Have you even wondered about your favorite artists and what they might have forgotten, left out, or failed to create because they lived in their particular era? In other words, they created what they did and now….what’s next? This is the inspiration behind our new weekly art blogging event “What’s Next Wednesday.” Each week on, you guessed it, Wednesday, we will post a new prompt which asks you to expand on something a well known artist has already done. The goal is for you to channel the spirit of the original artist and then add your own spin! You can find all the details here along with a few simple rules to keep you from going all willy nilly on us. No worries, your creativity will still be able to flow freely.
To get the thought process flowing, here is a reinterpretation of Van Gogh’s famous piece Starry Night.
Perhaps this is how Van Gogh would have completed the work, had he enjoyed the use of digital equipment? Maybe this is Starry Night over a desert instead and there was a cactus in the foreground. In any case, the spirit of Van Gogh remains, but a new identity has been achieved. So, dream about stars, computers and cacti tonight, and we’ll see you tomorrow for the very first installment of “What’s Next Wednesday!”
I recently discovered a true literary treasure while waiting for my order to be filled at a local print shop. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon is a great little book about artistic development and the right to “steal art.” Now don’t go getting excited about walking out of the Louvre with the Mona Lisa! The book talks about copying inspiring works and, through that process, understanding the perspective of the artists that you are emulating (the latter being the most important piece of the process). As a result of that, and that again, and that again, a personal perspective can flourish. There are also many other thoughtful gems in this book … but I will leave that for your to discover. Check it out (and visit www.austinkleon.com for even more fun stuff).
I recently had the pleasure of painting a client’s Shih-Tsu. Her name was Sofie, and mine is Sophia (often shortened to Sophie), so it seemed like fate had brought me to this project. I also fell in love with the happy expression on this adorable dog. And so I went to work.
This was the painting after I applied the initial shadows and started playing with color. I pined over which “creative” colors to use and found it helpful to layer some colorful lines over the original photo I had of Sofie via Pixlr (a photo editing tool I highly recommend). Pink, blue and yellow seemed to highlight the happy expression on my subject and gave the painting some brightness.
Here I had added more color and more color and then some more color. I wanted a good saturation, particularly of the blue and then I tipped up the piece to let some of the colors run along the bottom. Now the party was getting fun!
Lastly, we have the final piece! Sofie, with her personality bursting all around her and a smile donning her sweet face.
I just finished my latest painting of a plum headed parakeet. I just love these birds for their vibrant color and charming personalities. To prepare for this particular piece, I bought a tube of magenta by Windsor and Newton to add to my paint collection, which really allowed me to get some bright color for that beautiful head. And I could justify a shopping trip to the art store…yay!!! I am trying to pull back some on the detailing and allow for abstract creation, and this piece was definitely a journey in the right direction for me. Watercolor is so beautiful when it is just allowed to flow and blend and do what it does, so hopefully being a little less “demanding” of it will lead to more intriguing effects.