portraits

RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

This is the first portrait I’ve done in several months; I think the last one I painted was in February or March. I finished this over the weekend but am just now posting it to my blog.

The world definitely didn’t get enough of Ginsburg. I honestly was not even aware of the extent she fought (and won) battles for women’s equal rights. What a selfless and magnificent human being she was!

I usually don’t post political things to my blog, but I really don’t think this is a political post. Rather this is the celebration of a strong woman who is worthy of much respect for her bravery. She is a true heroine.

As I said, this was my first portrait in months, and throughout the painting I realized how much I miss painting portraits. So I’ve decided to start painting portraits again periodically.

I have a few people in mind to paint, and I’m sure the list will keep growing. I’m not a realistic painter, but rather I try to capture the emotion and personality of the person in my portraits.

Thank you for supporting me in my artistic journey!

– Lori

P.S. Don’t forget. Only eight more days to get the early bird rate on my beginner abstract acrylic painting course. relax-paint.com

abstract art, art classes, Artist Tips, beginner acrylic artist

How to Create the Illusion of 3D on a 2D Surface

Oftentimes I think I am finished with a painting, when in fact, I am not. I thought I had finished the painting labeled Stage 1, above. about a week ago. A couple days later, I looked at it in my studio and just felt it wasn’t finished. Sometimes it’s just an intuitive feeling I get when I look at a piece and realize it’s not done. It just seemed so flat to me. I liked most everything about it except the flatness.

I am still working on the painting above and I’m adding a 3D feel to it by adding cubes and organic spheres. I’m not sure how many stages it will go through, but it seems as though it is definitely adding more depth to the painting.

Of course this isn’t the only way to add depth to a piece of work. I have a whole video lesson devoted to creating depth in abstract paintings in my online abstract painting class for beginners, “Relax + Paint.” The first session begins October 30th. This class will be a blast so join if you can. Learn more and enroll now by going to relax-paint.com.

Did you know you need just 3 colors to create the illusion of a 3 dimensional shape on a 2 dimensional surface? Yep, that’s right. For example, let’s discuss a cube. The easiest way to create a cube is to take a color and paint a square. Then create the shadow side with a shade (add black) of the color. Finally, create the side where your light source is coming from with a tint (add white) of the color. You can see two cubes in my painting above on the left side in the black area. I have enlarged one of them below.

Cube from Stage 2 of my painting

I am taking this painting to our “4 Artist Friends” paint session tomorrow to work on it some more. All four of us are painters and we try to meet every two weeks. Tomorrow is a paint session.

I might call this painting “Potato in Space” because I see a potato in the top right. 🙂

Artist Tips, beginner acrylic artist

Can I mix different brands of acrylic paint?

All the choices in an art store can be so overwhelming and can leave you with more questions than when you first went in. Should I paint on paper, canvas, or wood? What kind of easel is the best? Do I need synthetic or natural hair brushes? Then you walk down the paint section, and not only are the colors endless, but it also seems the brands are endless, which is why I always stress using a limited palette and mixing your colors. See my previous post on limited palettes.

Let’s say you have some Liquitex ultramarine blue at home, but you’re really liking Grumbacher’s ultramarine blue, plus it’s on sale. Can you mix these? Yes. But even if they’re different brands of acrylic paint? Yes! In general, you can mix any brand of acrylic paint with any other brand of acrylic paint. There are also heavy bodied acrylics, fluid acrylics, high flow acrylics, and others, and you can mix all of them regardless of brand, color, and viscosity. One exception is that you might not want to mix open acrylics (which can be reworked with water after they have already dried) with other acrylics, because then the open acrylics might lose their properties. Just know, too, that if you mix two different paints with different viscosities, the thickness of your mixed color will be different.

The most important thing to mention here is that the same colors in different brands are not created equal. For example, turquoise in one brand might be brighter than another brand of turquoise. The biggest difference I’ve seen is with burnt sienna. Burnt sienna is much darker in the Master’s Touch brand than it is in Liquitex or Winsor & Newton. Just be mindful that when you mix the same color in different brands, you might get varied results. Despite this, you can still mix different brands and colors.

I can remember when I first started painting, I had all kinds of questions, many of which might be similar to your questions. I’m trying to get into my beginner mindset again, and answer those potential questions you might have. Over the next few months, watch out for my beginner artist posts.

Cheers,
Lori

P.S. If you liked this post, you might like my class that is coming up at the beginning of 2021 called Relax + Paint. Registration begins December 1st. You can sign up to be on my mailing list for the class, too, to receive news about it.

abstract art, art classes

Relax + Paint E-Course Launch

Work in progress shot of “Skating Rink”

Hello friends,

I’m super excited about and waiting in anticipation for my new e-course to start January 11, 2021. Relax + Paint is a beginner course and is designed for individuals who have no painting experience. The class is a 7-week abstract acrylic online painting course and covers mark-making, color, composition, focal points, and more. Early bird registration begins November 1, 2020.

I love teaching, especially teaching things I’m passionate about, and I can’t think of anything I’m more passionate about than painting. I like to think I have a knack for teaching, too, as I always received great reviews when I used to teach computer classes. I taught for three years, everything from HTML to Adobe Photoshop.

“While no two abstracts are the same, Lori provides an experience to make the beginner more comfortable with the materials needed to make such art.” – Tabatha

Relax + Paint will be fun and relaxing at the same time, chock-full of discussion and demonstration videos, and an unforgettable experience that will help you in blossoming in your creative journey.

I was a self-taught artist until I signed up for still life classes in 2018 at a local gallery. The still life classes changed the course of my career tremendously as what I learned about still life greatly informed my abstract work. Due to this, I finally decided to focus solely on growing as an abstract artist and teacher, but I appreciate all genres of painting.

Sign up if:

  1. You need another activity to help you relax, or
  2. You need an outlet to express yourself creatively, or
  3. You would like to use abstract painting as a wellness + self-care tool

View the Relax + Paint page for additional information.

I hope to see you in class. 🙂

Artist Tips

Free E-book: How to Create a Custom Color Palette

Hello there. I’d like to share something I recently created — a free e-book for artists who want to learn more about color mixing and creating a unique, custom color palette.

When I first started painting roughly ten years ago, I hardly ever mixed my colors, except maybe an occasional color with white to lighten it up. And I had the tendency to buy every color on the shelves that jumped out in front of me. Yes, that means I had tons of bottles and tubes of paint with really no rhyme or reason. When I painted, there was no rhyme or reason which color I picked up….but of course, I’m still a little like that as my paintings are emotion driven and I choose colors based on my intuition. But then I guess my intuition is the rhyme and reason. 🙂 The difference between back then and now is that I mix my colors to match my emotions instead of choosing a color that is as close as I can get to what I am feeling (out of the tube), which might have not really been that close.

Mixing my colors allows me to achieve a closer match to the color that’s representative of my emotions. I truly believe my colors look more unique when I mix them, too, and I think you’ll find that most artists mix their colors instead of using color straight out of the tube. Even though there is nothing wrong with tube colors, I think creating your own custom colors will set you apart from other artists, as no one will have the same exact colors as you.

In the e-book, I share with you the six colors I use out of the tube to make all of my other colors. You can use these same colors or through trial and error, create your own limited palette. I show you how to create your base palette with as little as five tube colors.

To sign up to receive my free e-Book, visit www.loririveraart.com/lriverapalette.

Hope you enjoy the e-Book and let me know what you think. Drop me a line and share how it helps.

Cheers,
Lori

About Lori, abstract art

Welcome, new followers

Rollercoaster
24×24 acrylic on canvas

Periodically I write a post like this one to welcome new followers and introduce myself again. I started painting in 2009, but didn’t start painting seriously until around 2018. I live in Evansville, Indiana with my husband, Mike, our 9-year old daughter, Autumn, and our two cats, Vincent Van Gogh and Mr. Wallace. When I first began painting, I was self-taught and painted things like flowers, trees, and abstracts on occasion. Then I went back to work in 2012 and being surrounded by artists on an almost daily basis reawakened my interest in becoming a full-time artist. In 2018, I left the regular 8-5 work world.

I took still life painting classes last year and learned techniques I now apply to my abstracts. Nowadays, I have decided to narrow my focus solely to abstract work, and growing as an abstract artist. I paint for many reasons, including to improve my mental health and to satisfy my primal need as a human being to create.

Twenty random facts (updated) about my art-making:

  1. My studio is in a room in our house, which means that it’s extremely convenient, but I also get sidetracked sometimes. It’s small but works for now.
  2. I find abstract art to be the most challenging genre. Creating something from nothing and out of your head that also looks nice compositionally is challenging.
  3. I’ve been painting since 2009, but painting on a more serious and dedicated level for the past year.
  4. I made it into my first juried exhibit last year.
  5. My favorite color is turquoise.
  6. I was around 90% self taught until last year when I took a few still life classes.
  7. I tone my canvas with burnt sienna and gray 95% of the time.
  8. When I create abstract art, my process is influenced heavily by the abstract expressionist movement.
  9. I dread cleaning my brushes after I paint. It’s probably what I dislike the most about the painting process.
  10. My favorite surface to work on is canvas when I paint with acrylic.
  11. I have a degree in business, not art, but if I could do college over, I would major in art. With that being said, my business degree has also been invaluable to my art career.
  12. I paint intuitively with no predetermined plan.
  13. I am homeschooling my daughter this year, so I mostly paint in the evenings and on weekends.
  14. I listen to all kinds of music when I paint but my favorites are Enya and 80s music.
  15. I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t start painting until I was 34, eleven years ago.
  16. I always have something to drink when I paint…coffee, tea, soda.
  17. I believe even the most masterful artists need to continue learning. Painting is a never ending journey.
  18. I hope to start plein air painting more with my artist friends.
  19. I stand up when painting abstracts. My whole body gets a little workout when I paint abstracts. That’s when I can get the most energy into a piece.
  20. My studio is usually messy!

So now it’s your turn. I’d love to know more about you. 🙂

abstract art, art classes

Abstract Art Lessons

Have you ever wanted to learn how to create abstract paintings fueled by emotions and driven by intuition? You feel a sense of freedom when painting abstracts and are able to unleash your emotions onto the canvas. I truly believe painting is a great mental health self-care tool. It’s something I have used for ten years to help me stay well.

Additionally, painting can help boost your self esteem and give you a sense of purpose. It’s something I have to look forward to, and I want to share this with you.

I just love the act of creation itself — the process of painting. I use intuition in combination with basic art principles to create my abstract works. In the beginning and middle of painting my piece, I let my intuition guide everything. Then towards the end of the painting, I refine the composition, adjust colors, and anything else that needs to be done. And I can’t wait to show you my process.

At this point I’m planning to include 4-5 videos in this first class. The videos will include a step-by step demonstration of me painting a piece from start to finish.

Want notifications on when the class is available? Sign up for my mailing list at loririveraart.com.

abstract art, Evolution, intuitive art, style

Energy Series

I initially titled this series “Fearless,” but since then I’ve decided to change the title to simply “Energy.” These pieces feel very energetic to me, and I realized while painting these pieces that I would love for all my pieces to have an energetic feel to them.

Top Left: Pink Crush
Top Right: Dark of Night
Bottom Left: Hot Summer
Bottom Right: Lucky Ladybugs

Each of these pieces is size 12″ x 12″ and is on gallery wrapped canvas. I’ve even revised my artist statement based on this series. I have never felt so attached to pieces as I do these. I truly feel like they captured a piece of my soul and flowed out of me so naturally. I feel as though I hit a breakthrough with these pieces and evolved my style through these. My revised artist statement:

I consider myself an emotional painter, and early in my painting journey, I can remember being nearly paralyzed with fear in painting abstracts. Despite this fear, I knew abstract work was my true calling. In the beginning, it seemed as though I was afraid to unleash my emotions. I was also concerned with getting everything just “right,” which made it hard to even begin.

I eventually learned to express my emotions and rely on my intuition to guide each brushstroke. My paintings continue to evolve with each painting session. In my work, I focus on trying to create energy and embracing fearlessness as I try to experience something new with each painting. My pieces are representative of my emotional state at the time the piece is created.

Painting has saved me time and time again, but just as important as art is to my mental health, I love creating a feeling of energy with my paintings.

I am going to add more to this series, probably quite many, because I “feel” these pieces. I originally intended to release all the series together, but I decided to go ahead and post the first four. They can be purchased on my website.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook (facebook.com/loririvera.art) and Instagram (instagram.com/loririvera.art), and thank you for following my blog. 🙂

Books

Jumpstart Your Art: How to Begin Selling Your Artwork and Other Tidbits

I am excited that I just finished publishing my second book. My first book was a hands-on exercises kind of book, and the one I just published is an art marketing type of book. I think “Jumpstart Your Art” is the perfect sequel to my first book, “Paint Naturally: Internally Focused Abstract Art Workshop.”

“Jumpstart Your Art” discusses everything you need to know and have in place before you start selling your artwork. In this book, I cover nine P’s of marketing, including product, price, place, promotion, process, positioning, people, packaging, and physical evidence. Also included are artist interviews, artist tips and resources, a few painting exercises, and tips on how to make your art “yours.”

View Jumpstart Your Art on Amazon.

If you purchase my book, I would be ever so grateful if you’d review it on Amazon.

And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

facebook.com/loririvera.art

instagram.com/loririvera.art

collection

“Fearless” Collection

Small sections of the first four pieces in my “Fearless” Collection

Sneak peek of my new series. These are small sections of the first four paintings in my “Fearless” Collection. Each piece will be 12×12, so these are smaller abstracts, and would look nice grouped together. I’m expecting to have 10-20 pieces in the collection.

There have been times I can remember being nearly paralyzed with fear in painting abstracts. I became so concerned with getting everything just so, that I didn’t know how to begin. Sometimes life in general is like that for me too, especially when I get busy. Sometimes I get so bogged down with things to do, that I can’t even get started because I don’t know where to begin. If you’ve ever felt this way, this collection is for you.

My “Fearless” collection is all about trying new things and being totally fearless of messing up. It’s about taking risks, meditating, and reaping the mental health benefits of painting. It’s about breaking out of the mold and changing and morphing into something totally new.

In this collection I am working with both palette knives and paintbrushes. I am totally new to painting abstracts with palette knives and it has been a freeing feeling. I love the texture they create on the canvas and simply the fact that the paint is thicker. The colors have a more saturated and rich look to them.

My subscribers to my mailing list get to see all of my collections before anyone else and also get first dibs. You can sign up at loririveraart.com.