A Foxy Gentleman

Project number two from this session of art class is a painting of a lovely gentleman (I think) fox. I originally thought it was a female and my art teacher didn’t, but I just couldn’t bring myself to paint boobs to make it true. I was inspired by (copied) this painting I found on Etsy via Pinterest. I’ve been very into foxes lately so one wearing a British riding coat seems fitting. It only took about two classes to finish up. I think it turned out pretty well! image1   I like how the plain, really light peachy background sets off the fox and makes it look more like a fancy portrait. My teacher wanted me to change it and add more color, but I stood my ground. Here he is resting on my green leather chair, as fox oil paintings are wont to do. I’ve still got to find a good spot for him/her but I think it would fit in nicely in my chair and book corner. image3The next painting I’m working on is of a rug! I hope it turns out better than it sounds in that sentence.

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An Oil Painting of a Proper Cuppa English Tea

I’m taking an oil painting class again I’ve taken a few times before so I’m back in painting mode! And if you know me in real life (IRL as the kids say), you may have picked up on the fact that I have an infatuation with England/London/Britain/the royal family/the Harrys (Styles and the prince one). Well the good news (not psychologically, probably) is that it’s recently kicked up a notch! Brilliant! This painting is the first result of that but you can bet your ascot there will be more coming soon.

So here’s my painting! I think it turned out pretty well, which just basically means that I finished it in two classes instead of five. I’m happy it moved along and I didn’t have enough time to struggle over it and grow to despise it (that’s the normal painting process for me).

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I got the “idea” (I straight copied it!) from this painting I found on Pinterest (if you want to see more of my “artspiration”, check out my board). It always helps me to loosen up my style when I imitate another painting that has that style. Maybe it will eventually morph into my own. That’s the plan, anyway. The other plan is to paint more of what I actually want hanging in my apartment as art instead of what I feel like painting. However, I am running into the difficulty that this place is beginning to look like a shrine to myself and my art…It’s getting weird.

Pretend this is a flip book and scroll fast for a quick zero to 60 painting in three seconds.

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What a rush! If only it went that fast IRL! Har har. But here’s the new problem: I don’t know what to paint next! Help! Spoiler: it will probably be British in theme.

Art + Wine Classes: Yay or nay?

I think because I like to pretend I’m a true artist I was a little apprehensive and judgmental about those wine and art classes. The fact that everyone does the same exact picture makes them seem non-artisty to me. All the art classes I’ve taken as an adult have been ones where you can do whatever the hell you want without being instructed. Which is maybe why half the time they make me so stressed out and hate myself. And, I don’t know if you’ve heard, there’s a BAR at these trendy classes! I could be convinced to take a calculus class if they told me there was a bar there.

So I decided to give it a try. With my mom and older sister in tow, I showed up for a Wednesday night class to paint an autumn scene. First thing’s first, we got wine at the bar. (They were out of champagne, exCUSE me?! Whatever.) Then I started sizing up my competition. For some reason, arts and crafts makes me super competitive (wouldn’t it be nice if work or real life did that to me?) so I wanted to make sure mine would be the best. Or better than my sister’s at least.

Here we are, just the happiest little family of painters.

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The weird thing about the class is that I kind of felt like I was painting blind. It was a much different experience than when I sit down to paint at home or in a class. The actual picture we were copying was about the size of a postage stamp and hung on the wall .5 miles away so that wasn’t much help. Mom kept freaking out about this fact. She also started adding cobblestones without being told and totally going AWOL on her picture and then everyone loved it. I had half a mind to tell on her. But I actually found the experience liberating. Since I just did what I was told and had no idea what I was really supposed to be doing, there was much less to stress out about (except when the goddamn bar was going to be open for service again). The process is a little dumbed down and not every single detail is included but I think that definitely helped make the project easier and completable in a few hours. I can’t remember the last time I finished a painting in that amount of time…or a quarter of that amount of time. So yay for finishing one!

Overall rating: An A! It was fun, so much less stressful than normal, fun to hang with the fam, drink, and accomplish something.

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Lessons learned:

  1. Just always be drinking when you’re painting. Just do it.
  2. Not every detail needs to be painted.
  3. Frequent cheese breaks are a must. (My sister’s snacks totally helped my…inspiration, or whatever.)
  4. There’s always someone whose painting is worse than yours to make you feel better.

You can buy my picture for $5,000. I swear there are only like 50 others like it out there.

Ta da!

Eiffel Tower Copycat Oil Painting

So my problem when I paint is that I end up being too precise and anal about my paintings so that they a. take me forever to do and b. become no fun at all and stressful instead. I’ve been really trying to break out of that lately and I thought copying the style of a loose and free painting might help. I fell in love with this painting of the Eiffel Tower before I had that idea and decided to try to recreate it. And I don’t want to give the impression that I invented this painting, I definitely copied one. (I found the painting on Pinterest and I guess it is from someone named Aja’s Etsy site, FYI. Fooled me, I thought it could have been a professional famous artist!)

This has been one of the most fun paintings I’ve done and it only took a few hours total to do (maybe like 4 – if that sounds like a lot, for me it isn’t!). It was really great for me to get out of my precise style that can be super limiting and not even fun. I hope I can continue that pattern even when I’m not working from someone else’s work! I think this is one of only a few paintings I’ve completed that I can say I love.

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The free and painterly style of this really got me to loosen my hand up. I hope it lasts and carries on into other work but if not, at least I have a completed painting I like as a consolation prize.

Quick Sunflower Oil Painting

Oil on canvas. That’s about it.

There have been a lot of oil paintings lately but with winter and Christmas coming and my job not doubling my salary, I have a feeling I may be sharing some lovely homemade knit gifts soon! Until then, here’s an oil painting I did a couple weeks ago of sunflowers. I really enjoyed doing this one because it only took me a few hours to complete (compared to the painting I’ve been working on for a couple of year that is approximately the size of a postage stamp) and I was able to be pretty loose with it and not such a perfectionist. I think the style turned out kind of cool and more impressionistic than many of mine that get too precise.

If you want to finish a painting quickly, I recommend painting something you don’t care much about! Someone else gave me this picture to paint and since I needed a break, I went ahead and did it. So here are the sunflowers – and it’s up for grabs! Sorry for the icky photo quality.

Painted Alaskan Landscapes

In honor of my upcoming trip to Alaska (I leave Friday, eee! Oh wait, sorry, you don’t care, my bad), I decided to post two paintings I did when I lived there for a year (finding new things out about me all the time, eh?). My sister’s mother-in-law is a professional painter there (oils and pastels, mainly) and we were lucky enough to be able to use her studio and her expertise whenever we wanted. While there, a number of students, my sister and I included, took a trip to Seward, AK for a plein air painting experience. “Plein air” just means “open air” in French and so that’s where we painted. It was cool enough just to be among of group of artists (if I can call myself that) painting out in the grass along the coastline, not to mention the Alaskan scenery is more than enough inspiration! (Side note: It is also really interesting to see how different people paint the same/similar subject.  I am always amazed at what a variety of styles and interpretations there are.) So here are the two paintings I did there. The first was from the water looking inland of a mountain (wish I knew the name of it but there are so so many there, who knows if there is one?!) and the second was more inland on the docks.

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Oil Painting of Bailey

My first post and about something that makes me smile: my puppy! Ok, so she’s eleven years old but she’ll always be my puppy. I can’t believe I haven’t painted her until now but this was one of the most enjoyable paintings I’ve done recently. One, it only took two sessions to complete, almost unheard of for me! Two, with some professional advice, I think I got the painting to where I want it to be. It’s always hard with a person or pet you know to get the features exactly right so it looks just like him or her to you, the artist. I think that, combined with the looser style I was able to embrace makes this one of my favorites. Here’s Bailey!

Oil on canvas