Friday, July 29, 2011

Evolution of a Painting

Loved having Esther here. And loved throwing paint around with her! I'd bought a large canvas before she came ( half off at Crafts and More, woot!) to play on. As we were talking about ideas for it, we decided that we would take turns layering and just see where it ended. There are some pretty hilarious layers.
First layer. Chuck supervising. Esther starts her paintings with silhouettes of people, and abstract shapes...

Maybe a horizon line? Some blooms? Little detail? What on earth. Have no idea where this is going. But having a splendid time. 

Patchwork quilt phase. Sensory overload. Scary green blob attacks female figure's head. Yellow and white fairies wander into top right. 

Both decided it needed three things: simplify, simplify, simplify. 

 Esther added super vibrant colors, and collage elements. She called this the Salvador Dali stage (potentially because of the half face on the flower).  

Bright colors toned down, more collaging (the profile's back!) and some whispy flowers...think we're done! Sometimes doing whatever you want without thinking about the end product at all is delightfully refreshing. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rowan Ventura: Eight Months

What a happy little guy. Eating three regular food meals a day now, making me feel like he's way too grown up (even if they are pureed!). A big fan of books, being outside and cuddling. Definitely my child. 

(Note: no products were used in the styling of this manchild's hair...just a good sleep after a bath. WOAH. ha:)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Idea Swap

  My sweet friend Esther is here! Besides being just a lovely person in general, she is an incredible artist, and tossing ideas around in the art room with her has been so much fun. Together we are working on a bigger piece (look for the 'unveiling' in a later post!). Her works are much more abstract, and she inspired me to do something I've been thinking about for a while. Still keeping with a natural  theme, I collaged pieces of paper from a beautiful journal, a world map I've been hanging on to since college, and old sheet music, and just let the flowers appear where they wanted to.

Her next challenge to me was to try it again, but with a completely new color scheme (possibly purples? Or reds?). Hmmm...

Favorite Things

Randomly, I will think: I LOVE this. Or that.  Or this and that. So here's to recording them!

Downside to acrylics; they dry at the speed of light, and saran wrap will only buy you, say fifteen minutes, on their short life. Especially while trying to balance baby time with painting, this thing is the BEST. There is apparently a special sponge you can get to go with it, but I just get a regular one wet and leave it in there. I do use the sta-wet sheets though; acrylic paints, now lasting for days. Who knew? What other acrylic wonders are out there that I don't know about?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Woodland Wood Blocks

The other day Rowan and I went for a nature walk ( basically a walk were I pick up anything that looks pretty:) While he was taking a monster nap later that afternoon, I sketched the leaves I'd found out on watercolor paper, went over the lines with a sharpie, and colored with color pencil. I stained the woodblocks with a mix of Liquitex matte medium and burnt umber acrylic. Then I layered the leaves, using the matt medium as collage glue, added layers of highlights with acrylic paint, and sealed them with a gloss finish. And then Rowan woke up:) 

I had so much fun making these. I didn't know where I was headed when I started, but I liked the way they turned out. Other than the fern, I'm not sure what the other leaves are. Any more tree knowledgeable folks know? 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sittin' Pretty (or handsome, in this case:)

Look mom, no hands!

 Although he still has the occasional top-heavy topple over, little man is sitting up. This picture was taken after a nap; I had sat him up and ran out of the room to get something. When I came back, he had his hands out like this, and that precious grin of satisfaction like he couldn't believe he was still upright! 

Practicing with Grandma during her visit.  We miss you. Can you make Canada be closer to Florida, please? xo

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Paintings

While we were in Canada, everywhere I looked there was something beautiful going on. Hundreds of poppies in full bloom! Iris's in Grandma's yard! Wild flowers flowers covering the hillside! 

While on a hike with my mom and several of her friends, she said' Oh Leah, LOOK!'. I thought for sure we were about to be eaten by bears (it could happen. It's Canada!). But when I looked, it was poppies, hundreds of them. Ok, have I never seen a real poppy before?!? They are HUGE! And so beautiful! I was completely in awe. 

Grandma's Iris

Playing with ideas for eclectic groupings of wood blocks; could go together, or separate.

Inspired by a beautiful moth my sister found 

Mock Orange blossoms in the Grans backyard

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Inspiration Squares

I am learning that being a mom means most projects stay about half done. Like laundry. Or dusting. Starting too many big paintings ( though I love the big ones) means I have a lot more half done projects. Out of this came my most recent bite-sized idea; inspiration squares! 6x6 and 8x8 wood squares that can (most often, depending on Rowan's day) be completed during his nap. I have hundreds of pictures of small things that draw me in; the light on leaves, a dandelion, a strangely pretty pine cone. In my out of control mind, I see hundreds of squares, each with a little bit of outdoor inspiration. They can be hung alone! Or in a grouping of three; or five, or ten! Can you tell that I get unreasonably excited about new ideas?!?

Wood squares prepared by Ro, the operator of the saw-that-scares-me-to-death!

Leaves from Linden Gardens in Penticton, B.C. 

Series of three!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Art Studio

I've never had any space wholly devoted to painting ( unless you count the entry at our last house); this magical room is the beginning of something, I can feel it. A place to let my creative self roam free ( during Rowan's nap time, at least). A place to forget to put my apron on and happily ruin all my clothes with paint splatters (two shirts down, several more to go).  A place to explore, were I can interpret my ridiculous love of nature with paint and wood.
Inspiration from everywhere

Sneak preview of new wood blocks I'm working on...more to come!