How The Earth and Sky Conversed

I started a new painting as a relatively realistic one inspired by my elephant ear garden, like the one I did a few weeks ago:

Elephant Ears by Joy Murray, acrylic on paper

For the painting on canvas, I decided to add the purple hearts and marigolds that are also growing in the garden but stick to the heavy outline and washy color style. But it didn’t seem dynamic enough. I didn’t take process photos, but I added many many layers.

I think the more I paint, the slower I get at completing pieces. I had hoped that I’d get faster but that’s not happening. (I do believe one of the lessons of any art is learning patience — with the medium, with yourself, with the world.) It’s become more important to me to add layers then set the painting aside for a while. It feels like the painting tells me what to do. Sometimes that means painting it over in white and starting again. But this one was a matter of adding one layer to another, and experimenting — blurring the lines and deepening the colors.

I hope this new painting captures the feeling of delight and uplift I get when I go out in the evening, after the day has cooled off a little and the sun is going down; and I know some magic will happen in the garden during the night that will greet me in the morning.

How the Earth and Stars Conversed by Joy Murray, 8×10″, acrylic paint and ink on canvas

What do you think?

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Always on My Mind

I painted this small 5×7″ abstract while working on another painting. The other painting isn’t finished, but this one is.

You Were Always On my Mind, by Joy Murray, 5×7″ acrylic paint on stretched canvas

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Thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to share it, if you’d like.

This blog is brought to you by the generosity of people who support me on Patreon , buy my art, and who support me in so many different ways. 

If you’d like to make a one time donation, you can do so at pay pal

Cards and prints on some of my art is available on Redbubble.  

You can subscribe to this blog by email in the link below this post.

If you find a typo, let me know, and I’ll send you a postcard.

The Bones of Art

I teach art for all ages at the community center in my neighborhood Bridge Meadows.  Most of my students are children.  I try to make an easy going place for kids to express themselves, learn to deal with mistakes, and have a good time.  I do minimal instruction but give guidelines.  I also try to get them the best materials we can afford because I think the the kids deserve it. The better the materials, the less frustration.

One of my youngest students is Tomas, who is 4.  He’s loves to paint.  He doesn’t want crayons, markers or pencils.  He wants to slop around with watercolors. 

I hold class from 4:30 til 6 on Monday.  Children come late sometimes, but Tomas came with his brothers and mom at 5:45 and wanted to paint.  All the other kids that day were working with markers, oil pastels and colored pencils.  I didn’t want to get everything set up for him to paint when he was going to leave 10 minutes later.

“Let’s just draw today,” I told him.

“No I want to paint!” he said.

“But you need to draw sometimes, too.  You know drawing is like the skeleton of painting.  It’s the bones that hold paintings up.  You  know, like your bones hold you up.  Drawing holds up painting.   It’s the bones of art.”

He looked a bit mystified. 

“Not if you’re a snowman,” he said.

And that’s one of the great rewards of  working with children — they put things in perspective for you.

Mixing colors
Tomas’ Monday Masterpiece

For more posts on life at Bridge Meadows, you can click the tab in the heading.  You can read my latest post about it here:  Living the Rich Life.

I appreciate your comments, likes and shares.

Spring Redemption

After working on deep cosmic backgrounds while I was illustrating the video for the band Mad July, Never Going Back to the Gravity, I’ve returned to simpler ideas.  I say I returned as if it were an easy process.  For this painting, Spring Redemption, I over worked the idea several times, and wasted much paper and paint, before I settled on a simple white background.  This idea started out as a pencil sketch in my journal and the finished piece has the sketchiness that was more in tune with that sketch — It has light.

Spring Redmeption, pencil and watercolor, 8.5×11″, Arches 300 lb cotton watercolor paper

Back of Spring Redemption

“In Spring, the camellias bloom all over Portland, Or, where I live. They start to flower in the winter but reach their height in the first weeks of Spring.  Their petals rain down everywhere — our paths are strew with petals — first camellias, then plum, cherry, and pear petals.  The camellias I like best have a yellow cup in the center — the stamen like a cup of light — a lantern in a bed of petals.  These flowers signal hope — a bit of redemption as impermanent and beautiful as life itself.”

This painting is for sale for $50. through my Etsy shop.

Thanks for stopping by.  All shares and comments are greatly appreciated.

This blog post is linked to Friday Sketches by Dion Dior