image courtesy of Liz Powley
Welcome to Week 23 of Paint Party Friday (Year 2) and to the next edition of our Featured Artist Series! (Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Please click here for details!) This week's featured artist has a wonderfully adventurous spirit when it comes to painting and inspires us with her experimentation and talents weekly. Please welcome Liz Powley from Gumnut Inspirations!
Please tell us a bit about your personal history with painting. (When did you start painting? How has your painting evolved since you first started?) I discovered I could draw when I was 7 years old. However, despite studying art all through school and then graphic design in college, I never really started to explore painting until I was 37, a couple of years ago. I’d made a few attempts over the years at various points, some watercolour in high school, a single oil painting at 19 (a portrait) and a small rash of abstracts in 2001, but other than that I’ve never painted before. Certainly not to the extent I am attempting now.
My most successful works prior to 2010 were in watercolour pencil, in an exacting, detailed method that took forever and sometimes had me hating the work long before it was finished (if it was lucky enough to be finished).
So really, I’m a painting newbie.
'Crimson Swirls' - close up (acrylics & self leveling gel) courtesy of Liz Powley
(To learn Liz's technique you can watch her video here.)
What are your favorite techniques, media, and tools to use in creating your paintings? I am in love with my acrylics at the moment. After lots of reading to educate myself on their physical properties, how they can and can’t be used, and scraping together the money to fully equip my studio with both thick and thin acrylics, I can now say that this is a paint that works well with my working style. I can do anything with it! It is such a flexible and forgiving medium. And the additives you can use to create specific textures and finishes…my mind is just crazy inspired by the possibilities.
My techniques range from traditional to outright experimental. At the moment I’m attempting my first portrait in acrylics, detailed, lots of glazing and taking ages. But at the same time, I’ve been sitting on my couch at night gluing beads and gems to a painted canvas board and then adding chopped up prints of textures I have created using bubblebath, kids’ acrylics and a straw – a completely unplanned abstract paper mosaic.
In the last two years I have used pastels, watercolours, watercolour pencils, Inktense pencils, oil pastels, and fluid and heavy body acrylics. I’ve used from 10cm square illustration board to a canvas a couple metres wide. I’ve started an art journal - something completely new to me - and that has experiments in it involving credit cards, graffiti and texture gels. I’ve been exploring stencilling and stamping, I’ve made my first handmade books. I’ve painted with my mouse, exploring digital painting while breastfeeding my daughter! (What can I say, my brain breaks if it isn’t thoroughly occupied at all times.)
Basically I’m an artist in search of her art. But I think I’m the closest to finding it than I have ever been.
'Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog' courtesy of Liz Powley
(You can see pictures from start to finish here.)
What is your favorite thing to paint? Why? It changes all the time, usually bouncing back and forth between realistic and abstract. I’m making an effort to break away from realistic in the extreme, simply because one of my goals has been to free up my art from ‘what is expected’ or ‘what I should do’ and let myself do what I want to do and damn the consequences. It has been very freeing. I’m a strong believer that half the art equation is state of mind.
But then I find myself returning to realistic from time to time to simply explore technique and my strength with the medium. Testing myself to see what I’m now capable of (hence the portrait I’m doing now).
I love colour and light. I love the natural world. You won’t find many buildings or cars or man-made objects in my art. I’m not a fan of hard-edged perspective, mainly because I need more practise (it is my nemesis). I like atmosphere and mood. I have an interest in portraiture, but am not a fan of drawing the human body. This is something I am thinking of fixing. The difficulty in the human body is creating the feeling of life and movement, something I have failed to master. Practise should fix it and you may see some stumbling attempts of mine in the future.
I’m also interested in exploring how to channel emotion into my art. I can write emotion, but have yet failed to do the same with paint. I’m also curious about creating movement and expression.
'Sophie the Mermaid' courtesy of Liz Powley
(You can see pictures from start to finish here)
What is your proudest painting moment and/or greatest painting achievement so far? This is going to sound lame, but I recently completed a painting for my eldest daughter. I posted it here several times over its quite long development period and I would like to thank all those wonderful people here who egged me on and took the time to comment on my blog. It is now hanging in her bedroom, fully varnished, signed and dated. It will last for a long time, and barring disaster, could be handed down to her children and grand children.
To start is fun, but to finish is ecstasy. I’m just really happy that I saw it through. Too many things get half done and lay around unfinished, and it was just nice to have a final and complete product for no better reason than as a random gift for my daughter.
Other than that I’ve created a mural for the Unley Libraries which covers a wall of their children’s section, I won a competition in college and had a poster printed from that, and I created a couple of very large watercolour pencil paintings for a friend several years ago that she framed and kept on her walls.
But right now, ‘Sofie the Mermaid’ holds a more important place in my heart.
'Bubbles Inverted' courtesy of Liz Powley
What's next in your painting future? Exploration! Experimentation! Anything I feel like doing.
On the more practical side of things, I’m hoping to add a lot more to my website. I want to do more tutorials, explore video, finally get that gallery up I’ve been meaning to add for ages. I have never really held an exhibition or really sold any work, so both of those are on the long term agenda.
I have a number of ongoing painting projects I want to continue to explore. A series on the subject of bushfire, my bubble painting, butterfly painting, paper mosaics, and the use of three dimensional objects like glass beads and gems in my paintings. I have some stencilling plans. I’m also looking at some ‘life inspired’ quotes and the art I can generate from those.
You can find my work on my website – Gumnut Inspirations – http://inspired.gumnut.net
But I am also available through several social media platforms:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/gumnutinspirations (my page)
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/lizpowley (my arty profile)
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/gumnut_inspired
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/lizpowley
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/GumnutInspirations/
Thanks so much for this opportunity, oh wonderful Paint Party Friday Peeps. I’m honoured to be here!
Thank you, Liz! And, thank you for generously sharing the results of your exploration with all of us (Kristin and EVA are both itching to give bubble painting a shot)!
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
WE WANT YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY!
**Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Click here for details!**
Another hopping party last week, filled with such wonderful paintings!
Now, here is our check-in for this week's party:
As always, please make sure to use your post URL address NOT your blog home page URL address as there are many late visitors who get confused as to which post is for PPF when they arrive (after Friday) at your website. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Linky, an explanation of how this tool works can be found on Week 1 and Week 2 Check-Ins.
Hope everyone has a fun and creative week!