This is the result of my 70 Days Art Challenge inspired by Vincent Van Gogh. Not only was it a way to create for 70 straight days but I gave myself the added challenge of working in watercolor with a few exceptions. It gave me time to play and practice with my new Daniel Smith watercolors on a daily basis which helped me work through a couple of things. First, I like working in watercolors over a gessoed surface because of the pooling of color that happens and the softness of layers. Second, it let me experiment with color combinations to see if I liked them together. By limiting my time to create, 10-15 minutes per piece, it also allowed me to just get it done instead of planning and thinking too much. I cannot believe that these 70 pieces are the result of a one word prompt per day. How I interpreted the prompt was not what everyone did and that was one of the beautiful things that happened when we shared our daily art. We got to see the same word thought out in 100+ variations, mediums and style – it was just so much fun! If you would like to try your hand, here is the link to the self paced version, along with the 21 technique videos included. Go ahead, take the challenge, you might even surprise yourself in doing it!
The Turtle is part of my January Challenge, painting every day. This particular piece had three challenges for me. One, the color blue. It is not my favorite color by any means and I have a really hard time working with it. Especially blue everywhere. Two, tarnished silver. I have never created an image with silver so this was really difficult. I had my photo as a reference but I really think I got caught up in all the wonderful nuances of the metal but just couldn’t quite make it translate. I know the little tray at the top is way too smooth, need to go back and grunge it up a bit. Three, those blueberries. I totally love the color variations blueberries have and that magical frost that covers their skin but transferring that into paint and texture, isn’t so easy. Since I didn’t know where to start, I actually put in the dark values first then added each layer of light getting smaller and more intense as I came up to the shine spot. After doing several, the process got easier but still no small feat. I am pretty happy with the outcome, it’s not perfect but is art really about perfection, I don’t think so. Doing is the best practice and I’m thrilled this piece pushed my artistic abilities. My challenge for you to find something that you have been wanting to do but fear stepped in. Give it a go, you might just surprise yourself with the end results!
My New Year is starting out great. I challenged myself to paint everyday in January and so far it has worked like a charm. This painting took two days to complete but what I learned along the way has made me excited to work with acrylics and my paint brushes again. While I have done almost all of my glass objects in colored pencil, I thought I would try one with paint on wood and a little bit of paper as a background. There are pros and cons with any medium, it is all in the handling. The paint, meaning I couldn’t use a ruler and a pencil for my straight lines. No problem, with paint, I can just wipe it off again and again and again until I am satisfied, right? It took me quite a while to get those nice dark oh so important edge lines on the bottle but when I finally did it, I smiled like the Cheshire Cat! I was really nervous about adding that yellow orange hue to the glass shine but thought it added so much to the design, I just had to try it. So I mixed the color, tested it on the piece, wiped it off then quickly gave myself the go ahead to just do it. With a nervous hand, a little gumption and the belief that it will be okay, I held my breath and did it. Whew! The end result looked just like the reference photo I had taken and I even surprised myself by that. So, the moral of the story here. Trust in yourself. Give yourself the courage to try new things. Know that everything takes practice, practice, and more practice. In the end, always be happy you found time to do art, shared a piece of yourself with the world and can look forward to the next day in the studio. This year is going to be artistically amazing, can you feel it? I know, right!
With any New Year goals are sure to follow. Setting an intention, one to keep you motivated is a good place to start. With that being said, I am going to paint every single day in January. I’m not talking a finished painting, but that would be great. I am talking about going into the studio, spending quality time there designing, creating and just playing with paint. Opening and exploring that new box of art supplies I have collected over the last year. New techniques, layers, and allowing myself the freedom to just create without expectations of the end product. I want to discover what it is like to paint every single day, just me and the paint brush. No grand illusions of what to do, just the daily exercise of flexing my creative voice and putting it down on a canvas or two, maybe even 31 if all goes well. This year is about me, my art, telling stories, creating a community of like minded artists and living a very fulfilled artful life.
If you would like to join me on this journey, I have created an Instagram hashtag of #paintwithkelly so I can peek in on what you are creating along with me on this January journey. There is also a facebook group called “In the STUDIO with Kelly Hoernig” if you would like to share with the small art community gathering there. I can’t think of a better way to start a new year, creating with friends!