Dancing into a New Week

Ballet Slippers Watercolor 8×10

Dancing into a New Week.

Happy Sunday.
Happy New Week.

Dance into it like you mean it –
whether pirouetting, plieing, or pencheing.

No matter your move,
make it meaningful.  Make the most of it!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Thanks to Sam Allen at Peacock Poetry for posting a photo and poem that inspired this painting.

PS  This original painting as well as prints and cards are available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy Shop.

Scout on a Scooter

Scout on a Scooter Original 8×10 Watercolor

Scout on a Scooter.

I was recently commissioned through an inquiry on our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop to paint a photo of a cute little puppy named, “Scout” on his “Mom’s” bright red scooter.

Here is the photo I was provided:

How cute is little Scout with his goggles ready to ride?!  I can just picture the wind blowing through his curly locks.

What an honor it was to create this, and so glad Scout’s Mom was happy with it.

May we all find joy in life’s simple pleasures!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Time For Change

A Time for Change – Abstract in Taupe 18×24 on Stretched Canvas

A Time for Change – Abstract in Taupe.

I’ve been working on this abstract acrylic painting on a stretched canvas for a few weeks.

I am having so much fun with this new medium.  It is such a liberating experience and also such a challenge.

Before ever painting, I would have thought works of art like this were “easy!”  Slap and splash some paint on a canvas and call it art.

But…..

If you’ve never tried, I challenge you to.

There really is more to it than you realize.

Composition…. Point of interest…  Balance….

But really when it all comes down to it…. Are you happy with it?  Do you like it?  Does it make you feel good?  Evoke emotions?

I have to admit…. This piece has been through so many iterations, I couldn’t decide if it was done.  I couldn’t decide if it was “worthy” to share.  I felt like I liked it, but I doubted myself, so I sent a picture of it to my youngest son, and asked:  “What are your thoughts?”

He liked it, but he reminded me I should not need affirmation of my own art.

How humbling is it when your kids have to remind you of how to be a confident adult?

And then again, what pride do we feel when our kids remind us of how to be a confident adult?

So here is my latest abstract – A Time for Change.

And I like it!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  This original painting is available (only one – no prints) at our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop if you like it too.

GOLDEN Artist Colors

 

My New Yellow Rubber Boots

My New Yellow Rubber Boots Watercolor 8×10

My New Yellow Rubber Boots.

It was great to get to spend some time in my art studio this weekend after getting through a handful of “have-to-do” tasks.

After recently painting some loose portrait-type figure paintings like this and this, I felt inspired to try some more “character” type illustrative work.  I was inspired by some beautiful work I found on Instagram done by an artist in the Netherlands, Marleen Kleiberg.

My granddaughter got her first little pair of yellow rubber boots from the Easter Bunny last week, and even though they were two sizes too big, she fell in love with them.   Her Mommy sent a picture on Easter morning of her wearing her new boots.  She was decked out in a denim ruffle-bottomed top and peach/orange knit leggings with a matching bow in her hair (and a mouthful of jelly beans!).

I used some artistic liberty to create this painting, but Pap Pap and Mommy and Daddy knew just who it was when I showed them, and got a kick out of it.

A little over a year ago, I painted this little portrait of her.  I can’t believe how much she has grown and changed in a year!

Oh the joy this little one brings to my world!  And what a fun subject to inspire paintings.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Hoppy Easter!

Easter Bunny Watercolor 2018 11×14

Hoppy Easter!

For those celebrating, I thought I would share a quick watercolor I did this weekend of a magical Easter Bunny.

A bunny that is THE Easter bunny would have to be magical right?

In doing a bit of quick internet research, I learned the Easter Bunny originated in Germany in the 1500s, and came to the United States in the 18th century through Protestant German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area (not far from me in Mars, PA!).  They told their children about the “Osterhase,” who brought good children colored eggs, candy, and sometimes toys in nests they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter.

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope this magical watercolor bunny brings a smile to your face and joy to your day.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

 

Crossroads

Crossroads Original Abstract by Jodi McKinney 11×14 140lb Cold Press

Crossroads.

When we arrive at a crossroads,
it is an opportunity to let go of the past
and who we have been.

Which way will we go?
Who will we decide
we want to become?

This recent acrylic abstract painting I created is called Crossroads.

Lately, I am driven towards abstraction and experimenting with acrylics.
It is fun to try something new…
An opportunity to discover who I want to be.

And my art is helping me find me…
the direction I want to go
at a crossroads of life.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  This original painting as well as prints and note cards are available at McKinneyX2Designs on ETSY.   Hope you will take some time to browse our watercolor paintings, original art, and handmade rustic signs and decor.

World Water Day – Weaving through the River

Weaving through the River – 11×16 Mixed Media Art

World Water Day – Weaving through the River.

Today, March 22, is World Water Day.

World Water Day is about focusing attention on the importance of water.

The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.  It is about looking for ways we can reduce floods, droughts and water pollution by using the solutions we already find in nature.

Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption.  Today, 21 billion people live without safe drinking water at home, affecting their health, education, and livelihoods.

The next time you brush your teeth and let the water run down the drain or fill a glass of water to drink and pour half of it down the drain or take a 20-minute shower, think about what a privilege it is to have a dependable source of fresh water and how many in this world do not.

Wherever you are and whatever you do today, make a point to consider nature and water.

And if you want to do something about it, consider visiting www.we.org where you can donate $25, which can provide one person with clean water for life.

This original mixed media art I created is being dedicated to World Water Day.  It was done using ink-dyed tissue paper and drops of ink on Arches 140lb watercolor paper.  I added torn pieces of some old sheet music for “Weary River” sealed down with gesso.  I purposely tore the title words to form the word “Weaver.”   It makes me think about how water and art and music weave through our lives and make an impact.

I’ve named this piece, “Weaving through the River.”

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Projecting Beauty

Projecting Beauty – 18×24 Acrylic Abstract on stretched canvas

Every baby is born beautiful.
It is what we project on them
that makes them ugly.

-Ruth in Small Great Things

Sharing this quote today from the book I’m reading that I mentioned yesterday –Small Great Things By Jodi Picoult.

The quote is spoken by a labor and delivery nurse, Ruth, talking about the most beautiful baby she has ever seen born.  The baby was born with severe birth defects that led to him not having a face.  A small mouth with one tooth was in the place of where an ear should have been and the face was just a mass of skin.  A student nurse screamed upon seeing him.  Ruth shared how she would never forget the transformation that occurred as a result of the love the mother, and eventually the father, projected onto this sweet baby for the short time they were blessed with his presence on earth.  The love in their eyes saw his beauty.  The love they projected on this baby made him beautiful.

This really spoke to me.  Of course there is the old adage that beauty is only skin deep, but isn’t it so true?  I have known people who were absolutely flawlessly attractive in physical appearance, but had such ugly hearts and souls that it blinded the beauty.  I also know people that aren’t necessarily physically attractive, but beauty just shines from them.  The beauty that is deep within their being. It just consumes the space that surrounds them.  And when you look at them, all you see is that beauty.

As parents (and grandparents), we have the power to project this beauty on our children.  We have the responsibility to teach them they are beautiful – not because of the color of their hair or skin or the shape of their bodies or the unique intricacies of their personal appearances… They are beautiful because they are loved for just exactly who they are.

Let us love our children by projecting beauty on them.  Let us teach our children to project beauty.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This painting is quite a diversion from my usual watercolor art.  I worked on it for a few days as a special housewarming gift for my oldest son and daughter-in-law, who just moved into their new home.  This abstract acrylic was inspired by the beautiful work of Osnad Tzadok.  I did it using a palette knife, paper towels, a spray bottle of water, and a brush for a few strokes.  All paint by Golden.  I may just want to stretch and try some more of this type of work.

I’m calling this painting “Projecting Beauty.”

Finding Your Own Path

Finding Your Own Path.

Your life will…
find its own paths…

and that they may be good, rich, and wide
is what I wish for you,
more than I can say.

It seems to me
that everything has its proper emphasis…

keep growing,
silently and earnestly,
through your whole development;

you couldn’t disturb it any more violently
than by looking outside

and waiting for outside answers
to questions that only your innermost feeling, in your quietest hour,
can perhaps answer.

-Rilke – Letters to a Young Poet

Stay true to your path.
Be confident in the deepest secrets of your soul
that make you… You.

Just like
mine
make me… Me.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

My art of late has taken a different twist as I have been so greatly influenced by the on-line art class I recently took by Lendon NoeInspired by Lives and Letters.  Although the class is over, I am not ready to let go of the lessons it is teaching me – the lessons about myself and my feelings.  And this mixed media collage is a letter to my soul – written in the form of art.  It is a conversation between heart and soul.  I have no idea if it will mean anything to you, but this is for me, and I am so grateful for the venue to express it.

Products used for Mixed Media Collage:

Stonehedge Paper
Dr Ph Martin Ink
Ink-Dyed Tissue Paper
Photo on Velum Paper
Script Stamp
Stamp Seal Sealing Wax
Momento Ink Pad
Cheesecloth