Tag Archives: paint

Blue Haired Mermaid

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When I started this piece, I didn’t have any image in mind. I started by collaging around the sides, leaving space in the middle for a face. Most of the collage elements were eventually covered but they’re still part of the process and add texture.

Next, I started on her face. Coming back to work on it fresh one evening I had this clear thought “I’m going to give her blue hair!” You could say it came out of the blue.

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After I finished her blue hair, I decided she just might be a mermaid. So I put bubbles into her hair and added a seahorse and a fish.

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I noticed that some of the textured paper I used in the collage looked kind of like a sand dollar, so I used paint to enhance it.

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I decided to extend the collage and paint onto the edges of the canvas board. I was so pleased with how it turned out that I went back to an earlier piece and did the same thing.

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The little snippet of music includes the lyric “…found me…”. Love that.

No mantra has occurred to me yet. I love her wild blue hair and her strong, steady gaze. She speaks to the Pisces in me.

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For now she is in my office, on a shelf over my computer, so I see her all the time. She looks at everyone who comes into the office.

As always, I appreciate your visit.

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Angel of Courage

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These angels just have a way of popping into my consciousness and then into reality.  When I learned a friend, who is also a former colleague and choir member, was facing serious health challenges, I decided to paint her an angel.

We had a heat spell and a few nights after I had the idea, it was too hot to sleep and I decided to start painting. I thought of my friend, K, and sat down at my craft table. I started with a collage and paint background and  outlined a generic face, then looked at some photos of K on my laptop.  But, in spite of seeing and confirming her red hair, I had a very clear vision of a Nordic blonde.

“No, red hair.” I thought to myself. I attempted a sketch of K’s hairstyle. Nope. That didn’t work. I tried sketching a whimsical style, piled up loops and curls. The image of swinging, pale blonde hair was too strong to ignore. I started to sketch and what you see here is the finished version. Clearly not a redhead.

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This shows the piece before I finished the background and added the mantra.

Once I opened myself up to the picture that seemed to be making itself known to me, or, I should say making herself known to me, this whole painting went together very quickly.  I collaged and painted for a few hours that first evening, then over the next few days I grabbed time before work when I could and also after dinner until she was done. I was very focused and in the flow.

That’s not to say every decision and every brushstroke was the right one from the start. I had a mantra in mind when I started, from a song I’d heard in our choir rehearsal. I looked up the lyric I could remember: “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”  Leonard Cohen has that in a song, but the song I’d been learning was a different one.

It didn’t really  matter because a different song was playing in my head and is the one that ended up on the piece.

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I’d painted a kind of stormy background in the upper part of the painting, thinking about the crack and the light getting in. But it worked with this mantra as well.  The song continues: “Though the night is dark, and I am far from home. Thanks be to God, the morning light appears. The storm is passing over. The storm is passing over. The storm is passing over. Alleluia.”  I added some “morning light” to the upper right corner.

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My angel needed a halo. I started with a light blue circle behind her head. Nice but it wasn’t really doing it for me. Then I watched my weekly Kelly Rae Unscripted video and she created a beautiful collaged flower halo. I laid out some flowers and it was perfect.

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Gold paint inside the flower halo and a few sequins, gold dots and little hearts and she was done.

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I got a text from my friend a few days after I finished painting the angel. She very sweetly suggested if I needed a model for one of my angel paintings, she would be happy to be one.  I told her I had already completed a painting for her, but explained it didn’t look like her.  She was delighted and I made arrangements to go visit K in the hospital.

Before the visit, the painting is passed around at a choir rehearsal so everyone can infuse it with love and good wishes. My singing partner (we sing together for Threshold Choir clients every week), go to visit K and sing with her and to give her this blonde angel.  Our choir has a weekly singing report and this is what I wrote about our visit:

Family photos, colorful scarves, cards and (faux) flowers fill the shelves and drape over bed and chair. Books are stacked on the wide windowsill. The TV is showing beautiful, peaceful nature scenes, the large window embraces a view that includes Mt. Tam, two bridges and San Francisco, and essential oils scent the air. It is NOT your typical hospital room.

K is doing well, though her hair has started to fall out, her mood and spirits are positive and full of gratitude. We visit and sing and I give her the angel painting that was passed around and sung to at rehearsal. It is a  joyful, loving time, with brief visits from hospital staff, that K calls by name, and the gorgeous view outside punctuated with Blue Angels flying by, leaving hazy contrails in the sky.

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Thank you for your visit. Please feel free to share your comments.

 

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You Are Loved

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This angel painting came together pretty quickly. I had a person in mind while I worked on it, and I even had a tiny photo of my friend which I used for inspiration. I don’t think I’m a skilled enough artist to create a realistic portrait, but I tried to capture some characteristics of this person.

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I started with a collage background, using sheet music (she’s a singer) and lots of flowers. This was following another lesson in the Kelly Rae Roberts angel painting ecourse I’m taking, Spirit Wings.

In each project, we’ve learned about different mediums to create the face. For this one, we used Faber-Castell Gelatos but the set I purchased didn’t have quite the range of color I wanted, so I also used Pitt pens.

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I didn’t really get step-by-step photos, but here you can see the rough sketch of the face. I used a brown Stabilo All, which works on the kind of plastic surface of the dried gel medium covering the sheet music. It also blends in later when I added color to the face.

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Another layer of collage added more pink roses and other flowers. The words are lyrics from a song we sing in Threshold Choir.

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I had the honor of visiting my friend at home and presenting my painting to her. She was delighted. I could not have asked for a better response.

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Thank you for visiting, please come back again.

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Listen to My Heart Song

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I’ve started my second e-course by Kelly Rae Roberts; this one is called Spirit Wings. This was the first angel I painted and I did it during our vacation. Every evening at the B&B or motel, I would get out my carefully-packed bag of art supplies and spend half an hour or 45 minutes immersing myself in the process of creating. It was wonderful!

This uses the same combination of collage and painting that we did in the first course, Hello Soul, Hello Mantra, and once again my primary tools are my fingers, so I really get into it: ripping, smearing, scraping, and smoothing.

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I followed along and it felt like a little magic to do shading and come out with a face that looks like a face.

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I am imitating and following the style of the artist and teacher, Kelly Rae Roberts but I will start to explore and develop my own style.

As I worked on her swirly hairdo and rosy cheeks, I knew who I wanted to give the painting to: my friend, Irene. She and I sing in the Threshold Choir and the pair of us sing together for clients every Saturday, singing at bedsides in care facilities.

 

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Irene is a poet and songwriter and we sing some of her songs in the choir. I thought I would use one of her song. The lyrics are: “In the quiet of this moment, I am at peace, all is well.” But every single time I worked on the angel, this other song was in my head.

I know Irene loves angels and decided I’d better listen and use the words I was hearing.

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Irene loved the painting, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to see it on the wall of her apartment, a cozy place with many, many angels, and now home to one more.

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Thanks for stopping by.

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Hi, Beautiful

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Hi, Beautiful. Yes, you.

When I saw a t-shirt with beautiful written out this way:

BE

YOU

TIFUL

it really caught my eye. “Be you. You are beautiful.” That’s how I read it. Just be yourself. You are enough. And you are beautiful.

This is another mixed-media mantra piece that I made after watching the wonderful Kelly Rae Roberts e-course, Hello Soul, Hello Mixed-Media Mantras. Here it is in stages.

The first layer: red and orange paint scraped in thin layers over a canvas board with a plastic card. Pink paint daubed onto bubble wrap then smooshed on the canvas to make pink dots. I love using my fingers and other tools besides brushes to get the paint onto the canvas. It takes me back to finger-painting. Playing with the textures, feeling the paint on my fingers.

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Then collaged bits and pieces: yellow flower from an old book, “you’re amazing” from a lovely, handcrafted birthday card, sheet music, scraps torn from an old Farmer’s Almanac. Then a little more paint on top.

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About that handcrafted card; I love using special cards and mementos in my artwork. It feels as if I’m giving new life to the item instead of sticking it in a drawer, and it adds meaning to my finished piece.

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This photo isn’t the best, but it shows another stage of the piece. I used some more paint on and around the collaged pieces to blend them into a more cohesive background, including some nice drips. I love the richness of the red background and some of the paper I picked out looks too bright-white.

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Somewhere in this process, I decided to use this mantra for the painting and as soon as I did, I thought of my friend, Maria.

She is smart, funny and pretty much awesome. She is also raising two smart, funny, awesome daughters.  Oh, and did I mention beautiful? Yes, I believe that being smart and funny and awesome are all characteristics of being beautiful but Maria is also tall with a huge smile and pretty dark eyes. So, the whole enchilada.

I started to add things that made me think of her.

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She loves elephants. She is fabulous.

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She wears polka dots.

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Hey, beautiful. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, you.

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Believe in Love & Magic

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When I saw this sweet handmade card by Violet Annie on The Paper Wallflower, I knew I would be borrowing the phrase for one of my Hello Soul, Hello Mantras paintings.

My intention, when I started this one, was to play. So I did.

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First things first: get some color on the canvas board – canvas that is stretched over a hard backing.  A squirt of green acrylic paint and I was off.

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I smeared it around with a plastic card, added different shades of green, squirted on some water to create drips, dragged a plastic fork crisscross through the paint and use a bottle lids and a cork to stamp some circles.

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I smeared more paint and then stenciled some hexagons in different sizes. I painted over some of the stamped circles, but decided to re-stamp them.

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Once this verdant background paint was dry (with the help of my heat gun), I started collaging paper onto it.  A piece of map, some textured flowered paper, a bus transfer I found while walking earlier in the day, green tissue paper and a photo of a leaf  with raindrops from a birthday card.

Even though most of these things don’t show in the finished painting, I love how they are all part of it; the layers make the whole thing more interesting. I know what’s under the collage and paint.

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Now back to paint to start to blend the paint and paper layers into a more cohesive background.

I’ve done some painting, dripping, stenciling and a bit of rubber stamping. I’ve also added more collage elements including a fortune from a fortune cookie that says “You are a deep thinker with a knack for problem solving.”

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Several of the collage papers have orange-red on them which you can see peeking from under all the green. I decided to add more of that color to the piece along with more pattern; stamping a harlequin design in black ink.

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Here I’ve added some buff paint to help the letters of the mantra stand out. Once I’ve stamped the letters, I’ll go back in and put some richer color around the letters. A horizon of lace, fabric and paper has been added along the bottom edge.

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Finally – the mantra is stamped onto the background. I think it was a bit more to the right side than would have been ideal, but it just seems to be the best location.

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Last but not least: finishing details. I used the same harlequin pattern for a border, and brought the flower back into view with more of the red-orange color. I also added lots of little details with white and black pens.

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I love how these final details seem to bring the piece into focus (and I do mean more than my photos, which can be a little uneven).

Thank you for your visits and comments.

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Give Me Wings

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Last weekend I spent a glorious afternoon crafting with my friend Margaret. I brought all my new paints and some collage goodies and started on my second Hello Soul, Hello Mantras mixed media piece.

After a delicious lunch we got started. Margaret was working on a batch of greeting cards while I was painting and collaging.  The teacher of the e-course, Kelly Rae Roberts, said in one of the videos that working with a friend was a good way to be a little distracted from the the piece and to not overthink the process.  Crafting with friends is one of my favorite things to do.

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I’d been to the Farmer’s Market in the morning and picked up a bunch of spring flowers and wanted to use the colors from the bouquet in my painting.

Before starting on the piece, I wrote my intention down to keep in mind as I was working. I planned to just jump right in and start getting messy!

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After smooshing and dripping and scraping paint onto the canvas, I used gel medium to collage some scraps of paper onto this painted background. These included postage stamps, sheet music,  a parking slip from a fun shopping trip in Berkeley, a Christmas tag and a piece of a pretty liner from an envelope. Using a heat tool to dry the paint and gel medium between layers helped move the process along.

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Paint is layered over some of the collage pieces, integrating them into the painted background. Feathers are one of my special or  sacred images so I included one on this piece.

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After stamping the mantra, I embellished the letters with curlicues and dots. In this picture you can see other details:  the butterfly with halves from two different sources, the edge of a page torn from a calendar, a piece of corrugated cardboard with a heart in it, lace, and washi tape.

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The next day I painted over the stamped mantra. The added curls and dots weren’t working for me. Or more specifically, though I loved dots on the overall piece, I wanted the mantra to be clearer and more readable. Some lighter paint behind the words helped  them to stand out.

Other finishing details include a small dragonfly, another heart with more text, a small bird sticker, two small pieces of paper with a dictionary definition of the word “breathing,” and flower silhouettes stamped in black ink.

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Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re enjoying these pieces because I sure am! I’ll be posting more soon.

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