Jar Of Mums

Jar Of MumsMedium

Jar Of Mums, 6″ x 6″, oil on canvas (buy now)

# 2 of my ”90 paintings in 90 day challenge.” This one was done using a palette knife to apply the paint. At six inches square, it was quite a challenge to move the paint around using only a knife, but I always like the thick impasto effects this technique creates.

Thanks for stopping by. If you like this painting, it can be yours by clicking “buy now” underneath the image.

-Shawn Pagels

90 Paintings in 90 Days. A variation of the Daily Painter.

Guard CatMed

Guard Cat   6″ x 6″  oil on canvas  (purchase)
Today, I made the first painting of my 90 paintings in 90 days goal. It is a twist on the “Daily Painter.” Well, actually it is exactly like the Daily Painter work model, but with a deadline. After the ninety days, I can either continue another ninety days, pause or stop. From what I have read from several artists, this method works because it provides structure and helps ease the anxiety of starting a new painting(or in my case, often prevents me from starting at all at times.) Giving yourself one to two hours to three hours to paint, and then another hour to post on your blog, auction site and other social media creates a steady workflow .For many artists, myself included, this is a big deal. Relying on inspiration, dedication, and hopefully not too much self-medication, is not enough. A framework of activity must be set into play so there is some structure to work around.

Like the daily painter model, I am going to be working on paintings 6″ x 6″ and no larger than 11″ x 14″. I can work larger as well at the same time, but the paintings for the 90 days are going to be small. The idea is you work quicker and are able to produce more efficiently over time. Working small also greatly reduces the pressure for having to creating a masterpiece every time because the goal is shifted to creating a “good” painting everyday. Perfectionism can be wrestled with more triumphantly later when the artist faces the larger canvas or mural.

Here it is. 1 of 90. 89 more to go!

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(This is available for sale. If you or someone you know absolutely love this, click the ”Purchase” link below the image for a pay-pal transaction.)

Past and Present

I think, as an artist, you should always move forward in your art. If you try to compare your past with your present work too much, you run the risk of stalling progress, and ultimately killing all your creative energy. I do, however, think that it can be interesting to hold an older work of art next to something current to get an idea what path you’re on. I know it helps me articulate more effectively the direction I am going knowing where I came from.

Below are two paintings from different periods in my art career. The Top one is from 2002 and the bottom is from this year. I had a vague idea where I wanted my art to go, but in 2002, I wouldn’t have guessed it would become so abstract. It is clear now that I was on a journey for deeper, more universal truths through expression and experimentation. That’s  the path I am on today.

Between Tree and Pole 18 X24 Acrylic

Warm Breeze

Birthday-A New Direction

In 2005, after moving to a different city and experiencing a death in the family, I began working in a more introspective way. Like the post-impressionists, fauvists, abstracters and expressionists before me, I became more interested in expressing than in rendering a likeness. I began a search for inner truth. I started to create my own visual language. In essence, I began a quest of self.

It might seem ironic to some, but when I was painting in a realistic manner, I was denying in many ways, my upbringing in a very traditional “bible belt” home in Wichita, Ks. I was desperately trying to publicly remove myself from, what I thought at the time, a backwards and literalist fundamentalist community. In the process, however, I also denied myself a past.

Today, I do not consider myself a fundamentalist, but I explore the stories and teachings of my youth with new wonder and hope. I believe at the essence of every spiritual path there are truths. In my new works, I express my appreciation for all things good in humanity as well as my desire for a more harmonic existence with each other and our natural environment.

The work below is entitled, “Birthday.”

In this mixed media collage work, (47 1/2″ x 35 1/2″) I wanted to combine my appreciation for motherhood, and the holy birth.


Working Big

I have been painting and using collage lately on cradled boards that I have made myself. Since I was in control of what sizes I made, I decided to create a rather large 6′ x 4′ sized board. I’ve been picking at it since August in between other work. While it still isn’t complete, I have learned already that scale matters when it comes to my work flow. I can still be spontaneous, I just have to mix more paint, step back from the painting more, and really avoid getting stuck in one place for too long.

It has been fun seeing where this work is going. When I get stuck, I just start applying paint, or cut out a shape and stick it on the board. I then can start to respond to these small but important small acts of faith. The important thing is to just keep at it and trust you will know what to do when the time comes.

Here are some pictures from the process so far of the creation of my surface to the still unfinished stage it’s in now.

Thanks so much for coming by!-Shawn Pagels