Adventures make us feel alive, as we’re pushed out of our comfort zone and forced to approach things differently. Painting outside (known as “plein air”, a French term pronounced a couple of different ways, and also butchered by Americans like me), gives an artist fresh perspective. A good field easel is well worth the cost.
Next time, I’ll remember to wear bug spray and sunscreen… But what’s life without risk? Except for scraping a bug off the canvas, my project was a success! I loved every minute of it, even when I knew I was being bitten by tiny flies known as “no-see-ums” or biting midges.
“Eye of the Storm” was inspired by maps that track hurricanes. The dangerous swirls were created with thick layers and vivid white paint (White Titanium). Frantic paint strokes and stark contrasting colors create tension. The danger and excitement of a storm is expressed with confident lines, bold colors, and heavy texture.
This next oil painting, “Statue of Liberty Struck by Lightning“, was inspired by news photographs of this real occurrence in New York City in 2020. Slightly skewed and unnaturally fluorescent, the effect is somewhat surreal, which lends itself well to the awe and wonder of lightning strikes during a storm– especially when the target of the strike is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world!
Storms can be depicted through stark contrasts, heavy texture, confident paint strokes, and skewed surreal perspective. This final example shows a different approach. “Waves of the Sea” is about the anticipation of a storm. The waves are painted in an unnaturally ordered way. The sky looks like it’s getting dark. There’s a feeling of the wind picking up, even though there’s nothing in the painting that’s blowing. The lighthouse stands ready to lead sailors home.
The connection between art and music is very strong. Sometimes when I hear music, I imagine what I’d paint to express the song. An idea flickered through my mind that I could collaborate with indie musicians and songwriters to create something truly original… never before seen!
My painting experiment pushed me to new heights and helped me grow as an artist. This first piece was inspired by the original composition of a talented pianist. When I heard it, I asked him if I could use his music as inspiration for my next painting. I painted what I see in my head when I hear his beautiful music. “Dancer in a Floral Forest” is the result (the composer is credited in the video).
This next piece was selected for its lyrics. Words are a powerful inspiration for art. When I heard these lyrics for “Be Strong”, I knew it was an excellent choice for my painting project “Eagle and Dove”, also known as “Peace through Strength”. Credits to the singer/songwriter appear at the end of the video.
In this last example, I wanted to be brave with creativity. I composed my first ever original piano piece, which is simple, slow, and expressive. I created this music for my oil painting “Serenity Piano”.
I now create shows that incorporate my singing, music, and dancing into live painting. Some of the show format is “variety show” style, in which these acts are performed separately, but sometimes I combine them… like singing while I paint live. I want to continue to push the boundaries and try new ways to express what’s in my heart, whether it’s profound, silly, bittersweet, or joyful. Our human experience shines brighter when shared through music and art.
Do you find it relaxing to watch artists paint? Grab a cup of coffee and settle in! The shows posted here are of Natalie painting in real time (with some parts sped up). If you prefer to watch her paint entirely in time-lapse (short 2-minute painting videos), this site has about 100 of them! Browse through the site menu. Or, if you want to paint along with Natalie, check out her FREE classes to prepare your paints before watching each show.