Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pause for Thought

"Let us consider your mind for a minute, because it can be the single biggest problem when creating artwork.  Rational thinking may say that you have to do 'good work', whatever that is, to justify the time you spend, and then you should show and sell your work for it to have value.  Get off that channel.  See the worth in the process itself.  You are participating in active meditation - think of it as exercise of the spirit.  Your work and your spirit will grow together regardless of the results."

Monday, January 24, 2011

25 Small Still Life Paintings, No 13

10.2cm x 10.2cm
acrylic on paper

I am just over half way with this project now, so here is a recap: There is a theory that because painting is difficult, we have to accept that the first 25 to 50 paintings that we make won't be any good, so we might as well just get them over with. I want to work on my painting skills, so decided to do 25 small paintings in the hope that I would see some improvement at the end. (25 seemed more realistic for me than 50). I am loving the challenge, and might just do 50 after all!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fossicking Friday 21st January 2011

Nothing to "Do" tonight - just "Read" and "Look":


There is such a great quote by artist Betsy Dillard Stroud on the Artist Magazine blog, where she says that "painters never learn by making good paintings." Hope for everyone.

The Creative Block: Best Practices: is a great article about 'getting into the groove' after a break from painting.

I have become a huge fan of Liz Steel (and Borromini). I love her sketchbooks and blog! Here is a great interview with her on the Artists' Journal Workshop.

No Matter What Distracts You From Your Art, You CAN Overcome It.

5 Common Traits of Successful Artists.


Easy Oil Painting Techniques is a great site for painters, it is packed with excellent advice and great demonstrations. I love this step-by-step Oil Painting Demonstration of Persimmons Still Life.
How to oil paint persimmons is the second part of this demo.

Lisa Daria is a cancer survivor who has committed to creating a painting each day - this is  Number 594. Love it!

Another gorgeous demo - this one in coloured pencil:  Paula Pertile - Ginger Caramel Drawing Demo.

Images from one of my favourite artists, Andrew Wyeth.

Have a Great week end!

25 Small Still Life Paintings, No 11

10.2 cm x 10.2 cm
acrylic on paper

Thursday, January 20, 2011

25 Small Still Life Paintings, No 10

10.2 cm x 10.2 cm
acrylic on paper

This is painted in a new sketchbook, as my other one is finished. The paper is much whiter, and I have left the whites of the cloth and not painted them. I am happy with the fruit, but not delighted with the cloth. I prefer the cloth of Number 4.

I am learning that it is all a process, the cloth has not worked out that well today, but I have done a good job with it before, AND I can work on it again tomorrow (or I could just leave it out!) Some paintings go really well, and some are awful!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pause for Thought

"I don't know why it is that we fail to talk about art in terms of humble diligence.  So much of making a career as an artist consists of the small strokes, the willingness to show up and try on a daily basis.  So much of being good at something consists of being practised at something."

25 Small Still Life Paintings, No 9

10.2 cm x 10.2 cm
acrylic on paper

That fabric is not getting any easier!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

25 Small Still Life Paintings, No 7

 10.2 cm x 10.2 cm
acrylic on paper

I am pleased with how this turned out. I like the bright clean colours and the loose brushstrokes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

25 Small Still Life Paintings, No. 2

10.2 cm x 10.2 cm
acrylic on paper

The onion again, this time in the corner of a cardboard box. That stem is a real challenge.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

25 Small Still Life Paintings, No. 1

I read an article that says that because painting is a difficult skill to acquire, the first 25 to 50 paintings you do are seldom very good, so you might as well get them over and done with! 

I like that idea - in 25 to 50 paintings, things are going to get better - I might as get those ones done!

So here is the first one of my 25 Small Still Life Paintings

It was a painting of an onion in a bowl, but I could not get the bowl to work so I painted it out. The background remains unresolved, but I am happy with the onion. I have used cheap acrylic paint in my sketchbook. (See photo below.)

10.2 cm x 10.2 cm
acrylic on paper

So why am I doing 25 Small Still Life Paintings? 

Although I have been painting for years, in various different styles and in different media, I always feel that my painting technique could use some improvement. Currently, I feel that my observation skills could use some attention and I would like to get back to painting directly from the real object as opposed to painting from photographs. I love still life, so I have challenged myself to complete 25 small still life paintings. 

To make it easy, and to ensure that I get going (I often need a big nudge) I have used cheap (my daughter's) acrylic paint (acrylic is fast drying and does not mess as much as oils), and painted directly into my sketchbook. I might change to oils on board as I go along.

 I will be posting all of the 25 paintings that I do, so that you can follow my progress - watch out for them...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Handy Hints File

The Handy Hints File is a new series that I am introducing to my blog where I hope to bring you valuable hints about art and art making - as it happens though, today's hint is about reading blogs. If you are new to blogs, this hint is for you. If you are a seasoned blog reader however, you may wish to skip today's Handy Hint and browse through other articles at your leisure.

 Today's Handy Hint

Did you know: if you scroll to the bottom of the page of this (or any) blog post, and hit "Home" it will take you to the front page of the blog, to the latest post and also to the most recent posts in order. On my blog, you can read the10 most recent posts when you hit "Home". If you still want to read more after that, you can click on "Older Posts" which is also at the very bottom of the page.

Two other new series coming soon to Paint up a Storm:
  • Pause for Thought
  • 25 Small Still Life Paintings
Happy Reading.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fossicking Friday 7 January 2011

Happy New Year dear friends! May 2011 be the year we all Paint up a Storm!

I have been snooping all over the web again and here are my recent finds, categorised into: things to read, things to look at and things to do. Enjoy.


  • The beginning of a new year is a good time for me to have a clear out. There has been some enthusiastic decluttering in our house recently. Never thought to: Clear the creative clutter in my head though, what a novel idea.


    • New to me artist, Claire Basler. Love, love, love her paintings! You can see her website here.

    • Elizabeth Fluehr demonstrates a fascinating soft focus watercolour technique in this video lesson. Her website is worth a look, but my personal favourite is her Tulip Demonstration.


    A Fabulous Fossicking Friday to you!