The Art of Reinvention

detail 2 Pink Cloud
Pink Cloud Peonies, detail, 24X24, oil

About a month ago, one of the gals in my Flower Mound Studio workshop and I discovered we had taken watercolor lessons from the same teacher over 20 years ago. I love when the circles close and the ends connect and I’m reminded once again we are all part of the same beautiful tapestry in this art journey. There are no coincidences. This also reminded me that what we refer to as an art journey is a road with twists, turns, diversions, potholes, mountain paths, treacherous tunnels, and those oh so glorious peaks along the way.

Lately I’ve been taking a few side roads, trying new ways of approaching familiar subjects. If Flower Mound Studio were a laboratory, all the beakers would be bubbling right now. I just ordered a whole set of colors in a new brand (stay tuned, I’ll be sharing tip videos on these soon!), and have spent the past 3 weeks experimenting with creating wet underpaintings in transparent gray tones, pulling out the shapes with my soft towels and finishing with opaque colors. Pink Cloud Peonies, shown here, was pulled from a bed of earth tones, and consists of extremely thin opaque color notes in most areas. There is a balance between what can be left undone, versus what requires a bit more attention, and I’m loving “less is more” with greater fervor each day!

Have you found a new approach, or some absolutely fabulous tool or color that makes your heart go pitty pat? If so, please share by commenting here. I bet I’m not the only one who would love to hear about your new treasures!

PS – Did you know there are a whole collection of free painting videos on my Facebook fan page? To get first ticklers when I go live, select “Like” and under “Follow” choose “see first.” Next look for the “videos” button and dive into all the color you love.


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Nancy Medina

Nancy is a master signature artist and instructor with over 1800 online students from around the world. She has worked with Disney, served on the art faculty of the Dallas Arboretum, and teaches workshops in France, Italy and across the US. More about Nancy

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  1. Hi Nancy. AnnieKate here. Love these luscious pinks on the earth tone background. Perfect. I recently attended a pastel workshop and we did something similar, beginning with a light value monotoned acrylic background, building up the darks to create a value painting, and then overpainting that image with the opaque pastel. I found it very helpful, although I was a bit too heavy handed with the pastel. In retrospect, I would have used the less is more edict and let more of the golden ground I had established shine through. But, practice and experimentation is what workshops are about. I saw quickly I could use a similar technique with my oils, using an acrylic background. However, I think I like the idea of using the grayscale 4-5 and wiping out the lights better. As usual, a Nancy Medina tip trumps the others in achieving the kind of image I am searching for.

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