Color the Emotion

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More Time, Better Art?

Rococo, a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

This artwork was inspired by Rococo, the 18th-century-period style with curves, asymmetry, gold, and ornaments. When I think of Rococo, I think of time. How long did it take to sew those elaborate women’s dresses? What about the porcelain table clocks, how many people, how many months did it take to get one finished and working?

The time we are living now is totally different. Not that I want to spend half of my life embroidering one chair. But I cannot help thinking: sometimes we create quantity but not quality. We get frustrated with our lacking skills and weak artistic vision, but often, there’s a simple solution: time. So, instead of creating three pages in a week for your art journal, make one!

Creativity needs time. The first thoughts are often the least innovative. When we take time to dig deeper, we reach not only frustrations but also new solutions.

Working in Short Periods of Time

Creating of a mixed media painting by Peony and parakeet

I used to have a difficult time working in several sessions. I wanted my work to be finished in one go. Leonardo da Vinci certainly did not have problems like that! He spent over ten years painting Mona Lisa. Of course, he did not dedicate all of that time to one painting; he did other things too. But he let his subconscious work during the breaks.  So I did da Vinci – while waiting for the watercolor to dry, I engaged myself in other activities.

Creating a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

I built the foundation for this work with several thin layers of watercolors. Then I worked with colored pencils and watercolors to add details. A small flat brush is my favorite when adding details with paint.

Creating a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

Some might call it finished at this point, but I wanted to add tension and interest. As this was about Rococo, some shimmer seemed appropriate!

Rococo Glitter!

Creating a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet. Using Inka Gold.

I have a few jars of Inka Gold, beeswax-based metal paint. They seemed just right for this artwork. And speaking of Rococo, some gold would be appropriate too. I love Golden brand’s gold acrylic paint.

Golden acrylics gold paint. A photo by Peony and Parakeet.


Some hand-decorated papers added richness and variation. Then I continued completing the tiny details.

Rococo, a detail of a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

The size of the artwork is 12 inches by 12 inches. It took about three days from start to finish.

Rococo, a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

The quality of one artwork cannot be measured by the time the artist spent with it. Great art can be born quickly when skills and creativity meet. But on the other hand, if you want to improve your art and increase your creativity, why not focus on one artwork for a bit longer time.

What do you think? Can you make time work for you?

35 thoughts on “More Time, Better Art?

  1. That is SO beautiful! I really love that you share the step-by-step process because I would never guess that is how your artwork is made. I love to see how different it is when it starts – and how you add all the fabulous detail that makes it come alive. It’s fascinating and so different from the work that I do. It is very inspiring!

    1. Thanks, Pam! I like to work very intuitively. I have a general idea at first, like rococo here, but I do not know how the end result will look like before it’s finished.

  2. You are exactly right! This is your best piece of art and it is amazing!!! The time you took really paid off! Sometimes we just want to do a quick project for the fun of art. I think perseverence really pays off, but the years of experimentation and knowledge has a lot to do with success!

    1. Thanks, Debbie! To experiment regularly always helps but on the other hand, I have come up with insights that do not require a lot of practising. I am planning to share them in the near future!

  3. This work absolutely makes my heart BOOM ticka-ticka BOOM today! It’s the brightest, most lovely inspiration I could have found this morning as I sit, bored to death with my work rut, desperately, and wrongly web-surfing my mail when I should be working. Thank you for giving me that oomph to make it until 5 pm when I can go home and play with my colors!

  4. absolutely lovely! what lovely things can come about when we are quiet and patient. thank you for sharing

  5. Adding that white was a bold step that I wouldn’t be able to do BUT it looks wonderful and made a huge difference in making that corner beautiful in its own right. I love the side by side step out and had fun seeing what you did differently to make it more you. I was shocked when you said it was only 12×12″ as it takes me quite a while to look at everything. My eyes say stop, wait a minute, I’m not done with this tiny corner yet. So my coffee is slowly enjoyed while gazing at your piece. Uplifting to my spirit.

    1. Mary, thanks! Yes, I forgot to mention that the white is white gesso. Most of my work are 12 by 12 or smaller. Great to hear that you found a lot to look at!

  6. I check out blogs every morning when I’m having my coffee and I find it very inspirational. I have just been introduced to your art by DLP’s Sandi K. and I started following your blog. I am amazed at your beautiful work. This morning is no exception. I loved how you used “time” to create this piece…I can’t stop looking at it. I want to visually soak up every color, every line, every movement…it is a delight to behold. WOW! Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Paivi – this piece is gorgeous. There is so much depth to it. I can’t decide – would I rather have this as a painting on my wall or a fabric comforter on my bed. Both?
    The colors, the addition of gold and white (you are right, Mary about that white!) are fascinating. I want to see it in person and study it. I fall into your paintings. That doesn’t happen often but it does with you.
    The thought of time is something I am trying to embrace in my own work. I am a check it off the list and move on kind of gal and letting something sit and “marinate” is contrary to my nature but like you, I find that I get a more richer piece if I allow that to happen. Great post, Paivi!

  8. Totally agree with this method. I’ve tried to enter blog challenges thinking that 30 days would suffice my final design and hardly ever succeed. World wasn’t built in a day lol. Thank you for your words. It is always refreshing. TFS

  9. This is just so beautiful. Did you draw out the design ahead of time, did you have a picture to look at? What type of paper did you use? Lots of questions. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    1. Gloria, thank you for asking! Most of my artwork, this one as well, are made without sketching with pen. Also, I do not copy any photographs or such. After examining the subject that I want to paint, I work very intuitively and use my imagination. (My video Watercolor 101 for Intuitive painting perents one of the method that I often use to start without sketching). This artwork was made on thick watercolor paper. I love to start with watercolors as it’s quick and the variation of color is easily achieved.

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