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Updated: Jun 4, 2020

I thought I could share how I am building my first series of paintings. I'm working on 4 wood panel boards, 12 x 12 inches, and primarily using acrylic paint.

Board #4 - I normally like to draw portraits so I tried starting with drawing on the boards and adding paint in an abstract way on top - I hated feeling limited by my original drawing so I painted over it with thin, white paint. The original drawing is still visible, but I used it more as a guideline rather than a specific drawing that I need to make permanent with paint and I'm much more satisfied with where this is going now.


This is a color study using cadmium red, yellow ochre, permanent green light, titanium white, and carbon black. I'm playing with mixing complements of red and then making tints and shades of these mixtures and experimenting with how these colors look next to each other. I like the way the saturated cad red stands out right now.


I am also starting to see there are specific differences that I like to put together:

  • thick paint next to thin paint

  • organic shapes next to geometric shapes

  • shapes next to various lines

  • deliberate marks covered by spontaneous marks

I'm going to try adding some more geometric shapes and patterns to this board, and also add some more opaque areas, especially in the lower right quadrant.


Board #3 - I like the variety of shapes and the complexity. I tried to quiet down some areas and I think I ended up with too many middle values. I want to keep the variety of shapes in this so I will try quieting some areas with lighter values but keep their shapes.


Board #2 - I like the floral inspired shapes I got from drawing on this board. I need to come back and add some more shapes within the dark areas. I also want to create a little more sophisticated color combinations within the lighter areas. I like going back and forth between drawing and painting.


Board #1 - For my next painting session, I'll start with this one first. I don't like the muddy shapeless light areas - I need to have a dark shape in upper left quadrant and it needs to be a different size and shape from the other shapes. I might try some geometric pattern. I also need to add more hard edge shapes in the lighter areas to add more contrast to those brushy, transparent sections.











Photos of things I desire in my life
My Desire Board - March 2020

It's hard to think about the future when there is so much uncertainty about our health, our economy, and our future as a nation. My family and I are all safe and sound here at home. It's a warm, sunny afternoon and I can hear kids playing outside and someone is even mowing a lawn.


I'm starting to think about the future - not just about the next few months or the next year. But decades from now, when I'm old. What do I want for myself? What do I want for my family? For the community around me?


I want to live a simple and creative life in my old age. I imagine having a small art studio in my neat little Japanese-inspired rock garden. Watching the seasons pass through my studio window inspires me and calms me. All things have their time. I paint work that is makes me happy - small, intimate, and charming. People buy my work because it makes them smile and reminds them of happy times and places.


When I'm not painting, you'll find me spending time with my family, especially with my husband and grandchildren. I imagine taking them for a walk down to the nearby beach. Or maybe I'll take them shopping for groceries at the farmer's market and making dishes for a small potluck dinner later with friends. I love teaching the kids how to pick the a good melon or how to tell when the cookies are ready to take out of the oven.


At the end of the day, I want to write in my daily journal. It's how I remember to be grateful I am for what I experienced that day. I have a steady pile of books on my nightstand to whittle down. Some of it is fiction, but most of the pile consists of books on whatever topic I'm researching. I always want to be learning something new.


This post is part of my a 3-month series, Finding My Voice. I'm recording my experience of becoming a professional artist. Subscribe here to get automatic updates, probably once a week, with my current work in progress and what I'm figuring out along the way. Comments? Suggestions? Drop me a line.