Entries Tagged as: color

Color and Commissions

April 7th, 2013, Comments (4)

I am enjoying this color theme so far, how about you? I've been playing with color in paint, in nail polish (purple toes), in colorful salads, and some turquoise clothing. 

I thought I'd share a couple commissions that I've been working on this month. One is a commission that isn't quite done yet. I had to stop because I wasn't sure whether I wanted the dresses to be white as originally planned or pink with a white stripe and ties (I'm still thinking it over.) I still have to paint the moon and stars in and a few other small details, but I love how it's coming along. It took a long time for this image to develop. I was playing with the arrangement for months and the final idea came to me while I was in the shower! I was using the steamed up glass shower door as a sketchpad and the idea formed. My favorite part is that there is a subte heart shape between the mother and daughter figures. (It's 8"x10" with acrylic on canvas)

This one was a commission for someone who recently experienced a loss and wanted an image with a dragonfly in it. I love when this happens, the image came to mind as she was talking and it came together very quickly. (It's 6"x6" with collage, acrylic, and ink on panel.) 

In a way they are (unintentionally) similar pieces! I seem to be liking these trees curving towards the moon and of course, the moon and trees are always big in pieces of my art. But the pinks are a bit different for me! I think it's Annabelle's influence. :-)  

Creative Every Day Theme for April: Color

March 29th, 2013, Comments (6)

At the end of each month I will announce the totally optional theme for the following month. For the month of April 2013, the theme will be ColorYes, I have done a color theme before, but after black and white, and an especially long, gray winter, I'm longing for some color in my life! A friend recently sent me home with a pot of daffodils. How refreshing. I'm ready for Spring! 

As always, this month's theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge is totally optional. Use it if it inspires you, continue being creative every day in your own way if it doesn't, or do something in between. You can sign up for the 2013 Creative Every Day Challenge anytime. More info can be found here and the sign-up page is here.

I'll be posting about the theme throughout the month on the blog to help keep you inspired. You can use the posts here for jumping off points or interpret the theme in your own creative way. If you need some suggestions, here are a few ideas to get you started. You could:

  • *Bring some color into your home, like the daffodils my friend gave me. Notice how it inspires you.
  • *Take one of your black and white pieces from last month and bring some color into it or remake it with color. 
  • *Pick a color and write free-form about it for 5 minutes. 
  • *Go on a hunt for a specific color, take your camera with you and snap pictures of that color you see on your walk or throughout the day. 
  • *Paint something with your favorite color as your inspiration. 
  • *Play with rainbow colors. See where it takes you. 
  • *How can your make your food or your wardrobe more colorful this month?

How to use the CED themes:

If you're feeling creatively stuck or blocked at any point during the month, use the theme as a source of inspiration to get you moving. Feel free to focus on the theme in your creative activities for the entire month or as much as you'd like.

Using the theme is entirely optional for CED participants. Use it if it inspires you, ignore it if it doesn't. I'll be sharing posts throughout the month around the theme (among other things) to get you thinking about how to incorporate it into your life. I'd love to hear how you use the theme in your creative world.

And have fun with it!

I advise students on the subject of color as follows: If it looks good enough to eat, use it. ~Abe Ajay

p.s. The art above is adapted from Shedding Gold. Prints available here

Hello April, Hello Senses

April 1st, 2010, Comments (7)

Happy April, everyone! And welcome to the month of the 5 senses here at Creative Every Day. Spring and the senses seem to go so well together, especially after a month of record rainfall here in New England. Signs of life and sun and Spring are like little espresso shots to my system.

I enjoyed a walk/jog this morning and used my phone as a combination of stopwatch, mp3 player, and camera. I had to stop a few times to capture the little signs of life I saw around me. I was especially excited by all the little buds on flowers, bushes, and trees. Life bursting into action.

When I took the time to pay attention to how all my senses were taking in my surroundings, I was delighted by color combinations, like the colors of bricks and shutters against great green bushes. I noticed the snailish, muddy smell in the air, I could taste water-logged smell of growth, feel the cool moisture on my skin, and hear the scratch of my sneakers on sandy pavement. And oh, I felt so very alive.

I'm noticing now, as I look back at my phone snapshots that I've captured different colors, blue and yellow flowers, white magnolia buds, green shoots, brown bark, orange bricks, a red garage door, and gray pavement. A lovely palette to play with. The next time you're outdoors, check in with your senses and see how they might inspire you. As I'm typing this, the sun just burst through the clouds! Yay!

Elephant Love

November 5th, 2009, Comments (20)

love elephant

Well, hello little blue elephant! Isn't he cute?

I drew this guy in my sketchbook a couple months ago and today felt like the right time to bring him to life in collage, paint, and ink. I went back and forth about whether or not to paint the elephant or the sky behind him in a warm color, like the bottom. But I like that the elephant is blue. I went back and forth, putting little pieces of paper on the piece to see how a different color might look and then putting the painting in different parts of the room to see it from different perspectives. And then I realized I like it for now and I can always re-visit it.

I work fairly quickly when I make art, but when it comes to processing things, I move slow. It's helpful when I get in that processing phase to let the art sit for a day, leaving it somewhere where I'll see it as I go about my work. After a day or so of doing this, I usually know what the next step is or if it's done.

If you're feeling stuck or unsure about something you're working on, give yourself permission to stop. Either move on to something else for awhile or just stop for the day and come back with fresh eyes the next day.

Happy creating, everyone!

Interview with Bridgette Guerzon Mills

May 22nd, 2009, Comments (14)

bgm innate

I'm so thrilled to be sharing an interview with artist, Bridgette Guerzon Mills. I absolutely love her creations! Her work fits so well with the Creative Every Day Challenge theme of nature this month. I know you'll be inspired by Bridgette's gorgeous art, the ways she connects with nature, and how that comes through in her work. Enjoy!

LPK: Please tell us a bit about yourself.

BGM: I am a self-taught mixed-media artist living in Chicago, Illinois with my husband, our 2-year-old son, and our dog.  I incorporate a variety of materials into my artwork, including photographs, oil paint, acrylic paint, and encaustics (wax-based pigments). I have always been drawn to the beauty and spirit of the natural world.  Through both imagery and medium, I create organic pieces that speak to the cycles of life, memory, and the passage of time. I layer paint and photo transfers, papers or fibers to create depth in both form and meaning.

LPK: How does nature inspire your artwork?

bgm where memory resides
where memory resides

BGM: I think nature has a strong hold on my psyche. I grew up roaming around outside, climbing trees and playing in mud. The imagery in my paintings always include something of the natural world - a tree, a plant, a bird.  The patterns and backgrounds that  I create are attempts to mimic nature's effect on surfaces through the passage of time and the elements. 

On a conscious level, I am always looking for and searching out the details of what is around me.  I think of myself as a sponge, absorbing the colors, surfaces, and emotions of what is around me - even when I am not aware of it. For example, when I lived in the Pacific Northwest my palette was very moody with different tones of grays and blues, reflecting the clouds and the water around me.  I have recently moved to Chicago and my palette has shifted to more earthy tones that include the rust and patina of the urban cityscape of my new environment.

LPK: I've noticed that like me, you seem to be drawn to trees and birds.  Can you tell me what these elements mean to you?

bgm origins

BGM: Ever since I was young, trees were my playmates, my sanctuary.  If my mom couldn't find me in the house, she would send my sisters to look for me in the branches of an ancient Magnolia tree!  As such, it is only natural that trees appear in my artwork.  Trees symbolize growth, life, roots and strength. 

It is interesting, though, that most of my trees are bare winter trees.  I think that I am attracted to bare trees because a bare tree is the essence of a tree pared down. To me, a bare tree represents the idea of strength being found in the bare bones. Trees have the ability to withstand anything that life and nature throw at them.  A tree often works metaphorically as a self-portrait in my work.

Birds are creatures of both earth and sky. Because of this, they often represent to me the go-between of the two realms.  Crows in particular appear in my work when I am speaking of dreams and/or visions.

LPK: Do you have any special places you go to gather inspiration?

bgm beneath the prairie
beneath the prairie

BGM: Anywhere!  Inspiration is about keeping your heart and eyes open to the beauty and the messages that surround us.  As a mother of a very active 2-year-old I am no longer in the studio full time as I used to be.  It is challenging because I do believe that inspiration is not something that appears out of nowhere, but rather in coming to work at your table or easel everyday.

However, I have found that in the moments between, I am constantly gathering information, experiences, inspiration from my everyday life.  I always try to have my camera with me at all times. When I do get concentrated studio time, it is like an eruption!

LPK: Are there any natural symbols that are especially powerful to you  right now?

BGM: Right now I am working on a series about prairie life and plants.  Working on this series has been instrumental in helping me adjust to my new home in the Midwest.  My work with this series has helped with both accepting where I am and embracing what is around me.

LPK: You create gorgeous journals for sale at amanobooks. What role does journaling play in your creative process?

bgm heartland

BGM: Journaling plays a huge role in my creative process.  When I first began to paint, I dedicated myself to journaling about each painting that I created, as well as studio notes for myself so I wouldn't forget the painting lessons I was giving myself! 

Little did I know when I started that process that I was essentially creating a dialogue with myself - putting words to what I was doing on canvas.  This dialogue helped me figure out my symbols and what I was trying to say with my paintings.  I believe that the process of journaling empowers my work and helps me hone in on my objectives.

LPK: Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share?

BGM: I love quotes!  Here are some favorites:
"Art is not living. It is a use of living. The artist has the ability to take that living and use it in a certain way, and produce art."
~Audre Lorde

"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place; from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." ~Pablo Picasso

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the Beautiful Stuff out." ~Ray Bradbury

Thank you, Bridgette, for all the inspiration! If you'd like to see more of Bridgette's work visit her at her blog, art website, or her art journal shop, amanobooks.

Recycled Yoga Mat Stamps and Stencils

May 9th, 2009, Comments (22)

While doing my office/studio space de-cluttering last week, I found that I was keeping two yoga mats behind the door. One I use regularly and love and the other, I never use and dislike. I was keeping the extra "just in case." Just in case of what? I don't know. Some kind of yoga emergency perhaps? At any rate, I realized that I really didn't need this extra yoga mat that I never liked or used. And I was about to toss it when I realized that I could put at least part of it to another use.

stamp yoga mat

Using my eucalyptus branch, which I've been using as inspiration in my intuitive painting classes, I traced out the shape onto the yoga mat. I then cut it out with a pair of scissors which created a fabulous stencil and stamp with funky textures on both sides! Fun! I used another piece to make a smaller leaf shaped stencil and stamp, gathered some art supplies (acrylic paint, ink, and watercolor paper), and began to play.

eucalyptus art rbg

The first one (above) was created with the stamp on an 18"x24" piece of watercolor paper. It was fun to play with these bright colors as I first laid down the stamps and then painted around them.

stamp dots

I then used the smaller stamp and stencil to create these smaller pieces (above and below.)

stamp rain

There are loads of materials you could use to make your own stamps or stencils, perhaps you have something gathering dust in the corner, like that yoga mat of mine, that would work or you could purchase a piece of art foam and cut one from that. Either way, stamps and stencils are a great way to play with shapes from Nature.

Tonight, I'm having dinner with my mom, step-dad, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and little brother to celebrate Mother's Day. I hope all you fabulous creative moms out there have a wonderful day!!

Nature as a Stencil

May 5th, 2009, Comments (22)

Last week in my Intuitive Painting class, I was given two random colors on cards to work with. I mixed the colors and then used them to play with. I also had a few elements from nature to bounce off of. Truth is, I wasn't too excited about anything I created in class, but I knew that I could keep playing with the images and they were only beginnings. Back at home, I took one of the larger pieces and cropped it down to what I saw as the most interesting part of the painting (below). I'd done some work with texture and some hand-cut stencils to make the shapes there. I still want to play with it more.

intuitive art green

The two colors I randomly selected were orange and green. The green you can see above. In the piece below, I started with light layers of orange and green using the natural forms I'd chosen. Again, I wasn't loving it. But sometimes not liking something you're working on frees you up to do something drastic that you might not have tried. Sometimes making something you consider "ugly", gives you permission to let go and experiment and stretch yourself in new ways.

Back at home, I took a eucalyptus branch and put it down on the orange/green painting. Then, using a spray bottle filled with some water and a bit of payne's gray acrylic paint, I sprayed over the painting using the eucalyptus plant as a kind of 3D stencil. I loved the way that looked. I then played with layering thin layers of the payne's gray over the painting, emphasizing parts of the shape I created, and continuing to play until I came to what you see below:

intuitive art eucob

This can be great fun to try with any natural element. Try starting with a base of color, then lay down your natural element (try branches, flowers, leaves, grass, sea shells, etc..). Use a spray bottle (an old cleaning bottle could work or you can purchase a little spray bottle from an art supply store) and spray liberally over the surface, maybe spray more in some areas and less in others for variety. Lift up your natural elements and see what kind of shapes they left behind. You can use paint to emphasize or soften the shapes.

After, you could try putting the same items or different ones down in a new arrangement and spray again with the same or a different color. So many ways to play with this. See where it takes you!

Last night, I tried doing this on a white sheet of paper to start, spraying with the payne's gray again and then painting with a mix green-gold, white, and ultramarine blue. It feels very ethereal to me.

intuitive art eucb 

This another piece that could be cropped or maybe played with more or maybe is fine just as it is. I need to let it sit for awhile. Here's a detail:

intuitive art eucdetail

 I'm sure I'll be playing with natural elements as stencils again this month, perhaps in a new way. I'd love to see where it leads you, if you give it a try!

Color Psychology

April 29th, 2009, Comments (7)


I couldn't end this month of color without devoting a bit of time to color psychology. It's not something I've studied all that much, but I always find it interesting to explore.

When you're thinking about what colors mean to you, I think it's worth it to do some exploration through journaling or art-making to discover what your own associations with color are. But if you want to explore what people in general feel about color, what affect colors have on the viewer, studying color psychology is a great way to dive in.

I don't think much about how the colors I chose for my art might affect my viewer, but I'm pleased to see that blues (which I use a lot of in my art) are calming and aid in intuition! I think part of my love of blue has to do with my love of water.

For more info on color psychology, Kate Smith has a great Squidoo page on the subject with links to loads of great articles she's posted in her website, Sensational Color and blog, Live in Full Color (so much delicious inspiration!)

What about how color influences what we buy? People interested in brand development or store (online or in person) design certainly keep this in mind. But it's also interesting to consider when setting up our own online shops and blogs. Here's a quick article on how color impacts the buyer and another on color psychology in marketing. I've read in a few different places that people are not fond of orange. But I like it.

This is just a jumping off point if you want to explore the subject more. I'm curious about what your associations with colors are. What are your favorite and least favorite colors and how do they make you feel? What memories do these colors hold for you? What happens when you create with colors that you love and colors that you avoid?

p.s. Remember that the 20% off coupon for my art shop is only valid through the end of the month! Type in springsale09 in the coupon code at checkout.

-Check out the the great list of "Online Communities to Liberate Your Closet Creative" at BitchBuzz! Creative Every Day is mentioned as is my pal, Jamie Ridler!

-Speaking of Jamie, be sure to check out her 4th Annual Shyne Like a Star Virtual Dance Party this Friday! Woohoo! I'll be joining in!

Fashion and Color (or Colour): Interview with Andrea

April 28th, 2009, Comments (10)

For the month of color, I really wanted to interview my blogging pal, Andrea, of a cat of impossible colour. Andrea is a fabulous writer, but much of her blog is dedicated to her gorgeous outfits, combining beautiful colors, patterns, and vintage fun.

I hope this interview inspires you to play with color in a new way!

andrea yellowpurple

L: First, please tell us a bit about yourself:

A: My name is Andrea, and I’m a Zimbabwean writer now living in New Zealand with my husband and cat. I have a blog where I indulge my hobby of collecting vintage clothing, post daily outfits and record the progress of my books!

L: What do you enjoy most about putting together your outfits?

andrea redblue

A: Well, I see getting dressed in the morning as a creative exercise, just as much as painting a picture or writing a poem, and putting together an outfit I’m happy with gets me in a great mood for creation of other kinds! If I’m wearing something I really love, I feel like my writing goes better that day as well.

L: How does color inspire you creatively?

A: To me, colour represents emotional energy. That sounds a bit pretentious, doesn’t it, but all I mean is that each colour comes with its own set of emotional associations. Colour is food for your eyes, and it can transform or dictate your mood. I have always felt a connection to this passage from George Eliot’s Middlemarch, where Dorothea Brooke is entranced by colour:

‘She was opening some ring-boxes, which disclosed a fine emerald with diamonds, and just then the sun passing beyond a cloud sent a bright gleam over the table. “How very beautiful these gems are!” said Dorothea, under a new current of feeling, as sudden as the gleam. “It is strange how deeply colours seem to penetrate one, like scent. I suppose that is the reason why gems are used as spiritual emblems in the Revelation of St John. They look like fragments of heaven.” … She thought of often having them by her, to feed her eye at these little fountains of pure colour.’

andrea purple

L: Do you have a favorite color combination at the moment?

A: I tend to favour colours that are complementary – that is, hues that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. Purple with yellow and green with red (in moderation, because it can be a bit Christmassy) are favourite combinations. I also love red and blue together. In fact, red with almost everything looks great, so long as you choose the right shade – I wear red shoes and belts with everything from yellow to purple.

L: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: I get a lot of inspiration from other bloggers, and from the wardrobe_remix group on Flickr. I don’t read a lot of fashion magazines – I’d rather see what real people are wearing in real daily situations.

L: Do the colors in nature inspire your outfits at all?

andrea red

A: They do, but not in the way you would expect! I grew up in Zimbabwe, which was a very colourful place – blue sky, golden bush, bright birds and flowers, the gorgeous multi-coloured clothes of the Shona people and the city markets full of fruit and fabrics. When I first came to New Zealand, the landscape seemed pale and colourless in comparison. Now I can appreciate the subtler beauties of a grey sky and autumn leaves, but I still crave the bright, jewel-like colours of Africa. So I compensate with my outfits! People here tend to wear a lot of denim, grey and black, and they blend into the landscape. I would rather add a bright splash of colour.

L: What would you say to someone who is wanting to start playing more with their own ensembles?

A: I would say to be brave and experiment. If you’re not a big colour-wearer, start with accessories – I wear my red heels to death, and they go with nearly everything. I’ve also recently become a big fan of coloured tights – they’re a wonderful way to inject colour into an outfit, although the lighter shades can make your legs look bigger (if you’re like me and don’t have long, skinny legs!). If you’re not sure about colour combinations, the girls at Academichic have done a wonderful series of posts on colour theory and how it applies to dressing.

Scarves are the perfect way to add colour to outfits, as well, and there are so many ways to wear them: over your hair, around the handle of your handbag, as a belt, or, of course, around your neck. They always make an outfit look chic. My favourite way to wear scarves is to tie them in a pussy bow around my neck. Lately I have started wearing big square scarves tied over my hair and under my chin when I go for walks – it’s a great alternative to wearing a hat.

I think it’s important to have fun with your clothes. When I’m having a blah day and feel like hiding away in something grey or black, I resist the urge and throw on something brightly-coloured instead. It always makes me feel better.

andrea pink

L: Do you have a favorite color? Is it the same color as when you were a kid?

A: When I was a kid I always said my favourite colour was blue when asked, because that was the only ‘cool’ colour in my class and we all pretended to love it! In reality, though, it has always been red. I find red strong, energising and optimistic, and I always feel good when I’m wearing it. Purple, green and yellow are also favourites. I think the only colour I don’t wear is orange, but that may all change if I find some wonderful orange item next time I go thrift-shopping.

L: Did you have a favorite outfit as a child?

A: I was a huge tomboy when I was a child, and didn’t bother much with clothes. Looking back at old photos, though, I can see I was a big fan of dungarees, colourful T-shirts and socks with cartoon animals on them. I’m still hoping to find a wonderful grown-up-sized pair of dungarees one day! (And I still wear cartoon animal socks).

L: What are some of your favorite books, blogs, shops, websites?

andrea dress

A: I find old children’s books very inspirational when it comes to outfits; Alice in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, Milly Molly Mandy, the Enid Blyton books and Madeleine have all inspired outfits of mine. There’s a charm to the way children used to dress, I think. I find old films very inspirational, too. As far as websites go, I love Orla Kiely’s clothes! The mixture of colours and prints is just gorgeous. I also love browsing through Andrea Moore’s website – she’s a New Zealand designer, and I’ll probably never be able to afford anything she makes, but her garments are just lovely.

I only shop second-hand, which makes for a good deal of experimenting! If I find an amazing dress in a colour I would not normally seek out, I buy and wear it anyway. It’s a great way to be more adventurous with your clothing and colour choices – after all, if it doesn’t suit you and you don’t want to keep it, you have only wasted a few dollars.

I have many, many favourite fashion blogs, as evidenced by my bulging blogroll. I’m drawn to people who have colourful, optimistic styles. Some that I think have a particularly inspirational use of colour are:

- Keiko Lynn
- Casey’s Musings
- Dotti’s Dots
- Strawberry Kitten

Thank you so much, Andrea!! I'm feeling inspired!

Spring Sale and Lovely Linkage

April 23rd, 2009, Comments (10)


Special Discount! On May 1st I will be raising prices on my framed prints and original artwork in my online shop, Blue Tree Art Gallery. I let my newsletter subscribers know a few weeks ago and gave them a coupon for 20% off any purchase through May 1st. (You can sign up for my art newsletter here and be entered into a monthly drawing for a free print! Sign up form is in the lower left corner.)

Well, I really wanted to extend a special thank you to my readers here, so I'm going to share the coupon code here too. Feel free to use it for 20% off anything in my art store from now until May 1st. If you've been thinking about grabbing something, now's the time to do it before I bump the prices up!

Here's the code! springsale09

Feel free to share the coupon or pass on a link to this post!!


Framed prints (in a 16"x20" wooden frame) are currently $100 and with the coupon code they're only $80! Total steal. Above, you can check out a couple examples of what a couple freshly framed prints look like. (Prints pictured above: Bring Love and Lighthouse.) And below, here's one of my newer prints, Key to Winter, framed and hanging on my studio wall.


Lovely Linkage

O.k., I've also got this build up of fabulous stuff to share, so let's just get to it, shall we?

*Rebecca at Difference a Year Makes posted a video of artist, Jonas Gerard that is so fabulous I just had to share it with you. I've seen his videos before and loved the joy with which he works, but I think his style also is a fabulous illustration of the kind of intuitive painting I'm doing in the class I'm taking and it also reminds me of the methods I use in the Art Picnic class. It's all about permission, freedom, and connecting with your intuition. And I also loves how it ties in with the color theme this month, both in how rich and gorgeous his use of color is and also in how he talks about how he chooses his colors and how colors each have their own "vibe." So true! So, do check it out and enjoy the music that goes along with it. And if you're interested in seeing more of Gerard's videos head over here.

* Sometime around the New Year, I stumbled upon the blog of Havi Brooks and quickly became a huge fan of her work. Her writing is honest, deep, and yet accessible. I love how she teaches about both the hard (business biggifying) and the soft (working on your patterns.) She combines this kind of work in a way that really resonates for me. Check out her blog and then check out all the fabulous resouces she offers on her site.

In a couple weeks Havi is teaching a class on how to get fantabulous testimonials without feeling icky about it. I'm going to be taking it! Check out all the details and sign up here.

* This Rounded Corner tool is super handy for making your images all rounded and purty!

* I'm so loving Brene Brown's read through of her book I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't). She's been doing a weekly podcast around the topic of shame with loads of great links and projects. Very powerful stuff.

* Celebrating crafting failures, the blog CraftFail cracked me up and made me feel a whole lot better about my many crafting blunders.

* The super sweet, Kathryn Antyr (Collage Diva) has a fabulous new blog called True North, which explores finding your direction through art-making. Love it! She's created a really cool Personal Map Making contest with loads of cool prizes. Check out all the details here.

* Janice at Postcards from Wildwood has posted a fantastic Photoshop tutorial that fits so well with the color theme.

Oh, there are so many treasures to explore, but that's probably more than enough for one day! So, enjoy and have a beautifully creative day.