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Memories of Spring – intuitive abstract watercolour painting

Memories of spring - watercolour painting of gold and purple flowers by Kirsten Bailey
Memories of spring – watercolour painting of gold and purple flowers by Kirsten Bailey

 

The inspiration for this painting was a posy of wildflowers, picked in the spring and beginning to dry and wilt as spring moves in to summer.  Painted in shimmery gold paint, this painting is prettier in person than it is on the screen!

You can purchase this original painting from my Etsy store.  Prints and other products like the ones below can be found at Redbubble.

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Contemplation – Intuitive abstract watercolour painting on paper in turquoise, coral and yellow by Kirsten Bailey

Contemplation - intuitive abstract watercolour painting on paper in coral, yellow and turquoise by klbaileyart
Contemplation – intuitive abstract watercolour painting on paper in coral, yellow and turquoise by klbaileyart

I called this painting ‘contemplation’ because this style of painting is very meditative to me.  I never know what the finished painting is going to be like when I begin – I just go with the flow, and see where the paint takes me.  I love this combination of colours!

You can purchase this original painting in my Etsy store.  Prints and other products like the ones featured below are available on Redbubble.

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Illustration Friday – Hair

This week’s prompt over at Illustration Friday is ‘Hair’.  This is the perfect opportunity to show you two of my newest paintings!  Both of these paintings include figures with long, flowing hair – at least, that’s what I see!

As I explained on a previous blog post, I’ve been experimenting with a new abstract painting technique.  I start with an image that is purely abstract – I work wet-on-wet on the paper, use lots of paint and water and allow the paint to ‘flow’ in the direction it wants to go (sometimes I help it along).  I add textural elements such as gauze, and then I allow the first layer to dry.  After it has dried, I start adding more layers, and then an image begins to form – almost like a Rorschach test!  As the image begins to form, I help it along by adding in details with a fine brush.  In the end, I find the painting isn’t so abstract anymore.   

"Sea Goddess" - Original watercolour painting by KL Bailey Art
“Sea Goddess”

In this first painting, I saw a female figure, floating on her back in the water.  I imagined her as some kind of sea goddess, and gave her long, flowing hair.  My 3-year-old son still says it looks like a jellyfish though, and points out the ‘tentacles’!  I like that about abstract art – people can see in it what they want to.  We all bring something of ourselves to the art we view.

"Drifting Together" - Original watercolour painting by KL Bailey Art
“Drifting Together”

In the second image, I also saw figures in the water.  This time, I saw two figures and imagined them having tails – so they became mermaids.  I added some scales, and like the sea goddess, long flowing hair.  

What do you see in the images?  Do you see the figures that I see?  Do you see a jellyfish like my son does, or do you see something else?  

The original paintings Sea Goddess and Drifting Together are available for purchase in my Etsy store.  Prints and other products including clothing and accessories are available at Redbubble and Society6.  Interested in receiving a little bit of art in your mailbox every month?  Become a supporter of KL Bailey Art on Patreon!

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Art as meditation

Taking Flight - Original abstract watercolour painting by KL Bailey Art

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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Abstract watercolours

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”