It's been over a year since I last picked up my brushes, paints and canvases. The last one I did was Future Visions: Diptych. It was the first painting where I actually shared the progress. That piece hung in my old house's lounge area.
However, it doesn't fit our new "older" home which has a more cottage-y feel. In fact, I found that a lot of my existing (very colourful, modern) paintings didn't seem to fit well. That's why I've been meaning to do some paintings to put up on our blank walls.
Over the weekend, I managed to get started on a new piece. Finally. And, I thought I'd share the progress here again -
1. Front Lounge
Our wall in the front room (formal lounge/dining) is one of those blank walls that seem to be crying from some attention. I found that this area of the house is a bit tricky because it's the "old" part of the house (from the 50s?). So, really modern, colourful stuff don't really seem to fit.
As usual, I start off with doodling and sketching in my 'working sketchbook'. This is one of the later doodles. And, I thought I'd play around with a colour scheme. One thing that struck me is that really bright colours didn't seem to be the right way to go. I decided to got for a triptych (the first time I'm working with a triptych format!) because I didn't want a massive canvas on the wall, but at the same time I knew that I need to 'fill' the wall space somehow.
So, I kept on doodling, sketching and looking for ideas. The doodle on the bottom left is the one that sparked off my interest the most. But, I decided to drop the colours and change some of the placements of the elements.
When I was happy that I have a basic concept to work with, I took out my only available canvases. Left from my last art purchase. They're about 12 x 24 inches inch. Cotton duck artist canvases. Double deep, so it'll be in a 'ready to hang' format.
Then, I took out my 'portable studio' - coloured penciles, etc. But, I'm just going to work with pencils on canvas for now.
And there you are. Me. At work. In my pajamas. My 'usual' work uniform. Heh. Since I don't have a real studio set-up at the moment, I decided to work on the floors in the main lounge. No carpet mess!
Done with sketching. As you can see, I ended up changing a bit of initial doodle. I found that this can happen, especially whenever I transfer an idea from one format (pen/pencil on paper) to another (pencil on canvas). In different sizes. For example, I found that if I only used three petals (like in the doodle), I would either have to have plenty of 'empty spaces' or I'd end up with massive petals - making the piece looks unbalanced.
After the sketch, I looked for my paints. I initially wanted to work with acrylics, as that's my medium of choice. However, I found out that my acrylic paints have either dried up or run out. Since I didn't feel like waiting to buy new materials before getting on with the painting (might lose momentum), I went for my never-been-used watersoluble oil paints. Scared me because I've never used this medium before. And, I don't even remember the last time I painted with oils.
By this stage, my hubby and boy came home. The li'l one decided he wants to paint too. So, he asked me to set him up as well. So, I did. And, all that time, he kept saying: "We're both artists, mummy! I'm an artist and you're an artist." How cool is that? The really nice thing is that Cam DOES love to paint. He's the one who begs me to get painting. I don't even have to make him paint. I wonder how long he'll stay interested in art?
My usual 'style' is outlining my sketch with black paint. I thought I'd keep to that tradition, seeing as I'm already doing a few new things in this project.
I then painted in the 'vases' design. I wanted to create different shades of brown in the vases. But, before I can finish painting in the floral designs, duty called. Chores, work and other appointments await.
This is how the piece looked like when I finished painting after a couple of hours.
Me: "What do you think of mummy's painting now, Cam?"
My 3-yr-old boy: "It's good. But not yet great."
Next challenge? Finding the time to get to Stage 2 (and finishing it!).
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.