New Facebook Page!

TraciLTurnerFacebook

Until I get my actual artist website together, I have a new artist Facebook page that is up and running as we speak! So far I’ve just been posting random thoughts and sketches, works in progress, and whatever things I’ve been finishing along the way. Go “LIKE” it now!

Thank you!

Advertisements

Color Mixing Recipes

Colorbook1

So in an earlier post I mentioned how I became really frustrated during the process of painting my Queen Nefertiti. Well I thought it’d be good to share what helped me get through it. It’s a little book I bought from Amazon by William F. Powell called Color Mixing Recipes for Portraits. I only bought the book years ago as a back up for when I get too stuck and can’t paint my way out of it, and finally I got to refer to it for the first time with the Queen Nefertiti painting.

The main part that I struggled with was the color of the skin. Normally I feel in control, but this time it just wasn’t coming together. I kept mixing muddy colors and then destroying them further when I tried to fix it. I think it was particularly troublesome for me because I wasn’t working from a subject or a picture, just from my own head. Honestly I don’t usually use these kind of color recipe books, because I don’t want to get too attached to using them as a crutch. I need a certain element of spontaneity when painting. The idea of using “recipes” where x paint+x paint+x paint= y color sounds way too technical for my tastes. And not to mention expensive! Who needs all of those particular shades of paint? Where are you going to store it? Is there REALLY a big difference if I just use an orange that I mix up versus the cadmium orange hue scarlet that the book says I need? I think I’ve made decent paintings with a lot less colors than some of these books mention.

colorbook2

colorbook3All jokes aside, the book was actually helpful. I used it as more of a jumping off point and a visual aid rather than some kind of cut-and-dry resource. I took a break, came back to the painting with fresh eyes, and the book became my guide when I just couldn’t really think anymore. So the book, coupled with my own knowledge about color, allowed me to achieve much cleaner shades and tones for that particular painting. If you were ever curious about buying a color mixing book, I definitely think it’s worth it as a backup – especially if you’re already in school or taking private classes. If you’re just starting out and don’t know much about paint and mixing colors, these books can be a bit overwhelming so I wouldn’t recommend you get one until you get more comfortable.

Thoughts? Have you used any color mixing books? Love them or hate them?

Check out my art from 2013!

"The Garden" Acrylic on canvas, 20" x 24" 2013.

“The Garden” Acrylic on canvas, 20″ x 24″ 2013.

Finally updated my album of work on the Purple Paintbrush Facebook page! I just added a few things that I created earlier this year, plus a few pieces from recent years that I’m just getting around to publishing. Full descriptions are included for most of the work so you can get an idea of the inspirations behind the pieces.

Please feel free to peruse the album and let me know what you think! Find it here.

Thanks for viewing!

Back at it!

First let me apologize. It’s been a long hiatus! Things had definitely been a little hectic for a while. Not sure why I hadn’t said anything about it before, but now that it’s finally here I am very excited to share that I’m in Philadelphia this week doing a painting workshop at Studio Incamminati! Studio Incamminati is an atelier that is one of the best at developing students who want to learn the style of humanist realism. Students are taught under the teaching philosophy of its founder, Nelson Shanks. The experience has been stimulating yet challenging so far, and while I’m here I will do my best to provide updates, pictures, and for the first time – video! Yes, I’ll be recording video recaps of my days in class and the work that I’m doing. For now just check out the Purple Paintbrush Facebook page for the video uploads. Like, share, comment, or just watch if that’s what you’re into. 😉

Naomi and Dali: An Introduction

The Elephants, Salvador Dali. 1948

This week the worlds of the arts collide and the truly insane rejoice!

I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to guest blog on apurplepaintbrush.com to celebrate Dali week. I am a lover of the written word, I am a lover of Salvador Dali, I — insert dramatic pause here — am a lover of Traci Turner. Friends for 15 years and practically opposites in every way, we’ve found that our very own passion for our respective arts (my writing, her painting) has allowed us to connect with one another on levels that most people don’t care to explore these days :-/.

We live in this new world where it’s perfectly ok to use technology to shield others from who you really are. The core of a person can now be determined by the look of an Instagram photo or whack updates posted on Facebook. I hope that we can at least look inside ourselves and find that there is a lot more where that came from and who we truly are is not what we post. Maybe, in the rarest of moments we allow something to trigger spontaneity within us and reveal a glimpse of who we are at heart. The song that brings the wallflower onto the dance floor, the documentary that moves you to start a revolution, or even the beauty of a stranger’s mouth that triggers a wildly inappropriate fantasy. The question is: do we wish to allow our personalities to be auto-corrected into something more palatable for the masses? Or is it finally time to reveal the grit and insanity within and let the chips fall where they may?

This week, in honor of Salvador Dali, I hope to take you deep into yourself to extract the part of you all have yet to see. Dali has been dead for years but it is from his life that I have learned to pursue my art without censor or fear of judgement, to always say exactly what I mean, and to live life as if I am slowly going more insane with each passing day. Join me in the asylum, if only just for the week, and we’ll let go of our inhibitions and open our minds together….

Happy Dali week!!

Making it work!

Since I started having to be held accountable for homework assignments for my portrait painting class with The Art League, I’ve found that I really have no excuse for not painting more often. In my mind, I couldn’t paint more because I didn’t have enough space or the right lighting, or enough time, blah blah [Insert procrastination reason here]. So many of us make up excuses to put off a lot of things we keep “meaning to do”. Why is that? For me, I’m now starting to believe that the root of my excuses about not painting is the fear of actually starting the task. Once I get going though, it’s all over.

This string of thoughts, and the fact that I want to take my class seriously and DO the homework assigned, inspired me to do a post about making art with limited space and/or resources. Because let’s face it, so many of us out there that want to work on creating masterpieces probably don’t have the funds to rent studio space or build such a space at home. I live with my mom in a 2 bedroom condo, so I damn sure thought I wasn’t going to have the space to be creating much of anything. Boy was I wrong. Turns out, just like in life, when you want to do something, you just find a way to do it. Period. It may not happen right way, or it may not be the most pleasant experience, but you somehow get yourself down that path you want to take. Wanting it just isn’t enough after a while.

There isn’t a whole lot of room, but I have been able to to turn the dining space into a makeshift studio of sorts. Now I really have no excuse not to be more productive in some way.  Here are some pictures of me completing my first homework assignment for class, which also happened to be the first time I set up the dining room space as my “studio”:


This was truly a humbling experience. It only makes me wonder about all the other things we tell ourselves we can’t do, when we actually really WANT to do it! The only thing in your way, is you.

Homework for this week

So I decided to do a self-portrait for my homework assignment. Danni said that achieving a likeness shouldn’t be the goal, and I think I may have taken that too literally! I don’t think it looks like me at all. I didn’t start off with a strong enough drawing this time and I think it shows. I was so focused on doing better than I did last week, which meant laying thicker paint down, mixing better colors, and painting faster (I had a 2-hour time limit). I do think that I did better this time around, but I wish I was able to push it further. Maybe that’s something I can do next week on my own time. Anyway, here’s a look! (Sorry for the picture quality! I didn’t have my real camera on me, so I had to use my phone.)