Monday, January 31, 2011

iPhone Spinning Pictures

For some reason I love motion blurs. Of course you can get a motion blur with a Photoshop filter, but I prefer to get mine the old fashioned way: by spinning the camera. It's much more fun that way!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Painting: Oil vs Acrylic or How I Learned to Love Acrylics

"Sunday Afternoon"
18x24 oil on canvas
Tabetha Landt Hastings
When I started painting 15-ish years ago, I started with oils. Well... that's not entirely true. I did one painting with acrylics and didn't like how quickly they dried, so I moved on to oils.  I realize now that that was a good move for someone who can't draw well. Oil painting is closer to sculpting - to me -  than drawing. Something about forming the shapes with the paint as opposed to coloring in what I've drawn. I don't draw on the canvas. I've seen artists who do, and it seems pretty cut and dry: sketch something out onto canvas, put the colors you want where you want. The problem is that I don't draw. Not well anyway. People find that hard to believe, since I paint pretty decent portraits, but it's the truth. Oil painting is more about building up the layers and forming the shapes with the paint until it looks the way I want. (I have a feeling I'd make a pretty good sculptor and in fact can't wait to get my hands in some clay).  The trouble is, oil takes forever to dry, so oil paintings can take a long time to complete. Especially if you like to lay the paint on thick like I do. My oil paintings can take anywhere from several weeks to finish, to several years. Several years because sometimes in waiting for the paint to dry I lose momentum and move on to something else.

"The Element of Surprise"
12x12 acrylic on Masonite
Tabetha Landt Hastings
I picked up acrylics as a way to make money. For years people have been suggesting I teach, but I just couldn't figure out how to teach oil painting. Adding to the problem was the fact that I've never taken a painting class - how on earth does one teach an art?! So I decided to explore acrylics thinking they would be easier to teach.
It was strange adjusting to the acrylic paint. Fast dry time wasn't the only issue; the colors weren't always the same as they were in the oils, and it just felt different applying them to the canvas. But once I got past those issues, I was hooked.  I could now whip out an entire painting in a matter of hours. Hours! Not weeks, months or years. Don't get me wrong - most of my acrylic paintings are not done in just a few hours. But the possibility exists, and that is exciting! And somehow it's changed the way I paint - at least while I'm painting with the acrylics. It's become more about applying color and less about forming shapes and 'sculpting' with the paint.
Somehow I feel more brave when I paint with acrylics. I feel less hesitant, and I experiment more. I feel less "precious" about my work. Which is not to say I don't value it; it's just to say that I let go of it easier knowing that there is so much more to come. And oh yeah - the clean up is SO much easier!!

I'd be curious to know other artists' experience. Which to you prefer, and why?

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I'm very excited to say that I'm finally getting my artwork out there on some new products! This is something that's been on my to do list for a very long time.
The shirts are available in a wide variety of styles, colors and sizes. To see what's available, click on a shirt below, then on 'buy'. A new screen will open up. Click on 'design' to customize the shirt. Cool, huh?
If there are any of my images you would like to see on a t-shirt, bag or other product, let me know and I'll add it.

There are just a few tees to start, but I'm working on more, so check back soon!

Make personalized gifts at Zazzle.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Painting is Food for the Soul

I had the best time last night - another wonderful Painting Soiree! Ten awesome ladies completed ten amazing paintings, and everyone had a blast.

I love it when people walk in saying they can't paint, or that they are not creative, and then walk out 2 hours later completely amazed at what they were able to do. Last night one such woman called me an amazing teacher. Truth be told, I'm not. I'm not being modest or putting myself down... I'm not really teaching. I'm leading, I'm encouraging, I'm suggesting, I'm guiding. I say "Take this brush and put this color on the canvas and see what happens." And they take off. It is such a cool thing to see!

Somehow I think it is important work that we're doing. We're not saving lives or building monuments, but we are feeding souls. You can say that it's just applying paint to a canvas but it's so much deeper than that.  At best it's connecting us to a higher part of ourselves. At worst its a damn good time. But for the most part it's helping people to see possibilities that they didn't know existed. While having a damn good time.

Most of these ladies had very little or no painting experience!
You GO girls!