Saturday, July 29, 2017

July/Early August Happenings

Coming Soon:
an opportunity to hobnob with artists.  Scroll down for details.

First though, I have a little inspiration from an artist I have admired for a long time.
Dreama Tolle Perry


I can only answer to that which calls me.

Often times we feel we should be doing more, something, anything.
We see what another is immersed in and shame ourselves for not wanting, doing, being more.

Overlooking one vital thing.

We can only answer to that which calls to us.

That thing that calls me.
That thing that calls you.
And we each have a unique calling.

THE thing that calls us by name, that wakes us in the night and shakes us gently in our days.
Appearing again and again in unexpected ways and unforeseen times.

It’s important to realize this.

We, you and I, are not missing out on anything that sits in the ‘should’ category.
It was/is not for us.
It is tagged for someone else and is thus calling their name and they are answering that call with all that is within them.

We, you and I, each have our calling and we can only answer to that which calls for us.

With all that lies within us.

Dreama is amazing.  You should check her out.

Also, you should come and see me!

See me and lots of other awesome artists at the closing reception for Midsummer Madness at Circle Gallery, 18 State Circle, Annapolis, MD on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 at 5pm - 7pm.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Dangerous Waters

Confession Time.
Art is happening, but it is happening slowly.  And the weather is crummy which makes taking photos of the art that IS happening next to impossible.

I have four new completed pieces.

I started this back in January and wasn't satisfied with it.  I went back to it and made some adjustments and I'm much happier with the result.
24" x 24" [needs a name].

Another for the Serpent Series.  24" x 48" [needs a name].

I have two paintings that I intended to be part of the Serpent Series however, they both have definite shark shapes, which I love.  I'm thinking they might belong in their own series.  I'm open to suggestions for the name of that series.

I showed this one during some in-process stages but I'm really happy with how it has turned out.
18" x 24" [needs a name].  [needs a series name]

This one I did while shooting video for a friend.  I enjoyed this new experience but painting while filming a video is very distracting.  Some day I may try again.  I've got nothing on Bob Ross, that's for sure.
Dangerous Waters, 24" x 24" [needs a series name]

One more brand-new piece is on my easel.  It is a huge 24"x 48" canvas and while it fits the theme of my Serpent Series, it is really a departure from my usual style.  Every time I do something outside of my comfort zone it is an opportunity for growth but what often happens not only with me, but with many artists is, when we get to a point in the middle of a painting, we get frustrated and stuck.  If it's work we are comfortable with, we can power through (or sometimes limp through) to get past the really hard part so that we can finish and be satisfied with the result.  When a painting is a challenge from the beginning though, that middle bit where we get stuck feels insurmountable.  I have paintings I started years ago that are still stuck in that middle bit and I don't know if they'll ever be finished.

I had one painting in a gallery show recently and that is always fun.  Despite my shyness, I do have a good time meeting new people and seeing old art friends at gallery receptions.  Also, I have just entered several pieces into an event online.  I am wary of online events simply because it's really easy for disreputable companies to take your money and you'd have no recourse.  This event was recommended by a friend who is a member of the website, so I felt safe in joining the event.  So far, the number of entries for this particular show is fairly small.  We are nearing the entry deadline so that is a bonus.  Fewer entries increases the odds that I could win a prize.  [fingers crossed]

Follow me on Instagram for lots of cryptic, in-process photos of whatever is happening on my easel and (sometimes) in my life:

I am happy to report that I passed my math course at college and my new job is hard but enjoyable.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Spring Member Show May 7, 2017

Come see me and my art this Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 3-5 pm during the Spring Member show for Maryland Federation of Art at Circle Gallery, 18 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Member shows are always a fun time.  Enjoy a glass of wine, a few nibbles, and mingle with artists (like me!) and art lovers.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


It's past the Witching Hour.  Too early to get up for work.  Mind running.  (Yes, I know... I'm supposed to meditate to help with that.  I know.)  Since I'm up, I visit my canvas friends.

Two large canvases that may or may not be companion pieces.  I think they look great together.  The one on the left is black and grey.  The right is Dioxizine Purple and grey.  Each canvas is 24" x 48".

 A shot of the Dioxizine Purple featured on the canvas on the right.  I've had more than one art instructor tell me, "Don't use Dioxizine Purple."  "It's garish."  "It's unnatural."  "It will take over your whole palette."  Don't tell me not to do something.  I'm stubborn.  I'm going to do it just to spite somebody.

I do what I want.

Mixing black from a limited palette.  Alizerin Crimson, Sap Green, and Ultramarine Blue.  This makes a cool (blue-ish) black with a ratio of 3 parts Alizerin, 2 parts Sap, and 6 parts Ultramarine.  This black is also the base for all my greys and it works as a toner when used in small amounts to cut back the brightness of a color.

In other news, I got a new job.  Pretty much the same as the old job, but better.  I have just a couple of weeks left before Summer Break from school, and I'll have news of a gallery show coming soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


The Moon peers through the sheer curtain.  She knows me better than I know myself.  Your whisper is like a call and now I am wide awake.  Listening.  Listening.  To you and to the night.  I want to see you but must be cautious.  The Moon watches, waiting.  She knows what is coming next.

I'll show the progress in reverse here.  Start at the bottom of the post if you'd like to see it from the beginning.

I was noodling around with the dark purple and noticed the shape sort of resembled a shark. 
I added two similar shapes in the larger circle and will add a third toward the center of that circle.

Very thin beige and light neutral-grey are added in layers over the background area and in the larger circle so the eye is drawn to the smaller circle at the top left.

Scales patterns in turquoise and purple are added using a stencil I made.  I wanted to add texture to the background area as well as accentuate the circular motion and to indicate that the circles are moving in opposite directions.

 I began with a few dribbles of yellow and allowed those to dry.  Then blue-grey and light neutral-grey are added with a lot of water.  Some areas are allowed to run and other areas are painted into circular patterns.

Sharks.   Powerful, focused, curious creatures. Superior instinct and a remarkable drive for survival.  Actively moving forward through life.  Silent before they attack.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Stealing Moments

I have crept out of my bed and met my lovers in the dark of night.  I am cautious.  My breath stops in my throat at every creak of the floorboards in the bedroom above my studio.  Does my husband sense he is alone?

Sounds like a trashy novel.


My lovers are these:

Adding more color and defining the focal point of the top painting.  The painting with circles gets scales to help suggest motion and to add texture.

Here are the beginnings of each:

The top painting has the focal point pretty near the center and that's generally not where I want it to be.  I will probably make some adjustments later to draw the eye slightly to the right of center.

The scales painting will get a transparent layer of color over the scales outside of the circles so that there is texture there but the eye is not immediately drawn to it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Day 30 - All the Paintings

The Collection

Some are incomplete but still quite interesting.  Seeing them all together, there is a lot of cohesion because of the repeating colors as well as multiple paintings with drip lines and scales patterns.

Through this month I have learned so much about my preference to work on several pieces at one time.  Being able to set aside a piece and come back to it later helps me to really see the piece better.  Multiple photo images during the process help me see the challenges with a painting and help guide me to the next step.  Taking photos and checking them in black-and-white helps me to see if there is enough contrast for visual interest.

Working on several pieces at one time also reduces the pressure I put on myself to finish a painting before walking away.  I don't feel the need to dedicate several hours at a time in the studio.  I can pop down for 15 minutes and still make progress.

 That was critical for me this month.

My month began very quietly, as January often does.  Then all h#ll broke loose.  It always does.  What is UP with January, anyway?  My time in the studio is limited because of a full time job unrelated to art.  I knew I was starting a new semester at college on the 19th so the paintings needed to be mostly done and posts needed to be mostly written by that time.  My husband got very ill and was in the hospital for 6 days then promptly got the stomach flu when he came home.  My daughter got the stomach bug about a week later.  Both of them are feeling much better now, thank goodness!  But you can see how this impacted my possible time in the studio.

My math professor at college has given us a task of filling out a schedule sheet so she can see exactly how long each day we intend to dedicate to math work.  I am definitely scheduling time for art and plan to sneak in the studio whenever I can.

At the beginning of the month I read a book called, "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert and one of the things she mentions about making time for creativity is treating it like a love affair.  If you were having a love affair, the rest of your life would not stop.  You would find time to sneak away and be with your lover.  Stolen moments, so to speak.  Art is my passion and I need to give it attention.  Sneaking away from the rest of life to be with my art sounds wonderful.  Thinking about it being a secret rendezvous makes it so enticing!

I am so thankful to everyone who visited this month.  Your comments have encouraged me immeasurably.  I hope you will come back and visit from time to time.  I doubt I will continue posting every day but with my new practice of sharing my process, I feel at ease with doing just that, rather than only posting when a painting is finished.  Some of my paintings will be for sale on Etsy and I will post when they are there.  You can also follow me on Instagram.  I'm karimelenartist.

30 in 30 Blog.