Blog

When Playing Yields New Ideas

Melissa Brauen Art
The most enticing part of being an artist, to me, is exploring what seems to be a never ending well of ideas. A blessing and burden all at once because we seem to have more ideas than time. I make sure to carve out time to explore and discover, and to just play.
I’ve always admired works with limited palettes and simple composition.  I also love the subtle mark making I see in some of them. Their simplicity is surprisingly difficult to achieve as I discovered in my playtime journey.
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Are Commissions Like This in my Future?

Well the jury is still deliberating on the title question,  but it was a healthy challenge and a lot of fun. While it is still more in 'my style' of work, it is not my usual fare.  It also  has a sentimental value to my family, which makes this more of a personal treasure.  My client is my sis-in-law who, along with my husband, was born in this area - Sidmouth, Devon, England. They spent many summers traveling back 'home'. She and the in-laws had just spent a couple weeks there when she decided she'd like a painting commemorating her trip and background. I used some personal touches specific to her in the work. Below are pictorial insights in the making of this piece. Please, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

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Texture and the Amateur Photographer

textured mixed media acrylic painting
The fascinating thing about a painter’s artwork is the ability to take a one dimensional object and create a multi dimensional image on it. The appearance of texture can be created using brush stokes and other techniques adding even more dimension.
Thicker paints, collage, and specially formulated mediums such as pastes and beads can enhance art works by adding physical texture.  You may see this more in contemporary pieces.
A recent comment after a customer received one of my pieces was “…the painting was better than the photo because it doesn’t show the texture.”

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Starting New Work

Starting New Work

"When nothing is sure, everything is possible"

British novelist, Margaret Drabble
I am never sure about what I am doing when I start new work. This is not so much a creative block as it is an overwhelm of ideas. 
I find inspiration everywhere but when I sit down to get it out on canvas, it goes all sideways. 
I stubbornly and routinely attempt to start with a theme in mind, only to be sidelined in a whole different direction. It has taken some time but I finally accept the fact that I am what is known as a 'process painter' - meaning I just start working at it until something appeals to me. 

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It’s Not That Precious

Success is ...by Melissa Brauen
Ok, so that’s not the most profound thing ever said….….…..but here is the point:
We all love to collect and have all the ‘things’. Artists are no exception. Our supplies are sometimes not only hoarded but also kept as precious materials.
Confession: I still have a set of Windsor & Newton grey scale charcoals my mom bought for me decades ago because I knew they were pricey and wanted to use them for something ‘special’. It never happened.

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