Thursday, March 16, 2017

Finding my Inner Artist

One of the things I've always wanted to do is paint. I've done craft painting in the past, and I've enjoyed a couple of evenings at Painting with a Twist. (That's a super fun way to spend a couple of hours! I highly recommend it!) But I've never really explored painting much. I didn't even take an art class in high school.

So, after my first Painting with a Twist experience just after Christmas, I went to Craftsy and purchased a couple of painting classes. And didn't watch them until about three weeks ago. Because I'm a weirdo like that. So I went to the craft store and picked up a table-top easel, some paints, and a couple of canvases.

This is my little work space in my bedroom. The table was purchased by my grandparents when they got married in 1940! I love it, and it gets covered with a vinyl tablecloth when I'm crafting.

I also checked out a bunch of books from the library. In one of them, the author mentioned her "art journal." I wondered what that was, so I Googled it.

Holy crap.

How have I not heard of art journaling until now?! This is some seriously inspiring, creative, amazing stuff! So back to the library's website I go and find a bunch of e-books about art journaling. Then, back to the craft store for more supplies.

I actually made two more trips after this one because I kept reading about things I wanted to try!

Saturday, I spent a good portion of the day painting and working on my first art journal page. I painted one canvas, and my mom instantly claimed it, saying it would look great in her bedroom. Moms are supposed to do that, right?

I thought it seemed sort of childish, but I had fun doing it, and it loosened me up. I also spent this time learning how to tell my inner critic/fear to shut the hell up. It didn't really matter what I made. I just wanted to follow my heart and keep my brain out of it. I showed it to an acquaintance and she said it reminded her of Matisse. That made me feel pretty good. Not gonna lie.

Once that was completed, I turned my attention to my new art journal. I had already covered one page with gesso to prepare it for acrylics. (It's a watercolor pad.) I had an idea in my head of what I wanted it to look like. I knew I wanted to make the earth in the center using the same painting technique I had learned when painting the background of the dandelion painting (above) at Painting With a Twist.

It gives the feeling of "the world" without having to be too exact. I was pretty pleased with it. My daughter later suggested that I could have used a large round stencil to have a more even edge around the circle. But, I like the unevenness of it.

Then I used red and yellow to paint the rest of the background and walked away for a while to allow it to dry.  My intention was to use a black pen to draw and write the words, but when I saw the fully dried background I changed my mind. Enter: metallic gold paint pen.

It was so much fun, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I'm looking forward to spending some more time with my art supplies. This weekend, I'll be experimenting with watercolors. I've also decided to take a couple of art classes at our local community center starting in April. I'm really excited about all the possibilities that are laid out before me!

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