It's a new year and hundreds of artists are again participating in the "30 paintings in 30 days challenge". I will admit, last year it was a struggle some days, but I was so proud of myself for "gettin' it done"! It also served to jumpstart me again after a busy Holiday season, when not a lot of painting took place. I will be posting here on my blog as well as on my FB page - Karen Alley Art - as I complete each painting. So.... here is #1, a semi-abstract seascape. I have been working in this style most of the Fall and I want to continue to explore in this direction. Happy New Year to everyone!
The "30 Paintings in 30 Days" Challenge begins again on Wednesday, Jan. 1st and I'm in! Check my FB and Blog pages each day for updates. There will be special pricing on these paintings throughout the month of January.
Very excited to officially be represented by
the I. Pinckney Simons Gallery in lovely Beaufort, SC! Dropped off 7 pieces there yesterday! If in the area, please go by and visit with Irene
and Pinckney at this beautiful, fun, gallery.
I have never tried a "triptych" before! A triptych is a painting that is painted on three different canvases but is intended to be hung together. It was a lot of fun, although challenging to keep a couple of them on the easel at the same time so that I could assure a seamless match up! In this case each piece is
30x15. Although typically framed separately, but hung together, all three pieces can be put in the same frame for one
continuous piece. Only sold together.
I have taken dozens and dozens of
beautiful sunset photos at our lake home in SC over the years and want to put them to
good use. I recently started a "Sunset Series". So far all of these are in a similar color palette with cool blues, teals, and purples but as Fall is in the air I'm thinking I might try a few in a warmer palette.....stay tuned! Click on the painting below to see the entire series:
I have not posted anything in quite a while! For those of you who don't know me personally, I eat, sleep, and breath baseball with my 15 year old baseball player son during the Summer. It literally takes over our lives and none of us has much time for anything else! I have managed to sneak out into my studio only a handful of times. The last quick outing produced these two small Seascapes which will be headed to the Sundae Art Gallery, in Concord, NC for their "Water" themed August show. Hopefully come Fall, my production speed will pick up!
During the Month of June go by and check out the beautiful work by all the Guild of Charlotte Artists' members! The show is hanging at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC. This is a judged show and all work is for sale. Here are my two entries:
The peacock is a symbol of immortality because the ancients believed
that the peacock had flesh that did not decay after death. As such,
early Christian paintings and mosaics use peacock imagery, and peacock
feathers can be used during the Easter season as church decorations.
This symbol of immortality is also directly linked to Christ.
Well, it has not been "Hot, Hot, Hot" here in Charlotte lately, as a matter of fact it has been quite cool for the month of May, but these two paintings are titled "Hot, Hot, Hot" because of the warm colors. Again, I tried to do two different sizes using the same color palette, one is a 36x36, and the other is a study at 12x12. And don't forget, Mother's Day is this weekend!
I am trying to not necessarily make my work easier lately, but more efficient, so I am testing different ways to accomplish that. This week I wanted to try working on more than one painting at once using the same exact piles of paint! Usually I have 3-4 paintings going all at once, ALL using a different color palette! I don't really have enough space to keep that much paint mixed and "wet" for long periods of time, so inevitably I will let one (or 2) paintings wait too long and the paint dries up and goes to waste. So....here is the result of my "2 for 1". Aren't the colors yummy?!
I finally did something I've said I was going to do for a long time - work on similar paintings, different sizes, all at the same time! When I finish one I like, I always have intentions of going back and doing a different size or shape but it never happens. Or if I do try, I have long since forgotten the colors I used to mix the paint, or the way I held the brush or knife to get a certain stroke......the two larger ones in this group are actually similar in size, but one is long (15x30) and the other more upright (18x24), and then I threw a baby one in (6x6) just for fun!
is actually the largest painting I have attempted to date - 36 x 60!
It is perfect for over a King sized bed, or a large sofa or mantel. The
colors are a little more muted than what is normal for me, but this one
just seemed to call for color restraint on my part (it was hard)! I am actually glad I finished it when I did, as this glorious sunset reminds me of the beauty of God's world all around us, most of which we take for granted. He provides us everyday with some beautiful "paintings", we just need to look around us! Happy Easter everyone!
Every now and then I like to veer out of my comfort zone and experiment with something a little different. I have always loved abstracts and have painted a few over the years, but trust me, it's not as easy as it looks! Many think you can just throw some colors and patterns on a canvas and call it an abstract, but a truly good one takes much thought and planning, usually much more than a representational painting. I am very happy with the way this one turned out.....the black is actually the part of the canvas I taped off and did not paint.
.....this one is scrumptious! For most artists, each completed painting becomes like one of our own children, it's hard to say you like one more than the other. That said, I am admitting this is one of my favorites. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but everything just came together and I was so pleased with the outcome.
This one was really fun, and as usual, it took a different turn than what my original plans were. Once I painted the foliage and tree trunks it just needed "something" else, so I decided to start carving out branches through the paint and it was exactly what the piece needed!
is too funny! I wrote this booklet in 1988 when I was doing some work
for a craft book publisher. I Googled my name today and this popped up!
It was for sale (SOLD, I might add, back in June) from an Etsy seller located in Hawaii.......I had completely
forgotten about it. Think I could collect some royalty on that $3.00?!
I am excited to announce that beginning March
my Artwork will be represented in Charleston, SC at the Ellis-Nicholson
Gallery. Ellis-Nicholson is located on historic Gallery Row at 1 1/2
Broad Street. I am looking forward to working with Jeannette and
Victoria at their beautiful Gallery! http://www.ellis-nicholsongallery.com/
In the new year I have also decided to try and work in series, or a group of 4-6 paintings with a "theme". Looking through a bunch of pictures I took over the holidays I got the idea to paint a series of paintings with "distance" to them, where the subject or focal point is far away. Here is the first one, and I really like the way it turned out! Don't you just want to see what is at the End Of The Road?
Finally, after a brief rest from the 30 in 30 Challenge, I am posting again! This is also a small one which got me back in the groove to then start some bigger ones, which you will see next week! This was done with only a palette knife, which always keeps me nice and loose in my style.
Again, thanks to everyone who followed and encouraged me during my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge! Here are some of my thoughts before and after the 30 days and my guess is that they can apply to others thinking about doing anything out of the ordinary.
First of all, here were my reasons for NOT accepting the Challenge:
What if I could not finish all 30? I'd be embarrassed.
What if all my talent ran out after painting #10 or #17 or #28!?
Just the word "Challenge" makes it sound hard. It's out of the norm, I'd probably have to work harder and longer.
Time constraints. Could I plan it out that well? What about the two weekends when I was going to be out of town? I would have to have extras!
It's a commitment. Do I really need ANOTHER commitment?!
However, mainly because my friend Dottie told me I needed to do it, and many of my other artist friends were also participating, I succumbed to the Challenge pressure. And here is what I learned:
I have it in me. I COMPLETED what I started. I am PROUD of myself.
My talent did NOT run out. Or at least I don't think so, everyone seemed to enjoy all of the paintings. (And 10 of the 30 sold!)
I took the opportunity to play with different types of canvases, sizes, and techniques that I had not done before, and found many I will use again.
A better planning of my day allowed me to accomplish much more than I thought I could. I need to apply this ALL the time. I would get much more done!
Challenging yourself every now and then is a GOOD thing. Don't look at all the negatives, because THE POSITIVES WILL ALMOST ALWAYS OUTWEIGH THE NEGATIVES.
Well, here it is, the last one in the Challenge! And it may be one of my favorites. A Facebook friend had posted this as her profile picture and I just loved the pose, the hat, the bracelet, the water, everything! I had another long skinny canvas that was just calling to have this image on it. I will give more thoughts on this Challenge in a separate post and in my newsletter, but sufficed to say I am proud of myself for making it through and I hope we do it again next year! And to those who bought many of these paintings, new collectors and old, thank you.......and a big thank you also to those who have followed and urged me on!
This is a small version of a larger painting ("Looking Through The Reeds") I did a little while back. I love the view of being down in the grasses and looking across to whatever you want that landscape to be in the back. Going to call this little one "Pink Sky". I can't believe there are only two more days left in the Challenge. It has actually flown by much quicker than I anticipated!
You can't go wrong painting the trees of Charleston, they just have such a presence! These were again situated on the golf course at Yeaman's Hall and this painting was done almost completely with a palette knife. This is a different size and shape for me too - 6x12, long and skinny.
Another still life in the same vein as "Roses For Mom" (#21). To be perfectly honest I am not sure exactly what kind of flowers these are (sort of like a hydrangea, but not). I just liked them and snapped a picture. They are the same size and framed the same way as "Roses For Mom" and would look good hanging together.
Yes, more lipstick! This one is actually a commissioned piece after I posted the first lipstick painting, "What's Your Shade?"(#3). Who knew lipstick would be so popular? This one is square and a slightly different color palette. Just FUN!
It's a terribly gray day here in Charlotte, with ice and snow expected this afternoon.......so, we need something to brighten it up. What better than some "Yummy Yellow"? For those who like the vibrant colors, this one's for you!
I just spent the weekend in Charleston, Yeaman's Hall to be exact, and had the opportunity to take lots of new pictures for painting references. This is the first of probably many to come. The big old oak trees there, dripping in moss, are spectacular!
Today, a still life. My Mom passed away several years ago, but her favorite flower was the pink rose (pink anything really!), so this one is for her, hence the title "Roses For Mom". This canvas was primed in black and I love to sometimes let a little of the black show through, it sort of creates an antique feel in a contemporary piece.
Today I have added a structure into the landscape. Anyone can have a red barn, how about a Blue Barn?! I will say this 30 in 30 Challenge has gone by quicker than I thought. I really thought I would be struggling to decide what to paint, but maybe by divine intervention someone keeps putting ideas in my head! For those interested, my pricing on these small paintings will go up after the Challenge is over the end of January, so if there is one you want, don't wait!
Another painting with a view from the upper deck of our lake home on Keowee in SC. A slightly different angle from "Deck View", which was painting #7, "Deck View 2" has beautiful turquoise green reflections and the red/oranges in the tree tops!.
I have not worked with a palette knife in a while, and had forgotten how much fun it is! And the colors in this one just turned out perfect. I used this same image from a photo I took during a"nature walk" in Rimini, SC on a larger painting called "Rimini in Red" last year. I could probably use it many more times with many different outcomes!
Well, we did SEE snow falling here in Charlotte last night, but no sticking, and it's a beautiful yet COLD morning here. #17 is one of my favorites so far, I think it's the cool (as in temperature) colors. Dioxazine purple and phthalo blue are two of my favorites. Enjoy!
The third of my butterflies. For someone who loves to paint color, butterflies are perfect, I have enjoyed doing these. Maybe I will do more in the future. And guess what........I have made it through one half of the 30 in 30 Challenge! I am so proud of myself, and my other fellow artists who have made it this far. And on we go....!!!!
This is the first of a series of three butterflies I think I will do. I wish I knew the species and all that stuff about butterflies, but I don't, just that I think they are pretty. Therefore, the very technical name of this one is......."Pretty Butterfly"........now you can't wait to hear the names of the next two, right?
A little diversion from what what I have been posting. Today is a pet portrait of my now one year old lab puppy, Kasay. When the photo for this one was taken she was only about 10 weeks old and looked like she was posing for the camera! I have been wanting to paint this and finally got it started last week. As with most of my work, I like to pop a little color in to give a more contemporary look to the portrait.