Day 4… Part 2… of the 5 Day Art Challenge

Art Challenge Day 4 – Part 2… More Gouache! I have to share one more day of my paint love… GOUACHE!!!

My years at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts are obviously meaningful to me ’cause I can’t stop talking about them here! They really were life changing years for me. I’m just so happy I had the opportunity to study there.

I took Gouache Techniques I & II with Jean Cassels… AMAZING! Jean is an amazing painter, illustrator and teacher. She opened the gouache box of possibilities for me! And she too, encouraged me to go into textile design.

Jean is a master at painting nature, so we did a lot of nature studies. But not typical studies… she took a more O’Keeffe approach and had us paint the up close and personal details of nature which was great, because it really taught us how to use the gouache. I was kind of addicted to painting the details! I did many small detailed paintings of leaves and sticks and flower insides. I sold some of them, but have no record of them. Artists… DON’T do this! Don’t let your work go without taking pictures and cataloguing the work first. It’s important for you to have and it’s just too easy to do these days, so do it!

Here are a few of my gouache paintings from the Gouache Techniques class.

These are some of the detailed nature paintings I did. It was so cool to really look at God’s creation… His art… to see all the details… the colors… the beauty!

Rachel Fontenot - Leaf Detail - gouache - painting - art - nature

Rachel Fontenot - Leaf Detail - gouache - painting - art - nature

Rache lFontenot -  Nature Detail - gouacge - painting - art - nature

A few still life set-ups. Playing with dark backgrounds.

Rachel Fontenot - Nature Detail - gouache - painting - art - nature

Rachel Fontenot - Green Jar - gouacge - painting - art - still life - flowers

This little silver cup is probably the most challenging thing I have ever painted. It took a very long time for something so small. I cursed it many times and wanted to give up, but Jean encouraged me to press on. I’m so happy I did. This little guy is a treasure to me. It hangs in my studio to remind me to press on when things are hard… when life is tough and I feel like giving up. Perseverance makes you stronger. This little painting showed me that I can do it even when it seems like it just ain’t gonna turn out nice. Sometimes you just need patience and a willing heart to press on!

Rachel Fontenot -Little Metal Cup - gouache - painting - art - still life

The following three are “new” old masters copies (well, maybe I should call them modern masters being that they are from the prior 2 centuries?). It’s such a good practice to copy the works of old masters. When I say “new” old masters, I mean, classical art or art from the mid 20th Century and before. And you do this for leaning purposes only! You copy to learn technique and color mixing. And you do not sell this work… it’s for your personal education and not for you to profit from!

This is a copy of Georgia O’Keeffe’s – It Was Blue and Green, one of her mindscape paintings. I absolutely love copying O’Keeffe’s work… especially in a different medium than she used. You learn so much from her works.!

Rachel Fontenot - After O'Keeffe - gouache - painting - art - abstract

In this piece I copied a section of Vincent Van Gogh’s – Café Terrace at Night. In class, it got nicknamed “fried eggs in the sky”, which I loved and gave to the painting as it’s title! This technique is a ink wash off… where you paint your picture in gouache then paint water based ink over the entire painting, covering everything… once the ink is dry, you then wash the ink off in the sink, you rinse and rub lightly, removing the ink where you want it to be removed… which reveals your painting underneath! You get a very luminous painting when done!

RachelFontenot - After Van Gogh - gouache - painting - art - starry night

This is a copy of Wassily Kandinsky’s – Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles. I love this painting. It has been copied so many times by so many artists. And it most certainly has been a major influence on modern art since the day it was painted up until today. I love the piece so much I tried it twice with the ink wash off technique.

RachelFontenot - After Kandinsky - gouacge - painting - art - abstract

RachelFontenot - After Kandinsky - gouache - paintint - art - abstract

Her are two more ink wash off paintings of my own design. I haven’t played with this technique in 10 years. I should give it a try again!

Rachel Fontenot - Abstract - gouache - ink - art

Rachel Fontenot - Abstract Pattern - gouache - ink - painting - art

This post ends my years at the academy. What wonderful years they were!

Let me now state that you DO NOT need a college or art school or art academy education to be an artist!!! You just need a desire to create and a willingness to be vulnerable. Art is a very vulnerable expression, even if you are the only one who will ever see what you create… you still have to be vulnerable with yourself. I encourage you to dive into that vulnerability and express yourself through art. If you need to learn something, learn it! Get books, read blogs, take a class. Just begin to get your expressions onto paper.

Happy creating and expressing yourself!


About Rachel Crawford

Hi y'all! I'm Rachel Crawford, an artist, poet and surface designer who is passionate about color and pattern, poetry, the great outdoors and art history. I also love to crochet and knit, and free hand embroider. All of which you will find on this blog! My artwork and patterns are happy, peaceful and full of color as are all the things my happy hands find to create. I'm a native of the colorful and eclectic city of New Orleans where I currently live with my wonderful hubby of 25+ years marriage. Welcome!
This entry was posted in Creative Encouragement, Inspiration, Learn Art, My Artwork, Nature, Painting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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