Inktober

My friend and I decided to do an “art a day” month beginning in October in order to be more diligent about practicing/making art. Turns out that the month of October is also “Inktober”. We didn’t follow the Inktober prompts but it was really neat to see what other artists did on a daily basis and being a part of that mini community was also a great motivator.  Since I’m just starting out with watercolors, I had a lot of new styles and techniques to practice. Below are a few pieces I did in October showing the different subjects, styles, and techniques I tried out.

Flatirons Practice

flatirons practice Sept 17, 2017

Trying to paint the most iconic view in Boulder requires practice and a lot of it. With that said, I’m pretty happy with how things are coming along.

Once I get back into the artisan fair rotation and begin to focus on my business more, I hope to offer my watercolors (mountains, flatirons, skylines, etc) as cards for sale.

Engagement Paintings

People are really into engagement photos and capturing the moment the proposal happens. Typically in Colorado, that’s done in a beautiful place. By random chance, a friend’s friends got engaged at Dream Lake the same day I completed a 4×5 painting of that location. My friend immediately contacted me about buying it as a gift for them. This sparked a little idea of doing engagement paintings (at least as gifts for friends). A few days later that same friend contacted me about commissioning a painting of her engagement as a gift for her fiance. It was then I started to think that this could be a really cool market to dip my toes into: Engagement Paintings.

Colorado is full of so many picturesque spots that having an original painting of where you got engaged or tied the knot is a cool really unique way to memorialize it.

The painting I ended up doing was surprisingly way harder than I had originally anticipated, but I’m (and more importantly “the client” is) pretty happy with the finished product.

Engagement

Trying Something New

Acrylics have always been my strong suit. However, my style requires a lot of time and patience and recently I’ve had little of both. So in order to  make me feel productive and challenge myself, I’ve picked up watercolors. Turns out, nice quality liquid watercolors are WAY more fun to use than the little crayola disk watercolors we got as elementary students.

I’m excited to see the progress I’ve made in such a small amount of time and how drastically different my watercolor technique is compared to my acrylics.

I also realized that making cards with watercolors is way more fun than trying to buy one from the store.

Working small

Dream Lake. 2017. Acrylic on canvas 4×5.

I’ve realized the best way to get out of an artist’s block is to think small. So I bought a bunch of little canvases, gathered up photos and ideas from recent trips, and then poured myself a bunch of coffee. So expect a bunch more little paintings.

Portland headlight II. 2017. acrylic on canvas. 4×4

My mom special requested a small painting of Portland headlight (one of the best pictures I took while in Maine last October) so I used one of my mini 4×4 canvases and happily obliged. Once again, quick small paintings helping me out of my painting slumps.

Getting My Business Going

I have enjoyed painting for myself, for friends, and for family, but since I was a little kid I wanted to be an artist. That career choice was beat out of me at an early age. But recently I have started to think that maybe “being an artist” could be more than just a hobby. Maybe, if I am lucky enough, my work could be seen somewhere other than my apartment and be seen by someone other than my friends.

Moral of today’s story: I’ve decided to buckle down and focus on building up the business side of my art. I did not get an MBA so this part does not come naturally to me. Honestly, this is the part I REALLY struggle with and is the reason painting has only been a hobby up until now. Luckily, my boyfriend and my equally-artistic best friend have been extremely supportive (and at times, I think, delusional) of my new plan. Without these two’s encouragement (and the support of other amazing people I know in CO), I doubt I’d be heading down this scary path.

I may not be moving at lightning speed, but I have been making a few steps in the right direction:

New Business Cards? check.

New Business Cards? check.

I have new business cards, I’ve applied to an arts & craft show in Denver, I’ve emailed a couple galleries and coffee shops, and I’ve gotten my hands on a high quality camera. As of today, I’ve ordered a few sample giclee prints and canvass wraps. If I’m happy with the quality of reproduction, I’ll start having prints available for sale of each of my pieces both online and (fingers crossed) at shows.

I may not be there yet, but I am so much closer than I was yesterday.

Four Sons

Since the painting “Four Brothers” never made it to the intended party (a certain son decided to keep it rather than give it to his mother), I decided it’d be a good exercise to try painting this piece again.

foursons

Four Sons. 2016. Acrylic on Canvas. 8×10

This time around, I focused on creating more contrast between the shadows and highlights the folds of the clothing. It was definitely a fun piece up until I had to do the faces. But perhaps if I keep forcing myself to work on painting faces, I’ll get better at them.