Happy Accidents and Improved Skills

Transcendence  #5 6x6 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas.

Transcendence #5 6×6 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas.

I’ve been working on a series of small paintings for an upcoming show next month called Transcendence. They are four 8×8 canvases that are ideally sold together as a set. Two Buddhas and two lotuses. The smallest painting is one I worked on the side, along with the four. It’s the one you see above and it’s a 6×6 on gallery wrapped canvas.

Transcendence #5 is for a contest I’m hosting for the next few months. Want to win this beautiful original painting worth $100? Sign up for my newsletter and you’re automatically entered to win. As a thank you, you will get two free downloadable greeting cards worth $10.

Happy accidents

While working on this series side by side, I had intended on making the background a bit darker. I mixed up some dark brown glaze – the burnt umber liquid paint with some liquid medium to make it very transparent, plus some water to help it settle into all the little grooves of texture from the off white paint I applied with a palette knife.

I let the glaze dry a little bit, with the intention to wipe it off and the paint that was deeper in the cracks and crevices would remain. Well, I wiped and clumps came off and created a really interesting effect. Totally unexpected, and during the first few seconds of discovering this I was shocked. But right after the shock was an instant like. Now I love it and hope to recreate this effect in future works. How I love happy accidents!  I can’t wait to show you how the other four paintings look.

Improved Skills

I can hardly wait to show you this series of paintings. I noticed as I was painting them that it is totally a journey, especially with the first Buddha face I painted. At first I wasn’t very pleased with the way he was looking. But as I worked more, I discovered as I added swipes of color here and darkened the shadows and just painted what I saw, it was transforming into something that looked beautiful.

The thought came to me that I’m improving quite a bit since I started painting regularly nearly two years ago. As I drew in the basic lines of the lotus flowers and Buddha heads, I remarked silently on how much I was able to get them to look like the reference photos. I grided them into quarters, since the format was a square. I wasn’t trying to be too precise, but simply wanted the proportion to be correct. And it was. Each of them turned out so good.

I have one painting left to do before I have the big reveal.

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