Archive for the ‘Painting’ Category

It's rare for me to record video, but I realized my computer has built-in screen capture software, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm working on an "Under the Sea" design that, so far, includes a jellyfish and starfish.

Here's a short 1-minute video I posted to Instagram that shows what my screen looks like while I'm painting:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXF4JMaFGxM/?taken-by=christinastewrd

And here's the finished starfish (and jellyfish):

jellyfish starfish

This is a theme I've wanted to work with for awhile now, since I was born and raised in Florida.

It has a good feeling to it. :)

~Christina

Every artist experiences bountiful seasons of creativity and dry seasons when good ideas seem elusive. Sometimes in the desert, your heart tells you it's time to create but instead, you find an excuse to do anything but make art. I didn't use to believe in this concept called "artist's block", but I've experienced it enough times to know it's a real thing. Fortunately, though, I'm currently in one of the most freeing times in my art journey.

The one thing I've been missing for *so long* is to just

Play

and be okay with whatever ends up on the canvas...or paper...or computer screen. To just let the art pour out and not judge what I've made, or feel like others have to like it, or try to make something that will sell. Those things are certainly important in business, but as I work toward finding my unique style, it's necessary to just experiment and make what I personally love, so my art can become a true reflection of me. → Continue Reading

Recently I heard an artist say that a series is not born because you set out to do it: it is born because you are driven to do it.  At the time I had never experienced that before, so I couldn't relate to her statement.  But, that changed this week as I used my new watercolor paints.  The sunflower came first, and then, I had to make a few more.

I never thought I'd enjoy painting on paper; it's one of the main reasons I haven't tried watercolor in the past.  But with this series, I've realized that it actually feels the most comfortable!  Especially with the shapes blocked in with charcoal, it has a "paint by numbers" feeling to it.  Super fun.  I also like the graphic, stylized appearance of mixing watercolor with drawing media.

Here is the series in full.  Each art work is 5" x 7" and available for purchase in my shop here.

Happy Spring!

Christina

I've been on such a roll making jewelry that I wondered when I'd ever pick up charcoal or a paint brush again.  But, over time I've learned that my interests ebb and flow within 6-month cycles.  I have no idea why.

The other day C and I received a greeting card in the mail that had a beautiful painting printed on the front of it.  To be honest, paintings haven't captured my attention much lately, due to the above.  But for reasons unexplained, I took a closer look at the artwork, noticing the loose brush strokes, the beautiful blend of colors, and the apparent use of charcoal with the paint.  Maybe that's what did it for me: seeing the potential of a beautiful drawing with my favorite medium, enhanced by paint.  I concluded the paint was watercolor, and just like that, had to try it.  It was the same impulse I felt last year when I started working with metal.

So, I made a trip to the art supply store to pick up a few watercolor basics.  It was all I could do to wait to open them the next day, when I had more time to use them.  Here is my little experiment, a simple lamp shape outlined in charcoal and blocked in with watercolor.

I did little color mixing on the palette, since my main goal was just to see how it felt to apply watercolor to paper.  It was interesting to find that to lighten a color, you simply add more water, allowing the white paper to show through.  There is plenty of time to blend the colors on the paper before they dry, yet they dry quick enough that you don't have to wait for hours.  I also expected the charcoal to completely smear under the water (which it did, somewhat) but found it became more or less "fixed" onto the paper, or blended into the paint.

It's a fun combination.

...and the paint splatters?  I added them just because I could. :)

"Lotus Charm" - 16 x 20 Acrylic Painting on Canvas - $450

This painting is one I've created for submission to one of my favorite home furniture and accessory stores.  They are looking for fresh art from local artists, and when I saw their petition to submit artwork, I had to apply!  To me the items in the store appear modern, a little bold, a little funky, a little organic.  It's truly an interior decorator or designer's haven.

I photographed some lotus seed pods awhile ago and have been waiting for the right time to incorporate them into my artwork.  I noticed them to begin with because they seemed a little funky and organic.  Add some paint with bold color and...are you following my thought process?  But, it's not up to me to decide.  If the store believes this painting is right for them, I will let you know.  If not, look for it in my art shop in the near future!

Inspiration comes from the strangest places.  With this painting I simply chose a color I liked, the blue-violet of the sky, and selected the split-complementary colors for the tree (adjacent the complement on the color wheel).  To create the leaves, my first thought was to use an artist's sea-sponge; who says you have to paint with a brush!  I didn't have one on hand, so I noticed an unopened package of cosmetic wedges.  I originally purchased them as an experiment for blending charcoal but hadn't tried them yet, so I thought why not use them for painting.  I like the delicate, airy imprints the wedge left on the canvas.

Apparently, the battle between oil versus acrylic paint continues...

"One Tree Hill" - 9x12 Original Acrylic Painting by Christina Steward - $210 (unframed)

To me the ocean is an incredibly beautiful place, whether it's bright and sunny and the water is crystal clear, or rain clouds are moving in, casting shadows on the water.  Last summer while in Florida, I spent a couple of days on the beach and made sure to catch the sunset...it just doesn't get any more spectacular than when you see it over the water.  Like a typical summer day, a storm moved in as the day was ending, allowing the warm, orange glow of the sun to peak through the clouds.  The sound of the ocean, the breeze on my skin and the smell of rain is still fresh in my mind.

For this painting I used oil paints, which I hadn't used in awhile.  Because they take much longer to dry than acrylic paints, they allow the artist to blend the colors together over and over again.  It's quite nice, actually.  But also because they take longer to dry, it sometimes means you can't finish an oil painting as quickly as an acrylic one.  It's a trade-off I'm willing to explore for a while.

"Blue Gulf Sunset" - 9x12 Original Oil Painting by Christina Steward - $210

"The Monarch" was inspired by a butterfly I found dancing among the flowers on my last visit to FL.  If you've ever tried to catch a butterfly, or take its picture, you know how elusive they are.

One thing I hadn't done in a long while was to use a palette knife to apply the paint.  I used this technique on the blue background; you can really see and feel the texture of the paint as a result.  I like the way the knife feels in my hand and how loose it keeps the paint on the canvas.  I may attempt a 100% palette knife painting next time.

This painting is 16" x 20" on stretched canvas with painted sides, 1.5" deep.  It's available for purchase in my art shop for $450.

Now Available on Etsy

Back in April I looked out the front window and caught glimpses of these small, blue objects on the ground.  At first I thought they were pieces of candy, but couldn't figure out why they would be in our pine island.  So I stepped outside to look more closely and realized they were teeny, tiny eggs.  There were three of them, already hatched, with no sign of baby birds.  The eggs were lying at the bottom of a shrub, so I looked up to its leaves in search of more, and found the nest from which they had fallen.  It was empty too.  I imagined what happened in that nest...did Mama Robin sit on her eggs for days?  Did the babies hatch and eventually take flight?  Did something else happen?  I'll never know.  But this painting is what I imagine it would have looked like.  New life waiting for the right moment.

Now Available on Etsy

Okay, maybe that's a cheesy metaphor for this blog post, but nonetheless true.  This parrot is the first art resulting from my recent trip to sunny FL.  I couldn't resist painting the vibrant blues, greens and reds of his feathers, which completely amaze me: these birds are *born* to be showy and beautiful.  (Their loud voices on the other hand, not so beautiful.)

Certain red paints can be tricky to use because they are transparent.  The other challenge is being able to successfully lighten red.  To make a lighter version of other colors you simply add white paint to make a tint.  But when you add white to red, it turns pink.  One solution is to add yellow instead of white, but not too much yellow that it results in orange.  And that is our painting lesson for the day. ;)

There are aspects of this painting that I love.  And other aspects I could have handled differently.  So while the fate of this painting is undecided, I thought you'd enjoy seeing it regardless.