I love Autumn! It is my favourite time of the year. It’s also the best time to enjoy the last of the warming, nurturing sunshine before Winter sets in and before my own hibernation of sorts settles in too. So, I have been making the most of it. Our winters down here on the Mornington Peninsula can be quite damp, grey and very cold. I’ve been enjoying the crisp, refreshing, sunny Autumn mornings and enjoying peaceful walks of solitude. Time to think and contemplate. I’ve upped my weekly Iyenga yoga to twice a week, stretching, working on mind, body, spirit, and strengthening my lungs with beautiful vibrant breath to keep all the nasty Winter bugs away. I’ve been enjoying precious catch ups with dear friends, family, snuggling new bubbas and enjoying some cherished girl time. This time out with my special girls has been such a precious gift to me and I’ve always cherished my gorgeous girls. They keep me sane, on track, motivated, inspired and filled with open love. They are true gifts in my life.
The boys have been growing and expanding their gorgeous hearts. They love afternoon run around with the soccer balls or rides on our bikes in the fading sun. Tully has been to visit his new school for next year, and oh my is he one excited lil boy! Flynn is learning to ride and sleeping in his bed all night more and more which is awesome! So this is Autumn, time to nourish, enjoy and open our hearts. Time to start to slow down and be.
Last week I was a busy bee with a burst of creativity coming through in my smaller paintings. Remember it’s the smaller ones I usually struggle with. I find them too restricting, fiddly, limiting in their size, confining me in my expressive freedom that I so want to release. I just want to paint big! The process I’ve played with in these recent smaller paintings, is very much the same process that I have been working with for the past couple of years. The difference this time was that I took it further and trusted in it a lot more. I haven’t yet written a post about this but my word for 2013 is “courage”.
I start with a wash of colour, simply allowing me to loosen up before the real fun begins. I then play with the first layer of colour, usually selecting just a few similar hues and moving them over the canvas with my fingers. I love to finger paint!
I then usually add some detail or texture or both, just again in acrylic medium bodied paint. I might create this through pattern, or fine detail, or dots, making marks in the thicker sections of paint, whatever I feel like at the time just to create some variation and interest.Another layer is added, as indicated by the above photo, where I usually play with fluid translucent acrylic paint. I either smear on a veil of translucent shiny colour over and area I want to see through later, or I’ll create a river of flowing colour and sit and allow it to dry. Sometimes I’ll let it flow all over the canvas and other times I’ll just focus the fluids in one section and paint around and right up to it. You’ll see in this painting below I’ve restricted the translucent colour to an area and then painted right up to and blended into it.In this painting below the translucent paint formed a base layer to which I then added a layer of botanical illustration. I then outlined an image and used the first few layers as a window of detail within the image.
I also use layers of translucent paint to create mystery and depth in a painting. You can see this as an example in this piece below. Whenever I use translucent paint though it’s always a bit of a brave process as I add water to it and it moves. Translucents are not stagnant like the heavy bodied acrylic paint that I also use. It has its own flow and will glide across an uneven canvas very quickly and roll over and down the edge, ending up on the floor if I’m not too careful! It will move and glide into textures on the surface of a canvas and pool. It’s path is unknown and not easily controlled and can also end up covering parts of a painting that were once precious and meant to be retained. It is a game of luck once I add some translucent paint and water to a painting. But, I do love the mystery, the gamble, and the waiting and watching to see what will become of adding some translucent acrylic paint. It is the translucency that I really let loose with in these new smaller pieces last week. Each of them had a beautiful abstract background with movement, depth and texture. However, even as abstracts they weren’t really working for me. I also felt that if I tried to create an image or add more detail, they were at risk of looking overworked and a bit too fussy. I just felt they were too small for me to play with in the usual manner I would with a larger canvas.
So I took a very brave step and applied translucent colours to the entire canvas. Yes, I did have a whole lot of wet paint sitting directly on top of all the beauty that was beneath. But, that was what created the tension, the interest in the painting in the end, and the fun in the process of creating it for me. I had fun doing it, but then I had to sit, watch and wait for it to dry to see what it would become.It’s a very trusting process as I have absolutely no control over where this translucent paint will travel, sit and pool, and how it will dry. I do have to be quite careful with my layering of colours in this particular part of the painting as well. I have been so pleased with the results though and have really enjoyed using this technique more and more in my art. I am in the process of creating a series of these smaller canvases in this style now which is very exciting.
I’m really happy with the results so far. They are moody, mysterious and intriguing. You could say a bit like the process I use really (o:My choice of colours for this series is also a reflection of this beautiful changing season of Autumn. These colours are in my local landscape which is a constant source of inspiration for me.
I will now sit with each of these for a bit to soak up their energy and feel whether I need to do anything more to them before they’re signed, sealed and ready to be sent out into the world. At the moment thought they’re feeling very much finished.
Enjoying some much-loved painting time was fantastic and I really hope I can find more painting time now as we move into the cooler quieter months of the year. I’ve been busy working on some illustrative mixed media commissions and gifts recently so that has taken up my allocated painting day each week. But this is also creative work that I love. I definitely have two much loved creative passions in painting and illustration.This piece above was created for a very special bubba. I think I need to work on my giraffe forms a bit more though as this boy looks more like a tubby pony with a longer neck heeheee! This piece below was created for a lovely generous local lady whom I buy my local raw honey from. I can’t wait to give it to her next week (o:
I also have some new commissions under way which is great. I really do enjoy the commissions I receive. It’s a very intuitive process for me and I really love the fun of discovery which comes with each of these. So if you have a special piece in mind for yourself or are looking for a beautiful personal gift for a loved one, do send me an email and I’d be happy to discuss it with you. To give you an idea of the cost involved my A5’s of this style are currently $40 and my A4’s are currently $80 each.
So I have been busily creating away here, hence the lack of blogging…sorry!! This week I’ve been slowed down though as my two boys haven’t been feeling 100% and have been hard work! You know; refusals to get dressed, refusals to eat meals, refusals to listen, refusals to go to bed!!! I then experienced my first migraine on Tuesday morning which left me feeling foggy for a couple of days, and I ended the week with a touch of the sniffles. I’m grateful for beginning to feel better again today though. I’m also grateful for the creative fun I’ve been enjoying these past few weeks. My art is always for sale too. So feel free to enquire (I’ve had a few recently) if a piece takes your interest.
Enjoy your weekend and I hope to be back here with more creative fun next week!
PS. some musical inspiration for you. A new piece from an ole fave of mine …Matt Corby’s new song “Resolution”