Friday, January 31, 2014

tomorrow begins 29 faces with ayala

but for now, here are some of them paintings done in

the month of january with leslie seta and 30 paintings and 

gritty janes's 40 portrait challenge.

at the end of this post there is a label for 30 paintings

if you click on it you can see all the posts for these paintings

and some of the processes in creating them.

what i have learned from this is that having an intention, a routine, a discipline,

a specific time and place that i do art  puts painting at the center, the core

of what gets done first.  for me, that means painting first thing in the morning.  

there is no putting it off or doing it after anything else.  well, i often exercise

somewhere during the morning.   i put painting in my calendar like any

other 'date' or appointment.  i don't change that.  it has helped me to be

more organized both externally and internally.  i feel focused and 

quite at peace.  this tells me that i have made the right decision and

am at the right place. right now.  i am interested in how you

organize your creative time, what works and what doesn't

for you?

have a lovely weekend

today's post is linked with the lovely artists at paint party friday

Thursday, January 30, 2014

a quick charcoal for the last of the 30 challenges,

though i will be continuing to paint a face a day

with 29 faces and gritty jane's 40 portraits.

charcoal on paper, image color changed to sepia in iPhoto

"I am obsessed with the process of creation"
 Zdzislaw Beksinski

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

i am practicing recording  the steps in the paintings but get involved with the process

and often do not click the first few steps.  i will tell you about them...

i collaged a canvas board with paper that had paint on it.   

after it dried i sanded it a bit.   since the colors were still  brighter 

than I wanted for the background I put a wash on it.  

while the paper was still damp,

i started to roll off some of the paper with my fingers.

then i added another wash and some background writing before

gluing down the image i chose.

after a few more layers, here is the finished piece.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

hello,  here is my start today.

i painted a board with black gesso first.   i use plastic container lids 

for my palate and peels some of the dried paint off.  You can see 

some of it next to the brushes.

i sketched in the design with chalk.

and began to paint with fw acrylic inks.  

like paint with numbers.

the finished painting.   you can see 

the paint skins used as the border between the woman 

and the horse.

outside my kitchen

Monday, January 27, 2014

after adhering tissue bits to deli paper.  you can see that it 

has a bit of texture.  i am not good at keeping my collage

pieces flat.

i decided to paint something after one of my

favorite artists, marc chagall.  i am drawn to 

his whimsical creatures and the scenes from his beloved 

home town village in Russia. 

i wanted to take more process photos but got

so involved with painting that i only took this one.

i used gloss medium under and on the top as an adhesive to glue the 

tissue down so the paper was glossy .  i tried to sketch with 

pencil and charcoal but the gloss made it difficult so i 

just started painting.  

i rarely use blue but it seemed to be a chagall favorite.  i like 

the color actually and wonder if it will pop up more in

my work.  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

i tried abstract painting several times.  

this is one of the attempts.  i used it for the 

background  of 

the background  of a portrait.

her hair is paper i made a while ago in

an online workshop.

Friday, January 24, 2014

i am not one for new year's resolutions 

but for years i have read that people select a theme word

for the year.  this year i chose excavate as my word.

i didn't mean it in a heavy word, more one to 

delve deep, stir the cauldron and notice with much

interest what emerges.  so far, a lot of faces :)

what about you, do you choose a resolution or word?

have a lovely weekend

Thursday, January 23, 2014

number twelve of my challenge

charcoal, gauche, pencil, pastels on cardboard.

in low light, foggy days, a few minutes before 

daylight or sunset i pull over if i am driving

and take a few iphone photos.  i am hoping

to use some of the wonderful apps out 

soon but for now, i'll just use what i have.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

she's a bit blurry but i like her that way.

oil pastels on paper

i am enjoying the challenge of a painting a day.

i have approached it by painting first thing in the morning

when the light is best in my studio.   there is a feeling

of accomplishment after i am done.  in september when i 

painted for the 30 paintings challenge i was out of town a lot

and it was a bit stressful.  this is different.  every day i wonder

who is going to show up.  

sunset  around the bend on paseo dell mar

if you are intererested in seeing all of the portraits for this challenge, 

click on the label below

linking with friends at paint party friday 
i do hope you get a chance to peek at the lovely art there

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

today will be a quick posting as i just discovered that my imac is losing photos.

i have had this happen before but this is a new computer.

so i am going to visit to my tech specialist immediately.

acrylic, collage, pastel pencil on paper

wish me luck

Monday, January 20, 2014

after visiting the pastel society meeting i decided to try

working in pastels.  a friend suggested i start with nupastels.  

the colors are rich and beautiful.

today i combined the pastels with another

'redo' painting in my closet.  

i am enjoying the online challenges that i am participating in.  

not only has it it pushed me beyond my comfort zone,

the time restriction gives me a freedom to just play 

without stressing about the result.

i like that!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

some days you are just in the mood....

just sayin'

a lovely sunday to you.


posting with

30 paintings in 30 days

gritty jane's 40 portrait challenge

Saturday, January 18, 2014

the project in my experimental group was 

a watercolor self portrait with wire sewn on.

i don't follow directions very well...  i didn't realized that it was to be a self portrait.  

 didn't take photos along the way so here is a mock up to show the steps.

first we folded a piece of watercolor paper in half and placed it on our table along with a pencil.

the presenter rang a tibetan gong.  we closed our eyes and when the ringing stopped, 

with our eyes still closed, we drew a self portrait in pencil with our non-dominant hand.  

then we opened our eyes and saw some crazy scribblings.  

at this point we could correct some of the drawing if we wished.  to tell you

the truth, the paintings that we left alone had a lot of charm.

next we added watercolors in blocks and wiped it off right away 

so there was barely a stain left on  the paper.  

we continued to add paint until we were satisfied.

then we took about 4 feet or so of wire and bent it every which way.  

i chose to wrap it around my finger forming circles.  

after that we sewed the wire on the paper with a needle and 

ordinary sewing thread.  

then i collaged tissue paper and pattern paper together 

with gloss medium.

and glued a copy of the face it to the back of the paper.

i like the muted look, like seeing a memory.

a bit of acrylic brought out her features.

today i am posting with 

Thursday, January 16, 2014


here is day 5 of 30 paintings in 30 days.  it is a drawing that 

came from paper used to blot another painting i was working on.

i saw a face in the paint and went with it.

added a little napkin collage, more paint, oil pastels, pencil and 

some china marker

finished for now.  i like to let my paintings sit for a while as it is not

always apparent what the next step will be.  once i took an abstract workshop

where people finished a painting and sometimes more within the class period.

i was amazed.  we all have different approaches  to our art...

i like that.

my studio first thing in the morning, waiting for me


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

this painting has been on my mantel, unfinished for a while.

challenged to paint, i decided to work on it. 

i thought some collage would add another dimension

along with a lot more paint.

my husband says she looks like she is looking through a

stained glass window.  i like how that sounds. 

mysterious, waiting, ready.

Monday, January 13, 2014

painting 2 for the thirty paintings in 30 days

is another redo.  although i paint faces there is a 

variety of painting posted to leslie's site.  here is the before

and the after.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

yesterday i heard about a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge hosted 

by leslie saeta.  it started on the first of the year but leslie

kindly said i could jump in now.  i decided to take a painting that i had intended 

to redo and work with it as a starting point.

i posted this quickie painting earlier.   it was the warm up for my

first oil painting.  i primarily used oil pastels then covered it with clear gesso

so that i could repaint in acrylic.

then chalked in new lines.

i chose a complimentary palate in acrylic.


i found the palate challenging.  while it was limiting...

i could not use just any colors, it was also freeing.

i intend to try more painting using a limited palate.

i attended a marketing your art presentation yesterday by julia 

patterson.   she recommended we open a twitter account among 

other suggestions.  so i did.  it is very new to me but i am giving it whirl.

my account is under irenerafaelart.  when i added this blog post to 

leslie's site it asked if i wanted to link it to twitter... and i did.  

.how easy is that?  wondering if you use social media and how it 

works for you?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

i finished this little journal

journal spread open

made from an altered book


the last page 

there is always a mixture of feelings with endings.

it is difficult to say goodbye, to experience the void, to not want to

fill it immediately.  yet there is fertile ground in being in the very 

momemt, now, to savor the experience, to open your eyes and

really see.

little scene from my powder room

i have been working on a little watercolor painting

with wire sewn to it.  as soon as i complete the photos

i will post the technique.

for today, i join the weekly paint party friday (please excuse the accidental double post).
i hope you will look at the of the other art shared on their site.