abstract art, intuitive art, inspiration, music

My Newfound Love

Embers, 24×24″ acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

I have a newfound love — painting to classical music. It all started when I painted a piece for an exhibit with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. I listened to a piece by Russian composer Mussorgsky on repeat while I painted my piece for the exhibit. Now it seems I can’t get enough classical music to paint to.

Since I first began painting, I have mainly listened to new age, classical crossover, modern jazz, 80s, and whatever else I’m in the mood to listen to at the moment. I listened to traditional classical music while painting for one of the first times last week, and now I’m hooked. Now I’ve probably painted to traditional classic music a few times before now, but really didn’t intentionally focus on channeling the music’s energy until now. It’s like painting is this whole new experience that I am traveling through for the first time.

So now my new project is painting while listening to Jeremy Spindler’s musical pieces on repeat. At some point, I’ll see if there might be a way to share with you the pieces of his that inspire my paintings. The painting in this post, Embers, is a painting inspired by one of his pieces, a concerto for seven. There’s something about classical music that has a mesmerizing and meditative quality to it when I’m painting. It pulls me in as I become intertwined with it. It nearly becomes me, and then I become a part of the piece I’m painting. I’ve always enjoyed classical music, but it was never a first choice of mine. But it is quickly becoming my first choice to listen to during painting.

All of my pieces inspired by music will be a part of my collection, called simply “Music Series.” That’s at least a temporary title.

Cheers!
Lori

P.S. There’s just one week left to register for Relax + Paint. Registration ends on October 23rd. You can register at www.relax-paint.com. Geared for complete beginners, you’ll learn everything from how much water to add to your brush to how to define your focal point.

abstract art, inspiration, music

Another Mussorgsky Inspired Abstract

In my last post I shared with you that I’m participating in an exhibit with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. I’m excited that I finished a second painting directly inspired by Mussorgsky’s Baba Yaga piece. Here it is…

I don’t have a title yet, 24×24” acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

I had so much fun with this piece and if you are interested in hearing the music that inspired it, go here. This musical piece sounds dark and powerful so I decided I wanted a dark and bold look with strong value contrast. Due to this I used Ivory Black straight out of the tube. This was different for me as I normally mix black color with equal amounts of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.

Me with my painting, “Victorious”

Above I am standing with the Mussorgsky inspired painting I created a couple days ago. As you can see, this is a calmer, brighter, and more joyous painting, and so is the musical piece. My favorite part of this piece is the gold paint in it. The music that inspired this painting is here.

I am really enjoying these music inspired paintings and I focus on interpreting the music visually mostly through color, mark making, and composition. I plan to continue this kind of painting and most likely will make all of them abstract pieces.

In these paintings I also focus on how the music makes me feel, and I translate these feelings through each brushstroke. I listen to the song on repeat with listenonrepeat.com. Listen on Repeat is the coolest website I think I’ve found all year.

I will continue posting my painted music inspired artwork pieces, so stay tuned.

Cheers, Lori

abstract art, inspiration, music

Visual Interpretations of Music

I am pleased to tell you I am participating in an upcoming exhibit with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra next Saturday and Sunday (17th & 18th). My piece will be shown with other local artists’ work during the “Art in Music” concert. This artwork was inspired by a Mussorgsky piece (link below); I created it while listening to the piece on repeat.

“Victorious” 24×24″ acrylic on canvas

Here is the music if you’d like to take a listen:
https://youtu.be/R1GwvPzzK1k

I started by meditating to the music and focusing on the way it made me feel. I envisioned royal colors like purples and golds, and to me the music seems to wonderfully conjure up images of a King in a pageantry. It almost immediately gave me a feeling of victory, hence the title “Victorious.”

After listening to Mussorgsky’s piece several times, I started laying down layer upon layer of paint, using both palette knives and paintbrushes. The music had a calming, yet energetic feel, and I wanted to communicate the two somewhat divergent feelings in my piece. I decided to use violets and golden yellows with spicy sea greens and a tad of peachy orange. Violet and yellow are complementary colors, which gives it the sense of energy, and my goal was to create a calming effect with the composition. 

I used my favorite medium in this piece —acrylic glazing liquid — to calm down a few areas in the piece and allow your eyes resting spots. I also find glazing liquid to be helpful in pulling out the focal point.

I always paint to music, but this time around I intentionally channeled the energy of the music into my piece. Usually the music I’m listening to while painting is more in the background while I pull inspiration from within myself and paint based on my emotions. I refer to this as internal painting, whereas interpreting music with paint is more of an external painting experience.

I enjoyed the process of painting this piece so much that now I plan to start working on a series of paintings based off the musical works of a composer I personally know.

Do you have a favorite song you’d like to see visually interpreted through a piece of fine art? Let me know! If I create a piece based on a song you suggest, this won’t obligate you to purchase the piece, however; I would give you first dibs.

Cheers,
Lori

P.S. Want to learn how to paint abstracts? I have a 7-week beginner course starting on Oct. 30th. Enroll at 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

abstract art, collection

New Collection Available: Overload

NEW COLLECTION! I am pleased to share the paintings in my new collection titled, Overload, that I began during the quarantine and just finished last week! Each of these is 24″x24″ (2 feet x 2 feet) and has gallery wrapped edges (composition extended to the sides).

This series was a blast to create as I explored a rainbow inspired shape in all of them, which was the only intentional aspect of the series. Other than incorporating the shape across all the pieces, I painted intuitively without a predetermined plan and painted from my emotions.

They are sold unframed, but since the sides are painted and they are wired on the back, they are ready to hang.

Each piece’s title was chosen based on life during a pandemic, how I was feeling at the time of the painting, or on my activities during the quarantine.

I plan to start my next series in about a month or so, but while I’m waiting to begin, I will be planning it out — deciding on the characteristic(s) that will tie the pieces together — whether it’s color, shape, texture, composition, or another unifying aspect. At this point I am leaning toward texture because I’d like to work on incorporating more texture into my pieces.

I hope you like seeing my work in collections rather than individually as I am moving away from creating individual standalone pieces, and moving towards working in series most all of the time. Even though each piece will be a part of a collection, they will still be sold individually, if desired. DM if you are interested in a piece or you can purchase on my website at loririveraart.com. It will definitely be difficult parting with these as I love how they all look together.

From left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Mortality
  2. Jitterbug
  3. After Midnight
  4. Coffee Binge
  5. Supersonic
  6. Reading Between the Lines
  7. Distance Between
  8. Cleanse
  9. In Overdrive

Below are the photos of individual pieces and I also show you how they might look in a room.

The edges of the pieces are gallery wrapped, as shown below.

Gallery wrapped edges

I hope you’ve enjoyed my most recent collection. I am looking forward to creating many more, and growing as an artist with each new collection.

If you’d like to see my future collections a week or more before everyone else, sign up for my mailing list on my website at loririveraart.com. Subscribers on my mailing list receive perks, such as being included in a monthly drawing for a miniature painting giveaway, seeing my new work before the general public, and access to exclusive promotions.

And lastly, you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

abstract art, collection

NEW COLLECTION!

I am pleased to announce I’ll be releasing my new collection titled, Overload, on Monday, June 29th at 12:00 pm CST. I hope you enjoy my move towards working in series instead of posting individual stand alone pieces.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_7202.jpeg
The edges of the pieces in my collection, “Overload”

One of the reasons I am going to start working primarily in series is so that I can work on becoming a better artist. I believe it’s essential to always evolve as an artist and learn as much as I can. I find that I never stop growing which is one of the things I love about being an artist. There’s always a new technique to learn, a challenge to conquer, and a new road to travel. And I believe that working in series helps me learn in so many ways as I explore something in depth.

The collection I am releasing on Monday is made up of nine abstract 24″x24″ (2 feet x 2 feet) pieces that are gallery wrapped on the edges (painted on the sides). They are unframed, but since they are gallery wrapped and have wire on the back, they are ready to hang.

Small section of a piece in the collection, “Overload”

I began the series during the quarantine and all of the titles relate to the pandemic, how I was feeling when painting the piece, how I feel when looking at the finished piece, or my activities during the quarantine.

Small section of a piece in the collection, “Overload”

The titles of the pieces are: Jitterbug, Mortality, Coffee Binge, After Midnight, In Overdrive, Cleanse, Supersonic, Reading Between the Lines, and Distance Between.

Small section of a piece in the collection, “Overload”

Don’t forget to check back here next Monday, June 29th at 12:00 pm CST to see my new collection!