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This week I’ve been thinking about creating art and what motivates us.  I came across this quote which I like from an online resource called “Thought for Today”

Create Continuously
“Every day is an opportunity to be creative – the canvas is your mind, the brushes and colours are your thoughts and feelings, the panorama is your story, the complete picture is a work of art called, ‘my life’.

Be careful what you put on the canvas of your mind today – it matters.”

An Angel's Dream webJust occasionally creating art becomes a truly spontaneous act for me.  I usually have a reasonably clear idea about what I want to see on the canvas.

When painting the “Angel’s Dream” above I had no form or idea in my head, I just put the paint on the canvas by instinct.  As the layers progressed I found myself thinking about the cosmos although I did not intentionally create a galaxy or solar system.

I began to wonder if Angels had dreams and what those dreams might be about and added the honesty seed pods to represent the souls of the departed.  My Mother had passed away around the time I painted this (2011), so perhaps she was my inspiration.

What do you see in this painting.  Maybe your interpretation would be totally different from mine.  Please do share your thoughts with me.


© Copyright 2012 http://beelilli.com, creating art


New techniques in art can add a whole new dimension to your artistic style.

techniques in art

Enchanted Trees by Bee Lilli

Professional artists need to be consistent in their work if they wish to exhibit.  They need to produce a body of work that is linked by colour, form or content; work that can be presented in a portfolio in such a way that the gallery owner can clearly see that it will create a unified show.  Gallery owners don’t want a jumble of different styles; they look at the whole body of work rather than individual paintings.  Will that body of work look good on the walls of the gallery and lead the viewer around the space, ultimately leading to a sale?

Techniques in Art can be familiar and comfortable.

But sometimes you might want to just break out of your mould and try something new and different.

The picture here was my first attempt at using pastels.  My preferred medium is acrylic; my preferred base is canvas.  I love to ‘break out’ regularly and I learn a great deal in the process.

I call this piece “Enchanted trees” because the trees have been given a ‘living’ character.  At any minute they could start heaving themselves into life and begin lumbering over their leafy carpet.

Using pastels was a challenge because I’m used to being able to layer colour over colour so had to think about the lightest areas first and work toward darker tones.  Layering too much with pastels also causes the grip on the paper to be lost so subsequent layers may not ‘stick’ and if you like the grain of the paper to show through, too many layers will smooth it off.

Exploring new techniques in art is like exploring new techniques in life.  You learn in the process; you push your boundaries and step outside of your comfort zone; you grow.

When we stick with what we know we are limiting ourselves.  Yes, we do need to be consistent to gain the practice, the skill, the credibility and consistency needed in our lives, work and art, but just as the occasional exploration of our skill set will strengthen our work, so the occasional exploration of our beliefs, values or behaviours will help us realise where we are stuck in a rut that’s not working for us and where we can expand, grow and be more true to ourselves.

If you were to try  totally different techniques in art what would they be?

If you were to examine an area of your life or behaviours that needs some tweaking, what would that be?


© Copyright 2012 http://beelilli.com, techniques in art


Looking After Your Art

Once you’ve spent your hard-earned cash on buying a beautiful painting, print or textile, it makes sense to look after it and keep it in good condition.  You never know what it might be worth in a few years time if your favoured artist becomes very collectable.

Handling your art

The oils from your hands can cause damage to the surface of your artwork so either handle it with a clean cloth (a cotton handkerchief is good) or wear cotton gloves when handling your precious investment.

Storing your art

It might be a while before you hang your piece or you may swap and change the art on your walls, leaving you with a storage issue.  When your artwork isn’t displayed, don’t leave it leaning against a wall because it may begin to bow and, more importantly, don’t store it with anything else on top of it.  Keep it away from radiators and ideally store it in an upright position in a low-light, dry environment.

Hanging your art

Hanging artwork over radiators or fires really isn’t a good idea –bowing or buckling will be the result or a change in texture of color.  Anywhere excessively warm, damp or steamy could also ruin the piece.  Keep your art away from areas where it could get inadvertently splashed.

Lighting your art

Sunlight or bright natural light can lead to discoloration so good quality artificial lighting may be the best way to show off your print or painting.  Be careful, however, to keep lighting around 30cm away from the piece as the heat they create could cause damage.


Always ensure you use a reputable and qualified framer.  Certain cheaper framing and mounting materials could cause damage to prints, paper.

Use acid-free framing and mount materials and acid-free framing tape.  Never use sticky tape or masking tape which will leave a nasty gummy residue that could penetrate and ruin a delicate piece.


Following these simple rules will keep your valuable art in great condition so that you can enjoy it for years to come.

Best wishes



Painting in Spain | Estudio 61 Marbella

Painting in Spain January 2012: Estudio 61 Marbella Painting in spainI’m lucky enough to have spent a month in Spain this January.  Every lunch-time we dined on the balcony in warm sunshine whilst my friends and family in the UK shivered.  I can’t pretend I didn’t gloat a little. One of the fun aspects of our vacation was Estudio 61, where I attended an art class each week with Caroline Hulse, a wonderful artist and Royal Academician. She has a whole range of classes and even offers ‘studio time’ that allows the public the use of the studio and easels. I chose the acrylics course.  Four 2-hour sessions, one a week, each of which taught me a completely new technique.

Painting in Spain was an Education

The first week we learned how to prepare a canvas and how to create the outline of our composition to be most pleasing to the eye (more on that in another blog).

painting in spain

Estudio 61

Our main focus was to use a wet-in-wet technique.  For the background we chose one dark, one medium and one light colour and began brushing them on the canvas in patches of dark, then medium, then light in a way that created the result we wanted.  The brushes we used were daVinci 30cm ‘mopper’; much larger than I usually use but I soon got used to using them to create lovely effects. Paints vary in their consistency and we used Amsterdam paint (sold in the UK from Great Art or Blick in the USA).  This is a fairly thick paint that was perfect for the job. Painting in spainEach student had drawn their tulip outlines, shapes and composition completely differently as Caroline encouraged us to be creative and use our own intuition.  We used exactly the same technique of dark / medium / light paint to fill in the tulips and finished off with some small flowers at the base to ‘ground’ the piece.  My efforts are shown here.
It’s always worth taking a look on line before a holiday to find out if there are learning opportunities or galleries in the area you’re visiting.  It adds a completely new dimention to the holiday. Please let me know if you’ve found good workshops for painting in spain or on other holidays elsewhere by commenting below. © copyright 2012 http://beelilli.com, painting in spain