Painting Myself Calm

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After getting discouraged recently with watercolors,  I decided I was going to put them away and focus on acrylics.  Then I bought a book!   Yes, another one!  Paint Yourself Calm: Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour, by Jean Haines. I already have a few books of hers as I like the way she paints.  However, I haven’t been able to get to grips with how she does it so I resisted buying her new book – until now.  It came in the post a few days ago and as I was reading it, I started to feel better already.  This book isn’t so much about as teaching you how to paint, but more like trying to help inspire you to paint. So I read the book through one evening and on Sunday I decided to try a few things out.

I had some paintings I started last week that didn’t work for me and I found some old ones that were not great, but they were clean on the back.  I thought that this was just going to be an exercise, with no goal, just fun.  So it didn’t matter that I was working on the back of something.  No sense in wasting paper.  So this is what I did.

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Painting with yellow.  I have since chopped this up and am working on a couple of things.

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Painting with blue.  This was not intended to be a seascape, but that is how it turned out.  I created a horizon line by using a damp brush to take out some pigment.  This is a small piece – 3×5 inches.  I think it will make a lovely card for someone special.

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Painting with blues.  This is just paint and water.  This was done on a scrap 3×7 inches.

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And here is some more blues.  Just paint, water and some sea salt.  It looks like a stormy sea.  I might add a horizon to this later.  This is A4 size.

I had fun painting with just a few colors.  I didn’t know what was going to happen when I started painting.  It didn’t look like anything in the book, but that is ok as there was no object in mind.

After I painted these, I started on some of the other exercises in the book.  This time they are of ‘things’.  They are not my things, but will be my take on what I will be asked to do as an exercise.  I think the exercises I did earlier with the yellow and blues helped me to loosen up and relax me.

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Here is another little thing that helps me relax when I’m painting.  It’s nice to have a little bit of company!

Crop It!

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After a not very fruitful afternoon of painting poppies last Saturday, I revisited the two pieces I completed and decided there might just be something worth salvaging.  I often hang onto work and then cut up pieces, work on the back, or throw things out.  I’ve made a lot of birthday cards recently out of work I wasn’t completely happy with.  No sense in wasting my efforts if I can use even a little bit of my work to make someone happy.

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This is approximately 6 inches square.  I’m still playing around with the dimensions.  The original size is A4.  There is supposed to be a lovely blue sky, but the green paint bled into it too much and it didn’t look right.

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This one will be approximately 3 x 5 inches cropped from A4.  I had another sky issue and I also wasn’t too crazy about the bottom of the painting.  This would make a nice card or a small framed painting.

I think I might buy some mount card and try making my own mounts.  I seem to recall trying this once and failing miserably.  My skills with a craft knife are not that great. Practice makes perfect though.

 

Poppies – Going Large

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Poppies – Watercolor and Ink on W&N Cotman 200lb – A3

This is a more controlled version of the poppies I painted previously.  I also used a different colored red ink and waited until the paper dried a little bit.  I also used a larger sheet of paper.  I am hoping that painting on larger sheets will help loosen me up.  I don’t know which one I like best.

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