//Art in Progress

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: Let Joy Be Your Guide

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

When I first started working on this one, I only had a few minutes to put some paint on paper, so I was pretty hasty in my technique.  I threw some colors down and moved it around and needless to say, my lack of focus (and time) showed up in what I created. I ended up kind of hating it and because of that, this page stayed quiet for at least a month, maybe more. *Ugh*  I just couldn’t figure out how to attack it again because it was so choppy looking to me and I didn’t love the color scheme.  But in the end, this piece was a good lesson in not giving up–especially when I’m just at the beginning of something.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

So during the next session, I went allllll in and added a different color palette. I left some of the original colors in the background, but I wanted to move this piece in a different direction than what I started with, so I added some markings and a little piece of collage.  I’m not sure why I picked that piece in the bottom corner, but I saw it, liked it and then just slapped it on. I try not to think too hard when I’m creating and just go with the flow of inspiration. Eventually those little whispers make sense.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Next I wanted to create a spot for my girl.  At this point of creating, I usually don’t know what the sentiment will be or what she will look like, I just put the bare bones down to create space for the next layer of creativity.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

So I added the features, collaged in her dress and added some accents to her hair.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Then all of a sudden the collage piece in the corner made sense when I saw a little bird in my collection of collage papers.  I love little birds.  I even have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to bird art!  So yes, the bird made sense to nest there in the corner.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

And then the sentiment came to me.  It had a lot to do with the bird bringing me joy 🙂

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

And then here’s the finished piece.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

This is in my sketchbook which I’m getting used to working in and slowly starting to LOVE. It’s a lot more portable and forgiving.  No worries about screwing up an entire canvas which is great because more experimenting = more learning.  And I’m totally into that!

I hope you enjoyed this view into my process + If you do nothing else today…just let joy be your guide 🙂

Some Supplies I used:

Love, Steph

 

April 12, 2017|Art in Progress, Art Stuff, New Art|

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: Be True To You

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

In an effort to get back to creating consistently, I went out and made an on the go studio kit for myself.  You can see what it includes in this post I wrote about creativity.  I wanted to take the pressure off of needing to set my studio back up after having a baby in order to get back to abstract painting.  I realized I can be creative in so many ways on the go (hello simple sketches) and I liked the idea of smaller versions of my favorite supplies to bring the ease back to my process.

I got these adorable paints from Target.  They’re small and fun and the colors!  *swoon*

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.I wanted to change what I painted on and try a new format–using a pad of heavy duty mixed media paper is new to me because I usually use a canvas to create.  You know what? I found working on the paper to be amazingly freeing!  I wasn’t so worried about ‘messing things up’ like I would feel sometimes in front of a fresh started canvas.

I began this piece below by using water soluble wax pastels and treating them like watercolors.  Have you used them before?  They’re definitely worth checking out.  I colored with them on the page, then smudged with a wet brush and sometimes my fingers and it gave a nice watercolor background effect.

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I spread some of the paint colors around the edges of the paper and added in collage and pen details.   I had fun with the doodles, I wasn’t thinking too much but just trying to enjoy the process–that is the way abstract painting is meant to feel.  I saw that a girl was emerging so I brought her to life by painting her face and neck.

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Some close up details of the doodles…

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

I found myself getting a little stuck on what to do next so I started adding details to the girl–her hair came first.  And then I added the outline for her eyes, but I messed up on the left eye!  Oh well.  I was using a pitt pen, so I quickly wiped it with a baby wipe and just tried again.  The paint for the color of the eyes eventually covered it up.

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

After adding some more details and the sentiment, I feel like it was finished. This was so much fun to create on paper, I can’t wait to do the next one!

I spread some of the paint colors around the edges of the paper and added in pen details.   I had fun with the doodles, I wasn't thinking too much but just trying to enjoy the process.

Love, Steph

 

August 15, 2016|Art in Progress, Art Stuff|

Art In Progress: You Are So Loveable

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

I started this piece in class with a very loose background–I love that blue!  It’s one of my favorite colors.  And I love the complimentary accent of the hot pink, I always seem to find a way to put that color in somewhere 🙂

Ever wonder how a painting is made? Come over and check out my series Art In Progress to see how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, You Are So Loveable, click through for a peek. Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

 

I left the background a little more open and airy than I normally do, I experimented with it to see if I liked leaving a little more resting space for the eyes.  The next step was adding the girl + I collaged in a piece for her dress.

You are so loveable 2

In the spirit of trying new things, I gave her short hair.  She reminded me of my niece who used to sport a cute pixie cut and it just felt right.  A lot of my inspiration for these girls came from my nieces, so I just followed my gut on this one.  Don’t you just love it?

You are so loveable 3

I added in the sentiment and some more accents in her hair, on her dress and collar. (sorry for the blurry phone picture!)

You are so loveable 4

After some more collage and accents, she started to feel finished to me–I love how she came out!

Ever wonder how a painting is made? Come over and check out my Art In Progress and see how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Prints available here.

Remember–we are all so loveable in our own unique ways.

Love, Steph

October 20, 2015|Art in Progress, Art Stuff|

Art In Progress: Dream Big, Little One

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big. -anonymous

I started this piece in class one night and it came out quite quick.  I wanted to try a different color palate–one that involved a few cooler colors and no pinks 🙂

Here are the first couple of layers:

dream big art in progress painting

The background colors + style reminded me of trees so I cut out a few chubby birdies to add to the piece.

dream big painting art in progress technique

Here they are up close + with more layers for the wings.  One is a little bigger so I made her the mamma.

dream big painting art in progress technique
dream big painting art in progress technique
Next, I added some embellishments around the edges of the painting.  I wanted a little more interest in the background, so I added purple and some collage pieces.  The birds got an outline and some sweet stick legs–Don’t you just love the gentleness of them?

dream big painting art in progress technique

Then lastly, I added in the sentiment: Dream Big, Little One.  I love how simple yet strong that message is.

dream big painting art in progress technique

You can buy the print here in my shop.

Remember to dream big, friend!

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August 18, 2015|Art in Progress, Art Stuff, New Art|

Art In Progress: Love Who You Are

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

I started the background of this piece a while back and had it hanging around my studio until I was inspired to finish it.  That happens a lot–I get on a tear of making a bunch of different backgrounds and then have to circle back and finish each one with the sentiment and character I want.

Sometimes it’s a matter of thinking of just the right saying, other times I find some collage pieces that would be a perfect fit for the colors I used for the background.  I try not to rush it and just go with the flow when inspiration strikes.  That’s why I’m always working on a few pieces at a time!

Here is the first two layers:

Love Who You Are 2

The next layer includes some more colors, filling in some empty areas and adding stamps and accents.  I love the blank space in the middle left, it gives the eyes somewhere to temporarily rest.

Love Who You Are 2

When I was happy with the background vibe, I was ready to create the girl.  I apply a layer of gesso on top of the background so that the colors don’t show through in the face.  If I just paint a face on top, sometimes you can see tones of the background color underneath.

Love Who You Are 3

Next I painted her hair and found her dress.  I like to contrast the colors + styles when I’m collaging; it’s fun to put things together that wouldn’t normally go.

Love Who You Are 4
Here’s a close up of the stamps I use and some of her face details.  *swoon*  I’m falling in love with her.  (That happens a lot.)

Love Who You Are 5
Love Who You Are 6

And here she is all done!   I named her Olivia, which is my sister’s name, because I thought about her a lot when I was painting this one.

Love Who You Are

This print available in my shop here.

We’re all a work in progress, so no matter where you are in your life, love who you are.

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April 2, 2015|Art in Progress, Art Stuff|

Art In Progress: Kindness Is The Way

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

 

I’ve been thinking about kindness a lot lately, especially around the holidays; my personal mantra has always been ‘kindness, regardless’ because, well, you never know what people are going through/feeling on the inside and it actually takes very little effort to be kind.  The world can be tough, and I don’t want to add to anyone’s suffering.

And yet still, I have my moments of forgetting the mantra (oops).  Even though there are times I’m not so great to myself or others, somehow I always come back to this thought as my touchstone.   I find that if I ultimately stay focused on kindness, it gets me where I need to go.

So I was really psyched when the sentiment of this piece popped in my head as I was painting.  I think it had to do with the soothing colors + the gentle overall tone–it was fun to experiment along the way.  And this painting was a great learning experience for me–the process gave me the faith + confidence to stick with my gut until it felt right, even when I got frustrated for not getting there sooner.

Here is the first pass through where I’m just getting some colors, textures and layers down.  At this point, I try to stay loose and enjoy the free-style painting:

Kindness is the way 1

I added in some lines and stamping, just to mix it up a little.

Kindness is the way 2

Then I felt like the girl was ready to appear–I experimented and used gesso for the first layer of her face, just to see how it made a difference.  I usually  paint with a flesh color right on top of the other layers. (Turns out this was a great idea!)

Kindness is the way 3

I added her dress, feeling tentative about the colors of it but went with it for the moment.  Again, checking in with my gut.

Kindness is the way 4

When I added her face and hair, it dawned on me that the dress was all wrong.  I was feeling my way through the process–rationale doesn’t have a huge role in my decision making while painting.  I try to stick to how it feels, no matter what.

Kindness is the way 5

So after I added the butterfly and leaves to her hair, I tore off the dress and used some turpentine to remove it from the canvas.  This isn’t a fun process because it’s stinky and can stretch the canvas a little, but it was well worth it.

Kindness is the way 6

Once I went with the different color dress, it all fell into place.  I loved the way it looked!

Kindness is the way 7

Here’s a close up of her sweet face with the sentiment: the gesso helped to make it a true flesh color.

Kindness is the way 8

And here’s the finished product:

kindness is the way final

 You can find prints of Kindness Is The Way  in my shop here.

We all need kindness in our life, friends.

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December 10, 2014|Art in Progress|