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.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Day 29 - Several Beginnings

Ending the 30-in-30 with more beginnings gives me a lot of inspiration and it reminds me that my painting is NOT done for the year.  I don't know where to store all of these giants but I had a blast painting them and I'm so so glad that I resisted the urge to paint small and try to just finish each day.  I have enjoyed sharing my process with you and I hope that you enjoyed the journey.  I have a few new friends to follow from this challenge and I'm excited to see where they go from here.

This is going to be another dark serpent painting.

Light grey is added to the top one third, then deep and light sap green are added to the lower two thirds.

This is the yellow-only painting I was stuck on for some days.  I was inspired by a lot of other paintings I've seen recently that featured circles.

Medium grey and light blue-grey are splattered, sprayed with water, and then circles are drawn to give the feeling of movement.

Going back to the neutrals and violet scales with this one.  I'm going to keep it very light and airy, to contrast with the one with dramatic maroon.

Burnt Umber is washed on in a wave shape.  Violet scales are added with the stencils I created, then medium grey and light blue-grey are added to the upper kidney shape.  I also added some light spritzes of water here and there.

30 in 30 Blog.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Painting Two Needs a Name


I wanted to reveal the final painting near the end of the challenge.  The creature has no visible legs, and we're not quite sure where he ends as he curls around a large, blue egg that could be his sibling.

Mythical creatures have long been a fascination for me and this painting was wonderfully fun to create.  I have more creatures to spur your imagination (nightmares?) coming soon.

30 in 30 Blog.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Painting Twelve -- Tectonic

Part One

Lots of drama with this painting.  I love these deep, rich colors and I intend to keep this one very dark.

Maroon, varying shades of deep turquoise, and black are applied with a palette knife.

Part Two

I kind of knew where I was going with this painting from the beginning but as I went, it really screamed lava meets water and I added bits of steam to accentuate that feeling.

30 in 30 Blog.