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100 Paintings in 100 Days

I started a project yesterday, Sept 6, 2019. I am creating 100 paintings in 100 days! I am painting abstractly and intuitively on 8×8 140 lb. watercolor paper. These are so much fun to create. My next one will be #5 and I think there’s a good chance I will finish the project before the deadline of December 14, 2019. I found a good place to get my custom mats for these pieces. Mat Boards and More (https://www.matboardandmore.com) might be where I get them.

I am trying to be playful and loose with these pieces. They are supposed to be fun rather than serious. These small paintings will also help me refine my abstract painting as I will get a lot of practice with defining my focal point in each piece. This series will help me improve in creating good compositions.

I believe abstract pieces are the most difficult to create compositionally and with color. I’ve heard people say “My 7-year-old could do that.” Or things like “I could do that.” That is so frustrating as abstract painting is harder than it looks.

I will not be creating prints of these pieces; I am just going to sell the originals.

Follow me on facebook (www.facebook.com/loririvera.art) if you’d like to see the pieces as I create them. You can also follow me on instagram @ www.instagram.com/loririvera.art. I will also be posting each piece to my 100 Paintings in 100 Days page on my website. Feel free to bookmark the page.

Thank you for following me on my blog!

Cheers!

Lori

Interview with Painter, Jaime Haney

My friend and fellow artist, Jaime Haney, and I thought it would be fun to interview each other about our journey in art making. I love Jaime’s beautiful and colorful paintings; She’s always creating something new and exciting and I can’t wait to see what she does next. I am thrilled to offer you the interview below. You can read my interview on her blog here.

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Jaime surrounded by her gorgeous paintings

When did you realize you wanted to be a painter?

I’ve been an artist all my life and I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t one. It truly is how I’ve identified myself all of my life. I was always encouraged by my parents to create and express myself from the beginning. My mother was always creative and my father made his living as an artist. When I was a teen, I preferred to illustrate mostly. I experimented in photography for a short time. It seemed like common knowledge that fine art wasn’t a profitable avenue to take so I went into graphic design. While it was a creative outlet, I still would draw and create things in my off hours. A few years after the birth of my son, about 2011, I felt the urge to pick up the paintbrush and I’ve been painting ever since. It’s been very rewarding and frustrating at the same time.

Where do you find inspiration for your paintings?

Oh my, where don’t I find inspiration?! Seriously, inspiration comes to me in so many forms. It comes in dreams, A lot of times I am painting in my dreams. It comes from my day dreams and even while I drive or shower. It comes from my many lush gardens I tend – the shadows of a clump of plants, the brilliant colored flower petals. Inspiration comes from the natural world around me, like the woods behind my house where I like to walk, explore… and get inspired. Watching TV, I may get inspired by a face or a place – many times I’ve paused the program and snapped a photo because I was inspired by the look on a face or slight smile or curve of a neck. The way a woman’s eyes look away with melancholy. Music deeply inspires me and has been the source of many paintings including titles for paintings. Writings and poems inspire me. There really isn’t a time I’m not inspired. I am constantly painting in my mind… how would that song look if I were to paint it? I’m never at a loss for inspiration – it is literally everywhere.

Mystical-Mother-Nature-painting-by-Jaime-Haney_lores“Mystical Mother Nature” by Jaime Haney

How do you describe your style?

I’ve had my work described as Fauvism – I’m sure because of the strong color I use. But I would describe my style as more Post Impressionistic. While my paintings are somewhat realistic in their stylings, I’m not concerned with photo realism. I prefer there to be acknowledgment that my hand made the art, imperfections and all. I hope to evoke to the viewer the feeling I’m experiencing from my subjects whether they’re made up in my imagination or from real life. There’s a certain darkness to my work, whether that’s seen or just felt. I’m not really a light and airy type of painter, I love to inject a little mystique to my work… a nod to the supernatural even.

Who influences you?

I can’t really say that I’m influenced by any certain artist as I’m not well versed in art history. However, I am familiar with past artists like Frida Khalo, Henri Rousseau, Leonora Carrington, Georgia O’Keeffe, Dorothea Tanning and Gustav Klimt. I like their paintings very much and might go as far as to say their work influences me but maybe it’s just because we like similar subjects or colors, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s easier to see as a viewer of my art rather than myself who influences my work.

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Do you take commissions?

I do occasionally take commissions if the fit is right. The person wanting the work would of course need to enjoy my style and not ask for me to paint in a way that isn’t natural for me.

Tell me about your commission process.

For this I’m going to lead you to a web page on my site and it talks about going through a commission. https://jaimehaney.com/ever-wanted-commission-painting/

What do you find to be the most difficult step of painting a piece?

I’d have to say that would be different for each painting. However, I also will say when I start a new painting it’s almost like I’ve forgotten everything I’ve ever learned and I go through the process thinking to myself well how am I going to do that? I just have to start, many times with a rough sketch, and the painting moves on from various stages often without my knowledge of what I’ve even done. My painting process seems to incur many stages of my being lost somewhere in my mind and I love this. While on the other hand some paintings have many stages that are just awful looking and I have to reconsider what I’m doing but usually if I keep at it, I can pull it out of that dreadful stage. That is when many paintings go to rest on a ledge somewhere while I let time and sometimes dreams tell me what to do about them. The best paintings to me though are the ones that somehow appear without my realization of how they got there, it’s that wonderful land of being in the zone… as if it paints itself and I’m just the channel.

What is your favorite thing about being an artist?

Oh, so many things. I love being able to take my viewer to another world and forget their problems or just everyday goings on. Also painting or drawing what I imagine or dream, reality means nothing when I’m creating and I find that very seductive. Being able to convey a feeling or mood with the strokes of my brush. When I walk into my studio and know that no matter what I decide to paint that day I alone have control of my painted reality and that is very satisfying.

How do you know when a painting is finished?

This is a difficult question and each painting is different. Like I mentioned, my dad is an artist and we’re very close. I often ask his opinion on a painting to see if he feels it needs anything more. Many times I set aside a painting to let it simmer in my thoughts without having to make a snap decision. When I go back to it with fresh eyes, possibly something jumps out to me and I know where to go from there or decide it is finished as it can be so I sign it and it’s done. Other times I just know it’s done. Some paintings are simply abandoned and I move onto another because I’m sick of it.

How do you title your paintings?

I love to title paintings. Sometimes the name will come to me as I paint it and I’ll write it down in my studio so I don’t forget. Occasionally a song playing (or the lyrics) while I’m painting will become the title or lead to the title. My titles tend to be dramatic and deep, evoking what I’m feeling during the process of painting it. Sometimes though they simply are just what the painting is of, but more often than not I like a deeper meaning to the title.

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“What  Lies Beneath” by Jaime Haney

What is your work day like?

I’ll start out by saying I’m naturally a night owl but with having a son in school, that has curbed my night owl ways. I’ve always felt more creative at night but I’ve learned that as a professional artist I cannot wait on a feeling and must create my own inspiration during the hours I have available. So my work day starts when I return home from dropping my son off to school and I usually start with my computer. I check and return emails or communication with my email list. Next, I check to make sure my website is up and running and deal with that if needed. Then answer any comments I have on my blog, perhaps write a new post and eventually make my way to social media which is a very important part of my art business. Around 11:30 I eat something and then head to the art studio. I get about three and a half hours of painting in and then it’s time for my son to come home on the school bus. After this, the day just flies by. I spend some time chatting with him about his day and according to whether he wants my company or if he wants to play video games, I might get another hour in the studio before it’s time to close it up and get dinner started. After dinner, I might get back on social media for a short time to reply to comments or post more and that’s about it for my evening.

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A peek inside Jaime Haney’s studio

What are your favorite subjects to paint?

There are a wide variety of subjects I like to paint. I’m an avid gardener so I enjoy painting tropical plants, gardens and flowers. But there is a bigger part of me that would rather paint abstract landscapes, making up my own world I see in my dreams and visions. Trees are always a favorite but more than anything I really like to add a sense of mystery to my paintings no matter what the subject is. Life is never boring and there are endless subjects to paint that give me pleasure. There’s usually a story associated with my painting either a true one, folklore and myth or something I’ve just made up. That’s the greatest thing about being an artist, you can make anything you want and I find my imagination is the best at creating subjects to paint.

How can people find and buy your art?

My website is http://jaimehaney.com and that is where I have an online store where my art can be purchased and I ship it out. I also host my blog on there, it’s really the best place to find me. I have a monthly email that I send out to subscribers where I offer my new paintings, art show invites and other fun things, come sign up I’d love to have you. I do have a Facebook page for my art as well as an Instagram and I’ll share them below, but since we have so little control over these social avenues and they could be pulled out from under us at any time, I’d rather have someone contact me directly via email jaime@jaimehaney.com or through my website.

My Facebook page: www.facebook.com/JaimeHaneyArtist

My Instagram handle: Jaime Haney  https://www.instagram.com/jaimehaney/

20 Random Art Facts

It’s been a week or two since I’ve written a blog post. I’ve been painting pretty consistently and below are my last two paintings. I know…I know…a little early for Christmas themed paintings, but I’m trying to get a head start.

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I thought I’d write “20 Random Art Facts About Me” so you can get to know me better as a painter.

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Painting in my studio

  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 to master. Creating something from nothing and out of your head takes special skill.
  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 this year.
  5. My favorite color is turquoise.
  6. I was 90% self taught until this year when I took a few still life classes.
  7. I tone my canvas with Burnt Sienna 95% of the time.
  8. When I create abstract art, my process is influenced heavily by the abstract expressionist movement. I’m not really sure what/who influences my still life yet.
  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 hardboard panels.
  11. I have a degree in business, not art, but if I could do college over, I would major in art.
  12. My current favorite subjects to paint is different kinds of fruit and vegetables.
  13. I try to get started painting by 10:00 a.m. on days that I paint.
  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, ten 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 next spring.
  19. I sit down when I paint still life but 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!

I would love to get to know you too. Feel free to leave a comment with random things about you.

Lori

Painting My Way Through Anxiety

IMG-1104“Pepper Medley” 2019
9×12 oil on canvas panel

They say that depression is when you dwell on the past and anxiety is when you worry about the future. If you struggle with either of these, or even stress, painting can help you manage your symptoms.

My anxiety has been terrible lately…worrying about anything and everything…things that may or may not happen. All the time I spend worrying could be spent so much more productively, and I’m happy to say last week and yesterday I was more productive. I’ve painted three pieces in the past week and when I was painting I noticed something. I wasn’t worrying at all. It’s as if my anxiety disappeared for those several hours, and my anxiety also seemed to be at bay for some time after I was done painting. It’s like painting resets my brain.

I’ve been painting for years and I’ve never noticed the healing power of art as much as I have in the past week. I don’t know if it’s because I’m dealing with anxiety instead of depression for a change or if it’s because my anxiety has been so terrible. Or maybe I just simply noticed something I haven’t paid attention to in the past.

All I know is that I think this is my newfound motivation for staying on a painting schedule. The fact that I can dwindle away my anxiety to nothing is a big motivator!

Painting has always helped relax me, especially when I’m stressed. But what has happened over the last week is just amazing to me. If you are struggling, give painting a try. It may prove to help you too.

Getting Inspired Again

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I was recently asked if I could draw a picture of a house, to be used for a housewarming party in which guests would add their thumbprint in ink to the top to make it look like balloons. Though this is not something I typically do, I gladly accepted the commission, knowing that I was capable of doing it. The hardest part was getting all the little rectangles on the garage. They needed to be evenly spaced and all the same size. It took a little measuring, but I eventually got it.

Sometimes it’s good to step outside of our comfort zone so that we can feel refreshed. It was nice doing something different because now I am inspired to get back to my art practice. Not only have I been unmotivated lately, but my daughter has also been out of school and I’ve been spending time with her. I haven’t done any art, with the exception of this house, for the past two weeks! YIKES! I’ve been going to bed at night earlier, too, so I haven’t been up late painting lately.

HOWEVER, as I stated, I am feeling really inspired to get back to painting, and my daughter goes to camp this coming week. So you can bet I will be in the studio. Sometimes I need an extra push to get moving, and this commission was it!

Sometimes I think breaks can be good, too, so that ideas can percolate. I’ve been trying to decide what to paint next, and I’m thinking I may return to still life for a bit. I may try painting everyday, mundane objects, and attempt to make them beautiful. I applied for a solo show with a gallery in Ohio as well. Just in case I’d get selected to show there, I need quite a few more still life paintings completed, even though the show wouldn’t be until next year.

Speaking of inspiration, there is an artist on Instagram named Karen Barton. I’ve been following her for about a month and she is so inspirational. She does just what I said above — takes everyday objects and paints them. Even something as simple as a screw, she can bring to life with paint, and so beautifully. So yes, I’ve been storing up inspiration from her as well.

I plan to get back in the groove this coming week! I’ll keep you updated.

~ Lori

 

My Dream Studio

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Even though most of my painting inspiration comes from within, sometimes I long to have more scenery around me while I’m painting. My dream studio would be in the mountains with large windows on all sides for good lighting. Ideally, all of my light would be natural! I’d also have a sink, a bathroom, and a little refrigerator in my studio. In case you are wondering, the studio wouldn’t be attached to the house. The outside of the studio would be painted turquoise (my favorite color) and the indoor walls would be painted a very light gray. I have found light gray to be a good studio color. It’s not as reflective as white but still bright enough to feel open and airy.

I imagine if I had my dream studio, sometimes I’d also paint outdoors surrounded by mountains and blue sky, while breathing fresh mountain air. I could see myself painting my female figures with mountains in the background.

My husband and I were married and also honeymooned in Gatlinburg, TN. We had such a wonderful time and the scenery and weather was magnificent. It was at the beginning of October, and while the leaves weren’t turning (darn) during our wedding, they were starting to turn by the time we had left. It was gorgeous!!! I would love to go back to the cabin we stayed in and paint in the cabin and on the balcony.

I love the mountains, the quaint little shops, the art, and the fresh mountain air of Gatlinburg. The natural scenery would be so inspirational for painting, but until then, or until I have a studio in the mountains, I will continue to paint in my current studio, which is small, but it works for now!

I often dream of having a larger studio and one like that described above. What about you? What is your dream office, play space, studio, etc.?

Canvas or Hardboard Panels, and Size?

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Day two of painting faces. I think I may start a series of fun female portraits like the ones on this page and I just hope I can stick with it and keep the series going. I painted these two today and they were so much fun. I tend to jump around a lot with my painting and I’m hoping to change that with my fun portraits. I want to be known for a style/subject matter. I know that is not a priority for everyone, but for me it is.

Right now I’m trying to decide if I want to keep the facial features somewhat consistent or vary them. I’m leaning towards varying the shapes of the eyes, nose, and mouth because I’m afraid all of my paintings will look a little too similar if I keep things consistent. Even today, though I have a different eye color, eyebrows, etc., they look a lot alike because I used same eye and mouth shape.

But the biggest dilemma right now is trying to decide what substrate to use for these paintings. I like both canvas and hardboard panels, although between the two I like the hardboard panels a bit better. The advantage of using canvas is that you don’t have to frame the finished piece. You can just add a wire to the back and hang as is. But I don’t want to leave the sides unpainted, and for some reason when I paint with oil, I hate painting the edges. The hardboard panels must be either framed when completed, or sit on a tabletop easel. However, since 9x13s are a standard frame size, they can be easily popped into a standard frame with the glass removed.

I’m also trying to decide what size to paint. I’ve been painting on 9×13 panels and that seems to be a good size. Not too small, but not so large that the price is high. At this size, they are affordable for a wide audience.

I am still deciding, but at this point I am leaning towards the hardboard panels. I like the fact that they are sturdy and easy to store. I also like the way the oil paint glides on the panels. Canvas can get holes poked through it so easily, and dented too. Sometimes I also don’t like being able to see the tooth of the canvas. I probably need to buy a bunch of panels from Blick Art again.

I used to paint just on canvas. Little did I know that branching out to other substrates would be such a dilemma. So many choices!

My question to my readers is what size painting do you typically buy? Also, do you have difficult choices to make in your chosen career?

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Communicating Feeling Through Art

gooddayIt’s Gonna Be a Good Day
12×12 oil on canvas

This is the first portrait I’ve painted totally from imagination in a long time. I forgot how much fun faces are to paint! I’ve been giving serious thought to my art practice lately. I tend to be all over the map…portraits, landscapes, still life, abstracts, and that is not what I really want.

I think I’ve come to a crossroads with my art in which I need to really decide what it is I want to communicate and how I want to communicate that. I’ve always thought I wanted to communicate feeling, and I think this is still true. Yes, I can communicate a feeling through my abstracts as well, but I think it is easiest for people to connect with portraits. After all, everybody knows what a face looks like.

I think it’s easier to capture an emotion in a portrait than it is a landscape or a still life. Whether it’s an emotion from the day or an experience, or an emotion I simply want to convey, a face can capture it clearly.

So after saying all that, I don’t think portraits are any higher value than any other type of art. However, if your goal is to communicate a feeling, maybe it’s most easily done with portraits. I want people to feel an emotion when they view my artwork, not just say, “Oh that’s pretty.” And as much as I love creating still life paintings, I feel like that’s the kind of response I’m getting from them.

Another thing I love about portraits is that this one I did from my imagination, and I thinking painting from imagination is hard. In some ways, for me anyway, it is more challenging than executing painting techniques.

Just thought I’d share where my thought process are in this never-ending journey of being an artist. I’m seriously thinking about creating faces for a bit and seeing how that goes.

If you are an artist of any kind, what has your journey been like? Did you have a hard time narrowing down what it is you want to be doing? I’m finding it difficult but I’m not giving up!

Lori

 

My Evolution Over the Past 10 Years

I thought it would be fun to dig up pictures of art from years ago, show them here, and talk about how I have evolved as an artist. So to start things off, I’ll show you a couple pictures from each year beginning with 2009 (the year I started painting).

2009

2010

2011-2012
I couldn’t find any pictures of art from these two years. This is probably because I was taking care of my daughter, who was born in 2011.

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

As you can see, my art has gone through many stages as I have tried on different styles. I think this is normal for many artists as they are finding their way and their voice. I still don’t feel like I’ve totally found my voice as an artist, but I always keep trudging along in the journey of finding it. There are also so many styles of art I like, which makes it difficult to narrow down what I want to do the most.

In 2018, as you can see from my photos above, I thought that abstract art was my calling…expressing my inner most feelings through color, line, and other elements. Then I took a still life painting class and a couple sessions of figure drawing in early 2019. I don’t think I regularly painted objectively for a long time because I didn’t have the confidence to do so. Taking some classes gave me an extra boost and now I enjoy objective art and have gained the confidence to tackle it.

It will be interesting to see where I go from here, although I have a feeling I will keep doing what I’m doing — creating both abstract and objective art. Every time I think I have it all figured out, something happens in my life to change things up or I get inspired by another artist, which influences my process. After all, we don’t create out of vacuums. Our creative output is the result of a combination of things, from outside influences, our mood, life experiences, etc.

One thing I do now that I didn’t in the beginning is mix my colors. And hopefully my work looks a little looser now than in the beginning.

Overall, I am happy with my progress as an artist. I think a measure of success for me is growth, and I feel I have grown overall as an artist in the past 10 years. I think my art continually improves, and that is exactly what I am trying to accomplish. Out of the twenty pieces shown on this page, nine of them have sold. I consider that an accomplishment too!

One of my goals as an artist is to loosen up more and I hope I can loosen up in the next couple years, even though it’s hard to put a timeline on something like that. I hope to continually evolve and improve throughout the years. If there ever comes a time when I feel like I’m not improving, that’s when I will have to change things up somehow.

So what about you? How has your art evolved over time?

~ Lori

Oil Painting is Winning My Heart

I am a visual artist living in Southwestern Indiana who publishes art related blog posts regularly. Sign up to receive updates from my blog at the bottom of this page. 🙂

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Still Life with Tiger Lily
9×12 oil on panel

I always said I would never try oil painting. I think this was because all the materials needed for oil painting made it intimidating and I didn’t know where to start. Although I’m not hanging up my acrylics for good, I think I am starting to fall in love with oils.

Taking a still life painting class is what prompted me to try oils. It was nice having someone to guide me and show me the ropes, and having help streamlined the learning process and made everything seem simpler. 

The one thing I don’t like about oil paints is the drying time. Acrylics dry in about 20 minutes depending on how thick the paint is applied, and my oil paintings take about 5 days to dry to the touch. What this means is that I have to have a place to store them while they are drying, and this also means since I have a small studio that I have to work smaller. I’ve been working on 9×12 panels and I can complete a painting in just a few hours since I’m not a hyper realistic painter. When I work with acrylics I generally work 20×20 or larger. 

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Still Life with Jars & Shell
9×12 oil on panel

Even though I miss working larger, I love the ability to blend easier with oils and I also love the way the final pieces look. Oils have a sheen to them that acrylics don’t have without using varnish. Another thing I like about oils is that they keep their vibrancy when dry; acrylics seem to lose a little bit of the vibrant color after they are dry. With oils, it’s what you see is what you get.

Above all, my favorite thing about oils is how the underneath layers mix with the new layers. When I paint with acrylics, the underneath layer is usually dry by the time I apply the next layer. This makes for more unique color combinations.

My paintings in oil are also just a tad looser than they are in acrylic. For me, that is good since I’m wanting to loosen up more.

There are many benefits to working with oils but if you are wanting a finished painting fast, acrylics would be your choice due to drying time.

Cheers!
Lori