Morning Stillness

I do the majority of my painting either early in the morning or late at night. It’s almost a form of meditation for me. I tried to capture the calmness that I feel at that time with this current piece, which I’ve appropriately named “Morning Stillness“.

Morning Stillness

I almost never have to wake up to an alarm (since I work around my own schedule) so I like to start my day off very slowly. Usually with a big breakfast, some coffee, some blog reading, and finally some painting. This whole morning routine usually takes about 2 hours. THEN I start actually getting ready for the day. I know, getting a “real” job come January is going to shake me up a bit!!! I’m trying to enjoy this while I still can.

This painting started off with a rough background with some colors I find very soothing. Then I started to slowly build up the scenery and I added the shape of the two small boats. There is something just so soothing about calm water and wooden boats.

The beginning stages of this painting
The beginning stages of this painting.


After talking about my frustrations with acrylic paint drying way too fast, a number of you suggested I try a medium to retard its drying time. I bought the stuff in the picture below, and oh-my-gawd, it is amazing! $8 very well spent. It allowed me to actually blend the paint for the water and the sky the way I wanted to, instead of it just drying and clumping up mid paint stroke. And you need very very little to get the effect. The picture of the bottle below was taken after I was done this whole painting. I basically put a small amount into a shot glass and would dip my paintbrush in it as I needed it.

Buy this. It's awesome. Seriously.
Buy this. It’s awesome. Seriously.

Oh yeah, so back to the painting. Next I started adding in all the details. Water, boats, mountains…



And ta-da! Done!


How about some close ups?

A boat…
Another boat…
Some mountains...
Some mountains…
A rocky shoreline...
A rocky shoreline…


And here's a side view.
And here’s a side view.
Morning Stillness - 16x20" - Acrylic on Canvas
Morning Stillness – 16×20″ – Acrylic on Canvas


How do you like to start your day?Β Do you get to ease into it slowly like me, or do you run out the door 5 minutes after waking up?

Like the painting Morning Stillness? The original painting is now SOLD but check out my other paintings available for sale in my online store here.

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17 thoughts on “Morning Stillness

  • September 13, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    This work is absolutely wonderful! I usually am up between 5-5:30. My inner alarm seldom lets me sleep in. However I stll usually rush at the last moment because I dawdle and get distracted by so many piddly things and before I know it I’ m running late. πŸ™‚

    • September 14, 2013 at 8:24 am

      That’s very early! I bet you accomplish more by 8am than most people do by lunchtime though.
      I can definitely relate to the being late part… I like to take my time in the morning, and sometimes end up being late for 10 or 11am appointments even though I’ve been up since 7am.

  • September 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Love this! Boats and mountains, great colors. πŸ™‚

  • September 14, 2013 at 3:09 am

    I can feel the calm…I’m a late evening, early morning person too. Maybe it’s an artist mind thing?

    • September 14, 2013 at 8:18 am

      Perhaps it is. If it works for us, then let’s stick to it. No need to fix what’s not broken πŸ™‚

  • September 14, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Hi Agata, this painting is lovely! I continue to be impressed with your artistic talent and how you manage to find time to keep it alive while being a busy student in a difficult field.

    The art is important, as you said, like meditation.

    I enjoy your work. Thank you. πŸ™‚

    • September 14, 2013 at 8:17 am

      Thank you Sharon πŸ™‚
      Painting is very therapeutic to me, so usually the more stressed I get with school, the more I paint. This is my last semester and it’s known to be a very challenging one in my program, so I’m predicting a lot of painting between now and December.
      Thank you for following my work and commenting. It means a lot to me. Cheers πŸ™‚

  • September 15, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Agata, it’s beautiful! My husband glanced over as I was reading, and thought it was a photograph! You named it well- very peaceful and still. I love it!
    Also, I’ve tried something to the effect of the little bottle you posted- although mine was more of a gel, and certainly didn’t go as far as that! It did wonders for prolonging the drying process though πŸ™‚

    • September 16, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Thanks Katie,
      I picked that medium blindly and guess I got lucky that it was a good one. I’d highly recommend it.
      Btw, I’ve been following your photography and it’s been incredible lately πŸ™‚ Looks like things are really picking up for you. Congrats!!!

  • September 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Beautiful painting! I might try acrylics again at some point in the future, and would definitely try out the medium stuff.

    • September 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Thanks Dave. You really should, especially with the medium. It makes them so easy to work with. I’m so glad for your previous recommendation to try a retarder.

  • September 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I love this painting!

  • September 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Wow.. wonderful this one! I love the detail you’ve brought into the two boats.. the left being a favorite.. can a boat actually be a favorite? lol

    it’s lovely to see your beautiful paintings.. i think you’re very talented πŸ™‚ And so do others too πŸ™‚

    Keep up the good work and good luck on the coming transitions in your life!


    • September 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Pieter,
      Thank you so much for the support and kind words. It means a lot to me πŸ™‚

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