Kirsten Bailey: Art


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Art as meditation

Sunday, July 16th, 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.

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Win a $50 KL Bailey Art Voucher

Friday, June 16th, 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!

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A family portrait with a difference!

Tuesday, June 13th, 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!

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How to title artwork

Sunday, June 11th, 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?

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Abstract watercolours

Wednesday, June 7th, 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”

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Little details

Tuesday, June 6th, 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?

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Don’t Forget to be Awesome

Saturday, June 3rd, 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

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Nurture Exhibition

Wednesday, April 30th, 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

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A little about me – my artistic history

Friday, March 21st, 2014
80s Crayola Case

This is similar to the case of crayons I received one memorable Christmas as a child in the 80s

A lot of people ask me about how I got started with painting, and what my training has been.

As long as I can remember, I have loved to create in a variety of ways.  As a child, one of the most memorable Christmas presents I received was a set of Crayola crayons.  I was so excited by all those colours!  Then, when I was a little older, I received a tin of Derwent coloured pencils, which I adored.  As a child I also went to after-school art lessons, with a lovely lady whose name I can no longer remember in her backyard studio.  I loved these classes because we were encouraged to try out different mediums and new techniques.  It was at one of these classes that I first saw a van Gogh – the teacher showed me his Sunflowers in a book and I was mesmerised.  He is still one of my favourite artists today.

vase of flowers children's painting

I was around 11 when I painted this at an after school art class. It was my first ever painting on canvas.

I’m still really proud of some of the things I was able to produce in that class.  My favourite is a watercolour of a flamingo.  I used watercolour pencils to make it and it was the first time I had used watercolour paper.  I remember being impressed at how much better the colours came out on the watercolour paper than on the ordinary paper I was used to using.  It was also in this class that I painted on canvas for the first time – this made me feel very professional and grown up.

Later on, in high school, I did art in grade 8, but did not choose it as an elective subject in year 9.  I wanted to, but my parents convinced me to do something more ‘useful’, so I took typing instead.  While I am very grateful for my ability to touch type (something that has come in very handy over the years), I am still a little sad that I allowed myself to be talked out of taking art.  Looking back though, it’s hard to be too regretful, because I have been able to explore my art in my own way, and to learn through experimentation.  I wouldn’t have come up with my ‘signature style’ for backgrounds without this experimentation.

child's flamingo painting

A flamingo created using watercolour pencils when I was about 12 years old

Throughout high school and university (where I studied Primary Teaching), I did little pieces of art here and there, just for fun.  I did lots of doodles during lectures because I find it hard to sit still and listen without doing something with my hands.  Often I would cover a whole notebook page with doodles, and would have the people on either side of me looking over my shoulder at my work.  I didn’t do any large paintings during this time, mostly because I didn’t have the time or space to do so.

When I finished uni, I moved out of mum & dad’s place to my own unit with my then boyfriend (now husband).  We had very little money as I had only just started teaching and he was studying and working part time.  I was eager to decorate our little townhouse, and since I couldn’t afford to buy art, decided to create some of my own.  I experimented with using oil paints, and found that while I loved the results I got, I was getting sick from the smell, impatient for the paint to dry and hated the clean up.  I also experimented with using pastels, and liked the soft look they created, but once again the OCD part of me didn’t like the mess.  I reverted back to the old familiar acrylics and watercolours.  At this stage I was still creating art just for me and my own home – I didn’t dream that anyone else would want to hang my artwork on their wall.

WInter to spring triptych painting

Winter to Spring – the triptych that started it all

A few years later, my husband and I (we were married by then) decided to buy our own house.  Once again, I decided to decorate with my own artwork.  We had a large blank wall that I was excited to fill.  I created a triptych acrylic on canvas, featuring a tree which came more into flower with each panel.  It looked great on the wall and I was very proud of it.  It still hangs on our lounge room wall today.   Once again, I was painting just for me, and didn’t expect to ever sell my art to others.  Then, something amazing happened.  A friend saw the painting and loved it, and offered to pay me to do something for her own wall.  I was thrilled!  I started to think that despite my lack of formal training, maybe there would be others out there who would appreciate my artwork.  That was when I really started to create more, and to offer my paintings for sale.

Now, I have sold paintings to people from all over the world, and I have been contacted by many people to create custom made commissions for their own walls.  It fills me with joy whenever I sell a painting, because it means someone has appreciated the work I’ve put into it.  I love the idea of my paintings hanging on other people’s walls, all over the world.

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Xander’s Nursery

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

I hung up my latest painting in my son’s room this evening.  Here’s how it looks:

Tree painting on baby's nursery wall Painting on baby's nursery wall

I’m really happy with how it turned out, although now that I see it on the wall I’m thinking a bigger painting would go well there – I’m considering doing something similar on canvas!

Remember, if you like this painting, I can make a custom one for you, in the colours you like!  I could also do a ‘family portrait’ in trees.

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