Eileen McKenna Art & Design

Watercolor Art | Creative Inspiration to help you be creative on a regular basis


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It’s cold out there


It’s hard to get out there and run in the Winter – too cold, too windy, too icy. I think of a million excuses. Even when I decide, “I’m going,” I procrastinate. I sketch my sneakers, I catch up on other blogs. Finally I get going. When I’m done, no matter how good or bad it felt, I’m always glad I did it.


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Be creative! It will super charge your senses

change
One of the side effects of living a creative life is your senses become super charged. Plainly stated you notice things. On a recent walk with a friend, I stopped her a few times to say, “Look at that!” Her response, “I forgot I was with an artist.” I was finding beauty in things she didn’t even notice. I mean just look at these flowers!
dahliaonwalk

I love this “stop and smell the roses” mentality. As a runner, I see things all the time that I’d never notice driving by in a car. I often stop running and snap a photo. A common caption on my Instagram is “Found during my run.” Many times these photos are inspiration for my paintings.

I’ve realized over the last year and half, how much the seasons inspire me. Here in New York, the leaves are just starting to turn. I see hints of it here and there. And I can’t wait. My recent artwork reflects how Fall is inspiring me.

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I’m already doodling Halloween stuff in my sketchbook…can’t wait to share! 🙂


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The wonderful things I find while running

sunflowerbee
The weather has been so humid and hot! I haven’t felt like running, but I made myself go yesterday. Afterwards I was so glad I went. I felt great. I run because it makes me feel good, not just physically but mentally. It’s a break from life, where I can get lost in my thoughts or whatever audiobook or podcast I’m listening to. It motivates me.

Often I see things I would never notice if I was driving by. I’ll stop and take photos. Many of those photos become paintings. Here are a few:

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Feathers

feathersfinal
A while back, I painted a feather by accident. I was trying to paint a sunflower and the center bled into the background. I tossed that version to the side and finished a different one. Every time I looked at that “mistake,” I saw a feather. Eventually I used ink to turn it into a feather. Since then, I’ve realized how interesting feathers are. They’ve been “hip” for a years – I know I’m not onto something new!

The other day when I was running I saw feathers lying on the sidewalk. I snapped a photo and later started painting them. I had a lot of fun creating the texture of the background. After I added the ink, I almost wished I hadn’t. I thought I may have ruined it. But, I added more watercolor and a shadow to the feather and it started to pop.

My Steps:

First I did a light outline of the feathers in pencil.
Then I worked on the background. I splashed and splattered.
feathers1
feathers2feathers2b

After the background was completely dry, I painted the feather.
feathers3

Then, I added ink to the feather.
feathers4

I added more color to the feather and a shadow. See the final at the beginning of the post.


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Watercolor Rose of Sharon Flower

roseofsharon
I’ve been working on this watercolor flower – a Rose of Sharon, I believe – since last week. I was walking by it, after my run, and took a bunch of photos. It’s funny how you notice things when you are walking or running, that you wouldn’t notice when driving by. It was a “stop and smell the roses” moment. That’s one of things I like about running. It’s a time to think and notice the things around you.

I’m happy with how the flower came out. Especially when I reviewed the stages the painting went through:
roseofsharon1 roseofsharon2 roseofsharon3


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Inspiration found during my run

 

tulips pansies
I’ve been wondering what to paint next in acrylics. I spotted these tulips, while on my run. These would make a pretty painting! I love running. Actually, back up and erase that. I don’t love running. I love that it’s a quiet time to think and observe – no kids, no distractions. I don’t always feel good while I’m running, but I always feel great after. Sometimes it’s a struggle and I have to distract myself. If I think too much about how far I have to go, I’ll end up walking. So I listen to music or an audiobook and think and look around for inspiration!