I spent today unpacking a few canvas prints I ordered for a fundraiser auction, and thought I’d take some photos of them. I’ve been selling canvas prints for a while through my Etsy store and my website, and I have them made by a professional lab. I’m always a little taken aback when I open the box and see how much they look like my originals! I put the captions on these for my Etsy store photos so that people know it’s a print.
My current most popular tent painting, Wonder, in the Etsy Store. This one is currently in a juried exhibition in Palo Alto:
My personal favorite, starry night painting Beyond, in the Etsy Store:
From my sunrise painting, Glory (also check out the video) in the Etsy Store:
My professional printer does them with “mirror edges” to make it look like the image wraps around back, similar to the way I paint the edges of my originals for display. The canvas is ready to hang without a frame, and comes with the hanging hardware attached.
I love having this option for my collectors as well as for myself – it’s easier to sell one of my favorite originals if I know I can keep a good quality print.
Welcome to my series for beginners learning to paint, based on my own trial-and-error experiences as a self-taught artist.
Once you’ve got your paint, brushes, canvases and other supplies, you’ll need a place to set up.
While an easel is great for serious painters, it can take up a significant part of your budget, and you don’t really need one when you’re first starting out. My recommended canvas size for beginners is something in the 9″x12″ to 16″x20″ range, and this size is manageable for working flat. If you’re sitting at a desk or the kitchen table, try propping up one end of your canvas on some books (protected with a rag) to see if you prefer working at an angle. If you do, you might want to invest in a table easel at some point.
Try to keep your most used supplies within easy reach, so you don’t set yourself up for back or shoulder pain. This is my current setup in my garage where I paint:
This is another painting from a snowshoe trip in Yosemite a few years ago. We had a long trip in to a stone shelter hut, and due to bad snow conditions it took much longer than we expected.
It was close to midnight when we were still a mile or two from where we needed to be, and we had that exhausted tunnel vision that comes at the end of a long hike at high altitude. Suddenly we looked up from our plodding snowshoes and saw an amazing sight around us – a burned forest covered in snow, silent, under the moon and stars.
Wander, 30″ x 40″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
Sometimes I need these moments to remember why I love the backcountry, and why it is worth it to be out in the cold in these amazing places, and not home in my warm bed. We stopped and looked at the stars for a long time before continuing on.
This painting is from a snowshoe trip to the Ostrander Ski Hut in Yosemite. We hit bad weather and got to the hut close to midnight, but the next day, we got to snowshoe around the nearby lake and watch the sun set over this ridge:
Yosemite Sunset, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
This is a painting I did several years ago after a trip to Bella Coola, north of where I grew up on the coast of British Columbia:
Bella Coola Lupines, 16″x 20″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
This is one of those paintings that just came together quickly without any planning. I painted it on my mom’s kitchen table with her paints and brushes and a borrowed canvas, and it took about 45 minutes. If I were painting it again, I might have planned the composition a little better so that the end of the tallest flower had more contrast against the sky or mountains, but I like the unstructured quality of it and it’s a nice memory.
Here are two photos from the place we visited:
You can find this painting in my Etsy shop as a digital print or canvas print. The original painting is not for sale.
I’m really excited to finally have a new, professional camera setup. I’ve been filming painting videos for a while, but they were shot with our old point-and-shoot camera from, um, 2003. Check out how much better the detail is with a new digital SLR and fixed aperture:
(Painting is Glory, 24″ x 30″ by Kathryn Beals, Music is I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons)
I’ve just launched a redesigned main site, kathrynbeals.com. This new edit has improvements to the print store (although you can still shop my store on Etsy) and the video gallery. I’ll be making adjustments over the next week, and please send me a message if anything looks broken in your browser.
My brand new Facebook page now has 17 likes, and I’m working on Twitter. Thanks for your likes, follows and support for my artwork!
My new landscape galleries on my main site:
This is another one of my winter camping paintings, inspired by a snowshoe trip in the coast mountains of British Columbia with my husband.
Coast Mountains, 24″x 30″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
We really enjoy winter camping; there are no bugs or bears to worry about, and comparatively few people. Water is readily available in the form of snow, the ground is soft and the views are amazing. If you can come prepared for the cold and the early sunsets, it’s great.
This is me, standing against the peak that I later put in my painting. Like my duct tape gaiters?
You can find this painting in my Etsy shop as a digital print or canvas print. The original painting is for sale through my website.
I’ve been working on a painting for a family member, based on this photograph I took in Oregon.
That’s my husband and three year old son standing in front of Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. I made a post earlier on using masking tape to make horizon lines, and I’m picking up where I left off there to show you another one of my favorite tricks.
As a self-taught artist, most of my art education has come from doing custom paintings for clients from photographs. This has been a fantastic way to get out of my comfort zone and discover new technical skills through trial-and-error. Continue reading
I went to the opening reception last night for the Pacific Art League’s juried show, Landscapes, Seascapes, Urbanscapes. Lots of amazing work! I got someone to take a picture of me next to my painting, Wonder.
The show will run until October 31, so if you’re in Palo Alto, stop by and check it out, I’ll have to get creative and think of something to enter in their next show, Science, Technology and the Future of Art.
You can buy this painting in my Etsy shop as a digital print or canvas print. The original piece is for sale through the gallery for $1000.