Tag Archives: representational art

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.


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.