My work has been full of blues and moody colours this past spring and I really want to inject some more bold colours into my work. I'm feeling a strong pull to create abstract and almost multi media pieces. Think drawing with oil bars and layers of luscious paint (not just oil!). While I'm waiting for backordered supplies I decided to pull a mood board together.
A few years ago when my youngest was a baby and I only had 1 to look after I was talking to a mom of multiple older children (some in school and some not) and she was telling me how crazy the end of the school year gets. I was naive and didn't understand it at all at the time. I just thought things would be easier when my kids were in school! Which is sort of true, but also the schedule becomes tighter and more things need to fit into that schedule. Now after only 1 full year of school I get it. May and June are absolutely crazy months. Everything is needing to be wrapped up while the learning is still happening, most of the school trips and activities were done during this time and the kids are anticipating summer daily. Luckily for us my husband is a teacher and we now we have two months of freedom (although I'm hoping to get my husband to take the kids to the park daily so I can work ha!) We've got a bucket list of spray parks, kite flying, biking, finding new parks and whatever else we can do outside!
All of that to say here is what I am currently working on in my studio! As I did manage small bits of time over the past two months to work on paper studies!
Well it's official, I stupidly ruined a painting while varnishing with a brand new brush and it got lint ALL over my beautiful painting.
I've never actually varnished using a brush before, I used to always spray varnish. I did use liquid varnish to create some smoggy masterpieces in high school though (I really enjoyed experimenting with all mediums despite their intended purpose!)
In our current home I have no outdoor space where I can use spray varnish safely and I don't have proper ventilation to spray indoors either so liquid varnish it is!
Some tips to get you started on varnishing inside.
- Make sure your piece has fully cured whether it be an oil painting, acrylic, mixed media etc.
- Wipe down your piece if it's been sitting for a while to rid it of any dust or particles that you can't see, but will if you start to varnish it! (I've made this mistake too)
- Make sure that your brush is clean - even if it's brand new and in a plastic case it can still be full of dust (hard lesson learned here for me folks!)
- Prepare your varnish per it's instructions and begin with light layers. You don't want to make it a smoggy mess and ruin your beautiful painting.
I've been wanting to officially launch my online shop for months now and I am finally doing it this summer!
Part of the delay has been fear. I'm not sure why as I've been selling my work at markets for almost a year now and selling in person is way more stressful than selling online. But the fear is there and it's quite real.
Another thing that has stopped me is my need to perfect my bodies of work, which also means I have scrapped and gessoed not just one, but quite a few paintings this past year. I have been painting, drawing and creating mixed media art seriously since high school and even sold pieces along the way, but having my art online feels like a whole new ball game of perfectionism.
All this to say that I have photographed and am now prepping the listings for my first collection launching online!
I'll still be at markets this fall for all the locals who prefer to see works in person, but as an avid online shopper myself this can't come soon enough!
It's so easy to feel overwhelmed in "finding" inspiration. But the truth is it is everywhere. Walk out your door and look up, the shape of the clouds, the sky are forever changing. Go for a walk and look at what nature surrounds you, shop signs, architecture. You just need to know what you are looking for.
I love to take pictures of the sky and open plains while we are driving. When I'm out for walks with my kids I usually don't have time for pictures of the river or sky, but I definitely feel the creative pull just by walking through nature and sometimes try to take a mental image in my head. Ha!
What I look for when I am out and about walking, driving or anything in between
- Natural forms in the sky or bodies of water
- Colour Palette
- Line (line of sight/eye line)