Recently I was chatting with a friend about my newly discovered love of making art with oil pastels. It has taken me by surprise. Never before have I found myself wanting to create as often as I am, with any other art supply. I’m particularly struck at my urge to create abstracts. I’ve always loved them, but haven’t made many in the past. Currently I’ve got two of mine hanging in my art room plus at least 10 more in my sketch pad.
Jane (the aforementioned friend) summed up abstracts perfectly. They’re a way to make mood based art, using colours to represent my mood at the time. I love the idea so much, I wish it was mine 😉
I’ve done enough research into colour theory to know that colours can and do effect mood. I know myself well enough to know that when I’m incredibly angry I feel the best thing to create is from pouring black paint onto a canvas & going from there. But I also know I like to challenge myself, using colours that I don’t normally think of using. The second image above I made with those particular colours because I rarely use such muted tones. I challenged myself to see if I could make something I was happy with, with those colours. To not make it dull, I deliberately used pale blue as a contrast. I’m really happy with the result.
I’ve come to realise these abstracts are a good way to ease my anxiety. For the hour or so it takes to make one, my mind is focused on the art only. Even if I’m recording my work to share on my YouTube (check it out here, if you’re interested https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nmC8Y68CsQ ) I’m not aware of my phone recording, sitting on a tripod beside me (even though it’s a weird thing for me to have accompany me as I create) or anything else for that matter. It’s just me, the oil pastels & paper. There have been times when I’ve finished an abstract & have fought the urge to make another immediately. That’s how much I love them 🙂
A couple of months ago I was recording an episode of the Art Supply Posse podcast, when my guest Ana Reinart – of the Well Appointed Desk – challenged me to use my most unused art supply, which was a set of Mungyo Gallery oil pastels that I’d bought over ten years ago.
Ana is the founder of the ASP so we invited her to be our guest for the 100th podcast episode. An expert on all things stationery, Ana gave me a couple of pointers for using them. A few days later, I grabbed a piece of butchers paper & made my first sketch. Instantly I was hooked. The bright colours & speed of producing art using oil pastels speaks to me. I like speed in my art, because I don’t have hours to spend making it.
I’ve found some great artists on YouTube sharing their oil pastels & have learnt a lot; I can link them below if you’d like me to – let me know 🙂
I haven’t felt this enamoured by using an art supply, probably ever. I still love making art using other supplies, but there is something about oil pastels that has my heart. I’m grateful that I was challenged to learn how to use them.
So, what about you? Do you have art supplies stashed away, that haven’t seen the light of day in years? Why not get them out & use them. Most of us have way more supplies than we actually need, although want & need are two totally different things! Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with your old supplies. And if you don’t? Give them away. There’s no point putting them back in the cupboard if you don’t like them, but I’m sure there’s someone out there who would be grateful if you gifted them.
Oh, if you’d like to see a quick process video, take a look at my YouTube
The construction of our new home has provided me with a lot of unexpected photographic opportunities. I initially thought that my photos of the build would be of documentary style only, showing progress as the house is built.
However I’ve found ample there has been opportunity to get creative with my photos. The strong lines of the house frame has provided me with a couple of fruitful photographic shoots, one of which I’ve already blogged about.
These two photos were taken after I’d mown our lawn (and weeds!) last Sunday. The garage slab had been poured then topped with water so it didn’t dry too quickly. I sat in the house & noticed the shadows cast by the frame. I took advantage of having my phone & took some photos.
Documentary style photography of the house build is important to me; this type of creative photography is proving to be equally important. It provides another way of looking at something that might seem mundane.
An unexpected gift of flowers from David for Valentines Day provided me the opportunity to get a little creative.
As soon as he handed them to me I knew getting in close was going to be the way to photograph them. The intricacies of the tiny little petals that make up one large flower head were begging me to photograph them. Best of all, the bunch has three of these large beauties, along with an assortment of tiny flowers and gum leaves. For the purposes of this post, with its valentines theme, I’ve posted a couple of photos of the red flower, however the creamy colour of the other two flowers are equally as interesting.
Having not yet committed to buying myself an extension tube for my Fuji, I grabbed my iPhone this morning to see what I could achieve. I find the Camera+ app is a great tool for this type of photography giving more flexibility than the native camera app. I’m happy with the results, with a good number of photos that I like and a couple that I might even print during the week.
Of course this exercise has fuelled my desire to get in even closer to subjects like this. I think next time an online camera store sends an email offering free delivery I’ll jump on it and buy myself an extension tube. I’m imaging now the fun I’ll have getting nice and close using one of those 🙂
The past fortnight has seen a lot of movement on our building site. The floor was completed, thankfully as the frame was ready earlier than expected. It’s been amazing to see the progress take place relatively quickly. It’s not quite finished yet, as the garage slab needs to be poured. Once it has set it’s frame and roof trusses can go up.
While I was walking through the house frame I realised the trusses create some fascinating angles. The best way to photograph them? Laying flat on my back! I then had a little fun playing around in post processing, creating these two images. I think they are a nice contrast against the ‘boring’ (read taken from a normal angle of view) photos that I’ve taken of the frame.
When I set out with my camera I usually have in mind what I’m trying to capture. The resulting images are not necessarily the same as I had in mind, although often they are fairly close to what I originally wanted to capture.
Sometimes however, something about the location I’m in takes me away from that original idea. The above photo is a perfect example of that.
I’d captured the sunset images that I wanted, although I felt like there might be other, non landscape images I could take. I spied this section of the ground, that shows flood waters in an area that doesn’t often see water. I was fascinated by the cracks in the ground so took a photo.
Some minor cropping and playing around with the original colours gave me this abstract photo. It’s my take on the flooded river.