Light and Bubbly

Started some new paintings recently and had the inescapable craving to splash on a light and bubbly colorful palette for a change.

 

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Maybe it was inspired by my recent art hangout with friends when we made some cute Year of the Dog paintings, or my recent trip to the Museum of Ice Cream, or maybe it’s the recent surge of friends who are on the path to parenthood at the moment (this does not include me lol). OR Maybe it was ALL of it. I am currently inspired and touched by the amazing journey ahead into this weird life phase we now are in. Straight up adulting, guys! From all this happening around me, I wanted to help welcome such new and exciting times by creating new babes of my own (yet still an art reference!). 😛

Check out this time-lapse vid of me getting my mindful art on!

 

Here I am using my calligraphy brush to whisk on some beautiful light strokes of Windsor & Newton and M. Graham watercolor paints on the good ol’ trustworthy Arches watercolor paper. Super fun! What you didn’t see was my new art-making ritual process of doing a brief but grounding mindfulness practice right beforehand, and then an ease towards making the painting.

My goal is to make each into a triptych set. I don’t really make triptych paintings often, but I think this idea lends well to it. Something about the fleeting movement of the puffy, cotton-candy colors that make me want to keep creating and re-creating it, to evoke the feeling of breathing in and out deeply, resembling when I engage in deep breathing during mindfulness meditation.

Inhale,

and breathe in

a big colorful bubble of light.

Exhale,

and breathe out

an airy,

fluffy cloud

that bobs slowly

up,

up,

and away.

Themes of playfulness, sweet, and carefree. Distant memories of childhood not yet tarnished by the realities of adult life. Curiosity and cheerful giggles that radiate a whole room.

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Still a work in progress, I must say. Stay tuned for updates!

Oh HEY! Have you grabbed your copy of my latest FREE art calendar? Get it here and share /print it as much as you want!

An elegant flower lily of delicate hues and a white leaf bumigi for writing lies on a light pink background.

-Danessa

Brand NEW

Happy new year, everyone! 2018 is off to a nice, easy start for me, and I hope that it is the same for you, too.

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I am in awe of how incredibly eventful the past year has been for me. It’s been a wild hayride getting to start my own art business and straight up getting to the finish line with my licensure for clinical psychology. I am ready for what is due to me, from all the years of hard work, troubles, tears, and growth. I’ve got lots of mini side projects to come, so be sure to subscribe to my blog and my mailing list for the latest updates.

I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today if it weren’t for the unwavering support of some outstanding human beings. If you have ever supported an artist and bought their work, you are a rock star.

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To celebrate these individuals, I decided to send my art patrons some holiday goodies in the mail. The response has been a giant wave of hugs! I am so full of love from you guys! Thank you, thank you! I just want to create more for all of you and make this world a brighter place filled with mindful art.

If you haven’t already gotten yours, head on over to my website and subscribe to get a FREE art calendar each month. That’s right, EACH MONTH! Print it big, small, as many times as you please. I think the best things in life are free, why not create more to love?

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Artists Supporting New Artists!

Enjoyed this post or my art? Click below to support me and my art-making adventure.

If you are an an artist or an artist-in-the-making, it truly helps me when you use any of my links to buy your art materials and other goodies. I’ve personally selected my favorite places to shop for the best quality & affordable art materials and want to share them with you. That’s why I always shop at Blick Art Materials and Amazon for my art supply needs.


Get 20% off Blick orders of $79 or more, plus $35 free shipping! Use code CELM. Offer expires midnight (CST), Saturday, January 6th, 2018. Exclusions apply.

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Art Commissions Explained

The holidays are just around the corner! What are you getting your loved ones? Are you all maxed out on new ideas and things to get someone who already seems to have everything and anything their heart desires? If only we can give the people we love aspirational hopes and wishes, such as peace, unity, and hope. Well, I’m not saying that I can actually deliver on those things…(I’m not Santa, last time I checked? And does Santa even fulfill these sorts of wishes??) but I’ve got something close to it!

Instead of buying nifty sale goods that will be used maybe once, or purchasing the next great mobile phone and only to be replaced by another the following season, why not give your loved ones something that is unique, from the heart, and something they will cherish for years to come?

And that’s where I can help! Art commissions are by far my favorite part of being a creative artist! 🙂 It gives me the wonderful opportunity to work alongside YOU and help you create a one-of-a-kind artwork that is timeless and meaningful that will NEVER go out of style. As an abstract painter and a licensed clinical psychologist, I specialize in painting about feelings, fond memories, and personal life experiences–things that are difficult to express in words alone or any ready-made object. The good, the bad, the ugly–I’ve seen and heard it all! I’m here to listen and ready to put your vision on canvas.

Interested in an art commission but too shy to ask? To shed some light on my process, this is what I need from you:

  1. Price range for art commission
  2. Proposed size
  3. Material (e.g., acrylic on canvas; watercolor on paper; etc.)
  4. Theme or idea for painting
And that’s basically it! I’d love to collaborate with you on your ideal artwork.  Get in touch with me and reserve a spot on my waitlist! Looking forward to working with you soon!

Otonarashiku Naru

Hi all! ♥️

I recently completed an art commission for a dear friend and I must say it is definitely one of my all-time favorites. This latest piece is titled Otonarashiku Naru–meaning “becoming like an adult” in Japanese. He wanted me to document in 2-dimensional color and imagery a pivotal timepoint in his life that has marked his tremendous personal growth. I was so excited to get started with this project that I had taken countless notes on what he envisioned it to be like. I’m glad to have been able to learn so much about my friend’s experience and be the one to help see it told on canvas.

The painting’s color palette was dominated by shades of cobalt blue, cobalt teal, cerulean blue, cadmium oranges, burnt sienna, and burnt umber. The brush strokes were all fully intentional and organically placed in moments all over the canvas. The effect of swift, steady sweeps created by the mixture of wet and dry brushwork gave the image a depth that could only be made with patience and time.

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But for this art piece to make more sense to viewers who are better in learning via multi-modal capacities, it would be worth noting that the artwork was further guided and inspired by the beloved quote below from Haruki Murakami:

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

-Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

As you can see, there is a lot of emotion, movement, and force applied to this piece. The twists, turns, and crashes continuously propel the viewer to shift their glance from one corner of the painting to another, creating the effect of an inner conflict. The colors–although appearing to be complementary, are caught in a dynamic dance that appears to be struggling to wash away the grit and grime, hoping to gain control.

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Otonarashiku Naru (2017). 30″x30″, Acrylic on canvas

This. I cannot reiterate enough how honored I am to have had the opportunity to learn about the most difficult time in a person’s life. I get asked tons why I pursued clinical psychology if all I really wanted to do was paint or do art. And to each and every one of them, I have always said, that my passion and interests in art and psychology go hand-in-hand. I love learning about people, what makes them unique, and who they are today because of their experiences. I love art and the ability to convey something ineffable (ie., feelings) in a way that transcends all spoken languages. My passions fuel each other and create a synergistic effect that is always renewed and continuously perfected over the years. I guess I just wanted to say that I am grateful to be able to be able to do both. ❤

So with that, if you or anyone you know is interested in some mindful, abstract expressionist artwork, let me know! I would love to work with you within your budget range, no matter how big or small. When it all comes down to it, my ultimate goal is to create artwork for others that is purposeful and cherished.

Design with Mindful Intention

When most people look at paintings, the immediate thing that usually happens is that they try to figure it out and make sense of it.

What is it?

What am I looking at?

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This is especially true for abstract art. In my observations and growing understanding of this very human characteristic, I’ve taken this notion and incorporated it into my art-making process.

When I paint, I begin from a place of mindful intention and awareness. I paint what speaks to me from within and go on an adventure with my paint and brush.

And then it hit me.

What if my paintings embraced this phenomenon of making people stop, think, and observe?

In itself, this is a practice of mindfulness. This is meditation. Mindful art is a great way to infuse your busy, daily life with a conscious reminder to stop, think, and observe.

Mindful art is a wonderful way to beautify your surroundings in an intentional and purposeful manner. Mindful art is key to helping our minds reconnect with our surroundings and come back to the present moment.

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With that, I’m thinking of new ways to create a movement of mindful art. If you’ve got any great ideas, I’d love to hear from you! Send me your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

 

 

New art project

Canvas stretching! Not what I had in mind but oh, well. I guess this means I should go back to reading for now. I inadvertently bought the wrong size canvas cloth for my new art project, which was super annoying! I rarely go elsewhere for my materials and usually go to Blick Art for my art stuff, but I was under a time crunch and thought, meh, what the hell? An art store is an art store. BIG MISTAKE. So I drove out to the nearest other art store to purchase the cloth and guess what? It was the wrong size and to my dismay, when I asked the staff member a question, she said, “Oh, I don’t know anything about stretching canvases” right after she handed me the cloth. O.o I should have known to trust my spidey senses then and there.

Never again!

I’m happy to say that I later went to Blick Art to get what I needed. And I’m so so glad I did–I just wish that there was one closer to me.

Check out the awesome stretcher bars I bought:

 

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Luckily, YOU don’t have to deal with what I just did. Blick Art is currently having a huge sale and as a Blick Art affiliate, I’ve got you. Click any of the links below to get your offer:

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❤ happy art making!

 

Flows like Water

I’ve been doing a lot more watercolor paintings. I must admit, it is pretty sweet. I have been learning to work with the “permanence” of the material and use it to my advantage.  It’s been a lot more freeing to be able to work with watercolor, something I did not expect. With acrylic, I’ve been happy to keep moving the paint around to my liking. There’s something to be learned from the restricted nature of watercolor. Like I almost have to make do with what else I’ve got–how can I layer this color, make a different shape on top of this paint, make this painting tell a story/convey an emotion with as little movement as I can?

 

 

 

I’ve also been reading up on color theory and how colors influence people’s moods, etc. There’s research out there showing both support and also inconclusive results at this time, but more likely than not, people are subconsciously affected by the colors they see or experience and we just don’t have a good metric for quantifying it at present. Whatever. This is all subjective anyway. I know how yellow makes me feel, and I agree that it is the color of my inner spirit–vibrant, energetic, and optimistic. Although I don’t really feel like that right now, I continue to hold this color as the visible representation of my essence. But you gotta admit, there’s something pretty drop-dead-gorgeous and poetic about those green and black watercolor painting samples, right?

I was inspired to test my watercolor skills further and decided to make some fun pieces to give others. Here’s a watercolor painting on a birthday card I recently made! 😀

 

For now, I think I’ll keep exploring where this watercolor adventure takes me. One important thing I’ve learned this year so far is that I must do the things that make me feel good, purposeful, important, and whole. If it isn’t any of those things, it has no place in my home. So, like water, I will keep flowing and go where it takes me. I’m up for my next adventure. 🙂