And now for something completely different...

abstract art abstract beach painting abstract landscapes beach painting kathy halper art turquoise painting

When I started making textile art 5 years ago I never intended to stop painting forever. In fact, the only reason I began to embroider my work was because the series I was developing was strengthened greatly by the use of the medium.

Once I was deep into embroidery, however, I came to feel the medium was extremely conducive to expressing what I wanted to say with my art.

I never stopped wanting to paint again though. I only wondered if I could.

3 days ago I trashed my family room and set up a painting studio again. The set up is cramped. The lighting sucks. And my acrylic paints are mostly dried up. Don't even get me started on the condition of my brushes. It was daunting and I wondered if it was worth trying at all. But I don't have the resources to go out and buy myself a lot of new materials and renting a studio is out of the question. So it was this or nothing.

And get this, we're trying to sell our house! That's right, we spent most of the past 6 months cleaning the house up, de-cluttering and moving stuff to a storage space and in 3 short hours I've trashed the family room.

Guess I really wanted to paint again.

In my former life as a painter I did a lot of figurative work. And as I went on I tried to become more conceptual. But now my textile work acts as the happy conduit for my concepts, which in a way alleviates a lot of pressure for me to paint. I can paint just for the sake of painting.

So here's my first stab at an abstract landscape. A beach scene, if you will. Have no idea if it's finished.

I am rusty as all get out. I keep trying to remember how I used to achieve certain affects and what colors I used to mix together to get another favorite color. I am suddenly frustrated that I use acrylics that dry so fast but I know that I'm not comfortable enough with oils to tackle them again yet. But it feels good to be applying paint to a canvas again. It's such a physical act, as opposed to the meditative passive act of embroidery. Though painting was meditative for me, as well. Just not yet again.

It is no doubt premature to be sharing this piece with the world but I've gotten used to sharing. Damn you Facebook. And I'd love feedback or thoughts. I'll keep you posted. 



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  • kathy halper

    Tammy, I understand everything you’re saying and agree with all. I don’t want to be tied in to one thing and I’m going to challenge the notion that an artist must choose one voice and do only that. As for the abstract, yes they are not as easy as they look. Feeling like I might’ve gotten lucky with the first one! Will check out the blog.

  • Tammy

    I know exactly how you feel. I always wonder if it matters that I skip around using different mediums. I love to paint and it really satisfies so many artistic urges in me and sometimes I just want to sew on the sewing machine and then other times I just want to carefully, meditatively take my time and stitch something by hand. I love the feel of the fabric and running my fingers on the stitches i put there with love and happiness. I did a painting series last summer of faces. 100 to be exact. Consecutively. One hundred days of painting. I looked forward to it every day and I wrote a story to go with each one. Then I decided to embark on 100 abstracts only I didn’t say I would do one every day ..i should have and I intend to go back to it soon but I did it because I hadn’t done abstracts before. I thought it might be easier then having to make art that was so realistic. It’s not as easy as it might seem. So I love what you have done here!!! It is beautiful and dreamy and it reminds me of a misty morning at the beach. Maybe you can check out my blog at and go back a few posts and you’ll see some of my abstracts or even some of my faces!! I Hope you keep painting. I love your little embroidery necklaces too!! I follow you on facebook. :)

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