This week I have a video about painting in an expressive abstract style. It’s a very contemporary style which many artists have nowadays. It’s based on loose strokes, and I guess it’s the style that many who are not so much into art say that even a child can do it, but it’s not quite like that! Watch the video!
Are you interested in creating abstract art? Do you wish to learn more about abstract art in my blog and in my classes? Leave a comment!
This week, I have finished an oil painting and started an art journal that I want to make as pretty as possible. I also talk about my aspire to paint horses and ask how deep you have to know the subject to own it in your art. This post has lots of pics!
Wreath Maker – Painting with Oils Like They Would be Watercolors
I started this painting in January, and I am so glad that it’s finally finished. Even if this is an oil painting, I used the approach that’s best for watercolors – I started with pale pastels and worked towards darker tones. I really like painting like this, and the result pleases my eye. The pictures below show the process and I have also blogged about this painting in May 2020.
The Series of Three Floral Paintings
The painting is called “Seppeleentekijä – Wreath Maker”. It’s the last one for the series of three paintings. The two first ones are watercolor pieces called “Jäänmurtaja – Ice Breaker” and “Soihdunkantaja – Torch Bearer.” I made the paintings so that they could be seen as a triptych where the flowers of the two watercolor paintings lean towards the centerpiece. Click the image below to see the series as a bigger picture!
The Shelf of Art Journals – Re-Organizing the Studio
Making the three paintings was quite an accomplishment, and finishing the last piece made me feel empty. What to do next? Well, I don’t know about you, but if I need recreation, cleaning and organizing is the thing! While going through the stuff on the shelves of my little studio, I gathered the sketchbooks and art journals in one place.
Smash Books – Do You Still Remember Them?
I found one almost empty old Smash Book – do you remember the time when everybody had them? See the flip-through videos of my two Smash Books here:
The third Smash Book has a silver back and with that, I remembered how back then, all the art journals were more or less messy. In 2012, I daringly wrote a blog post that asked: “Can’t there be pretty art journaling?”
So it hit me, that the extra Smash Book could continue the tradition of the two past ones and be a pretty art journal. It could also be my tool for encouraging myself to paint what I really want, and not fall into the trap of trying to paint what seems more appropriate. Namely, I would like to paint things like … (gasping a bit)… ahem … HORSES! I tried to make a long list, but all I could think of was HORSES.
Horses – Can only an Expert Paint Them?
You see, I am no expert in horses, I have ridden on a horse only once, as a child, and I have never been living close to a stable. But I had toy horses, and I have always admired their beauty. I have tried to get rid of this disease by drawing zebras for the class Animal Inkdom, and horses for its independent sequel Magical Inkdom, but it hasn’t gone away.
Can you paint something you are no expert in? Many years ago, I heard an interview with an artist who said that everything clicked when he started painting cows. He had been living with them most of his life, and he knew exactly how they are. You have to know what you paint, he claimed, as far as I can remember. It makes sense. I love plants and have always been growing some. I feel I know the soul of flowers and in the oil painting that I just finished, I wanted the flowers to reveal their soul, to be chatty and curious, just like they are if you silently observe them very, very closely.
But isn’t it possible to use the expertise for other things too – to transfer the soul of a flower to a horse, and thus, regain the mastery? To use the flowery language from Decodashery to express a moving thing?
It doesn’t have to be anything grand at first, just a small art journal page.
Pretty Art Journaling Can Be Reverse Creative Exploring
If I can paint a horse in the language of flowers, couldn’t it also be possible to revert the process? Could I make an art journal page from the painting, a sketch after a result?
I want to allow this free flow from one theme and one media to another happen again with this journal.
The image of the painting was printed on a sticky canvas bought ages ago. Then I drew and colored the floral frame, and added some gold and silver paint too. Here’s the first spread of the “new” Smash Book – the new beginning of pretty art journaling!
Handmade Picture Shelf Finishes the Display
A part of reorganizing was to get a picture shelf on the wall. My skillful husband made it, and I absolutely love it.
Finished paintings, paintings in progress, and art journal spreads can now be displayed together.
Tell me, what inspires you at the moment? What do you put in your list of what to paint or draw?
There are two special moments in art journaler’s life: starting a new art journal and finishing one. As the latter is much rarer, I am happy to announce that I have just finished this journal! I truly feels a small victory!
From Decorative to Expressive
I purchased this Smash book in 2014 and intended to make it fashion and textile oriented. It has a lot of those, but also other stuff like little paintings, a few cards that I have wanted to save, and some collages that include photos. When I started this journal, I was very much into decorative style and the book has a lot of hand-decorated papers in it. Now, when I look back, I no longer see decorations as a self-purpose but a channel to move forward. Once I have got my imagination going, I have been able to move to create more expressive art.
Art Journal Flip Through
Many pages of this art journal are a bit clumsy but I still wanted to celebrate the finished journal. I also think that this kind of “collage book” contains quite a lot of ideas that you can use in your art journal too. So I created a flip-through video for you to watch. Hopefully it will inspire you to art journal every week, even if it’s just one little circle on the corner of a page.
I just finished this Mini Smash Book. You will see it in the video with art journal prompts that you can use for your journal. Before the journal I will show you my method for organizing decorated papers.
There’s also a wooden collage that I am working on with my husband!