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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It Was Either This Or A Snow Painting...

Oh, the joys of a snow day!  I visited chickens a couple of times last summer and was going through my photos and thought I needed to bring them into a painting!  Once again,, this acrylic pen is so much fun to use!  Not my usual style, but every once in a while you have to break free.  

What better time than during a historic snowstorm?  Thanks Juno!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tender Trail, 8x6 inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Oooooh, a little shadow, I now see, at this late hour on the lower left side!  Will re-shoot in the light of day!  This painting is one of those many, may layered pieces.  Abstracts, for me, take so long.  The planning.  The process, the layers, and seeing how they are working, and adjustments made (cooler white or warmer white... any color really gets tweaked).  Then, as I have learned, turn the pieces on their sides and upside down - it must 'work' on all sides.  This again, has so so many layers of paint and clear acrylic.  In person you can see the depth and it draws you in.  

All the reds and red browns and red oranges.  I was seeking warmth, I guess, in bleak January!  Gray sky, gray water, even the dead grass looks gray.  Gray tree trunks.  So... RED!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Yearning For Spring, 7x5 Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Well, I'm really getting into the abstract frame of mind.  This painting, little as it is, has taken me over a week of working every day.  Believe it!  There are probably over30 layers of paint and semi-gloss gel medium on this.  I am liking how each layer of paint was a neutral off white, and the blue/green center was a different color layer.  Some times it was deep turquoise, sometimes bluey green, sometimes a lime green.. and the layers of medium between gives it a depth (you can see it better in person, but here....)

And it looks like the colors float and merge.  So much harder to get it 'right' than a realistic painting.  But I love that, too, you know it.  And get your coffee ready, there are donut paintings coming tomorrow!

Come on, dip your toe in...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Surge, 5x7 acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald

Been 'off' posting for a few days, but NEVER off painting.  I think I'll make a collage or something of the ones that didn't get into the post.  I have been loving the process and all the learning that's involved.  I have only been painting in acrylics for about 8 years, so I still have a lot to learn.  But I do love it.  This painting has at it's source, the feeling of WATER from above and below.  Many many layers of paint. 

I live on the water and deal with true wind (and I laugh when people say "Oh, I LOVE wind!" because I USED to say that, till I had to live in it.  So the sound of slamming wind against the house at 2 a.m., the howling, relentless, and the whole house shaking.  The having to basically kick your way out of the car and the fight to get inside a structure to be able to open your eyes.  Storms, on the water are thrilling and terrifying.  Here on the coast of Rhode Island, you can still see things which tell the story of a storm.  The Hurricane of '38 took out the stone bridge which connected my road to Portsmouth, right in front of my house.  1/2 mile of stone... gone.  And there's a clam shack across the river from my house where there's a 5 foot marker on the front, which says how high the surge was on that storm.

I just heard that the water level is rising even faster than we thought it was.  Watching out for a Surge.... for sure.

If you've been holding back about learning to paint... don't... come paint with us.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fish Town, 4x4 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

I painted this little 'abstraction' of a small coastal town on a birch board that is cradled.  It can stand up on it's side all alone.  I used acrylic paint, and an acrylic pen - THIS is a new discovery for me and I LOVE it, it's really acrylic paint but comes out of a pen.  You have to pump it to get the paint to the nib.  Anyway, it's Day 11, and I missed posting my paintings yesterday, so here it is, on canvas board, 

"City Life", 7x5 inch acrylic painting

And also.... keep in mind...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

True Neighborhood, 4x4 inch acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald

Day 7 of the 30 in 30 challenge
While solitude is good, there is something to be said for connectivity.  I like a neighborhood where you can be yourself, hang out in a yard and just think, just be, paint, entertain or read without the 'eyes of the world' upon you.  ("I saw you painting in your yard this morning, how long were you out there?""Who were those women you were sitting on your porch with?""Hey!  Are you sleeping or just thinking?")  Yeah.  
But people can be wonderful, nuturing, joyful, too.  I'm playing with types of painting.  This is all flat shapes with an outline.  I'd LIKE to say this was easy, but it took much much longer to do than a realistic painting. The darn lines would disappear, the colors would fade out, or thin out, the color beneath would bleed through, and with a swipe of the brush, the outline could get covered.  But I liked being free of the colors of reality.  I just made colors I LIKED.  :) Fun.

Also... if you are in the area... we have a couple more spots in the class - I guarantee you you will enjoy this class.  The people are amazing, and we will do some really focused exercises, and subjects that are bound to break you out of your winter blues! Info HERE

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Swish, 7x5 acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald


Day 6
Here it is, the first week, and I'm a day behind already!  Well, not in the PAINTING, but the posting of the painting!  I am loving, but still exploring, this particular method.  I cover the board with one color.  When it is dry I apply a semi gloss medium and let that dry - that will protect the first layer.  Then I add the second color - in this case, the blue, and when IT is almost dry i add droplets of water, trying for a pattern, a direction.  When the blue is dry I absorb the water droplets, leaving a clear view through the medium, to the bottom color (green).  At this point I look for my 'direction' and use the whole tube of paint to paint the red droplets with.  FUN!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sparks, 5x7 inch acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonld

Day 5 of the 30 in 30 Challenge.  I'm very intrigued with the different types of abstract painting you can have.  Eschewing form in favor of motion, of interplay between colors, I've got a few more coming. Today I am loving black and a creamy white.  Black, of course, is a mixture of a lot of colors, and the red was just the ticket. I've kind of taken over the dinning room, with drying paintings, pots of mediums, glazing mediums and paints.  What a ride this is!  

Party In The Night Sky, 8x6 inch acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Day 4 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Tried to do another one of these - I find I need more control than I like - it's almost like creating a coloring book page and then painting it in, and adjusting...
But there are a thousand types of abstract painting, and this was just a day of fun.  Something different tomorrow.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Universe Unfolding, 6x8 inch acrylic painting by Kelley MacDonald

Day 3 of the 30 paintings in 30 days.. this week I'm doing all abstracts... I feel somehow I can't ever get out of the story that a painting tells... You can take what you want from this... and I can't promise that I won't go back in on this one.. codes, rhythms, colors, velvety depths, patterns, light.... that's what I was feeling here. I limited myself to a small range of colors and a range of 'blacks'.  An astral party is what it ended up looking like!  I'm ok with that.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Glass Balls & Ribbon, 4x4 Inch Acrylic by Kelley MacDonald

Day 2 of the 30 paintings in 30 days!

Yes, I will be doing the 30 paintings in 30 days with my friend Leslie Saeta in California.  So every day I will be posting a small painting - and I can't decide... donuts?  cocktails?  abstracts?  pet paintings?  Let me know what you think... I need help here.  

In some ways I would love to explore abstracts, because I never really have given myself over to them - but they take a long time to make! (at least mine do!).  For me, it's more than splashing color around.  I need to have a focus, an idea, and references to something.  I like layering, and it takes time, even for acrylics to dry.

Anyway... got new stuff happening in the New Year!  First up is a very small class I'll be doing in Bristol.  Perfect for new-to-intermediate painters.  Get this year started right!  More info on the Page above, HERE.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Every One A Memory, 5x7 Inch Oil Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Happy New Year Everyone!
Time to put the ornaments, candles and garlands away and get on with 2015.
Let's hope this year simply sparkles for each one of you!  I loved painting this because of the challenge each glass ornament provided.  And yes, the highlights on the gold one in the middle DID look like a smiley face!

Breathe in... breathe out...  face each day with an open mind, and know that the people who love you will continue to love you, no matter how close (or not) you come to the goals you set.  Me?  I'm just going to choose faith and hope, rather than goals this year.  Let's see where that takes me.

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