Thursday, November 29, 2012

Silent Night SOLD, and why I paint in oils sometimes

'Silent Night' SOLD
5" x 7" watercolor on paper
Reference photo by Elizabeth Ward Sescilla, thank you! 

I wanted to do a Madonna and child type of painting this Christmas, using horses running through the snow, and this is it. I realize this would have to be a very late (or early) foal to be this age and running through the snow, but. . . I thought it was such a lovely, peaceful image that I decided to exercise my artistic license. ;) 

 Here's a pic of the painting in progress. :)

We're knee deep in Christmas preparations around here and I'm so excited!! I love Christmas. I love seeing the magic of this season through my kid's eyes. It's one of the best things ever. 

The boys and I have been making some Christmas crafts including these Santas above. This is what happens when you have all boys. You get one normal, jolly Santa, and then. . . his evil twin brother. Don't ask me, because I don't know how they came up with that idea. 

And Katherine asked if I'd post a pic of our decorated Christmas tree so here it is. :) Most of our ornaments are homemade and all of them are very sentimental and I love it that way. It's not a fancy tree, but our kids think it's magical, and they are in charge of decorating it themselves. Brodie and I just hand out the ornaments.

I also wanted to give a quick shout out to my dear friend Carol Blackburn, who sent me the most lovely little ACEO that I adore. Thank you so much my friend, I treasure it so much! I'll post a pic of it in my next post so you guys can see it. :)

And now, to of why I wanted to paint with oils. I've gotten a little bit of feedback that people are sort of disappointed that I haven't been painting in watercolors so I wanted to let you all know that I will never give up on watercolors. They are a part of my soul and I LOVE painting with them. I suspect that is where I will always feel most at home, but sometimes I just need to try something new. 

I was starting to dread every time I sat down to paint with my watercolors. I don't know why, I think I was just feeling a little bit burned out. I wasn't excited to paint anymore. And I HATE feeling like that. Art is what heals my soul, you know that quote that says art washes away the dust of every day life? That is exactly how I feel. I'd be lost if I couldn't paint every day. Any time I go a few days without painting I start to feel like I'm not myself, I feel restless and anxious. But as soon as I pick up a brush or a pencil I feel whole again. 

So whenever I start to feel burned out I get a little scared. Because painting is something I HAVE to do, and I have to enjoy it. That sounds a little selfish doesn't it? But it's the truth. Also I have just felt drawn to oil paintings lately, they're what I look for in art magazines, what I search out when browsing online. I try to dissect them in my head, mix the colors and visualize how the artist laid down the brushstrokes.

And that's when I started to feel excited about painting again. I LOVE the rich, buttery colors of oils, the visible expressive brushstrokes, and the simplification of details, and I really, really love how quick they are. I want to be an expressive painter, and while I don't think it's always important to paint quickly, right now when painting time is so scarce that's really important to me. 

So that's it in a nutshell of why I like painting in oils. I will still mostly be painting with watercolors, but sometimes I may go on an oil painting binge again, because it's what I have to do to feed my creativity. Does anyone else ever feel like that? I'd love to hear your story too. 

Thanks for reading this epic post. Huzzah my fellow rock stars!! :)


  1. How nice your boys still want to make ornaments with you. They do a super job! I do miss having a little one around to do that sort of thing with. Thanks for the shout out, you are most kind.....:) Your tree looks beautiful. We are not sure if we will put one up this year. It could very well end up being a Charlie Brown type of tree since space is limited. We've done that before and they always look so cute. Have a wonderful weekend with your family.

  2. Such a perfect Christmas painting, I love it. I can well understand why you are experimenting with oils, you don't ever want to loose that sense of fulfillment when creating. As for the tree, it's perfect, full of meaning and delight for your kiddos. Love those twin Santa too, you can't question creativity seems he might have a better understanding of twin sides of human nature than most do :-)

  3. Hello Crystal:) This month I had exactly the same! That's why I made the acrylic painting (see my blog). It was like breathing again:)
    At this moment I have a bit of inspiration back but I will try it again. The acrylic saved my mood!
    Your boys did a great job on that beautiful christmas tree. I love the angel on top of it. Wow!
    Your painting is gorgeous and will make a perfect christmas card.
    Have much fun with your oils and have a nice weekend:)

  4. Well, you know how I am about that! lol Mix it up my friend!! Exercising new muscles, discovering new's all good. I love seeing what you do in all areas.
    Your tree is LOVELY! Tell the boys they've done a great job. Ours is the same. Handmade ornaments from when they were young, glittery pipe cleaners, many memories.

  5. Hi Crystal. Of course, I love your equine interpretation of Madonna and child!!! Beautifully painted! And you must let your son know how much I admire his decorations! I had NO idea Santa had an evil twin, but I suppose it does make sense ... sort of balances the equation, so to speak. :)

  6. Crystal,
    I love that horse painting. There is a little melancholy in there with a lot of hope and then this whole mysterious feeling. Just want to know what they are running into. Absolutely beautiful work.

    I love whatever you do. Oils or waters or pencil or pastels.. Just keep painting. :)

    And I actually think the evil twin of Santa is so cool. If I were to do that I would make a sister too who loves eating cup cakes. :)
    By the way I hope you are not getting into turkey coma anymore. LOL

  7. Opps, I forgot to say I love your horses :)

  8. My kids also love to decorate the tree! And the funniest thing was when they were small - The bottom half of the tree would be covered in decorations but the top half would be empty, lol!
    I love that you paint with oils sometimes because it give such a variety for us all to enjoy looking at! I think you are the master of both and it doesn't matter to me which you paint with. I also think that there are some paintings which suit oils better as there are some that suit watercolours better, which is why it's so great that you can do either :0)
    The painting is stunning - really beautiful! :0)

  9. Love hearing your thought process! Between buying a house, having a 5 year old and infant, I have no time to just sit and paint or draw and I can really feel it. It's nice to see other artists producing, that's almost as good!

  10. Great painting . . . great ornaments . . . great tree! :) So glad you are excited about making art again -- I know exactly how you feel and have been there many times. I don't think it matters what medium you work in, as long as you're happy. Isn't that what it's all about anyway? (however, your paintings are really fantastic -- watercolor or oils!)

  11. A beautiful painting, Crystal. I think its always nice to change mediums. My passion is pastels...and yet, I enjoy oils so much even though its always a challenge. Your tree looks tree is mostly homemade ornaments as well, which I fix occasionally but they all mean so much to me..since my girls made them and now my grandchildren added to them..

  12. Maravilloso trabajo, me encantan los papa noeles! que no decaiga el espiritu navideño! un abrazo!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails