Kirsten Bailey: Art


Art as meditation

July 16, 2017

I’ve never been good at meditating.  Most of the time I have trouble switching my brain off to be able to sleep, let alone meditating.  But I do find that creating art is a form of meditation for me, especially when I’m creating more intricate pieces and lots of little swirls.  I get lost in the painting.

Two of my most recent painting are great examples of this.  

Taking Flight - Original abstract watercolour painting by KL Bailey Art

“Taking Flight” by KL Bailey Art

Dracontine - Original abstract watercolour painting by KL Bailey Art

Dracontine by KL Bailey Art

For these two paintings, I was initially inspired by Linda Melvin’s abstract watercolours.  I started working wet-on-wet and letting the paint flow and do its own thing.  I also used gauze as a textural element, as she does with some of her work.  But that’s where the similarities end.

As you can see, my work is very different to hers.  In her tutorials, Linda talks about the importance of coming back in and enhancing an image after it dries.  This is the stage at which I get carried away!  For both of these paintings, I began to see a shape emerging from the abstract patterns – in one I saw a humanoid figure, and the other, a dragon-like shape.  As I went in with my fine paintbrush to enhance the images, I accentuated the shapes I saw.  In both cases, I did not know what the shape would be until the initial layers of paint dried.  I used swirls and patterns to add details to the images.  

I really enjoyed creating both of these paintings – I loved the way I could switch off my brain and get lost in the small details, and the way that an image emerged from the painting seemingly on its own.  When I paint, I feel calm and peaceful, and it’s the closest thing I get to meditating. 

Original paintings ‘Taking Flight‘ and ‘Dracontine‘ are both available for purchase in my Etsy store.  Prints and accessories are available via Redbubble or Society6.

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Illustration Friday – Love

July 3, 2017

This week’s topic over at Illustration Friday is ‘love’.  I haven’t participated in one of these prompts in a really long time – I think the last one was back in January 2011 (and ironically, that post is all about how my new year’s resolution was to participate in prompts more often.  Whoops.)  I decided to participate this week because the topic is one that really suits my painting style.

One of my favourite things to do is represent people as trees, showing the relationships between the people using colour, size, spacing and other elements.

Night Romance - original watercolour painting of two heart trees by KL Bailey Art

“Night Romance”

In one of my most recent paintings, I used two trees to represent the love of a couple.  I represented the theme of ‘love’ in a variety of ways.  Firstly, the trees themselves are shaped like hearts.  You will also notice many hearts in the swirls of the leaves if you look closely.  I painted the trees very close together, overlapping.  I also deliberately allowed the paint to run and mix at the point where the trees touched – I wanted to convey the way that in a close relationship, people become part of one another.  I used the a mix of the red and blue in the colours of the sky to also show this connection.  

You can purchase this original painting from my Etsy Store or my Facebook page.  Prints and art products available at RedBubble and Society6.

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Win a $50 KL Bailey Art Voucher

June 16, 2017

 

 

I’m having a competition over on my Facebook page, where you can win a $50 voucher to spend on any of my paintings.  You can even use it to commission a brand new personalised painting!  Supporters over on Patreon get a bonus 5 entries.  I will draw the competition on Saturday 1st July.  Best of luck!

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

A family portrait with a difference!

June 13, 2017

Many people are looking for interesting art for their walls to represent their families.  I myself have grand plans for a family feature wall in our next house.

I can create a work of art for you that represents your family in a unique way.  In my family tree portraits, I represent the family using a number of my signature swirly trees.

Little Family - Original watercolour painting by Kirsten Bailey

“Little Family”

In the portrait, I represent each parent in a different primary colour.  I then represent the children as a secondary colour that is a blend of the two parents’ colours, to represent that the children are a blending of the two parents.  I also use hearts to represent the love the family shares.  I can do any variation on this theme you like, including creating a portrait for blended families with stepchildren.  It is a great way to have an artwork on your wall that uniquely represents your family.  These paintings can be created as anything from small watercolours on paper to large acrylic paintings on canvas.

Another way your family can be uniquely represented on your wall is in a painting like this:

Early Birds - Original watercolour painting by Kirsten Bailey

In this painting, only a couple are represented – however, smaller birds could be added to represent children.  Once again, a painting like this can be commissioned as anything from a small watercolour to a large canvas.  I have plans to create a painting like this for my own family – but I think I might make the background more like this one:

Under the Milky Way - original watercolour painting by Kirsten Bailey

Under the Milky Way

If you’d like to commission a painting that represents your family in a unique way, please contact me!

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

How to title artwork

June 11, 2017

How do you give a title to your artwork?  This is something I often have difficulty with. I recently finished a painting I’m struggling to find a title for.

I feel like the title should help the viewer to understand the meaning and inspiration behind the work.  But I want the title to be interesting and in some cases, a little mysterious – especially in my abstract work – I want the viewer to have the chance to make up their own mind.

Sometimes, a title comes to me immediately – often this is the case for the simple images – a group of colourful trees on a night sky background becomes ‘night colour’, or an image of a baby bird taking its first flight becomes ‘brave‘.

Night Colour - original watercolour painting of swirly rainbow trees by KL Bailey Art

“Night Colour”

 

"Brave" - original watercolor painting by Kirsten Bailey

“Brave”

For other paintings, I have more trouble thinking of a title.  Sometimes I’m inspired by quotes or poetry – My painting “Hope is the thing with feathers” is inspired by a poem by Emily Dickinson.

Hope is the thing with feathers - original watercolour painting of a bird in a swirly tree by KL Bailey Art

“Hope is the thing with feathers”

The title of my painting ‘Beautiful Mysterious’, of a star filled galaxy, was inspired by a quote by Albert Einstein:

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed.”

"Beautiful Mysterious" - original watercolour purple galaxy painting by KL Bailey Art

“Beautiful Mysterious” – original watercolour purple galaxy painting by KL Bailey Art

Fellow artists: How do you come up with titles for your work?  Is it something you struggle with, or does it come easily?

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Abstract watercolours

June 7, 2017

I love painting in watercolours – it’s definitely my favourite medium.  My watercolours are a bit unusual compared to many I’ve seen, as many of them are abstract or naive in style.  I love making abstract watercolours because it gives me a chance to let the paint have a ‘mind of its own’.

Many of my favourite abstract watercolours are inspired by science, like my ‘Moons of Jupiter’ series:

“Moons of Jupiter – Callisto”

“Moons of Jupiter – Europa”

Some more ‘space’ inspired works:

“Imagination Encircling”

“Persistent Illusion”

Red Planet - abstract watercolour painting of Mars by KL Bailey Art

“Red Planet”

From the very big to the very small – some of my other abstract watercolours are inspired by microscopic images:

"Filtered" red and blue abstract watercolour painting by kirsten bailey

“Filtered”

"Needle" - original abstract watercolour painting by kirsten bailey

“Needle”

But I think my favourite overall is this one – it’s only a tiny painting, but it has a lot of detail:

Subterranean - original abstract watercolour painting by Kirsten Bailey

“Subterranean”

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Little details

June 6, 2017

I’ve been enjoying doing some paintings with lots of little details lately.  The first is one I started a LONG time ago, but only finished recently, entitled ‘Growth’.  This painting includes lots of little details, including some embroidered elements, which is a first for me.

Growth by KL Bailey Art

‘Growth’ – original watercolour painting by KL Bailey Art

 

The next two paintings were both inspired by ocean waves.  One was done primarily with watercolours, with some ink drawing done afterwards.  The other was inspired by zentangles, and I did the patterened sections with a sharpie first before adding the colour with watercolours later.

Blue watercolour ocean painting by KL Bailey Art

‘Beneath the waves’ – original watercolour painting by KL Bailey Art

'In the Deep' - watercolour painting blue with black and white details

‘In the Deep’ – original watercolour painting by KL Bailey Art

 

I’m not sure which one I like best yet, but I’m leaning towards the last one – what are your thoughts?

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Don’t Forget to be Awesome

June 3, 2017

So I haven’t posted here in a while, for a lot of reasons – I haven’t had much time for creating since I had my kids, and I’ve had even less time for the more tedious aspect to having an art business: promotion.  I’ve completed a few paintings since I last posted, but just didn’t get around to putting them up here.  I’m also hoping for a long-overdue overhaul of this website, but I’ve decided not to wait until that’s done before I start getting organised again.

My latest painting is called DFTBA, and I think it’s very fitting that this is the beginning of my creative revival.  I hope you like it!

Don't forget to be awesome - space painting by KL Bailey Art

Don’t forget to be awesome

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

An update and a work in progress

July 21, 2014

When I last posted I was getting ready for the Nurture exhibition at the Art and Design Precinct.  I was really happy with how the exhibition went – I sold one of my paintings and received a wonderful review.  It was great working with the gallery and I would love to exhibit there again.

At the moment I’m working on an abstract piece in watercolour and pen, with the theme of growth.  Here’s how it’s looking so far (please excuse the terrible iPhone photo):

Growth - watercolour and ink work in progress by KL Bailey Art

Growth – watercolour and ink work in progress

 

One challenge with abstract paintings like this one is knowing when to stop!

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Nurture Exhibition

April 30, 2014
Breakfast for Early Birds - original watercolour painting by Kirsten Bailey

Breakfast for Early Birds

It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in an exhibition, and I’m excited to have 3 of my paintings in the Art & Design Precinct’s Nurture exhibition beginning this Friday.  With my first Mother’s Day coming up, it is the perfect theme for me.

Opening night is this Friday 2nd May, and the exhibition continues through until May 14.

The three paintings I chose to include all have themes of motherhood.

Breakfast for Early Birds features a mother bird feeding her babies as they nest in a tree, silhouetted before a clear dawn sky.

Hope Within - Original watercolour painting by Kirsten Bailey

Hope Within

Hope Within was painted when I was pregnant, and represents the joy and hope of an expectant mother

Little Family is a brand new painting, very similar to the one I created for Xander’s nursery.  The two larger trees represent the mother and father, while the smaller tree represents the child.  The blue and yellow of the parents’ trees combine to make the green of the child’s.  Each of the parent trees features a green heart, to represent their love for their child.

 

Little Family - Original watercolour painting by Kirsten Bailey

Little Family

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post