The last of my Grands…

If you’ve been following the last couple of posts then you know I spent some time doing a series of colorful/fun portraits of my seven grandkids this spring. Today I’m sharing the last of those, my twin granddaughters. I worked on these at the same time, adding to one as the other dried. The process began with a sketch and proceeded from there with black & white underpainting, backgrounds and the final layer of color.

The image I was work from had Miss A’s hair pulled back in a tight ponytail. She did NOT care for the look, feeling it wasn’t “girlie” enough so during a visit I sat with her and changed it to her natural, gorgeous, head of curls. I have to say, it captures her much better! Below are the two final images of these beauties:

I still haven’t figured out where I’ll hang all these fun pieces together, right now they are placed across the side of my desk and I’m enjoying seeing them each day. Next up? Well, firstly I decided to go “old school” artist and do a self portrait, which was an interesting experience. I also received a commission to do two more adorable “Grands” which will be fun too!

Hope you are enjoying the onset of summer and keeping yourself safe, healthy and well. Love to you from your randomly creative friend,

Lynne

The Grands Continue…

In my last blog post I featured the first two colorful portraits that I created of my grandkids. I’m continuing with that topic today. This one is actually the one I painted first, just to see if I could! It kicked off the whole idea of painting each of them! My youngest/teen grandson (and yes, he had pink hair at the time!). These are some of the progression images:

I got a little carried away with the hair and had to go back in a shorten it up, then re-do the background and did even more fine-tuning before I was finally satisfied! This guy spend his first five years of life growing up at our house and has a pretty special place in our hearts!

Although not in chronological order of creation, I’m sharing the working images from his little sister, my next-to-the-youngest granddaughter. I actually did one entire painting of her that I disliked enough to paint completely over it and start again! This process is still not the easiest for me, but once I get it right I am a happy artist! These images are the steps of the “do over” painting of my Sweetpea:

I was surprised how many times these youngsters started off looking like old people!! Thankfully that had improved before the final image:

Last, for today, is the artwork of our youngest granddaughter. She is one of the most joyful kiddos I know – and also the one that I collaborated with to create a special book all about her. I call her my Sunshine!

Finished image

My next post will feature the last two of our Grands, who happen to be (non-identical) twins! Twice the fun!! Until then!

Lynne

More portrait fun!

So my latest endeavor has been making creative/colorful/fun portraits of my grandkids. Today I’ll share the process and finished images of two of them – our oldest grands – who happen to be siblings. I haven’t been creating in chronological order exactly but thought I might share them that way anyhow!

I’ve found it a much different process to create female vs. male portraits, although I’m not exactly sure why. It’s not the facial structure so much, although that does differs, but I think maybe with the added color/highlights on their faces I tend to be more sparse with the splashes of color when creating a girl vs. feeling bolder with a guy? Or perhaps since we have five granddaughters and only two grandsons I’m just not getting as much practice on the guys? Not really sure! Here are some of the progress images of our oldest grandson:

I fall in & out of love several times during the process and, at least once, want to chuck it and forget trying but after several of them I’m realizing that’s part of my process. I struggled with the shape & proportions a lot during the first three or four of these but it’s gotten easier. Is that why they always say “practice, practice, practice”? Here is the finished image of his painting:

The work on my oldest granddaughter’s image went through the same process, there were times it just looked horrid but, in the end, I finally loved it. Here are some progress images:

I hope that sharing these rough images I will encourage you to not give up on your artwork, even if you feel like it’s not going well at all! Keep persevering! (Although I did paint completely over one piece so that’s also an option – do overs are always allowed!) Here is the final image:

As far as media I used graphite for the sketch, lots of acrylic paint, stencils for the backgrounds and a generous amount of acrylic paint pens as well. These are all on 9×12″ canvases…once I’ve done them all I am going to hang them all up together and have a “grandkid gallery” to enjoy!

I hope you are enjoying your creative time! With love,

Lynne

Adventures in Portraiture!

Late last year I purchased an online class titled “Adventures in Portraiture” by Dana Bloede. Although no one is exactly enjoying this pandemic, I did find that it freed my schedule up enough that I had the time to actually sit down and start the lessons. So, bonus points for that anyhow! It has been a lot of fun, and I still have a couple lessons left to look forward to! I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve done so far, here are the progress & final images for the first lesson:

The second lesson went like this:

What fun! I was picking up some techniques along the way but still felt like I was very much trying to follow right in her footsteps with the composition and brush strokes, if not the colors. Something else I noticed now though, when I was watching television or looking at images online I was really paying attention to the shadows, darks & lights and how they played on different peoples faces! After these two lovely ladies our third lesson was to create a male portrait with a limited color palette. I like that the faces that were chosen to use as models were all so different in each lesson!

I will post more of these “adventures” as I continue the lessons. Most of you who know me won’t be surprised that after getting a taste for this process I have got “rogue” for a bit. 😉 But that’s for another day!

Stay creative my friends,

Lynne

Eukele Randomness

As I continue randomly exploring different forms of art I branched out a bit into musical instruments! Not hand-built or fancy but an easy kit and lots of creativity. 😉 I purchased three of these kits and have had them in the studio for quite some time. I’m not sure what happened but last month it was finally TIME. So I pulled out the first one and got busy.

After a bit of sanding the painting commenced! Layers of acrylic ink in randomly colorful streaks were the first order of business. A great base to add to, with lots of designs, doodles, more ink, paint pens and fun.

It took several sessions to complete all the details, then it was time for assembling the pieces. No instructions included but a couple of YouTube videos spelled it out pretty clearly. The waiting time for the glue to dry as pieces were added seemed like it took forever but, finally, it was all put together.

I found a handy app for tuning eukeles and had it strumming at last! The included strings were not inclined to keep a tune so I have a new set that arrived the other day that I’ll be switching too. This one was for fun, for practice and just for ME. I’ve got it hanging on the wall in my studio.

The next two? Well, I’ve had a request or two already so we’ll see what happens. The possibilities are endless for design, the hard part will be making up my mind!

What have YOU been creating?

Lynne

Furniture Makeover

During our transition from one home to another I took on some projects (with many others in mind for the future), this being the first. I found this cute little dresser at a fun/funky little store in Brownsburg (shout out to Finer Things!).

2013-08-14 10.18.08-1 It was love at first sight.

It took a few weeks to decide exactly what I wanted to do with it but I finally decided on a black & white theme since that would blend well in most any setting and I wasn’t sure where it would end up in the new house. The first step was to apply a couple layers of primer. I had some technical difficulties getting the handles off so I taped them for this first step (later I found the right tools to get the handles off).

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I didn’t seal/paint the black ovals as I wanted them to stay black. Finally everything was sealed and ready to start with “real” paint – also in white.

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It stayed like that for a week or two. I really wanted to do something inside the ovals but I couldn’t decide what to do. The ever-popular “pop of color” sounded good but, again, I wasn’t sure where it was going to end up so picking a color at this point was impossible. I found my inspiration while shopping one day and finding a pad of decorative scrapbook paper, all in black & white designs. Ta-da!

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I cut the oval shapes and also applied a rim of black paint inside the ovals in case there where any gaps between the paper and the black trim. I applied the paper with some collage medium, smoothed it out and sealed it with more medium. Sometime during the process I also spray painted the original handles white.

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Here it is, finished, in it’s new room – the guest room at our new house.

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I like how it turned out but I may be tempted to add some blue to it once we get around to painting the walls in there. 🙂 We’ll have to wait & see about that!

Lynne

Dormant No More

So much meaning to this piece, as well as the title of the post!

"Dormant No More" acrylic on textured canvas, 48 x 36", $995 © Lynne Medsker
“Dormant No More” acrylic on textured canvas, 48 x 36″, $995 © Lynne Medsker

This has to be one of my favorite new pieces. It took it’s sweet time but was worth the wait! Created on another of the canvases that I had textured and painted white, it began much differently than it ended.

work in progress, "Dormant No More" © Lynne Medsker
work in progress, “Dormant No More” © Lynne Medsker

work in progress, "Dormant No More" © Lynne Medsker
work in progress, “Dormant No More” © Lynne Medsker

And then it sat. And sat. And sat around the studio.

work in progress, "Dormant No More" © Lynne Medsker
work in progress, “Dormant No More” © Lynne Medsker

Finally I couldn’t stand it any longer and figured ANY progress had to be better than it just sitting there! So I grabbed a charcoal pencil and just started drawing.

work in progress, "Dormant No More" © Lynne Medsker
work in progress, “Dormant No More” © Lynne Medsker

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work in progress, “Dormant No More” © Lynne Medsker

Lately it seems all my doodles and sketches are swirly vines. I’m sure this is symbolic of something but I’m just going with it. Once I’d gotten that pattern down I went back with a blending stump and softened and worked the design. After sealing that layer the next step had to be some color!

work in progress, "Dormant No More" © Lynne Medsker
work in progress, “Dormant No More” © Lynne Medsker

That ended up being more than just the next step, there was color, color and more color added, blended and swirled all over that canvas in thin layers that let some of the under-colors peeks through. Here’s a detailed image of a section of the finished work that highlights the colors and texture of the piece.

work in progress, "Dormant No More" © Lynne Medsker
work in progress, “Dormant No More” © Lynne Medsker

The title means several things to me. I’d not painted in many weeks so that part of my creativity had been lying dormant, it is the middle of winter and all the growth outdoors is dormant as well and, after sitting around the studio for months the art itself is no longer dormant but alive with color and design. Happiness!

I’ve had a period of being semi-dormant, at least as far as my online activities. I wrote and scheduled the blog posts for the last four weeks all at once and set them to auto-post – both here and on my digital blog. I set auto-tweets and Facebook posts and then I hibernated. Not entirely but I purposely allowed myself time away from these digital tasks so that I could have time to work on my goals and schedule for 2013. I knew they were not going to be done for the “New Year” celebration January 1st but as the days passed I was afraid that too much time would slip by and they might not get done at all! Along with working on that project I’ve just taken time to relax, to travel, to nap, to do pretty much whatever I felt like. What a treat! So, the next post you see on here will be post-dormancy. I guess we will both have to wait and see what it’s about. 🙂

Lynne

Aqueous

This project has been underway since warm weather (some of the layers were applied outside on a warm, sunny day) but got it’s finish during a chilly winter day. I flip back and forth thinking it feels like a clear blue sky on a sunny day or an icy blue, cold day.

"Aqueous" acrylic on textured canvas, 48 x 36", $995 © Lynne Medsker
“Aqueous” acrylic on textured canvas, 48 x 36″, $995 © Lynne Medsker

It was one of the large canvases that I had textures and painted white last fall, waiting for inspiration to take over.

20+ canvases/wood panels, textured, painted white and waiting...
20+ canvases/wood panels, textured, painted white and waiting…

I will say that originally stash of canvases is dwindling, which makes me happy! I knew that I wanted this piece to be shades of blue, specifically to hang in my living room. I hang my art in the living room, along with the pieces I’ve been able to acquire from other artists, but I’ve never really created a piece just for my own home. It really hadn’t occurred to me! So I decided I’d “commission” myself to make a large piece using certain shades of blues. What fun! I started with a layer of blue and went from there:

Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker

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Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker

Well, THAT wasn’t what I was after! More blue to the rescue! I think it was along in this stage that I moved outdoors and things really began to happen.

Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker

Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker

I gave up brushes and went straight to using my (glove covered) fingers and hands, swirling the paints and acrylic inks around, blending the colors and literally “going with the flow” of the paint. Aaaah, yes!!web, wip 5

Here’s where that days work finished.

I loved the circular forms and way the colors transitioned from light to dark but felt like it still needed a bit more contrast. So I turned to some splashes of white.web, wip 6

Ack! Too much, too much! Back to the blues, more swirls, more colors flowing and I finally got the darks and lights that I wanted. This is a close-up from part of the finished canvas:

web, wip, finished detail

This really shows the texture that lays under all the color, it’s such a tactile piece you can’t help but run your hands over it!

Saturday Open Studio! February 25th, 2012

student artwork, watercolor class 1/11/12

I’ve been having a lot of fun with the “Open Studio” classes this year but thus far they’ve all been weekday/daytime. Obviously that doesn’t work for everyone! So I’m adding one Saturday a month to the schedule. This coming Saturday, February 25th, will be the first session. It runs from 9:30 to noon and we’ll be playing with watercolors! Using a variety of techniques and surfaces we’ll playfully explore this fun media. This is an encore of the class held in January – click here to read the recap.

The cost for the class is $30 and includes all the materials. If you’d like to pre-pay for three classes you can do so at a discounted rate of $75 for all three. Please  email (info@lynnemedsker.com) to reserve your place as class size is limited! Future “Open Studio” classes include:

Wednesday, Feb. 29th – “Yupo Play” – watercolor on this fabulous paper can take you to places you’d never imagine!

Wednesday, March 14th – “Wall Sculpture” part 1 – the beginning of a two-part class, we’ll use wood, metal and other materials to create an abstract wall sculpture. The second part of this class will be held on Wednesday, March 28th.

Saturday, March 24th – “Creative Collage” – an encore of the February 1st class, you’ll design and create an 8×10 collage on a ready-to-hang wood panel. You can view images and a recap of that class by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 28th – “Wall Sculpture” part 2 – Continuing from the March 14th class we will complete the assembly and final details on our mixed media wall sculptures.

Wednesday, April 11th – “Art from Nature” celebrating Earth Day 2012 a little early (April 22nd is the date) we will create mixed media art that includes natural elements (rocks, wood, etc.) Feel free to bring your own “treasures” to include in your art!

Wednesday, April 25th – “Recycled Journals” – continuing to celebrate the earth we will create small, decorative journals from recycled materials!

Saturday, April 28th – “Art from Nature” an encore of the the April 11th class, we may even hold this class outdoors if weather permits!

ALSO! Don’t forget about the upcoming “design your own” metal sculpture workshop coming the first weekend of March. Read all the details here!

Can’t wait to see you at one, three, or all these events!

Lynne

Ideas & Daydreams

 

ideas & daydreams digital collage (c) 2003, Lynne Medsker
'ideas & daydreams' digital collage (c) 2003, Lynne Medsker

I was still sorting through files when I stumbled across this piece.  It is one of my first digital collages from back in 2003.  It took me hours & hours to assemble it from photos and clip art using a very primitve photo editing program.  I was so excited when it was finished I am sure I e-mailed it to every person in my address book!  I still love the concept & title and I am pretty sure that if you could get a snapshot of the thoughts & ideas floating through my head it would be something similar to this.   🙂   I will brag a bit and tell you that when I entered this image in the state fair that summer I won the blue ribbon for computer art!  Which shows how much computer art has progressed in the last six years…this seems so very basic anymore. 

The current ideas & daydreams dancing in my head revolve around getting my new art studio space set up. I’ve been taking some photos of the progress, I will post them when the project is complete.  I spent all day Friday sorting, packing and emptying the room followed by a weekend of painting.  And more painting!  My goodness it takes a long time when you are working around ten windows and a pair of french doors.  I sure love the room full of sunlight but flat walls without windows are certainly faster to paint!  In addition to those obstacles the room had hunter green trim (does that date it for you?) that had to have two coats of primer before we could even begin to paint.  BUT, it is a beautiful, clean, bright white now!  It will be over a week before the new carpet can be put in so we’ve got a bit of a lull in activity.  I am in the midst of drawing up plans for the built in storage that I want to add (after the carpeting) and my head is spinning with room arrangements, furnishings and details.  I want to keep it fairly open yet also want to put all my art supplies in there, have a space for doing both mixed media and digital work plus be able to use at least part of it for social gathering.  It will be a balancing act!  Now I am off to look at some furniture online…

Happy daydreams to you!

Lynne