lovely way to understand how layer worked. I loved the buttery feeling of them and how their colors blended effortlessly. However, I didn’t enjoy the clean up and the length it took for the paint to dry.

Where Ideas Come From – The First Attempt

Where Ideas Come From was just one of many creative ideas that came to me in a dream. The circle patterns, lines and even the colors were fully formed. My job was to see if I could replicate what I saw that night while sleeping. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.

What It All Means

The rust, red, green and blue mottled background is the stuff ideas are made from. The free floating balls of mixed greens, blues, whites and reds are the forming of thoughts in my dreams. Strands of corresponding colors connect the thought balls signifying my thoughts running together.Abstract painting

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A Study In Values

A Study in Values is my latest acrylic abstract painting. Back to the basics using the color wheel and working on gradient values of blue and orange. A white line slices the canvas horizontally. On the top of the canvas a vibrant orange washes down towards the middle gradually becoming lighter in tone. From the bottom a bold ultramarine blue marches up to the middle slowly becoming more subdued before meeting the white line in the middle.

In the orange field above sits a ball with the opposite blue gradient seen below. The same scene is respectively painted below. The painting’s bold simple design catches the eye and lends itself to conversations.

an acrylic painting using values of color

Feel free to browse this paintings’ gallery in Lasgalen Arts Redbubble store to see products like the hardcover journal below.

Blue and orange abstract painting depicted on a hardcover book.
My Study in Abstract Values painting as shown on this hardcover journal at Redbubble.

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Picasso’s Dachshund

The continuing fascination with Picasso and his animals all started last month. If you are a regular reader of this blog you’ll remember Picasso’s Cat. After showing Picasso’s Cat to the artist friend who started this whole adventure he pulled up another challenge for me. Who knew Picasso had a dog? I guess I was just unaware of the love Pablo Picasso had for his animals.

Picasso’s Dachshund

painting of a dachshund
The dachshund has a funny shape and certainly lends itself to be parodied. My intention to make him blocks of many colors never came to fruition. I guess I’m not that brave though I think I need to take more risks and just do the unconventional. Instead of cubism I think this painting is more primitive than anything else. As a friend pointed out I seem to be leaning towards the “chunky” style.

Picasso’s Real Dachshund

Photograph of Picasso holding a dachshund
I think my appointed Picasso’s dog needs a name. His name will be Maurice. The tote bag below is just one of the fun quality products on the Lasgalen Arts Redbubble store.

Folk painting of a dachshund in front of his dog dish with a white bone inside.
My Picasso’s Dachshund painting found on tote bags on Redbubble

 

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The Bee House

This acrylic painting is of a building called the Bee House. The Bee House was the subject of a photograph I found in a book about Shaker design called Shaker Built by Paul Rocheleau and June Sprigg. I’ve always admired the design and architecture of the Shaker people. Their simplicity and functionality for their every day farming practices, house keeping tools and buildings was truly ingenious.

A Little History

The Bee House is located in the Shaker Village Museum in Canterbury, New Hampshire. I fell in love with this image of the Bee House right away. The setting of late afternoon in winter is stunning. The Bee House and surroundings glow with a rosy light from a waning sun. The Bee House history is as simple as its design. Built in 1837 and used as a drying shed for lumber. In 1865 it became the bee keeper’s shed. Now in a new location closer to the main barn in the Shakers Village it serves as a milk house.

Painting of the Bee House in Canterbury New Hampshire.

Painting of a yellow house in winter

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Pearl

Pearl

Pearl is the latest abstract painting and the first of 2014. I’ve been dreaming of the ocean lately, though it is strange to think of the water while the land around me is locked in winter. According to dream sources on line, I’m experiencing a spiritual renewal and awakening. A feeling of being unhindered and free spirit is my well being. Well I can certainly say though the “issues” of life are small I do feel very focused and unabated as of late.

Why the Pearl

The latest abstract acrylic painting is entitled Pearl. I wanted to capture an ocean secret and present it in a way to show how beautiful it was. The background of navy blue, deep teal and gradually working up the canvas to a light sea foam green is of course the depths of the ocean water. Rising up from the ocean floor is a opaque white pinnacle. On the very top of the pinnacle is a solid white orb of radiant white. I experimented with a metallic white paint and blended it with acrylic paint which gives the pearl an luminous but solid white shine.
Abstract Acrylic Pearl

Symbolic meaning of the pearl

The pearl has many symbolic meanings including giving wisdom and bringing wealth. Balance your karma when you wear pearls as well as strengthening relationships and protect children. Pearls are significant in many religions. Christians believe that when cast out of Eden, Adam and Eve both cried tears of pearls creating a lake. Both Christians and Hindus hold the pearl sacred and a symbol of purity. Thus brides wear pearls on their wedding day in our modern time. And lastly, the Koran tells its followers the pearl is one of the greatest rewards found in Paradise and is a symbol of perfection.

In conclusion

I can sum up this post with a quote from the Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

“All art is but imitation of nature.”

With a little twist that is all I could ever accomplish with the Pearl. I hope you like it. Feel free to leave a comment as I’d love to hear from you.

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Small Seascape

Small Seascape Painting

The small seascape painting was a study in my latest acrylics class. I’ve been taking a basic acrylic painting class through the local recreation department. Our instructor local artist Ashley Baron gives us the students new simple paintings to achieve. Last nights subject was a New England seascape.

Visible in this small seascape painting are two hulking rock formations tumbling into the ocean. The varied blue water includes write caps. Other variations in water color show the movement always present in the ocean. In the background a line of trees marks the shoreline. Above is a blue sky with fluffy sometimes wispy white clouds. On the rocks furthest away can be seen two white pine trees.

Painted New England Seascape

Inspirations

I’m very encouraged with the outcome. Although this kind of subject is something I never paint I do admire landscapes and seascape paintings. Painters like the American painter Robert W. Weir captures light and mood so well it takes my breath away. Even the Canadian artist Emily Carr with her abstract style that conveys the landscape as a moving object have my admiration.

I think my all time favorite seascape painting is Frederick Childe Hassam’s Celia Thaxter’s Garden, Isles of Shoals, Maine, 1890. A wonderful painting with poppies, roses and black eyed susan set against an island cove. Learn more and see the artist’s work found on FrederickHassam.org. To read about Celia Thaxter and her garden visit this page.

Frederick Hassam's Celia Thaxter's Garden
I will be attempting more landscapes and seascapes in the future. I certainly have books with pictures in them to keep me going through the winter months to come. So for now, I have my small seascape painting to add to my collection of styles.

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