ART AROUND THE WORLD

This post is part of the Art Around The World Blog Hop where we will be visiting online with artists from all over as they share their studios, art and inspiration. Invited to participate by my friend and cohort, Jennifer Blair-Cockrum *(who designed this cool logo)Blog-hop-logo I have to answer four questions:

  1. Why do I do what I do?
  2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
  3. How does my creative process work?
  4. What am I working on now?

 

Why I do what I do is an interesting question that I can’t remember answering before.  Surely it’s not for the fortune or fame, which rarely come to most artists (although it wouldn’t be bad!). I have always had a hankering to be creative, making things or figuring stuff out. I floundered through lots of endeavors, including weaving and plastic craft, training as an interior designer before I became a painter. I love making things and recently ventured into mixed media and ceramic sculpture. Whatever it is, I try to bring color, energy and joy into people’s lives when they see my work.

My work differs from others in its genre with its energy. I use color, put together with form and design, as a means to generate a burst of beauty and happiness and excitement and a warmth for the soul. The effect lets your spirit soar!

How does my creative process work? I often go to sleep thinking of what I might create. While I usually don’t visualize what the art will look like, I see colors as I go to sleep.  None of this is consciously accessible to me as I begin my work the next day in the studio but I like to think that the dream time comes through in my artwork some way. When I approach the canvas, I begin with adding texturing materials, collage or a beautiful transparent stroke of paint. I build intuitively from there.

What am I working on now? I thought I would share with you my step by step process on a painting I recently finished.  Called “Buddha’s Alchemy”, I think the process on this painting is interesting because of how it started and what it became.  I have been working in non-objective abstraction (where there is no “thing” in the picture) and was really surprised when several figures started to emerge. Here is how the painting progressed.

I started with collaged canvas and newspaper & filled the canvas with color.

I started with collaged canvas and newspaper & filled the canvas with color.

Adding more color & putting in more form.

Adding more color & putting in more form

Adding more color and definition.

Adding more color and definition.

The Buddha forms appear, one behind the other. Other shapes in the picture allude to Buddha as well.

The Buddha forms appear, one behind the other. Other shapes in the picture allude to Buddha as well.

More definition as the main figure sits down & flames appear below.

More definition as the main figure sits down & flames appear below.

 

"Buddha's Alchemy" 24"x24" mixed media In the final version, the 2nd figure becomes a shadow/dream as colors are enriched.

“Buddha’s Alchemy” 24″x24″ mixed media
In the final version, the 2nd figure becomes a shadow/dream as colors are enriched.

Coming Soon:  Save the Date for my OPEN STUDIO, Saturday and Sunday, November 8th & 9th, 12 noon-5PM.  See this piece and lots of other new work in person!

I’d love to hear how your creative process works! Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

Here are some other ways to stay in touch!

  • Subscribe to this blog by clicking “SIGN ME UP” in the upper right corner of this page.
  • Sign up here for my mailing list (below) and get all the insider’s news on what’s happening
  • Like me on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/ArtistKarenF
  • Follow me on Instagram http://instagram.com/artistkaren
  • Follow me on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/karenfriedland/
  • Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/ArtistKaren

*Jennifer Blair-Cockrum, my friend who led me into this, has always been interested in the art of science and the science of art. The Colorado artist considers herself an organic abstractionist where method and process are integral into each unique creation.  Jennifer allows each medium she paints in; pastel, watercolor, acrylic, or ceramics to retain its own voice or style within the piece.

Next up in the blog hop is another friend and cohort, Lezette Markham.  She is a Creative Mentor, Artist & the Founder of SimplyArtOC.com. She inspires all walks of life to harness their brave, creative power and rock their passion projects! You can have your own ridiculously creative, deeply satisfying and abundantly inspiring life in the world of Simply Art. Look for her post next Monday on her blog.

While you’re waiting, check out the amazing artists below:

Art Around the World Blog Hoppers

Posted in Achievemnt, Art Process, blog hop, collage, COLOR, Painting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Daily Practice

I don’t know about you but since I work at home, without anyone’s supervision (except the rest of my family, of course, but that’s another story!), I need to find ways to structure my time and add discipline to my work.  So I decided to create a daily practice.  I’ve decided that each day I will do some kind of drawing.

I went to the New York City Ballet over the weekend, in the NYS Theater

Lincoln Center plaza, looking toward Avery Fisher Philharmonic Hall

Lincoln Center plaza, looking toward Avery Fisher Philharmonic Hall

of Lincoln Center where I saw an all Balanchine program.  The ballet is always beautiful, the dancers, lighting, costumes, orchestra, the setting.  But this program was magnificent.

It is great fun for me to take a sketchbook to theater or the ballet, and if there is enough light, to draw during the performance.  Sometimes I am thwarted because it is too dark but we have third row center seats to the ballet, so there is enough ambient light. The sketches are very fast and drawn over, not quite right but I thought I’d share them with you.

Do you like the ballet? Do you ever draw in the dark? I’d love to hear your comments below.

Donezetti Variations was a compendium of performances with the dancers dressed in old country style from northern Europe.

Donezetti Variations was a compendium of performances with the dancers dressed in old country style from northern Europe.

The Prima Ballerina, Wendy Whelan danced as an ethereal dream in La Sommunbula.

The Prima Ballerina, Wendy Whelan danced as an ethereal dream in La Sommunbula.

My all time favorite artist, Marc Chagall, painted the screen and created the sets and costumes for Firebird. A piece of such brilliance, on all levels, it fills me and stays with me for days after.

My all time favorite artist, Marc Chagall, painted the screen and created the sets and costumes for Firebird. A piece of such brilliance, on all levels, it fills me and stays with me for days after.

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And The Winner Is…

First of all, let me apologize for being so out of touch.  Just after the last post, my computer crashed.  I have been without it until a couple of days ago, but now I have it back with a shiny, new solid state hard drive in it and it is working like a dream.  Shout out here to my brilliant son-in-law, Ari Kalish, for fixing it for me.

I want to thank everyone for their participation in The Blank Canvas Blog Hop.! It was lots of fun for me to share how I approach my work with you and to learn what you thought about it.  Please keep those comments coming–it lets me know you are out there. Feel free to chime in any time!

Because Rafflecopter doesn’t work with macs, I handled the contest in the old fashioned way. I combed through all the comments and social media for each time someone entered, wrote their name, folded it and put it in a bucket.  It was a big task but one that was a lot of fun!  Here are pictures of me drawing the winner.

Here I am with the bucket of entries into the blog hop giveaway.

Here I am with the bucket of entries into the blog hop giveaway.

Drawing the winner!

Drawing the winner!

Drawing the winner!

Got it!

And the winner is…Susan S. Miller!!! Congratulations Susan!

Hooray, she won!

Hooray, she won!

Susan won her choice of ANY print from my art store.  She has let me know that she selected Rug Shop-Morocco, seen below.

Rug Shop Morocco-hi res copy

While traveling outside Marrakesh, we stopped in a small shop to look at rugs. They were rolled and stacked everywhere. Imagine my surprise when I found a sleeping boy amongst the stacks!

It’s been ordered from the printer and should be on its way soon!

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GOING WILD IN THE BLANK CANVAS BLOG HOP

Have you ever felt something that just urges you on, an inkling from deep within that you can shake? A couple of years ago, my inner voice kept pushing me, “I want to paint big-much bigger, to be loose and bold!”

TURBULENT TIMES 26" x 34" acrylic on board

TURBULENT TIMES
26″ x 34″
acrylic on board

BY THE CANAL  acrylic on panel 26" x 34"

BY THE CANAL
acrylic on panel 26″ x 34″ inspiration for Turbulent Times

There was an image that I had painted years before, of Amsterdam with its houses and  canals. I felt this image tugging at me but it wanted to be bigger and wilder-the vision made me wild.

I started drawing it-small at first then larger and larger until it was on two 30″ x 40″ canvases, making a diptych (a two-piece painting) that was 40″ high x 60″ wide.

Drawing for the painting, Turbulent Times, on two canvases

Drawing for the painting, Turbulent Times, on two canvases

The houses tilted and rolled until they took on their own distinct personalities.

Turbulent Times laying in house colors and windows

Turbulent Times
laying in house colors and windows

Keeping that in the forefront when I began painting, each house was painted directly and decisively.  I felt a quandry with the windows, they were the eyes to what was seen inside and out.

I chose to use thin watery layers of paint which had a more organic, soulful touch.

Turbulent Times in process, houses & windows

Turbulent Times
in process, houses & windows

The sky was giving me particular trouble. I loved the idea of green clouds and looking for a strong contrast, I put in pink.

Turbulent Times with a pink sky, green clouds

Turbulent Times
with a pink sky, green clouds

Did not work for me at all! So I covered the sky with copper which had a similar value to the pink but the metallic gave it more edge.

TURBULENT TIMES sky of copper

TURBULENT TIMES
sky of copper

But a copper sky didn’t work it for me either. So I covered it with the blue, leaving some of the copper shining through. This let me complete this fantasy place with verve! (Final version at top.)

So glad you have come by for this Friday Frenzy entry on The Blank Canvas Blog Hop. All our members are revealing such interesting entries, I hope you continue to follow along to read everyone’s story.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or the other actions to get additional entries for the great giveawayYOUR CHOICE OF ANY  16″ PRINT FROM MY ONLINE SHOP–A $100 VALUE!

Enter to WIN this fabulous giveaway! You can win any print you choose from my online shop!

Enter to WIN this fabulous giveaway! You can win any print you choose from my online shop!

You enter by leaving a comment below telling me what you think about my or other’s creative process.  

Other stuff to do to get more entries? Each action will give you another entry into the drawing.

  • Subscribe to this blog by clicking “SIGN ME UP” in the upper right corner of this page.
  • Sign up here for my mailing list (below) and get all the insider’s news on what’s happening
  • Like me on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/ArtistKarenF
  • Follow me on Instagram http://instagram.com/artistkaren
  • Follow me on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/karenfriedland/

Then each day visit these other artists’ blogs to learn about their process and win other giveaways!

Giveaway rules: Giveaway is open to US residents only. Entrants must be 18 years of age and up. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Comment entries close 11:59pm, on September 23, 2014. Winner will be chosen by random drawing on September 24, and will be officially notified via email and must acknowledge the notification email by October 4th, 2014, or the prize is forfeit and will be given to the runner up. Artwork will be shipped within a month of getting the winner’s selection shipping address. Giveaway Value-apx $100.
 
  1. Sept 8….Karen FriedlandTHAT’S ME
  2. Sept 9….Lezette Markham
  3. Sept 10…Cynthia Patton
  4. Sept 11Jennyann Carthern 
  5. Sept 12FRIDAY FRENZY ← today’s spotlight —– Kiala Givehand, Tori Deaux, Karen Friedland←THAT’S ME TOO
  6. Sept 13Jan Blount
  7. Sept 14Effy Wild
  8. Sept 15Virginia Simpson-Magruder
  9. Sept 16…Dariana Cruz
  10. Sept 17Susan Miller
  11. Sept 18Grace Howes
  12. Sept 19Tori Deaux
  13. Sept 20Kiala Givehand
  14. Sept 21Martin Arkenstone
  15. Sept 22Nicole Piar←today’s spotlight

Thanx so much for coming along on our blog hop and for your participation here!

signature

Posted in Achievemnt, COLOR, landscape, Painting, process, The Blank Canvas | 23 Comments

THE ARTIST’S PROCESS – THE BLANK CANVAS BLOG HOP

I am an experimental and experiential artist. It’s not that my experiments are so wacky, I just love the journey. I like solving new problems. If I have already figured out how to do something, I’m not much interested in doing it again. As an experiential artist, I want to create a new experience for myself and those seeing my work.  It’s a very different approach from other artists who are making something that looks real.

“What fun it would be”, I thought, “to learn about the process of other artists and to share my process with interested folks.”  Got together with a group of visual artists and we picked “The Blank Canvas” as the topic for our blog hop. Make sure you read to the bottom, where you will see how you could win my fabulous giveaway and read about the process of the other participating artists.

"The Eyes of War" 24' x 24' acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

“The Eyes of War” 24′ x 24′ acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

Eyes of war1

Here is the painting in the very initial stage. You can see the transfer images, newspaper and canvas collage.

This painting,”The Eyes Of War” started out with my trying out some new techniques. I used a transfer process to reproduce some images from magazines and the New York Times, as well as newspaper collage. This was at the start of when the Ukraine and Middle East seemed about to blow up and the images of eyes led me to feel the sadness in the souls of those involved. I created large framing elements by collaging strips of frayed camvas onto the existing camvas. I used molding paste, gesso and acrylic medium to add additional texture. This would not be a smooth painting if I wanted to get a sense of the upheaval of war.

Adding layers of color to the painting gave it its direction and color palette.

Adding layers of color to the painting gave it its direction and color palette.

I then began adding many layers of color including metallic gold, with each layer obliterating some and highlighting others.  I felt the presence of the eyes I had placed in the under layers, throughout my painting process. I intentionally limited my range of colors, preferring to delve into the nuances I could create from yellows, greens and blues. This created a cohesive and unified color theme for this busy and intense canvas.

 

 

Adding black and deeper color provided a gravitas to the painting that helped express its theme of war.

Adding black and deeper color provided a gravitas to the painting that helped express its theme of war.

In order to simplify some of the activity and emphasize specific elements, I added strong lights and darks to the painting. The use of black evoked for me the emptiness and darkness of war.

By converting the picture to black and white, I am able to see more easily, the dark and light patterns,

By converting the picture to black and white, I am able to see more easily, the dark and light patterns,

I also use contrasting values (lightness and darkness) as a dramatic device to keep the eye of the viewer moving through the painting.

The final painting is distinctively different from anything I have created before. I find its asymmetry and allusions in shape somewhat disturbing and evocative of conflict. Hence, the title “The Eyes Of War” seems appropriate.

Did it surprise you? It certainly surprised me as I was working on it, to see where it would end up. That’s one of the reasons that I enjoy doing the work I do. It is a great gift to be able to create work where I surprise myself on a regular basis!

WIN THE FABULOUS BLOG HOP GIVEAWAY – $100 VALUE

Enter to WIN this fabulous giveaway! You can win any print you choose from my online shop!

Enter to WIN this fabulous giveaway! You can win any print you choose from my online sbelow.

You enter by leaving a comment below telling me what you think about my or other’s creative process.  

Other stuff to do to get more entries? Each action will give you another entry into the drawing.

  • Subscribe to this blog by clicking “SIGN ME UP” in the upper right corner of this page.
  • Sign up here for my mailing list (below) and get all the insider’s news on what’s happening
  • Like me on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/ArtistKarenF
  • Follow me on Instagram http://instagram.com/artistkaren
  • Follow me on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/karenfriedland/

Then each day visit these other artists’ blogs to learn about their process and win other giveaways!

Giveaway rules: Giveaway is open to US residents only. Entrants must be 18 years of age and up. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Comment entries close 11:59pm, on September 23, 2014. Winner will be chosen by random drawing on September 24, and will be officially notified via email and must acknowledge the notification email by October 4th, 2014, or the prize is forfeit and will be given to the runner up. Artwork will be shipped within a month of getting the winner’s selection shipping address. Giveaway  Value-apx $100.
 
  1. Sept 8….Karen Friedland  THAT’S ME
  2. Sept 9….Lezette Markham
  3. Sept 10…Cynthia Patton
  4. Sept 11Jennyann Carthern 
  5. Sept 12FRIDAY FRENZY - Kiala Givehand, Tori Deaux, Karen FriedlandTHAT’S ME TOO
  6. Sept 13...Jan Blount
  7. Sept 14Effy Wild
  8. Sept 15Virginia Simpson-Magruder
  9. Sept 16Dariana Cruz
  10. Sept 17Susan Miller
  11. Sept 18Grace Howes
  12. Sept 19Tori Deaux
  13. Sept 20Kiala Givehand
  14. Sept 21Martin Arkenstone
  15. Sept 22Nicole Piar← today’s spotlight

Thanx so much for coming along on our blog hop and for your participation here!signature

Posted in contest, Inspiration, Painting, process, The Blank Canvas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

UNVEILING THE BLANK CANVAS – THE ARTIST’S PROCESS REVEALED

Have you ever wondered how artists begin an art piece?

How it goes from an idea or a mark to a cohesive work of beauty?TheBlankCanvasBlogHop300Badge

Here is your chance to peek the inside workings of artists, 15 of them, myself included, during our fabulous blog hop, THE BLANK CANVAS.  Each artist working in distinct media-painting, mixed media, sculpture, photography- will unveil for you their inner workings, their step by step for taking a blank “canvas” from embryo to completion! It’s going to be a blast–for you AND for us!

I will be kicking off the blog hop which will run September 8th-September 22nd. Not only will you get a very cool insider’s view of different artists work process, you might win some of the fabulous gift giveaways offered by each artist.  I’ve got a super gift planned for you but I’m not letting the cat out of the bag until you come see me on September 8th!

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What do you have to do?

  • Mark you calendar for September 8th and come here
  • Check out who is posting each day and visit their blog
  • Read about each artists’ process and leave them a comment
  • Follow the directions on how to enter to win THE BLANK CANVAS blog hop giveaways.

Easy-peasy, right? So I’ll see you there!

===================================

Other stuff to do?

Subscribe to this blog by clicking “SIGN ME UP” in the upper right corner of this page

Sign up here for my mailing list and get all the insider’s news on what’s happening

Like me on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/ArtistKarenF

Follow me on Instagram http://instagram.com/artistkaren

THANX!

Mini ELEPHANT JOURNAL free gift for signing up

Mini ELEPHANT JOURNAL free gift for signing up

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GETTING UNSTUCK!

Texture start

Here is a project that I got underway after being stuck. I got myself started by applying a variety of different textures with spackle, molding paste, collage.

I remember when I was a kid, it was so much fun to make things.  No one had to tell me to do it, I wanted to.  I just went ahead and did it! There was nothing holding me back, I didn’t worry about setting up  or making a mess–who cared?!? I got hold of an idea or challenge and just went ahead and did it. That I didn’t know how wasn’t even an issue, I knew that I could try different ways until I got it to work.  All in all, I was fearless!

Now as an adult, there are all sorts of things that stand in the way of creativity and, truth be told, we control them all.

Step 2

Next I added color, shapes & gels, somewhat randomly.

I’ve used all the excuses in the book- no time, don’t know how, what if I do “it” wrong, what if it doesn’t work, what if others don’t like it. I was scared! I have learned some ways to battle the things that keep me stuck. Let me share them with you.

1)  Take it in small steps! Create tasks that can be done in a short time period. Buy the equipment you need (notebook, paint, sketchbook, etc) and keep it organized so you can jump right in when you get even a small chunk of time.  For example, if you are making an art journal, perhaps one task is collaging, another stamping and writing, the third is embellishing with paint & art materials.  This way, it is less daunting and can get done even when time is at a premium.

2)  Make clean up easy!  Get a tarp (or I use large papers sheets) that is the size of your worktable.  If mess is a problem, this makes it easy & it’s reusable.

Layers of color

I kept on adding more colors. I couldn’t figure out what to do so I just kept going, trying more color and sanding back some of the texture.

3)  Challenge yourself! Don’t  worry that you don’t know how, you will figure it out! The answer is in doing it! And once you have figured out how to do, make, construct “it”, you will feel terrific! Giving yourself an accomplishable challenge and meeting it, will give you great satisfaction.

4)  Be fearless!  We are all afraid of failing but it is through the process of doing that we learn and we succeed.  Reframe your activity in your mind so that your project does not demand perfection.

Texture, color, layers

I continued adding layers of color, covering a lot of the light colored area. I tried looking at it upside down and sideways.

Perfection is the enemy! We need to be able to learn through trying, to go where we haven’t gone before in order to create something more wonderful than we ever have!

5)  Appreciate your accomplishment! Whether it is a new song or a rearranged room, take the time to look over what you have done and acknowledge yourself for that achievement! You did it!

Through The Ages

“Through The Ages” mixed media and acrylic on hard board 10″ x 10″
When I turned it, I discovered something unexpected–there was a gnarly, old tree! I didn’t know how it got there but there it was. Cool!

Now you have some of the tools I use to get unstuck.  Sharing them here lets me remind myself, so I will remember them the next time I get stuck. (Which will probably be soon!)  Post some of the the techniques you use to get unstuck in the comments below!

Posted in Achievemnt, collage, COLOR, Inspiration, landscape, Learning, Painting, tree, wall art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Tips For Better Vacation Photos

Summertime is when so many of us take to the road-or plane or ship- and travel away from home.  I’m no different from the rest, traveling locally back and forth from Brooklyn to the Poconos this summer.  While I am not visiting exotic destinations right now, many of you know my last year has been filled with exotic places.

On every trip I have taken a camera (other than my phone) to record the beauty and fun experiences I had.  But, at times, I came home and looked at my pictures and was disappointed that they didn’t look nearly as exciting as they did when I was there. Although I am not a professional photographer, I have learned some tricks for getting better trip photos.

  • When you are photographing something in the distance, whether inside or out, don’t use your flash.  A flash only illuminates 8-11 feet.  Therefore, it does nothing to get those domed ceilings and the like.  Instead, turn off your flash and set your digital camera’s white balance to automatic AWB. This will adjust your shutter speed to the available light
  • .Interior Budapest Synagogue with flash

Interior Budapest Synagogue with flash

 

Budapest Synagogue interior with no flash

Budapest Synagogue interior with no flash

  • Add interest to your pictures by shooting through a framing element, such as a window or gate or through arches as in this photo in Budapest.
View of Buda side from the Pest side through stone arches.

View of Buda side from the Pest side through stone arches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Change your perspective. If there is something special that you have noticed on the ground or in nature or a cool detail, get in real close. When you have zoomed in on that scene, make sure that you place the focus on the part of the image that you really want to see. As seen in this picture, I wanted to see my little green friend and depth of field made the flora in the picture kind of fuzzy, an effect I really like.

    Nature in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

    Nature in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

 

 

 

  • When shooting a landscape (or seascape), play with your zoom.  While keeping your distance will give you more information, zooming in will give you a more dramatic photo.

    Close up of rocks in fishing village in South Africa

    Close up of rocks in fishing village in South Africa

 

 

The broader vista of the same rocks on the west coast of SA

The broader vista of the same rocks on the west coast of SA

 

 

 

 

Church San Miguel de Allende

Church San Miguel de Allende

  • Shooting a vista can be disappointing but if you include some close elements in the shot, you may dramatically improve it.

    Fountain in foreground adds more interest and more information

    Fountain in foreground adds more interest and more information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope these tips help your pictures come closer the beautiful memories that you made.  I’d love to hear about and see your favorite travel photos in your comments below!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

WIN A PRINT!

I am having a contest and the winner will win a signed and numbered print of my painting “Flower Forest”!

flowerforestentry

ENTER TO WIN this signed print!
Go to:
http://svy.mk/1pv9Y7G

 

Posted in business, COLOR, contest, owning art, wall art | Leave a comment

VICTORIAN HOUSE & CONTEMPORARY ART

I’m inviting you to come see me, my artwork and my home this Sunday, June 8th, 1-6 PM as part of the Victorian Flatbush House Tour!  I live in a great Brooklyn neighborhood that has a history going back to the late 1800’s.  My home, built in 1902, is part of the Prospect Park South landmark district.  It is the one on the left, featured on the house tour postcard.IMG_3631

I will be showing many of my paintings as well as the house.  If you want to come just to my house (& not the rest of the tour), please do (for free).  I am on Marlborough Road between Beverly and Albemarle Roads, you will see the signs to the house.  Make sure you come & say hi!

Posted in architecture, Decor, Exhibition, interior design, Interiors | 1 Comment