Sunday, 11 May 2014

Outside my comfort zone with Jose Merello....




In April & early May I worked in Maggie's journal. Maggie's chosen artist was Jose Merello. I didn't know anything about Mr Merello and so I spent quite a long while researching, sketching & collating ideas. When it came to painting in his style I have to admit I struggled. Therefore for my first painting, a double paged spread I concentrated on incorporating all the things I felt associated with Merello especially his love of Spain and bright colours. And as if this didn't stretch me enough I braved a second attempt at painting a face, something I braved for the first time just weeks ago.

Besides a little use of light pencil I didn't allow myself any pen work to form the lady (Maria), instead forcing myself to rely on a paintbrush as much as possible. Despite my love of using mixed media I encouraged myself to experiment with what I could achieve with only paint. Well....many hours later this lady I named Maria is the result and I'll leave you to make your own opinion.


I learnt a lot by doing; through my mistakes and successes. The hair was difficult as was trying to create the effect of solid shape. I'm glad I tried though because I had a lot of fun.

Not one to be easily beaten I came across this Merello painting:

Merello's Painting

and decided to paint my own version, not as a copy but as a nod to the original:

My Painting

I mounted my vase painting on a page painted with a Spanish flag in order to continue my theme. Success was acheived when my brutally honest twelve year old said she liked my vase painting better thank Merellos :-)! Of course I wouldn't agree but it was nice she thought so.

Next, I wanted to write a story about Maria and to go with it I needed another painting. I painted with everything I'd gleaned about Merello in mind, borrowing a couple of the symbols he used and trying to use his style/technique/preferences.

Struggling with Merello's style for quite some time I finally let go a little and just went with the general feeling I had for Merello and Spain. This painting then became the cover to my mini book:



If you'd like to read Maria's story I'm happy to email it to you if you email me via my google profile. It is around a 1000 words in length.

Finally, I had to add my contribution to Maggie's cover. PritiLisa had added a picture of Merello in the centre of the inside front cover & so I decided to add some panels of images to surround it. I had big problems with paint soaking into the cover and not getting the finish I wanted but here is the end result:


By the time I completed my contribution in Maggie's Merello themed journal I had learnt about another artist but had learnt even more about my own skills. It is good to step outside of our comfort zone but also incredibly scary. However, it proves worth taking the leap and pushing forward past the fear into the new. I certainly feel like I've grown and developed my skills. Even if I don't continue to paint in this style - what I've gained this month will help me in my own art, creative work and confidence.


  • Have you learnt anything new recently? Or/and pushed yourself outside of your normal comfort zone in your creative work? How did it feel? What were the results?

Wishing you all a Happy and Creative Week ahead!
Kat :-) x

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9 comments:

  1. Wow Kat! I am so impressed, painting without a net! No pencil drawings etc! You did a fabulous job, I love everything about that painting! I really like the thought that you put by placing your beautiful vase painting on the flag.. Really great thinking! And your last painting is probably my very favorite if the three! All of them are amazing and your story will of course be the icing on the cake, I just cherish the one you did for me in my last journal!
    Bravo on all of it 👏👏👏 💗

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  2. Wow Kat! I am so impressed, painting without a net! No pencil drawings etc! You did a fabulous job, I love everything about that painting! I really like the thought that you put by placing your beautiful vase painting on the flag.. Really great thinking! And your last painting is probably my very favorite if the three! All of them are amazing and your story will of course be the icing on the cake, I just cherish the one you did for me in my last journal!
    Bravo on all of it 👏👏👏 💗

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    Replies
    1. Kim - lol, I've just revised my wording because I did do 'some' light pencil guides but tried to use as little as possible. I also avoided my usual reliance on pen ink and for the most part made myself just use paintbrush (especially on Maria). But yes I definitely pushed myself. Thank you for your lovely words, you're so sweet. Glad you still enjoy your story from last year.
      Hugs
      Kat Xx

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  3. Yes! Great work Kat. LOVE that you stepped outside your comfort zones and went for it! I learned a saying in Mexico:
    "Be bold, unfold." You obviously did that here.
    LOVE it and your use of color. Growing, Fantastic!!!

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    1. Thank you Gemma :-) I like that Mexican saying & have written it into the cover of my journal, thank you! Thanks for your lovely words.
      Hugs
      Kat Xx

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  4. Kat, I am just blown away by your paintings!! You did a phenomenal job capturing the essence of Merello. I love that you just went for it without sketching and using only paint. I'm not sure how Merello does it, but to me it seems that he just paints with such freedom and almost without a plan. Very expressive. And to imitate his style I think you have to do it exactly the way you did! I think this is partly why I chose him as my artist...he couldn't be farther from my style and I thought I needed to just get in there and practice moving some paint around! lol! (I hope none of the ladies hate that I chose him, because I'm pretty sure his style is not in anyone's comfort zone...I had a very hard time trying to do his style and still have much more practice to do to even get close!)
    I love how you've captured the essence of Spain, which I think is very important to Merello in his art. Your still life is beautiful, and I see why your daughter likes it better than Merello's! (It actually even reminds me of Matisse :-) Great job on all of these pages, Kat...I love them and can't wait to have them here in my hands. Thank you so much!
    The cover is looking so cool also!! I love what you and Lisa have done!
    **I haven't read Maria's story yet, but will do so asap. I want to have the time to read it without interruption :-)

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    1. Maggie - what a long & lovely comment, thank you sweetpea! I've just reworded my post because it may be misleading in that I did lightly outline some sections in pencil but its true that for the most part I relied on my collection of paintbrushes, forcing myself past my usual limits. Usually I rely on art pens a lot but with Maria I tried to use just paint even for the thin lined detail. It helped me learn to shade and practiced my brush control. But yes, the approach of just going for it which I did I think you may be right that Merello just seems to freely express in this way. But wow his style is much harder than expected. I concentrated on Spain so much for an extended time that I keep thinking I've just paid a visit, lol :-) It was fun. I hope you enjoy Maria's story, let me know when you've read it.
      Thanks for your kind comments. So happy you like.
      Hugs
      Kat Xx

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  5. Lovely job, Kat! Stepping out of your comfort zone was a great idea. We should all do it more often (I don't do it enough!).

    I've been taking a class on the business-y side of being an artist (definitely out of my comfort zone), but in terms of art... I guess with each painting I do, I am constantly challenge myself to paint more "difficult" things. The more we do that, the better we get.

    Wishing you a great and creative week!

    Hugs!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Anne :-) The business-y side would certainly be a challenge I'd imagine but also useful. I think choosing different and difficult subjects to paint is a sure way to challenge yourself and keep improving. Your plant and flower paintings are beautiful.
      Hugs
      Kat xx

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