Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013: Day 24 Contemplation

Universes among the River Birch by Karen Phillips
Contemplating the universe in this image. Do you ever think about what's beyond our universe? What other inhabitable worlds are there out there? Is there another me? Is there another you?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013: Day 18 Gouache It!

Red Flight, gouache on board, by Karen Phillips

This is Red Flight, a painting I did earlier this year. I wanted to try gouache on a board with some texture. I used light molding paste and gesso to create some yummy texture underneath the gouache. I had a lot of fun working this painting and learning more about gouache.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013: Day 15 Blast from the Past

This is an image I created towards the beginning of this year. I painted this using gouache and lots of water. Again, more circles.
What kind of symbols or shapes show up in your creative work?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013: Day 14 Field Trip

Mr. Cason's Vegetable Garden
Callaway Gardens
I find it relaxing and inspiring to take day trips around the Atlanta area to discover new places. Recently, my husband and I visited Callaway Gardens and saw some beautiful vistas and gardens.

As we visited the various gardens, I caught glimpses of patterns and shapes that I found intriguing and took a few pictures.

The contrast of the light colored veins and dark green foliage in these plants caught my eye.

The size contrast in these green leaves was quite nice! The overlapping oval shapes and pattern of the smaller leaves makes me want to run to my paints.

I find it's important to take time away from my studio and experience new environments that may or may not lead to inspiration for new work. How about you? What do you do to relax and/or inspire yourself?

Blogtoberfest 2013: Day 13 Circle Series - Exclusivity and Unity

This painting is the start of my Circle series that I started working on earlier this year. My inspiration for this work started with a question, "When is it ok to be exclusive?"
Seeking Unity, Acrylic on canvas by Karen Phillips
At the time, there was so much in the news about one group or another wanting to exclude another. I started thinking about why we form groups or cliques and recognized our need to feel a part of something, something that helps us feel whole. We seek to join with others, to perhaps become something more than we are as individuals.
Circle Series, Mixed Media on canvas by Karen Phillips
Circle Series, Mixed Media on canvas by Karen Phillips
So I've been playing with these ideas and seeing what I can discover. This grouping of five circles has my attention for the moment. In the above painting there is some separation between the first circle and the rest of the group. Does it want to join or doesn't it? I'm not sure yet.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013: Day 11 Looking Back

Stream of Consciousness painting, 18x24, gouache on paper by Karen Phillips
Stream of Consciousness painting, 18x24, gouache on paper by Karen Phillips 

I've been looking through some of the paintings I did on this paper from last year and found this colorful image. It's amazing how often the circle appears in my work. Recently, I've been working on a series of paintings in acrylic with the theme of circles. I am using this series to dig a little and find out what my attachment is to this symbol. I will post some of those tomorrow. What recurring symbols or images do you find in your work?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013: Day 10 Gratitude

Feeling so grateful today.

I am so grateful for all the family and friends that are in my life, all that I'm able to do, and all that I am able to share along this wonderful road called life.

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013: Finding hope in a bottle

Well I've done it. I've located all the bottles that I will need for this class. I went to a convenience store at a gas station and our neighborhood market (where I found out that I can't buy just one bottle of beer). I ended up having to do a little dumpster diving (recycled dumpster, that is). Next step: spray paint them all a nice matte white.
Bottle #2
My hope for this course is that I learn new skills that help me create paintings closer to what I envision, to get better at composition, and find a shorthand for jotting down ideas before they slip away. How do you find ways to do things a little better or a different way?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013: Meet my first bottle

Here she is. My first bottle for the video course Barnstone Method I'm studying. She will go through a bit of a transformation and meet new friends soon as I progress through the program.

My first bottle for use with online drawing course, Barnstone Method
Right now I'm learning how to do quick sketches using circles, triangles and squares. Everything has a relationship!
Notes and initial sketches
I'm off to hunt down three more bottles to complete the set. Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013: Searching for new forms

There are times when I like to approach a blank sheet of paper with a paintbrush full of color and see what I can discover. A line here, a dab there and lots of drips lead to new possibilities for paintings.

What fun! Creating drippy shapes can lead to lovely discoveries. What do you do to find inspiration?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Circle series inspiration

Sometimes, it's just a matter of asking "what if?" I've been working on paintings with circles for a while now and I wanted to give myself a break. So I started playing with gouache on paper, looking for new forms to explore. In a flash the "what if?" question pops up. What if I tried the circles with gouache?
Exploration of Circles in gouache by Karen Phillips
This leads me to ask, "What if I tried this on canvas with some texture?" I must see what happens.
Circle Series, 12"x12"
Acrylic on canvas
by Karen Phillips
Oh! I just love what happens when I listen to that little whisper of inspiration. How do you find inspiration?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm so Excited!

I love color! I love watching it flow down a piece of paper, leaving traces of itself behind. While I've picked up tidbits from friends and books I've read, I don't feel that I have the mastery I would love to have. I marvel at Eva Macie's and Patricia Bohannon's knowledge of color.

Exploration of Circles in gouache by Karen Phillips
I'm so excited! Today I found some online courses that I believe will help me take my use of color and design to the next level. Myron Barnstone offers a several online classes (and DVDs) that are just what I have been looking for. I'll keep you posted as to my progress.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013

Today is the first day of Blogtoberfest and is being hosted by Michelle Reynolds on her blog Shells in the Bush. I'm so excited to participate in a group blog-a-thon. My intention for the next 31 days is to share with you exploration of ideas and observations I create using paint, paper, and whatever else I find to use in my art making.

Finding Ideas in a Frying Pan

The idea I'm playing around with now started a few days ago when I was sautéing some mushrooms that my husband had cut up. For some reason, he cut one of them differently and seeing one of these slices in the pan sparked an idea that I had to explore. I started off using gouache (opaque watercolor) and charcoal in Exploration #1 and ended up layering images of painted tracing paper onto a larger image in Exploration #4.
Sautéed Mushrooms Exploration #1 by Karen Phillips

Sautéed Mushrooms Exploration #4 by Karen Phillips