August 08, 2016

I was in a show!


I was so pleased that one of my paintings was accepted into the Sooke Fine Arts show this summer! It was amazing to have my work juried by gallery owners, artists and art teachers and to be included in this wonderful show that celebrates art and artists from Vancouver Island.


The painting that was accepted was my large chestnut tree leaf entitled "It was time to let go". Here it is hanging at the show, all lit up and labeled. It doesn't seem that long ago that I picked up that leaf off my front yard lawn thinking it looked interesting and brought it into the house. The post I wrote about it last fall is here

It's so encouraging (and fun!) to have my painting in a show and to share my art with more people. I hope some of you had a chance to visit the show and take in all the great art from our Island.



July 06, 2016

I've been drawing...


I picked up my pencils a few weeks ago and it seems that I can't put them down! I've been loving doing these drawings. The simplicity of pencil on paper is heavenly and I can focus on all the many tones of grey and feel quite relaxed. Perhaps it's the summer weather that also makes me want to keep things light and simple. 

Being immersed in a drawing is a wonderful place to be. It's a rhythm I can get into that's like weeding the garden, or going on a long hike - I'm in the present and I really can't (or don't want to) think of anything else.  Sometimes it's too nice of a place to be and little people start asking for food ;)

I'm sorry I haven't posted anything here on my blog for a few weeks, but I've been posting much more often on Instagram and Facebook. It's just so darn quick and easy! So please check out my stuff there, and if you don't have accounts yourself, just click on the icons on my side bar and you can still see my Instagram and Facebook accounts. Or you can click on these link: 


I hope you're enjoying your summer gardens!


May 25, 2016

The Siberian Iris




My beautiful Siberian Iris has already bloomed and faded, but I took the time to paint this watercolour while I had the chance. One of my favourite plants, this delicate bloom wins me over every year with its complicated form and tall graceful grasses. Plus, it serves as a hummingbird feeder in my yard which adds to the show!

I used watercolour for this one and it's on paper, 8x10 inches.

Enjoy!

April 29, 2016

the humble dandelion

Dandelion - food, medicine, or weed? 


I've been rethinking the humble dandelion... do you consider it food, medicine, or weed? Or is it actually a really beautiful plant that I have way too many of?

Dandelions are taking over our front yard and I've been staring at them unsure of what strategy to use this year to try and get rid of them. Then, a few days ago I was wondering  through the grocery store and there they were again - bundles of dandelion leaves, $2 a bunch! Hmmmm....

While I try and figure out wether to pull these little plants out by the roots, or to harvest their greens, I thought I may as well start with a drawing of them. This is 8x10 inches, and was made with watercolour paints and coloured pencils on paper. It is available in my shop!

Enjoy!

April 22, 2016

New painting!


The pansy breathed in Spring


I've just finished this painting of a blue pansy and wanted to share it with you all! It's made with acrylic paint and it's on a wood cradled panel, 16x16 inches.

Oh pansies... you know I love-hate them, but they intrigue me.  I love them because of their beautiful colours and their soft fluttery petals. I hate them because, well, the petals are so delicate that they don't hold up in the garden - they get crushed, eaten, and bashed into the soil and always look disappointing. So for this painting, my challenge was to see if I could capture the best of the pansy - could I make it bold and delicate, strong yet vulnerable? I hope you like how it turned out!

To make this painting, I watered down my acrylic paints to make them act like watercolours and did many layers of blues and purples, trying not to loose the lightness of the delicate petals. It was a beautiful mess of blues to wade through for a couple of weeks. 

I hope you like it! It's available in my shop ($450 USD) if anyone is interested in adopting it into their home :)



April 13, 2016

a wash of blues and purples...


I've been happily lost in many washes of blues and purples lately, painting a very large pansy.

I kind of love-hate pansies... they are such a welcome hit of colour in spring and their delicate petals are lovely when they're sitting at the garden centre hoping you'll pick them up and take them home. But then, once they're planted in the dirt, those delicate petals get crushed down by the lightest spring rain shower and continue to get eaten by slugs. Yes, I love them, and loathe them!

I thought it would be wonderful to paint one and celebrate all that lovely watery colour and see what would happen if I painted one very large. I chose a blue pansy, which I was quite taken by, but then grows more purple as it matures, and I decided to paint on a 16x16 inch square panel.


Here is a peek at the painting in progress, as I'm building up the layers of colour. Even though I have a place to paint, the living room floor was the only spot that seemed right that day. It's like I needed to lean over the painting to be fully immersed in it, rather than staring AT it on an easel. 

The painting is almost finished now... just fine tuning some details. I'll post the completed blue pansy very soon!

March 30, 2016

Hanging a wee show!



I've had a lot of fun this past week getting ready for an art show. I was asked to hang some of my paintings in the lovely art studio, Poppet Creative, run by the very talented Andrea Soos. She gave me a wall to fill, and I did! 

 It was great to see my paintings in a new way, not to mention, my garden! That's what struck me as I was laying them all out - all of those plants mean something to me and I've taken care of them over the years, and now they're living on in a totally different way.  Seeing my paintings framed and labelled and looking their best was also a real thrill.

I was really pleased with how it all came together and I was so happy to have this great opportunity. Poppet Creative is a studio that runs art classes for kids and adults so there will be a lot of creative people coming and going.

If you live in Victoria and want to stop by to take a peek, the studio has "open studio" times on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30 which is a good time to come in and say hello.

March 11, 2016

I'm venturing out...


...into a bit more social media!

  You can now check me out on Instagram and Facebook and see more of what I'm up to on a daily basis. It's been really fun exploring some new ways to show my work and tell my story. I'm posting lots of plants, paintings and inspirations too. Hope to see you there!

Instagram: instagram.com/kristenjohnsart

Facebook: facebook.com/kristenjohnsart

March 03, 2016

New painting!


This week I've been swimming in all shades of red as I worked through this painting of a tulip. Tulips have such intense colour that we all love and I really wanted this painting to be vibrant, rich and bold. It's fairly small (8 x 8 inches) but it sure brightens things up wherever it's sitting. A lovely punch of colour sure is welcome in the house as we are finding our way out of winter. I think that's the reason why I was drawn to it this week - I need colour and I need Spring!


My favourite parts of making this painting were the beautiful shines in this piece, and the strong contours of the petals always hold my attention. I painted it on a cradled wood panel so it sits nicely on a shelf or mantel, or it can hang on a wall, of course. It is available in my shop ($130 USD) if you'd like it to come live at your house :)

One last shot for you...  in order to make a painting I have to go through some mess and so here's a little glimpse of my painting table this morning with the leftovers of this tulip - headphones and all. 


Thanks for visiting!
Kristen


February 17, 2016

The clematis leaves...


I've just finished my latest painting and wanted to share. I've called this one "Quietly Thriving".

Here are my clematis leaves, with their many layers of green. I worked hard on all those veins, since that was the main focus of the whole painting. I was hoping to create a balance between the simple, quiet form of the leaves and the wildness of all the vein lines running through them.  And I did love adding those flecks of pink and blue to liven it up. 

Boy, I just love plants!  I know you all know that, but to look at the beauty and mystery of this really simple, very common leaf has been a joy. It is alive and  thriving out there in my backyard, even though it's been completely ignored by me and the rest of the world. It's just doing it's thing, quietly growing in it's own mysterious way.

Enjoy! This painting is for sale in my shop!




Quietly Thriving

12 x 24 inches
acrylic paint on cradled wood board (1 1/2 " deep)