Posts

Showing posts from March, 2016

Paranormal Art

Image
Greetings!

Every now and then, I create a painting that feels...off.  What's ironic, is that sometimes they actually freak me out a little, because my drip lines can appear a little ghost-like if I don't control them quite right. In the past, I would rework these paintings or throw them away if they were really bizarre, but lately (and thankfully!) I've been keeping them in hopes I could use them down the road.

Well, well, well...guess who found a Paranormal-themed art exhibition? !!!  I will be submitting three pieces that feature my signature drip lines, but they're waaay creepier than normal.  Paranormal, indeed.


I won't find out if my pieces will be part of the exhibit til the end of May (oh, the waiting...), but that's alright.  I'm still pleased with myself that I actually hung onto these paintings for this particular opportunity.  

Today's musical selection is a tribute to Dana Scully:


X-Files theme piano & strings via YouTube

Cheers!

-OJ

"Spring Showers" (20x16 on canvas)

Image
Greetings!

I have finished my piece for the local "Spring-inspired" gallery show!  I had full intentions to go mixed media (I even bought some fresh pens!), but alas...after the paint dried, I decided it was best to leave it as a watercolor/acrylic work.  I think I've just been itching to do some more mixed media pieces...so that will likely be my next outlet for awhile :)

Anywho, back to the painting -- It's my impression of Springtime's two most lovely aspects: gentle rain that makes the grass grow and the abundance of flowers that pop up out of nowhere.  I wanted to capture these two things, because they truly signify what Spring means to me.

For the rain and green-ing grass part I incorporated my painted drip lines and for the flowers I used flowing color orbs to create gobs of floral goodness.  I'd mentioned in my previous blog post (here) about using the J.Crew Italian cashmere sweater colors as my palette...indeed I did!  I also added coral, however, beca…

Children's Art

Image
Greetings!

Last week, I stumbled upon a local Craigslist ad looking for an artist/illustrator for a new children's television show.  I was intrigued!  The animals they wanted were a tiger, a snake, a giraffe and a jackrabbit.  I don't have experience with this particular type of subject matter, but I knew it could be a great opportunity to experiment and challenge myself.  Plus, who doesn't want to draw a jackrabbit?  THOSE EARS <3

3 Things I Learned:

1.) Drawing animals that don't look creepy is REALLY difficult.  I swear, the first few versions of the snake and the jackrabbit in particular were terrifying.  I couldn't figure out why!  Eventually, I realized I needed to adjust the eyes to make them look friendlier and completely remove the eyebrows, because I think those were making them look too human.  Sometimes less is definitely more.

2.) My watercolor art actually kinda...maybe(?) works for these?  I realize this is my first attempt at this type of mixed medi…

Painting Inspiration: Spring

Image
Greetings!

For today's post, I wanted to share my journey as I start creating a "Spring-inspired" piece for a new gallery submission that I (*fingers crossed*) will get selected for.  I've been painting A LOT of Spring-y pieces lately . . . cheery pastels galore and my favorite color to paint with:  shades of yellow <3  It may be snowing, cloudy, and blaaah here in Minneapolis, but my passion for painting all things Spring will not be deterred!  Another plus: I get to wear my favorite scarves a little longer ;)





So, now it's time to put these colors and stylings to the test -- do I want to go super colorful, landscape, abstract, mixed media, all of the above (?).  Why not!  Let's try all of the above ;) 

I also have been flipping thru my Spring 2016 Anthropologie & J.Crew magazines and the two features that are just begging to be painted are the men's lightweight Italian cashmere sweater color options (pg. 57!) -- so beautiful!and the rugs in the Anthr…

"Taylors Falls" (2 piece 16x20 canvas set)

Image
Greetings! Today I'm pleased to share the finished "Taylors Falls" commission painting that I've been working on [here + here] . . . 
These two pieces were a lot of fun to create :)  I truly enjoyed taking a trip to visit the beautiful St. Croix River along the Minnesota/Wisconsin border to scope out the scenery -- plus, I'd never done a commissioned set of paintings before, so I loved getting inventive in a new way.  For additional texture and depth, I used salt as a resist after trying it out here with fleur del sel.  I used a finer grain size this time, because I wanted the effect to be more organic.  Additionally, several washes of paint layers were a vital component of these paintings.  In order to build up the structures of the flowing river, riverbed/cliffs and trees, multiple layers were used to create the dimensions and shadows that make nature so lovely and lush.

 See the difference between these two?  The additional washes of color for texture and dimen…

I am a rock, I am an I...T help center!

Image
Greetings!

If you've been following along this week, you may have noticed that the olivia-j-designs.com website is under-construction . . . I'm giving it a much needed Spring cleaning :)

Over the past year or so, I've been compiling a massive list of my website needs for my dream of running an Olivia J Designs webbusiness, and I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves and get nerdy.  Luckily, I kinda sorta LOVE this stuff.  Does anyone remember Expage.com circa early 2000's?  Yeah, I was obsessed with that site and created a bunch of meaningless websites about random things, my BFF's, and I can't remember what else.   Probably raves about Fruitopia and Bath & Body Works.  Typical middle school stuff.

I enjoy solving problems, and that's what building a website from scratch is about.  Yes, it may have taken me nearly an hour last night to get my domain names jiving, but I figured it out because I knew I had to.  Another perk is that a lot of websites prov…

Free Backgrounds! (SPRING)

Image
Greetings!

Today I wanted to share a few free backgrounds that I painted with a Spring theme :)  

Enjoy!

 >>CLICK<< 
Today's musical selection is from one of my favorite super heroes . . . Lizzo ~*  She really brings it in her live performances, especially in this one on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  I saw her jam out a few years ago at 89.3 The Current's b-day party, and whoa.  She is so talented! (+Sophia Eris!)
"Aint I" performed by Lizzo on Stephen Colbert via YouTube
-OJ

Update: Painting Taylors Falls

Image
Greetings!

Today I wanted to do a mini post with an update on my latest work --

There are so many gorgeous views of the Taylors Falls area...along the lower river bank, looking down into the river from above, through the trees, along the hiking trails...it took me awhile to figure out which view I wanted to use to capture the beauty of this area.  I decided I wanted to incorporate the falls, the river, and rocks, and the greenery in a cohesive visual from the banks of the river with a view of the tops of the woodsy cliffs.

As it's a 2-piece work, I wanted the canvases to fit together visually, but not be identical.  I came up with the idea of working in the falls in between the two canvases where they meet at the sides, and then depicting the rolling river horizontally along the bottom of the pieces.  I also wanted the falls to be abstract enough that they looked organic -- not overworked.


I started building up the river banks, rocky cliffs, and green hills to place my trees.  Again, …

Painting Places: Happy Places

Image
Greetings!
Today I wanted to share a new collection I'm working on: "The Happy Place" Collection.  It has all my favorite elements of my last collection, but with a twist: a focus on the space and the accessories/decor that make it unique.
To start off the series, I've created four places that are my ultimate in happy :)  I must admit, I'm a pretty simple lady....I get most of my joy from baking/cooking, reading, painting, and loving.   The musical selection for today is an artist I just discovered....have you heard of Harper Simon, Paul Simon's son?  Well, people....I first heard him on the HBO's GIRLS (season 1) soundtrack and I totally thought it was a rogue Paul Simon song.  I just recently investigated the tune (+ truthfully the entire GIRLS soundtracks, seasons 1-4), and whoa...bliss.  Enjoy:

 "Wishes & Stars" by Harper Simon via YouTube

Cheers!
-OJ

Painting Places: Taylors Falls

Image
Greetings!

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to get out on an adventure!  I've been stuck at home the past few weeks recovering from a health issue, so it was incredibly refreshing to spend some time outdoors.  My newest commission is for a two-piece painting inspired by a hike around Taylors Falls.  For those not familiar with this area, it is located at the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota, located along the St. Croix River.  It's beautiful.  It had been awhile since I'd ventured to this spot, so I knew I needed to head back to refresh my memory for my canvas creations.  Sure, there are photos online, but I needed to go back to truly get a feel for the place to make the colors, river rocks, trees, and greenery more meaningful.  Luckily, a freakishly warm weekend appeared out of nowhere!   

Two main features of the area that popped out to me:

1.) The gorgeous river rocks.  I think they are technically "glacial deposits" from lava flows.  Anywho, the geology…