Art Challenges

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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!

Thinking Outside the Box

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Do you think outside the box? If so, how far do you go?
Years ago the Society of Decorative Painters asked a group of artists to design around a theme of “flowers” and each of us were sent this wood piece to work on. The first thing I knew for sure was that there would be flowers of every shape and size represented and beautifully painted. The second thing I knew was I would not be doing a flower. It was that instant. A challenge had presented itself, how can I do a “flower” piece without painting a bloom. So I thought about gardens, wallpaper, magazines – could I make these work? Then I wrote down things I could include seed packets, water, seed pods, bees, butterflies, dirt, a greenhouse etc. As I sat there writing these lists, a wonderful idea popped up, a “flower” before, during and after. I started gathering all the things I wanted to include and laid them out on the board, the one thing missing was a connector to bridge the two sides and that’s where I came up with the paint strip. Even potting sheds need to be painted from time to time so it was perfect.
As I sat painting this piece, I wondered how many others would think outside the box and go against the norm. Out of 20 artists, I was the only one without a flower on my piece yet “flower” was so well represented it fit in perfectly. So, challenge yourself to think outside the box, you just never know what creative vision you might come up with. It’s nice to stand out, have a different voice, a unique sense of design. It’s great to be YOU!

Collecting Anyone?

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When I discovered mixed media it sent me on a bit of a fact finding mission for myself. What do I love? What speaks to my artistic side? What can I include in my art that screams Kelly? As I started hunting and gathering a little bit of mystery and intrigue began to form. I like weird things, really weird things. As they came together in my studio I noticed that is was about being curious, trusting my selective instincts and my love of composition. How can I put things together that were not meant to be displayed that way? Well, I make it work. I include a wide range of items in my photographs and find ways to incorporate them into my paintings all the while smiling because it feels just like me. I became a better artist when I included things that spoke to my heart. It made me connected to my art and after doing art for 20+ years, this was a huge thing for me to experience. I was seen, for the first time, in the bits and pieces I chose to do art around. It was life altering for me, to say the least. I hope YOU are allowing yourself to show up in your art, we would all love the chance to get to know you better!

One Day…

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I decided in October last year that I was going to take risks, learn new things and tackle the art forms I wanted to learn more about. You know, those “I will get to it ONE DAY,” but does that one day ever come? Well, this year it is here, that one day. I have set out to learn all I can about assemblage, collage art, watercolor, abstract art, encaustic and so much more. It is a year about experimenting without feeling bad if it doesn’t turn out. It is a year of playing and being a student again. Jumping in to the online classes that are challenging me out of my comfort zone but letting me explore who I am inside. It is a year of revitalizing my love of art, in all its forms.

The Dome, the art above, is my third abstract art piece. It is not the best but I learned so much in doing it. I like the process of thinking about it, letting it rest for a day or two consuming my thoughts and dreams. It started with the double butterfly collage, the city line and the water reflection. When I came into the studio the next day it was begging for a dome. Who knew this sci-fi artist was inside? I sure didn’t but I just let her have control and create. I love this piece because it isn’t perfect, I didn’t have control and it threw me out of my comfort zone in size (20″x12″), colors (interior house paint) and the biggest brushes I have ever seen (size 40 and 50).

So I am asking you, what is on your ONE DAY list? And, what are you waiting for? Unless you make the time, you will never have the time. You are so worth it!

One Wish

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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!

A Painting Journey for January

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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!

The Path of an Artist

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My artistic path started as a young girl exploring cloud shapes, crayola crayons and a neighborhood of games that let your imagination run wild. It developed through middle and high school and eventually lead me to art school in Chicago. I worked steadily in Advertising firms and found myself doing craft shows on the weekends just to keep painting. This lead me to the world of decorative painting, designing, exhibiting, and teaching locally and throughout the United States. It has been 20 years in this industry and change is in the air. The pull of online teaching, reaching students worldwide and creating courses that allow the student to find their own voice is what 2017 has in store for me. And, it is with nervous energy that I leave the comfort of the art world that I have grown up in. It is a wonderful thing to pursue growth, challenge yourself and push the limits on everything you do. It has become my “norm” if you will. The idea that boundaries are made to be broken, stepped into and forseen as what is next. It is scary but I am so looking forward to what creative delight the next decade will bring forth. Finding courage, taking a leap of faith and hoping a new audience as well as my present one will once again join me on this inspired journey into the next phase of my artful life. I can promise you this, it will be anything but normal. After all, I am at the helm and you never know what is going on in my ever thinking, no limitations, endless possibilities, creative brain. Are you ready for the journey into 2017? I know I am – onward!