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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