Monday, March 28, 2011

out at sea

This is my fist attempt at children's art. I was excited at the thought of finding a childlike painting voice, but I had to work at it even though I had so many ideas. It was also the first painting I've done with specific requests in mind (from my sister-in-law). I was inspired by Mati McDonough's work and by prints I've seen on baby clothes, which gave me a great jumping off point. As unsure as I was about this first painting, I am actually now contemplating a whole line of children's art and decor, but that all depends on how much time I can find to dedicate to that venture.

So, this was painted for my adorable niece Olivia. Her nursery has an underwater, tropical theme to it, but sadly has blank walls at the moment. On top of that basic theme and the color scheme of the room, I incorporated pink and brown, the colors that Nicole associates with her little one. I also added the sign for Capricorn on the little ship as Olivia truly feels like a Capricorn already. I had originally intended to do more with the sun, because Nicole also associates the sun with Olivia (as opposed to her moon child Lila). But, ultimately I felt the sun needed to be rather simple to keep it from being a distraction and making the piece too busy (which part of me feels like it already is).

This painting was a struggle! I painted over it so many times before I felt okay with the color scheme. There are still a few details that I could work on, but I feel like it might be finished? Yes? No? Should I add clouds in the sky? Waves in the water?

The colors are way off in these photographs (the turquoise doesn't look green in person and the sky is a true sky blue), because the lighting was awful, but I didn't have time to reshoot this morning. Here are some of the details:

The seagull was my husband's idea! I think it really works.

The sea turtle I'd like to change...


  1. I LOVE this! I may need to commission a painting from you, if you are taking requests. I have a friend due in August, but don't know the gender or nursery theme yet. This is so very precious! It would be such a lovely gift for a new baby. Olivia is a lucky girl.

    And I love the sea turtle. I wouldn't change a thing!

  2. love it.. You did great :) I can't wait to see the series!

  3. OOOHHH- I love it- I think you found your niche! I think all the elements work well together- the only thing that dosn't flow as well to me is the colors of the turtle- I like the position and shape of it though.I think it's becasuse the colors you used for it are not in any of the other shapes- you know? I LOVE the incorporation of fabric(?)- it adds a cool graphic element and makes it into a collage- very cool! Proud of you:)

  4. thanks so much for the lovely comments girls! and for the feedback!!! i need all the feedback i can get as i develop myself as a painter.

    kristin, i would love to do a painting for your friend. just email me some thoughts/colors/themes once you find out more about the nursery!

    thank you for saying exactly what i was thinking about the turtle hannah! it confirmed my instinct to change the color. it just doesn't work so much.


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