Thursday, April 26, 2012

New For Mother's Day or New Moms

© Copyright 2012 Sheryl Karas
Hushabye, don't you cry, go to sleep you little baby... a new mom blissfully rocks her baby to sleep. A great image for a nursery, a new mom, a baby shower gift or for Mother's Day. In several sizes in my FutureSoBright Etsy shop.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pastel Painting -- High Desert Sage

© Copyright 2012 Sheryl Karas
Several weeks ago I brought home a set of pastel pencils. I've been wanting to try pastels since our trip to Santa Fe a few years ago when I saw a very large abstract painting without framing that was done with them. I didn't know you could hang a pastel without glass. My experience with them so far further makes me suspicious of it—they're basically highly colored chalk — but the effect for that artist was really wonderful.

I did my first piece this week. It's this impressionistic abstract of desert sage blowing in the wind with a red sand background. The plants are very feathery in person so it seemed like a perfect subject matter for the medium. heh-heh-heh.... a very complex one!

I like the results here on the computer. The colors look luminous backlit from behind but on the paper I chose I really couldn't get my first try as bright as I would like. I will have to try again with another kind of process. Sanded paper holds pastels better. Perhaps blowing my work up big, printing it out and adding additional strokes on top. We'll see...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happy Earth Day!


Healing the Earth, keeping it safe, is how we heal ourselves.
Available through my Etsy shop.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Abstract Digital Painting in Turquoise, Red and Black

I've been going through my photo archives, trying to free up space on my hard disk, and got distracted by the photos of sage and grass I did in the high desert of Arizona. This one has never before seen the light of day. I added it to our Etsy shop tonight.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Should We Paint in Oil or Acrylic?

Camellia Japonica Sky zazzle_card

The discussion has gone on all week. Paul was introduced to painting in oils as a young teen and found it easy and quite user friendly. When he decided to try painting again as an adult he found his first experiences with acrylic somewhat challenging. Acrylic dries too fast for Bob Ross style wet on wet techniques and it's maddening to have the paint drying on the brush and palette before you get part way done. On the other hand it also encouraged him to paint more quickly with more boldness and spontaneity and we both think his first effort came out quite good. But for his next project he went back to oils and enjoyed the process very much. His strokes were more textured like a Van Gogh painting and more beautifully catch the light. Of course, a couple of days later they're still wet so they ought to be reflecting more light! That's the distinct downside of working in oils from my point of view.

I was introduced to acrylics when I was a young teen. Not having anything to compare it to I got used to working in acrylic, adding mediums and a little bit of water to keep my paints wet. I never learned wet-on-wet painting techniques but later, as an adult, I did learn to create an underpainting and use glazes for specific color effects and shading. And this is what I like best about acrylics: in oil painting I'd have to wait a week or more for the bottom layer to dry before continuing to paint. Acrylics dry in an hour or less.

And yet I find myself excited about Paul venturing back into oils. Acrylic paint can be used to achieve effects similar to oil paint if you use gel mediums and develop sufficient technique. But the paint alone tends to have a much more "flat" effect. What does that mean? Well, another artist I know describes oil paint as having the quality of being able to see into it. Without needing to add any kind of extender the paint has a transparency and depth that brings color and luminosity that isn't easy for a beginner to achieve with acrylic paint (and I, like Paul, took such a long break between my teenage painting years and taking up the pursuit again that I still place myself in at least an advanced beginner category).

I love the flat effect in many kinds of work. David Hockney is an example of a well-known and well-respected artist who has used acrylics to great effect as are pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.  And certainly there are many artists who create acrylic paintings that look as luminous as any oil painting. Local Chico artist Caitlin Schwerin comes to mind. I really like what I can do in acrylic and yet... the last few times Paul and I went gallery hopping I couldn't take my eyes off the oil paintings. I'm afraid to try them—I've been telling myself to just add gel medium and keep practicing! But I may just have to experiment to find out what I can do to achieve the effects I want with each of them.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

The Art and Flower Essence Aromatherapy Office

I thought people might like to see a tiny glimpse of the space where I do my work. This is the closet where I store my Mama Love flower essence aromatherapy supplies and the wall next to it where I'm temporarily storing (and enjoying) my newest mini-paintings for sale.