Tag Archives: Painting

Weekly Art Challenge: BLUE!

Hey Folks!!

This week our theme was: BLUE!

Just a friendly reminder for our followers! Starting the first week of January, Our art challenge will move to a new site. You can click here and check it out!

 

Karri

This week my goal was to mix as many different blues as possible. I decided to choose Miro as my inspiration. I simply used a lot of his commonly used shapes and used all blue with a few red accents.

I had a friend once tell me that while visiting Barcelona she explored a Museum dedicated to the work of Miro and it was the happiest few hours of her life. Ever since when I see work by Miro, I always smile and feel that joy my friend had described. Looking at Karri’s Miro inspired piece in blue, I am reminded again of that joyous feeling. Great job, Karri!

Karri blue

 

Dylan

“Thinking of the color blue, I think of my friend, Tori.  I want so badly to make this costume for her in the future. With her black hair and her pale northern skin, the color blue highlights her attributes in the most positive way.”

I can’t wait to see this costume come to life! Dylan’s eye for detail never ceases to amaze me. Her sketches are thoughtful and so full of creative passion. I think we all want to be Tori!

dylan blue

 

Bethany

“I am a Doctor Who fan so when I thinking of blue I think of the Tardis.” 

What a fun piece! I am not personally knowledgeable of the Doctor Who series, but I love the movement of the blue and find myself wanting to know more about this Tardis. lol.

bethany blue

 

Emily

“I’m really loving print making, probably spending too much time with just print making, but yeah. 🙂 Lino print over a background created by putting white spirit and printing ink onto a surface then placing the paper over the top”

I am fascinated with the background of Emily’s piece. The thin watery texture of the blue ink juxtapose against the solid black of lino cut beautifully illustrates the flowers – which reminds me of lotuses – shooting from within dark murky blue water.

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Ina

‘Blue reminds me of the sky, the water, my favourite colour. Half way through thinking of painting water, I wanted to paint a blue landscape and finally came upon a bunched up shiny satin fabric…. the result is an imaginary piece where you can see as many things. ”

Beautiful ethereal watercolor. Ina beautifully captured the watery affect of the satin fabric. The movement, the calming color and the serene quality gently pulls the viewers in and invites one to peacefully dream.

Ina Blue

 

Amberblueberries, Acrylic on paper.

As soon as the theme was chosen, blueberries immediately came to mind. The piece is not complete, but I think it turned out to be a good study for an idea I have for another piece. 🙂

 

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Next theme: TIGER

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Weekly Art Challenge: VAN GOGH

Hey Folks!

This week our theme is VAN GOGH! Van Gogh is famous worldwide for his expressive paintings and tragic life. He is a universal favorite for art lovers.

 

DylanThe Ear Selfie, Special effects and instagram

I love this! If Van Gogh was around today, I imagine his famous post ear-cutting self portrait would have look something like this! Only Dylan could make you envious of her mangled ear and blood splattered throat selfie!

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Karri – Sunflowers, acrylic on canvas

 “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers have always captured my attention. I love that he painted them to decorate a room for his friend Gauguin. The sunflowers in Provence must be stunning. Wish sunflowers around here were just as plentiful.”

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers are beautiful and one of his most iconic pieces! I love Karri’s loose painterly brushstrokes and soft color palette, she did a beautiful job capturing the spirit of Van Gogh and charm of sunflowers. I don’t think there is a person who can look at a a sunflower and not feel a little bit happier.  🙂

 

Karri Van gogh

 

Bethany

“My rough interpretation of Van Gogh’s Skull with Burning Cigarette. Only I gave him a sweet tea with lemon and a little umbrella, which oddly looks like a flower.”  

If I were a skull, I’d prefer the sweet tea over the cigarette too! I love the personal and cultural (nothing beats Southern sweet tea!) twist to one of Van Gogh’s early and probably lesser known works, but what I like most is that Bethany decided to tackle the skeleton. Most people prefer to avoid drawing skeletons, they can be intimidating subjects. Bethany went for it  and with beautiful contour lines. Great job Bethany!

 

bethany van gogh

 

Emily – Quotes, monotype prints on paper.

“Here are my Van Gogh entries, my first layer of printing went well, then the yellow didn’t! Then I just ran with it anyway creating some strange messy pieces mixed with Van Gogh quotes, not technically amazing pieces but I kinda like the messiness!”

The prints are messy and I like that about them too! The messiness, in my opinion, gives off an energy similar to that of Van Gogh’s thick, bold and animated strokes. The composition, color choices and quotes remind me of street art. I can visualize these pieces becoming wheatpastes around a city. As a humorous thought, the blue piece looks like the sunflowers are growing out if Van Gogh’s head. Its as if his thoughts/dreams can no longer be contained within his head and are now becoming hair!

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AmberDandelions, Acrylic washes and graphite on paper

I loved Van Gogh’s artwork as a kid. He was the first artist that I learned about in grade school and was able to recognize when shown his artwork; this was a major thrill and feeling of accomplishment for a seven year old me.

For this week’s challenge I wanted to create a piece that was inspired by one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings, Sunflowers. Karri and I must be kindred Van Gogh spirits!

I painted dandelions (surprise!) in a teacup. Dandelions being my equivalent to his sunflowers and of course the teacup instead of a vase made obvious sense for me. Instead of painting with his preferred thick brushstrokes I chose to work in the muted washes that I lean toward. This piece felt like a collaboration between me and an artist that I greatly admire.

 

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Next week’s theme: SPACE


Weekly Art Challenge: CHANGE

Hey Folks!!

This week our theme is CHANGE! 

RJChange Of Luck, Penny and pen on paper —

I think RJ’s piece is a beautiful reminder to the viewer that you have the power to change your luck by changing your perspective. I like the simplicity of line and stipple along with the proportion between the penny and the drawing. The enlargement of the drawing insinuates that making a change can increases the rewards for taking control of your luck!

 

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EmilyStress/ Move Forward – pen on paper –

“Change is very relevant to me at the moment and I’ve found I’m awful at dealing with it, I get lots of anxiety and stress over it, yet I still always have this need in me that I want to be productive and moving forward in my life. So my pieces are just me realizing that it may be confusing and stressful for me but to move forward I need change

The energy in Emily’s piece reminds me a lot of her photos from FAIR challenge. The movement and use of bold neon color express the chaos of change and the resulting difficulty to focus. I can feel the anxiety and uncertainty of inevitable changes she is trying to express.

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AmberWishes – Mix Media (acrylic, graphite, pen and ink) on paper

For this week’s theme I decided to literally change a previous Art Challenge piece from something that I was not too happy with into something that I am happier with.

One of the hardest lessons for any artist to learn is that it is OKAY to make mistakes. And yet a better lesson, those mistakes don’t have to be mistakes.

 

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Next theme: FEAR!


Weekly Art Challenge: THE FAIR

RJ The Carrousel, pen on paper – RJ’s fun sketch is a personal twist on a classic ride, the carrousel. I love how he incorporates animals representing recent travels instead of going with the classic horse. If I had my choice, I would pick the rattlesnake!! 🙂

RJ'S FAIR

 

Tony – The Party, Pencil on paper –

“The clay of the Candle is dancing as well as its smoke. The little spirits gathered and dance.”

 Tony’s piece has a nostalgic presence of past fairs and old timey festivities. The treatment of the wax drips and smoke reminds me a lot of winter fairs. The spirits are either dancing or skating, depending on how you look at it.

tony fair

 

KarriThe Fair, Acrylic on canvas

“It is that time of the year! The time for long hot summer days with fried food, roller coasters and ferris wheels. I love the fair, but my favorite part is when the sun goes down and you can really see all the beautiful lights. In this painting I was trying to depict the crowds of people illuminated only by the lights of the vendors and the rides.”

I love the softness of Karri’s brush strokes. It transforms the night scene into a dreamlike fair experience, the kind that inspired you to soak it all up before it is gone.

karri fair

 

Emily – The Fair, photograph –

“This week I have gone with photography as my medium, it was too lucky to miss as this week there was a fair in my local town so it was a perfect opportunity. I wanted to capture the energy of the fair by involving the blur of the lights in my images”

Emily’s photograph reminds me if what it is like to be intoxicated with the energy of a place and moment. While looking at her photographs I am not only sensing the movement in the lights, but also imagining the blur of indistinguishable sounds and smells. I almost want to hit play on an 80’s soundtrack and get lost in the blur.

emily fair 2

 

Emily Fair 1

 

 

AmberThe Nose Picker, watercolor and pen on paper.

When I think of the fair I first think of classic rides such as the iconic carousel horses and classic fair food like the infamously sweet cotton candy, oh how my tummy aches just thinking of the sugar overload!

In maintaining the classic image of the fair, I chose to connect with my inner Norman Rockwell in producing this image of a young boy riding the carousel and picking his nose because he assumes that no one is paying attention. Someone is watching, a shocked little girl who is about to lose her cotton candy to a hungry puppy! I didn’t finish the piece, obviously. I redrew this image several times over this week and in the end I stopped working on it when it hit me that I wanted to do something completely different with this piece in a different medium; and I didn’t have the time to change direction.

nose picker

 

Next week’s theme: REFLECTION!

 


Weekly Art Challenge: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE!

Hey there folks!!

This week the artists and I tackled the theme: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE! 

 

Tony: Wilderness Woman, Color pencil on paper –

“my drawing is about the wild things hidden in humans. Especially women: There’s a singer I have listened to for many years, every time he sings about women, He describes them as wild, impossible to tame, mysterious, and free. So I wanted to integrate all of the wilderness in a woman’s personality in my drawing. Animals, oceans, the moon (and natural long hair). They all represent the wild in women.”

I love Tony’s imagination and bold colorful style; and, I love how he perfectly captured all the things I (and several girlfriends) love about being a woman!

In Tony’s image the woman sits confidently in the nude, exposed as if to say that there is nothing more to show; but in reality she still has plenty of herself hidden in the layers of hair or her inner thoughts peeking through the smoke as it gravitates toward the moon. Tony’s piece is a reminder that no matter how well you may know a woman, there will always be more to know.

 

Dylan The Ticket Booth – water color sketch on paper.

“The portal to “where the wild things are”, for me, is a ticket booth. The threshold where the viewer is leaving one world and entering another that exists only in the mind of the artist, director, set designer, etc.  The viewer leaves one world behind and crosses into another to experience or perceive events that normally don’t occur in the daily routine; a place where you can experience the fanciful, outrageous, and the”wild things” of the fantasy world.”

I agree with Dylan, that there is a portal to where wild things exist – in her case the creation and mastermind of an artistic director – and we all eagerly buy our ticket to romp and roam with wild things. Like many folks I buy my ticket for a brief escape from reality – whether it be a carnival, concert, museum or plane – and save those tickets so that years later I can look at them and in my mind return to that wild adventure.

What makes Dylan’s piece so interesting to me are the notes for an art recipe above the ticket booth. It makes a viewer that much more eager to buy that ticket and see what is cooking behind the gates!!

Ticket Booth

 

Karri – Queen of all wild things and her domain,  Watercolor on Paper –

“This week I wanted to create an environment where I thought wild things might live. As I look into the oddly colored trees and shrubs I can see wild things running through the woods and slithering out of the water. Our childlike need for exploration enables us to look into this jungle and imagine the unimaginable.

I’ve also added a self-portrait inspired by the book “Where the Wild Things are”.  As the creator of this jungle I am now “Queen of All the Wild Things

First of all, I am in love with Karri’s self portrait as the queen of all wild things! The smirk on her lips and the sassy glint in her eyes is perfectly wild and mischievous. I love it and I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it myself! haha 🙂

Karri did an amazing job creating not one, but two pieces that complete her wild story. Her landscape has a prehistoric element mixed with early 80’s Hanna-Barbera animation and dash of Frida Kahlo’s jungle essence. Its the perfect recipe for landscapes loaded with wild things and of course there must be a queen!

 

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karri - wild queen

 

Amber: The Tree House, Pen and Pencil on paper – ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ was one of my favorite childhood books. I still love to look through the beautiful drawings and get lost in Maurice Sendak’s wild imagination! He was a genius!

For this week’s theme I wanted to create an image that signified the strength of an imagination and how it can sometimes cross from nowhere(s) into reality, something that I took from Sendak’s classic story.

The tree house is a place where imaginations run wild. The wild things, or kids, are in their element of their own joyous creation. Everyone has had that one special spot as a kid that was their space free from adult rules on how to act. For a kid, and sometimes adults, these rules can be daunting and a creative drain. A tree house – or, in my case, an old camper or clearing between some bushes – is an escape and a space where nothing exists but what you want to exist.

 

The Treehouse

 

 

Next week’s theme: THE FAIR


Weekly Art Challenge 2.0!!!

Hey folks!

We haven’t worked on our weekly art challenge since the beginning of the year. Some of us were genuinely busy, the rest of us (myself included) were total slackers! haha, but here we are again, ready to get back into the swing of things.

The first theme for Weekly Art Challenge 2.0 is FEELINGS! 

 

RJ: Frustration, Acrylic on paper. – RJ was originally trying to convey the feeling of happiness through abstraction, but it wasn’t working out as he planned and instead of capturing happiness, he accurately expressed his frustration. RJ’s experience is common amongst artists. Our moods affect our work and our work can affect our moods. The choice of colors, the bold brush strokes and the way the darkness smears itself across the image, preventing the viewer from moving past the feeling frustration to the possibilities beyond the dark smear.

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Tony: Happiness, marker on paper. – Tony set out to illustrate happiness and I think it would be impossible to look at his image and think it conveyed anything else but happiness. I like that his illustration literally oozes happiness. From the body posture to the choice of colors and supportive imagery, AND of course – in case you are not sure about the theme of the piece – the word ‘Happiness’ is written across the top in a bouncy la-la-la font. I can see this character in a children’s book or featured on a children’s television show. Young kids would definitely respond positively to this happy lil guy!

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Dylan: Loud Silence, found object – Dylan wanted to express the exhaustion of her feelings.

“I feel like I am only genuine in my emotions when I am working. Everyday life and most people drain me til there is nothing left. The energy is “turned on” only when I am working.”

Another relatable feeling. Those days when you must be “on” but in fact your feeling is more accurately described as “off”.  Its a struggle to effortlessly switch from one feeling to another and I think that struggle increases for those who are naturally empathic to other’s feelings.

Loud Silence

 

Amber: Invisible, mix media on paper (graphite, acrylic, watercolor, gesso, ink,  paper) –  I picked INVISIBLE as my feeling because I think it is a feeling that everyone can relate to, especially in an era where we are obsessed with putting our best face forward for the sake of the perfect [enter preferred social media] profile. I don’t want to criticize social media itself or point fingers and judge folks for spending too much time online, I am equally guilty of overindulging in social media as the next person. I am more interested in illustrating the desire to be seen, to stand out and still feeling invisible with the attention we receive. I wanted to illustrate the feeling of invisibility as a young girl awkwardly holding a bold and matured mask. The mask’s face reflects nothing of her real self, but instead reflects the performance of the visible her or the her that others prefer to see when they “see” her.

Perhaps we are so self involved that we all fail to see each other, thus forcing those around us to try harder to gain visibility? Or, we are incapable of seeing the real person before us because what we see reflects us more then them? These are some of the thoughts that were running through my head as I worked on my piece.

 

Invisible

Hope you all enjoyed this week’s art challenge. Next week the theme is: Repetition!!


Weekly Art Challenge: HEAVY

Hey Folks!

This week’s theme is Heavy!

 

RJ: UntitledInk on paper – RJ wanted to use a heavy bold black line to create something that was still uplifting. It definitely has a fantasy dream-like quality. He balances his heavy lines with nature inspired patterns and imagery. The piece reminds me a lot of illustrations from old fairytale books I use to read as a kid.

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Amber: Abstractions, water color on paper – I wanted to play with abstraction and spent the afternoon having tons of fun with my watercolor media. My approach to making these small art pieces was to keep them in rotations. while one was drying, work on another and then rotate. I worked without a set plan for the outcome and I trusted my creative intuition.

I had a lot of fun, as art should be!

 

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Weekly Art Challenge: HEALING

Hey Folks!

Last week’s challenge theme is Healing! Sorry for the delay in this post, folks. I have been working on the road and my hours are limited! In fact it was a busy week for many of us so it will be only me posting work. 🙂

 

AmberMy Thoughts Were Too Loud, I Couldn’t Hear My Heart Beat, Acrylic on paper – The inspiration for the theme came from my niece, she wanted to give me a theme that she thought would be too hard! lol, she was shocked when I told her it was the perfect theme and it really was!

The idea behind my image is that there are moments when we are in such emotional pain and turmoil that we fail to notice what is happening around us. We become lost inside our murky thoughts and sometimes become dangerously isolated; but, if we can find the will-power to pull ourselves from our thoughts we will see that healing is possible, that life continues and we can continue with it.

I wanted my piece to represent the struggle and hope that comes with healing. The uncertainty to trust that there is hope, and the struggle to not loose yourself to negative hopeless thinking/feelings. Hope and the process of healing is represented organically via the tall grass, the ever resilient dandelions (notice the the cup and the one puffless aged dandelion?) and the wind turbines are busy bringing in a renewable future.

It was a therapeutic piece for me to create and I hope others are inspired by it to breathe and take care of themselves. 🙂

 

Next week’s theme: Heavy!


Weekly Art Challenge: BOLD COLOURS!

Hello Folks!

This weeks theme for our art challenge is: Bold Colours! Who doesn’t like to play with colors? 🙂

 

RJ: Chameleon, painting – RJ used this week’s challenge to retackle and finish a former challenge piece! The million of bright and cheerfully colorful dots reminds me of George Seurat meets Dippin Dots! 

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Fish

Tony: Squares, marker on paper – Tony took a minimalist approach with the theme and his colorful pattern reminds a lot of wallpaper/ linoleum squares from the 60’s! Very retro cool!

 

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Amber: Orange Orchid, acrylic on wood – I love orchids, they are my other favorite flower, and I thought that this challenge would be a good chance to explore the elegance of their beauty. I took some artistic liberties with the coloring for the sake of the challenge and of course had plenty of fun working on the painting.

 

orchids

 

 

Next week’s theme: Nocturnal Animals


Weekly Art Challenge: SURREALISM!

Hello Folks!

 

This weeks art theme is Surrealism! I love Surrealism, its one of the most creative and thought provoking art movements of the 20th century. The movement evolved after WWI and was focused on exploring the inner workings of the mind through art and literature. In my opinion it was one of the emotionally liberating moments in art. People would let their imaginations fly as they looked inward for their inspiration.

 

RjHell Toast, Pen and ink on Paper – I have yet to decide if RJ is feeling excited for the upcoming Halloween festivities or had a very bad experience with his breakfast this week and THIS is his surrealist revenge! The details, as always, are impeccable. That toaster looks very hellish and cavernous; and I feel rather sorry for the toast. My favorite detail, the tiny hearts from the heavenly toast crumbs, the toast found peace after its hellish experience in the toaster! 🙂

hell toast

 

Tony: Mind and Self,  mix media on paper – Tony’s explanation of his piece:

“It’s about liberation, freedom of mind and being open to the possibilities of the Universe [ I drawn our Galaxy on the Lock to represent that ]. When you are attached to Love [ Heart ], or material things like money, or hurt feelings, you need to step back and think about more than all that and free yourself from those things. By doing so, your mind thinks [ thoughs are represented by the Energy on the guys’s head ] and those thoughs become acts [ Act = The guy’s big hand ] and you can detach yourself from everything [ water running out the tube and giving water to the flower which is a sign of nature, Earth. But also starts the mechanism that makes the hand moves towards the lock Then it unlocks the Brain – Mind, and the eyes in order to think and see more than what you usually think or see ]. The birds going out of the cage are obviously symbol of freedom that someone wants to reach. The phone is a part of things that makes us materialists, the chess-like floor is just a thing that is often used in Surrealism art so I took it as a symbol for this theme. The trains goes toward the left/future and is a part of the man [ smoke/beard ]. So it’s also one of the metaphors. The eye in the Hand is another sign. In Buddhism it is symbol of protection called Hamsa. I used Buddhism a lot in this drawing because my double theme represents something like reaching the enlightenment.”

Mind and self

 

Amber: Untitled Dreams, Watercolor, acrylic, graphite on paper – I still have some detail work to complete on my piece, but for now I am happy.  The inspiration came from a recent discovery of an old collage drawing that I started years ago, but never finished.  It was a terrible collage drawing of my yellow tea mug with a weird blue paper mosaic in the background. I thought that maybe I could improve it by using it for one of the art challenges, but I left home in a hurry for a work trip and did not bring the horrid artwork with me… I still liked the image I had in mind for the piece so I started fresh – I think it looks better than it would with the other piece.

For my piece I combined a variety of meaningful images into a composition that reflects a series of bizarre but relevant dreams I had not to long ago with my fear that should I settle then my life would grow stagnant and I would eventually begin to sink into the dreadful unseen.

 

Untitled Dreams

 

 

Thats it for this week, Next art challenge: BOLD COLORS!