God’s Beautiful Mistake

 

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Sunflowers are those flowers that you either love or hate.  I don’t think I ever heard of anyone saying, “meh, I think sunflowers are just okay.” I have a friend who absolutely loves them, and the above painting was a birthday gift in acrylic.

One of my favorite sunflower descriptions was in the horror movie The Order in a dialogue between Alex Bernier and Mara Sinclair;

“I hope you like sunflowers,” said Alex.

Mara replied, “I love sunflowers. You know that.”

Why? Why do you love sunflowers?”

“Because I always thought that when God was making beautiful things, He messed up with sunflowers.”

“How?”

Well, ’cause they look like – I don’t know. They look like crooked teeth around a mouth that’s too big, kind of.”

Yeah.”

But… just when He was about to start over, He realized that’s what made them beautiful. They were a brilliant mistake.”

“Like you and me.”

That really stuck in my head.  I saw the movie years before I started painting, and it made me look at sunflowers differently from then on.  A friend of mine told me once that artists see things differently.  Sometimes, I feel like that’s true, but sometimes, I still need things pointed out to me.  Like the loveliness of  a sunflower.  Later in the movie Alex compared  Mara to a sunflower, calling her “God’s beautiful mistake.”  Best. Description. Ever!

For me, sunflowers are definitely my favorite flower to look at.  The interesting textures and warm colors just make me feel good.  When I paint something, the more imperfections that show up in the painting, the more realistic the painting looks. Sunflowers are real.  The petals are all different sizes, the colors are all wonky, and the whole flower is imperfect.  They’re a favorite subject to so many artists. I mean, what art lover hasn’t seen or heard of VanGogh’s sunflower paintings?  It really comes as no surprise to me that people keep requesting sunflower paintings.  In fact, they keep requesting one painting, in particular,  and that painting is just a copy of an artist-unknown pallet painting I saw on pinterest.  Well, anyway, here are my copies

 

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Easy(ish) Art

 

These were some relatively easy pieces that I did for wedding gifts.  They were easy to do but a bit time consuming.  Each one was about 16×20 inches and they were painted on slats of dog ear fencing.  Here are the steps I took to make these.

  1. The first thing I did to make these was put together 3 pieces of pine dog ear fencing.  I used my Kreg jig and joined these every 6 inches.  Then I cut the joined pieces perpendicular to the slats. The fence pickets are about 6 feet long and I can cut 3 decent size pictures from the joined fencing.
  2. Sand, sand and sand.  Fencing is rough.  These needed a little one on one time with some sandpaper to handle them without getting splinters everywhere
  3. I whitewashed the slats for the jar pic.  This was about 1:4 white acrylic paint to water ratio.  I painted it on and then wiped off most of the excess.  I did a similar technique with the Founders growler but I used burnt umber acrylic instead of the white.  This can be done with a water based stain, but it doesn’t work well with oil based stains.  The reason is because there needs to be some absorption in the wood to transfer the image nicely and oil based stains tend to seal the wood
  4. I reversed the images and blew them up to fit the wood pieces.
  5.  The Ball jar graphic I got from thegraphicsfairy.com.  I placed the backwards image on the wood and used citrasolv to transfer the image onto the wood like this method https://snapguide.com/guides/transfer-images-using-citrasolv-natural-solvent/.
  6. For the growler, I blew up a photo and used tracing paper to transfer the outline and wording and then transferred it onto the wood.  This is a good way to do it, but I used a white charcoal stick http://www.wikihow.com/Trace-Using-Only-Tracing-Paper-and-Pencil-Lead-for-Visual-Artists
  7. I traced over the transferred images.  For the Ball jar, I just used a black sharpie to trace over the image.  For the Founder’s growler, I used a white sharpie paint marker.
  8. After that, the Founder’s growler was done.  For the Ball jar, I watered down some aqua colored acrylic paint and painted in the jar.  Voila!  Two easy art pieces for the bride and groom.

This isn’t my typical type of painting, but I loved how they turned out.  I want to make a jar for my own kitchen, now!

 

 

Mom’s Flowers

My mom loves floral paintings.  The painting with the pottery was an older painting I did.  She had it on a wall in her livingroom when the walls were painted a deep rusty red.  Her furniture and accessories were all earthtones so it fit nicely.  When my mom decided to remodel, she painted the walls a bright celery green.  The painting didn’t really fit so I painted her some flowers that had a green toned background and lots of leaves.  I’m not wild about the yellow flower painting, but she enjoys it.  I guess that’s all that matters.  Both paintings are acrylic.

pottery

Pottery

 

yellowflowers

Yellow Flowers in vase

 

Spiced Pears

Spiced Pears

This is a painting I did ages ago for a class final.  For the final, I had to paint anything I wanted, and I did a trio of canning related pictures.  One of the paintings was of stacked canning jars filled with fruits, veggies, and sauces.  Two of the paintings looked like photographs and vintage looking recipes surrounded the subject of the recipe. This one, of course, is pears, and they are one of my favorite subjects to paint.  For this, I taped off the middle square first and painted the “photograph.”  I re-taped and added the off-white edging using acrylic spray paint.  I really wanted it to look like a Polaroid.  The surrounding pears were painted and I added the decoupage of the recipe last, I added several layers of acrylic medium to the painting so that the recipe blended better.  I love how this one turned out, and one of these days, I will post the other paintings if I can talk the owners into photographing them.

pear Recipe

Pearly Whirly

Pearl was a miniature dachshund that was part of my parent’s household for many years.  Sadly, my little puppy-sister passed away last year. My folks do have two other dogs and a cute cat, but Pearl will be missed.    I called her Pearly Whirly, and I loved how she would snuggle with me in the morning when I visited.  My folks got up early, and I did not.  Apparently, Pearl wasn’t an early riser, either, so she would sleep with me until I decided to get up. My dad compiled a picture collage of pearly, and I thought it would be a good idea to give him a picture of Pearl for Christmas.    Here is a picture of the photo I used.  What a butterball!  I painted just the head and my parents loved the painting Pearly Whirly

Pearl

And below is the acrylic painting I did.  As with my other acrylics, I textured a lot and added lots of glazes.  This is the first picture I did of a pet, and I was happy with the results

Pearly Whirly

If I had a million blue Ball jars

No seriously, I wish I had a million blue Ball jars.  I might just settle for a crap ton of them.  I would photograph them and paint them and paint them some more and just go a little crazy with the paintings of Ball jars and use a ridiculous amount of run-on sentences while I do it.  As it is, I have several of these gorgeous aqua jars, and I will be adding to my collection when I can.  This painting with flowers was a gift for a friend.  Her bathroom was all aqua and purple, and I thought a photo of lilacs in a jar I came across would make a beautiful painting.  The painting is an acrylic 8×10 on canvas.  For acrylics, I use a variety of paint brands (mostly Golden, Liquitex, Dick Blick, and M. Graham), and I also use glazes and gel mediums.  For this painting, I added a gel medium to the background because I wanted a textured feel.  I glazed on top to bring out the texture, as well.

Lilacs in Ball jar