“New Year, New You” Nonsense

And just like that, another year of neglected New Year’s resolutions has come to an end. Last year, I made my painting goal to complete 3 paintings for myself. I even called this “a realistic goal” back when I set it, thinking that I will blow that number out of the water. NOPE. I actually completed an astounding ZERO. Yep, another forgotten year in my painting history. My house still only has paintings from 2013 and 2014 and thus none that I’ve done specifically for my house (since I bought it in 2016). Maybe this year will be different… I’m not holding my breath.

I did however, complete 3 commissioned paintings.  Then around September, decided to stop taking commissioned work so that I can do a few for people as gifts, and a few for myself. I completed 2 as gifts, and started a third one, but still none for myself. Here are two that I did for my mom for her birthday. She specifically told me what she wanted, since as my best customer, she knows I don’t like ambiguity.

 

18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas – Sunflowers 1

 

18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas – Sunflowers 2

A few years back (probably several years in a row actually) I made the resolution to learn a thing or two about photography, and by looking at these photographs of my paintings, it is obvious that that is another resolution that I never kept. Sigh. I also forgot to take photos as I was working on these paintings (which is likely because I crammed all the painting into a few days over the Christmas holidays so there were no obvious breaks when I could take pictures).

So this year, I’m going to take it even easier on my self with the whole New Year’s resolution stuff. My goal for the year is to continue painting whatever that entails. Between working full time, doing my Masters full time, keeping two dogs and a relationship alive, I am rather busy. There’s at least one painting that will be a gift that I want to finish then hopefully a couple for my house, although those would be a bonus. Setting the bar real low in terms of painting goals this year haha. Maybe there is a chance I will have a positive “Recap of 2017” post up next year.

Framed and hung in her living room

What are your goals for 2017 (painting or non-painting related)?

 

 

 

Rainy Night in NYC

Not too long ago, I spent the weekend in NYC. It was the rainiest weekend ever. This resulted in a lot of indoor activities. Luckily art galleries are generally indoors.

Some steam after all the rain
Some steam after all the rain

We went to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) among other places, hoping to get inspired to paint. If I’m being completely honest (which I am) I’ll admit that I was quite disappointed by the lack of actual paintings there. Maybe I’m just not up to speed with modern art, but the majority of the art work there was just strange.

Read more

Cheating – Part 2

[If you haven’t read Cheating – Part 1, then start here]

So continuing from the previous post, I’m going to continue shamelessly going through a list of offences I commit while painting.

6. I trace any object I can find to make my life easier.

I don’t own any fancy shmancy drafting tools (although as an engineer, you would think I would finally invest in some). Actually, I don’t even own basic ones, like a ruler beyond 10 cm in length. So instead I use random objects around my apartment when I need certain lines/curves. Canvases make good straight edges while lampshades, lids from various containers, and candles make great circles/curved edges.

I actually free handed the rest of these lines
I actually had to free handed these lines

 

7. I don’t like washing paintbrushes so I use the same one far too long.

This one really just comes down to laziness. I don’t like having lots to clean-up, so I avoid getting things dirty. I’ll use a palette knife instead of brushes whenever possible since they can usually be cleaned by just wiping them with a wet paper towel. When I use paintbrushes, I’ll use the same one to the point that there’s dried clumped on paint all over the bristles. It adds some interesting effects to the painting…[sometimes…] When I reach this point, I usually call it a day.

Strings Attached - Violin - Acrylic on Canvas - 48x20"
Strings Attached – Violin – Acrylic on Canvas – 48×20″

 

8. I don’t use any painting mediums. 

I’m aware that this stuff exists since I see it in the art store all the time, and I’ve heard others discus “priming the canvas” but I really have no idea what they’re talking about. Apparently there are mediums to speed up/delay the drying time, change the texture of the paint, and many many others. There’s a whole (overwhelming) section devoted to this stuff in the art store. I like to keep it simple: paint+brush/palette knife. Easy. Breezy.

Unfortunately the Dollarama doesn't carry this size of canvas
Any texture you see is the result of globs of paint, and not a medium.

 

9. I buy canvases at the Dollarama.

Unscrunch your nose! No, I don’t exclusively shop there, since they only carry the very small sizes, but you can bet that all those little ones are straight from the dollar store. They’re gallery wrapped [ie. staples are on the back and not the side] and I don’t notice any difference in quality. Just price. $1.25 versus about $5, yes please!

Unfortunately the dollar store doesn't carry canvases this big.
Unfortunately the dollar store doesn’t carry canvases this big.

 

10. I use acrylic paint instead of oil.

I used to paint with oils when I first started painting about 7 years ago. Oils are rough. First, they need to be thinned with either turpentine (which is super toxic) and/or oil (I used linseed oil). Next, they take FOREVER to dry. Weeks to MONTHS!!! I like painting in layers, and letting each layer dry before adding the next one, and when it takes several weeks for each layer to dry, it takes several months to finish a painting. I think “real” artists paint “wet-on-wet” but I find that far too difficult. I put my hands all over the painting as I go, and I like to sketch out guidelines with chalk. You can’t do that with wet paint on your canvas. Trust me. I used to get paint on absolutely everything, and oil paint is toxic and not washable, unlike acrylic paint. As I’ve already mentioned, I hate washing paintbrushes, and that hatred probably started from my days of oil painting. That stuff just does not wash out! I love acrylic paint <3 Dries in minutes, washable, non-toxic, doesn’t require thinning… Just lovely.

All acrylic baby
All acrylic baby

 

11. I copy my own paintings in different combinations to make new ones.

I find things that work (usually by accident) and then I run wild with it! With regards to this violin painting, I had the idea for the acoustic guitar first, really liked the finished piece, so have done 3 other instruments since. I also noticed that my paintings with people walking with an umbrella were a big hit, so I threw them into many paintings. Sometimes looking identical as before, other times wearing new outfits. I suppose this is a giant step up from copying other people’s paintings, which is what I used to do when I first started painting.

Exhibit A
Exhibit A

 

So basically this list concludes that I am cheap and lazy. The engineer in me prefers to call this efficient and resourceful.

Check out the reflection in the mirror for a sneak peak at what's on my easel.
Check out the reflection in the mirror for a sneak peak at what’s on my easel.

 

Thoughts? Do any of these confessions surprise you? Can you relate or am I in fact just cheap and lazy?!

Like this painting? Strings Attached – Violin is now SOLD but check out my other listings here.

 

Mean Girls?

I recently  realized that I completely forgot to post a painting that I completed at least 2 months ago. So from the archives, here it is! Let’s start with the progression of the background.

Progression of the background

Then I added these three lovely ladies on the middle panel.

Don't they kind of  remind you of the movie Mean Girls?
Don’t they kind of remind you Mean Girls? Oh Regina George…

Don’t know about you, but I secretly love that movie. I think it’s just beyond hilarious. And it pretty much marks the point before Lindsay Lohan lost it! Anyways, this painting really had nothing to do with that movie, nor was it inspired by it in any sense, but I was just reminded of it now for whatever reason. The ladies in this painting are intended to be ‘nice girls’ not ‘mean girls’ 🙂

And here you have the finished painting:

Acrylic on three 12x16" canvases. Total size 36x12"
Acrylic on three 12×16″ canvases. Total size 36×12″

 

As a side note, you may have noticed all these annoying little ads all over my site recently. I’m new to this whole internet blogging world and only recently learned that you can actually make some money with advertising. I never understood how bloggers made money online (without actually selling a product or service) but turns out that online ads is how it’s done. Now unless you get some outrageous number of page hits a day (which I certainly do not!) you’re not going to get rich with this, but I’m hoping it will cover the cost of hosting my website (about $150 a year) and maybe a couple bottles of paint.

If you’re curious/nosy, at the end of every month, I’ll do a post outlining how much I made with these ads. I know I’m totally curious since everyone in the blogging world seems to keep this as some giant secret. So far I’m at $0.55! HAHA Getting rich fast, eh!?

If you are not a fan of this whole internet advertising thing, then simply don’t click on the ads. I only get a commission if you actually click on an ad so you can still visit here often without filling my pockets with money. On the contrary, feel free to help make me rich and click away! I’m sure there are some riveting advertisements popping up!!! haha

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