I’ve certainly had a great time painting illustrations for my children’s book!
Kandu and Toucans Mix Colors in the Magic Meadow illustration link
Little did I know how absorbed I would become in this project! I hadn’t recently pictured myself doing this instead of “grown-up” painting, but I’m finding it is an invigorating challenge and great joy. I’ve always loved and collected children’s books for their imaginative art and colorful pictures. A few times I’ve created cartoon-like, childlike cards and even some small paper books for special events, but just for one-person viewing. Now my grand wish is to have a book that many will enjoy and will use for family time. So I’m pursuing a new possibility, and it’s FUN!
Do you have a dream of doing something that you’ve not yet made time to venture into? Take that first step, and see where it leads you. You may be surprised and delighted at the sense of fulfillment and joy you feel, even just beginning. A first step, after all, is affirmation to yourself that your dream is worthy of pursuing. It may energize you for the second step and you will realize there IS time in your day to explore the possibilities!
Where have I been? I’ve been absorbed in writing a children’s book about color mixing. Illustrating it has been a blast! I’ve used my watercolor painting in new ways. How exhilarating! Here is the cover of the book, with one of the illustrations from the story of Kandu (a toucan) and the Magic Meadow.
Now, off I go to create just a couple more.
What is Impresssionism? You probably are familiar with Claude Monet, one of the most popular and reproduced artists from the beginnings of impressionist painting. The subject matter in his paintings are identifiable, but the fine details are suggested, not painted with laborious little strokes. Impressionism creates a mood, a feeling about the subject matter. Impressionism gives ample room for the viewer’s imagination to fill in the details.
Impressionism is a fun way to go about a painting. It frees up your mind and your hand to try new effects with splashes of color with broader, less defined strokes of the brush. It’s a great way to go about a painting when you just want to relax, and feel playful and adventurous. It works best for me after I’ve worked really hard on a painting and need a break from the concentration. I start the impressionistic project with a feeling of, “Oh what the heck, let’s just see what THIS will do!”
That’s when the fun begins. No expectations. No audience. I’m painting just for the fun of discovery and adventure. I paint MY mood, MY feelings, using MY colors, whatever is in my imagination. Anything goes!
I’m always happy with the result, because I’ve expressed myself and have had fun doing it. It will never hang in The Louvre, but for my own personal experience and expression, it is just as important as any artwork that does!
What is Abstract Art Anyway?
Abstract, as opposed to representational or realistic type art, is the most free-form variety of colors, textures, media, shapes, composition! It’s fun to view and even more fun to create! Like any other style of art, your preferences will influence which pieces you call “art” and which you wrinkle your nose at! I’ve wrinkled my nose and furrowed my brow at abstract art that doesn’t strike my fancy. You probably have, too. However, other pieces capture my imagination and draw me into the painting as I feast on the colors and try to guess what the artist was thinking or feeling when he or she created it.
There are oodles of examples of abstract art all around us. Look into the center of a flower. Notice the bands and sweeps of color in the sunset sky. Look into a microscope. Look into a telescope. Abstract art surrounds us whether as tiny as an amoeba or as majestic as the Northern Lights. Get up close and eliminate the bigger picture to find abstract art in a small space by using a one-inch square cut out of paper, a tiny window. Changing shapes of shadows are a great source of abstract inspiration, too.
The fun of painting abstractly is the spontaneity of reacting to the colors and happenings on your watercolor paper, or canvas, without the over-hanging dread of “what if this doesn’t come out looking like a…. (fill in the blank!)” It is totally relaxing because it is done without having to create something in an exacting way. It’s creating with the freedom of enjoying the colors, angles, shapes that appear on the paper or canvas. It can almost take on a life of its own.
Play with it. Have fun! Can you guess what either of these two photos is?
(Find answer, if you’re stumped.)