Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week 30 - Fruits of Fall & Harvest Pumpkin

Fruits of Fall

Harvest Pumpkin

It's a two'fer this weekend! I was in the mood to paint pumpkins, the Harvest Pumpkin was the first and then the Fruits of Fall came along after.  The second is more in line with the traditional Chinese brush painting style.  The first was not in actual brush painting style, but with the brushes, paper, and the paints of course.
I love the smells, colors, and flavors of autumn.  If I can capture just a portion of those in paint, then I will have accomplished something amazing.
Enjoy the season!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week 29 - Mysterious Enduring thoughts

Mysterious Enduring Thoughts - Dawn Marie Black

I have decided to take a break form butterflies for a moment and do another floral.  These are calming and cathartic to paint.  I wanted to incorporate some of the fall hues as we enter into the Autumn season, if only the weather felt a bit more seasonal. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

In process

I've been feeling unwell for a while and have gotten behind on finishing new pieces.  Here is one that I am almost done with.  Well, unless something else on it needs to be done for me to feel it is complete.
Have a great week, I'll be posting regularly again soon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week 27- Butterfly Kisses

This piece has taken me all summer long.  The black in the butterfly took the longest, so this took a lot of patience.  This summer has bee filled with dragonflies and butterflies, there are still more to go, so keep your eyes open.  I also worked on another piece this weekend, but it is not complete.  I will continue to finish the airbrushing and the details in the up coming week.  Be aware of the wonders around you. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 26 - Night Flight

This week I have been working on dragonflies.  Summer had felt like it was winding down, but today it revived itself quite well.  Here's to late nights, summer adventures, lightning bugs, and dreams coming true.
Have a great week living each moment to the fullest. There is beauty in the world around you now, take in so you can remember it later. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Week 24 - Foggy day at Stinson Beach - Complete

Here is the completed piece from my day at the beach. Fog is an tricky and interesting thing to put over a landscape.  I think I will try this on other pieces as well.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Week 25 - Pink Lemonade - a soft pastel Plumeria for summer

by Dawn Marie Black

Sounds of summer, splashing water in the back ground, ocean breezes, kids laughing...
I am fond of these sounds, sights, fragrances, and they have been distracting me lately.  This brilliant weather is what we all miss during the dark months of winter.

This piece decided it's own fate, as I could not put the dark background on this piece, it was so alive and ready for bright summer living.  I am still learning to enjoy these moments of artwork speaking to me as I contemplate the final  touches.

Enjoy the summer, and all of it's pleasures.  Let life move you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 24 - Plien Air piece began at Stinson Beach CA

This week I have many pieces still in process. This one is the one i began over the weekend though and it should be done soon.  I will post it once it is complete.  We had a great time at the beach this weekend, although it was a bit overcast, the wind was not to bad. Once complete I will have prints available through Dawn Black artist website.

Other in process pieces:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Week 23 - Black and White Ball

This week I will continue to work on butterflies and dragonflies, I have a piece that I want to add them too, I just need to know that each one will come out looking beautiful before I add them to the piece to come.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week 22 - Springtime Perfection

This piece was completed with watercolors. I've now done three plumeria flowers, one in oil pastel, one in soft pastel, and this one in water color.  I will paint this type of flower again in other mediums to see which effects I like the best.  Each has their own personality and feel to them. Which artistic medium do you prefer to paint with? Which do you prefer to look at?
This week embrace the creative spirit that lives with in you, what ever form that takes and enjoy the beauty around you!

Available for purchase on website "Dawn Black artist website"

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week 21 - C'est la Vie!

I love masks, they are just fun and unique.  This mask is especially a favorite of mine.  I began this a very long time ago, and was working on completing it the weekend my mother died.  It had been her mask when our family went to the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City Utah, I did make a few alterations.  I'm currently waiting on the finish coat to dry before I sign it and scan it.  I took this picture and promptly dropped my camera in my water bucket. Clumsiness, art, and electronics are not a good mix in case you ever wondered.  This piece started off being painted in ink, but the feathers did not turn out the way I wanted, so I painted them in acrylic, and painted over the rest of the piece except the eyes.  I may try this piece again, but for now I'm just glad to have completed it, my mom would have been sad that I stopped.  Keep looking at the world around you with new eyes.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Week 20 - Holiday weekend

  Take Flight - Sumi-e

This weekend was different from other three day weekends, we normally have travel somewhere fun.  This weekend we were not in a position to travel, and so we spent our weekend cleaning, I managed to find time to paint as well.  It was a relaxing time, and I feel very accomplished in all the projects I was able to finalize. These are the three I completed, there are about 4 more that are almost finished, which is very exciting for me.

Pure Love - watercolor

Have a great week, keep making the world around you beautiful!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Week 19 - Devoted Love

This week I completed a pretty pink plumeria flower.  This flower is mostly recognized in the white flower, with the yellow inside but there are many different colors of blooms.  I've been wanting to do another plumeria, and yet I want not ready to do another single white bloom, but this flower captured my attention.  There are various meanings all over the world, but devotion and love are two of the flowers meanings.
Have a great week creating beauty in the world around you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Lucky Bamboo given in threes is an expression of Happiness, and thus the name.  Three stalks equal happiness in this piece, it also works well for composition in general.  I would like to do more bamboo and practice the dry brush technique on the stalks, this is trickier to do with the smaller brushes.  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 18 - Farewell Beauty

This week's flower is late in that it was to have put up for Mother's Day.  This one is for my mom, Gerbera Daisy's were her favorite.  This one was my first attempt, and I'm sure it will not be my last.  There are many meanings to daisy's and farewell and beauty are two of them, I have combined them here in the title to honor my mother.
I will be working to get the color more accurate before posting to my website for sale, it's really a bit darker pink than this picture shows.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Week 17 - Trio of Appreciation

This week I have been busy getting ready for my sister and her families arrival. So, I went back and tried my hand at the sunflowers again.
Have a great week, and keep on creating!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 16 - Summer Abstract and Prosperity

These are my newest pieces of art.  I like these styles of art a lot, and I plan on creating many more of them.

Here are some of the pictures of the process of the Summer Abstract process.
Ink and water are poured over flowers, leaves, and feathers.
Remove items after ink is dry. Airbrush to blend. and then highlight the areas you want to bring out with ink stippling.
Once finished sign, frame, and hang.

Have a great week, and keep on creating.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week 15 - "Think of me, with pleasant thoughts"

 "Think of me with pleasant thoughts"
a Chinese brush painting by Dawn Marie Black

This is a study in procrastination.  Not my best attribute, and one that I'm actively changing.  This week I spent time working on multiple projects, which would have been great except that I have not finished any of them.  So, tonight I began a completely new project, a Chinese Brush painting of Pansy's.  I have been considering working on the same subject in different mediums, and this is the second installment of Pansy flowers.
I have been working to complete three different series of paintings.  One series that I have a good start on are my floral and botanical pieces.  I have enjoyed adding to this group and will continue to do so.  The second series that I am working to build back up are my abstract/surreal pieces.  I have many ideas, and need to put them all on canvas.  The third series has been more of a challenge, and my focus for this group has shifted between two different ideas.  One idea are my Sumi-ink or Chinese brush painting pieces. But that seems to be more of just a style of painting rather than a subject matter so I have also thought of Adventure type works.  I have two pieces that were previously completed, but are no longer available to show and I would need to begin this series from scratch. 
Well, for the moment I do not need to worry, but eventually I will need to have pieces enough to fill three cases; Two 5' X 5' cases and one 5' X 10' case. Small goals but attainable.  These are the small steps that I have learned from my Franklin Covey leadership sessions.  There are other things that I have learned from My time in Phoenix, dreams that you hold onto for longer than 7 years will come about.  I believe it is because if you are holding onto your dream that long, you are taking the small steps to make it happen.  I think we can all take heart from this, keep a hold of your dreams, protect them from the naysayers.  Those of you who are in business for your self should know how hard you need to protect your vision from negative people, this is true for all of us.  Negative thoughts lead to negative actions and so forth and so on, keep thinking positively and planning in the same manner.  I will fill the cases, and move onto hosting shows in other arenas, and I will only grow from there.  During this time I will practice and hone my skills, I will improve on my procrastination as well.  I like to encourage you all to paint, as if you are all motivated to put paint to canvas.  There are other ways to create though, and you are all artists in your own lives creating beauty from what life has given you.  So, my encouraging words for the week?  Keep your dream protected, but keep dreaming.  Take the small steps to attain your goal, and do not let anyone take your dream from you.  They are not taking the steps, and maybe they have given up on their own dreams do not let them squelch yours.  Be brave, and live your dreams!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Week 14 - Refined Beauty & Arcadia


This week was a very interesting and fun week for me; I completed these two pieces of art, and began to work on a couple of other pieces. There are moments in our lives that inspire us, or drive us to do things that might be above our normal self. Take advantage of these moments in your life, they may become defining moments for you. A dream is born, and then comes action, that movement puts our dreams into motion.

I watched "The Blindside" again tonight, and I was again inspired by one family who stepped out of their comfort zone to help another, in so doing they were all changed. I may have smaller defining moments, but one day I may come to a greater decision like they faced at that moment I want to know that I planned to give my all, that I would step up and become greater than myself. I think that you all have the same possibilities in your lives as well, little things that test who you are. These little things may be the building blocks that will help you become the person that you always knew you could be. I am taking small steps in the art world, and building a collection, and setting deadlines so I can meet them. One day these little steps will prove to be a good discipline, for the future I am working to create for myself.

I hope that you can relate, whether your dream is related to art or some other goal. Take the small steps to prepare yourself for the larger steps that will come into play. Take the leap when the greater moments come, even if they seem to be more than what you feel you can handle, rise to the occasion. Let your greatness shine. Do not let fear hold you back. Have a great week, and keep on creating.

Click here to see more lilies in soft pastel.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week 13 - Pretty in Pink

This week I started two pieces of art, and it worked out well because I only finished one of them this week.  I scanned this much earlier, but the colors were distorted and much lighter than the original and I just could not post the lighter scan, it looked so pale.  I wanted to make this piece vibrant and alive, and the picture needed to represent what I had been working to show on paper.

I love Stargazers, they are my favorite flower along with roses, so it only seemed fitting that I paint one finally.  This next week I plan to complete the other piece, and there will be a small start on a series.  Spring is here, Easter weekend was fabulous, and I am inspired. 

There is something special about spring, animals become frisky, kids in school get all excited and distracted thinking about summer, and the rest of us stare out the window at work and wonder why the weather is perfect while we work and then gets stormy for our ride home?  It does make me curious, but aside form that I look forward to weekends and spending much more time outside.  Maybe I will venture out to paint by the river this spring.  For those of you itching for spring and summer, let your creative wings spread and do something new, something bold. 
Be brave and create!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weeks 11 & 12 - Sunflowers

Last week I was unable to post a piece of new art, so I'm making it up to you this week with two different pieces.  Both of these are sunflowers, done in different mediums each showing a different personality.  Yes, artwork has personality, which is why some pieces grab you more than others.  Beyond technical application, balance of light and shadow, the general flow of the piece, and the general subject of the piece; there is something in each piece of art that either resonates with the viewer or it doesn't.  Some people create art for political reasons, others for aesthetics to fit within a certain decor, but what ever the reason if  the piece does not capture you it just might not be speaking your language.
I have gotten tripped up before on the technical details of a piece, my drawings really tie me into knots thinking that I haven't gotten things into the perfect alignment or the proper shading...but still within the piece there is still a voice that cry's out to be heard.

Here is the Chinese brush painting version of a sunflower.  I would like to practice this a lot more, it's a simple flower, but the colors in the petals could be a bit more yellow next time.

Since this week has been all about sun flowers I thought I would upload an older sunflower colored pencil piece that I had done.  It is a small piece, but it has character.

This piece and the Kansas Sunflower are available for purchase through my website.  These three pieces are very different, and yet they are all of the same type of flower.  One is simple, another dramatic and the other is more playful, but each of these embodies a part of the flower's essence that can be felt.  Summer is coming...the flowers will be blooming.

Keep creating, and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! 

Visit my website.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Week 10 - Dragon fly in Cherry Tree

I finally combined two different items into one composition, this is a first in my Chinese Brush painting pieces.  I can find many things that I would like to do better in this piece, but all in all I like the combination and the colors.  
There was a combination of water color and Sumi-ink on this piece, in order to have color in it.  I like bold statement of the black and white with the bright splashes of color. 
There is not a lot to be said this week regarding technique, or how to accomplish this type of art.  There are books and teachers that know so much more than I.  This week I wanted to focus on the passion.  There are things in this world that spark our imagination and awe, these are the things that move us.  It is important that we as artists remember that each piece should not just be a reflection of what we see, but of what we feel.  
Let me also clarify my definition of artist.  I believe that we all have a bit of an artist in us.  Those who bake and cook are culinary artists, there are plenty of different crafts that are artists.  Scientists are artistic with formulas and creating different things in their field, those who work with math and numbers can also be on the artistic side.  People who write, and speak eloquently are using words to create pieces of art.  People in customer service can see their work in action in diffusing situations, that is an art.  So, I see that there are all kinds of artists in this world, and that we are all moved by different things. 
This week is brand new, take a moment to enjoy the sun and the beginning signs of spring, or at least the hope of it's pending arrival. Focus on the positive, let go of the negative and create.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week 9 - Silhouette Elk in Moon

Silhouette Elk in Moon (9 X 12)

I love painting with my airbrush!  It takes a bit to set up and clean, but the effects are fantastic.  This piece is much smaller than the other moon I did in the past, along with the surface being different as well.  The moon detail was not easy to create with the highlights and shadows, I will have to do another piece to work more on that.  My main focus this time was in the sky, making the back ground different with the leaves in the back ground.  I like putting the nature into the sky to add interest and beauty.   

I primarily used Lascaux acrylics for this piece. They dry quickly and are opaque so I can layer colors in order to sharpen lines where I want them sharp and yet I am able to have the haze as well with the blending capability of the airbrush.  I used my Iwata Eclipse on this piece, I have much better control and can get sharper lines than with my other air brush.  Quality products are much better to work with.  

For all of you artists out there, create the things you love. Remember that not all artists paint with brushes, some prefer the palates of food, words, drama, math, or music.  We are all artists, and all of us have things to create. Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Week 8 - Hybiscus


I have been busy working on another piece, and I was hoping to be able to post it this week, but The best laid schemes of mice and men....

This however, is my first attempt at the hibiscus, and I am happy with how it turned out for being my first try.  I love flowers, and feel that their essence should be caught in many different art forms.   Spring is coming, and I am waiting with baited breath, to smell deeply the freshly washed air that comes after the spring rains.  Chinese brush painting is a fun and loose way of painting for me, it helps me not get to tight and wrapped up in the details.  The flowing ink that can not be erased or fixed, the delicate paper that soaks up the ink and water, the art form that has been around for centuries, it is perfect beauty.  

I think my next attempt at the hibiscus I will be a bouquet of flowers, that could be beautiful.  I have also decided to do the same picture in multiple mediums to see how the different mediums impact the subject.  I think I will need to locate a hibiscus photo that I can begin to paint in various mediums.  Have a great week and take the time to appreciate the beauty around you!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week 7 - Pansy

This week went by so fast, the time just flew by.  This next week is looking to be about the same speed, fast.  Times like this are both good and tiring.  Boredom is not a friend of mine, so time going quickly is wonderful, but it does leave me a bit worn out when I come home to relax and create.  The good news is, I have many different ideas already piled high.
I take quick walks around my office during the day, very short 3 minute breaks to clear my head and move.  This last week the flowers blooming have caught my eye, Pansy's.  They are bright and cheery flowers.  Spring is not here yet, but it is coming and these bright flowers are reminders of the beauty of springs bright blooms.
This water color I used the primary colors and mixed the purples.  I like the depth of color mixing the purple brings out.  The next pansy I paint I will focus on other areas, but this one I wanted bright and fresh like spring.   Have a great week, take the time to see the beauty around you.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 6 - Light House


This week the art will have to be photography.  It is not my strength, but I do love to take lots and lots of pictures, usually they are kept to pain from.  These will be a part of that arsenal of artistic pieces to inspire and just to be painted.
Today was a glorious day, it was filled with wind and water, both of these put a fire in my soul.  I love the ocean, and today the sounds and smells were intoxicating.  The winds were blowing, but we were not tossed about in a big messy blob.  The light house was a hike, and my legs were rubbery climbing back up those three hundred steps, my hubby practically ran up the stairs.  He is very strong, and has long legs, I was left behind to climb at my own pace, it was fun. 
Next week I plan to create two pieces of art, in different mediums, in hopes of catching up from the piece of art I would like ot have created for this week.  Vacations should be relaxing, and inspirational, this one was both.
Remember to frame your photographs as if they are the piece of art themselves.  It is easier to create fantastic art from great photographs, and maybe you will learn that you have a knack for photography as well. - Live Life Loud!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 5 - Purple Rose


This week I have not felt well, and this piece was the closest to being complete.  The deadline came upon me fast this weekend.  I am still working on color saturation and yet not over working the piece.  I will be painting this flower again as I think there is more to show, more depth that has not really come through on this one.  I do like the pinks and purples in the petals though, I did not want to get a flat look with only a few shades of purple.  There was so much more color in that rose.  Originally this flower was given to my sister by a very young admirer, years ago.  It was such a lovely bud though I begged to take pictures to be able to capture it in paint.  Thank you my sister and young admirers everywhere, young love is a beautiful inspiration.  Roses are a classic flower, and I will continue to do more.  Have a great week and paint the things you love!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Week Four - Tree of Creativity

(9x12) Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

This tree was a last minute decision, and it was finished just a few minutes late, hopefully it will still be accepted.  If they check their email tomorrow and are not sticklers about the time stamp on the email.  I really enjoyed doing this piece, but I also really got frustrated in this process.  If it could go wrong, it did.  I was interrupted many many times, and then when I did have uninterrupted time I blew a fuse and fought with paint that really didn't want to dry quickly at all.
I must say, deadlines really make me push myself to get things done.  Airbrush is a fun way to paint, and yet it can be very time consuming. I tried to hand paint the tree over the ink back ground, but the ink was lifted up every time I tried to lay the paint over it, so airbrush was the way to go.

Here are some of the in process pictures, just to give you an idea.
This is the back ground, which was a process in and of itself.  More on that in a later blog.

Using the template to lay down the colors.

Hair dryers can be such a great help when under a time crunch, but do not forget to clean your equipment when you are done.  You should never be in such a hurry that you do not clean your equipment.  Hardened paint destroys brushes, and airbrushes alike.   

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Panda & Old Beggar - Week 3

Panda - this is the final version this week.  His body still is not what I'm looking for, so I will be painting him again.  I will post pictures of new paintings of the panda as they improve.  But he will be one I will work on matting and framing properly, this is a whole art form in and of itself.

Here are two other panda's one of which was painted on the wrong side of the paper.

This guy just needs help, but the look in his eyes is rather endearing in a pathetic way.  The ink was too light on him, and the body was shaped strange, but the ink flowed pretty nicely.

This is what happens when you paint on the wrong side of the rice paper.  There was a lot of bleeding in the paper. Another lesson to remember regarding water, keep paper towels by your side so you can dab off excess water.  The runny ink is not pretty. 

There are those who think that Chinese brush painting is easy, this is not true.  There is a reason that the masters spend life times working on capturing bamboo, and other subjects.  When painting in this medium it is very important to use good quality brushes.  The ink is permanent, paint in old clothes and have lots of sheets of paper to keep painting even when you do not get the image right the first time.  There is no correcting mistakes, no lifting the ink, no changing the lines once the ink is on the paper.  The simplicity is deceiving, there is a careful balance of ink and water, very deliberate strokes and then just knowing how move the brush with your arm instead of your wrist.  If you hesitate in the middle of a brush stroke, the ink shows it.  I love to paint like this when I get to wrapped up in the details on other pieces of work.  I can just paint, and start over again if it turns out awful.  These will not be posted on Fine Art America until I feel like they are better.

This weekend I finished another piece for a friend, The Old Beggar.

I'm not sure who took the photo, so I will not be posting this on Fine Art America either, but he is complete.
Drawing's still get me twisted in knots, trying to make it perfect.  He is not perfect, but he is complete.

So, the lessons for the week: use heavy duty drop cloths, paint in old clothes, use good quality brushes, and keep painting until you like it.  Simple beauty does not always mean it was simple to create.