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Tuesday, January 29, 2013


When I look at my Pinterest Boards, I become so fired up and inspired! And then, I go look at my empty canvas. You know, there is just some kind of a disconnect. It is nothing that a large bowl of fresh berries and a leisurely trip to the beach couldn't cure. But momentarily lacking those, I thought I would take advantage of  this present time to get in touch with the rest of the world again. After all, there is nothing better than the present time to procrastinate.

But maybe sharing my thoughts with you guys will help me solidify what project I want to work on next. And maybe that is why my Pinterest Board intrigues me so much. I have figured out that the most fascinating part of art, to me, is design. And perhaps that is the most fascinating part of art period, because even color begins to fall into that category. If you vary a color in the slightest (change the saturation, value, tint), you can use all one color (or hue) - unless you consider black and white as colors - and, Walla! you have design! And then add texture - good grief there is no end to where you could go with this!

And so now I understand why I was so easily entertained by my Spirograph toy and colored pencils when I was a kid. Somehow, it made a much larger impact than the fractions game that I got that same Christmas. What a shame somebody didn't point out the fractions in the designs that I was making. I might have become a brilliant mathematician instead. No, I think it still would have been art, and quite frankly I learned my fractions real fast once I began to sew and cook.

So where am I going with this? Not sure, but I will tell you later - if I get there.

And the Spirograph toy? Not sure what happened to that, but I know what happened to me. I learned about color mixing (by experimentation), line, movement, shading, design, and symmetry. Could I have told you that was what I had learned? Nope. The nice thing is, everything you learn just builds on something previous. As long as you have enough awe in your life, you can get something from just about everything - kind of like the Awe Of a Child.

Remember my complaints about trying to find an explanation about thick over thin when painting with oil paints. I found the greatest explanation by Winsor Newton! It is on You-tube. See the link below:

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Experimenting With Paint

I told you that I would share my experimental studies with you. I had finished It Snowed for Christmas and was trying to decide where to go from there. I wanted to get back to my oils and do some more work. When working with brushes, I had a tendency to paint in thin layers, which is evidently OK to do, as long as you use several thin layers and follow the fat to lean rule [I am still trying to wrap my head around that - is it thickness of paint? amount of oil in the paint? paint thinning medium added (oil? mineral spirits?)]. Well for now, I am just playing with paint here and experimenting. I might go back in and try to finish these and salvage them. In the meantime, because I promised to share them, here they are:

Oil Painting Experiments - Left Over Paint (left) Palette Knife (right)

The main point of my experiment was to try painting with my palette knife, which I had never tried doing before. I was having so much fun with it that it was difficult to stop with one canvas. I did have a second canvas and I also had left over paint. The decision I had to make was whether to put out more paint and try another palette knife painting or try to use up the leftover paint that I already had so that I wouldn't waste any paint. I opted to use the leftover paint and so I got out my new oil paint instrument, my trusty paper towel and painted the second canvas with that. I didn't use any medium, not even for clean-up. I don't know if that is cheating or not, but it sure made it easy when it came time to clean-up.

I am still trying to decide which type of paint I am in love with - watercolor, oil, acrylic. They each have their own particular wonderful characteristics. Guess I am just fickle. I seem to love them all.

Thanks for tuning in. More later.

Palette Knife Experiment
Couldn't stand to walk by this and not try to do something with it. Here is the palette knife painting with revisions from memory and imagination. The nice thing about painting is you remember all the wisdom you read like, "Don't add yellow to snow, especially cadmium yellow." And you seem to remember each little gem right after you have done exactly what you read not to do. Think maybe I need to do more plein air painting. Fifteen million (well maybe not that many) revisions later, and I still see things that I would like to fix, even though this is just a study. I see why oil painters like to work alla prima. There is a certain freshness that you tend to lose as you continue to work, but for a study from my imagination, I can deal with the imperfections.

Still not willing to quit!
A little fun checking contrast.

I have added some new products to my Cafe Press store: Margo's Art. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some of the Things Accomplished Since the Holidays

Not a lot "new" going on this week. Got two oil painting studies worked on toward the end of the holidays. One was a palette knife painting, which was inspired by the work of fellow artist Abraham Fisher whom I met through Artist Daily. He has very unusual, beautiful oil paintings, all done with palette knives and colors that are more subdued, more pastel than the colors I tend to use, yet still clean and vibrant colors. My painting was totally different from his, but definitely inspired by his work. Then I had left-over paint that I couldn't stand to waste, and so instead of pulling out my brushes, I went for paper towels and painted a small square canvas panel with left-over paint that would have been wasted. I soon decided that when it comes to oil painting, paint brushes are over rated. This was probably a reaction to the ease of clean-up with palette knives and paper towels.

Well, I have now learned how to "unpublish" after accidentally hitting the publish button before being finished with the blog. Sorry for the interruption. The computer "robots" probably went crazy over my momentary publish. Those things do an interesting job. They make it easier on us when we hit our search buttons - but I digress here.

At any rate, the studies aren't quite finished. I have a tendency to keep experimenting on studies, unless I accidentally create something I am enthralled with, so I will probably keep trying to make these look more like whatever my unconscious expectations are for them. As usual, I am just having fun with my painting, and no, I haven't "quit my day job yet."

After experimenting with my oil paints, I went back and added some more products to my Cafe Press Store, I have even added a shower curtain and a wall clock using designs from my previous blog! I am having way too much fun designing my own products. And, I think the thing that I have had the most fun with this week is my line of baby products: Simply A Rose Organic Baby Bodysuit 

Simply A Rose Organic Baby Body Suit

Simply A Rose Margo's ArtSimply A Rose Bib Simply A Rose Margo's ArtSimply A Rose Sippy Cup Simply A Rose Margo's Art and several different products that could be used as a diaper bag, like: Simply A Rose Sack Pack Simply A Rose Margo's ArtSimply A Rose Tote Bag Simply A Rose Margo's ArtSimply A Rose Beach Tote Simply A Rose Margo's Art. So, check them out!

For other products: Margo's Art or my website at Fine Art America.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's the New Year

It's the New Year and I'm back. The holidays were great - a total goof-off time. I did manage to squeak out one fast study. A while back I decided I wanted to try to learn how to paint landscapes - not an area that I naturally do well in. That is probably why I am so determined to work on this area of my painting. That doesn't mean I intend to back off from other areas of my painting, but I really feel like a breakthrough in one area of art almost always spills over and helps strengthen other areas. So here I am with it.

It all started with a very simple photo of a striking sunset. My husband and I had just dropped our son off at work and rounded the corner of the parking lot to this open view of land that is quickly becoming diminished. I found myself remembering how open and spacious this area had been in the not so long ago past. It is called progress and I am not against progress; however, I sometimes question if all change is automatically progress.

At any rate, the photo involved a very simple landscape that made experimenting easy and possible. I wanted to take time playing with seasons, color schemes, and paint. So, San Antonio Sunset; Starry, Starry Night in San Antonio; and It Snowed For Christmas were born. They are studies. Something fun. All three are watercolor and all three were painted with a paintbrush as opposed to the study - Atmosphere (based on a different photo), which is also a watercolor painting, but is mainly layers of watercolor sprayed onto the paper. All four are on watercolor paper. These watercolor studies also give a chance to play with the actual paint itself, and see how each pigment reacts. Some pigments actually flow and dance. Others sit almost like rocks (not necessarily a bad thing if you know how to take advantage of that).

San Antonio Sunset
Starry, Starry Night in San Antonio

It Snowed on Christmas

I sincerely hope that you don't tire of seeing this particular scene because I still have more plans for it. You will probably end up being exposed to - Spring - eventually, and other color schemes are always a possibility.

Thanks for joining me one more time. This is the beginning of a new year. Do I have any great New Year's Resolutions?

Nope! I just intend to continue exploring paint, composition, color and whatever else it takes in my own personal great adventure with art.

Happy New Year everyone!

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