My Benjamin Moore Colour Trend Art Challenge

Testing the Shadow 2117-30 colour for my project 
I couples days ago I was perusing through the Internet looking for some inspiration and learned that the Benjamin Moore's Colour of the year for 2017 is a really rich and deep purple called Shadow 2117-30. I've been into purples lately so, naturally, I was drawn to that particular colour. In colourpsychology.com, purple is said to have a calming effect over the mind and nerves. It can be uplifting, trigger creativity and increase intuition. To me purple also represents balance as it's the combination of the high energy of the colour red and the cool calming energy of the colour blue. Interestingly, when looking into what it means to like the colour purple, a lot of the description fits my personality. At least part of it. 

Inspired by that colour, I decided to create a piece of artwork featuring Shadow. But then I also looked at the entire colour palette for 2017 and saw more interesting colours with eye catching names such as Gentleman's Gray, Sea Star and Stormy Monday. So I decided to upgrade my idea and turn it into a year long art challenge for the upcoming year: Perfect time for a new art challenge! So my art challenge for 2017 is to create art pieces featuring each of the 23 colours of the 2017 trend colour palette. It should be an interesting experience. I already went ahead a couple days ago and bought my first four colour samples : Shadow, Gentleman's Grey, Amulet and Cloud Cover (shown below).

(left to right) Shadow 2117-30, Gentleman's Grey 2062-20, Amulet AF-365, Cloud Cover OC-25
I'm not entirely sure how this is going to go. At first I was just going to use them in a painting but I've decided that these painting will only use the colours from that palette and that they will be used in my cloud painting project.  I've never used them to paint on canvas before so it will be interesting to see what comes out of that idea. 

Wish me luck! 

Dare to Dream

Dare to Dream 
Acrylic on canvas, 9" x 12"
$ 250 - ORIGINAL AVAILABLE

$250.00

CLOUD9X12002
VIA PAYPAL



Every single invention that currently exists around us started out as a thought or a dream : The clothes we're wearing, the homes we live in, the places we work at, the countries we live in, the car we're driving, the roads we're taking, the books and magazines we read, the shows and movies we watch, the music we listen to, our electronics, our vacation spots, the Internet, social media, etc. They all started as a thought, an idea or a dream in someone else's mind and we are essentially living in other people's dreams.

Dreams are powerful, especially big dreams. They move us forward. They change the world for the better. Imagine where we would be without people like Martin Luther King, Rosa Park, Valentina Tereshkova, Ganhdi, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Oprah and Elon Musk? They dreamed big.  Not only are we living in their dreams, we're also actively working on keeping their dream alive, which is great. The problem is that too often, many of us are so busy living in someone else’s dream that we often forget to create our own dreams too. It's like we forget that we also get to participate if we want to, if we dare to dream just like the ones before us did. 

Dreams are the first crucial step in making big changes. Rather than spending time complaining and commiserating about how things are not the way we want them to be, we should spend more time dreaming about how we would like things to be instead and then start taking action to turn these dreams into reality. But first, we must dare to dream. We can only change something by creating something new that doesn't exist yet, and in order to do that, we need to dream.

All these thoughts inspired the painting above entitled Dare to Dream. As you watch this artistic cloud formation in the the video below, I hope to invite you to slow down for a couple minutes and take some time to think about your own dreams. What do you dream about for yourself? for your family?  for your friends?  for your environment? for  your country?  for our world? Do you even still dream? If not, do you have to courage to start to dream big again ? 

Clouds are for dreamers and their contemplations benefits the soul

Journal painting for the new month

Clouds are for dreamers 
and their contemplations benefits the soul. 
- Gavin Pretor-Pinney


How beautiful is this quote from the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society!  Yes! There is a group for people who appreciate clouds. I just found out about it today and I'm seriously considering joining. I read their manifesto and immediately connected with it. Especially the one about how contemplations benefits the soul. There is something about looking at the beauty that unfolds every day above our heads, the colours, the shapes, the lighting. It's all very mesmerizing and it makes us feel great and relaxed. There's definitely something to it and I wouldn't be surprised to find studies showing that there is measurable mental health benefits from looking at clouds : nature's meditation and mindfulness app. Maybe that's one of the reasons I'm into them. They seem to be appearing more and more in my paintings and doodling, like this one made a couple days ago in my journal for the start of the month. 

I also made a video of the process and uploaded it on my youtube channel. This prompted a couple more ideas of doing live painting session accompanied by a pianist. It would be the next best thing to watching cloud formations in the sky. Something to work on perhaps for the new year. We shall see. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy this relaxing painting cloud formation online. 


Think Different


"Think different" - Steve Jobs

What does it mean to think different? To me, it means to think for yourself, with your own unique perspective, even though it may not follow popular beliefs. People who think different tend to be the ones who accomplish great things because they don't compete to be the fastest or cheapest at doing the same as everyone else. They don't compete, they create something new, something that has never been done before and many benefit from it. They create in a new category all to themselves, they innovate and they push boundaries.  When I think of people who think different I think of people like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Jackson, Missy Elliot, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Oprah, Karim Rashid, Leonardo DaVinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Einstein, Picasso, Salvador Dali, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and many more. They don't follow the norm, they follow their own intuition and bring significant changes around them. They are the ones others try to emulate years after the originators have moved on to something else . 

It takes courage to think different because it also implies dissociating yourself from your tribe, your family, your coworkers, your community, your peers, etc. By doing so, you risk being cast aside for essentially threatening the status quo of that particular group. For example, think of the many scientists and doctors who ignore certain data because they fall outside of the established boundaries. They won't even talk about it because it would upset their peers and they could be ridiculed for thinking different. Thinking for yourself is a rebellious act that might get you expelled. Yet, it's the only way to move forward and innovate.

Where do you tend to think differently then your peers?


Cloud 02
Acrylic on panel
2014 

Cloud 02 is the second of my series of intuitive cloud painting. In this one I see a funny cartoon character with a long round nose and bushy eyebrows and prominent chin. It wasn't planned, it just appear and that's they main image I see whenever I look at this painting.

What do you see? 










If you like this design, you might like some of the following items in this collection on Society6 








Ideation without execution is delusion


"Ideation without execution is delusion" Robin Sharma

I believe I first heard this quote while listening to a presentation by Robin Sharma. It's something that I need to constantly remind myself because I'm really good a dreaming up ideas, get lost in the planning and visioning phases, heads in the clouds, and forget all about actually doing the work to turn these dreams into reality. It's important to dream, but it's also important to turn these dreams into reality, otherwise they don't serve their purpose. Whenever I get a piece of artwork done, good or not, I get closer to turning my dream of being a successful artist into reality. I'm also finding out that there are various layers to this reality. Creating the art is only the first step. Next is to bring the art in front of the people who are looking for it and will benefit from it. I'm also realizing that with the technology available today, art is becoming more accessible to a wide range of people with a wide range of budget. It's a great thing because it makes art more accessible as it should be. 



Clouds 01

Acrylic on panel
2014 

Clouds 01 is the first of a series of intuitive paintings of clouds I started in 2014. I just started to paint clouds without planing any particular shapes. Once the painting was complete, I started to look for shapes just for fun. It's become a bit of a game for me, like Where's Waldo : the cloud edition. In this one I see a flower, a donut, a contact lense case , a profile, a bowl, and blood cells. I'll probably keep finding new objects the more I look into it. 

What do you see ? 






If you like this design, you might like some of the following items in this collection. 










NEPHELOMANTIA - THE ART SERIES

Capturing symbols in the sky in Washington DC (2014)

Have you ever looked up at the sky and seen a sign or shape in the clouds that felt like a personal message just for you? Moments later, it's gone. Fortunately, back in 2014, while I was visiting Washington DC, I had my iphone in hand and captured this unusual cloud formation in the shape of a question mark. At the time I was taking pictures of everything in sight, wondering about the meaning of everything around me :  the monuments, the sculptures, the architectural details, etc. And when I looked up I saw these clouds.

Perhaps this is what started fuel my interest in painting clouds. I painted a few back in 2014 and stopped there. Recently I got back into painting more often, and the clouds are coming back. And as I was uploading the latest cloud painting on my online art store, I stumbled across the word Nephelomantia which, according to occultpedia.com, stems from the greek words nephele which means a cloud and manteia which means divination. So nephelomantia is the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means with the aid of clouds. How cool is that?  #LearnedSomethingNew

So since, I recently decided to continue my series of artwork around the topic of clouds, I thought it would be fitting to create a blog around that particular series. The intent of this particular series of painting (I renamed it "Nephelomantia") is to capture some of these ephemeral moments intuitively. Each paintings are unique and the clouds are created without any particular shape in mind. It is only after they are completed that one can see a shape, message or meaning. And the fun part is that the viewer gives it meaning. Different people will have different interpretation and will probably see different thing.

When I looked at these clouds, I saw a question mark. What do you see?