Tag Archives: art exercise

Paint Chip Challenge

14 Jul
Landscape painting of low moon rising in woods, purple flowers dot the landscape

Low Moon 20″x 16″ watercolor on paper by Katie Turner

Sassy Lilac color

Sassy Lilac #4003-9B

There are two weeks left to view the CNY Art Guild Liverpool Library Show.  “Paint Chip Challenge” will hang until the end of July 2017.  For hours and location click here: www.lpl.org

This challenge was an interesting project and it was fun to see what each artist came up with.  The color was given to me by the show organizer.  It is not a color I would have chosen.  I primarily work with transparent watercolors. This particular color required me to use Chinese white to make it opaque.   After painting several different paintings using this color, I settled on entering the picture above into the show.  It was done on watercolor paper using wet into wet techniques and a palette knife to scratch in some of the texture.

Having parameters can make painting more of a challenge but some rules also fuel creativity.  I enjoyed this challenge and would definitely participate in another one.  I highly recommend a challenge like this for healthy art exercise.


Mixed Media Art Journal: How to Make a 3-D Cover

30 Nov
Spiral Journal Cover made with shells, drift wood, leaves and feathers

Shells, drift wood, leaves and feathers adorn this Art Journal cover by Katie Turner.

I find it invigorating to switch to a different medium once in a while.  It seems to help keep my art fresh.  My art journal is where I can do that.  Actually, I keep several journals and use certain ones for watercolor ideas, other ones for mixed media ideas and even one for business ideas.  The picture above is the front cover of a Mixed Media journal.  I made this into a three-Dimensional cover by using shells, drift wood, leaves and feathers I found at the beach.  Using found objects is a great way to remember a special trip or event.

To make one of your own, follow these steps:

  1. Find a sturdy cover to use as a base. If it’s too flimsy, it won’t hold up to paint or epoxy.
  2. Paint cover. I used a deep red acrylic.
  3. Clean the shells and wood with bleach and let dry several days.
  4. Cut and layer several different textures and colors of paper for center piece.
  5. Place all items in a pleasing arrangement before mixing the epoxy.
  6. Mix epoxy and pour onto items and page. Remember to protect other pages with plastic and work in a well ventilated area.  My favorite product for this is Envirotex Lite.
  7. Sprinkle glitter and beads into center area. Let dry several days or until it’s not tacky.

Finding My Own Voice

7 Jul


By The Coast #2, Watercolor on Terraskin by Katie Turner

Every once in a while I take a step back and pull out my old paintings.  I take a look through the old ones contemplating if I should discard or continue working on various ones and then ask myself, what can I do to rescue these paintings?  I am developing my own voice.  I think about the times I felt pressured to paint what others wanted and when I did, how forced the paintings now look.

Discovering my voice in my art is a process.  It’s exciting and a lot of fun.  I recognize all the practice art and the deep creative learning I’ve had and look forward to more.  It’s like walking down a path that curves beyond the trees.  I can only see so far and I don’t know where the future will take me.  I only know that continuing to create in my own voice will help me stay on the right path for me.


Acropolis Inspiration

2 Jun
Watercolor painting of Akropolis, Turkey

Acropolis Away, Watercolor on paper by Katie Turner. Inspiration from Turkey.

I was inspired a while ago after my daughter’s trip to Turkey.  From the pictures she sent back home I was intrigued by the ancient ruins of architecture and untouched beauty of the Turkish countryside.  In this quick painting I portray the emotions felt after looking through pictures of Acropolis of Athens.  There is so much history in this place.  I think about the different reasons ancient people traveled there.  Some may have traveled to the temples seeking to heal their mind and body.  I drew on background scenery and went more abstract with my watercolor.


Winter As Inspiration

9 Feb Watercolor painting of dead foliage by Katie Turner

Even though this stem was dead, it was very interesting to me.  I really enjoyed the shape, how it looks, wind blown and then having died in that position.  I’m always looking for different things to inspire my paintings.  I’m looking for things that come from strange places sometimes, or even somewhat normal places. People are inspired by all kinds of things; music, places, paintings.  I’d like to know what inspires others.

Getting Loose

1 Oct
studio shot

Changing the palette, working large, abstraction – finding new approaches to my art.

I’ve made notes to myself on developing a looser style.  I remember how free my mother was when she would paint and I want to aim for that “looser” goal.  One of the most important things I’ve learned involves devoting as much time as possible to practice.  When my daughters were little, I would steal away 15 minutes here and there to paint – when they were napping or watching a tv show.  Then once a week my husband would watch the kids while I went off to an hour-long watercolor class at the local high school.  For many years this was all I could do, working this way and I was able to be productive without getting discouraged.

Continuing the quest to grow is my next matter of business, continually learning new attitudes and approaches to my art (and my life).  Here are a few things on my list that help to shake things up for me:

  1. Change the palette – trying a new color or limiting colors. Sometimes it’s a great challenge to try using an unusual color for something – for example, instead of using cerulean blue for the sky, try Burnt Umber or some other color?
  2. Work larger or smaller – if you normally are a careful and painstaking painter, then breakout – go large. Nothing loosens me up as much as painting full sheet abstract watercolors. I have had to switch to larger brushes and mix my paint in muffin tins.
  3. Try abstraction – experimenting with line, form, texture and color are very freeing. You no longer have to paint what you see but rather what you feel.
  4. Paint on tinted paper – you may have to add Chinese white to your palette but this may awaken your unexpected creativity.
  5. Use mixed media – try working with ink, crayons, acrylics or anything that will put some variety into your art.

Cutting Mats and Making Marks

8 Sep
abstract painting

Mark making with watercolor and ink.

After a long weekend it’s back to work today.  I had some painting warm up – what I call mark-making with watercolor and ink in an abstract fashion then I moved on to cutting mats.   Even with careful measuring I don’t always get it right and occasionally have to start over.

cutting mats

Cutting Mats for Paintings.