All about the inspiration behind the art. Acrylic Paintings, Impressionism, Art, Southern, Modern, Contemporary, Coastal, Flowers, Famous Places, New Orleans, Florida, Gulf Coast, Food, Expressionism, Fauve, Cityscapes, Architecture, Decor, Painting, Beach, Tropical, Seascape, Landscape, Still Life Mona Vivar Fine Art: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fun Facts About Monet's Garden in Giverny

I saw the first Spring blooms of azaleas this week and became obsessed with thoughts of gardens.  This led to musings on the grandest of gardens, Claude Monet's living masterpiece at Giverny, France.  So I decided to do a little research to learn more about the topic.   I learned the following based on an article by the New York Botanical Garden:
1.  Monet thought like an artist when planting his garden.  He focused on color, scale and atmospheric effects.  He planted monochromatic beds of flowers for more impact.  He used complementary color schemes to create more visual intensity and interest.  He used reflections of sky and water to add with shapes and color and increased the effects of sunlight and mist with specific colored plantings.  Blue and purple blooms increased the perceived blueness of the sky.  Plantings of orange, pink, gold and bronze tulips and wallflowers increased the richness of the glow of each sunset.
2.  Monet added sparkle among the colorful flowers by adding white flowers in and around the more brilliantly colored blooms.  Patterns were repeated.  Nothing was random or sparse. 
3.  His favorite garden color combinations were pink and blue, yellow and blue, red, silver and green, blue/purple, pink and white.  One has only to see the stunning bright green lily pads reflecting on the blue water along with yellow, blue and mauve water lily blooms to realize how wonderful his ideas were.
All in all, Monet's gardening "hobby" was another form of masterpiece making!  Awesome.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Dreams of France, 14 inches by 11 inches, acrylic on canvas, private collection

Friday, February 21, 2014

Using Oil Paints Without Solvents

A long time ago I discovered that turpentine or any similar oil paint solvent would cause me to have skin rashes even if I never actually touched it.  Rather than give up on oil paint completely, I kept reading, experimenting and learning about leaving the solvent out of the equation.
After much trial and error I discovered that I could use oils perfectly well by avoiding solvents completely.  Here's how:
1.  I use only Winsor & Newton Liquin as a painting medium to thin paint when needed, otherwise I use oil paint full bodied.  Liquin doesn't seem to bother me at all and has less of a smell than a solvent.
2.  I keep my hands clean by using baby oil to remove any stray paint that might get on them.  Protective gloves are another option.
3.  I clean brushes at the end of the day with a product called Bristle Magic.  It's non-toxic, biodegradable and it works.  I just rinse out the brushes with dish detergent and water after letting them soak a bit in the Bristle Magic.  Works like a charm.
So there you have it, all you who have stayed away from oil painting because of the solvent issue.  Happy painting!

Copyright Mona Vivar, Roosting Rosies, 10 inches by 10 inches, oil on canvas
Now available on Ebay at Mona Vivar Fine Art

Friday, February 14, 2014

Three Actions for a Fun Valentine's Day

Today's post is all about you.  And all about how to enjoy yourself on this not so serious holiday.  Any of these will lighten your heart, and all of them will make you and at least one other person feel good.
1.  Eat some chocolate.  Preferably out of a festive heart-shaped box.  Chocolate in moderate quantities has health benefits, but really, it's just darn good.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Heart of Chocolate, 5 inches by 7 inches, acrylic on canvas

2.  Smell the roses (or any flower you might come across).  If they make you sneeze, just sit back and enjoy their color and shape!
Copyright Mona Vivar, Lavender Fantasy, 7 inches by 5 inches, acrylic on canvas
Now available on Ebay at Mona Vivar Fine Art
3.  Tell someone you love them, and mean it.  Doesn't matter if it's child, parent, grandparent, spouse or friend.  Just let them know.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Roosting Rosies, 10 inches by 10 inches, oil on canvas
Will be available on Ebay Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. PST at Mona Vivar Fine Art

Friday, February 7, 2014

Birds and Critters

I once heard that whatever interests one had at the age of five or so winds up being what one is most interested in as an adult.  At five I wanted to be outside with the birds and critters.  I studied blades of grass up close while lying on my stomach.  I rolled over to watch clouds roll by.  I brought all manner of creatures home, including a garter snake that was promptly returned to the wild when I showed it to my mother.  I walked in shallow ditch water seeking tadpoles and once in a while, crayfish.  I wanted to pet cows, horses, dogs and cats, any furry creature.  And I drew.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that I find myself painting birds, fish, animals.  I figure, why fight it?  Skill comes more easily when I know my subject. 
Expect more bird and critter paintings. I hope you enjoy them.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Happy Otter, 7 inches by 5 inches, oil on canvas
Showing Sunday Feb 9 (6:00 p.m. PST) on Ebay Mona Vivar Fine Art
Copyright Mona Vivar, Floating Free, 11 inches by 14 inches, oil on canvas
Now on Ebay at Mona Vivar Fine Art
Copyright Mona Vivar, Mr. Majestic, 5 inches by 7 inches, oil on canvas
Now on Ebay at Mona Vivar Fine Art