Painting Simultaneously

Painting large and small paintings at the same time is fun and difficult. Right now, I am working on the Sunflower Series 1 small works on paper. While working on these Tiny Paintings I have simultaneously been working on two 15” x 20” pieces. “Persistence” is a large painting of cactus flowers from Valley of Fire and has a cheerful palette of color. “Between the Lines” is the same size painting of a fallen tree on Mt. Charleston with cool and dark color patterns. As I worked on Number 3 of a beautiful and sunny flower, it was challenging for me to get back into the mood to paint my larger works of art.

Number 3 in the Sunflower Series 1 Tiny Paintings was interesting because the subject is a sunflower opening up halfway. I truly enjoyed the colors of light and dark used to emphasize the contrast between the opening and closing of petals. This small work of art took many layers for completion. The center of the flower was particularly intricate using a pointillism technique to add texture. I chose cerulean for the background to highlight the sky overhead. These colors were similar to the painting “Persistence.”

These cactus paddles were painted by using comparable green hues to the small works series. I tried to place the emotion of calmness my husband and I feel while we look at the cactus and flowers. As the sun rises over the valley it casts amazing light on the sandstone throughout the trails. I enhanced the light of the early morning colors before the shadows grew really strong against the rock. “Persistence” is the title to show how desert life consistently tries to survive despite difficult circumstances.

I needed to remember this word while switching to “Between the Lines.” This painting has taken me many months to create. Sometimes I get intimidated because I do not draw the composition out prior to the painting. I like the authenticity of making something new everyday and tying it altogether for the ending product. I remember every feeling, thought, movie, song, and anything that inspired me while painting. As I worked on this painting I thought about doodling in my notebook in high school with my ink pens. I remembered to just breathe and follow the lines. After this, the colors came and the painting grew. I am grateful to be able to paint different pieces during the same month and feel inspired by the difficulty this presents.

“Between the Lines”…In progress…

Thank you for reading and looking at my new larger works of art. Feel free to email me any stories you may have about multitasking and how you handle challenging moments. You can contact me at I look forward to hearing from you!

-Karen Hilliard