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  • Where there’s chaos there is also beauty.

Hello, I’m Shakia

I’m a self-taught oil painter that specializes in creating ethereal florals and whimsical landscapes. I have artwork on display in private collections in over 33 cities and 18 states. I’m based out of Shelbyville, KY and a mother of two (Kingston 3, Naomi 1). While working as a full-time special education teacher I survived an armed home invasion. This event led me on a never-ending journey to finding the beauty amidst the chaos.

Follow @shakiaharrisart on Instagram

  • abstract art festival asters brush cleaning buttercups chrysanthemum dahlias dark room euphorbia flower challenge flowers frangipani geraniums hellebore iris landscape metallic oil painting packaging paint class painting challenge save money shipping supplies tips varnish

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    28 painting hacks I couldn’t live without

    I understand that may sound a tad dramatic, but it’s the truth!

    Having a creative eye and the right materials can make all the difference when it comes to painting. For those of us who don’t have a lot of experience, it can be difficult to achieve professional-looking results. Thankfully, there are some simple hacks that you can use to get your project looking like a masterpiece in no time! Here are some oil painting hacks that will help you create beautiful works of art.

    1. Use a higher quality paint: Investing in high quality oil paints can make a huge difference in the outcome of your painting. The pigments and binders in cheap oil paints may not be as vibrant or durable as those found in more expensive brands, so it’s important to pay attention to what kind of oil paint you’re using. Artist loft is a good beginner grade, just note that as the painting dries you’ll notice certain hues will fade (ex: cool tones may not be as vivid). Typically if you apply varnish or use a gloss medium it will restore the natural colors.

    2. Start with an underpainting: Creating an underpainting is the best way to lay out your composition and get all the colors just right before adding any details or starting on the main image. An underpainting should start with a dark base layer, followed by progressively lighter colors until you reach the desired color. The underpainting will consist of a higher ratio of paint thinner. I like to use orange, red, red-oranges, yellows, and pinks for striking underpaintings. It makes all the difference when pops of those colors peek through the final painting.

    3. Layer your oil paints: When oil painting, it’s important to remember that oil paint dries slowly and builds up layers as it dries. To get a smooth finish, apply several thin coats of oil paint instead of one thick layer. This will help avoid any unwanted brush marks or streaks in your finished piece.

    4. Use a palette knife for texture: If you want to add some extra texture to your oil painting, try using a palette knife instead of a brush! A palette knife can be used to mix different shades of oil paint on the canvas and create interesting patterns and shapes for added visual interest.

    5. Let oil paintings dry overnight: Oil paints take longer than other types of paint to dry, so it’s important to give oil paintings plenty of time to set before continuing with the next step. Let oil paintings sit overnight so that you can be sure that everything is dried and ready for the next layer. all paint thinners, gloves, varnishes from hardware stores

    7.Artstage App to stage my work & test out frames

    8.spray bottle to create drips, runs

    Pour paint thinner into a spray bottle (you can get them from the dollar store or even reuse an old windex bottle), and then spray directly onto canvas. It allows you to loosen up, add layers, and create a more dramatic look.

    9. Use kamar varnish to varnish asap for shipping or quick display.

    This spray varnish can be applied as soon as the painting is dry to the touch. The best part is that the layers dry within minutes, and bring your painting back to life. Just use it outdoors, and preferably on a day that is not especially humid as the water can get trapped into the canvas. It’s cheap, and it gets the job done without it looking streaky or being too messy.

    10. Use poster boards from dollar store to build a custom box instead of buying expensive pre-made boxes that are not the right dimensions and ultimately cost even more to ship.

    11.Use Capture One for free for 30 days to edit pictures. I use this program to edit my print photos and it’s relatively easy to use.

    12. stack milk crates in rows to raise large paintings to paint. I also use crates to elevate my phone for recording. Some of the 4 foot canvases are too wide for way I positioned my h frame easel. Instead I stack 2-3 milk crates in 2 columns and just set my painting on them up against the wall. Easy peasy.

    13.matte varnish spray for paintings that are too shiny

    Occasionally you’ll spray or apply varnish that is just too shiny or uneven in places. You can use this Golden Matt Archival spray matte varnish to save your painting. It has saved me from many meltdowns. Please remember to only apply spray varnish outdoor and when the humidity is low.

    14.White acrylic paint for painting the edges of your canvas

    I consider the Grumbacher titanium white acrylic paint to be the best for painting canvas edges. Even though I use oil paints, I do not use them on the paint edges (unless the collector requests me to extend the painting to the edge). It would take entirely too long to dry (white takes forever), and would be very expensive. Instead I use acrylic paint for the edges to create a clean and professional finish. I’ve tried 3 or 4 different competitors (Artist Loft, Windsor Newton, etc.) and they required too many coats to cover the edges. Time is money, and we simply don’t have enough to waste.

    15. Using playing cards for spacing with the float frames.

    When you are trying to build a float frame you’re going to need a way to make sure you have the same amount of space on opposite sides, otherwise it’ll be uneven and maybe even crooked. I stole my poor kids’ Uno cards, but my frames are looking mighty fine lol. I get the top & bottom squared away first and then work on the sides. Sometimes I’ll have a different number for the sides (ex: top/bottom 22 each, left/right 18 each) which is okay. You just have to make sure the opposite sides have the same number. Be careful with your cards. If you stuff too many then it will cause your wood to bow and create almost an arch type look. If it’s going in your house and you don’t care, then that’s your business. However, if you’re creating it for a client then you’re going to have to start over.

    16.Dissect a larger piece into smaller pieces by printing multiple panels. This is great if you don’t have a printer that can print the wider sizes. Need to buy a fine art printer on a budget, but can’t afford the 24 or 36 inch printers? No problem instead take a print and split it into multiple panels and this also happens to be in style right now.

    17. use under bed storage as a print stand/catcher for wide format prints. This saves hundreds! gallery overhead lighting with remote led lights.

    19.only buy canvas when it’s buy 1 get 2 free

    Michael’s is notorious for running this deal multiple times a year.

    20. Cheap synthetic brushes for the win

    I routinely buy my brushes off Amazon. When I tried to adhere to the “natural hair” only I was out of a lot of money and really frustrated by all of the stray hairs in my paintings. I’ve since tried several solutions and have found that the ones from Amazon will absolutely get the job done. The only real caveat is they must be long handled. Outside of that I’ll buy the large 3 inch wide brushes from Lowes when I want to speed up the underpainting process. Those things are lifesavers.

    21. Reuse containers

    It may sound silly, but the majority of the containers I use for paint palettes, medium and thinner holders come from my Home Chef meal kits.

    22. reuse old/tattered clothes for paint wraps

    23. use unused or old picture frames for palettes

    24. murphy oil soap to clean my brushes

    I’ll fill a cup with hot water & Murphy’s. Then I leave my brushes in the solution for a couple days and rinse with Dawn dish soap. It makes them soft and look like new.

    25.canvas pad to repair holes

    If you don’t have any old canvases around this is a great alternative to patch a piece that has a slit or hole.

    26. spray adhesive & glue stick for dustcovers

    27.Set 20-30 minute timer so I don’t overwork the painting

    Once the timer goes off at most I’ll add an additional 5-10 minutes and then I rotate to the next canvas. I credit this process for the reason peers have referred to my as prolific. I think if I constrained myself to working on a single canvas from start to finish then I’d never make it to trying the other ideas in my head.

    28.Use Canva to create grid journals so I can plan layouts and scale of future pieces. This is a huge productivity hack for myself. Due to having 2 toddlers I don’t always have the capability to complete grid journals with actual paint & canva. This digital option has helped tremendously in narrowing down compositions and even testing background colors. Download my template here

    By following these oil painting hacks, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautiful oil painting! With the right materials and techniques, anyone can create stunning works of art with oil paints. So don’t forget to use these tips and tricks when you’re ready to start your next masterpiece. Happy painting!

    Ready to give oil painting a try? Take a leap of faith with me to paint bold, loose, and stress free with my self-paced online course. Whether you’re looking for a therapeutic outlet, creative challenge, or are interested in generating supplementary income this course will get your started on your journey.

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    How to become an Artpreneur with only $90

    Sounds impossible doesn’t it. I can assure you that I as I painted on a small card table in my virtual classroom/daughter’s nursery I never envisioned that it would blossom to what it is today. It is absolutely possible. I have build my business to supersede my teaching salary, and I have ZERO debt on my business.

    Topics Covered:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with growing within your means. Please do not think you have to purchase the most expensive oil paints and canvases to make a profit & also express yourself in a meaningful way.

    Here’s the best tips I have for starting as an Artpreneur for less than$100


    Canvas – My top choice is Michaels (i’m not an affiliate, so this is my honest opinion). They routinely have buy one get one or buy one get two free sales on large canvases.

    On top of that if you have worked in education or someone in your family can get the military discount attached to your account thats an additional 15% ON TOP OF THE SALE. I wait for these deals to purchase anything larger than a 18×24 canvas. The best part is you also get rewards credit and they send additional vouchers for snagging these deals. Please go in person if at all possible.

    Go to Michaels and get the super value packs. Stray away from the tiny canvases. It may seem more desirable and easier to sell, but the margins are not great and you want to make a profit today…right?

    Aim for the following sizes (in inches) 18×24, 16×20

    KY sales tax is 6% so If I got 1 pack of 16×20 canvases I’m up to 12.99 – 15% discount=11.04

    current cart subtotal: $11.04


    I almost exclusively use Windsor Newton Oil paints, but they are not the most budget friendly brand starting out.

    In general oil paints are more expensive than acrylic, but in return you get

    • more realistic product
    • longer dry time, so very forgiving while you’re still learning the ropes
    • can justify a higher price point. Collectors immediately associate oils with being more difficult & more expensive. Win-win.

    The main difference you’ll notice starting out between brands like Artist Loft & Windsor Newton, is the separation or oil when you open the tube. I recommend just kneading the tube and mixing really well to adjust and keep it moving. As your practice grows, and more importantly your pockets then if you feel the need start replacing a tube here or there with a level 2 oil paint.

    I don’t typically recommend these variety packs because you simply do not get enough paint on a large scale or variety of images. They’re only a sixth of the regular size small tubes. On the plus side you’re able to sample a variety of colors & make note of the colors you actually use. Then you can focus on replenishing that tube, and not waste money on colors you don’t use or more importantly, don’t like.

    Instead stick with Artist Loft or Monte Marte. Artist Loft is carried directly in Michaels stores, but can also be purchased on Amazon. Monte Marte you can get in a larger size (100 ml vs. 60ml), at about the same price, BUT and this is a big BUT. You have to knead the tubes really good before that first use. Also, DO NOT leave the caps off the paint. Other oil paints take forever and a day to dry so you can get away with leaving the lid off for days even a week or so. Not, Monte Marte. Those suckers will dry straight up. This is good for you when it comes to moving quickly in between layers.

    Start off with this set & then purchase the 60-100ml tubes of the colors you notice are being used up the most for an additional 6 bucks.

    If I were to go the 24 piece variety set with the 30% off code it goes from 19.99 to 13.99

    That brings my cart subtotal to $25.03

    I also know that white is the most used color on my palette, so I would go ahead and account for an extra tube of white paint. Titanium White is $6.49 and with the 30% off that brings it to $4.54

    That brings my cart subtotal to $29.57 .

    Mediums & Paint Thinners

    Do not purchase this next product at an art supply store. Instead go to your local home improvement store. In my area Tractor Supply has the lowest price, but I’ll also go to Lowes or even Walmart to get a large container or odorless mineral spirits.

    This is what you’ll use to clean your brushes, and thin paint in between layers. If you want to incorporate drips like I do then you’ll place this in a spray bottle as well. Even though it says odorless you still want to paint in a well ventilated room, leave a window open and keep the lid on your paint thinner in between uses. If you skip this item you will be frustrated & sad.

    1 qt. of paint thinner brings my cart subtotal to $38.25 .

    In my first layers I primarily use paint thinner, but in the final layers & edits I use Galkyd Lite. I HATE LIQUIN and would not recommend it. If you do you’ll likely throw away your paints because the smell & headaches are the worst. Galkyd Lite is great, adds a bit of luster to your paints, BUT keep that lid on tight because it also speeds up drying time & it will solidify if left out. Big bummer. When you are watching tutorials & they’re talking about Fat over Lean, this is what you’ll use. You could wait until your first sale or next paycheck to purchase this, but you must have the varnish on hand. Otherwise exclusively using paint thinner is make your final product look dull. Without the varnish it will just be an ashy mess. The Kamar Varnish will bring it back to life & also protect it from the elements.

    4 oz bottle. of Galkyd Lite with the 30% off coupon brings my cart subtotal to $48.04.

    Brushes & Knives

    Typically natural hair bristle brushes are ideal for oils. I use a lot of synthetic brushes in my practice. My main thing is they need to be long handled (see my paint class as to why that’s important with loosening up your paintings.), and I need the hairs not to come out the brush every other stroke. That annoys me to no end.

    Here are some that I’ve used in the past. I exclusively get my brushes on Amazon. It’s simply too expensive at the art supply given the number of sizes needed.

    Set of 9pc long handled brushes with the 5% off coupon brings my cart subtotal to $60.38.

    Palette knives are CRUCIAL to painting in oils. Most will use them to mix their paints, but I like to use them to add details, special marks, and it’s especially helpful with scraping off unwanted layers or even adding thick layers to paintings that are still wet.

    Set of 5 palette knives with wooden handle brings my cart subtotal to $69.37.

    Varnish/ Finishing Your painting

    Hands down without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite varnish for beginners, anyone working under a time crunch, and just in general is the Kamar Varnish.

    I’ve spent triple the amount on fancy art supply varnishes and this is my favorite for the following reasons:

    • Use it as soon as the layers are touch dry
    • can reapply as needed
    • it brings your painting back to life. Due to thinners it breaks down the colors and the painting will look dull when dry.
    • extremely cost effective
    • dries to touch in less than 10-15 minutes (although do NOT package it until it’s had at least a day or two to air out). Other varnishes are sticky and annoying damp for hours.
    • Mid level sheen. If you do decide you’d prefer something with a matter finish then just get a matte varnish (spray) and apply over it
    • less supplies needed than traditional brush on varnish & you don’t have to worry about streaks or pesky brush hairs with application.

    just buy it & thank me later.

    1 can of Kamar Varnish from Walmart is $7.28 which brings my cart subtotal to $76.65

    To give your artwork an elevated finish I recommend signing your paintings on the front & back. You can do so using the back of your paintbrush or tip of palette knife to “scratch” your name into the paint while wet. I prefer using the Oil Paint pens once it’s dry as my handwriting it terrrrrrrible.

    You can purchase these anywhere from Walmart to Amazon. Make sure they’re oil. I like the fine point for small to medium paintings & the medium point for large to extra large canvases. People want to see the signature of the person who created the work of art.

    1 fine point black paint pen $3.99 and $2.79 after the 30% coupon form Michaels which brings my cart subtotal to $79.94.

    Last but certainly not least hanging hardware. I would recommend at least adding 2 d rings to the back of the canvas. It’s an added bonus and convenient for your collectors to know that it is ready to hang. It’s another feature that justifies the price and sets you apart from others as being more professional. Once your budget grows you can buy brown kraft paper

    and kraft glue to attach a dustcover. When I was starting out on Etsy, I offered the dustcover & hanging hardware as an add-on at checkout. Now they’re standard on my site, but that could be another way that you earn extra income.

    Be sure to purchase the d rings that come with a screw.

    Pack of small d rings for $8.99

    brings my cart subtotal to $89.93

    I know what you’re thinking. “But what about the palette & the easel?” Honestly, those are extras. You can make plenty of art without buying those from the store. Do you have an empty picture frame, glass or paper plate? Or a photo that would be fine going back in the drawer while you borrowed the glass? Welp. There’s your canvas palette. In my opinion painting on glass is FAR superior to those awful wooden palettes or even the plastic ones.

    If you don’t go buy a cheap one from Walmart. They’re easy to clean and makes mixing paint sooooo much easier.

    To get by without a store bought easel try the following:

    • lean the canvas against the wall using a crate or other surface
    • hang on a screw or push pin on the wall (it’s messy but gets the job done)

    I hate the aluminum easels because they move like crazy while painting. The display easels are not meant to be used for painting. Hence there will be nothing to fasten your canvas to and it will fall and you will be salty. Tabletop easels like this one are awesome and are often on sale at Michaels for up to 60% off at times

    With the 30% off coupon it’d bring this one down to $35 dollars. I also take these with me to art festivals and outdoor shows to display work. They are that nice. I would not take the flimsy aluminum easels outside the house. They’re going to blow over and embarrass you.

    I used this easel for a good year or so before I finally upgraded

    It definitely helps you “feel the part” of the artist, but there are ways around it for sure.

    Hope this helps. Be sure to subscribe for the upcoming Becoming An Artpreneur Series. I’ll cover sharing your work online without Etsy ads, navigating website vs. Etsy vs. Facebook marketplace, & more.

    “Life offers you so many doors. It is up to you which to open and which on to close.”


    Do I need to buy art rags or paper towels?

    You can, but I also recycle outgrown or discarded clothes. I keep a basket and I haven’t had to buy paper towels for my art practice in years. Best part, I can throw them in the wash once the paint dries & reuse them for clean brushes or wiping away paint layers.

    Next up get online and watch tutorials, practice, and find some of your favorite artist’s classes. Some artists are particular about how the art produced in their session can be used. Please contact them if you’re going to resell and be sure to give credit to the class and in the least mention it was inspired by so and so. In my orange rose class I encourage you to post your work, and make a dollar if you can.

    Upcoming Topics:

    Session 2: You’ve got your product, Let’s talk pricing

    Session 3: Finding your customer & picking a selling platform

    Session 3: Playing the long game (email lists & social media)

    Session 4: You’ve made your first sale, now what?

  • abstract art festival asters brush cleaning buttercups chrysanthemum dahlias dark room euphorbia flower challenge flowers frangipani geraniums hellebore iris landscape metallic oil painting packaging paint class painting challenge save money shipping supplies tips varnish

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    7 Things You’ll Want to Prioritize for your next Outdoor Fair/ Art Festival

    Prior to my first outdoor art festival, I read dozens of articles and blog posts (can you tell I’m an enneagram 8?!). I stopped reading the articles because I noticed a redundancy that did not give me the warm & fuzzy feeling. Instead of feeling that every base was covered, I instead felt like there were a few things not mentioned. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but these are key items that I wish were emphasized while I searched anxiously on Beyonce’s internet. Ultimately implementing these 7 tips was extremely important and led to a very successful & profitable weekend.

    1 – SMILE and for the love of God do not greet people with your arms folded.

    Treat everyone the same and it will come back to you. One of the major issues we noticed is some vendors would barely interact with other vendors and unbeknownst to them they were losing a customer with their unwelcoming disposition. 

    Small talk is welcome among vendors, and I treated every person with kindness and respect. There were several times during the two day event (Norton Commons Art Festival), that vendors or people that I thought were “just looking” returned to buy a $40 print, or $500 original. I’m not saying to be disingenuous by any means. I’m more-so hoping to emphasize that you shouldn’t turn your nose up to someone because you just never know. 

    At one point I sent my husband to peruse booths for me because he knows what I like. My plan was to tactfully go and purchase some things for myself before the next wave. There were SEVERAL vendors that gave him cold vibes and that resulted in my buying several pairs of earrings from the delightful lady next to me.

    Just because you’re a vendor and not looking to spend doesn’t mean that’s the case for everyone else.

    I’ve now done a few “art” shows and I’ve noticed a trend among vendors/artist/crafters that did not sell well. They operated under the assumption that they were the ‘talent’, and the gift to be sought out. That’s just not how it works.

    More than anything people are looking to feel something. They can get literally anything online. Taking the time to describe your medium, process, or explain a backstory of an item goes a long way.

    2 Save hundreds maybe even thousands by displaying your artwork using heavy duty zip ties and wire shelving. 

    We didn’t have to worry about knocking anything over or blowing away. This stressed me out the most. I knew that there was no way I was going to invest in mesh walls. While the panels sold by Flourish appeared to be professional they also costs anywhere from $700 to $1700 depending on the number of panels and additional walls. Respectfully, ain’t nobody got time for that.

    Norton Commons is considered a fairly affluent neighborhood, so I was extremely concerned about selling a high dollar product without appearing too “arts & craftsy”.  Thankfully I’m married to a mechanical engineer. I handed him one wire shelf, a stack of paintings, a binder clip, some hopes & dreams. He looked at me as if I had been sniffing the paint fumes.

    Ultimately, I went into the house to paint and when I came out he took nothing and turned it into something.  Before the actual show we did a dry run of how we wanted to organize paintings and get a feel for time to setup and additional supplies we’d need. I wanted to avoid scrambling as much as possible. We still scrambled but for other items.

    The tent I used was 10ft by 10 ft so we (and by we I mean Mitch) had 8 ft long shelves and the width varied from 12-16 inches. I preferred the 16 but when I was purchasing these for an indoor event I had to make due with what was available at Lowes.  The 8ft x 16in. and 8ft x12in shelves ranged from $22-$28, and the 6ft x12in shelves were about $20 at Lowes. We ended up using two shelves per side (3 sides total, with the front entrance open), and Mitch had the amazing idea to hang a 6 ft shelf vertically on the entrance posts of the canopy. This gave extra square footage, and worked great to get people’s attention. Here I placed some of my more captivating florals & landscapes.

    All together the zip ties + the shelving cost me about $175-$200. You can save money by buying the 12 ft shelves and having them cut down. The fancy alternatives run $700-$1200.

    I really love using the wire shelves vertically on the front of the tent. It helps me maximize every inch. At the St James Art Show I put some of the most eye catching pieces on the front, and that helped guide people during one-way traffic into my actual booth.

    3. Fill tent weights with cement instead of water or sand.

    We were able to get each weight to roughly 50lbs. Whereas when they were just filled with water they barely got to 30 pounds 

    I chose to go with this Euramax set. The had a higher capacity then others and I just knew this was a place I did not want to skimp. I also didn’t want to deal with sand or water. Our house is messy enough. I’m so glad we went with cement because we encountered devastating wind Saturday. It looked like a tornado had hit. We watched mercifully as the wind obliterated at least a dozen tents. All of which were reinforced with water jugs, boulders, and more.

    4. Put pricing on items as soon as possible. 

    You can have all the product out in the world, but if there is no clear pricing *Cue Arnold Voice* “Hasta la vista Baby!” WE had so many early birds and I found it to be more helpful to have some product with all prices rather than waiting until everything was perfectly placed and then do pricing.  The first day I only had prices. The second day I replaced labels to include price, size, medium, and title. It helped to serve as a means to answer questions for patrons while I was talking to someone else or if someone just didn’t want to talk much.

    5. Use a stool or elevated chair 

    Personally, if you’re in a lawn chair and asking me for a thousand dollars, I keep walking. It doesn’t read professional or personable. Obviously these are extremely long days and you’re going to have to sit eventually. If you must sit, but need to talk to visitors, do so from an elevated platform. I found using a bar stool to be more appropriate for speaking to patrons. It felt more professional and allowed me to have more meaningful conversations as I was able to easily maintain eye contact. I wanted to get one of those high back directors chairs for back support, but my Festival prep budget was unforgiving lol.  I’ve since seen several in facebook marketplace groups and garage sales.

    The folded chair in the back is used a makeshift tabletop or used by my asisstant or husband when they’re taking a break. If I have to sit I use the bar stool in front. It also helps my little 5ft 3 in. self to reach over product easily.

    6. Get some help!

    You don’t win any prizes for setting up alone. Get a friend, family member, or hire someone hourly to help you in the least with setup & teardown. Especially if it’s a multi-day show.

    7.Collect emails via clipboard & a giveaway

    I use Mailchimp for my email list. For the past couple shows I setup a clipboard with multiple visuals that I will randomly select a person from the email list for a gift card to my website. This is huge to keep in touch with people that aren’t ready to buy that day, are interested in custom work, or simply want to be your personal cheerleader and follow your journey online. It’s super easy & has always paid off.

    I place the clipboard right next to the price sheet & make sure to let all buyers know as well. I use my email list to alert collectors of sales (rarity), new paintings, products, upcoming events, and educate about commissions.

    What do you think of these tips? Was there anything I missed?

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  • abstract art festival asters brush cleaning buttercups chrysanthemum dahlias dark room euphorbia flower challenge flowers frangipani geraniums hellebore iris landscape metallic oil painting packaging paint class painting challenge save money shipping supplies tips varnish

    31 day/week flower painting challenge

    I’ll be participating in Lori Siebert’s 31 day #flowermonth2022 painting challenge. Each day of May is characterized by a choice of 3 flowers, and the options are presented in alphabetical order.Full disclosure life happens and I’ve turned it into my 31 week project lol. I’ll be sharing process videos on my Youtube channel and instragram page.  I’m excited to experiment with different flower types, and hopefully I find some new favorites.

    I decided to give myself some grace and allow myself the flexibility to complete the challenge until I paint a flower for every letter.  I’ve struggled in the past to stay consistent with these kinds of challenges. I could blame it on the medium I use. Oils take time to dry and it’s really difficult to finish a painting in one sitting, even if it’s small.  Honestly, I have the two young babes, and life just gets busy. 

    Day 1- Azalea

    Like A Moth to A Flame 36×48 in oil painting, Shakia Harris

    Day 2- Buttercup

    “Sings By Itself” 11×14 oil painting – Shakia Harris

    I hope you enjoy the mix of white ranunculuses and yellow buttercups. This abstract impressionist floral painting is a one of a kind, with chunky edges to boot (2 in gallery deep edges).

    Day 3 – Chrysanthemum

    “I am a whole mood” 24×36 oil

    Day 4 Dahlia”Brighter Day” 36×48 oil

    Day 5 “Euphorbia” 

    “Come or go, but don’t just stand there” 8×8 oil

    Day 6 ” Frangipani”

    “Kissed by elegant birds” oil-SOLD

    Day7- Geranium”Take the Risk to Blossom” 12x16x1.5 in. oil – SOLD

    This one I’m almost certain I’m going to paint it on a much larger scale.

    Day 8 Hellebore

    “Liberated Like Free Birds” 48×60 in oil -SOLD

    Day 9- Iris

    “Iris Field” oil painting

    Day 10 – Jacob’s Ladder **still on the easel**

  • abstract art festival asters brush cleaning buttercups chrysanthemum dahlias dark room euphorbia flower challenge flowers frangipani geraniums hellebore iris landscape metallic oil painting packaging paint class painting challenge save money shipping supplies tips varnish

    5 Ways Artwork Can Brighten A Dark Room

    1. Go Natural

    If the space is lacking natural light, try artwork with natural themes (flowers, foliage, trees, etc.). In other words, bring the outdoors inside and pair with a natural wood or gold frame.

    Kiss Me More 18inx24in oil painting by Shakia Harris

    “The Wind is Talkin” 36inx48in oil painting by Shakia Harris

    2. Go Bright or Go Home

    Choosing artwork with bright color palettes is another clever way to lighten a dark space. If you deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression, surrounding yourself by bright colors like yellow is a proactive step you can take to fight the blues (pun, intended 🙂 )

    Rise Up Higher 36×48 oil

    “Rise Up Higher” 36inx48in oil painting by Shakia Harris

    3. Combine texture with patterns

    “Intruding Cinnamon” 30×40 in. oil painting 

    “Elevated Galah” 16x20in oil painting by Shakia Harris

    4. Less is more

    Wall space will reflect light. Avoid over-cluttering a wall with too many pieces of art. You can accomplish the same effect with larger art instead of a dozen smaller pieces.

    “Nirvana 2” 20x20in oil by Shakia Harris

    “Keep Dancing and Call it love” 30x40in oil

    “Sedona Skies” 30×30 in oil

    5. Add some shine

    Look for artwork with metallic finishes, gold/silver leaf, or gloss varnish to amp up existing light in the space.

    Lavish Goldenrod 16x20in oil painting

    -Everlasting, 20×20 oil painting, Shakia Harris

    Do you have any additional tips? I’d love to hear them!

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