Title: Big Sister Dancing
Canvas: 20“x 20”
Media: Oil on Canvas, Palette Knife/Brush
Price: NFS
Date Completed: 1/22/2017
Critical Acclaim: “Oh, It’s Big Sister!” -Karoline Erickson (2)

After finishing The Family Tree (see previous post) I needed to paint without rules or grids or sketches.  My mom gave me a color wheel for Christmas that provides the most basic rules of color theory for oil painting.  When I started The Family Tree, Gail (I’m just going to refer to my teacher as Gail from here on out. No need to introduce the great Gail Pean in every blog. We know Gail by now) suggested that I use it as a color theory exercise. She suggested that if I used the color wheel to guide me instead of strict adherence to my picture that the result would be beautiful. We’ll never know if she was right (she was probably right).

So in an effort to paint without rules I took my color wheel and read the rules of color theory and decided to paint a picture with a tetrad which is using a combination of four colors on the wheel that are two sets of compliments.

There was also a picture of Karoline I couldn’t get out of my head. She was switching back and forth between princess dresses and I snapped this picture. Thus, I showed up at paint class with a 20×20 canvas, an inspiration, and 4 colors that I wanted to use. I did not expect this to go anywhere. It was supposed to be a fun day of freedom. But in painting as in life, I just fall in love so easily.  Gail and I started to see something really nice taking shape and we took this journey together, constantly stepping back to look and decide which direction to go next.

I spent about 5 hours on this painting. I learned about tints, tones, and shades. I learned that I gained a certain level of comfort with my palette knives and can now use them with a bit more confidence.  The color wheel doesn’t lie and Karoline is my muse.

I brought the painting home and left it to dry on my easel in the garage. I took Karoline out and said “Do you know who this is?”  She took one look and said, “Oh! It’s Big Sister!”  Success.