Art & Creativity, Uncategorized, Works in Progress

Painting Process: Lhasa Ladies 2017

EPSON scanner image

Lhasa Ladies 2017 // Mixed Media on Wood // 18×24 inches

I first received a request for this commission back in October of 2016. Now here we are in February of 2017. Thank goodness my kind neighbor who wanted this done has been so patient and understanding! I’ll admit, I wondered if I would ever be able to push past the creative mental block brought on by keeping up with a toddler while pregnant. Let’s just say that motivation and inspiration have been lacking and, lately, the desire to take a nap usually wins out over painting.

All that to say, I’m so glad I had a goal to work towards. The creation of this painting truly brought me so much joy and a sense of accomplishment. It reminds me to not give up on creative goals and that there will always be an excuse or seem like there’s not enough time. If I want it badly enough, I will make the time. What’s your excuse for not doing that thing you love?

Here are just a few process photos…

img_6308

img_6317

img_6318

img_6319

img_6320

EPSON scanner image

Close up of final painting

Header_Image

Advertisements
Standard
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!):

IMG_5629

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

IMG_5661web

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:

IMG_5665web

Applying gold leafing to a few honeycombs.

IMG_5686web

IMG_5681web

IMG_5679web

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!

 

Standard
Art & Creativity, Weekly Art

Weekly Art: Wallpaper Sunset & a Commission

Since my last post, Open Studios Art Tour happened. I can gladly say that it felt like a big success. And it was such a joy to talk with so many different folks about art, inspiration, creative processes and anything remotely related. Several originals found new homes (hooray!), and I’m working on a couple commissions. So I’ll share one of those here. But first, I wanted to show you last weeks piece, Wallpaper Sunset.

Here’s what I started out with…

IMG_4284

And here’s how it ended up…

IMG_4290

Detail of texture and the sun

IMG_4289

Detail of tree and sky

FullSizeRender

Wallpaper Sunset – Acrylic and Mixed Media on Wood – 16 x 20 inches

Then I worked on a commission for someone who was really drawn to a painting that had already sold this weekend. Here’s the original version of Cranes on a Branch:

EPSON scanner image

Cranes on a Branch – 16 x 20 inches (Original Version)

And here’s the commission that I just finished working on today…

EPSON scanner image

Cranes on a Branch Version II – 16 x 20 inches

Grateful for these opportunities (and baby Asa really loved socializing with some of the folks who came through for Open Studios!)

~Holly

 

 

Standard
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!).

IMG_4210_web copy

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

IMG_4211_web

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

another_world16x16_web

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

another_world2_WEB

another_world1_WEB

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

~Holly

Standard
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.

IMG_2975

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…

IMG_2973

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

IMG_2976

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

IMG_2979

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

yellow_collage-WEB

The Yellow One – FinishedCollage #1

yellow_detail1-WEB

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

yellow_detail2-WEB

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

yellow_collage_side-WEB

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

red_collage-WEB

The Red One – Finished Collage #2

red_detail3-WEB

Some hand lettered (white paint) scripture

red_detail1-WEB

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

blue_collage-WEB

The Blue One – Finished Collage #3

blue_detail4-WEB

Our wedding date

blue_detail2-WEB

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

all_hung3-web

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

all_hung8-web

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

all_hung1-web

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

Standard
Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

Blog Tour: Connecting With Other Creative Souls

Let me introduce you to Sue Donaldson, a gifted speaker and writer. She reached out to me when I was the new girl at church, in that very social, hospitable “Sue” fashion, and recently invited me to join a blog tour with her. I also happen to be reading Sue’s book right now, Come to My Table, an enjoyable read with a great message.

photo 1b

Come to My Table, by Sue Moore Donaldson

The idea of this tour is that creative souls from all around will answer the same set of questions, linking up to one another’s journeys. This allows you and I to get acquainted with some new creatives. I encourage you to drop by Sue’s blog and read her answers to the questions here.

Next, here are my answers …

1. What am I working on?
A series of small animal paintings on wood surfaces that incorporate patterns I’ve designed, gold leafing and painting with acrylics (top image). I’m having SO much fun focusing on simple but (hopefully) captivating color combinations, pattern and contrast. My theme for this year is “SIMPLIFY”. Life is complicated enough as it is. Creating simple art doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy. But I’m aiming for uncomplicated, which may take more thought and planning at the beginning. The graphic designer in me really enjoys that, though.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I would consider myself a mixed-media artist because I don’t use just one medium on any given work. I’m incorporating pattern design cutouts, gold leafing, glue, and other materials along with acrylic paint. Perhaps the advantage I have when it comes to creating unique, original artwork is my graphic design background. I can design my own patterns on the computer and use them in my paintings. I also tend to approach art from a more design oriented approach, keeping in mind current color and interior design trends.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I’m a much more energetic, joyful person when I have consistent opportunities to “get into the zone” and create. My husband is very supportive of my passion for art and notices a difference in me on days when I get to paint. It’s my hope and desire to spread joy no matter what my circumstances are (a joy rooted in the deeper place of faith in the Divine Creator), but art and creativity is one of those special ways I’ve found to express myself, an avenue of expression in which I feel most ALIVE.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?
Generally I start out with a concept or idea and sketch it out, including some of the main colors and strategic pattern to be incorporated. If i’m ever feeling stuck or uninspired, I like to surf on Pinterest or Instagram for ideas and have found a number of art and design blogs I love to read up on. Once I have a concept and a sketch, I start painting! Adding patterns or gold leafing usually happens towards the end. If I’ve left some exposed wood in my painting, then I’ll apply some stain to make the wood grain stand out more. When I’m feeling satisfied with the results, I’ll add a coating of clear sealer.

sketch

I generally start out with a sketch, including color ideas

Now here’s where you get to start your tour!  Next Monday, July 7th,  a couple of creative, courageous women will continue your tour, answering the same questions.

Candace Clark is a Wedding and Portrait Photographer. She’s passionate about capturing the small and often overlooked things in life and making them beautiful. You can find her blogging at Fingerprints Updates!

I’ll give a shout out to the others participating later this week, so stay tuned.

Enjoy and thank you for joining me in this creative journey, it means a lot!

~Holly

Standard
Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

On Becoming Unstuck & Some Recent Projets

Hello  blog world, art world and any other world that coincides in some way! It’s been a while since the last post. To be honest, I was feeling a bit stuck. Writer’s block, painter’s block, creativity block…whatever you call it, I had it. For a couple of weeks. It’s hard. And I’m trying to figure out how to better navigate those times of “uninspiredness”. I know, it’s not a word, but hopefully you get the idea.

Two words have emerged as themes for me lately, POWER and SIMPLICITY. Power, because I want the work that I do, however much or little to be work that grabs the viewer. To make an impact with it. Like BAM, hit you over the head, but in a really great and refreshing way. The second word is simplicity. Sometimes I try to overdo my work. I put way too much thought into it. Often less is more and I think it’s time to work on simplifying my style a little bit.

Anyhow, while emerging out of my general state of being creatively stuck, here are a few things I’ve been working on…

IMG_8691

These little plants (aren’t they cute?) inspired a recent painting

IMG_8684

And here’s the painting, done on wood panel. It’s 12″ x 16″ inches

The approach for this one, which is quite a bit different from anything I’ve done before, is built up color and texture first (the colors you see in the pots and leaves) and then I painted in the negative space between the objects using white. It was challenging, but a lot of fun.

IMG_8686

I used some fun, textured papers in the background

Another new technique I tried is the direct photo transfer method. If you follow the link, you’ll find a helpful video I used to learn how to transfer a black and white image (in this case it was a printout of some journaling I did) to the surface of my painting.

IMG_8687

I used the direct photo transfer method for the words you see in the background using gel gloss medium

Another project I’m working on right now is a package redesign for a surf company. More on that at a later time. But as I experimented and brainstormed some concepts for the package designs, these are some of the pieces I worked on…

IMG_8679

I experimented with some more mixed-media, as well as water colors on canvas

IMG_8681

I had fun with the colors in that wave on the left 🙂

Two more things I’m working on right now are:

  1. A painting for Powerful Women, a show curated by Lena Rushing, which will be on display at Linnaea’s in May.
  2. Some design work for Little Acorns by Ro, my sweet cousin’s fabulous shop. You should check it out, she creates some really lovely family-oriented goodies.

Well, that about sums up what’s going on around here. I’m enjoying a new stage of experimentation and trying not to put so much pressure on producing…just EXPLORING 🙂

Standard