Paint yourself calm? Don't mind if I do.

Paint yourself calm? Don't mind if I do.

Thanksgiving break was exhausting. The baby hasn't been sleeping well—he's been teething and congested—which means I haven't been sleeping well, either. And my toddler was bored and irritable for much of the holiday, picking on his little brother and issuing demands. But I got a little bit of painting and a little bit of writing done, and for that I'm thankful.

After Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, my mom and I escaped into her basement art studio, where she gave me a quick lesson on painting birch trees. It's quick, easy and virtually foolproof. You mask off a few trees, then sponge on paint to your heart's content. Once you've peeled off the masking tape, you paint the trees' shadows and eyes. Then—voila! You have a painting.


I'd like to try this again with some loose washes underneath the sponged parts. I'm really into loose watercolor washes lately. Blame Jean Haines. After having a solid week of panic attacks earlier this month, I treated myself to her book Paint Yourself Calm.

Below is one of the first exercises from her book, on painting simple landscapes from loose washes. I loved the way it turned out, but thought it could use some darker values, so I painted a second layer of evergreen trees once the first wash dried. And drips! There's something about paint drips that I find irresistible.

When I get a chance, I'm going to make an Etsy store and post these there, so I can (try to) fund my art addiction. 

I hope your Thanksgiving was everything you hoped it would be and more. What are you creating lately? Share your work with me.