Tree:Life

Tree:Life

I feel a special affinity with trees. They are such storytellers. I was raised to respect trees (including their leaves.) This painting began with the circles in the background as the rings to show a tree's age, then came the trees and roots along the top and finally some flowers and leaves along the bottom. I totally enjoyed painting a trees "life" in this way. The original (NFS) is 48x48.

Bubbles-2

Bubbles-2

Blues and purples with a hint of some greens and whites makes for a fun yet relaxing color palette for this painting. I listened to Colbie Caillat's "Live It Up" playing on repeat while I painted this large canvas. It was all done with sponges and flicking the wrist as if I were turning on a faucet. Every bit of this painting was joyful. The original (NFS) is 60x40.

Yin Yang

Yin Yang

Journeys can be infinite. Joy and sorrow don’t often have an exact beginning and ending. There are good days and bad days; and it’s good to remember that on both days. It’s a poetic pendulum that gives me hope. The original (NFS) is 48x36.

Rainy Day

Rainy Day

We get to experience a LOT of rainy days in the Northwest. I was thinking about how our vision changes through raindrops, or tears. The people walking down the street, the street lights, the buildings, the problems we are dealing with; they all become blurred or softer around the edges. Rainy days, literally or metaphorically, can be hard, but they can also be a time to rest and focus on some self-care. The original (SOLD) is 20x20.

Oh Happiness!

Oh Happiness!

My love affair with huge canvases continues as I swirled big arm movements with color, color, color! Oh happiness! Each curve is dedicated to the ocean and the movement of the water as it ebbs and flows. The colors sometimes blend into each other, and sometimes they stand on their own just as some waves crash into each other and some seem to demand their own attention. The original is 40x60.

Love Lights The World

Love Lights The World

I began with Indian Yellow and Gold paint and then the layers and textures began to show the story of living with an open heart in the world. There is so much to learn, so many to love. The original (SOLD) is 12x12.

Earth

Earth

Blues and greens are two of my favorite colors to paint with and as I swirled these colors around, the Earth showed itself as if I was way up in space looking down upon this amazing planet. The original is 12x12.

Above Below

Above Below

I began this piece with some modeling paste and carved in some circle shapes. I also included some nuts and washers. I used metallic paint and gold wax paste as well as alcohol inks and pigment powder. As I worked, a 'cosmic ocean' presented itself with bubbles on the ocean floor and/or planets in the heavens. As above, so below. The original (SOLD) is 12x12.

Floating Bubbles

Floating Bubbles

I collaborated on this piece with my glass artist friend, Mary O'Shea (www.keywestglass.com). I hope it makes you feel as happy to experience it as it was for us to create it! It hangs from a re-purposed drill bit found at an antique store. The finished size is 1' x 2'.

I See You

I See You

There was a being that wanted to be seen as I worked on this abstract piece. I brought them forward, but not all the way. This figure reminded me that we often see what we want to see. Some see a heart and/or love, some see eyes or a jaw line, some see scars, and some see water or sunlight. To feel seen is one of the most powerful feelings we can experience as humans. The original is on canvas paper and is 12x16.

The Dance

The Dance

There is a dance that happens between light and dark. One cannot exist without the other. I think of this when hard times are upon me, or the world. I know light will come. Similarly, in times of joy, I know I must appreciate those times because hard times will return as well. It has given me an appreciation for darkness to feel that those moments must exist for the light to exist. It’s a beautiful dance where both sides have a purpose.The original (SOLD) is 12x16.

Swirl

Swirl

I love big arm movements as I get to swirl the paint around! During one of the many layers, I used a chopstick to draw swirls in the wet paint. Once it dried, I painted over it and it left the wonderful swirl texture behind. It has a peacock vibe with the colors, and of course the water influence that is present in many of my paintings. I rotated the canvas several times during the painting process and painted it from different angles. The original (NFS) is 30x40.

The Poem Inside

The Poem Inside

I began by ripping pages of an old book of poetry and plastering them all over this canvas. The words in the poems whispered through the layers of color. I couldn’t see the words anymore, but I could feel them rise to the top of each layer. It was a lovely journey reminding me that we always have poetry inside of us even when others can’t see it. The original (SOLD) is 20x20.

Within

Within

There are actual tears in this painting. It began as a rainbow. It was trying to be a happy painting, but it needed to go deeper. I used my hands to move paint around, scrape it off, slather it on. I cried at one point when I thought I "ruined" it (that's the sweet-spot when I know something great is about to happen.) There are layers of emotion here and they all brought me WITHIN myself. This painting was a breakthrough experience for me. The original (NFS) is 30x40.

Far From Found

Far From Found

There are many times when we isolate ourselves, but we aren’t lost. We just might not want to be found yet. We walk… we run… we crawl to places where we can’t be found. This painting was inspired by those moments. There are several layers of texture, including crackle paste, and paint to signify the complexities of those moments. The original (SOLD) is 16x20.

Reflection

Reflection

I feel such a connection to water and find that many of my paintings relate to water in one way or another. This one was a palette knife process of showing the reflection of water, with the greenery of course referring to the nature all around us. The splash of red is to represent the heart in the center of every reflection. The original (NFS) is 24x36.

Mystical

Mystical

I see myself in the oceans and in the forests. I see myself in the stars above and the roots below. Their journey is my journey. When I look to nature, I am comforted by the cycle of things, by the resilience, by the eventual balance of it all. The original is 24x24.

Malachite

Malachite

I feel such joy when I look at this painting. I had just completed a month-long challenge of painting four 6” x 6” canvases (small for me) and needed to spread my wings with something bigger. Ahhhh! It felt amazing to swish and swoop all over this with palette knives. I completely loved the freedom and the absence of any rules or boundaries. Freedom. Gratitude. Hand-in-hand. The original (NFS) is 24x36.

She Wore Flowers

She Wore Flowers

There was a seriously ugly phase to this painting about two layers before it was done. I adhered some crinkled up tinfoil onto the canvas with some gel. I peeled the tinfoil off and a wonderful texture was revealed from the dried gel and the remaining pieces of tinfoil. I stuck some broken pieces of a plastic egg in the four corners. I sponged some gold, green and brown acrylic paint and then dripped alcohol inks on the egg shell pieces! The original (SOLD) is 12x12.

Have I Held You Lately

Have I Held You Lately

As I layered colors on this piece (painted on an old damaged vinyl record), the Earth began to show itself. I worked on several vinyl record paintings at once and when it came time to title my pieces, I tweaked song titles to fit my piece. This title is inspired by the song “Have I Told You Lately?” by Van Morrison (and, later, Rod Stewart). I often wish I could just hold the Earth in my arms, cradle it and comfort it. The original acrylic on vinyl record/wood is 12x12.

© 2019  by Stefanie A. Shilling  

Love Lights The World

I began with Indian Yellow and Gold paint and then the layers and textures began to show the story of living with an open heart in the world. There is so much to learn, so many to love. The original (SOLD) is 12x12.