Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 10 on 10: Taking up Painting

Last fall, I was finding myself itching to try something new. I still love photography, but wanted to get into some other creative pursuit and, at first, I had toyed with the idea of starting to make metal sculptures because that was something I had never done before and it just seems cool, but the cost of entry into something like that is high and daunting and I don't know where I would put the welding equipment! Then I shifted to acrylic painting--much easier to try without a huge investment.

What I like is abstract, so I also figured I didn't really have to know how to draw (good thing, since i don't).

I have not done a lot of work yet and not too much that I am really, really pleased with but I am okay with some of them.

I have approached it without much structure at all. I just started and quickly realized how easy it is to mess up a painting . . . the difficult part is going too far which I keep doing . . . eventually, a painting just loses its way with too much touching and manipulation. But it is hard to know when to stop.

The good thing about acrylic paint, though, is it's easy to just cover over a canvas. I have done that a lot. Many of the canvases have 4 to 5 layers of false starts (or finishes).

I also found myself taking macro photographs of the paintings--sometimes panning over the painting or taking a close-up shot of a small section of the painting--and digitally manipulating it to get a result that I liked a lot better than the painting.


Here are two examples of one of the first pieces I did (neither exists as a painting any longer no because they were not worth saving). I panned over these and changed them up in post-processing (including adding texture layers) to make them look like this.

Here is one where the image started out as a macro photograph of a small section of the painting that I also manipulated heavily in Lightroom and Photoshop.

In this one there are several digital layers of different images of the painting to make it look like this. (Again, the painting is gone from the physical world).

The next six are ones that actually stayed as paintings and more or less looks like this in real life, but most have many, many layers underneath of something I did not like at all :)

And sometimes I like to take the color version and turn it black and white and then wonder if I should just do a black and white painting, but I have not tried that yet.

I don't know what I am doing really and I am fully aware of that. At this point, I cannot replicate any of my results--good or bad--but I think it is fun. There are times when I get frustrated because of my lack of knowledge and there are times when I just think I am being dumb because there is really no reason for me to paint. All I am doing is piling up finished (for now) paintings in my breezeway and I don't know what I am going to do with them. But sometimes I just have to take a deep breath and decide that if it is fun and I get messy hands, it is fine to keep painting--this doesn't HAVE to mean anything at all.


This is part of the 10 on 10 blog circle. Please follow the circle starting with Katrina Kennedy.

(Next month, I will get back to photographs).


  1. This is so beautiful, I know the feeling of wanting to try something new, activate more and deeper creativity. Your paintings are so interesting, and filled with layers.
    Looking forward to your photos again as well, but have you thought of mixing these two media?

    Lots of Love from Trini in Norway

    1. Trini, yes I thought about mixing these two . . . but I need to figure out a little more about the painting process and techniques.

  2. These are gorgeous. You seem to have a knack for this medium. I seriously love them all and would have guessed you were painting for years. The one with the stripe of orange and tan looks like the wall outside of our local Anthropologie store. These are all super cool. Great job!

  3. Wow, Bonnie. You amaze me. I love both the manipulations of paintings and the paintings. I'm quite fond of the colors you use. Lots of blue/greens in there and I'd hang one on my wall if you ever needed to get rid of one because you don't have the space!! :) So glad you took part in this month's 10 on 10!! We all missed your excellent work that shows the sensitivity of your soul.

    1. Hi Kim. If I could figure out how to get one of them to you, I'd be happy to . . . some of them are kind of large and I don't have boxes to ship them. You can come here and take one home on the plane :)

  4. You are a true artist, and I hope you will continue your journey, who knows where it might lead? Thanks for reminding me to try out new things.

  5. Wow - this are so great! What an eye you have. I love how we can cultivate our creative passions in so many different ways.

  6. Such vivid colors! I especially like the ones with geometric shapes in them. One of my sons enjoys acrylics. Any tips, techniques, or sites that inspire you?

    1. Thanks, Kelly. I am not the best one to ask for tips because I have sorta been doing this by the seat of my pants, but I did get an acrylic painting for dummies book on my Kindle and read about 1/2 of it and I think that is pretty helpful. I also watched some videos from an Australian artist named Glen Farquhar that I liked (you can find some free ones on the internet and also purchase some for nominal fees). The good thing is that he makes it easy to just jump in, but I have to admit to veering from his techniques almost immediately each time . . . but at least I was trying.

  7. Bonnie! It's so good to be here and see your work again, I've missed this. I love that you were willing to try something new and the abstract paintings are wonderful. The colors and patterns are beautiful and it must be fun to get the tactile feeling of paint on your hands ~ so different from a camera & a computer.

    I'm looking forward to seeing more!