How Long Did It Take To Paint That?

 If you have ever created anything more complex than a stick figure, you have probably been asked this common question, "How long did it take to paint that?" This seemingly simple question can actually be complex for the artist to answer. For me, each painting seems to have a mind of its own, with its own personality. Literally, some paintings paint themselves, while others are a slow, and more labor intensive. Self-employed artists work hard, but we [...]

How to Bring out the ‘Mona Lisa’ in Your Own Artwork!

The Mona Lisa is regarded as the most 'meaningful' and famous painting in the history of art. Over 500 years old, Mona has aged gracefully and continues to inspire reproduction, parody, scientific theory, movies and more. Today, many of us artists strive to create our own 'Mona Lisa' in hopes of leaving an 'meaningful' trace of ourselves behind. But, how does an artist truly create meaning in his or her work? That question is baffling to most... What is 'MEANING'? Meaning is the responsive chord that is struck in [...]

Painting Portraits 101: Part 1 – Proportions

This is Part 1 of a two-part series of painting portraits tips written by my good friend and fellow artist, David Goatley. Years ago, I met David at one of his portrait painting workshops. Not only does David epitomize the 'true English gentleman' but I was so impressed with David’s capabilities that I commissioned him to paint my three children. First, a bit about your instructor:     David Goatley is widely recognized as one of the NW leading portrait [...]

Breaking the Rules in Art

Picasso’s, “Dora Maar with Cat” sold for $95 million in 2006! Were you one of those kids who carefully colored inside the lines, careful of breaking the rules?  I was.  As a small girl, I remember taking pride in my perfectly colored pages. Teachers, parents and restaurants alike still encourage and glorify these early crayon versions of paint-by-numbers by taping them to their bulletin boards, refrigerators and the walls at Apple B’s! Okay, it does show a [...]

A Favorite Book – The Yin Yang of Painting

  Recently, I have been doing a series of posts that have to do with yin and yang in painting.  To read, click "Texture & Application,"  "Color Harmony,"  "Opposites Attract in Painting," "Composition - Yin Yang of Painting." I have had a good time learning and researching this subject online and in books.  "The Yin/Yang of Painting," has been especially enlightening and beautiful to read.  The art is luminous and well executed.  If this subject interests you, I suggest you open [...]

A Favorite Book – “The Art Spirit” by Robert Henri

A few summers ago my life was full of changes and challenges. I was newly separated from my husband of 23 years and then my oldest son was graduating from college. So, in early June, my two younger kids and I loaded up the truck and drove from Idaho to St. Louis, Missouri to watch their big brother graduate from college. It was the first time I had ever driven that far without another adult driver in [...]

2011-01-05T12:24:32+00:00 February 22nd, 2009|General, Inspiration & Motivation, Misc. Articles|17 Comments

What is Luminism in Painting?

Luminism refers to an earlier generation of landscape painters from the late nineteenth century who painted scenes along the Hudson River and the eastern shores. Out of all the 'isms'  I believe that Tonalism and Luminism are most closely related.  It is confusing, but there are some recognizable differences between the two.  First of all, the luminist painters preceded the tonalist movement.  But, both popular American art movements were inspired by interaction between sky, water and landscape.                      [...]

2013-02-22T00:29:46+00:00 February 15th, 2009|Fine Art Tips, General, Misc. Articles|12 Comments

What is Tonalism in Painting?

TONALISM is a painting movement that is still popular today. Originally, it was derived from the French Barbizon movement which emphasized atmosphere and shadow and harmonized nature with man - all this was done on location directly from nature. The tonalists did not like to be defined by any particular art movement. But, when pressed on this issue, the early tonalists most often used the term refer to their approach toward painting. Their view on the [...]

2010-08-11T22:25:23+00:00 February 12th, 2009|Fine Art Tips, General, Misc. Articles|15 Comments

Artistic Temperament – What to Do When it Strikes!

As artists, we often become frustrated with ourselves if we struggle with a painting or creative project.  When 'artistic temperament' kicks in, our friends and family look at us with worry and fear that we might be the next coming of Van Gogh! The story of Van Gogh's ear will most likely remain a mystery, but one theory states that he cut off his ear lobe after trying to drink a quart of turpentine in his studio.  Well, that proves it... [...]

2013-11-02T21:40:34+00:00 February 11th, 2009|General, Inspiration & Motivation, Misc. Articles|23 Comments

Improve Color Harmony – Use Yin Yang in Painting

Most great paintings use the principles of color harmony with the use of complementary colors.  COLOR HARMONY, or yin yang in painting, is the overall tone of the piece of art. This can be seen in many important works of art throughout the centuries. ©2015 Lori McNee, A Bit of Summer 16x20 (example of blue and orange color harmony) When I grasped the concept of color harmony and color temperature, as well as how to use [...]