//Art in Progress

Art In Progress: Circus

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

This one kind of went fast–I apologize for not starting my documentation sooner along the way, the first layer happened in such a flash!  This piece felt very playful from the beginning; I’m not sure if it was the colors or the fun patterns of the collage, but it had a very light feel to it all the way through.  I think that’s what inspired the frilly loops in the middle.

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I added some darker areas around the edges and defined the objects a little more.  I like how the contrast between the dark and the light added some depth to the whole thing–it can feel risky to lay down really dark colors over really light, but it’s important to take risks and try things out.  Just like life, yes?

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Then to give it a little bit of a different perspective, I flipped the canvas.  It really helps me to do this as I go through the stages because it offers a different view–sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t! Ha.  But it’s good to keep things moving and not to get too attached throughout the process.  Otherwise it doesn’t evolve how it should (naturally, without resistance).

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Although it’s temporarily finished, I may use this as a background for something else.  There’s always an opportunity to show it in a different light…

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Art In Progress: Circus2018-03-29T20:23:16-04:00

Art in Progress: Mountain Spring

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

The beginning of this was a bit of a ‘do-over’.  There was an original underneath that I just wasn’t that psyched about, so I decided to paint over it and create something else.  That’s the beauty of acrylics, you can always add a layer and paint over what you don’t like.  Sometimes that can be hard if you want to save parts of the original, but luckily, I wanted it allllll to go.  So here’s the first layer:

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Then I added some collage and muddied that up a little with some color.  There’s not too much thinking at this point, I’m just putting down paper and moving the brush.  I try not to get too caught up in how it looks at this stage (that can be hard sometimes.)

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I went with some more accent colors and drips.  I was starting to feel stuck here, like I boxed myself in with the paper, but it’s important to keep moving when I feel like this.  Kind of like life, yes?  Feelings are moment to moment, I try not to get too attached because I know they come and go.

Mountain 3

I added more layers of color to blend it together and some subtle stamping with a few strong objects.  It started to feel more cohesive…

Mountain 4

And then I finished with some line and color accents.

Mountain Final

Art is so much fun, isn’t it?  I really like the colors and the whimsical feel of this one.  It reminded me that I can always start over–the original was an eye sore (to me) and now I turned it into something I love.  Such a great lesson.

Want to see the tools I use to inspire creativity + expand my art?  

Want to see what inspires me to create art? These are some of the best tools I use!

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Art in Progress: Mountain Spring2018-03-29T20:23:16-04:00

Art in Progress: You Were Born With Wings

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

This piece turned out a lot different than it started.  And that’s true with a lot of things in life, yes?  We have a certain idea as to where we want to end up, and the twists and turns of life lead us off into a new direction.  Something I’ve learned from painting is to just go with the flow.  Some of the best ‘mistakes’ I’ve made have led me to a place of true happiness and fulfillment.

So I started this one with just throwing some color on the canvas.  There’s something I love about orange and hot pink together–the vibrancy of the colors get my heart racing.  I used a brayer for the dot-looking things and I used a toothy-comb thing to create the lines.

 

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I wanted to add some contrast, so in went the drips, some teal stamping and little black around the edges.

 

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At this point I realized a grid was appearing so I softened it up with a little white and light blue.  It’s all about the feeling I get when I look at it–if it seems too harsh, I soften it up. If everything is blending, I try to create some contrast to make it more interesting.  It’s all about finding the right balance.

 

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I collaged in the bird and some accents.  (I really love collage, it feels like I’m adding a whole other dimension.)

 

Birdie 4

 

And then I stamped in the sentiment.  I love the idea that we’re all born with our own special talents that can take us wherever we want to go; it’s all about following your heart and listening to those calls.  We were meant to fly.

 

You were born with wings FINAL

 

I’m done with it for now, but may add some doodling adornments in a bit, I want to sit with it for a while.

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Art in Progress: You Were Born With Wings2018-03-29T20:23:18-04:00

Art In Progress: Trust The Magic

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

 

So here’s the beginning–I was obsessed with that aquamarine blue color as a child and something about it makes my heart leap a little, still.  I always liked the “blue-green” color in the crayola box (not to be mistaken for green-blue, of course).  The things you remember from childhood are so funny.  I just threw some colors on the canvas to get something going…
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 I added some shades of purple and reds to give it a little punch.  Drips here, spots there…

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Here’s a close-up of my favorite area.

 

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I added some stamping along the border and collaged in a dress for my girl.

 

Follow the magic 4

 

I painted in her sweet face and added details to bring it together, along with the stamped sentiment.  I love how she turned out!  Such a gentle reminder that we need to listen to our hearts more and trust the magic of it all.

 Trust the magic

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Art In Progress: Trust The Magic2018-03-29T20:23:18-04:00

Art in Progress: Follow Your Heart

 Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

 

I have been on a painting tear lately and that really makes my heart sing. I’m trying to paint, paint, paint to get enough pieces to open my Etsy Store. It’s so important that we do things in life that make us genuinely happy. And it’s inspiring to have a goal to work towards! My creative intensity is ramped up and I’m super excited.

I’m a newbie to the online marketplace so even though there’s a lot of trial and error happening over here, it’s fun to learn new things and fumble about a bit–it reminds me that everything is ‘figureoutable”.

This piece is called “Follow Your Heart”. I don’t have the metamorphosis from the very,very beginning, so I’m starting kind of in the middle (sawwy!) It has some collage elements as you can see below and I just felt like the colors weren’t gelling– the piece was still trying to find its way. My days can feel like that sometimes too: full of potential but I’m not sure where it’s going yet.

Follow your heart 1

I added some more collage elements and a wash of color to bring it together a bit.  I think the reddish glow gave it a happier look and pulled the tones in from the corners.  A thin layer over things can make a big difference.

Follow your heart 3

And then hey there!  A girl appears.  I created her by gesso-ing the canvas and colored her in with oil color sticks.  I’m still getting the hang of them, I’m not sure they’re my thing.  I had to get turpentine and remove the one eye because I screwed it up.  Oops.  Anyway, acrylics seem easier and I can layer better, but the verdict is still out because the oils give a softer hue.

Follow your heart 4

She’s starting to take shape, I love the collage of her dress.  Turns out the oils didn’t work so well on this one so I switched to back acrylics for her face and hair.

Follow your heart 6

Some fun with stamps and the sentiment (as well as some flowers) bring it together:

you are loved finalShe makes me happy because she looks like a little angel.  We should all listen to our angels telling us to follow our heart everyday!  Life would be a lot easier, no?

Hope you enjoyed this peek behind the brush…

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Art in Progress: Follow Your Heart2018-03-29T20:23:19-04:00

Art in Progress: You Are Loved

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

suppliesHey there!  I’m starting a new series that I wanted to introduce you to this week: Art in Progress.  Since this is a blog about the art of becoming yourself, I wanted to give you a peek inside some of the projects I work on each week in class.

I like to show things in progress so that together, we can see how the piece changes over time.

Also, I think it’s helpful to see the evolution of creating and maybe pick up a trick or two.  I feel like a lot of what I learn in painting can be applied to everyday life too.  I’m hoping to share some of those things with you as we go along.

And I’ve learned so much from the generosity of other artists that do this very thing, sharing their process, that I thought it would be a great way to pay it forward.  So here it goes…

“You Are Loved” is something I started a few weeks ago.  It began with putting down some collage papers on the blank canvas and then adding acrylics around and through it.  I started with a dry brush dipped in the acrylics and went from there–I seem to start things with a strong boost of color and eventually I soften it with some water or medium.  That’s something I love about acrylics–they’re so blendable and forgiving.  If I don’t like what I’ve done, I can wait until it’s dry and paint over it.

The first layer in any piece is just putting something down. That is a helpful idea I learned early on, especially with acrylics.  I try not to think too much about it–I just dive into enjoying the process of creating, and try to keep moving.  Working fast helps me get past that inner critic.

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It felt a little dark, so during the second run through, I lightened it up a little.  There’s something that I love about that light purple in the upper right corner.

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Here is a look up close at some of the collage elements:

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Can you see the outline of a head in the upper right corner?  The ‘scarf’ gave me some inspiration.There’s the slight hint of a face outline in the middle, just something that revealed itself over time (and when I turned the canvas).

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I added more acrylic layering and some details.

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And painted the girl face.  Sweet and chubby.

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I added in some collage and the stamped in the sentiment.

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And she’s done for now!  It’s so much fun to experiment and see what shows up.  If you have any thoughts on this piece,  I’d love to hear about it over on my facebook page.

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Art in Progress: You Are Loved2018-03-29T20:23:19-04:00