Back in the Studio with Buddha

I’ve been back in the studio painting again and it feels really good.  I’ve been a bit of a painting machine actually…  I have about 5 different canvases I’m currently working on and I just completed two new Buddha paintings that I am happy to share with you here.

The first piece is titled, “Rising Into Enlightenment”, it is painted in oils on a 2′ x 2′ canvas.  The color palette used in this piece is of gold, brown, purple and white.  The gold color is raw sienna, one of my favorite colors to work with.  It takes on so many different looks throughout the painting because there are many layers of paint on the canvas.  I used several different paint techniques to achieve this look – sea sponges, splattering, dripping with paint thinner and paint, dry brush dragging, stippling, and detailed brush work.  On the left of the canvas is a thick brush stroked Buddha looking down in meditation and on the right are two symbols of Om and a lotus flower.

"Rising Into Enlightenment" - Original painting by Gayle Utter

“Rising Into Enlightenment” – Original painting by Gayle Utter

The Om is a mystic syllable, considered the most sacred mantra and is of Hindu origin. It appears at the beginning and end of most Sanskrit recitations, prayers, and texts.

The lotus flower represents a symbol of fortune in Buddhism. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s purpose: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.  I just love that – rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.  That was the inspiration for the title of the painting.

“Rising Into Enlightenment” is available for purchase at and prints of this painting are available in many different sizes with affordable prices at

The second painting is titled, “Within the Depths of Silence”, it is painted in oils on a 12″ x 24″ canvas.  I used my favorite shades of blue, aqua and green for the color palette of this Buddha. I used all kinds of tricks to achieve the look of this painting – dry brush dragging, sea sponges, splattering, stippling and detailed brush work.  I am very pleased with how he turned out, in fact I really love this painting.  I was sad to see him go when I sold him, but now he has a new home to bring loving energy into and that makes me feel good.

"Within the Depths of Silence" - Original painting by Gayle Utter

“Within the Depths of Silence” – Original painting by Gayle Utter

Although this beautiful Buddha is sold, I do have prints available in many different sizes with affordable prices at

I’m really enjoying the new style I am creating with my Buddha paintings, its very fluid, and I paint mostly from my imagination and through my connection to Source Energy. Often it feels like Buddha and I are hanging out in my studio making art.  He’s the model in my mind’s life drawing class whom I paint as I sit at my easel.  We share hours of conversation through silence, and the peace and wisdom that comes from those moments is priceless to me.  The artwork that manifests through all of it is my greatest honor.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and view my latest paintings.  If you have any questions about how you can own your own Buddha painting please contact me at



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How I Prevent Overworking My Art

When I’m painting in my studio I love to have anywhere between 4-10 paintings going at once.  I love to have a selection of pieces to work on, so whenever I start to feel ‘stuck’ on a painting, I’ll just put it back up on the wall and continue with another piece.  I like to have all the works-in-progress hanging on the walls around me, so I can look at them as I paint on one piece.  Its like I’m working on them all at once.  Different styles, different sizes – it all works with my ‘multitasking mind’.

I especially love this way of painting when I have a commission piece I’m working on.  I work mostly with oils, so having a plethera of paintings helps with the dry time of each individual piece. Sometimes I enjoy the wet-on-wet technique, and others I like to wait till it dries to the touch before I add a new oil layer.

Currently, I have 5 large and 2 small canvases that I am painting in oil.  They’re all hanging on the walls around my art desk and I look at them all the time.  Ideas brewing in my head about the colors, the composition, the way the paint will feel when the brush touches the canvas…  I can never stop thinking of painting (not that I want to either:).  I have one piece that is entirely something new that I’ve never done before – its a nude but in a style with intense crazy colors.  I’ve done this with animals, and played with watercolors with this technique before, but never with oils and with a nude woman composition.  Its a small piece, only 6″ x 8″ canvas.  I’m also making another time-lapse video for it.  I’m close to finishing it and when its all complete I’ll share it here.  I think when I work on several canvases at the same time its easier for me to add something completely foreign in the mix because I won’t obsess over it.

Whenever I’m feeling I’m about to ‘overwork’ a painting I just put it down and start back up on another piece.  I always wonder if other artists work the way I do.  I’m only accustomed to the way I work, but love to hear from other artists how they like to work.  Please feel free to leave a comment and share your methods!

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Using Time-Lapse Videos to Promote Your Art

This piece is titled “Pink Orchids”, it was inspired from a potted orchid plant in my house.  The original is on a 6″ x 8″ canvas and painted in oils.  My favorite medium to work in has always been oils, I just love how much time and freedom you have in using them.  There is a lot of fluidity, flexibility with this medium.

When I painted this piece I video taped the entire process and then with my video editing software I created a time-lapse video.  I think the original video footage was about 3 hours and it shrunk down to under a 4 minute video.  I use iMovie on my iMac, its so simple and easy to use.  They have a feature when you import video footage you can decide the speed of how it will play.  You can slow it down or speed it up. I just speed it up as high as it will let me, then add some royalty free music, upload to YouTube and then share it on the web with others!  Below is the video if you’d like to check it out.

If you’re an artist and want to increase the eyes that see your art I highly suggest you begin making videos with your art.  I started doing this a few years ago and its really helped increase my audience.  There was one book that really helped me understand the possibilities with YouTube and its called YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts.  (Also available in Kindle format by clicking here – YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts) This book taught me the importance of editing, sound quality, lighting – even how to network among the other YouTubers in the YT community.  I also learned how I could make some extra cash on my videos with something called the ‘YouTube Partners Program’.

If you enjoyed my video posted up above and would like to see others I’ve made you can find my YT channel at  and if you’re on YouTube please subscribe to my channel and send me a friend request so I can do the same for you!  And feel free to send me a PM there and let me know what you think.  Oh and also, if you have a video there – leave the URL in a comment below so I can check it out.

I’ve been discovering many different ways to network and market my art out into the world through the web for years now.  This is just one of many ideas I share in my book, “Thinking Outside the Frame: How Artists Make Actual Money in the Virtual World”.  If you’re interested its available in paperback wherever books are sold (and you can just CLICK HERE for Paperback on or if you prefer the digital version its available on KINDLE and also on Nook eReaders)

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Love The Smell of Linseed Oil

One of my oldest memories is one of me telling people I wanted to be an Artist when I grew up.  There have been pockets of time when I put the brushes down during my adulthood, but I always come back to them.  I’ve come across resistance, acceptance, support and silence from others when it came to my dream career.  Thankfully in the long haul, I had the common sense to listen to my own inner voice, to do what I love and love what I do.

My favorite way to express myself is with oil paints.  I love the way they smell, how velvety they feel on the palette knife and on my brushes, how they stay wet for days, how organic they are and how messy they are.  I love how if you barely touch the canvas with your finger it gets all over the place.  I love how the linseed oil emits a smell throughout the house that takes me back to art school.

The painting above is titled “Orange Man”  I painted it when I was a young art student and it was one of the first pieces I did in oils.  I created it with palette knives and some paint thinner poured over the top.  Its an old one but one of my favorites.

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