What are you thinking when painting?

Quoting Nicholas Wilton this week.....

"If we are thinking about other people’s work when we are making art, then we are not really making our own art. The activity of comparing, admiring, and imitating other people’s work is a very different activity than making your art. These two activities should be kept far apart as they don’t help each other. Making strong art is accomplished more easily by looking within ourselves."

His thoughts this week really rang true with me. So often I have been inspired by a particular artist whose work I admire and found myself painting thinking about how that person filtered the light thru the trees, or how a particular symbol gave rich meaning to his/her work. Now that doesn't mean that I should never use that symbol or something like it in my own painting, but what it does say to me is that, the use of a symbol in my painting should come from within me. Filtering the light thru my painting should happen because the painting itself calls f…

Thoughts That Limit Your Creative Journey

Welcome back to my Blog! Be sure to sign up for the notifications when there is a new posting so you won't miss any of my "abstract thoughts"! Today, let's think about your beliefs which can encourage or limit you in the creative journey. Why do some fail in their artistic journey and some do not?

1. One thing I hear a lot is "I'm not talented". That is a downer from the get go! If you think you have no talent or you compare yourself to others who you feel have more talent than you, it will limit your ability to truly find yourself as an artist. I tell students that "talent" is highly overrated. It's more important to have perseverence...some of my friends will remember Dinah Shore, who sang so poorly in high school that all her friends would beg her to stop! She kept saying someday she would be a star...and she believed it...and she persevered....right onto her own TV show where she sang with many popular performers of the day.
Don't …


That's a rather long name for a painting, but I think it really fits the work in progress that I'm sharing with all of you today. I began the painting with a variety of watercolors painted onto a 36x36 canvas. If you watched my previous YouTube demo you'll recognize the plastic over wet paint beginning that I used before. But I'll post a few pics for you anyway....

After this has dried completely, I remove the plastic and turn the canvas several times until I find a pattern that is pleasing to the eye. The pic below shows the underpainting on my easel. Since everything is transparent at this point, I begin by adding acrylic paints to create some opaque shapes. I often follow the patterns from the underpainting but not completely.

After turning the canvas again, I've painted more shapes with acrylic inks and thinned acrylic paint. Have also used a yellow ink to glaze some of the areas. The crop below shows the blue painted areas on the left and the glazed area on th…


It's now 2017 and if you read my last post of 2016, you know that "change" is my word for this year. Hopefully it will be a year of new ideas for creating and following my muse wherever it leads.

One of the things I want to strive for this year is creating some short videos. I'm often ask "how do you begin your abstract paintings?" and the first video focuses on that question and demonstrates "one" of the many ways that I've found to jump start creativity. You will find it on YouTube at;fi=v-cAzQxYfCg-0

Here's an image of the finished painting after the surface has dried and I've added acrylic paint over the underpainting creating "Bonefish". 24 x 24 on gallery canvas. I apologize for the poor lighting on the image...will do better next time!

Abstract Color will focus on the making of art this year. Hope you will enjoy! carly

What's your WORD for the New Year?

Recently I read a post by a FB friend who talked about choosing a word for her year. It spurred my thinking about this year and a word that I have focused on - creativity! And if you've been reading my blog this past year, you are familiar with some of the thoughts that word brought to mind!

But I began thinking about a word for the New Year and wondered how to choose. So many words came to mind that I thought would fit but which one was right for me? Here are a couple that I mulled over but didn't make the cut....declutter! Yep, that would fit me just fine since I have a tendency to "collect" things, so for a week I decluttered! But one can just do that for so, the next word that came to mind was....completion! And I won't go into the list of projects that I have labeled for completion in the next year but just making the list was tiring! I decided the best way to choose a word for the New Year was to allow the word to choose me and it did!


When A Painting Speaks

No, it's not during the painting process that I'm writing about today. on!

I have a wall across from the kitchen in my sitting room where the dining table resides against the wall. On the wall hangs a favorite painting that I feel has said all there is to say. Gradually over time, the painting begins to catch my attention with its, "hey there, look at me. I have something more to say."

After a month of hearing that nagging voice, I comply with its wishes and replace it with another finished work! Now it sits quietly in the corner by the door until I have time to do some repainting but I hear it humming every time I head to the studio and pass it by. Finally, I can ignore its voice no the studio...onto the easel today! I can hear its shout of pleasure as the paint flows across the surface. Not a total the change is subtle, but neverless, dramatic to the overall statement.

I hear a sigh of relief. The painting smiles back at …

Hurricane Season!

Today I'm on the schedule to work at ArtTrends Gallery...the weather has a hurricane heading across Florida in our direction but for the next few hours it's cloudy with rain falling occasionally. Tonight the winds and rain will pick up and I'll be tucked in at home hoping no trees come falling thru my roof!

Was thinking how storms in our art life often send us into hiding or at least seeking cover! What kind of storms you ask....well, how about the unexpected closing of a gallery where you have shown for a few years and have been successful with sales? or how about the gallery that calls and they want you to pick up your work due to lack of sales? or how about rejection from a show where you have won awards in years past? or how about rejection of a commission that you've worked on for months! I'm sure you can remember some other "storms" that have happened without warning at times in your art career.

Storms in our creative life happen....just like the ap…