Painting is for the dogs

I can blame a lot on the fumes

Did I mention I love painting?  Because I do.  A lot.  It’s totally not a problem that my phone cover is covered in india ink and acrylics and the arm of our (very worn out) leather sofa has flicks of paint all over it.  That pretty much every piece of clothing I own has paint on it somewhere – even the new pants that I haven’t even worn yet.  Totes not a problem.  It just means I’m an authentically creative person.

Let me be clear before I go any further… when I’m working on invitations, the paints are away and everything is clean.  I make sure that nothing touches those precious babies.  I literally have rubber gloves that I wear when I’m working with light colored cardstock so I don’t get finger smudges on it, I’m that anal about it.  So no worries there.

 

Now that that disclaimer is out of the way…

Back to paint.

I really like painting people, and especially kids.  A few years ago I was hired for a while to paint kids as Christmas presents and Father’s Day gifts.  I was still getting used to and perfecting my style, so to me at least when I look at my past work I can see a real evolution in my abilities.  But I live in Austin, so what I was mostly hired to paint was dogs.  Dogs are HUGE here.  And I love painting them, but man they take forever because they require SO much detail.

 

puppy painting
Sweetest puppy ever.
cami dog painting
This poor doggie passed away. This was painted while she was sick, as a memorial because the family knew she was on her way to the rainbow bridge. RIP Penny.

dog painting dog painting dog painting

These three paintings were huge!  They were a collection I did for a client who wanted something for a huge wall in the new home she was moving into.  I can’t quite remember how big they were, but they were ginormous.

If you aren’t a fan of dogs, or paintings, that’s totally cool.  If nothing else, you can take a look at these and be inspired by the color schemes.  Shades of brown and blue are huge hit, and are always a classy choice in both paintings and invitations.  If you’re stuck on your color scheme, looking at art, and pop art in particular, is a great way to start narrowing down your choices.  See what you’re drawn to, and what you absolutely despise.  Do you keep gravitating towards the same rich tones of caramel and chocolate brown and russet red?  Or do you pull aside energetic pops of yellow and fuschia?  Do you like calming nature tones like spring greens and tulip pinks?  You will know it when you see it, the important thing if you’re struggling is to just look around.

Sometimes the best thing is to look at anything BUT wedding stuff to see what you really like.  (Wedding people are always trying to sell you something, then upsell, then upsell some more, and it can get overwhelming.  I know, I work in the industry, lol!)  And really, who needs that kind of stress?

Just call me Andy (Warhol)

I love painting.

But I ignored that for a while so I could be a “responsible” adult and make “responsible” choices.  For example:

I have a college education, times two.  Yup, I went twice.  And I don’t use any of that education in my job.  Yay me, for an awesome use of money!  Yay me, for making responsible choices!

Before my kids were born I designed wedding invitations, and now I’m back at it.  But last year I got sidetracked… I started painting portraits and pets and it took off.  I never considered commissioning my work before, but as I have discovered things tend to work out better for me when I just go with the flow and don’t plan too much.  This has definitely been the case for my painting(s).

This is where I show off

This is one of the first paintings I did, and it’s hanging in my husband’s office.

Stan and Chantal stripes painting

I work from photos.  Here is the original.

Stan and Chantal original photo

Aren’t we cute?  First I sketch the photo in pencil, then I choose my color scheme.  I try to stick to two or three colors as that gives the best pop art feel.  Too many colors and it gets a bit too busy.  This painting gave me some trouble… I tried it in blue first, and I just wasn’t feeling it.

Stan and Chantal stripes painting WIP

Yuck.  One of the reasons I love paint as a medium is because if something sucks, you can just paint over it and nobody will know.  Except I just told you.  DOH!  And here’s the finished product:

Stan and Chantal stripes painting

This kid better be a girl…

Those who know me know that despite my best efforts, nothing I do turns out quite like everybody else’s.  This used to drive me crazy, I used to think there must be something wrong with me.  But with age comes wisdom or at least the ability to no longer care so much about the opinions of others, so I decided to embrace that which makes me different and just go with it.  I have been so much happier since making this decision!

When I was pregnant with my first about 8000 years ago, we decided to make our daughter’s nursery really special.  No pale pastels or pictures of teddy bears here!  We went with an energetic pink on three walls and a bold deep shade on the accent wall.

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This was the jumping off point, and we really enjoyed playing around with design ideas in photoshop, as I’m sure most nerdy-types do.  Once we nailed down the design, we bought some sticky vinyl and away we went.  This is how it turned out.

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This is the completed accent wall, otherwise known as “the project to make a hormonal pregnant lady even crazier”.  My poor husband.

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Room details. Hubber took those photos himself, of flowers in nearby front yards.  And thus endeth our first forray into decorating for baby.  I think we did pretty well!  Although as luck would have it, my daughter much prefers the color blue.  Typical.