Showing posts from April, 2011

Alice and the Rabbit Paintings

Part of preparing for my MIXED MEDIA paintings is gathering supplies. I have plenty of acrylic paint and mediums, but I will need paper, fabric, ribbons, or whatever stikes my fancy, for the collage. I have a huge stash of all that stuff, but I am always on the look-out for new stuff. I found some fabulous ribbons tied to bag lunches that were delivered to the office a few weeks ago. I went trash can diving for them. I found some cool paper at the stamp store that I frequent. I even got some fabric from the craft room at my parent's retirement community. I've chosen a few fabrics and paper to make weavings for the background. Part of my process is planning the painting as I collect the collage material, it is a form of meditation for me. If you like weaving - either paper or cloth - check out this blog:
Here you will find the most beautiful art quilts with lots of weaving.

Starting the Paintings

I've transfered my sketches onto the canvases, using first pencil, then making the final lines with a sharpie pen. I wasn't happy with the long necked Alice, so I made her neck normal, it looks better on this size canvas. The rabbit didn't quite fill the space as I  had envisioned, but I'll work on that later. All in all, there were no big surprises - having a detailed sketch should eliminate that hurdle. Then I painted the marker lines with acrylic paint. It doesn't have to be perfect, thin and thick and messy is okay!

Sketches for the Painting

I've finished the sketches for my ALICE and RABBIT paintings . I know you're wondering why I've chosen such an overused subject for these paintings. Well  - because they are for a "juried show" - my main objective is to paint something I love, that way I am truly invested in this venture and will give it 110%because the subject is recognizable, I'm hoping to make an immediate  and unforgetable impression on the judge and, finally, I'm hoping my choice of unique medium and design and colors will be original and fabulous enough to make the judges love it.   Chances are the final paintings will have changes, but for now, I'm ready for the canvas.
These sketches were done with a blue ball point pen, the technique is rather charming don't you think? If you want to see some fabulous ball point pen sketches, check out this blog:

An Artist goes to Paint the Heavens

Susan Maull
11.3.1940 ~ 4.11.2011

Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower, and you its only seed.

It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.
It's the one who won't be taken, who cannot seem to give,
and the soul afraid of dyin' that never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely and the road has been to long,
and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows
lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose.

The Rose, Bette Midler

Sketches for the Painting

I starting sketching some ideas for my paintings. I've decided to use the "Alice in Wonderland" theme. My first painting will be ofAlice,what else. I like the scene where her neck grows long and her head ends up in the trees. I'd like the second painting to be of the Rabbit, I know, again - not very original, but I love the rabbit. I'm thinking clock parts for him.
I don't normally show my preliminary sketches because they are so very preliminary and primitive! I think I am the only one who sees any promise in them.

Revisit the To-Do-List

Revisit the To-Do-List . . .
I've finished the first task and am now working on the next two - at the same time.
My goal is to have the first draft of the YA book finished by April 12th, 50,000 words. As of today, I have over 50,000 words! Hold the applause, the manuscript is a mess, no editing has been done, it's incredibly hard to manage so many words, so many pages - my hat goes off to the real authors!
The second project is to complete (2) paintings for a June juried exhibition. The show requires an entry of (2) paintings, to show the judges that you are capable of producing a cohesive body of work. The prize is two-fold for (5) winners - first they will win money, hundreds of monies, and secondly, the five winners together will have a show next March 2012. I won 6 years ago, and 2 years ago I won honorable mention. I feel like winning again. (That was my ego talking.) So, I am planning two paintings in the style that is now mine - abstract realism and black outlines. I need…

The Last Knit

. . . a video - when knitting becomes an obsession. I am not a knitter, just a lover of things knitted. But I am obsessed with creating. This video hits very close to home - too close. Enjoy!

My Look & Style

Selecting a Look and Style - "every creative person has their own look and style. Learn how to identify your style. Be recognizable by your style - without the use of words"
Jodi Walsh -

The black outline will be my BRAND my STYLE my LOOK. I do so dislike labels - but at some point you just have to bite the bullet! So I will make my work recognizable by the black outline.

LOOK AND STYLE - Black Outlines

Selecting a Look and Style - "every creative person has their own look and style. Learn how to identify your style. Be recognizable by your style - without the use of words"
Jodi Walsh -

I have heard this over and over again. Still I fight it tooth and nail! My painting is different from my drawing which is different from my mixed media, etc. etc. Why would I want them all to look alike? Why not? I'm just being stubborn because I don't want to change, I don't want it to be any harder than it is. But I had to sit back and ponder this and be honest with myself. I want to be recognizable. I want to be remembered, by somebody - anybody!

So - I went through my digital portfolio - drawings - paintings - mixed media, and picked out the pieces I enjoyed making the most, and voila - they all  had a common thread. The mediums are different, some are realistic and some abstract, but they do have a common style or look. Ten years ago I painted a self po…

Elizabeth Gilbert - Eat Pray Love

For anyone in the business of creating - please watch this video. Loved it - loved it - loved it !

I am now inclined to read her book, I love her humor and her relationship with the universe. Here is an excerpt from one of her interviews. Please substitute the word "writer" with whatever you are - "artist" "chef" "homemaker"  . . .

"As for discipline – it’s important, but sort of over-rated. The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: “I’m going to write for an hour every day,” and then you won’t do it. You will think: “I suck, I’m such a failure. I’m washed-up.” Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesn’t take only discipline, but also self-forgiveness (which comes from a place of kind and encouraging and motherly lov…

Tell Your Story

If you are a writer or an artist, use your gift to tell a story. Make your audience want to turn the page to see what happens next. Make your audience move closer to your painting to see if they missed any details.
"We are the only species on the planet that tell stories -  it is our responsibility to tell them."
Kathi Appelt,
Poet, author, Teacher
"Spring Into Action: A Day for Writers and Illustrators"
Saturday, March 12, 2011 - SCBWI MD/DE/WV regional conference