Curiouser & Curiouser

Before we get to painting,
let’s go down a rabbit hole.

I love the live action Alice in Wonderland. It’s so weird and bright and outlandish. 

Just my cup of tea. 

“Teeeaaaaaa? Did someone
say tea?” 

Lewis Carroll was completely bananas but also brilliant in his own way, and after this viewing one of his famous quotes stuck with me, “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” 

As a creative type, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and avenues that lead to that particular wonderland. What better way than to challenge myself to think of six impossible things before breakfast!

I’ve done so for a week (not quite as many as six every day, but still). Not only is it fun, but when it comes time to write, paint, sketch etc. my imagination is already bursting with colorful ideas. 

I challenge you to join me in the endeavor. Any type of impossible things will do, from what it would be like to have a beak instead of a nose, to imagining yourself feeling pure happiness for a friend, instead of a gumbo pot of envy, love, and jealousy. Try it for a week and see what happens to your mindspace.

We tend to jam our brains full of information, newsfeeds, and activities, but creating time and space for our minds to explore outside-the-box thinking and visualize ourselves as better people, we can awaken to a lifestyle that is more present, more vivacious, more colorful, and bright. 

Now to paint!

I followed this painting tutorial

I love beautifying practical everyday items, and have had plans to paint this tray for ages. This week I finally got around to it!

It took nearly everything I had ALL week to complete.

This is due to several factors:

  1. My chronic illness prevents me from painting more than 15 minutes at a time, else risk making really stupid decisions—like what color is even on my brush right now?—and feeling like I’m about to pass out, there’s that too.
  2. Not having the right paints. The tutorial I was following used neon paints, while I only had an average set. Not only did I have to mix every color used, it was impossible to achieve the same level of vibrancy.

3. I didn’t have the proper brushes. This painting required the use of a mop brush for almost everything. My “mop brush” was a fat bristled, synthetic wood stain brush. Instead of giving a nice sprinkled, leaf-like effect, it barfed blobs of paint on my canvas.

At one point, I got so frustrated I threw a hissy fit. And Lynn, my saintly husband, instead of telling me to get a grip and go to the corner store to pick up some perspective, he told me he understood my frustration and, unasked, went to Hobby Lobby and purchased THREE mop brushes of varying size.

{Lynn’s annual self-portrait. Visit this link to his Instagram}

Better brushes there never have been, nor a more marvelous mate.

I am less familiar with acrylic than watercolor and gouache. The mediums behave very differently, and it was difficult to get my head to switch gears. Also, I find watercolor much easier to pull out and to clean up, making it more feasible in my fifteen minute chunks of productivity.

One difference between watercolor and acrylic has interesting repercussions. With watercoloring there comes a point when you must stop or risk overworking the page, which is when the fibers start pulling loose, gumming and warping your page. There is no such cutoff with acrylic; you can always add another layer. 

While you might think this is a pro, as a perfectionist, I found it crippling. “It’s done! Wait, no it’s not; just one more thing… just one more!” As in life, something can ALWAYS be improved upon and—Zut Alor!— it is hard to walk away!

Some Tips I learned the hard way:

  1. Get the right paint
  2. Use the proper brush
  3. Acrylic dries darker than it goes on
  4. Get plenty of paint on your brush
  5. Dab three times less than you think you should
  6. It is best to breathe whilst painting
  7. Walk away while you can still see straight *wink*wink

And there you have it! I finally set the paint brushes down, and I am pleased with the result. *Twitch*Twitch

~Stay curious, my friends

2 thoughts on “Curiouser & Curiouser

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