Semi Abstract “Lines and Reflections”

This time I combined realism (somewhat) with abstract.  During my family vacation in Kentucky, at Lighthouse Landing,  I walked around the marina and took pictures that I thought had interesting abstract patterns.  In this one, I like how the straight diagonal line of the dock edge contrasted with the sinuous shapes of the lines (ropes).  I also like how the bright blue contrasts with the grays and neutral colors of the water and the dock edge. There are some subtleties here, including the reflections of the boats, mast, shrouds, and sky.

The palette I used was phthalo blue, earth green, raw sienna, sepia, white, and an earth violet, I forget which one.  It’s the first time I painted wood texture, and I like how it came out.

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Lines and Reflections, oil on canvas panel

View to the Future

This is an abstract colored pencil drawing I did yesterday.  It’s done on Canson Mi Tientes Touch heavy duty pastel board.  It has a toothy, rough surface that holds many layers of pastel or pencil.

When I do an abstract, I start with a basic idea.  However, I let the artwork unfold and I let my idea evolve.  This makes it more fun, and more of an adventure.  When I first started drawing and painting, I was very rigid, and mainly wanted my art to look like the objects I was representing.  That’s probably because I was learning the skills of how to render real life objects.  Doing abstract work is freeing, and more relaxing for me.  I can express a concept, or a feeling, not just physical objects.  It’s also fun to play with color, lines, shapes, values, and so on.  I love doing geometric forms.

Two things happened with this, that I had not planned.  First, the fact that my lines are closer together and less diagonal in the background gives this piece a feeling of one point perspective.  Second, I like the striations of light and dark violets in the upper 1/5 of the piece.  It reminds me of a sunset with a couple of cloud banks down by the horizon.  The green areas remind me of a rural landscape.  The yellow/gold/orange in the middle reminds me of the path life takes us on.

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View to the Future, 15 1/4″ x 10 1/4, colored pencil on pastel board

Phases

I really love this Art Spectrum Colourfix Paper.  For one thing, look at the rich, colorful violet blue background.  Using colored pencils on this is so smooth and buttery.

I was inspired by an image I saw in church of a cross with spots of light, like stars.  The “stars” were soft and dim, bright and clear, or in between.  That made me want to do something similar.  I went with a variation of a split complement color scheme.  Blue and orange are opposites on the color wheel.  Red and yellow are close to orange.  So, I used lots of variations of red, pink, orange, yellow, and cream to make these various balls.  I love how the blue shows through on some of them between the circular lines, so I left them that way.

I got the idea to put shadow tails on some of them (like a comet’s tail) because the drawing looked flat, and just reminded me of a fabric print.  I think this really helped add a sense of mystery, and made for a much stronger value system, which is the system of lights and darks.  I used indigo blue for the shadows.  I like the the shadows form a veil over some of the other orbs, and create a greater sense of being three dimensional.

Here is the listing in my online shop.

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Phases, colored pencil on pastel board, 16″ x 12″

Yes, I’ve neglected my blog…

… because of a veritable storm of family issues.  There have been 3 significant injuries over the past 2 weeks – 2 dislocated shoulders, and a dislocated toe.  My older son Jonathan got his car totaled on a 3 week road trip all over the western USA, then got stranded in Colorado (we live in Missouri) because a freak hailstorm with tennis ball sized hail ruined all the rental cars.  My husband and I were spending the week dealing with the various health issues and auto insurance claim stuff.  Many other things have gone on too, which I don’t want to bore people with.  I’m extremely thankful that he and his girlfriend came out of this unharmed.  Thank you Jesus!  I had been praying for him every day, and the Lord was with him.

Fortunately, I have been able to still squeeze in some time for painting.

I like to walk every day if I can.  I go around my neighborhood.  I’m fortunate to live in south St Louis, where there is quite a lot of old and beautiful architecture, and tree lined boulevards with shady parkways in the middle.  One day, I walked past an alleyway, and saw a charming wooden fence.  Someone must have planted some meadow mix along the base of it. There were some colorful wildflowers growing along the base of it.

There is a subtle complementary color scheme going on here.  It is yellow and violet.  The fence is based on yellow orange, and the alley and some of the flowers are blue violet.  I went impressionist on this by using broken color on the fence and pavement.  I also have an interesting contrast between the urban elements of street, power line shadows, dumpsters, and fence, with the organic plants, tree, and flowers.  The rather austere appearance of background dumpsters and garages emphasizes the beauty and grace of the blooming things.  Here is the listing in my online store.

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Alley Rhythm, oil on canvas panel, 24″ x 18″