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.

realism, representational

From Abstraction to Realism, Repeat

My three cat paintings from this past week

Well, I’ve done it again; I’m back to representational art, specifically challenging myself in how “real” I can get in painting cats. These are in the order I painted them and it seems each one is a little more realistic than the previous one, which I am pleased. I normally lean more towards painting abstracts with no recognizable objects. But I have to admit I’m drawn to painting realistically as well.

Cat #1

I appreciate both abstraction and realism — both in painting and in viewing. When I’m feeling like I need to express myself and get my emotions out so-to-speak, I love letting loose and allowing my intuition and emotions to guide every brushstroke in abstract work.

Cat #2

There are other times, however, that I like to paint representationally so I can brush up on and grow in my technical skills. So, to do this, most recently I have been painting these cats. Not only do I love cats, but I am finding that painting their fur is highly meditative.

Cat #3

I’m not sure how many cat paintings will be in this collection, but I do plan on painting more. They are so satisfying to paint. But I know that this realistic painting won’t last forever, as eventually I will want to “let loose” and abstractify again.

Something I put into practice with cat #3 was using a small script liner brush to get that tighter and more realistic look. In case you are a beginner, usually you achieve a looser look with larger brushes and a tighter look with smaller brushes.

Thank you for supporting me in my painting journey, and I’ll now leave you with my favorite cat of all, this one painted by my nine-year-old daughter. 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget, my “Relax + Paint” 7-week abstract painting course begins Oct 30th. Secure your spot at www.relax-paint.com.

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, 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. 🙂

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.

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!

Collectors

NEW! Birthday Club & Collectors Club

IMG-6198
After Midnight, available
24×24 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
To see the making of this piece, visit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VoQ2x8lAbo

NEW! You can now join my Birthday Club and/or my Collectors Club.

If you love getting things in the mail, especially around your birthday, my Birthday Club is right up your alley! Join and I will send you a 5″x6.75 inch birthday card painted in acrylic on watercolor paper. For only $12/year (40% discount), you will get a one-of-a-kind birthday card sent to you via postal mail during your birthday month. The card will be designed so that it will look nice framed. I sign my cards small on the front. I know I love getting stuff in the mail and I bet you do too!

If you are an art collector, you can now enjoy a 25% discount by joining my Collectors Club for $100/year. If you plan to purchase larger pieces or multiple smaller pieces, the Collectors Club is ideal for you! When you become a member of the club, you can enjoy a 25% discount on all purchases. The membership is for one year. This is the perfect investment for art collectors of all kinds. $100/year

To join either of these clubs, visit loririvera.square.site/memberships.

 

 

Uncategorized

Canvas or Hardboard Panels, and Size?

IMG-0360 (1)

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?

IMG_0366