Mini Paper Inspiration - A PAINTING TIP

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

Early mornings are my best opportunity to paint. The gallery opens at ten, so the hours before are quiet, and the all-to-myself space is serene. At six on a recent morning, I opened my watercolor supply drawer and grabbed a smooth, pristine sheet of 300-pound, hot press watercolor paper. The 22-inch-by-30-inch, full-size watercolor stock is perfect for my artwork; it gives the paint plenty of room to flow. As I pulled out the big piece, something small fluttered to the floor. It was a little square of paper with irregular edges. I’d forgotten all about this treasure!

Months ago, maybe years – time does slip by so quickly – I purchased tiny sheets of handmade paper. I picked up this jewel and felt the delicate, feathery boarders on this precious 4-inch-by-5-inch paper.

Instantly I was inspired. Interesting shapes and sizes can do this to me. Why paint only on the standard rectangle sheets that paper manufacturer produce? Often the first thing I do before painting is cut up that standard piece – perhaps into a long, narrow format or maybe a perfect square. Changing shapes is a great way to jazz up your day even before you begin to color mix.

On this occasion, though, the inspiration was in front of me: The paper was mini in size but humongous in potential. So ... I let the paints fly.

On the way home, after a day painting and retail at "the office," we needed a grocery pit stop if dinner was to happen. First, I picked up Mom from the senior center, and soon we were shuffling the food aisles together. I try to walk at an easy pace with Mom.

When getting groceries, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but sometimes I stumble onto something new to try. Having my 80-plus mom along has added to this what's-for-dinner inspiration.

Moseying by the shelves with tuna choices, I heard “my, my,” as Mom gazed at the litany of single-serving pouches: “lemon pepper, Mediterranean, sweet and spicy … Lordy be! I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Since that stroll down the canned fish aisle, Mom’s tuna noddle casserole has a unexpected and spicy new flavor!

What’s inspired you today?

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How to Balance Warm and Cool Colors

Posted on February 18, 2015 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

Below, can you feel the difference in the two paintings?

For warmth:  A Glowing Sunset, on the left, is filled with warm hues of yellow, orange and brown. The vibrancy of the intense colors adds a liveliness to the painting and mimics one of those hot hazy days of summer!

For coolness: Evening Shadows, on right, I focused on cool tones of blues and green. For me, the cooler colors give a bit more mystic feel to the painting. The energy is less and the piece seems more restful.


How to Balance Color: Omitting golden yellows from a palette can be tricky.  Notice the subtle mix of yellow-greens and itty-bitty touches of red-orange in the primarily blue in the painting above, Evening Shadows.  Often a strictly blue color palette will leave you feeling chilled, like the bite of a winter day with its crisp air that creeps through your skin and seeps deep into your bones. Just a hint of warm colors can thaw that arctic feeling. Here's how in your home:
Notice in the photo above how the warm hue of the cherry wood night stand softens the cool, crisp tints of blue. Whereas, in the photo below the cool blues and black are balanced by the warm tone of beige in the chair, carpet and wall color.

By mixing warm and cool tones you can create different moods. I hope you have fun playing with color!

Learn more about in the series on: the psychology of color.

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About the Artsy Shopkeeper

Hi, I'm Kate Moynihan. Yes, I am a baby boomer, and my professional life has taken a few interesting twists and turns. The journey began as a registered nurse. After thirteen years of caring for others, however, I got the creative itch. At the time, I was a single mom living in North Dakota; that’s when I caught this bug to paint pictures. Now, twenty-seven years later, I have some stories to tell about my artistic journey. Read more...

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