Activities & Events, Art & Creativity, Uncategorized

Large Abstract – Into a Land Flowing With Milk and Honey

Recently, I enjoyed working on one of the largest paintings I’ve ever attempted, and it’s an abstract, nonetheless. As much as I like working more abstractly, it exercises a different set of muscles that I have yet to really develop. The process still feels a little foreign and uncertain to me, but maybe that’s what also makes it exciting.

When I started work on this piece, I had a very vague idea of what direction this would take. It began one way, then took various twists and turns along the journey of process. Here’s what things looked like towards the beginning (my little helper, as pictured, is fascinated by brushes!):

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My son, Asa, was having some fun in the studio.

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Whipped yogurt is one of my favorite snacks. Don’t forget the baby monitor.

There were several features I began with that ultimately were edited out, including the long stream of dark paint drips on the right (see first post image). I just kept building upon the texture and continued to add subtle color variations into the background. Metal stencils, honeycomb pattern, gold leafing…it all kind of converged for the final effects:

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Applying gold leafing to a few honeycombs.

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I couldn’t really capture a good photo of the whole painting that did it justice. But if you’re local to San Luis Obispo, you should come see it on display for Open Studios Art Tour, 2016. The tour is two weekends in October, 8-9 and 15-16 from 10am to 5pm. Come by studios #73 and #85. Joining me at my home studio will be the incredibly talented encaustic artist, Maura Fox. We hope to see you there!

 

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Weekly Art

Weekly Art: Another World & Key to my Heart

Wow, it’s been forever since the last blog post. I guess I’ve just been focused on being a new mom to baby Asa and put a few things on hold. I’m loving the new role, what an incredible blessing. Asa is a really sweet little guy and it’s so much fun seeing him change before our very eyes. As each new phase comes and goes, I try to just appreciate the moment, knowing that it’s all so fleeting. But knowing, too, that those little moments, experiences and lessons build into a precious life.

All that being said, creativity is such a part of who I am. In my desire to be the best mom that I can be for Asa, I find myself feeling conflicted over when and how to squeeze time in for creativity. I’m trying to make some space for it without taking away from the time, care and attention I give to baby boy. But I also know it’s rather vital for me to have a creative outlet to help fuel energy and passion for my most important roles as wife and mother.

Here’s the challenge I’m giving myself: to work on art a little bit each week and share it here. Maybe on some weeks I’ll finish multiple pieces, while on other weeks I’ll be lucky to make progress on an existing piece. But it’s worth it and necessary to keep making art. I look forward to the process and sharing it with you.

Without further fuss, I’ll get this started by sharing two recent pieces. The smaller one I worked on during this past week and it got me through a particularly frustrating day related to our home renovation (I know, of all the silly things to get frustrated about, we’re very fortunate!).

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Key to my Heart – 6×8 inches – Mixed media on wood

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And then there’s this piece from two weeks ago. I love the rusted metal rings…

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Another World – 16×16 inches – Wood, metal, acrylics, embroidery floss on wood

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Thanks for allowing me a space to share a bit of my “creativity” with you!

~Holly

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Around the Home, Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

Happily and Completely Lost – Assemblage Art

When’s the last time you were so lost in something, undistracted by the world, completely absorbed in the moment, expressing your creativity, unhindered and unafraid? That beautiful place is exactly where I lived for large sections of the past three days. Initially inspired by a sleepless night, when my brain just wouldn’t shut off, I formulated an idea for some artwork. Artwork that I wanted to create for my favorite person (AKA, hubby) and myself. Just because. Just to enjoy in our home. Not to sell or to get anyone else to like it or for any other silly reason.

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Here I’m experimenting with layout of my objects

I got really excited about this art. There wasn’t anything else pressing on the agenda. It’s funny how I almost felt guilty for fully enjoying three days of pure creative process. I don’t know if I’ve ever had that much fun making and hanging art. Perhaps it’s important to interrupt the “ought to’s” and agenda on a regular basis to keep those creative juices flowing in other work, no? I think it’s true and beneficial, for the soul even.

I started out with three 24″x24″ wood paneled old paintings that I decided to repurpose. I also gathered other small, inexpensive canvases and painting surfaces, old frames, etc., things I already had laying around. I even picked up a few random goodies at Brook’s Woodcraft, one of my favorite stores in town (full of treasures!).

Anyhow, here’s a little about the process (in pictures & captions), as well as the finished three collages. If you feel so inclined to create some personal and significant art for your own home, feel free to steal ideas…

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Metal, wood, silver, gold, canvas, you name it

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I taped off some simple patterns on the small canvases to include in each collage then used gold spray paint

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Once all my components were ready to go, I used Gorilla glue, wood glue and lots of heavy objects to hold everything in place while drying

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The Yellow One – FinishedCollage #1

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Details. I love the “banana paper” on the left, it’s such a fun texture

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Picture frame and embroidery floss. How can you go wrong?

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Here you can see the thickness of the 24″x24″ wood panel that it’s all mounted on. No framing necessary

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The Red One – Finished Collage #2

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Some hand lettered (white paint) scripture

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Yes, I used a bit of graphic design too and printed out some compilations of digitially colored vintage wallpaper patterns

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The Blue One – Finished Collage #3

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Our wedding date

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Of course my favorite part of this one is the metal letters…but the “E” was painted in

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All three up above our dining room table. I definitely made sure to mount these into wall studs, they’re a bit hefty

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It’s about time we had more art on those white walls

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I love the way the sunlight and bold colors reflect off the metal

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thanked God for the gift of creativity and beautiful white walls to hang art on, especially in the past few days. If you’ve tried something like this, or decide to, feel free to  link back to your project in the comments of this post, I would love to see it.

~Holly

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Activities & Events, Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

Before & After: Two Paintings

Lately, I’ve enjoyed the process of just painting with acrylics. Last year I did a lot of mixed media, using multiple materials and photographs in my work. But I’ve shifted more into using an underpainting/overpainting method with acrylics and have loved the results.

BEFORE: If you look at the  painting below, I start out with the underpainting, adding lots of color and picking out some of my main points of interest. At this stage I block in a very general sense of my subject matter, focusing on deep hues and shadows.

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AFTER: Notice that in the later stages, I begin to better define my subject matter by going back with a lighter color, allowing areas of the underpainting to show through and highlight with whites.

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Two Little Swallows: Acrylic on wood panel // 8 x 8 x 1.5 (in)

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Peacock Feathers: Acrylic on wood panel // 8 x 8 x 1.5 (in)

Two Little Swallows will be displayed at Art Central in San Luis Obispo for the Month of October. Peacock Feathers will be displayed in a series of small paintings (along with several other larger works) at Open Studios Art Tour, October 11th/12th & 18th/19th from 10am to 5pm at our home! Please contact me (holly@hollybeals.com) if you have any questions about the event.

~Holly

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Works in Progress

Paper Cranes Triptych

Third time is a charm, right? Well, I think it was true in this instance, anyhow. The finished product you see above was achieved on the third try. What does that mean? That there are a lot of layers of paint, paper and “attempts under the final layer. But I kind of think that’s what really adds to the texture.

The idea of incorporating paper cranes came from our wedding motif. We had kind of an “Asia” theme going on. My uncle grew up in Japan is a missionary kid, and he learned how to make cranes so beautifully. So he made some for our wedding and I photographed a few of them for this painting/collage. Thank you, Uncle Dan.

Here is about about the process and elements used:

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Initial sketching and ideas

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I created this graphic on the computer using a variety of vintage wallpaper patterns

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Photo of two cranes

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