No Boundaries

As Pablo Picasso once said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”  I never painted like Raphael, but it certainly took me a lot longer to learn that children have no boundaries when they create art. Taking art in places like High School, they teach such rigidity. To make your art as realistic as possible. It took me forever to break that cycle. Well, I don’t know if it’s really broken per se. I find myself over and over again when creating to make it realistic. So, sometimes I create specific pieces of art or practice to force me to be more loose in my work. Funny, as I write this, I plan on doing a series of art pieces that will be more realistic, but I’m going to try to do so with loose paint strokes. We will see what becomes of that ha ha.

A Loose Woman #1 by Courtney Dixon

This particular series started out as practice, but ended up being the real deal because I liked them so much. The looseness of the pieces is why I call the series “A Loose Woman.” It wasn’t meant to be what the women were about ha ha…not literally. It was just to convey they were specially drawn in a way that was simple, raw and very loose.

A Loose Woman #2 by Courtney Dixon

The way I do this is I take some form of substrate that isn’t canvas. I want something that can be recycled such as cardboard. The above first two pieces were done simply. Just some Gesso in white, gray and black with Stabilo pencil and maybe a touch of shimmery spray ink. I used white gesso to protect the surface and lightly and very loosely drew the face. Once I drew in how I wanted the faces I went over them with my Stabilo pencil. I took a paint brush and used Gesso to go over the Stabilo pencil markings. The Stabilo is water soluble, so it creates a sense of value in the face. Then I would work in layers using the variety Gessos and ended up scribbling the top of the image with the Stabilo.

A Loose Woman #5

The last two of the series were actually done on vintage paper and sheet music. I wanted the text or music to show through the painted surface of the face. They were actually drawn a bit differently…a bit more realistic but, the same rules applied. They were drawn very loose. I wanted something a bit more dramatic here.

A Loose Woman #4 by Courtney Dixon
A Loose Woman #3

Right now there are only 5 in the series, but I plan on adding more. I really enjoyed creating these ladies. I have really been into more abstract and raw art with neutral tones, so these have really appealed to me. I have them all hanging in my house. I also like that they don’t all look alike. They are also great practice for me to keep my work loose and easy, and not so rigid.

I hope you like reading my processes and I would love to know what you think! Or, just stop by and say hi!

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2 thoughts on “No Boundaries”

  1. Hi, Courtney!
    I love how you did these! How clever!
    I’ve been playing around with paints, myself, again. Those neutral colors are intriguing! From watching some artists on, it seems to be a thing, now. Whatever, I like it! I like adding in just one color, too!
    I just can’t draw! LOL
    I am so happy for you!!

    1. Courtney Dixon Art and Design

      I’m looking forward to seeing more of your work Su! I love color too, but I think I just seem to be going through this phase of neutral colors. I think it’s because it adds to that “raw” feel, ya know?

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