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.
“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.”
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:
Reading Between the Lines
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.
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.
One of the major milestones in my painting career was when I published a book last year. I am pleased with how it has been received by both strangers and family/friends, which is encouraging me to write a second book. I have not nailed down the exact focus of my next book yet, but I have several ideas percolating in my head.
“Paint Naturally” is geared for beginning (no experience necessary) acrylic painters. Internally focused painting relies on intuition and emotion, in which you paint your feelings, instead of being influenced externally from your environment. It’s a deep connection between your body, mind, and spirit. You then translate that onto the paper, canvas, or other surface. “Paint Naturally” contains eight hands-on exercises which guide you step-by-step in the creation of paintings — intuitive paintings of mine. The exercises are meant to be a jump start in creating your own unique paintings and style, guided by your intuition. Learn color mixing basics, composition techniques, and basic ways to use acrylic paint. Tips for creating abstract work is included, as well as a 30-day creative prompts challenge to help your creative juices flow.
If you have already purchases my book or if you are going to, don’t forget to leave me a review on Amazon. Thank you so much for your support. Buy Now
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
I love the above quote by Brene Brown. This is how I feel about the painting process. When I go for one or more days without spending time in my studio, I feel as though my “flow” has been interrupted. In painting, and in life, I believe that showing up is half the battle. I try to paint daily, but if for some reason I can’t paint, I try to organize and clean my studio instead. Just spending time in my studio is so important.
Having the courage to show up is the biggest, but most important hurdle. Sometimes I might not be in the mood to paint, but if I show up and spend some time in my studio, many times looking at other paintings I’ve finished will inspire me to paint. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking a painting I’m not totally happy with, and painting over it.
Some of my best ideas come out of simply spending time in the studio. Being in there with no pressure to “produce” allows me to relax and let my mind wander. I have a nice and comfortable couch that I got from a friend, and I love sitting there while looking through reference photos and reading art magazines or books. This is really just as important as the painting process itself. Allowing my brain to soak everything in helps me gear up for my next painting session.
Sometimes I don’t feel inspired to paint at all. When this happens, I don’t wait for inspiration, but rather just go in my studio and start painting. To me, the act of painting is just as important as the end result of a painting. Many times, this is when I pour my emotions onto the canvas. Sometimes when this happens, something beautiful surfaces, and other times, the outcome isn’t so pretty.
Another thing I’ve discovered is that if I’m not feeling inspired to paint, that’s a perfect time to paint a still life — where my subject is already decided, and I can focus on improving my technical painting skills rather than relying on my imagination to paint an abstract.
What about you? What are some ways you tackle being uninspired? Do you spend time in your studio sitting, reading, or doing things other than painting?
When I first began painting years ago, I had an interest in mixed media collage, then for some reason (I don’t know why really), I stopped creating them. For the longest time I’ve just created acrylic, oil, and charcoal pieces. This piece was so much fun. I just let loose and went with the flow. When Sandy created her collage piece, I love it so much that it inspired me to create a mixed media collage. Then when my husband created his self portrait based on COVID-19, I had the idea of creating a COVID-19 mixed media collage self portrait.
I had so much fun with this piece that I’m entertaining the idea of creating a collection of mixed media collages. I’m thinking of creating flowers and animals, or I just might create more funky faces. I started out just making an abstract collage, but ended up making this portrait instead. It’s funky, on the weird and wild side, and was a blast to create.
What are some projects you are working on right now, and what was your inspiration?
By nature, I am more of an abstract painter, one who relies on intuition rather than being influenced by the world around me. However, last year I took a few still life painting and figure drawing classes with the very talented Holly Storlie at Gamut Gallery. I just felt like I needed that extra boost, and I don’t think I could have executed this painting last night without Holly’s guidance from last year in class.
The Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana promoted a Self Portrait Creativity Challenge this week and I painted mine late last night. I spent more time on this portrait than any other one I’ve ever painted. To get better at portraits, I plan to paint a self portrait every month for the rest of this year. I may also paint portraits of others in addition to my monthly self portrait.
Really the only part of this painting I’m not happy with is my nose. It appears flat and I’m sure I can fix it with more shadows and highlights. I reworked it a couple times already and I’m still not happy with it so I think I’m going to grab a canvas panel tonight and paint my nose however many times it takes to get it right. Then I’ll copy the same technique of the best one onto my self portrait.
I would love to hear from others who paint portraits and how you gained some mastery in creating them. For me it’s practice, practice, practice from here on out!
P.S. And maybe I should change the title of this one from “Self Portrait 2020-2” to “I Hate Painting Noses.” 🤣
I have approximately 200 finished paintings in our home and my studio, and this number does not include the 200-300 I’ve painted over or sent to the trash because I wasn’t happy with them. Very rarely do I paint over a painting I don’t like anymore, and that’s because I’ve improved over time. I also plan to hang on to most of these paintings because many aren’t representative of my current work. But what does all of this really mean?
I was talking to a friend today who started painting a few years ago and she said that she wasn’t confident enough to put her art out there yet. I assured her that it would come in time and that in the beginning, for every 100 paintings I created, only about 5-10 were good. Maybe not even good, maybe more like just decent. I’ve been painting since 2009, but for the first seven years, I was painting very rarely because I was working and at home raising our daughter. I figure since 2009 I’ve averaged at least seven hours of painting time each week, and that number is underestimated I’m sure.
My point is that that equals over 3,500 hours and without all that practice and all of the failures, I wouldn’t be where I am today. For every failure, I have found yet one more way not to do something. I see failure as a measurement of effort; If I never fail, that means I am not experimenting and stretching myself to the limits. I truly believe you aren’t growing if you’re not failing at times, too.
I don’t like it when people ask me how long it took me to paint something, because really, the true answer is that it took me 3,500+ hours to create it! In art, all of your experience — all of the cumulative failures and successes — are what allow you to create what you create today.
Even though I’m a better painter now than 10 years ago, I do still produce bad paintings sometimes, and as weird as it may sound, I’m proud of them because it means I am pushing myself, as not every new technique I try is going to work out – as is the case with my “NOPE” painting above!
So practice as much as you can, fail beautifully, and revel in your eventual successes. If you fail enough, you will succeed!
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Looking for a unique and low cost way to display your acrylic paintings on watercolor paper? Recently, I’ve been working with acrylic on watercolor paper and needed a quick and easy way to get them ready to hang in a show. I love what I came up with; I think they look professional, especially for how little it dinged my pocketbook.
Both of these paintings are on 8 x 8 watercolor paper and I bought a four pack of 10 x 10 cradled unfinished wood panels. They were only $16.04 with my 40% off coupon at Michaels, which made them $4.01 each. I purchased wood that was two inches larger than my paper all around to give the illusion of a 1″ thick frame.
First I painted three coats of white gesso on the front and the sides of the wood, and I left the back unfinished. After the last coat was completely dry, I applied Liquitex Gel Medium with a foam brush to the front of the wood, then laid down the painting and tried to center it as much as possible. Then I pushed down all over the paper with my hands to make sure it was sticking in all places of the paper to the wood. If you have a brayer or a rolling pen, you could also use one of those. I pushed down on the paper for about three minutes.
I waited a few hours for the gel medium to dry enough so that I could wire the back. The cradled boards are perfect for two eye hooks and picture hanging wire. The last step was varnishing the painting. I took a soft cloth and added a small amount of Gamvar varnish to it and applied it lightly to the painting. It gave it a nice sheen.
I am so excited about this way of displaying my small paper paintings. If you try this, let me know how it goes and how you like the end result!