Afterwards Nothing Was the Same – New Painting

I’ve spent some time painting with my son, Timothy Allen, who’s work is much more intuitive and free flowing than mine, and at times more precise and geometric:

Dark Forest Lights
Dark Forest Lights by Timothy Allen
echoes and the sound of growth by Timothy Allen
Echoes and the Sound of Growth by Timothy Allen
The Day My Cages Turned to Smoke
The Day my Cages Turned to Smoke by Timothy Allen

Watching his techniques gave me some ideas of my own.  I did a bit of paint pouring and worked without really thinking about how the finished painting would turn out.

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Re-purposed canvas on the table

I sleep in my studio, so I just left the canvas alone for a few weeks, let myself look at the shapes and colors and flow of it.  I turned it different ways.  I thought it might be something I would paint over.

Then I found a figure wandering in the chaos.

So I painted her in and added layers and textures.  As I painted, I thought about how much about life we don’t understand.  I thought about disability, trauma, and how little sense life seems to make sometimes.

I thought about the grace of being given a path that allows you to think in ways that others can’t fathom.  But life does that to everyone, not just those who have veered into long-term illness.  We all feel a startling sense of aloneness at times.  And sometimes, we can’t fathom our own thoughts or our fate.

Any way, I finished the painting and then it told me what the title should be.

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Afterwards Nothing was the Same, 12×36″ by Joy Murray, acrylic on canvas
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Afterwards Nothing was the same, detail
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Afterwards Nothing was the Same, detail

What do you think?

I’m planning an open studio and art sale at the end of May here in Memphis.  I’ll keep you posted on dates and time.

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Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

You can now follow me on facebook here, and  Instagram@joymurrayart.

You can get prints and cards of some of my work on Redbubble.  They also print my work on lots of other items, including phone skins, tote bags, shirts and journals:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/JoyMurray?asc=u

If you’d like to support my art and writing, please consider becoming a donor on Patreon.  If I get enough supporters, I can make this blog ad-free!  Here’s a link to my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=8001665

If you prefer to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal.com  Please email me at joyzmailbox@gmail.com if you’d like details.

 

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New Painting – Summer Dreams

Plants are just beginning to bud, the brown earth breaking open to delicate green blades working their way into sunlight.  But I am dreaming of summer.

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Summer Dreams by Joy Murray, acrylic and ink on canvas, 8×10″

I think it could be hung vertically or horizontally.  It was inspired by this sketch:

doodle

 

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Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

You can now follow me on facebook here, and  Instagram@joymurrayart.

You can get prints and cards of some of my work on Redbubble.  They also print my work on lots of other items, including phone skins, tote bags, shirts and journals:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/JoyMurray?asc=u

If you’d like to support my art and writing, please consider becoming a donor on Patreon.  If I get enough supporters, I can make this blog ad-free!  Here’s a link to my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=8001665

If you prefer to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal.com  Please email me at joyzmailbox@gmail.com if you’d like details.

 

 

How to Mix Skin Tones

How to make realistic skin tones is one of the challenges of painting people.   It took me awhile to realize that there is no real formula.  You can mix every tone or color from the primaries red, yellow, and blue in watercolor.  With acrylic paint, a bit of black and white helps.   However, if you’re too realistic, you lose something.  A painting that’s like a photograph, or in my case, more like a doll.  Monotones and no personality.   I’ve learned to  paint using lots of colors and layers and collage.  I’ve learned a lot from Gwenn Seemel on how to look and react to skin color and the dynamism of the human face.  I’m trying to learn how to paint the light that shines forth from every being, and the prism of their personality.

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I also like using no color at all, keeping color and race out of the picture:

12 bus stop

 

 

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St Foster Keeper of Stolen Wisdom

But I like to use a mixture of every color, too.  It’s amazing to me how many tones and shades can be made by mixing and layering color.

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One of the things I liked about working with fabric sculptures years ago is that I didn’t have to use skin tones at all.  The figures could be any race, any body.

dream guide
Dream Guide

I’ve experimented lately with some fauvism in my journal:

IMG_20190330_0001_NEW

I think the hardest thing to learn is that there is no “right” way to mix skin tones, you have to develop your vision, and the way you interpret life is your own — a blend of your skills, your materials, and your vision.

My mistakes teach me so much, if I look at them as teaching tools, instead of mistakes.

When I work in acrylic, I use a parchment paper palette and I store it on moist paper towels in a sealed plastic box, my own stay wet palette.  I got this system from this video by art teacher Ron Leger:

When the paper and paint start to show signs of age, I use up all the paint by just doing intuitive painting for back grounds and other projects.

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I dripped leftover paint on this long canvas, then mixed a purple gray with the rest for another background.  It helps to have a few “beginnings” around the studio.  They speak to me, eventually and a painting gets started.

My last palette had all the colors I’ve used mixing skin tones on it.  As I was thinking about skin tones, I had to think about race and all the tension that continues to plague the world over skin color.

I have enjoyed looking through the Humanae Project by Anjelica Dass who is photographing all the skin tones she can find in a very eye opening project that speaks to our uniqueness and the wide range of colors that can’t be contained by simple reductive terms of race.

Still we fight and we have difficulties understanding the world.  Skin color is an easy way to draw lines between people.  It makes it easy for those who would manipulate us for their own gain to turn us against each other.  Skin color, race, identity are all volatile and vibrant ideas that swirl around our communities and countries.

So I took all these ideas, and all the  colors on my palette and made this piece:

10 skin tones (2)
How do you mix skin tones? by Joy Murray, 8×10″, Acrylic and collage on canvas

10 skin.jpg

What do you think?

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Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

You can now follow me on facebook here, and  Instagram@joymurrayart.

You can get prints and cards of some of my work on Redbubble.  They also print my work on lots of other items, including phone skins, tote bags, shirts and journals:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/JoyMurray?asc=u

If you’d like to support my art and writing, please consider becoming a donor on Patreon.  If I get enough supporters, I can make this blog ad-free!  Here’s a link to my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=8001665

If you prefer to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal.com  Please email me at joyzmailbox@gmail.com if you’d like details.

 

She Exhales

When feeling grief at it strongest, you think you’ll die.  But you don’t.  The mornings and nights keep coming.  You find yourself distracted by that, the way life goes on.  A crocus appears in the winter ground.  A week later, a carpet of daffodils bloom where there was only winter-nipped grass.  Tulip magnolias open on leafless trees. Camellias drop at your feet.  You exhale.  Your breath joins a billion others, giving life to earth, and the earth breathes back oxygen, and you live, you live, you live.  You lower your shoulders, the grief somehow transformed into a scar, tough and visible, like so many you carry, like skin, like life.  Flexible now, you remember to exhale, as you move into the new day.

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She Exhales, acrylic and ink on canvas, 8×10″ by Joy Murray

~~~

Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

You can now follow me on facebook here,  Instagram@joymurrayart.

You can get prints and cards of some of my work on Redbubble.  They also print my work on lots of other items, including phone skins, tote bags, shirts and journals:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/JoyMurray?asc=u

If you’d like to support my art and writing, please consider becoming a donor on Patreon.  If I get enough supporters, I can make this blog ad-free!  Here’s a link to my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=8001665

If you prefer to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal.com  Please email me at joyzmailbox@gmail.com if you’d like details.