abstract art, inspiration, intuitive art, 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

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. 🙂

Artist Tips, inspiration

Just Show Up

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.

Late Night Biscotti & Coffee
12×12 oil on canvas

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?

Uncategorized

Mixed Media Collage Funky Portrait

Sometimes you have to make art for the sake of creating art, and the more creative and funky, the better! My good friend, Sandy Dodd, who normally creates gorgeous landscapes, and beautiful paintings of landmarks, created an amazing collage self portrait a couple days ago. Check out her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/artworkbysandydodd. Her collage along with my husband’s self portrait yesterday was the inspiration for this mixed media collage piece. You can also check out his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Emajinashin-Artwork-Of-Michael-Rivera-1931322883770421/.

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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?

Be well and be safe.

Cheers!
Lori

 

 

abstract art

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

Artist Interviews

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.

Jaime-Haney-sitting-in-her-art-studio-August-20141
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.

Peacock-Feathers-Painting-Night-Flight-on-easel-by-Jaime-Haney-

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.

Nearly-finished-pond-mermaid-painting
“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.

Artist-worktable
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/

inspiration

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