Saturday, March 25, 2017

Arts Alive

Last week I did a workshop for kids through a program called Arts Alive, funded by the Addison Center for the Arts. The class was at the local Junior High School and 5 students had signed up for my Mandala Designs class. I had three 6th graders and a couple of 8th graders. The class was in 2 sessions for about 2 hours each.

On the first day, all the kids prepared 2 canvases with the background colors they liked. The time went by really fast! It was a little surprising for me to learn that middle school kids have not used a compass to draw circles before. So it was interesting to teach them basic geometry before starting  to paint.


In the second session, they got to play with 3 dimensional fabric paint - a.k.a. puffy paint. They were painting mandalas similar to how I paint them and it was fun to teach this way of playing with paint to the kids.


One of the kids might soon get much better at this than me :) 
Check out how she is free-handing the pattern with fabric paint. 

video

There were a couple of times when I had to remind some of the kids to be respectful of the class & focus, but overall it was a fun and satisfying experience, and may be, I think I would be more open to working with kids again than I have been in the past. of course, it was also great to be part of a program that brings more art opportunities to kids who wouldn't otherwise get to explore things outside their regular class stuff. So proud of these budding artists :) 


Monday, February 27, 2017

Puppy Woes

I haven't worked on a floral in a long time and inspired by a couple of artists on social media, decided to give it a try for a new series for 2017. I also wanted the flowers to be based on my mandalas, but more organic. So, I started this piece on a nice, large 24" x 30" canvas on the beginning of this month. The first image below is the progress I had made on the end of day 2. Most of day 1 was working on the background and getting an idea of the layout & the colors. I had to take a day in between to travel for family stuff, but got back to the painting skipping doing fun stuff with the family. Second image below was end of progress on day 3 on working on this piece. 



Decided to take a break and go out for dinner with the visiting family and when I got back to the studio, the painting which was drying on top of my table, was half on the chair, covered in paint! Cue our adorable & anxiety laden puppy Kalai! She decided having mommy home for almost all day and having me step outside a bit was too much to handle. She had jumped all over the studio, unscrewed a bottle of paint and emptied on top of the painting and in jumping off sent the whole thing down to the chair and dripping paint on the floor. She also destroyed a pin cushion and managed to get all the pins out without hurting herself. I attempted to wash the excess paint off the piece in the bath tub and managed to get most of it out, but also some of what I wanted to stay.


I had to have my husband hide the piece, given how angry it made me and the frustration of not being able to do anything about it. After 2 days I started a very similar piece (below) and worked on it for another 3 days. I took it to get critiqued at one of my local art leagues and everyone loved it. Given the positive feedback, I finished another one for my show Dots & Lines at the Addison Center for the Arts.


This week, after a friend suggested it was a collaborative piece with Kalai, I finally managed to go back to the damaged one and work on it. Here is the finished piece, completing a series of 5 floral paintings. Two of them are already in a show and I am hanging another one in a new show starting tomorrow. I will be entering the fourth piece in a member show at an art league later this month. The story of a series 😏



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Jellyfish Coloring Page

Been working on a new 12" x 16" Jellyfish for the last few days and finished it yesterday. I spent about 3 hours this morning creating a coloring page from it. First, I traced the outline from the painting on a tracing paper. Next off, I transferred the pattern to a large drawing sheet. Then I outlined the jellyfish with a black sharpie fine point. Then came the task of filling in the details with another black sharpie, ultra fine point. Took some hi-res images of it, converted the jpg into a pdf, and uploaded it to my google drive as a downloadable file. It was more work than I wanted to spend time on this morning, but I am loving it and hoping a bunch of people download it, color it and share it back with me! 

Jellyfish Coloring page

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Prepping Canvas

Trying to fight off symptoms of a cold & cough, today was mostly spent in resting. However, the one thing I managed to do in the studio is to unpack all 10 of the 12x16 canvas I got yesterday & prep them. My first step in prepping the canvas is doing a colored background. usually using lemon yellow or shades of yellow, I create the toned background before even thinking about what I am going to paint on them. I do know some of these are going to be Festival Elephants & some of these are going to be Sugar Skulls. Yellow toned backgrounds work best for me as the colors I start on these are usually bright. Here is a good introduction on toned backgrounds for those interested. I also managed to use up the last of four(!) different tubes of yellow & was glad to chuck them out. New Year, New Paints :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Stocking Up

Happy New Year! It's that time when I am taking stock of what's left over & ordering new stuff. I already took advantage of all the holiday sales / free shipping and got almost all of my paint supplies for next year. I also got a whole bunch of new canvases & after making a list of potential paintings I want to work on this year, ordered a bunch more. 


And the good guys from Fedex just dropped off these 6 boxes, ordered over the weekend!


One of my goals this year is to standardize the sizes in which I paint. Though it seems a little hard to eliminate a few sizes, I am not going to be working on 9x9, 9x12, 12x12 & 11x14 anymore. I am adding a couple of large sizes instead - like 36x36 & 36x48. 

Again, in 2016, I want to finish 100 titled pieces! May be more if I keep working diligently over this winter 'break'.  Off to prep & paint now!

Friday, October 16, 2015

2016 Calendars

2016 calendars are already here and they are disappearing fast! Fast enough that I have already ordered a second batch! This year, the theme is Mandala Paintings. There are 13 of my popular mandala paintings and 12 of them can be framed after the month is over. 

Printed on high quality premium glossy card stock paper and measures 8.5" x 11". There is also room to write on the dates. Only $16 + $4 shipping within US. Get yours today!

You can now purchase them directly from my website!
Click the link here: http://www.artbybala.com/calendar

calendar with mandala paintings

Monday, July 13, 2015

Paints Galore

At least once every couple of weeks or so I get an email or facebook message from someone asking what kinds of paint I use for the paintings I create. I just counted the number of different paints I have in my studio - I have at least 20 brands of paint I use on a regular basis and another 5 or so that I have around. That is a lot of paint! Sometimes I have 1 or 2 colors in a specific brand and in others I might have their entire range. I also have about  8 - 10 different mediums I can use to thicken or thin my paints & add various types of textures to my works. What one has to realize when they start painting and want to ask other artists what they use is, not everyone they come across is a hobby artist. I am also a business woman and I keep investing in my business. 

                                

Since my paintings are created for sale, I make sure I use the best & high quality paint for the job. The paints I use do not fade or yellow or change color over time. They are also ones I love working with. The paints on the palette above are my recent discovery and I am in love with them! I use at least one of these colors in all the works I have been doing recently. I am constantly experimenting with my technique & working on improving my art. That means investing time & money to get quality products and learning to use them properly. To answer the question of what brand of paint I would recommend - my only advice would be to experiment for yourself to see which paints you like & which ones are best for what you want to do. Spend time talking to people working in your art supply store and they will provide recommendations on the kind of work you want to create. Be patient and take time playing with the paints till you are comfortable with their characteristics. I have been painting for a little more than 3 years now and I am always learning & discovering something new with my paints all the time!