Tag Archives: acrylic

Sunrise Mandala {red and orange acrylic painting}

orange mandala kaleidoscope geometric red

Want to hear something funny? I’m not a big fan of yellow. Or orange. I can take them in small doses, but you’ll be damn sure that if you open my closet and rifle through every single article of clothing I own, you will not find one orange of yellow thing. Red I can handle. I think I own a red Nightmare Before Christmas t-shirt. So there’s that.Orange mandala progression 1

The whole point of this is that I’m a cool color girl at heart, and sometimes I have to force myself to use colors I don’t exactly love. If I didn’t do this I would exclusively paint in blue, teal and turquoise (and yes I know those are all pretty close to the same thing) with the occasion shot of purple, green and magenta thrown in there for good measure.

Orange mandala progression 2

Anyway, I’ve been collaborating with a friend on a pretty amazing project that’s right up my alley (which is all I can say for now, but I’m dying for it to be completed so that I can share it on here!) and as a part of it, I was doing some research on the chakras. If you’re not familiar, the basic idea of it all are that the chakras are the energy centers of your body, and that overractive/ underactive chakras can lead to various maladies/ disfunctions in the body, both emotionally, physically, and spirtually.

Some people are ruled more by their lower chakras and others more by the upper, but really you want to strive for basic equilibream. Your lower chakras deal more with the physical world, while the upper ones tend toward more mental/spirtual. I could go really deep into this , and maybe I will on another occasion, but long story short, I got to thinking that I must be an upper chakra person, and maybe that has sometime to do with my distaste for orange and yellow. When I think about my own personal weaknesses (Klutzy? Not “in your body?” Underactive Red (root) chakra. Lack of energy? Underactive sacral (orange) chakra. Lack of ambition? Underactive solar plexus (yellow) chakra.)

Orange mandala progression 4

I thought it might be fun to take those colors that I normally shy away from and embrace them. Immerse myself in yellow red and orange. And you know what? I actually really, really, love the result. So much that I want to do a few more of these – a cool colored one for the upper chakras, and a green one for the heart chakra (the balancer of the upper and lower).

Orange mandala progression 3

Orange mandala progression 5

I feel like the more I study energy, geometry, spirituality, astronomy, physics, etc, the further down the rabbit hole I go and the more I want to create. I want to channel what I’m learning not into words, but into visuals. There’s so much to learn and I feel like I’m only beginning to scratch the surface, both with my knowledge and with my artwork.

orange mandala kaleidoscope geometric redIf you like this image, as always, prints are available for sale in my Etsy shop.

New Acrylic Owl Painting

owl acrylic painting on blue background by Megan Manske

This acrylic owl painting was quite a while in the making. I created a different version of it in Photoshop (original here) about a year ago, and I thought it would be fun to re-create in paint. After all, acrylics are a whole different animal, and I wanted to get my hands dirty and see what I could come up with. I love Photoshop, but there’s something about painting…mixing colors, blending layers, the smell on canvas and acyclic paint, that’s just SO much more satisfying.

It ended up taking a really long time, mostly because finding uninterrupted time to work is always a challenge. I started out with the basic composition, but as usual, that’s all the planning that took place. I’m not a planner by nature…it stresses me out. I’m fully convinced that in life there are two kinds of people: those who stress out when they don’t have a plan to follow, and those who stress out when they have to follow a plan. I’m definitely the latter. I’m more of a let’s-just-go-and-see-where-this-end-up sort of painter. Sometimes it’s beautifully surprising. Other times, not so much.

The thing that really motivated me to get this done was that I wanted to bring it to the painting studio where I work. All of the artists who instruct their bring artwork to display and sell, and I have to admit, sometimes I feel like a fraud when I don’t have enough to bring in.  When you work with professional artists who spend a LOT more time than you do creating things, its easy to feel like you’re not living up to your potential. I’m glad though, because it lit my internal fire to get this thing finished. Whether it sells right away or not, I just like having it up on the wall, on display for people to see. He was hard to part with though, and I’m thinking I night have to make a print of this guy for the wall at home.

Owls are kind of our family’s thing. :)

Acrylic owl painting by Megan Manske detail 3

Acrylic owl painting by Megan Manske detail 2

Acrylic owl painting by Megan Manske detail 1

This is already a pretty photo heavy post, so check back soon and I’ll be posting the progression of how this guy came together!

If you like this, prints will soon be available for purchase in my Etsy shop!

red blue yellow and orange kaleidoscope like sunburst acrylic painting

Painting Progression {how I made my sunburst painting}

red blue yellow and orange kaleidoscope like sunburst acrylic paintingI might have mentioned this before, but I have an obsession with watching people make things. It doesn’t matter what it is; a painting, a meal, a cabinet, a dress, I’ll immediately get sucked into it and can’t look away. People have walked in on me watching all sorts of odd things on TV, from woodworking to gun-making to pastry competitions. There’s something so interesting about watching somebody take raw materials and go from nothing to something absolutely amazing. When you look at the finished product you get that overwhelming feeling of “WOW, how on Earth did they do that?” but when you actually watch them go through the process you realize that it’s just a series of very small, often very precise steps. And a LOT of patience. And of course, a good bit of talent.

I especially love watching people paint. Maybe it goes back to watching Bob Ross on Saturday mornings as a kid (gotta love the happy little trees). Anyway, if you’re anything like me and you like to see the progression of something being made, then this post is for you. *

canvas with protractor, compass and circle template

Supplies! Tools are important when you're a fanatic about measurements.

white canvas with rough sketch of starburst shape

Sketching out the pattern. You can see the ghost of my failed painting underneath.

white canvas with starburst shape sketched in

Marvel at the same thing from another angle....

beginning of sunburst painting with red and yellow colored in

Red and yellow paint committed!

red yellow blue and orange sunburst kaliedoscope painting in process with art supplies

This one might look familiar. I wish I'd taken more in-between pictures.

red yellow orange and blue kaleidoscope like acrylic sunburst painting

Everyone loves a close up.

close up of acrylic kaleidoscope painting in red yellow range and blue

Super close up!

close up view of acrylic kaleidoscope painting in red yellow orange and blue

Another super close up!

*Remember when I said I was going to stop doing all these kaleidoscope paintings and work on other things for a while? Totally didn’t happen. The compulsion to make them is just too powerful. Who am I to deny it?  :)