Category Archives: Acrylic Painting

Coming Undone

Abstract Acrylic Painting

Coming Undone

This is one of my favorite paintings, not because of its visual appearance but because of the joyful process of creating it. Having what I considered to be a lot of stress in my life at the time, I wanted to represent something that would exemplify how I felt. And, of course, the process did help to alleviate most of the stress altogether!

Coming Undone

Coming Undone

The beginnings of this painting were interesting, but, at one point, I had a sort of “blah” painting that needed some spicing up. Here is a photo that shows the painting in one of its early stages. It was, at this point, coming together, but still needed some work on the right-hand side. So I continued to add color and emphasis, using a small circular stencil to add the small dots you see within the circular shapes.

Coming Undone

Coming Undone, Displayed

When completed, the edges were finished and the painting was hung on my wall. Some photos were taken to show specific areas and the overall effect when hung.

Coming Undone, Closeup 1

Coming Undone, Closeup 1

Abstract Acrylic Art

Coming Undone, Closeup 2

Abstract Acrylic Art

Coming Undone, Edge







Though this may not be my best work, it certainly has meaning to me. It has the impression of being wound up (stressed), much like bobbins on a sewing machine, and then being let loose – becoming less stressed. Thus, Coming Undone!




Little Florals – Getting Grounded

Since the beginning of April, I have been a bit uninspired to continue my abstract painting. Although I will never give up paintings abstracts, there are times when I feel a more structured painting would help me to become more creative.

So I decided to take a “break” and get myself grounded once again. The way I do this is to paint something with a more realistic approach. Since I love, love, love flowers – there aren’t many who don’t – I decided to paint some small 12×12″ florals in acrylic.


March Tulips

First, I decided to do tulips. I remember my first trials at painting these seemingly simple flowers in watercolor several years ago. After painting “umpteen” tulips, I finally got it! So my first small acrylic is of some March Tulips. I painted these in warm colors to signify the warming of the earth as spring rolls ’round.

bearded irises

Iris Parade

Next, I painted my most favorite of flowers – the bearded iris. My challenge was to paint these in more or less of a straight line arrangement; thus, Iris Parade was formulated in my mind. I decided to paint them in cool colors since the first floral of tulips was in warm tones.

And finally, since there are no flowers without a few weeds amongst them, I decided to paint a milk thistle. Their lovely fluffy heads and oddly shaped tendrils surrounding them intrigued me. I loved using a small brush to paint multiple layers of magenta, ultramarine blue and white to create the flower head.


Milk Thistle

My foray into painting a few florals has now made me yearn to go back to working more expressively. Doing more detailed work impresses upon me how much I love putting my feeling into paintings. Now that I am “grounded” I can happily and eagerly return to creating some new abstract acrylic paintings.

Merit – Getting Inspiration from Everyday Things



Finding inspiration for an abstract piece of artwork can come from obvious but often unnoticed objects. You can find inspiration in the bark of trees, in the colors at a farmer’s market, in the shadows on the wall…almost anywhere your eye can wander.

The inspiration for my latest painting, Merit, was inspired by an advertisement photo of various colored ribbons on spools. In order to not break any copyright laws, I have not posted the photo and my painting does not show a realistic representation of the photo.

Merit, Starting Out

Merit, Beginning of the Painting

The layout of the advertisement was used as an inspiration and I revised it to fit the canvas and conform to what I had in mind. The colors are not inspired by the photo as I wanted my painting to be much more vibrant. The spools were transformed into rectangular shapes and colors for the background were chosen with an eye for continuity in the painting.

Some breaks between the rectangular shapes were created with softened areas to give a smooth transition and a path for the eye to follow. In other areas, shadows were added to the edges of the shapes to give them a feeling of depth. When adding the shadows, I kept in  mind that the light source was coming from above left. This helped not only with shadows, but with adding highlights to various areas.

A bit of stenciling was added to the curved shape to add a bit of texture and interest to the painting. A voila! Merit was complete!

Now, I challenge you to find something in your everyday life that inspires you to make a new creation, be it a painting, a quilt, fabric art or wearable art, a 3D structure, a collage, whatever you like. Happy creating!

Pizzazz (Abstract Acrylic Painting)


Pizzazz, abstract acrylic 20″x 24″

Finally the holidays are over and I am ready to begin painting in the new year. Since it is such a busy time of year for me, I have painted three smaller abstracts so far. But in this blog post, I am focusing on explaining my process for painting “Pizzazz.”

Acrylic paint
Pizzazz, paint applied


Starting out, I squeezed some random paint in the colors I wished to use for the painting. I chose white, turquoise, ultramarine blue and cadmium red. These were applied roughly in a pattern that I had in mind.

Pizazz acrylic abstract
Pizzazz, first layers

Then I spread the paint around with a large bristle brush, letting them mix and mingle. Using a small cup, I stamped some circles into the wet paint and used a wine cork to apply and/or remove paint from various areas. I placed these circles in a more-or-less cruciform pattern to assure a nice composition. Though I wanted circles to predominate, I felt the painting might become boring if this were the only design. So I decided to use a zig-zag stencil in some areas to provide variety.

Pizazz with stenciling
Pizzazz, with zig-zag stenciling

Though the painting was coming along nicely, I studied it and decided it needed more definition. Lines were added in a geometric pattern across the painting using a palette knife and black and white paint. Some, but not all, of the shapes formed were painted over with a layer of paint mixed in various shades of gray. All colors used in the painting were used to mix these grays. A paper towel was used to remove paint and let the background show through in some of the areas.

Pizazz Closeup
Pizzazz, closeup

In my eyes, it was still not finished. I dipped my small cup into white, blue and light blue acrylic paint and added more circles to the focal area, as well as a few smaller circles made by dipping the wine cork into these same colors. Being satisfied with the results, I considered the painting finished. It reminds me of spunk and determination; therefore, I named it “Pizzazz.”

Seeds of Joy (Abstract, Acrylic)

Abstract, Acrylic

Seeds of Joy

Since I was feeling a bit blue and stressed, I decided to paint a joyful abstract. I felt it might cheer me up a bit – and cheer me up, it did!


Seeds of Joy, First Wash

A quite colorful first wash was put onto the canvas using a large palette knife. I used bright yellows and reds, which always evoke a feeling of happiness within me.


Seeds of Joy, In Progress

Next, I began adding some ultramarine blue and used the bottom of a foam egg carton dipped in paint as a stamp. To make it more interesting, I also dipped the egg carton in red paint and added a few more stamps. This added some texture and the egg carton created the circular marks you see. I also used a small round stencil in various areas that may be difficult to see on the large photograph. A closeup photo is included to show these marks, as well as some of the circular marks made by the egg carton.

Seeds of Joy, closeup showing yellow stenciling

Seeds of Joy, closeup showing yellow stenciling

At this point, I assessed the painting and decided it appeared to look as though flowers or grasses were bursting, ready to spread their seeds. Seeds of Joy as a title came to mind, so I let this theme take over. I continued, deciding to add some white to depict the bursting of the seeds as they were being spread into the wind.Penny-Bantle_Seeds-of-Joy_Final-Touchup

At this point, I took a photograph and viewed it on my computer to see if it was finished. I decided that it was. All in all, the process of painting and the resulting joyful abstract changed my emotions from “down in the dumps” to “Seeds of Joy.” I hope it brings some “Seeds of Joy” to you, as well.

Painting a Heart Attack (Abstract, Acrylic)



My posts have been lapsing lately due to the fact that I had a heart attack on September 11th. Yes, I had my own disaster on 9/11 and though it was not a national tragedy, it was a personal one.

Because my attack came on due to a stressful situation, I had a lot of anger and anxiety building up within me. A good friend, Vivian T., suggested that I “paint” my heart attack. So at the first opportunity and when I was feeling somewhat better, I chose a canvas and some paints and began.

Heartfelt, First Washes

Heartfelt, First Washes

My color choices were indicative of the anger and stress I was feeling and my strokes were long and swift. I made use of full arm movement with a large brush to lay down the first washes, working off some of the stress I was feeling.

Cadmium yellow and cadmium red along with some titanium white and burnt sienna fit my mood perfectly and I was off to a great start.

Next, I took a trusty palette knife and began scraping on more paint of the same hues, at the same time removing some of the previous wash that had not yet dried. Jabbing and jerky movements were used to relieve some of the anger I was feeling. This left some rather angry-looking strokes, reminiscent of the spikes on an EKG. Ah, this was definitely helping me come to terms with my situation.

Heartfelt, Sgraffito Lines added

Heartfelt, Sgraffito Lines added

Then I used a chopstick to scribble some sgraffito lines into the composition, allowing some of the first layer to show through. This enhanced the painting and made me feel even better.

By this time, I was feeling tired, but invigorated by the relief I was feeling. Painting seemed to melt away some of my angst and my stress level was improving.

Heartfelt, After Red Splatters

Heartfelt, After Red Splatters

Sitting back and looking at the painting thus far, I felt that bit of red splattering might mimic the blood flow that is blocked off during a heart attack. So I grabbed a brush, loaded it with red paint and made a few, hopefully well placed, splatters over the painting. I was careful not to over-do this as I wanted my initial strokes and sgraffito to be at the forefront. The splatters were made as an enhancement to the painting.

Voila! Stress level decreased! Painting Finished!

PS: Naming the painting was a tough decision. I felt that “Heart Attack” was too personal, too real. So I named it “Heartfelt.” I hope you agree.