Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winter Wishes

Tonight, I finished a mini-painting (while piles of cookies and remnants of wrapping paper lay all around me):

"Flurry" 4x6" watercolor, available for purchase on my main site.
I really love the snow queens lately, but even more than that I love the luminance that watercolors give to the "skin" of the people I paint. It's something I guess I never really paid attention to before. I remember watercoloring figures and faces about a decade ago (maybe a few here and there since, but mostly about 10 years ago) and I always felt like I was fighting the paper. I was always trying to add layers all over, the way one does with oils when building the skin. You under-paint, and build, and build, and that's how you create a depth and luminance with paint and canvas.

However, with watercolor? I finally - finally - got it. I stopped fighting it. I learned to let the light shine through it and I'm simply in LOVE with it. It's almost like capturing light with the slightest of cages of your paint, and shaping it into something else. I'm a hard contrast type of painter though, I can't live without the vibrancy that the colors bring, so when I get the chance to use color I go hard and heavy with it. The resulting contrast and "glow" is something I'm a wee bit obsessed with at the moment. I just love it... I sort of crave it, like I would a piece of chocolate cake. (I'm rather grateful for the calorie-free satisfaction of it all!)

I believe I'll not only be painting more snow queens, but more figures in general with my watercolors, as I work through this newest obsession. I'm working on a Santa that I started at the same time as my snow queen, but my hopes are dwindling that he'll turn out:

You can see my snow queen was in progress. They're smaller paintings, so I needed to be able to switch between the two to allow for drying time and making myself walk away from the paper!
My Santa just looks a bit... feminine. I paint women for the most part, so it's understandable I suppose. We'll see. I still have a ways to go, and there's always the chance it'll work out in the end!

I'm going to try to finish him, but I may walk away for a bit. I have a strong desire to paint some abstracts right now. I have one in progress, and another one on my mind. I've also been playing with the theme of angels. I plan on playing tomorrow by combining the two and seeing where it leads.

I recently was able to watch the whole documentary Who Does She Think She Is? I found it to be both inspiring and depressing at the same time. If you're a woman artist, I think it's worth the watch. I've been thinking a lot about it over the past few days, and I realized that the disconnect with my abstract side needs to be remedied. I've been starting to do so already, but I'm going to make a bigger effort to allow that to happen.

My best selling print, even to this day, is an abstract/surreal work that I painted many years ago:

"Tempest", 16x20, Oil
There is a reason for that, and I'm realizing where the connection is for me personally. It's not about selling, it's about feeling complete. My abstracts seem to be more steeped in emotion, and I miss painting that way. However, I also enjoy painting the ones I do now, like my Alice in Wonderland Series that I'm in the middle of, and others like the snow queens and fun holiday themed paintings. Just like with the watercolors and learning to embrace the light within them as well as applying my heavy hand with contrasting color, I realize that I crave the balance between my emotional abstracts with my story telling and playful paintings.

Balance.

I am both, and I'm going to allow for that to flourish! That is my gift this year to myself. I thought it was taking time off to just play in the studio, but really that was just my stocking stuffer. My real gift is allowing myself the room to learn how to embrace all of me as an artist, and it will likely be a lifelong endeavor!

On a side note, when my facebook art page is up to 300 likes, I'm going to give away a free 5x7 panel painting (or a watercolor if the winner so chooses). So stop by and say hello!

7 comments:

Nadia said...

It's is so nice to read some of you're thoughts about painting. I am originally an oilpainter to and watercolour is what a am learning myself now, nice to see you "struggle" with the same things (in a good way I mean);-)

Kyra said...

It's fun to learn something new, isn't it? :) I'm originally an oil painter and I had to learn how to use acrylics, it took about a year for me to make it work. I guess I'm moving through all sorts of mediums!

Cameron said...

I tend to favor a more contrasty look myself. I think that is part of the reason I turn to my black sharpies so much with my acrylics....I just want to shade and outline so much...haha!

Your Snow Queens have been a delight to see evolve. I also love hearing about your internal chatter concerning your art and the desire to find balance in styles and mediums :)

Lets me know I'm not the only one out there who has that persistent voice that needs to be be heard.

Jeri Landers said...

Kyra Put a nice bump in Santa's nose, that should take care of him. I love that you had your epiphany regarding the watercolor, sometimes we get lucky that way!

Introverted Art said...

She is beautiful Kyra. I love the shade of blue of her hair. Powerful.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I am amazed by the depth of color you have in your paintings! I love high contrast too, and you've definitely achieved it. Wow.

Magic Love Crow said...

Your snow queen is breathe taking! And, I love Tempest! You are an amazingly talented person and I think you will have much success in everything you create ;o)