I painted this watercolor portrait of London Vale for “I Art You,” the brain child of The Spanish Lady. Crys pairs two artists to get aquianted and create portraits of each other. Here is what I had to say about the experience…
“I Art You has been a fabulous experience for me. I heard about it through a friend and was eager to participate. As a stay at home mom for the last 10 years, I have been pretty limited to the outside world, especially with other artists. I was excited about the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other artists. Creating a portrait was an excellent challenge for me as I have had very little experience with portraits. I also love the “accountability” aspect of the collaboration. I had to paint four different portraits before I was happy with my painting!!! If I didn’t have other artists to be “accountable” to, I feel like I would have given up and never pushed through the feelings of self-doubt. Not walking away from the work, but walking through the struggle to the other side, helped me to grow as an artist. It has been an incredibly rewarding journey on so many levels!!
London has broad artistic interests and abilities: in acting, oil painting, fashion illustration and letterpress. London has been passionate about art since a child and one of the things I find inspiring about London is her tenacity and courage to pursue what she has been passionate about regardless of obstacles or approval.
London is a beautiful woman and I had a lot of great material to work with. The muted colors, beautiful braids, and a quiet pose of one particular image of her immediately struck me as something that could be from bygone century. I was inspired to create a portrait that captured the peaceful and pensive pose from this image and combine it with a modern ethereal quality that would reflect the London’s inner light and passionate nature. I am so happy with where the painted resolved!”
This is a watercolor painting I did back in January of last year. I haven’t posted in awhile and realized I haven’t updated my artwork in awhile. I did this out of the book Step By Step Guide To Painting Realistic Watercolors. It was a really fun learning experience! I would recommend the book as a way of learning watercolor techniques.
When I was young my mother read to all eight of us kids many, many stories. Some of which included those classic historical fiction books like Little Women and the Little House on the Prairie series. In these books life was hard, but the simple joys (or my idea of joy), like sitting around with the other women hand sewing were plenty. My paternal grandmother is a quilter and taught her daughter-in-law, my mother. Not one to helicopter parent, my mom put a needle and thread in our hands as early as we showed interest. Natural consequence quickly taught me how to carefully hold a sharp needle. Growing up deep in the country and with not a lot of money there wasn’t much to do besides play outside, draw our own paper dolls, or do something crafty. I have many fond memories sewing as a child. I learned to sewing on a treadle sewing machine (it runs not on electricity, but by pumping the treadle with your feet). In the summer it might be cross-stitching while watching the dusk fall and listening to nothing but the crickets and frogs. One winter when my grandma was visiting, after dinner we would clear off the dining room table and three generations of women would sit around handquilting together.
Quilting is a craft so rich with history, so utilitarian, and allows us to express ourselves in design and color. Every time I gather stiches on my needle through cozy layers of cloth and batting so many wonderful things happen. I feel intrinsically linked to centuries of women before me. I am flooded with memories of my grandma and mom. I relax. I can quiet myself and think, pray and meditate. Or, more commonly, I can just zone out and watch something distracting and entertaining on Netflix.
I am so excited to share my first pattern with you!! This pattern was inspired by the Triple Irish Chain quilt block. After tweaking many sketches this is were I landed. While it is quite different I am very happy with this version. I’ve combined quilting and painting and I think they make a beautiful marriage. Here painted triangles become part of the quilted pattern to make a modern, unique and beautiful pillow for your home decor.
Here is another version of the Vintage Modern Quilted Pillow from my last post. Again I chose a very simple palette for the fabric colors. I feel like this blue is practically a neutral. When I picture where it would live in my own home, it really would work in any room.
I chose a monochromatic scheme with a darker, indigo blue for the paint. I painted a very simple pattern of lines and geometric triangles.
I hand quilted it all in a blue as well. That is always my favorite step.
The pillow back has simple painted stripes across the back and is finished with an invisible zipper. This pillow is now available in my etsy shop!
This is the second quilt//pattern design I have made. The quilt design is a traditional beautiful “vintage star” block pattern in gray and cream fabric. I then hand painted a simple yet modern design with with a gold fabric paint over that. In this pillow I also wanted to juxtapose the technicality of the sewn pattern with the painterly and impressionistic painted lines. I hand quilted a simple pattern in cream thread that echoes the painted design. The back is gray and cream with two gold painterly stripes.
This is available in my shop and I am working on a downloadable pattern as well.
This is a watercolor still life and study of a beautiful cow skull I have. I love lines, form and structure of cow skulls. Macabre? Maybe. After reapplying myself to learning watercolor for a year or so this is the most happy I have been with a painting. It’s hard to see in this picture but I was really pleased with the fall out light in the background. I did that first and then next eighty percent of the process was frustrating but I came back around to enjoying the process and the outcome towards the end. This painting gives me hope for my potential.
In other news I have opened an etsy shop! Right now I have fabric and textile products up. Once I am finished with fine tuning details with the printer I am working with I will also list prints of my art, including this one. I am excited to see products that I have labored over and love all cozy and hanging out together.
I did this watercolor landscape of Glencoe from a photograph of a recent trip to Scotland. The Highlands of Scotland are so inspiring and beautiful. I would love to go back some day just to paint. This painting was also part of an exercise in the book I am working through called Watercolor Class by Michael Crespo. The excersice is called the “The Three Zones of Landscape.”
Having read the War of Art, I know that feeling like giving up is normal. I know to push through it now. When I was working on this watercolor the question I asked myself was “How much and how strong of that feeling is normal?” Because I didn’t feel it like a whisper, but deafening trumpet while I was painting this. A “Why do I even bother, what am I thinking, I should just give this up” constant feeling. So far I have felt that way each time I tackle a painting. Sometimes it is not as strong and I can get past it sooner, say fifty percent of the time. I swear I felt that way during this piece about nintey two percent of the time. Painting it felt more like a struggle than relaxing and enjoyable. I am hoping that comes from being so new and not really knowing what I am doing. Somehow at the end I felt, “Okay. That isn’t horrible. That’s decent.” And then when it was done I immediately got out a new piece of fresh paper to tackle another painting, the next “puzzle”. I really want to keep a documentation of the process of learning to paint, and how this inner dialogue plays out. I read one artist say recently “Finally after fourteen years I am painting the way I always dreamed.” That was both frightening and encouraging at the same moment. Frightening because I am not far in and I have a long way to go; encouraging because it’s helpful to know how long others have had to keep at it. Sitting in front of the paper with brushes in my hands is some of the happiest moments I have. With each new painting, the more I push through and “fight the resistance,” the harder it is to imagine my future without doing it. So I’ll cling to that!