Monday, June 11, 2012

Creating Artwork

One of my favorite activities to do is paint. I use watercolor and special paper to create all sorts of images and sceneries. In order to do so, someone puts the end of a paintbrush in my mouth with the other end full of the color I want; then they hold the paper for me. I've been using this technique since my accident and it's proved to be the best method.

It's the most fun and relaxing thing I do. It gives me great pleasure to create paintings that others can enjoy. I get asked all the time if I sell my paintings by people interested in buying them. The reason I haven't decided to yet is because I tend to get attached so it's hard to let go of the originals, especially if they're really good. I thought about making prints and then selling them, but haven't gotten around to it. Someday I'll get up the courage to sell some, just not yet.

I had four watercolor classes over the past five weeks that I took at the Edina Art Center. I took the same class there with the same teacher a couple of years ago and loved it! The best part was learning new techniques for my paintings. The class this year was 2 1/2 hours long. It's hard on my neck to paint for a long period of time so I have to take frequent breaks. There's another one just like it possibly starting this Wednesday with six classes. I won't be able to make it the first class because of appointments but hopefully I can sign up for it and attend the remaining five.

In the first watercolor class, she showed us how to paint a fish. Although I tried, it was difficult for me to do because of all of the details. Throughout the second class I worked on a painting of some flowers in a vase. I didn't know how to go about starting something like this since I hadn't done it before. The art teacher showed me a picture to go off of and then taught me how to create a vase. I wet the whole paper first and then created the background with yellow and a tiny bit of pink and blue. When the paper dried some, I put in some darker green to show the leaves. Next, I painted the vase with a purple and made the right side of it a little bit darker to show some shadow. That's all I completed that day.

In the third class, the teacher showed us how to paint a flower and then put a background in. Whenever I paint scenery I always start with the background first so this technique was very helpful to me. I practiced painting a flower; when it was dry I wet the white of the paper and touched in some color creating a background. Although it was just on a scratch piece of watercolor paper, sometimes even when I'm just practicing the paintings turn out really well and end up becoming
finished pieces.

During the fourth class I finished my flower painting. The teacher told me that it looked really good the way it was but I could add a little more color. So I added some brighter yellow, pink, and a tiny bit of blue. I think it turned out really nice and is one of my better paintings. I'm definitely going to try this technique again with flowers and a vase. I could possibly turn this painting into greeting cards or just make prints of it but I haven't decided yet.

Let me know what you think!



T said...

Wow Jenni - It looks great! It's amazing how you can make such intricate designs with your mouth.

Do you have anything on the end of the paintbrush to help grip it (or disguise the taste)?

Also, please could you do a post on whether quadriplegics can feel other people touching them?

I work with a little boy who is quadriplegic but has other disabilities on top - he has no communication. We do tacpacs wih him, where we use sensory items over his skin. I'm wondering if he can feel them?


Jenni said...

Thanks T! No, there's nothing on the end. I usually have my nurse clean it off with an alcohol wipe before hand.

I've done a couple of posts before where I talk about feeling, but I can certainly do something again. Thanks for the idea… Hope you're doing well!

Anonymous said...

Ho ho ho jenny
Go on like this, good work- ok flowers are not my favorite but if I could paint like this I'd be happy!
Greetings from Germany

Ploschi :-)

Joseph.K said...

I wanna be as awesome as you are when I grow up.



Jenni said...

Thanks Joe! You're already awesome!

Matthew Smith said...

To T above: does the quadriplegic boy you work with have a spinal cord injury? Not all do - some have cerebral palsy, for example. If he has that, he can feel them. If he has SCI, he may or not be able to depending on the level and severity of his injury.

Bryanne Freitag said...

Jenni we loved watching you paint the other day! Thank you for sharing that with us. Your paintings are beautiful. You are very talented!