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Sunday, February 21, 2016

You Deserve It( - and my process), 6x6 Inch Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

Dead of winter... halfway through.  I have friends who are at the beach, soaking up the sunshine, playing and dining outdoors, in warm places.  No.  I don't resent you - YOU DESERVE IT.  And honestly, this winter, despite a couple of weeks of rough patch, has been sort of kind.  I hope you exult in your warm days, your tan you tried not to get (right...). Kick off your flip flops and walk the beach, let your mind wander and R-E-L-A-X.  Because... yeah... you deserve it.

And here's a sneak peek at a Work In Progress (or maybe it's done, I never know).  See, our Girls Just Wanna Paint topic this month is "Palette".  You know, like our artist's palette.  So... first I made many sketches in my sketchbook of one of those hand held wooden palettes.  My personal palette is one of two: a clear glass piece on a kitchen cart, or a disposable palette, with about 20 sheets of waxy paper.  

I. Was. Bored.

So, I thought, what if I made a wild garden (the only kind I can grow) and made a flower for each color on my palette?  I use a limited palette (to start with, anyway) of
Titanium White
Cadmium Lemon
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red Light
Quinacridone Rose
Ultramarine Blue
Path Blue and
Burnt Umber

So I took a canvas and over about 4 days laid down the 'darks' of the leaves, stems and loam, and the 'light' of the sky.  At least 2 layers for the sky - at least 6 for the darks. Then.... I COULD NOT BEAR to put the flowers in!  FEAR OF FAILURE.  A friend whose opinion I respect came by and I asked her and she said,  no, no flowers.  I agreed.  Mostly.  Decided to start from scratch with a completely different idea. 

BUT THEN... I was cleaning my other house's studio out and found a big piece of mylar (clear sheeting).  I taped it over (you can see a piece of tape on the upper left corner) the painting and proceed to paint as I had imagined it.  And I am very glad I tried this.  I don't know now, if I will paint this design on the actual painting or simply adhere the mylar with the paint on it on TOP of the canvas.  But it came out exactly as I imagined it.  

Lesson:  Trust yourself.


  1. Kelley, love both the beach scene, and the floral! Gorgeous! The mylar is a great idea, that I have used myself, a long time ago, so perfect! Thank you for reminding me of this tip! I can use this now, on a few"stuck" paintings". Just love, love, the way you painted the horizon, and ocean, stunning!

  2. Loved the painting with and without....sharing this post <3


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