“In the Grass” acrylic on canvas 22X30

In the grass Another experiment!  A couple of layers of paint and then at the end decided to use my fingers to finish it off.  There is an animal (deer or antelope) hiding in there but tough to see with the picture.   Starting to feel the ‘muse’ again!  I’d love to be back up on the coast of Maine again but alas that’s not for a few more years!  Until then, my imagination and creativity continues to drive me 🙂

Shattered

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This was a fun technique using a credit card to make the squiggly shapes.  These are the same colors that I used in “Out of the Mist” which I love and is hanging over the fireplace.  Hmm…maybe put the two together….

Painting Over Graffiti

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Started this one a few weeks ago and didn’t like some of it so I cut out some square shapes and covered the areas I didn’t like and left the bits that I did like.  Kind of looks like it’s in the middle of being painted over…

Snow Day in Raleigh

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Similar to the rest of the US, we’ve experienced an usually cold and snowy winter here so the locals tell me. They aren’t prepared to handle an inch never mind the 6 or so we got on top of ice last Wednesday and Thursday. The roads were a mess – slushy and icy – with patches of black ice. Cars spun out of control all over the highways and local roads.

This painting actually started out as a spring flower arrangement! I’ll get there.

Puppy in the house

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Have a new puppy and after being up all week at all hours of the night and picking up after puppy accidents, I was inspired with those colors this morning (while it was still dark out).  As the sun came up and my mood shifted, I did another painting that was happier and brighter.  I went back to the puppy painting and decided to add the red which I love.  Both still unnamed although the second one reminds me of poppies.  Pic came out blurry – it looked better on my phone!

“Summer Abundance” Acrylic on Canvas 22×28

Summer

I received some new paint colors and mediums yesterday and had to paint something. Used Cadmium Orange Pure and Portrait Pink mixed with a bit of gloss medium as the background. Then worked in the pure orange and cadmium yellow. I used some twine rope that wrapped our christmas tree and dipped that in Medium Magenta for a cool effect. Titanium white for the outline.

Big & Bold: How I got started painting Abstract art

Since I have been unemployed for the past few months, my husband and I moved out of Boston and moved to the coast of Maine temporarily.  Luckily for me, being unemployed also has its silver lining and I have been able to enjoy the time with my husband and pursue other creative activities like painting.

Back in May, we had stayed in an artist’s studio in South Bristol, Maine.  It was so inspiring to walk into Joy’s place and little did I know then how she would impact me.

Fast forward four months and we were living close to Joy and she mentioned she was putting on a “Big and Bold” art class that would be taught by her and another artist in an art studio in Damariscotta, Maine.  Was I interested?  You bet!  I had an absolute blast the first day!  I was so excited and felt so inspired working with two wonderful artists and painting alongside others interested in painting as well.  I didn’t know it was an abstract art class which was pretty funny 🙂

I did three paintings that first day.  Coast of Maine, Sunset at Otis Point, and Bearded Iris.

My very first abstract painting!  Did this in Big & Bold and it's pretty awful but I decided not to touch any of the 4 that I did in class so I can always go back and see how I've improved over time!

“Coast of Maine” on paper.  My very first abstract painting! Did this in Big & Bold and it’s pretty awful but I decided not to touch any of the 4 that I did in class so I can always go back and see how I’ve hopefully improved over time!

One of the original four. I was starting to 'get' it.  :-)

“Bearded Iris” on paper:  One of the original four. I was starting to ‘get’ it. 🙂

My Muse painting.  I'll blog later about this!

“Sunset at Otis Point”:  My Muse painting. I’ll blog later about this!

On the second day, I came back in and kind of froze.  I had thoughts about changing Sunset at Otis Point which is actually my muse painting.  I’ll blog about that later.  All of a sudden I was frightened, unsure of myself, and started hating my paintings.  What was going on?

I started my fourth painting, Christmas Paper, and really hated it.  I didn’t know what I was doing and even with the encouragement of Joy and the constructive feedback from Katharina, I felt like a failure.  How come I didn’t have the same feelings as the first day?   I decided to finish Christmas Paper and not touch any of the other paintings especially Sunset.  I was starting to feel a little better and brought home the paintings to show my husband.

One of the original four.  I have a love / hate relationship with this one.  My husbands favorite of all four.  Go figure!

“Christmas Paper” on paper: One of the original four. I have a love / hate relationship with this one. My husbands favorite of all four. Go figure!

He really really loved them!  And I know him, he would definitely tell me the truth!  Funny thing was that Christmas paper (he named it)  turned out to be his favorite!

As part of my learning process I now realize that all of the feelings of self-doubt and being so critical of myself are all normal.  Every day that I paint I experience ups, downs, love, hate, and finally either joy or, at a minimum, acceptance of the painting and the process I took to get there.

What an incredible experience I’m having and I know how lucky I am to be able to have this time to find my creative self.

Hopefully soon I will be working full-time again but I know that I will never give up my art.  It’s now a huge part of me.

Thank you Joy!

P.S.  If you ever have the fortunate opportunity to visit the coast of Maine, the Damariscotta mid-coast area is absolutely beautiful.  And Joy’s studio only a short distance away.  See www.joyvaughan.com for more information.