The Happiest Happy of All

The Happiest Happy of All

I know we live in a world
that says do what makes you happy,
and I get that…

But the happiness you get
from making someone else happy
might just be the happiest happy of all.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S.  This photo is a section of a 3-foot tall piece of art I created for a special young lady who has a few of my other abstract pieces in her home and asked me to make another to complement them.  I can’t wait to give it to her and then see how it looks in her home.  I sure hope it makes her as happy as it made me creating it for her.

Abstract Love

Abstract Love – 30×48 on Gallery Canvas


Abstract Love.

Instead of trying to explain the muse that drew me to recently create this huge abstract piece  – the largest, most “abstract” painting I’ve done to date – 4 foot wide (48 inches) x 30 inches tall – I will share this quote from one of my absolute all time favorite books….

A book I have read and listened to the author read several times – Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

The first stroke on a huge canvas can be so scary, yet so exciting and liberating at the same time.

The brushes and pallet knives and paints are art themselves!

The finished piece…

which is – for now – hanging above our bed.

Its temporary home?   Or its forever home?  Either way is fine, because I kinda love it!

If it speaks to you, it is available here.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Under the Sea

Under the Sea – Dolphin Watercolor 11×14

Under the Sea.

It seems like such a magical place to me.

So when I was trying to decide what I could see

in the splashing I created so free…

A fish… a dolphin… a magical creature came to be.

I recently bought a new printer – A Canon Pixma Pro-100, and I was anxious to see how it worked creating prints and cards.  I am so pleased!  Above is a shot of the original with a mat and frame loosely placed on it to see what it might look like framed, as well as an 8×10 print and cards I printed on my new printer.

If you are looking for me…
under the sea is where I’ll be dreaming to be.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

I Spy a Deer

I Spy a Deer.

This past weekend, I pondered a watercolor page I’d done one evening the week prior, where I simply brushed and splashed.

Sometimes that is all I want to do…  just wet a piece of paper, drop in some color, and let the magic happen.  It is a great stress reliever to unwind for me.

Then I carried it around on Saturday – – just having it in within sight in the room with me wherever I was while I went about other things around the house.

Before I could do anything more with it, we had a birthday party to go to, so I just let it simmer in my brain.

On Sunday morning, I couldn’t wait to wake up and paint.  At 6am, I hopped out of bed, poured a cup of coffee, and tip-toed up to my art studio while hubby and Charlie remained in bed.

I knew what I was going to do with it.   In the close-up below, can you see my inspiration?  I had contempleted a bird…..  I considered a lamb…   I almost decided on a giraffe.  Then I saw what I had to paint.  A deer!  A handsome buck was peering at me as clear as day.

Do you see it?  I started with the eye, then the nose, the ears and horns… just adding enough detail to allow the brain to fill in the rest.  It’s a bit inspired by the Jean Haines technique I so adore!

I love how it turned out!

So in addition to adding to our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop, I added it to our Society6 page as well, so I could see what it would look like on pillows and iPhone cases and all the other fun ways they convert art into products!

What will you spy in the things you come across today?  Keep your mind open, and you never know what you might find!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Dear You

Dear You Acrylic Abstract Jodi McKinney 24×36 on Artist Canvas

Dear You.

“I always felt like you’ve known me,
I thought of you when I got lonely,
Now there’s nothing else I can do,
This is me reaching out to you.”

Lucy Spraggan “Dear You”

As I was painting and listening to one of my favorite new artists, Lucy Spraggan one evening this week – this is what happened. It’s quite large – 24″ H x 36″ W – and done completely with palette knife and acrylic paint from the tube.  This young lady’s music and lyrics touch my heart and soul, and this is my response as I listened and painted. (Thanks to Colleen Brown at The Chatter Blog for introducing me to Lucy!)

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Crimson and Coral

Crimson Flowers Watercolor 11×14

Crimson and Coral.

Coral Flowers Watercolor 11×14

Painting Fluid Florals.

Watercolor on the Weekend
makes me happy…
makes me feel fine.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  I’ve been known to have random songs pop in my head for almost anything – and then break into tune (or out of tune as it most often turns out) when they do.  Can you guess the two songs running through my head when writing this post?

Links here if you can’t guess:
Song One
Song Two

These original paintings, prints and cards are available at McKinneyX2Designs.

Navy and Peach

Navy and Peach.

They complement each other so well.
One soft and subtle…
One strong and bold.

It was fun to use just three primary colors – indigo, red, and yellow ochre to create this loose abstract flower painting.

I swirled and splashed and dabbed and splattered.
And then I scribbled with a micron pen to create some fun shapes.

So good to find time “in between” to let loose with my watercolors!
So fun to “create” make-believe flowers.
So glad to cherish the moments
at TheCreativeLifeInBetween!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Playing & Creating – Enjoying the Journey

Playing and Creating.

Some leftover paint
mixed up for a pouring project
that I played with on paper
with a goal of creating a wave…

Turned out to look
nothing like a wave,
but so many other things
magically appeared.

I see a bird
and a dolphin
or a crocodile
and a fish.

I feel movement
and life
and freedom
and joy.

Art
imitating
life

While enjoying
the special time
at life in between.

Relaxing
while playing
made something
I would never sell or hang on a wall,

but I created
and learned
how things react
and mix and mingle.

Art – like life –
isn’t always about
the destination –
but about the journey.

Play and create today.
Do something that brings you joy
in that “in between” time you get to call your own,
and enjoy the journey.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Original Watercolors, Acrylic Abstracts, and Handmade Rustic Decor available at McKinneyX2DesignsKlaus the Mouse available on Amazon here.

Breaking Free

Breaking Free in Blues Abstract 11×14 Arches 140lb Cold Press

Breaking Free.

Three months ago,
when I lost a job I loved
that I thought would be my last,
I was devastated.
I was broken free.

Two months ago,
I started a new job that I now love
and hope will be my last,
and I am so energized.
It is like breaking free.

Over the past few months,
I’ve started exploring new art mediums –
in my “life in between
from watercolor to acrylic to mixed media.
I am breaking free.

This painting,
done over two days this past week
combining these old and new mediums
feels like I am expressing
the elation of breaking free.

And I love it….
The painting….
The joy…
The freedom…
Yes – I’m breaking free!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This original painting – as well as high quality prints and card sets – is available at our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY Shop!

AND PS  I’m so excited to let you know the Yellow Canary McKinneyX2Designs World Watercolor Month Limited Edition Pouch is NOW AVAILABLE!!!   Here is the link to order yours!  Hope you will help support Dreaming Zebra –  a nonprofit encouraging children to embrace their individuality to express themselves creatively and follow their artistic dreams.  100% of the proceeds for the sale of this Limited Edition Pouch will help provide art and music supplies to underprivileged children throughout the world.

Pouring Creativity

My art room lately

Pouring Creativity.

In case you’ve wondered what I’ve been doing in my spare time……..

I’ve been mixing…

and pouring…

and twisting…

and turning…

and splashing color…

and creating….

and exploring imagination…

and learning new ways…

to create and express…

and stretching to larger sizes….

and bigger messes that are worth the paint in my finger nails and on my clothes!


and these special pieces for a sweet granddaughter’s room….


and another coming soon.

Yep – I’ve been painting and having so much fun exploring this abstract medium.

And I can’t wait to make more!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  If you are interested in purchasing any of these except for the last two, they are for sale in our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop.