Back in 2014 I created this painting that I called Guardians of souls. It was summer and I was having a phase of everything albinos after a long period of bright and vivid colours. She's a big one, 24 x 30 inches (61 x 70 cm) She was a mix of collage from vintage books, acrylic and pencils and we spent quite a few hours together. Back then cradled wood panel were super heavy I figured it would cost so much to ship it that it would never sell so I hanged her on my bedroom wall where everything hang randomly depending on what sells or not. I loved her for a while and as my skills were getting better I started noticing things… the eyes were too big the nose too long but still she's stayed there because I still loved her innocence and softness and I needed that at the time.
But as the year when by my style and life evolved as it always does, constant movement and about 2 weeks ago I wanted to start painting with acrylic again, I was sitting on the couch pondering what would be the perfect project to do so as you see I realized that I hadn't used acrylic since I finished painting for Ladybird and that was almost 2 years ago! Life gets so busy, I haven't stopped creating but I was busy elsewhere. Acrylic takes time, it's one of my first love but I keep neglecting it to watercolour. Anyway all that to say that I looked at this girl hanging as a headboard and figured out it was time to upgrade her
At first, I simply wanted to fix her features but keep her essence so I applied a coat of clear gesso, let it cured and when to work. Working on top of old painting offers its challenges, you can't help but be influence by what's underneath. After a long night painting until the early morning, she had a new face and I when to bed liking her but something was nagging at me.
When I woke up later that morning eager to paint again I looked at her again and I knew I had to start over. To help me figure out what was bugging me so much I took a picture of her and superpose a couple of reference pictures with the same pose on top of her and bang I could see that the eyes were too high and at a slightly wrong angle. So I went to work again and gave her not only a second but a third face over. Covering the eyes section with white gesso made it easier to start fresh and finally get her where I wanted it to.
After I finally figured out her face, my next challenge was the background. At first, she has a gold halo to replace the drip from before.
Drips were quite a thing in 2014 but it just didn't work with her face anymore… somehow her hair also changed a few time, I started to add flowers and loved the contrast with the darker muted grey background.
It's hard to know when to stop so at one point I took her in photoshop again to scribble more flowers and see if I should make her pupils bigger. I decided against that even if I think her eyes are a bit awkward, they just work for her.
At some point, I wanted to add flowers outline in gold leaf but couldn't find my stash so that idea was tossed away.
Overall I love this painting while I'm not quite sure what possessed me to go in that direction. I didn't rework the skunk as I already love him but one thing I notice after it all now that her face is more realistic than the first version is that somehow it seems like she's holding him to high, the proportion is a bit off. It would be interesting in a while to create a new version of this starting afresh and see where it takes me but for now, I got work to do. She was a welcome and much-needed distraction to help me get focus again and get the creative juice flow through my veins once more.
Have you ever try reworking an old piece? I highly recommend it just so you realized how much you evolved since you finished it.
Until next time! (I'm really trying to be more regular at this blog thing)
Contest closed -
A few months ago I came across Christa's work online and fell in love with her goddesses series.
Strong expressive and empowering portraits.I had to invite her to teach on Kabostudio.
Today I want to invite you to know her a little more and present you some of her recent work.
Read until the end for a chance to win a spot in her class;
Explore your inner goddess through mixed media with Christa Forrest
Tell us about your background,
What being apart of an art community means to you?
I thrive off of others, especially their creativity. I enjoy taking art courses from other artists and joining their community - it helps me continue to grow and learn.
Do you ever have creative blocks?
A revelation that made your art go to the next level?
I started out as a landscape artist. I love painting landscapes but I always felt like my art was missing something. I was always uncomfortable with painting faces but decided to take on the challenge and try my best to master it. Something clicked though - my art had meaning, it told a story, there was feeling in it. I finally realized that I found my true journey with painting Goddesses. My art transformed into something rather than a simple painting of a landscape. My style emerged and I finally felt like I found my true focus. I still paint landscapes though....
Do you put a lot of thinking in a new piece, sketch, trial and error before plunging or do you dive head first and work more intuitively?
I find when I create with a plan, it never finishes the way I want it to. I find many of these end of in failure. However, when I approach a painting with an intuitive approach, my work is more successful. I have a general plan of what I want to do but I let the piece tell the story and let it develop as I go along. Many times, the story shifts and moves in a totally different direction and I am ok with that.
An activity or happy unrelated to art that makes you feel good.
What's coming up for you?
My wonderful friend and art teacher on Kabostudio have put together an art auction to raise money to help rebuild and preserve wildlife.
Australia has a special place in my heart while from a geographical point of view she is on the opposite side of the world, I have made several connections with followers, students, fellow artist and Australian collaborators and when Natalie asks me to chip-in I did not hesitate a second. I am auctioning 2 pieces about connections.
Both pieces are watercolour and coloured pencils on cradled wood panel, meaning that they are ready to hang embellished with embroidery.
You wish to bet on them go here
Want to see pieces from other artists: follow @artforfires on instagram and facebook.
I will be donating all proceed minus shipping to
NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) https://www.wires.org.au/donate/ways-to-help
8x10 inch watercolor and colored pencils on wood with embroidery embellishment
8x10 inch watercolor and colored pencils on wood with embroidery embellishment
the internet. You get to meet people that have the same love and passion for creation in any form.
Lee-Anne and I share our love of art, cats and dolls, the funny thing that before I asked her to teach on my site I don't think I even knew what she looked like. Most of what I knew about her was her art and we both were very fond of dolls. She is my creative soul sister in some ways. we recently celebrated the first anniversary of her All-dolled up class and I wanted to celebrate her as well. So here an interview I did with her with some of her most recent work and if you read through the end you'll find a promo code to save 35% on her class.
Valid from December 17th until December 24th, 2019.
Tell us about your background, how did you came to art?
I have created one thing or another since I was a child. When I was younger, I would create my own “back drops” for my Barbies, design and create doll clothes, sew my own clothes, try to create my own paper dolls, etc. Since my father worked at a paper mill, he would bring home large reams of paper and I loved using large pieces of paper from it to create.
A fact that not a lot of people know about you,
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
A perfect day for me are those gorgeous summer days where there is a nice little breeze but it’s not too hot. Since it’s not too hot, I can open the windows and let the breeze blow through the house. I then put some music on and lose myself in creating something. There is something magical about warm summer days like these that seem to go on forever.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Patience, for sure. I run short on it a lot. Art related, I would love to gain the ability to let myself be more loose in my creations. I find that incredibly difficult to do.
Early bird or sleep in?
Definitely sleep in because I tend to be a night owl. I could stay up for hours painting and creating. It’s hard, sometimes, to turn my brain off.
One medium you couldn’t live without?
It really is impossible to choose but I guess I would have to say a graphite pencil or a Stabilo All. One of these pencils tends to be at the root of most anything I do.
Your biggest influence?
That is incredibly difficult to answer. There is an incredible
amount of influence anywhere I look - online, in books,
in my own back yard...everywhere!
What being part of an art
Art education background or were you mostly self-taught?
Your class is celebrating its first anniversary, how is that making you feel?
What or how your art changed since you finished the class?
Do you ever have creative blocks? If so how do you get past them?
Absolutely! (See above.). I believe every artist goes through them from time to time. It can be a little scary the first couple of times it happens because it can make you feel like you lost your art mojo altogether. During these phases, I might try some other medium, another art form altogether or take a break from creating altogether. I know enough now to just go with it because I know it will pass eventually. I have also discovered that, after these blocks are over, my way of creating has changed in a good way. These are the times when I make the greatest growth.
What is your biggest motivation when it comes to art?
A revelation or knowledge that made your art goes to the next level?
Do you persist at things even do you don’t quite get it yet? In other words do you put yourself out of your comfort zones on purpose?
Do you put a lot of thinking in a new piece, sketch, trial and error before plunging or do you dive headfirst and work more intuitively?
I love dolls!! It does not matter what kind, what size or what type they are. I have always loved dolls and I always will. I believe some people just do not grow out of it (nor do they have to). For me, I think part of it goes back to my childhood when I would create things for my dolls - I loved doing it and would spend hours at it. It’s some of my strongest memories.
Mixed media artist, doll maker and online teacher always looking for new ways to explore my imaginary world filled with pop culture, animals and timeless characters.
A Canvas Journey
Ever After 2017
Online Class 2018
Paint You Art And Soul
Sharing Is Caring