February of this year, I had a plan to do a heart painting class. I am not sure why I didn't get the class going, but I found that many famous artists did a lot of work with the heart. I doodle hearts often enough but have never made them a key part of any of my artwork.
A friend suggested I try Gelli Plate printing. I soon discovered it works amazing. I love that I can get all the textures like encaustic monoprinting BUT I can draw over the acrylic, one of my favorite things to do on a painting.
Gelli plate is the perfect medium to create some extra love.
Check out my latest prints: (click to see them bigger)
monoprint with Gelli Plate
each 5" x 7"
acrylic and ink
I started an online art inspiration "class" in January.
Every Friday art technique class
and every day is art inspiration:
an interview with an artist, a quick project, a song...
it has inspired more art creation.
A Friday lesson a few weeks ago
was to use acrylic paint and a credit card
to moving paint around the page.
I did follow the directions and made an animal.
but I kept going with just the paint
and made a nice pile of paintings
just playing and free
the next day i flipped through these pages and
I found trees hiding in the paint.
I drew them in
it was like they were waiting for me
to find them.
Each of these is on an 11 x 14 sheet of paper
using acrylic paint and art pen (archival ink)
each image size is about 8 x 10
and fit nicely in an 11 x 14 matte ready to frame.
Selling for $169 each (plus shipping) or
$225 framed (plus shipping)
forgive the photography - look for better photos on ETSY!
they are on white paper, not blue -
and I hope you like this new line of work.
I hope to scan them and post them to ETSY soon
but if you are interested,
i thought there wasn't much to learn in drawing, but I was wrong. Had a great time layering pencil and enjoying drawing from life.
Here are my drawings.
i completed the challenge with over 30 paintings in 30 days. It was a really good challenge and I proved I have way more time to paint than I thought. Some days were hard - but I didn't give up.
Here they all are:
Each of these started by following some of the lines in the wood grain on the wood panel. I found strange landscapes and odd shapes to the flowers by following what was already in the wood. I found I could create one of these when everything else i made was not working.
This little set of paintings all began life as portraits that I painted over.
Free form swirly paint became a landscape as I added the details with black marker. The search for the perfect pen continues. I have archival black pens of every flavor and they don't last as long as I think they should.
My best friend's aunt bought 3 of these paintings. I am always in awe of people buying my art. Sort of a mixture of surprise and humility that someone would want to live with something I created. These paintings become the background of our lives. And I am always honored to be in someone's background.
This is my favorite painting of the month.
And I didn't paint it.
My lovely daughter wanted in on my painting challenge. She is my active girl. She created some other works but she wanted to make something big. I offered to work together. I gave her the colors and told her to paint! I put all 3 colors on the palette and she painted them in the simple rows.
She declared she needed white and she did these wispy swirls over her blocks of wet color. I encouraged her to add a little more white. and she declared it was finished.
I let it dry and the next night, I decided I would draw over her painting. I added all my usual shapes and lines. It was therapeutic to build on something that was so free and simple. She just makes things and doesn't think about them. She works fast and is so free. I learn so much from her. I am so grateful she is in my life.
She told me i can't sell this painting. (I love this kid)
Then, I got stuck.
I didn't know what to paint.
I gave myself permission before this all began, to copy. This is a copy. I love Todd White. Look him up. He is a fun portrait artist. Former cartoonist. and his work makes me think of Dave Mathews Band and Jazz and sex. It's lovely.
This painting reminded me that portraits are my first love. Before the trees, I could be found drawing people on the train to work. And before that, I would copy faces from magazines. sketchbooks filled with perfect faces. I imagine a series and will work on it at some point.
i loved mixing the yellow with another color. I will do more of these based on my drawings from long ago. I got lost in this painting and really enjoyed making this.
from stuck to unstuck and just needed one night to copy. Pretty good for 30 nights.
Tiny blue paintings. These just started as swirly little 6 x 6 paintings, in yellow and blue. Ruined a few more pens and got some fun doodle therapy out on these. And somehow they seem happy.
This fun painting began with Piano music - because my lovely daughter plays the piano. Two colors and white. China marker first and then I added the color. This painting took a couple of nights and can be turned to any angle. And I sat down on the third night and decided it was done.
Trees. My old stand by. I started this by coping a drawing I have on the wall in the hall. China marker on wood. I got lost in the squares on this one. Some of them are alone and some all clumped together. I thought of how I put things in boxes in my mind so I don't have to deal with them. I once read a story about a ghost who would climb into a drawer in a desk and would stay in the space and fill it up. It was the only time the ghost would feel safe, because being transparent was really hard. I think memories are like that. A chest of drawers that we put our memories in and then lock them away. Sometimes, I hope they will be forgotten locked away, but sometimes they leak out.
Feeling blue this night, I imagine.
These swirly paintings are the circles to my squares. The big blue one is all about forgiveness. I painted over a perfectly nice little landscape.
That all by itself, is a metaphor for my current life.
The world saw a fine little life I suppose. But I didn't like that painting. It wasn't me. I got a do over. And it has not always been pretty. I have lots of forgiveness to do and it continues to be my path ahead. Mostly of myself. Secondly of the people I loved the most. Forgiveness and letting go is a bitch. Sorry, not sorry. Just when I think I have found some space something... reminds me of the loss and pain. It has been 2 years, and yet some days it feels like it was yesterday.
life goes on. I get up every day and somewhere along the way some flowers start to grow up over those waves.
So the blue painting was many paintings layered over in many different nights. I usually followed up by a weird flower as the blue was not ready for the world. But then one day it was and it is ok. Not great yet. But I can see the edges of greatness now that I have started over.
The green one was the next night when I had about 20 minutes before midnight and I needed to keep the momentum of the paintings going... No matter what...
swirly fall colors. I know these need more love and something to finish them. But here they are in the series of 3 as I try to recapture the feeling of the first swirly paintings.
more of the swirly lines and the doodles over top. I tried not to buy supplies but I burned through these marker/pens more than one per piece. Each of these are 12 x 16 on canvas panel.
a little guy after a drive in the trees. Fall is in the air.
A few years ago, I learned about encaustic monoprinting. Melting was on a metal plate and then pulling a print. It is lovely. I love everything about this. The waxy smell reminds me of childhood. The melting wax texture is lovely. The unknown of pulling a print from something that may be good - or may be a big blob (although with practice that is supposed to get better). I love making cards and thinking about giving them away. I did this a couple of nights during this journey. Sometimes made ugly things and sometimes a beautiful mark was made.
My dad's dog passed away on a Saturday during this month. I had planned to paint the entire day. But instead I got to spend the day with my dad as he started the journey of saying goodbye. Dogs are the best kind of people. They love us despite our mistakes. Always happy to see us. Love to go for walks... I need a dog.
These are crazy haired trees. I like to think of my trees as portraits or characters of trees rather than landscapes. I don't get into the rolling hills and the landscapes they live in. I get lost in the texture of the bark and the crazy hair these trees are all wearing. They are about to lose it all in the fall and will spend the winter naked. (and I hope you look at all the naked trees and think of me... oh wait)
If you made it through this long post, thanks for reading.
And thanks for looking, More is coming from all of this. I can feel it.
A quick painting today as we have a full day with friends.
I drew this yesterday but painted it today - so that counts.
This weird flower reminds me of the ocean. I am not sure where all these weird shapes are coming from - but I am starting by following the wood grain (like in the landscape) and then making a flower tree thing... some of them are quite weird looking. It goes along with my "make visible that with without you would never have been seen."
I framed up my 5 paintings. Broke my buy nothing new rule already... although they are frames so I can justify it.
5 already and it is day 3...
I also did some more drawing on wood.
I have 13 boards of this size and i really want to follow as much of the wood grain as I can and then paint them up. I did try to cover this with a light acrylic medium to see how the wood handles this. I notice the wood is reacting to the paint. So these ones will need a hard varnish over top. I need to play with different wood stains and varnishes to see if I can get this to work better.
I have gotten 5 days ahead of myself. (I started a little ahead)
I am afraid there will be days this month, I won't be able to paint.
30 in 30 is going to happen - it just may not be each day, but I will try.
I have a series of 5 complete. and am onto the next already.
An excuse to paint seems to have been the kick in the pants I needed
at least with this day 2...
Here is a peak at the next little series...
Day 1: Which end is up?
My first painting of this next 30 days, from a 5 paintings series.
I am trying to use what I have, and i had a bunch of old half-painted canvas boards, 8" x 10". They were portraits of sorts from a college project that I didn't use. So I painted over them this morning - keeping the general shapes that were already there.
Then I had to work today (darn it).
Tonight, during Mira's homework time, I started the drawing process. Still trying to find the perfect pen for drawing on a ruff canvas panel covered in paint. This is not an easy thing to find. I used a new type of pen for this. They are supposed to be archival and light fast and pigment ink. We shall see. I like them but they didn't last long and I found myself writing on paper to get them going again. I may have to break my goal of not buying anything new in this 30 days - as I may have worn them out with this one painting.
I am working abstract for these days. What do you see?
Is this still a portrait?
or did it become a landscape?
or a microscopic view?
I am super excited about this series.
1 down 29 to go...
I am Gina Barry.
I am imperfect.
And that is what makes me, me.
"I'm not perfect, no I'm not."
Recently, I learned about this beautiful concept
called Wabi Sabi.
It is a Japanese idea that we should embrace the imperfections in our lives.
Not just accept them, but celebrate them.
Things are better with the imperfections.
This has profoundly impacted me in the past couple of years.
Look at all my beautiful imperfections.
Right here on the world wide web.
They are everywhere.
(shhhh.... I don't want anyone to see them... oh wait... yes I want you to see them and celebrate them with me.)
They are in my past, my present, and yes... my future too.
"I'm not perfect, but I've got what I've got."
Imperfections are in my life
and in my paintings
and I am going to share them, again.
A new friend sent me a "challenge"
September - a month of painting everyday.
Post your work to the group blog.
(With accountability and a deadline, built right in)
At first I balked at the idea of this challenge.
My head full of the usual excuses.
But somehow I just couldn't let this one go.
So, I begin, September 1, 2016.
my month long journey into imperfection.
I have scheduled it out.
I will paint with what I have (paint, wax or otherwise).
I will paint on what I have (wood, canvas or paper).
I have cleared my calendar.
I created this new website so
I wouldn't have and excuse not to share.
I even signed up...
i will make ugly things
I will paint because I am outwardly accountable to this goal
I will paint with passion and determination
I will paint with apathy and indifference
I will paint in a hurry just to get done
I will paint with joy and love
but I will paint...
"I do my very best each day."
unless I don't
In which case, I will pick myself up - start again
as I have also proven can be done - in this recent time.
"But I'm not perfect"
I am creating the conditions
I will be ready
dip my toe back into this crazy art pool.
(that's how I say JUMP IN! i am still me...)
I will never really be ready,
I will always be busy.
But if not now, when?
"And I hope you like me that way"
(lyrics from my favorite Lori Berkner song)