Mile 19: Balance.

The principle of design for the mile is BALANCE. In her email, Whitney described the concept really well: “A painting can illustrate balance when an area of great detail is balanced by an area that is more open and simple, or an area containing lots of colors is balanced by an area with only one main color.” For this mile we were to create a balanced abstract using torn paper. I thought about this one for a while before I actually pursued it. My intention was to balance texture with smoothness, chaos with simplicity, lots of colors with few colors, and abstract with literal. This one was beautiful in my head, but I don’t think I executed it all that well. I hit a wall when I actually sat down to do something so abstract. I couldn’t really get into my right-brain, so I was questioning my ability to make this look thought-out and not child-like. All in all, I think I touched on balance, but I definitely think it could be better!


Mile 18: Unity. Circles and Triangles.

This marathon is getting harder! I’m definitely slowing down now that I’m near the end. The principle of design focused on in this painting is UNITY. Paintings that contain unity have common elements throughout them, whether it be colors or shapes. Pieces without unity appear a bit confusing or disjointed. Whitney pointed out that a lack of unity in life, as in art, can make us feel “stretched too thin.” As difficult as it can be to do, it is imperative to find a common thread in all the things we do in life that ties everything together and makes us feel complete. This is something I definitely should work on. If I could figure out how to incorporate ART into WORK I think I’d be a much happier person!

I’m pretty happy with this mile. The design was somewhat difficult to implement, especially because I was sketching it out right over the last mile and I couldn’t see what I was doing! Once I had the lines drawn, I basically created my own “paint by numbers” pattern. I know it’s hard to tell, but there is a pattern to the way the colors were dispersed (and if you find a mistake just don’t tell me!!). It wasn’t my intention for the colors to clump like they did and I was really frustrated when I realized that it was happening, but I actually like the finished effect. There are no colors (or shapes) that are not represented in multiple places on the canvas, so hopefully I’m doing UNITY justice!

Mile 17: Contrast. Sunflower.

For the last eight miles of the marathon we’ll be learning about the eight principles of design: contrast, unity, balance, proportion, harmony, repetition, rhythm, and emphasis. I’m so excited! The first principle is CONTRAST. Contrast in art, as in life, creates a focal point that catches your attention. I chose green and orange/yellow as contrasting colors. Notice how the little green behind the petals really makes the yellow pop. I actually like this one a lot- it’s rustic and visually pleasing (to me, at least). It feels good to re-learn the design elements I hadn’t given much thought in years!

Mile 16: Butterfly

I’ve spent my weekend painting since I let myself get behind last week. My off day from Mile 15 turned into a bit of an off week, and I didn’t want to paint another mile while I was so uninspired. I finally picked up the paintbrush, and I’m happy with the Mile 16 butterfly. I love her bold colors, although the purple is much brighter in real life (photographing these paintings to be representative has proven to be quite difficult). I hate to see her go!

Mile 15: Left Brain, Right Brain

In this mile we were to illustrate the left side of the brain (the logical side) and the right side of the brain (the creative side). My plan was to create a very grid-like, neutral left side and a crazy, curvy, bright ride side. It’s amazing how much my mood affects my work. I was having an off day when I started this one and I could NOT express what I had intended- my right brain was nowhere to be found. I wasn’t happy with my right-brain side, so I just starting painting these heavy, colorful circles. It ended up looking like a paint palette, which I think symbolizes the right-brain very nicely. I’d do this one much differently if I were to do it again, but I’m happy enough with it considering that I did it entirely in my left brain!

Mile 14: Black and White

I’m so behind in my blogging (not on the painting though- yet)!! For this mile we were only supposed to use BLACK and WHITE paint. This seems pretty easy until you realize how easy it is to paint a big blob of gray (which I almost achieved). I’m happy enough with the end result, but I got SO frustrated with it while it was in progress. In fact, the above is the second iteration of basically the same painting.

My first frustrations using only black and white (well, and orange) occurred last year when I painted the piece to the right (this is actually from the Sips-N-Strokes websites…not an original, but i love it). Achieving intense detail by adding either black or white paint is a bit tricky, but the end result can be rewarding. I’d like to try the Mile 14 exercise again when I have time and am more inspired!

On a side note, there is SO much texture on a canvas that has 14 layers of paint on it! It’s getting increasingly difficult to cover the canvas. I’m going to have to give up completely covering one mile with the next!

Mile 13: Sad Girl

Despite some adamant objections to me painting over the cave painting, I did just that (sorry guys) and completed Mile 13.  The Creatively Fit Marathon is halfway over! I’m not sure how many more layers of paint my canvas can take (surely at least 13)! This has been such a fun, learning-filled journey so far.  My limited art background included NO painting, so learning all the technicalities of painting as I go is thrilling.

This mile was a bit scary because faces are so intimidating. Faces are like everything else, though- just a combination of simple lines. It’s amazing how the slightest change to the curvature of a single line changed her expression so dramatically. I thought I would dwell on her perfection for hours, but she came to being very quickly. I’m not sure why, but I’m very drawn to her (jaundice and all). Painting over her will be difficult!

By the way, if you’re interested in participating in the next Creatively Fit Marathon or one of Whitney Ferre’s other new online programs, check out this link: She’s got some cool things in the works!