Mixed Media Art. Photography. Inspiration.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Photography: Beautiful Waterfalls Part 2

Here's the other waterfall from Kern River, as promised in the last post.  It looks like a short fall, but in reality it has about a 60 ft drop.  Hmmm ... looking at these pictures makes me want to go back!  "Honey, pack your bags, we're goin for a drive!"

Can you feel the spray against your face?  Refreshing, huh?  Man, our Creator sure knows what He's doing.  The ultimate artist.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Photography: Beautiful Waterfalls Part 1

Here's a few pictures of one of the waterfalls (altough this one might be more of a waterslide) at Kern River.  I took tons of pictures on a hike on our recent vacation, so it's taken a while to go through them.  I decided to split the waterfalls into two posts, one for today and one for tuesday.  I was afraid that cramming them into one post might take the attention away from the beauty of each, so without further ado, here's the first...

Ahh...breathe it in.  So pretty, right?  I usually avoid turning my camera toward the sun, to avoid sun spot (or halos, or whatever they're called), but this time I was having fun experimenting with purposely trying to get some spots and glare from the sun.  I like how they turned out, who needs photoshop right ?(she says longingly while (not so) secretly hoping her dear husband will surprise her with it one day...wink wink).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Finished Painting: Branching Out

I finished this painting last week, and I'm so excited about it!  I love the way it turned out.  I first showed it to you and explained the first part of the process in my post titled "Painting in Progress" here.  From there I finished painting some detail on the leaves, then it sat for a little while because I was unsure what to do next on it.  When I worked on my journal page "Loving Word"( a few posts back), it clicked, and I knew I needed to use those same techniques to finish this painting.


Oh, while I was working on it I decided I liked it better turned this way (above) so it looks as if the branch is reaching up.  In my original post, it was heading down like in this photo below.

The camera was having a hard time picking up on the true colors, which seems to happen with layers.  The photos below are probably closer to the colors, but still don't show the richness.  The background color is deep, but not dark, because it seems to have a nice glow coming through (all those years of painting faux-finishes paid off!).

Ok, so back to the process...

I wished that I had let more of the rusty-peach underpainting show through, so to bring back some of that warmth, I grabbed a orange water-soluable (WS) artist crayon by Lyra, and loosely doodled around the edges of the leaves, and onto the branches.  I also rubbed some of the orange onto the background here and there.  Then I used a brown WS crayon to add some shadowing and depth to the branches.  The leaves and branches needed to "POP" a bit more against the background,  so I used a white WS crayon along the edges of the leaves, and used it to create some highlights on the branches.  

If you look closely at the branch in the picture below, you may notice a bit of text from the book pages peeking through!  I love the subtle texture and depth that it brings to the painting.

I splashed some water over the canvas to make the WS crayons run and drip, and to soften the outlines in some areas.  I took some white paint and lightly spattered it here and there on the background.  I did the same with a bit of orange.  I then took a deep turquoise blue paint and washed it over the background, then rubbed it all around the outside of the canvas and blended it in, to "frame it in".  I thought it was done, so I sprayed it with a matte fixative to seal it.  I still wasn't quite happy with it, and the spray had made some of the white fade away.  I added more white, then stared at it for a while.

 I kept ignoring the little voice that was telling me how to finish it, thinking "no way, that'll ruin it...that's crazy"!  But I knew that's what needed to be done, so...I finally grabbed the brown WS crayon, let loose, and started drawing and slashing lines, or "scratches"  all over the canvas!  It was so much fun, I felt like a kid discovering crayons for the first time!  I realized why it needed this...the areas originally collaged with book pages gave the painting such a great texture, but it only covered about half of the canvas.  I didn't like the smooth areas as much, so this seemed to add that feel of texture along with uniformity to the whole painting.  Plus I think it adds a bit of an unexpected edge to it.

So there it is.  My wonderful husband came up with the title of the painting "Branching Out".

It is and I am.


What about you?

 Have you "branched out" lately?  Done something that makes you step outside of your comfort zone, to help you stretch and grow?  Is there something you've been wanting to do but are too scared?  Even if you just take baby steps, maybe it's time ....take a deep breath... get started and don't look back!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Artist at Work

Wanted to post pictures of a finished painting today, but I painted our hallway instead!  Been wanting to do this for years, just haven't gotten around to it.  I worked on it all day, till about 8:30 tonight and I'm exhausted, but happy!  It's done (and so am I)!!  Here's a little sneak peak of it, more pictures to come...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Flowers and a Quote

"Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities."  William Bridges

Just wanted to share a great quote with you, and let you know I finished a painting a couple of days ago.  Finally got to take picts of it today, and can't wait to share it with you...soon....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Art Journal Page: Loving Word

I started this journal page while I was vacationing in Kern.  Before we left I had bought these cool water-soluable graphite pencils that work like watercolor pencils...you draw/write with them, then you can wet them with a brush to blend and smear them.  I wanted to see how they worked, so I drew a branch of leaves and then used a wet brush to soften the lines and shade the leaves.  I love how it worked!  I should've taken a pict of how it looked because now it's mostly covered up.

A few days ago I decided to work on the page again.  I squeezed a few paint colors (aqua and teal) straight onto the page and smeared them around with a brush.  When it dried I got a few water-soluable crayons out and loosely colored the leaves.  I then used a wet brush to blend and smear the colors together.  

I used the same graphite pencil to write out a great quote that I just found  by Frank Herbert Sweet, "If you have a tender message, Or a loving word to say, Do not wait till you forget it, But whisper it today."  I colored in the block letters the same way as the leaves , then splashed water all over the page to make the pencil and crayons run and drip here and there.  The final touches were a few more doodles, then I ran a very wet brush over the orange crayon to pick up some of the color and flicked it onto the page. 

This evening I was reminded of ONE OF MANY REASONS WHY I NEED TO WORK IN MY ART JOURNAL MORE,  to practice techniques.  I've been a little stuck on a painting I started fairly recently, not sure what to do next.  After finishing this journal page today, I grabbed the unfinished painting and started doodling on it with a water-soluable crayon, and then flicked on the same color and sprayed it with water here and there to make it run and smear, just like in my journal.  I'm not sure if I would've thought to do this on this painting if I hadn't just done it in my journal, so yay for art journaling!  Oh, and a great thing about using these products is, if you mess up or don't like the color, you can just wet it and wipe it off!!  Just remember if you are using these water-soluable products, you need to spray them with a sealer/fixative after so they don't keep running if it gets wet again.  And also remember to have fun and enjoy the process.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Kern River Photos

Here's just a few of  MANY photographs I took while we were on vacation in Kern River.  We went hiking in a beautiful area, and I just couldn't seem to stop taking pictures!  I will post pictures of the gorgeous waterfalls soon, but here's some beautiful scenery to hold you over till then.

So pretty...sigh...and no, I did not alter the colors of the trees, that's how vibrant they looked in person!  Amazing.

I love when the moon is out during the day, did you notice it in the last picture?  More pictures to come soon...