Saturday, September 22, 2012

More paintings!

I'm supposed to be doing homework, but I thought I'd take a few minutes to share what we've been up to. Since I've been in school, I've really needed a way to relax one night a week. Doing landscape paintings has become my outlet (for now, I change artistic directions fairly often). I don't really have any great techniques to share, but I have a few tips:

1. Get a buddy and an honest critic. My sister is my painting buddy. We never paint the same picture (other than our first ones because we did a class together), but we usually pick something in the same genre and size. Having her here pushes me to do better and keeps me accountable to finish my work. My husband is the critic. He tells me what needs to be fixed and what looks good. He's nice about it, but he doesn't hold back.

2. Find a size that works for you. I bought a value pack of 12" x 12" canvas. The size is large enough for me to do a decent painting on, but not so large that it takes more than one sitting to finish. Perhaps one day I'll tackle something bigger. For now, it's nice to focus on technique.

3. Just past the "I hate it!" phase is the "Hey, that's not so bad" phase. If you hate, keep going until you're satisfied with it (same thing goes when writing a novel).

4. Check out sales and wholesalers. I was able to snag some canvas at a really good price from an art store I don't normally go to. And a friend of mine recently introduced me to a discount supply store that had amazing brushes for 25 and 50 cents apiece!

And that's it! Over time, you'll get better and better. In the meantime, you'll relax and have a great time. That's all for now, I really need to get back to writing my paper.

Friday, September 7, 2012

One Painting Class and Two Painting Parties

Right about now, if you've been following this blog, you might be thinking, "Oh yay! She's posting again! She must be really caught up on all her classes and have a spotless house." ...And you'd be wrong on both counts. I'm actually procrastinating on a paper, but the kiddos are still asleep and I thought I just might have enough time to post a few things before they wake up.

This semester I had intended to hit the books hard (3 classes!) and put everything artistic on hold. Well, I have certainly slowed down on my artistic endeavors, but I haven't stopped them entirely. I have some entries already photographed, but I haven't written them up yet. Just before school started, I finished repairing a couple of my quilts. I also compulsively doodle during Sunday Sermons- mostly henna designs and Celtic knots, which I would love to start posting every Sunday. Finally, I took a painting class with my sister, which led to the other paintings you see here.

Wine and Canvas Class
Ever since I heard about them, I've thought wine and painting nights sounded like a great idea. The only problem was the paintings weren't anything I was interested in (meaning they looked too easy) and the classes looked too large. Then I found out my favorite ceramics painting place was hosting them. My sister picked an awesome painting for us to try out and we went. We had a great time! In case you were wondering, mine is on the left and my sister's is on the right.

The colors fit perfectly with how I'm redoing my guest room and the painting looks great in there.
My Painting

Then my sister thought we might be able to do other landscapes, using some of the techniques we learned at the class. I was skeptical, but my competitive side won out. We bought some canvas and hosted our own painting party.

She chose a tree-filled picture with a ray of sunlight bursting through the trees. I picked out one of my own photos, a picture of a blossoming dogwood at my grandparents' house.
Painting Party 1- Dogwood
Unfortunately, my sister took off before I got a picture of her painting. Here's a picture of mine. I'll have to set it up for a better shot at some point (with my current record, look for that in about two months!). We had some friends over as well who did some really cute paintings for their kids' rooms.

My kids participated in the painting as well. Below you see "Happy Bird" and "The Eye with Makeup" by the five-year-old.

The two-year-old did the following paintings: "Flamenco Dancers" and "Flowers in a Vase". Either she's extremely gifted or I have a really good imagination, probably a little of both.

Flamenco Dancers

Flowers in a Vase
 Since it was a holiday weekend, we were able to squeeze in another painting party on Monday. This time, we invited my friend's daughter. She painted her version of the painting we did with the class. My sister and I tackled some more landscape photos. Mine is on the left, hers is on the right.
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about my paintings. Usually, when I paint ceramics, I either love a project or hate it. (That reminds me! I have a ceramic project I finished, but haven't photographed yet!) These I don't feel strongly about either way. So if you see one you're interested in (out of mine or my daughters', but not the first painting), let me know and I'll list it on Etsy for you.

Canvas painting is not terribly expensive, can be finished in one sitting, and is relaxing. I'm definitely hooked. Until I can afford another class and they offer one I'm interested in, I'll probably check out Youtube videos. I'm also hoping to tap into my brother-in-law's genius when he's here for Thanksgiving. Believe it or not, he's the resident artist of the family and his skills surpass mine by far.

If you're considering painting, go for it! We bought our canvas from Ross and I had paints left over from other projects.  Also, talk with your friends, you never know who might have a stash of acrylic paint that needs to be used up.