NaBloPoMo 2011, Painting of the Month, Picture O' The Day

Painting of the Month: November 2011

Holy hand grenade of Antioch!**

I have finished the November painting of the month.

Bet you weren’t expecting a painting of the month?!

(Nooobooooody expects the…Spanish Inquisition…or for me to finish a painting.  Start them, yes.  Finish them, nope.)

Painting of a Peacock

I was inspired to create this by a mug that I bought a couple months back.  I love peacocks and this mug has a beautiful peacock on it in a style reminiscent of Toile de Jouy.

sample of toile black and whiteIf you’ve watched HG TV, you’ve seen toile before,  It’s a complex and distinctive pattern, traditionally black on a cream or white background.  There are frequently people, animals and relaxing nature scenes in the pattern.  Most often it’s used on fabric or wallpaper.

My Antebellum favors toile patterns so in some sense toile reminds me of her and staying the summer with her and my uncle and just how awesome she is.  I’m not a huge fan of the typical black and cream variety, but I did instantly love the mug’s blue and orange take on it.

In keeping with the inspiration piece, I wanted the lines to be simple and the background to be very basic.

close up of painting
Close up of the “pattern”.

peacock close upAnother close-up view.

When I first began working on this piece, I feared it was going to turn out just terrible.  I didn’t like the “pattern” or lines or colors or anything that was happening for quite awhile.  I surprise myself by liking the finished product much more than expected.  The husband liked it even more than I did.  Thanks, hon!

One thing I was forced to embrace while working on this is that you don’t have to create something that is perfect or even something that you like.  As the old saying goes, it’s the journey not the destination.  It’s easy to take myself way too seriously and forget to just have fun with what I’m doing.

So, go have fun.  Do what inspires you even if you hate your first attempt at it.

See you tomorrow.

**Confused? Go stream Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail.  Please.  Do It. For. Your. Own. Sanity.**

P.S. – Is NaBloPoMo over yet?  For MY sanity, half of me hopes the end comes soon!

Painting of the Month, Picture O' The Day, The Family That...

Painting of the Month: March 2011


Here it is folks!  The moment you’ve all been waiting for.

The unveiling of my March painting of the month!

NOTE: Those of you that are turning blue can now stop holding your breath.

painting of thunderstorm
Rain Rain Go Away!

I acquired this round canvas years back for some other painting project that I drug my feet on and never started.  My goal for March was to make good use of the circular nature of the canvas.  I’m trying to use up what I have before I go out and purchase new canvases.

After some thought I settled on creating a painting that showed the earth meeting the sky as I felt the curvature would be interesting on the circular canvas.  In tribute to the unseasonably odd and crazy weather, what better thing to paint at the meeting of earth and sky than a bad storm?  I love storms, which is not so odd considering I grew up in tornado alley, and there is nothing better than watching the black clouds roll in and hearing the thunder echo over the hills.  (storm-chasing is on the List)

On a side note, this strange weather did have a nice side effect.  One day as it was storming and my power had gone out, I received a phone call from my Mom.  She had heard a tornado had blown away the roof of some retiree mobile home units close to where I live.  She wanted to make sure I was okay.  After I recovered from the shock, I felt both happy and confused.

Is this the same Mom who as a child neglected to take me to the dentist for a couple of years until a broken tooth had rotted out and needed a root canal?

Is it a full-moon?

Is Jupiter aligned with Mars?

Whatever it is I’m not complaining.  Thanks, Ma!

Hope you enjoy this month’s work.  Stay tuned for more.

Painting of the Month, Picture O' The Day

Painting of the Month: February 2011

Who knew being an artist was such hard work?  I ticked off each day on the calendar as the month progressed but got no closer to an inspiration for, or even commencement of, the February painting.  February taunted me with its shortness of days, cattle trebuchet and gaseous emissions.

After several cycles of depression and repeated bouts of staring until cross-eyed, I finally had an idea!  I had just purchased and put up some test paint samples in the living and dining rooms.  I love cruising the paint department and picking up oops paint when I can.

I recently started buying the sample-sized paint in the jars with the screw on lids and I decided that this month’s challenge would be to create a painting using only oops paint.

I also decided not to mix the samples.  I chose to use them only in the hue that came straight out of the jar or can.

I’m not a huge fan of abstract art, but it was kind of neat to see how several globs of colors bled and ran together while the paint was wet.

As an homage to Jackson Pollock I also didn’t let the brush touch the canvas other than for my signature.  Instead the paint was flicked, flung and drizzled onto the canvas.

If you ever find this in a dumpster, I’m pretty sure you will be able to sell it for a couple of million.

Hope you like it!

Painting of the Month

Painting of the Month: January 2011

New Year’s in all its glory serves as our collective, requisite time for resolutions, challenges and self-improvement.  I don’t make resolutions often but this year I chose to challenge myself creatively and artistically.  Reflecting on my childhood can bring joy or tears depending on the topic (maybe more on that someday).  In this case, reflection brought a moment of puzzlement.

I thought back to all the time I spent drawing, painting, writing and crafting and began to wonder what had happened to that spark?  Was I only here to crunch-numbers (especially apropos at tax time)?  Could I re-engage that side of my brain?  I had hardly lifted a brush or pen or finished a needlework project in years.

My brain bounced around some thoughts – my artist friend who works in cardboard, an article about a man who had died but who left behind a picture each day of their life, a friend whose artist wife created a painting a day while her husband was deployed – and from this produced the Painting of the Month Project (POM).

While I admire the ambition of those that can create something each day, I wanted to be realistic and challenge myself with something attainable.  Yes, I sing and act, both creative activities, but they are activities that allow you to add your interpretation to a foundation that already exists.  I wanted to imagine and create anew.

No, I don’t expect to be the next Da Vinci or Picasso although I can always hope!  I do this to improve at the things I love.  I took an art class once and the teacher always said, “If you don’t like it – keep painting.”  Meaning, the more you work on it the better it becomes.  Like training for a marathon for runners.

After a tough start and painter’s block I finished the January painting at the 11th hour.

I would have liked to share sooner.  And I was sorely tempted.  Please don’t ask me to keep secrets; it’s torture!  But I worked really hard to keep this under wraps. I painted it as an homage to my husband and didn’t want word to leak out to him.

We were married on Yacht StarShip.  Stars are wishes and important people.  Stars are dreams and hopes.  Just like my beloved.

Detail of the heart:

Hope you enjoy!  Who else out there has creative hobbies?  Do you do anything to foster that? I’d love to see links to your work in the comments!