abstract art, Collectors

Holiday Gift for My List Subscribers

Hey there! I have exciting news to share for those who sign up for my VIP list. I will be sending a 5×7″ postcard print as a holiday gift to everyone who signs up for my list by the end of November. I don’t know which painting I will turn into a postcard print, but I promise it will be one of my favorite abstracts of the year.

I’ll be choosing the painting for the postcard sometime within the next week. I will be mailing all of the postcard prints in envelopes to help protect them during their travels to you.

So what do you need to do to get your postcard print gift? Just sign up for my VIP list here.

As a bonus, you also get:

– Free creativity guide
– Exclusive offers
– Viewing and first dibs on new art collections before the general public
– Unique content found nowhere else (inside look at my painting process, studio, and more)

So join now to get your gift. 🙂

Cheers,
Lori

abstract art, Artist Tips, Uncategorized

My Creative Process: Part 1

Everyone’s creative process is unique as we are all on individualized journeys. Whether your creative outlet is painting like mine or something else such as knitting, cooking, or composing music, we all have a creative process that is unique to us.

Under the Sea, 8×10 canvases, diptych
available at the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana’s Holiday Art Sale

It used to be that I’d have 5+ in-progress paintings and I’d bounce back and forth between them. What I found to be true, for me anyway, is that I wasn’t finishing many pieces of art. This was also a time when I didn’t have enough experience to know that abstract paintings can go through many ugly stages before they become an artwork you are pleased with. So I would have tons of paintings in progress that honestly, were all in ugly stages. I would abandon each piece and move on to the next during an ugly stage, only to never even return to some of them.

About a couple years ago, I had an intentional plan to not start any new pieces until I finished the one I was currently working on. Surprisingly, I found this approach to painting more fitting for me, even though it was not easy to change my creative routine. Not only was I able to finish paintings, but my painting itself seemed to improve. While the journey I go through in painting a piece is important, I’ve found that the dopamine-producing event of finishing a piece is equally important. And the way I used to work was not producing many pieces.

There is a huge sense of accomplishment with each finished piece that brings me much joy. I find that starting and finishing one piece at a time (knowing I can’t start a new one until I finish my current one) provides the motivation needed to finish the piece. This motivation also forces me to work through the ugly stages instead of putting the piece aside when the going gets tough.

So how about you? Do you bounce around between many creative projects or do you start and finish one before moving to the next? Whatever your method, keep doing whatever works for you.

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

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.

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

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.

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