I went to Crested Butte for my birthday weekend this year and fell in love. The views there are amazing and I had the best time. Two solid ingredients for inspiration.
I wanted to surprise one of my best friends with a little gift because 1. she’s amazing and 2. she just got engaged. This piece managed to come together so quickly and easily thanks to multiple factors hitting at once: Work was cancelled due to a major snow dumping, my friend got engaged to a great guy with an adorable dog, and I had a new bag of coffee beans hand-delivered from Seattle. So after scrolling through both her and her now-fiance’s instagram accounts, I found a photo that would play to my strengths; using black and white to create depth, highlights & shadows, and folds.
I’m quite proud of this painting that amazingly only took me a day to complete (granted, it was a long day with only breaks for more coffee and some food), so I do wish I had gotten better photos of it before shipping it to D.C.
I really like painting calvin and hobbes. I think the best part about it is trying to replicate the nuances of water color but with acrylic paint. I also really enjoy the mixture of soft water color background with the distinct black-outlined foreground subject of calvin and hobbes.
Mom’s Aspens. 2015. Acrylic on canvas. 20×24
I’ve been awful at painting recently (i.e. no motivation, little inspiration, and meager free time). Luckily, my parents have a new home that has lots of empty wall space and they were visiting in September. So I had someone to paint for and a timeline to work with. I was given a color scheme and I knew my mom already had pictures of trees hanging– so aspens in the fall was a natural choice. The hardest part was melding my style with something my parents would like.
Aspens are a lot of fun to paint and this one got a fair amount of positive feedback. My roommate said I should do a piece like this for our place so, needless to say, I’ll be doing more paintings of aspens.
I spent a lot of time at Copper Mountain this ski season and got a lot of inspiration. Now that the season is coming to a close I’ve had more time to recreate the views I enjoyed all winter.
This past week I received a promotion and therefore had an office to decorate. I really liked how my sketch (above) turned out and thought it would be a quick and easy piece to put on canvass to cover up a really ugly wall in my office. Considering I’ve been feeling a bit rusty and I did this whole piece in one sitting, I think it turned out well enough.
March was a rough month so I needed something to get me back on my feet. One tactic was running away to Copper Mountain as much as possible. Not only was the snowboarding great, but the views were fantastic. The weekend escapes definitely made for great inspiration.
The other tactic was finishing a painting. I wanted to do a smaller piece that wasn’t as highly detailed and just focus on the therapy of moving the brush around a lot. All in all this was a good exercise in preparation of some larger pieces in the future.
My Own Mountains. 2015. Acrylic on Canvass board. 8×10
Twice a year my favorite art shop has awesome sales. I came across this huge 24×48 canvass about 2.5 years ago and it was a bit of an impulse buy. It’s not very often that you find a canvass this big for under $50.
Buy now, find inspiration later.
This canvass has seen 3 different starts. First it was going to be the golden gate bridge as a gift for someone. Then I realized that was stupid and gessoed over it. Then I started a black and white piece of snowboarders hiking a ridge at silverton. That sat for almost a year and a half before I broke out the gesso again.
I found my final inspiration after completing Indian Peaks Campsite. I really liked the simplistic, almost cartoon-esque feeling, that small piece had. I decided that I wanted to do a bigger version like that and really push myself out of my usual aesthetic. I tend to do very detailed, realistic pieces– usually working too close to the canvass. But with this large of a canvass I couldn’t allow myself to do that. I wanted to focus on brush strokes and movement in this piece and not get caught up in the fine details. It was more about the journey and less about the destination. Now I just need to find wall space big enough to hold it.
Third time’s the charm.
Spring in the Indian Peaks. 2015. acrylic on canvass. 24×48
Most paintings require multiple days or weeks to complete and
sometimes most of the time I am just too impatient. Sometimes I just need to feel like I’ve accomplished something and that I’ve exercised my artistic muscle. I’ve discovered the best way to accomplish both those things is by doing mini paintings. I found some awesome little 4×4 canvasses at Michaels and some old canvass sheets that I can use for painting practice.
Summit County Aspens. 2014. 4×4.
Mini 14er. 2014. 4×4. Christmas gift for my mother.
Indian Peaks Campsite. 2014. 4×6.