ACEO of the Week – 05/13/17

May 13, 2017
Tree House 0906 #3

Tree House #3
3.5″ x 2.5″
colored pencil on paper
©2006 Dawn Blair
Not for Sale

I thought I’d have a major throwback this week. I’m always saying how much someone can progress if they just decide to do something and then do it.

It really is that easy, whether you want to gain a new skill or change your life.

Two step method:

  1. Decide — nothing happens until you absolutely make up your mind to do something.
  2. Act — you must take action on that decision. Even if you don’t know the whole path, start. Do what you can where you are at with what you have.

Google exists to give us answers. When you hit the question of what to do next because you’ve hit your limit, search. Searching is still taking action, but don’t stay in search mode for too long. Get just the answer you need and move on. Don’t expect to have all the answers at once. Some times you have to swim around in the waters to see how it feels. It stretches your comfort zone slowly, gently.

Equally important, but is something that develops naturally over time, is when you decide that you DON’T want to do something.

So, why does this ACEO merit being the ACEO of the week? Because it shows you and me how far I have come as an artist. I mean, look at that waterfall! Atrocious! I have learned so much about that, and about painting water since then. I didn’t just have the knowledge; I learned and I practiced. I now get regular comments about the water features in my newer paintings. But none of it would have happened if I hadn’t first decided that I wanted to learn to draw. Yes, my request was that simple. I wanted to know how to draw. Then I acted by taking a class. Then I decided I wanted to learn to paint water better. I read books, I took another class where water was a primary feature of the painting we were doing, and I practiced.

Look back at this blog to see where I was just 4 years later.

Or a painting from around that same time.

While it’s hard to not be jealous of someone as you admire and where they are at, just know that the only thing that separates you from them is that they had made the decision to act much sooner than you and then put the time in. You could be there too. They might even be willing to show you the tricks so speed your own journey along. Don’t let another moment get away.


ACEO of the Week – 04/08/17

April 8, 2017
flower-covered-cliffs

Flower Covered Cliffs
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on canvas
©2010 Dawn Blair
SOLD

I have a friend whose birthday is today. I thought I’d bring her some flowers today, so here’s a beautiful ACEO filled with flowers for her. I hope she sees it and knows that I think of her often.

Why don’t you get a gift for a friend? Art makes a great gift and has the potential to increase in value. Give some art now.


Tree of Life Studies

August 7, 2015

I thought I’d show you a few pieces that I’ve been exploring. They are all the same concept, just different workings on it.

Tree of Life #1 7

Tree of Life #1
7″x5″ on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Tree of Life #2 10

Tree of Life #2
10″x8″ on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Tree of Life #3 10

Tree of Life #3
10″x8″ on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

I’m thinking about taking at least one of these concepts to a larger canvas. Personally, #2 is my favorite. What do you think?


Plein air painting

July 29, 2015
Niagara Springs waterfall #pa01150718 7X5 on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Niagara Springs waterfall #pa01150718
7X5 on canvas – oil
Dawn Blair ©2015

So I decided to try to do some paintings outdoors (en plein air). The painting above was from my first trip out. Actually, it was my first one. The others I did that day are okay and maybe I’ll show them when I get better pictures of them — every time I try, I get a glare because the oil is still wet or it just looks fuzzy.  I’ve been out a few more times since this trip and I do plan on continuing — please let the nice weather hold up for several more weekends.

I don’t know if I’m learning much of anything yet, but I hope I learn a lot by painting actual things. It’s strange when I’m so use to painting with barely a plan or no plan and just seeing how it develops versus being outside and actually finding and looking at a subject.

Anyway, this piece was fun and I’ll probably do a large one at some point — maybe even two — one in acrylic and a larger one in oil. Yeah, did I mention I was plein air painting with my oils? I’ve become so use to acrylics that this is strange painting (and painting fast) with the oils. No time to dry and I’ve already had some work that I’ve just smeared all together. I must be crazy taking a new experience (plein air painting) and adding a trial by fire (oils) to it. Yes, I should learn something in this exercise.


Unbroken – progression of a painting #2

April 29, 2015

At this point, I have the sky and clouds done with the glow radiating. Also, just to note, the glare you see in the pictures is from my light shining off the wet oil paints. The water especially is very thick at this point and will take awhile to dry.

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

If you noticed in earlier picture, I used electrical tape to cover up the shoreline. I’ve now removed the tape and you can see the shoreline on the opposite bank needs work. Time to get started.

As I worked, I noticed that my rock was no longer centered at the base of the waterfall beneath the glow. When I was standing up close, it didn’t really bother me, but when I stepped back to look it, then I got really disturbed. It just didn’t look right.

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

To move the rock or not to move the rock, that is the question. I did debate. At last, I made the move and painted in a second rock.

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Here’s what the whole thing looked like with the two rocks at the base of the waterfall.

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Don’t forget that Art & Soul of Magic Valley is still going on until May 2nd. If you’re near Twin Falls, Idaho, and want to see it now, stop by Ataraxis Accounting, 864 Filer Avenue, Twin Falls, to see it. Don’t forget to get out and vote for your favorite pieces in Art & Soul of Magic Valley by 2 p.m. on May 2, 2015. Winners are determined by votes, so it’s very important!


Unbroken

April 26, 2015

It’s really not uncommon for me to hear “the voice of inspiration” talking to me. Often I think I’ll be doing one thing but I am guided to do something else. For example, right now I really want to be working on illustrating my children’s book, but here I am writing a long overdue blog post! 🙂 That’s my life.

So, when I woke one Sunday morning in January with the voice saying, “You are ready to finish the painting now,” I not only knew what project I’d unexpectedly be working on but what painting the voice was talking about.

Coincidence then that the next week one of my bosses walks into my office and asks me if I’m going to be participating in Art & Soul of Magic Valley? No! It was the little voice’s way of also giving me a deadline on my project.

I knew the painting wasn’t perfect and I’d had a lot of people looking at it over the years in which I had it displayed at art shows. But at the time, I really didn’t know what to do with it.

So here’s the original:

Unbroken - Original painting (pre-2015)

Unbroken – Original painting (pre-2015)

It’s a huge painting, well 4 feet across and almost 3 feet high. Putting this back on the easel was not a task I desired. I knew it was going to take some work. But fortune favors the brave.

Over the next few days, I’ll be releasing photos of the progression of this painting. If you’re near Twin Falls, Idaho, and want to see it now, stop by Ataraxis Accounting, 864 Filer Avenue, Twin Falls, to see it. Don’t forget to get out and vote for your favorite pieces in Art & Soul of Magic Valley by 2 p.m. on May 2, 2015. Winners are determined by votes, so it’s very important!


Shh! Quiet please!!!

September 9, 2009

Aren’t there times when you wish you could stop and have 5 minutes to yourself all quiet and restful? Been having one of those days? Okay, don’t go there with me because it has been one of those days!

Tonight, I looked at my newest painting and this feeling of calm came over me. The painting seemed to say, “It’s quiet here. You can hear the weeds swaying in the breeze. Just listen.” I knew then I had the title for my painting.

Now the exciting part. I get to share the painting with you! Come enjoy the quiet with me.

"Quiet" 14"x18" acrylic on canvas panel © 2009 Dawn Blair

'Quiet' 14x18 acrylic on canvas panel
© 2009 Dawn Blair

It’s only available on eBay. Click the picture and you’ll be taken right to it. This painting and several other listed in the sidebar off to the right are just waiting for you to take it home. Paintings with large puppy dog eyes are staring at you now. You can’t resist. You know you can’t! Puppy dog eyes!

Now, all my devoted Weblinks fans – I’m really truly going to get back to it. I realized that I only have 1-2 pages before I finish Bite 3 (that’s equal to chapter 3). I’m just trying to finish up with my book about editing, then I’m getting back to Weblinks. It’s had over 15,000 hits so far! Thank you all for your support. I’ll be seeing you again soon!