Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Montana

I just finished this painting and it is without a doubt my all time favorite.

The painting is on canvas paper because it started out as a self designed training exercise. Thing is, I should know better because once I get started things just take on a life o their own. What I was about was experimenting with different brush strokes.

The other challenge; I was wanting to try using just the three primary colors, plus titanium to mix them with. I had read some artists do this exclusively and I wanted to give it a go. Seemed impossible to me before I tried. I cannot believe I was able to mix up such beautiful colors just from those three. It's totally amazing.


I can't begin to tell you how much I love this painting. The colors. The brush stokes. The subject. This painting truly is My Montana in my childlike heart. What a blessing and gift it is to be able to create something like this for yourself.

It matters not what anyone else thinks. It's all about my joy. And, this painting fills me with nothing but. Oh, how I love my Montana!

©Walker Barnard

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Winter Is Here and I've Got a Hankering to Paint!

I'm trying to paint a scene I saw down in the Bitterroots this fall on the Tin Cup Trail. It is vexing me at the moment.

One of the real challenges for a beginner painter is that most everything thing you try to do you've never done before. It will be nice when, someday, I have a library of paintings that I can refer to get ideas as to how I did something in the past.

Anyway, I was trying to figure out what the problem was with my paint not sticking on already dried paint. As I always do with my experiments, once I've done the experiment I can't just let the canvas go to waste. I save every little dab of paint in little paint pots and this is when I use them. The colors are all a mish-mash and I couldn't recreate them if I tried.

On this particular experimental canvas I let the brush fly to the music of Suzanne Chiani. I'm quite fond of her work. It's New Age and it moves me. It moved my brush too!

I can't think of anything to call it. Maybe I should call it Suzanne?

Hopefully, one fine day I will have my Tin Cup Painting done. Then again maybe not because I have this thing in my craw to do something in black and white. It's so great to be able to do as you please on a whim!

There is a reason I express my gratitude each and everyday!

©Kinsey Barnard

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Is In The Air

Spring is coming to my neck of the woods at least two weeks early. My painting project has been a wonderful experience. I've learned a lot and enjoyed much.

My imagination has been filled with those wonderful things that happen in the spring. Melting snow and ice, and signs of new life. I think that was where my head was when I painted this latest piece. It's more primitive than anything else. Some might think it is silly. I think it is an example of me getting in touch with my inner child, something I don't do nearly enough.

From this point forward my painting will have to take a backseat to the wonders of spring. There is much work to be done and many trails that need to be walked. I may or may not do any more painting until next fall. I will do as the spirit moves.

Sprin Is In The Air

 My companion, Molly Montana, and I will writing about our doings on her  blog "Molly Montana's Good Stories and Photos Blog". Check it out if you are interested in photography, travel, Montana, and just living a wonderful life.

©Kinsey Barnard

Monday, February 29, 2016

Painting Is A Lot Easier Than Photography

OK, before painters out there become aghast by such a heretical statement let me add the qualifier, in my experience.

When I speak of photography I specifically refer to the type of photography I have spent the last twenty years trying to perfect. My mission with my photography has been to capture nature, naturally as the consummate impressionist painter, sculptor and most skilled artist that ever existed. The trick to accomplishing my mission is it's more about finding the art works than it is about photography. Although, having some skill in this area is quite helpful.

I bet if I actually worked at it, like I do my photography, I could pump out 4 pretty paintings per week easy. That's 208 paintings per year. I'm lucky if I get 15 photographs that make the grade to be included in my fine art photography collections. Most people probably think photography is much less labor intensive than painting. It certainly isn't the way I do it. I drive thousands of miles on highways and byways. I walk thousands of miles down country roads and hiking trails. I think of myself as a hunter and finding my illusive prey is my skill.

The other thing I love about painting is that it's so forgiving. A painter is free to tweak color, object size, subject placement, composition, lighting and just anything you want.  With photography, as I practice it, I must find the perfect image and capture it. It's quite true in today's digital world you can edit your photographs in so many ways you hardly need a photograph at all. I don't believe in photo editing beyond what I could have once done in a wet darkroom. To do anything else would defeat my purpose which is to show nature's true artistry not my own.

Just like hunting, in the traditional sense, being able to hit the target is only half the challenge. One needs to have an "eye" for it. To be able to pick out the target in it's natural environment is more important than being able to take the shot. You can't shoot anything if you can't find it. Of course, traditional hunting, in many places, has gone the way of photography taking much of the art of it out with artificial props. Hunters sit in blinds waiting for some hapless creature to come along and then blast it. The greatest skill those guys exhibit is being able to sit there hour after hour. I'd go berserk. Hunt is a verb. Verbs are supposed to describe action.

I have couple of examples for you. First up is Eel  Lake. An experienced painter could easily paint this photo in under in a couple of hours. But, it took me days maybe months to actually find it as it occurred in nature.

Eel Lake - Digital Photograph
Next is something I call Ice Puppets. Not only was this shot the result of days of hunting but hunting in in 15 degree weather. Painters have no idea how easy they have it working in their nice warm studios.

Ice Puppets - Digital Photograph
Both of the above images are always being mistaken for paintings when hanging on a wall. The image below is one of my paintings. Kind of hard to tell the difference.  To be able to take photographs of nature in the way that I do, now that's real skill.

Dark Forest - Acrylic Painting

No sir, I think this painting thing is living the life of luxury. You don't have to trek to find your subjects, you can just make them up. You can paint things just as you want them utilizing any color you can conceive. If you make a mistake you can paint right over it. If you don't like the position of something you can just move it. And, you can do it from the comfort of your studio. I'm beginning to think my brand of photography is for masochists. It's certainly going to be replacing photography for my winter pursuit of artistic expression.

©Kinsey Barnard
The Liberated Photography

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My First Painting Class

I started my painting journey last November. I haven't taken any art classes preferring to find my own way while utilizing the incredible resources available on the internet. I have always thought self knowledge is the most important knowledge one can possess. One thing I know for sure is that I am pretty much unteachable. I have to find my own way or I am lost.

I recently came across a painting class called Tipsy Brush. The idea being you bring your own wine and tipple whilst you paint. I found this a most excellent idea so I enlisted  the company a friend to go with.

The class lasted about three hours and was just as much fun as I thought it would be. But, with or without tippling I can't make myself copy someone else's style. I tried, I really did but the painting we were asked to copy held no interest for me in the way it was being painted. The painting was representational and I just have no interest in that sort of painting. I got so irritated trying I nearly polished off the wine.

I expressed my frustration to my painting pal and she told me to quit trying, just do what you want. Those words made me respond like a racehorse at the starting gate. Away I went! I did use the model as my foundation and used the colors provided. The colors I liked. From that point on my painting just went where it wanted to go which is, for better or worse, how all my paintings go.

There were fourteen people in the class, many of whom had never painted anything. As I looked around the room I was utterly amazed by their results. I don't think there was a single person that did not create a painting they could be proud of. My pal had never painted anything before and her painting looked great! I think this says a lot of complementary things about the instructor.

At the end the instructor walked around the room looking at each persons' work. I was stuffed in a corner, where I generally hideout in a classroom hoping no one discovers I'm there. I was hoping she might miss me cuz my painting was definitely my own. I was embarrassed to show it to her. She took one look at it and said, "Oh, how Van Gogh".  She could not have said anything more flattering if she had tried.

Some might say I am lazy, undisciplined or self-indulgent.  Lazy not so much but undisciplined and self-indulgent oh yeah! I have no intention of selling my paintings. I am following my art, aka my heart, for my own enjoyment. I am covering my walls with my paintings and enjoying them everyday. Honestly, I don't think I could bear to let any of them go. Some day, when I get a bigger inventory and no more room on my walls, I will enjoy giving them as gifts. So, without further ado here is the painting.

Midnight Mountains
©Kinsey Barnard
The Liberated Photographer

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

In the Forest of My Imagination

In the Forest of My Imagination
This is another example of me painting my imagination at work. I really love to do this kind of painting because I have no idea where I am going. I just lose myself in the colors and the rest just kind of appears.

©Kinsey Barnard

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dark Forest

Dark Forest

I am a color junky but sometimes I find the absence of it rather intriguing. This particular abstract painting was inspired by one of my photographs. This painting is less my imagination and more something I once saw saw.

©Kinsey Barnard

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mistakes Can Give You Courage

As mentioned in my last post, inexpensive way to wall mount canvas boards, I had only one painting I thought was just gawd awful. One of my character flaws is that I am very tight with a dollar. Not only did I disparage the painting but I begrudge the waste of a canvas. To my credit I own my short comings. I can do that because I am a seeker of self-knowledge and I know it's OK to be flawed.

This painting bugged me because not only was it ugly but I had wasted a canvas. Over the weekend I hitched up my boot straps and painted over it.
Chintz - One Way

I first gave the canvas a very light green wash and then I added the pinks. Now I have a painting I actually like. I like it because the colors remind me of chintz drapes in my family home which reminds me of my mother which fills me with love. But, this painting could never have happened if I hadn't screwed up.

Chintz -Another Way

Not only did my original mistake teach me something about painting technique but it also has given me new courage.  Ever since I started my acrylic painting journey back in November 2015 I have been intimidated by a blank canvas. A blank canvas has been a self-doubt delight. I was so afraid I would ruin a perfectly good canvas. Now I know nothing is set in stone. You really can make lemonade out of lemons. My imagination has found new freedom.

I put the painting up two ways. I can't decide which I like better.

©Kinsey Barnard

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Inexpensive Way to Display Canvas Board Paintings

I'm starting to accumulate paintings and so far I have only painted one that I truly did not like. Most of my painting are on canvas boards or 3/4 inch stretched canvas. I couldn't begin to afford to frame every painting and the chances of me ever selling any of them I would put at slim to none.

When I use canvas boards there aren't a lot of options for hanging them. I love to look at my paintings. I may not be worth a chit as a painter but I certainly have the love your work part down. I rate new pieces so that the ones I like best get a front row and center position. I needed to invent a way to be able to move the boards around as I paint new pictures that I find more appealing than others. So, I did.

I bot molding at Lowes, cut them into lengths, primed and painted them, drilled pilot holes and nailed those pretty little ledges to the wall. Now I can play musical paintings to my hearts delight!

Still need to set the nail heads and patch.

Display in my office
Golly, I love color!

©Kinsey Barnard

Friday, January 22, 2016

Channel Islands

Channel Islands

I got carried away and framed this one. I also framed "Floating Flowers". I just couldn't resist seeing what they looked like framed and Michael's was having a two for one sale.

I was born and raised on the California coast and this colorful painting reminded me of the Channel Islands sunset. Most of the time I have absolutely no idea what I am going to paint and this is definitely one of those times when a picture just turns up. Color is my inspiration. I'm more interested in color than subjects. When I paint I just pick some color I feel like working with and start mixing. The picture just develops from there. My painting is like a box of chocolates. I never know what I'm going to get. Crazy way to paint I know but I like the results and that's all that matters to me.

©Kinsey Barnard

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Floating Flowers

Floating Flowers

Floating Flowers - Framed

I think Floating Flowers may be my new favorite abstract painting. Maybe it's more impressionist, expressionist. Whatever, it was my imagination at play.

I was too lazy to get the photograph right so the brilliant blue is not at all well represented. It's the prettiest blue I ever did see. But, sometimes there is only so much trouble I am willing to bother with. Especially, since I have the real thing to look at.

©Kinsey Barnard

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Blue Sampler

Blue Sampler
This morning I finished the painting displayed on my new easel yesterday.

Blue is one of my favorite colors. In this piece I set out to paint different strokes using the same colors. I call it Blue Sampler because that's what it is a sampler of blue designs.  Just an abstract thought I held in my imagination. I'm pleased with it.

©Kinsey Barnard

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I Found My Easel

"H" Style Table Top Easel

Back in November 2015, when I started my acrylic painting project, I wrote of my quandary in choosing a painters easel.  I was surprised to learn there were so many details to consider when choosing an easel. I said back then that I was sure I would have an "ah ha" moment one day and know what the right easel was for me. I am tickled pink to say I have had my "ah ha" moment!

I fairly quickly ruled out the tripod model. I could see me getting tangled up in the legs and knocking one of those down with regularity. I gravitated to the "H" frame model right away. They appeared much more sturdy. But, I noticed that most of them, in my price range anyway, had a cross bar on the bottom that I was afraid my feet would run into if I wanted to get close the the canvas.

Then it dawned on me that, at my ranch where I spend 8 months of the year I don't have a room to make into a studio and I didn't fancy hauling one of those great big things back and forth. And, I certainly wasn't about to spring for two of them. Then I discovered the "H" frame table top easel. It's perfect. I can walk up and put nose on the canvas if I want and when I depart this location for the ranch I can fold it up and take it with me.

I can adjust the easel so that the canvas is positioned just where I want it. I had mentioned earlier that I wanted to be able to sit because of back issues but I have learned that even though my back will cut some sessions short every now and again it's alright because I now know I really feel more in my zone when I'm standing.

The moral of this story is, when I take my time and study on a thing, soon or later I have my ah ah moment and save myself a lot of money and frustration. I have already painted a couple of things using it and I just love it! I feel like a real "grown-up" painter.

©Kinsey Barnard

Monday, January 11, 2016


I call this one Greens for a lack of anything else I could think of. It's just a lot of color, which I love, trending to greens. This is exactly the type of thing I loved to find to photograph where Mother Nature did all the designing. She is my inspiration. I really love this sort of thing. Like my photographs these are one of a kind moments never to be duplicated. Very cool.

©Kinsey Barnard

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

White Wing

White Wing

This is my first 2016 painting. I named it White Wing because it reminds me of when my father used to take me with him to shoot white wing dove in the Southern California desert. And, that's about all there is to say about that!

©Kinsey Barnard