Some of my students have been asking me about my creative process. Since I am about to begin teaching a new online class I thought writing a post about my preliminary procedures would help students of my unique "fearless" methods get started. If you know me, you know that my inspirational techniques begin with an adventurous paint pouring process similar to the techniques used by the artists Helen Frankenthaler or Jackson Pollock.
My creativity begins with a series of adventurous watercolor pours, but my work has entirely different style. In the pouring process that I use, there is a lot of splashing, dribbling and generally making a big fun mess which allows me to mingle colorful washes with passion and imagination resulting in what I call “Fearless” painting.” Some of my work is abstract and some is quite representational.
If you have visited my art galleries you will see that my subject matter is a mixture of inspiration, photography and paint which cause a fusion of representation and abstraction.
In the artwork shown above, "Reaching for the Wind" © is an abstract painting but with a representational marine themed twist. A lot of my art begins with the photos that I take in my journeys, even if the finished art is somewhat abstract.
In all of my work, I still enjoy beginning with what I call a road map. I like to make as many choices about what and how I am going to paint prior to allowing my paints to hit the surface of my paper or canvas. When I am creating a representational painting, like of the 1952 Caddilac below, I must be very exact as to the placement of subject and background. This requires drawing skills.
These types of realistic works require me to create a complete drawing of the image to be painted. In my work, I project my ideas onto either my watercolor paper or canvas using an opaque projector. I spend a lot of time paying close attention to the details required to make my visual statements and the projection process is just one step of many in the my creative process.
Let's begin with a little history. There are many different methods of transferring an image to one's painting surface,using projection is just one that has a long history. We know that as far back as the Renaissance, Artists have used photographic projectors, similar to the one I currently use, like the "Camera Obscura" or "Camara Lucida". The 15th century German artist Albrecht Durer used a plate of glass and a grid to help him realize the correct lines for perspective drawing, as you can see in the artist's etching.
In the 19th century the French artist Edgar Degas was both familiar with the early methods of photography but also utilized elements of photography to help him understand the movements of the dancers and race horses that he painted.
There are many other graphic artist tricks of the trade used by artist to facilitate the copying of lines, shapes and forms. One convenient tool is to use a graphite transfer paper. In my copying process , I recommend and use a product called Seral Transfer paper, which is available at most quality art supply retailers.
As a teacher and person who works to inspire others to be fearless artists, I try to simplify my methods so that anyone can enjoy their own creative process. I know that sometimes availability of a product is not possible,therefore adaptation is required. Recently, I created a short video to assist my students with a method of making one's own copying paper. This method will allow beginner artists to use and copy their favorite photos for their painting inspiration.
For this project the materials that will be used for an 8 x 10 canvas or watercolor paper are:
1 sheet of white 8.5 x 11 paper ( or match the size of your paper to the size you want your painting to be.)
1 soft carbon pencil like a 3B or 4 B
1 photo of choice
1 painting surface such as watercolor paper or a canvas
Now let's watch a short video:
If the video does not open, please click here to go to my Youtube video about how to make your own transfer copying paper
I hope this short tutorial helps you get started drafting out and creating your own masterpiece. In my next post, I will be sharing a new video and writing about the methods I used in creating the small demo painting ( shown below) done for one of my classes.
Until next time,Stay well my creative friends,
April , day whatever, and we are all at home wondering what to do! Well let's do something together as a family.
Let's make some art!
Following is a lesson plan to inspire other's to be creative. Any age person can follow these steps and make something beautiful. Now follow me as I show you the steps to make your own painted bouquet of flowers,
the easy and fearless way!
The materials that you will use:
1 piece of watercolor paper any size. I recommend 140 lb cold press watercolor paper. Strathmore makes and sells pads of this type of paper.
Some watercolor paints in your favorite colors:
reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, purples
a cup of water to clean your brushes and thin your paint.
a palette or a white plastic or foam plate to use as your palette.
You may also want to grab a bottle with a spray top on it, also.
Did I mention you will need a couple of brushes. I like to use round and flat brushes in assorted sizes.
If you do not have any brushes try using Q-tips and yes, you can even paint with your fingers! Anything works to make painterly marks.
Two ways to approach creating a wet paper surface.
1) Spritz your paper with a water bottle with sprayer.
2) Or using one of your large flat or round brushes, dip your largest brush into a jar of clean water and then stroke your brush over the entire piece of watercolor paper, until it is wet.
Make sure that your whole page is completely covered with clean water and there are no dry spots. If you can see dry areas, just wet down the paper some more. It's easy!
Now let's mix up some paint. On your palette or plate, make a puddle of water in an open area and drop your favorite color of paint into this puddle and mix. You can use one color like a yellow, like I have shown in the photo or mix two favorites such as red and yellow to make an beautiful orange color.
Next up it's time to paint like a pro. Using your favorite painting tool : a brush, your Qtips or even your fingers dipped into your paint, create a swirl or a circular flower form by dropping the paint onto your WET paper.
Note: If your paper has dried spritz the paper with fresh water.
Continue to add other colors in "flower" type shapes like swirls, long stripes, circles with small "petal" shapes around the outside, just like I am in the photos.
Use your imagination and just have fun dropping color onto your wet paper surface. Remember to let the paint have enough time to spread across the surface in anyway that the wet paint on wet paper wants to.
STEP 4: It's time to give our flowers some detail.
First off let your paper dry and when dry then you can....
begin by picking a color of choice and outlining a few of your favorite flowers shapes with a couple of simple strokes around the area of paint.
In the my next pictures you can see....
Painting #1 I just painted flowers in an abstract bunch
and in ....
Painting #2 I have added a vase for my flowers to stand in.
Remember when you choose to paint fearlessly, you paint it your way!
This exercise was about relaxing, spreading paint and enjoying sometime with whomever you are with. I hope that you have had as much fun as I did painting loosely using just bright colors on wet paper?
Keep practicing painting what we call wet (paint) onto wet(paper surface) and each time you give this technique a try it will get easier and easier!
YOUR GOAL IS TO SPEND SOME TIME JUST HAVING SOME FUN!
Please check back soon, I will have another fearless painting step by step demo for you to try. In the mean time.....
Stay well and stay creative, my friends!
A is for Abstract.
Painting abstractly is not difficult. Anyone can paint an abstract fearlessly! All you need is a little desire and willingness to play. Sometimes I like to be a little representational, as you have seen in my web site gallery. And sometimes I like to live on the wild side and be abstract!
Have you ever felt like unleashing your inner artist and painting some non representational art?
Well here is your chance to learn first hand how easy it is to have some fun with abstraction!
Read on and join me today as I show you how to paint with your imagination and mind's eye.
For many years, now I have been writing an informational blog. Some posts were about my work as an artist or the classes that I instruct and others were written about the methods I use to create my fearless paintings. Informative yes, but, I want my blog to be of assistance to others; therefore, my goal is to write my future posts to help my readers search for personal creativity.
Throughout my life as an artist, I have come to believe that the only constant in life is change. Unfortunately the changes that we face today are global. Disease has changed all of our lives and left humanity in a precarious position! Our world has been turned upside down and all too many people around the globe are dealing with the horrendous effects of the Covid19 virus and are in social isolation. We are alone with our thoughts and fears, wondering what to do....?
As a professional artist and adjunct instructor at a community college I have found myself, like many others, unemployed, lost in a sea of red tape without a plan about what to do while life and work are furloughed. It's not easy to go from experiencing life at full speed and then be forced, out of caution and common sense, to park one's activities at the street corner, while we attempt to deal with a life filled with uncertainty .
I believe and am a practitioner of positive thought and action. I believe,nay, I know that these "unusual" times too shall pass! But until that times arrives...
ALL OF US MUST STAY HOME IN ORDER TO STAY HEALTHY!
Under the circumstances and with that said, I feel that the best thing for me to do is to try to help others who are also asking "What now?" by writing informational blogs about how to be creative. I would like to help you! How by sharing my fearless methods of making art in ways that will help you spend a part of your day being fearless and creative.
Statistics show that spending time with a creative pursuit, whether it be painting, writing, dancing, singing to name but a few forms of creative thought, is an excellent way to improve physical, emotional and mental health. So how about it, come be fearless with me and let's stay healthy with art!
In my next blog post I thought it might be of interest to my readers, to share the methods I use when I create a non-representational artwork. Creating abstract art is easier than you may think. in my post you will see photos of how I work + if you scroll down the page you will find step by step instructions of how you can be a little creative.
I hope the following post inspires others to grab some tools and spend a little time being expressively creative.
Have you heard about the recent craze for pouring acrylic paints?
Pouring paint is alot of fun! As you know from reading previous posts or looking at my art online in my website, I have been pouring watercolor paints for years. In conjunction with my pouring process, I also use fluid acrylic paints and paper collage to create patterns in my artwork.
Pouring acrylics with the sole purpose of being abstract and allowing the paint to do its own"thing" well now that is new to me. But, I am the fearless artist after all and that means that I am not afraid to try to techniques.
A number of year's ago a good friend of mine introduced me to the abstract pleasures of letting go and letting my paint react. It took me awhile to understand the alchemy that occurs when paint is mixed with a variety of other ingredients all with the purpose of allowing the mixtures of medium, oils and paint to develop into patterns with limited interference from me.
What I have found after numerous experiments, is that pouring paint is exciting and fun! It is an easy method of paint application that is more like play then work!
So how about it, check out my new video about this process and then jump in, be fearless and let's give pouring a try!
Every so often an artist has a success story to share and today here is mine. This week I am honored to share with my readers that my painting " Reaching for the wind" (shown here) has been accepted into a special exhibition in Seattle. My painting has been accepted into the North West Watercolor Society's Signature Exhibition at The Washington State Convention Center!
My painting is one of 64 to be featured in the bi-annual 2019 Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS) Signature Exhibition at the Washington State Convention Center July 11 through October 6. This year’s Exhibition “exemplifies diversity and excellence of artistic expression,” according to Kristi Galindo Dyson, Signature Show chair.
...And the good news kept coming because the painting that I entered is also being honored with a “special recognition of achievement” award at this year’s exhibition!
Following is what the NWWS has written about the artists and the work that has been accepted into this prestigous exhibit:
"Signature membership is an achievement and honor that is earned through a high level of artistic production. To become a signature member of the NWWS, an artist must have 3 or more paintings accepted into the organization’s national juried exhibitions. All members including Elise Beattie have put in their ‘brush strokes’ towards this success."
If you would like to see this exhibition the public is invited to an artist's reception and recognitions ceremony, which is July 13th 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Convention Center on Level 2.
Located at 705 Pike Street, Seattle, the Convention Center is open daily. For directions and parking information go to http://wscc.com/.
NWWS is an active society promoting artists with two yearly juried exhibitions, the International Open and Member’s Waterworks. Painting opportunities and meetings are open to professionals and beginners and feature demonstrations by leading artists. https://www.nwws.org/.
The Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS) was founded in 1939 in Seattle, Washington when a group of eight artists came together to form an organization dedicated to the celebration of watercolor. With a goal to inspire both a lasting interest in the art of watercolor painting and an appreciation for watercolor as an artful, imaginative medium, the history of NWWS began. From these modest beginnings, NWWS has grown into the internationally recognized, historically rich organization of today with a membership nearing eight hundred Signature, Lifetime and Associate Members across the USA, Canada & internationally.
The Northwest Watercolor Society of today is a structured organization that offers a wealth of opportunities and experiences for the artist, the art patron and all those fascinated by the magical wonder of watercolor. Recognized as one of the most prominent national/international watercolor societies in North America, NWWS continues to gain attention and exposure. Although NWWS has grown enormously throughout the years in both numbers and accomplishments, the organization has remained firmly rooted in its history, devoted to the philosophy of the Mission Statement of its Founders … To promote and elevate the art of watercolor as a medium and to encourage the growth and creativity of its artist members. www.nwws.org
For additional information contact, Sarah Love, NWWS PR Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, 425-985-8653
My name is Elise Beattie and they call me the Fearless Artist. I paint, I teach and I promote all aspects of the arts. In this new blog site you will find a variety of creative posts dedicated to sharing knowledge about my fearless art techniques and the materials that I use. You will also be able to learn about my art classes and see photos of my newest art and the exhibitions that my work is displayed in.