If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen a couple of posts about this painting. I did this as a gift to my parents. My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year and they have moved into an apartment…they were previously “snowbirds” traveling back & forth from Canada to Arizona. Anyway, I thought that it would be nice to paint this for them so they can put it up in their new place. The house and yard was a very special place for my family and we have many great memories growing up there.
The two people in the painting are my mom on the porch and my dad working in the flowerbed. I wanted the end result to be somewhat symbolic of what our family has been going through this last year with my mom and so I wanted the sky to be a little dramatic but I also wanted to it to be peaceful and serene. It is a crazy thing this cancer. Sometimes I feel so devastated that I wonder if I will ever be able to paint again nevermind get out of bed. The next time, I feel desperately like I MUST paint & I’m not even the one that has the cancer! Here is a quote from my dad that he just wrote today about all this cancer craziness
“…and He has done this to pour His grace more abundantly on us to have Him more alive in our souls. Yes, these are days of desperation, and deeper ones may well be on the horizon; but they are also days of our souls vibrant with God’s life within, in wonder and grace. “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed…. Preparing for us a weight of glory beyond all comparison…And even today, cancer, does not rank on the same scale as the riches of His grace poured out on us in this present room; for He keeps track of every single cancer cell before and after the upcoming MRI.”
The biggest challenge with this painting was probably getting it from a place of blocked-in shapes, looking very basic and unoriginal to a painting that had depth and personality. It is one thing to be able to know how to paint in shapes, various elements and colors, it is another thing entirely to be able to paint intuitively where you are putting yourself in the painting, and viewers can observe that. It is what takes a painting from “that’s nice, you know how to paint trees and birds and shapes” to “this looks like it was meaningful to the artist, there is definitely emotion and passion in this painting”. I believe it is easy enough to learn techniques such as shapes, perspective, shading but if you can’t paint intuitively and with feeling than it’s not exciting and the result is very boring to the viewer.
For me, this process involves really thinking through the piece and figuring out all the details such as angles, how to get the important elements into the frame of the canvas, mixing colors, mediums etc. to turning off my brain and just painting intuitively. What I mean by that is to trust that I have figured out the details and now I just paint by instinct and what feels right. Yes, that means I may have to make corrections but the outcome is so much preferable to a painting that features a subject that COULD be beautiful and SHOULD be beautiful but yet still has no life on the canvas. There is always that stage for me in all of my works & it is the most frustrating, stressful stage. At that point, I just keep going and all of a sudden it starts getting away from me and the “magic starts to happen”
So with this video, keep in mind, it is just the beginning stages of the painting. I would say it was just before the stage where I turn my brain off and start painting by instinct. You will notice some re-workings of elements, a complete angle change of the house (which it still bothers me that I didn’t start out at a 3/4 angle…I know better) & many layers of paint to achieve a transparency and a glow in the painting. I also used glazing mediums on almost every brush stroke and an airbrush towards the end. This is an acrylic painting with oil added at the end to bring out colors & a little more texture. Materials listed below. To see more detail photos check out the gallery below and click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.
- Acrylic Paints- Chroma Atelier Interactive
- Liquitex Glazing Medium
- Golden Airbrush Medium
- Holbein Water Miscible Oil Paints
- Winsor and Newton Water Miscible Oil Paints
- Various bristle and synthetic brushes
Oh, one more thing…all of the music in this video was created by moi! I won’t say I wrote it because it was Garageband and Mixcraft, but I will say that I mixed it, I designed and I created it. Hey! I can’t have art as my hobby because it’s my job, and reading isn’t a hobby because it’s basically the same as living & breathing sooooo I guess I will start creating my own music as a hobby. Regardless, I’m the type of person that if I’m not creating in some way, I would legit lose my mind. I imagine it can be hard to live with me at times….Whether it’s any good or not? Well- I’ll let you guys be the judge of that 🙂 This will be the first time anyone has heard any of it other than my daughters. (YIKES) The music titles:
- Elixir (intro clip)
Hello all, it is probably time for me to share what has been going on as I have not been very active lately. My mom was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and I had to suddenly leave for Phoenix to help with all of that & be with my parents. She has had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible & is now awaiting treatment.
As you can imagine, life has been a little different for me and quite exhausting. So, in order to be able to support my parents as I would like, I have decided it is best to cancel all of my Spring Shows.
BUT I want to assure you all that I will still be painting (as it is quite therapeutic for me) & my work is all still available to purchase & I am still very much wanting to sell my artwork as it is my whole income. I do not have my online store open right now but you can still purchase by messaging me & I still take all forms of payment. Or if you are on Facebook, head on over to my page and check out the Online Studio Sale Event I have going on right now.
Please be patient as I will be posting various pieces from time to time to encourage sales because that is the only way I have to bring in income. I don’t like to push my artwork on people. I believe if someone loves my artwork they love it, & if they don’t like it, nothing I say will change their minds. So in keeping with that spirit, I will just be putting my work on this FB page & on my website (which is still running) in the hopes that you all enjoy it & if you feel so led, you can share it & comment as I still need support & encouragement in many forms.
One more thing- this was the piece that I finished just before I rushed onto a flight to Pheonix to spend a few minutes with my mom before she went in for surgery.
Hi everybody! I will soon be announcing new collections and styles but first I wanted to let you know about a show I will be doing in the Edmonton area in April.
It is the Make It Edmonton! show. I’m very excited and looking forward to doing the show! It is at the Enjoy Centre in St. Albert, Alberta. I will be in booth 78. If you are able to come, please do drop in and say hi. I love to hear from people who follow me online! Here are the dates
April 11- 10AM- 9PM
April 12- 10AM- 6PM
April 13- 11AM- 5PM
I will be selling
Originals (various sizes from 5×7 to 12×16)
Prints (8×10, 11×14, 16×20)
Giclee Canvases (11×14 and 16×20).
It will also be the first time I will be showing an entirely new collection! That will be announced online later this week but you will be able to view this collection in person for the first time in Edmonton. Of course, all of my previous works will be available for purchase as well.
Here are some of my Spring/Summer themed pieces.
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Hi all! Just announcing the dates for the Christmas Show I am doing in Grande Prairie, Alberta on November 28,29,30th. The times are;
Thursday 28- 12:00- 9:00PM, Friday 29 -12:00 PM- 9:00PM, Saturday 30th-10:00- 6:00PM
Come to the show & find me at booth 126 on the Garden Side in the far back left (Northwest) corner. It’s the same place I was last year. This year I have more art than ever before and many more products and Originals! Scroll down for the videos of me discussing the art & products I will have available at the show.
Here’s some photos from last years show as well as a couple of videos of me discussing more of the artwork and products I will be selling this year.
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Hi all! I have a few new pieces to show you in the next week or so, along with some videos as well. This one is called “A Charmed Life”. I have some detail shots as well as a video of me using my watercolor paints to create the lovely vintage style dress she is wearing. Please make sure to go to the bottom of this post to see all of that! Now, “A Charmed Life“… Somehow that phrase came into my head while looking at this piece, so I decided to with it. First I decided to check & make sure that the meaning of the phrase actually made sense for this piece. Here is the meaning I found online
A Charmed Life: to always be lucky and safe from danger.
I think that totally suits this pretty lady. Doesn’t she look like everything is always perfect for her? Her world, her clothes, her hair? Yes, she certainly does lead a Charmed Life. As for the actual reality I had creating this piece….not such a charmed experience. I actually redid this lady 3 times. I had her all painted and everything on the canvas and had to start over twice. I really wanted her to be blonde, but it was just SO MUCH yellow. But a brunette didn’t look right as I wanted to keep the mood of this piece really light & when I painted brown hair on her, it was like “WOW-YIKES!!!” That is to say it really stood out & not in a good way. So I found a way to give her blonde hair with brown paint. So even though I used brown tones, you still get the feeling she is a blonde, maybe a little bit of a red-head. Her dress on the other hand, wad very easy & very fun to paint with my watercolors. Thank goodness for that!!
One other thing…this is just the first piece in my Garden Party Series. I have many more totally completed pieces for this series…unfortunately, they are all still in my head & I don’t have the time to get them all on canvas right now. But I CAN tell you they all look like sweet luscious candy! I’m hoping to get one more done before Christmas, but the other ones are going to have to wait until next year. I’m also incorporating “Accessory pieces” into this series. Those will include more of a cleaner look that will just be purses and shoes & dresses without a person on them.
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So I’ve been super busy lately…and not really in a good way. It’s been sucking the life right out of me. It’s been hard to find the time to paint lately and when I have had time, I’ve been very tired or just not in the right frame of mind. Many people assume that creatives have to wait until the inspirational comes to them before they can start to work. But let me tell you, that is SO NOT the case! I have to sit down, start working and hope the ideas come and yes, sometimes I have to force the ideas to come. I always have little
things ideas running around in my head, so I often go digging back there to see if anything good pops up. Many times, one idea turns into 3 ideas. & by ideas, I mean images/visions of a scene on a canvas. I don’t really work from photos, although I do get inspiration from them at times. Usually the people & scenes in my pieces are from scratch in my head and MA-AN do they come out awful at times. Like AW to the FUL. So then I rework them and rework them until I’m satisfied. Usually. Sometimes I just cry. That’s fun too.
That brings me to my impromptu weekend blog post! I figure I needed a little pick me up, so I bought these super cute aprons. There’s still more at the store and I probably should go back and buy….like… I don’t know… 5 more. But I figure, if I’m painting these cute outfits and these sweet ladies & children, I should have something sweet & cute myself! So, because I manage to still be lazy, even though I hardly have time to breathe, I thought this was the perfect solution. Wear my old shirts & jeans, & tie my super cute apron over it all!! If I’m feeling adventurous, I might even curl my eyelashes & put on some mascara. This way I instantly feel better & it really does help to put me in the mood to be inspired. One problem which has no solution as yet, is that I don’t want to get my apron dirty.
Here are a couple of photos of one of my new aprons. My 5 year old daughter Piper took most of them, so it was a little difficult to find ones that weren’t completely blurry or weird. And just before I finish this post, I want to tell you about a MAJOR FABULOUS Pin It To Win It Contest that will be starting on Monday. $100.00 worth of Janelle Nichol Artwork OF YOUR CHOICE to the winner! So please stay tuned for that, you won’t want to miss it 🙂
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It has been a long time since I last posted. Sorry about that. I have SUPER busy trying to get more pieces done. I’ve also been working quite a bit on more Limited Edition 5×7 Canvas Originals, which are SO CUTE! Those also come with a Certificate of Authenticity and make fantastic gifts for people! I will be doing another post on those in the next few weeks too.
But for now, here are all of my iPhone 4 and 5 Cases. Finally! It took me so long to get these all up and ready to sell. Right now they are 20% off until Saturday, October 5th. I am going to be getting iPad covers too which can take quite some time, but in the meantime, if you DO want to order an iPad case, just Contact me & let me know which image you like and which iPad cover you need and I can still get that for you.
These are all just screen grabs so the photos may not be as clear. The image that is printed on your actual iPhone Case is very clear. If you hover over the images, you will see the title of each one. You can also click on them to see a larger image. You can purchase these Here
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Well it’s Monday so that means it is time to post a new piece! It’s been 2 weeks since my plan of posting a new piece every Monday…so far so good. Ok- yes I realize it hasn’t been that long & the true test is yet to come but you can let me have this alright.
School starts for my kids this week with my youngest child starting kindergarten. AHHHH!! That’s kind of crazy. I have had lots of people ask me how I’m doing with that & I thought I must be a bad mom or something because it wasn’t affecting me at all & I’m really happr for her. She is SO READY to go to school! She is bored out of her mind & needs the excitement that going to school will bring. But a few days ago, I started thinking that maybe I shouldn’t send her to school…maybe I should just keep her at home with me forever. I mean, I really am the only one that can keep her safe right? She’s so young & small, I would be out of my mind to send her somewhere for 2 full days a week!!! So as I was contemplating all of this, I realized “hmmm…maybe I’m a good mom after all.” Because we all know, the test of a good mom is whether or not they are ready to send their youngest/last child to kindergarten. So it’s confirmed then! Ok, let’s just say that I will get emotional on Tuesday when she just rides into the wild blue yonder that is kindergarten, with nary a look back at her mother who has been with her CONSTANTLY for the last 5 years. She’s also our last child so it makes me even more reflective/depressing.
Onto my new piece! So since my image of the lady with the pink hair in “Just Smile” is so popular, I decided to do a “close-up” version of her. As with the other one, she styles herself a tad over the top and loves to push boundaries…what with her bright pink hair & all!! She is fancy but very cool. So basically when she walks into a room she has this attitude like “yup, here I am… & I am pretty awesome” instead of “yes dahling. I am a Queen, please be sure to let everyone know I have arrived.”
Click on the links to find out more about purchasing this piece
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You know all those questionnaires that were always going around Facebook? The ones where they ask you 25 or 50 or however many random things & you come up with answers for them? Well, I decided I would do them again & post my answers here. Here we go.
1. Can you do push-ups? I call them push-ups. I don’t know what other people call them.
2. What is your favorite hobby? It used to be my art but that’s now my job, so it’s playing piano (which is also my job as I teach it), photography, reading & sitting outside tanning in the Summer…ruining my skin can be a hobby right?
3. What are some things you dislike about yourself? 2 things. I have a habit of repeating myself. Like- I will say the same thing over & over again & I will say the same thing in different ways each time (see what I did there?). I also have the tendency to type exactly what I’m thinking as I’m thinking it, exactly how I’m thinking it. I don’t really hate that about myself but I’m sure there are a few people who wish I could just shut-up & get to the point.
4. Best Birthday? I’m still waiting for it but everyone I’m married to doesn’t seem to think birthdays are a big deal so nothing ever gets planned. & by everyone I mean just the one husband.
5. Current pet peeve? People that don’t use any punctuation or capital letters when typing things online. I get such a headache trying to figure out where their sentences end & begin, but if I say anything, I get the old “here comes the grammar/punctuation police.” Now I’m not saying I should be that person but somebody needs to be monitoring this situation!!
6. How did you bring in the New Year last year? I really don’t remember & I can’t be bothered to put in the required amount of thought needed to recollect.
7. Where would you like to go? Back to Rome, Venice, Paris, England, Santorini. Also Disneyland.
8. Would you be a pirate? Seriously?? No. No- I would not be a pirate.
9. Favorite Books? There’s too many but I especially enjoy(?) reading both fiction & non-fiction books about WWll.
10. Favorite Girl Names? I suppose I must like Avery & Piper since that’s what I named my daughters.
11. Favorite Boy Names? Again with the names? What’s with that? Next.
12. Favorite Sports Team? Team Janelle.
13. Would you be friends with yourself? Not sure. I’m always thinking that every person in my life is one step away from realizing what a freak I am & that it’s only a matter of time before they ditch me. I have problems. Oh man, do I have problems.
14. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I’ve always thought this was a dumb question & on those grounds I refuse to ever answer this question again.
15. Contacts or glasses? Both & I just found out that I have to get progressives at the age of 39!
16. Favorite Movies? Probably Gladiator & 300. They’ve got everything. Action, history, romance, oooh…no humor though. In general, I love watching action movies & I hate watching movies that make me cry. I save those stories for books. Why? Because I hate crying. I don’t have anything against crying, I just do everything I can not to participate in it.
17. Favorite Dessert? Just hit me with some sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, marshmallow topping & whip cream & we’ll call it a day.
18. Does anyone have a crush on you? No…as if.
19. Any celebrity look-a-likes? They aren’t going to make sense but here they are. Julia Roberts, Lea Michele, Rachel Dratch, Harry Potter, Michael Jackson & Gollum from Lord of The Rings. (see #22 for Gollum.)
20. Do you have a special talent? Some would say I’m an artist. Also, I play piano.
21. Is the cup half full or half empty? Are you kidding me? It is FOR SURE half empty. This photo explains my exact thoughts on this matter. I think this is why I make my artwork so positive. Sometimes, I find it hard to express positivity & inspiration in my daily life & yet it comes so easily in my artwork, which is also why I find it so encouraging & relaxing when I work because I’m not thinking about all the things that can & most certainly will go wrong. (It must be exhausting living with me)
22. Do you do any impressions? Yes. Gollum. I’m not even kidding. It is a popular request at family gatherings… I climb over the table, grab my sister Michaela’s hand & try to steal her ring while spewing out the words, “Preeeecioussss, me wanst it” Gollum style. It completely freaks her out, yet she still quite enjoys it. I’m very good at it & for some odd reason that makes me proud. He’s also listed in look-alikes, because there have been times in my life where even I admit that I have closely resembled him.
23. Weird things you’ve done? I once
yelled spoke very loudly in the middle of an aisle in Walmart “I can’t take this anymore!”. It was the Christmas season, there were lots of weird pajama clad people, things were in the aisles…it was like a maze & I could not find my way out.
24. Any last confessions? I am 39 & still think there might be someone hiding under my bed, so yes, I pull my feet up really quickly when I get into bed. Because we all know they can’t get you if your feet are up & you have the blankets pulled up to your chin!! I’m also very scared of spiders but just as terrified to kill them as I worry that I won’t quite complete the job & they will go away, regroup, form a posse & come after me with a vengeance.
So there you go! After revealing all of those crazy things about myself, I want to just mention something more about my artwork & what being an artist does for me personally. When I am not working & creating, it is very hard to keep my mind quiet and not get stressed out & overwhelmed. This piece here is one of my favorites & I titled it “A Still Morning” because that is how it speaks to me personally. I love that she is just so peaceful & relaxed. I find myself wishing I could be like her more often.
Next Post: The video I filmed in Las Vegas while I attended the Licensing Expo with my agent.
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Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians! So happy to be a Canadian…even if the weather is sometimes pretty awful.
Here are 50 great gifts Canada gave the world. Enjoy!