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A family portrait with a difference!

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

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

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

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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Don’t Forget to be Awesome

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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Painting for Baby

Today I finished a painting for my son’s nursery.  I’m very happy with it!  Not least of all because he smiled when he saw it 🙂

IMG_1223

I haven’t had a chance to scan it yet, so this is just a picture from my phone and so not the best quality, but I don’t plan on making prints of this one anyway – it’s a special painting just for my little boy.  The blue and yellow trees represent my husband and myself, and the little green tree represents my baby boy.  I chose these colours specifically to show that he is a mix of the two of us.  Inside the blue and yellow trees are green hearts, to represent that he is always in our hearts.

While I won’t be selling this painting or making prints of it, if you like this idea for a baby nursery, I can create a custom artwork for you.  You can choose the colours of the trees, their positions, sizes, etc.

I think this would make a lovely gift for a new baby – my son’s painting has a personal inscription on the back of it from me.  I hope that when he grows up, it will be something he treasures.

 

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Illustration Friday – Linked

This week’s topic over at Illustration Friday is “linked“.  Here’s what I came up with:

Entwined - Original watercolor painting by Brisbane Artist Kirsten Bailey

It’s titled Entwined.

I really enjoyed creating this one, and I’m happy with how it’s turned out… but painting the way I do can be quite messy:

I’m so glad watercolours wash off easily!

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Two Happy Stampers April Colour Challenge – Take Two

I recently wrote about participating in this month’s colour challenge at Two Happy Stampers, which involves creating something using the following colours:

I wanted to have another go at creating a painting using these colours, and this is what I came up with:

Early Spring - Original watercolor painting by Brisbane Artist Kirsten Bailey

It reminds me of the shrubs they have around my school which drop white flowers in a carpet all over the ground.  The branch of the tree is actually painted in navy watercolour paint although it looks pretty close to black.

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Two new works

I love holidays!  I get so much painting done 🙂

Here’s what I’ve been working on:

"Evening Joy" - original watercolor painting by Kirsten Bailey

“Sunset Joy”

I’m hoping to donate this painting to the Cerebal Palsy League’s ‘Art for Arts Sake‘ charity auction next month (it has to be accepted first so fingers crossed!)

"Evening Song" - original watercolour painting by Kirsten Bailey

“Evening Song”

This one is going to be sent to someone special 🙂

I’ve also been working on some new canvas works – I’ll post details here soon.  I hope everyone had a lovely Easter long weekend!

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Creating “Brave”

As promised (OK, a little later than promised, but still!) here’s my step-by-step for the creation of my latest painting, “Brave”.

Step one - creating "Brave"
Step 1 - OK I probably didn't need to show you this - the blank page. I've started using watercolour blocks instead of pads or loose sheets, and they're great! You dont' have to tape them down at all.
Creating "Brave" - step 2
Step 2: Using masking fluid, I masked off the edge of the paper and created three separate panels.
Creating "Brave" - step 3
Step 3 - Colour washes for the background. Here I've done the first two. I tried to give a feeling of the day passing - using the colours of sunrise, midday and twilight.
Creating "Brave" - Step 4
Step 4: As I wanted to convey the idea of the same tree and bird changing over time, I wanted my tree to look the same in each panel. I usually paint my trees freeform, without sketching them first. This time, I sketched a tree in pencil first, and transferred it to the 3 panels so each would be the same.
Creating "Brave" - step 5
Step 5 - 3rd background wash. I did this panel a little later as I was waiting for the masking fluid I used to create the stars to dry.
Creating "Brave" - step 6
Step 6 - The tree sketch transferred onto each panel of the painting.
Creating "Brave" - step 7
Step 7 - Trees and birdies painted in.
"Brave" - original watercolor painting by Kirsten Bailey
Step 8 - Masking fluid rubbed off, painting completed!!

Hope you liked learning about how I created this painting 🙂