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

 

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

Hope is the Thing with Feathers…

Abstract Feather 1 – 11×14

Hope is the Thing with Feathers.

Do you think
every feather
is uniquely different?

Just like
snowflakes…
and leaves on trees…
and blades of grass…
and grains of sand…
and people.

Abstract Feather 2 – 11×14

As I was playing around one day
with pouring paint
and creating feathers,
they sure were!

Abstract Feather 3 – 11×14

Instead of pouring on canvas,
I poured these abstract feathers
on 300lb cold press watercolor paper.

They are all so very different,
even though I used the same exact colors and same paper…
yet there is something I uniquely like about each.

There is something so magical about feathers…

What bird is it from?
Or did it perhaps fall
from the wings of an angel?

Hope is the thing
with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tunes
without the words,
and never stops at all.

– Emily Dickinson

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.

Let it Go – Let it Flow

Blue, Bluff, Black, Gold Abstract Acrylic Pour – 24×36

Let it Go – Let it Flow.

I am having so much fun experimenting with a new art medium – Abstract Acrylic Pour.

I am so intrigued by the beauty and challenge of abstract, and I am letting go and letting it flow!

This is my largest painting to date – it is a full 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall.

This technique involves mixing acrylic paint with Flood Floetrol – a paint additive that allows the paint to be more pourable as well as Silicone to create “cells.”

This painting is going to my youngest son and daughter-in-law’s home, and I have a few more to share later this week that I’ve been experimenting with including two I created for my granddaughters’ rooms.

I hope everyone in the U.S. is enjoying this extended Memorial Day holiday weekend, while also taking the time to remember and honor those that lost their lives in service to our country’s freedom.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Free-Flowing Fluid Art

“From a Distance” Abstract Acrylic 12×12

Free-Flowing Fluid Art.

This past weekend, I experimented with another form of art using an acrylic pouring method to create these abstract pieces.

These are my first efforts, and there is so much more you can do with this technique using different tools and surfaces and colors.  I’m longing to find time to try again and create “cells” in the pour by adding oily products to the paint and pouring medium.

The main objective is to create a pouring texture of paint using an additive like Floetrol (used by house painters to improve performance and reduce brush marks as well as allow latex paint to spray like oil-based paint, and ultimately to save money by “stretching” the paint).   You can also purchase pouring medium products from many acrylic paint companies like Golden or Liquitex.   Some people use Elmer’s glue!  Water will even do the trick (though may dilute the paint a bit more).

“The Heart of the Stream” Abstract Acrylic 8×8

These are done on artist quality canvases and sprayed with a gloss varnish to seal the paint and make them shine.

What a joy to let loose and create magical mysteries.

Wishing you a day ahead that is sprinkled with magic and mystery.

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