Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 2 of "Autumn's Treasures"

Well, today is day 2 on this painting.  I am amazed that I have spent the entire day finishing up the gravel and painting one leaf.  Guess that's what happens when you use such a large canvas.  I am thrilled with how it is turning out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Autumn's Treasures" started...

What a wonderful day!  Spent it in the studio painting.  Around noon, the UPS man came and brought me my Christmas present from my husband - a new flat screen TV for the studio.  He set it up this evening for me.  (Thank you, Darling.)

Here is the painting I started today - 24" x 30" - done in oils on canvas.  It is the biggest one I have ever painted.  The reference photo is a picture I took several weeks ago in our driveway, when the leaves were still vibrant.  I plan to finish up the gravel tomorrow morning and begin working on the leaves. I see there is a bit of glare in the picture...sorry.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Busy in the studio...

I spent yesterday in the studio working on a pen & ink illustration for a children's book.  The author and his family are missionaries in Asia.  It is a delightful story of a little boy and a clever tree.  They sent me photos of their son and I used them as a reference.

After completing the drawing, I sent it by email to the other side of the world.  Needless to say, I was nervously waiting for a reply.  I don't know about you, but I put so much into my artwork that my creations are a part of me.  I worry that they aren't good enough, or won't be well received. 

I finally received the email this morning.  The author is delighted!  Praise God!

I hope to be able to work on the next illustration later this week.  However, our Thanksgiving festivities may interrupt my time in the studio...  We are celebrating Thanksgiving with friends this afternoon, then again on Thursday with some other dear friends.  This year I have so much to be thankful for... friends, precious family in Florida, Ohio, and Alabama, and a new studio in the mountains of NC where I can create to my heart's content.  God is so good!

By the way, I won't be posting pictures of the story illustrations... Sorry ot be such a tease, but you will just have to wait for the book.

If I don't post again before this Thursday...  Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness - finished

I completed "Great is Thy Faithfulness" today.  I have to give much of the credit to my husband Bert, for allowing me to focus on my art.  He made me lunch and brought it out to the studio so I could keep working.  Now that is a supportive husband....

I had been concerned about how I was going to paint the violin strings, since they were supposed to be white.  The area was too narrow to easily apply masking fluid, and I don't paint straight enough lines to adequately free hand them.  Hmmm, what to do?  I ran across some graphics tape that I use when making my sewing patterns, and knew I had found the answer. I applied the tape to the string locations and painted away.  They worked really well, and I am pleased with the finished painting.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I started a new watercolor today.  It is of a violin and bow laying on top of some sheet music.  I wasn't familiar with the music in the original reference photo, so I pulled out my trusty hymnal and instead wrote out the notes for "Great is Thy Faithfulness" - my favorite hymn.

After drawing it all out with pencil (including each note and line placement), I laid down several layers of wash to achieve the color gradations in the paper, background and shadows. Then I traced over the notes and lines using a micron pigma pen in black.  I chose to do the wash first, because after testing it on a piece of scrap paper, I discovered that the pens ran when painted over... not a good thing. Thank goodness I had the forethought to test the pens first.

Here it is so far...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bend in the Stream - completed

What a fabulous day!  It rained all day, and I got to spend the time in the studio painting.  God is so good!
Here is the completed "Bend in the Stream".  I am very pleased with the results.  Hmmm... wonder what I will paint tomorrow???

Bend in the Stream - in progress

I started a new watercolor this morning.  It isn't finished.  Hopefully I will get to work on it some more after dinner.  The working title is "Bend in the Stream".  It is 11 x 14 on Arches Aquarelle cold press paper block. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Watercolor Completed - "Autumn's Jewels"

I completed a new watercolor painting tonight.  It measures 6" x 10" on 140 lb watercolor paper.  I used Susan Harrison Tustain's technique of underpainting it in yellows.  I do think the underpainting helped it achieve a certain glow that I would not have seen otherwise.  I have named it "Autumn's Jewels". 

I am certainly enjoying working with watercolors, more so than I anticipated.  I do have another painting that I want to start in the morning in watercolor.  This time it will be a winter scene. After that, I have a couple of paintings in oil that I want to do.  ... so looking forward to my time in the studio tomorrow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Busy Week...

Last Saturday was Day 2 of my watercolor workshop with Lorelle Bacon.  It ended up that I was going to be the only student attending on Saturday.  Rather than make both of us drive another 30  minutes to the studio, we decided to hold the class in my new studio.  What fun!  I took down my sewing machines and rearranged the furniture. Tada!  Instant art classroom. We painted in the morning, then in the afternoon watched a watercolor DVD by Susan Harrison Tustain.  I have never seen anyone put so many layers on a watercolor painting.

I had promised to do a portrait of my pastor's wife, so decided to work on it during the morning of the class.  Here is the result.  Both Lori and Pastor Bruce seem thrilled with the results.  I think it turned out well, and certainly does look like her.

Since Sunday I have been working on another quilt pattern.  This one is a baby quilt with three variations.
It will be called "Simply Baby 1".  I already have the ideas for "Simply Baby 2".  Here is one of the variations of "Simply Baby 1".  I have already completed the other two tops... just have to baste and quilt all of them now.  However, that will have to wait until next week.  I've already decided that I need to paint tomorrow.  ... time to take down the sewing machine again.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Watercolor Portrait Workshop Day 1

Today was the first day of a 2-day watercolor portrait workshop taught by Lorelle Bacon in the River Arts District in Asheville.  I was able to complete 2 paintings, and I am quite pleased with the results.

This morning we did a painting of an American Indian painting some pottery.  The original picture was in grayscale, so each of us colored him a bit differently.

This afternoon we did another painting.  This one was from a color photograph.  Just looking at this precious face made me smile. 

To be honest, I did not think I could successfully complete a watercolor portrait.  Just the thought of attempting it seemed daunting.  Now I am looking forward to attempting another portrait tomorrow.
I will be sure to post the results...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The studio is completed!

Wow!  I can't believe it has been nearly two months since I last posted.  I have been so focused on completing my studio that I have completely neglected everything else.   I apologize for the silence.

Bert and I took over the completion of the building due to a shortage of funds. If I knew then what I know now, I would have figured out a way to come up with the money and let the builder complete it.  It seemed to go on indefinitely.  I have also decided that I never want to do drywall again. :-)   However,  I am so thankful to my precious husband for building me such a wonderful workplace.  It is a delight to be able to go out there and work in my own space.

I finally received the CO from the building inspector about 10 days ago. From the moment I moved in, I knew the area would be too small to use for both storage and as a workspace, so I have decided to keep most of my sewing supplies in the house and use the studio as my main work area.

I have also kept everything either mobile on wheels, or easy to move, so that I can adapt the space to my changing needs.  Since I am still continuing my pattern designing business as well as pursuing my art career, I have to be able to change it from an art studio to a sewing studio to a quilting studio at a moments notice.  Thankfully the current set-up allows me to do that.  I only wish my brain could shift gears as quickly.

As soon as I had the studio set up,  I started designing a new quilt pattern.  The sample quilt you see here is now quilted and ready for me to add binding to it tomorrow.  I think it is turning out really well.  I am calling the pattern "Woven Tiles".  It appears more intricate than it actually is.  In fact, I think it is really easy to piece.  I should have the pattern instructions completed, printed and ready to ship out by this Wednesday.

I have also continued my painting classes each week, and this past Tuesday completed a new watercolor.  I haven't named it yet, but I think it turned out pretty well. I enjoyed painting it.

Well, as you can see, I have already begun putting my studio to good use.  I look forward to heading out there tomorrow morning bright and early.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Links for Luann Udell

Hi everyone.  Luann asked me to include her links.  I didn't even notice they weren't part of the article.  Here they are Luann.  Have a wonderful weekend!

http://www.luannudell.com/ or http://luannudell.wordpress.com/

Art Budget Banks

Once again I found a fabulous article on FineArtViews that I just had to share... Hope you enjoy reading it.

Art Budget Banks by Luann Udell

This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

Years ago, I came across an unusual metal box at a flea market. Roughly 6” square and 2” deep, the lid opened to reveal six smaller metal containers. Slots on the box’s lid aligned with slots in the smaller boxes inside, and the whole thing locked shut with a key.

A little research revealed I’d found a “home budget bank.” Banks would provide such a locked box to their customers. The slots were for inserting coins or bills into each little box. The best part: There were little labels provided, some pre-printed for rent, utilities, food. Or you could turn the labels over and write your own financial priorities. (These are my favorite ones.)

Once a month, or when the little boxes were full, you’d return the box to the bank, where it would be unlocked. Voila! You had successfully saved money to pay all your bills for the month.

I love so many things about these boxes. I love the cheerful painted metal: red, yellow, turquoise and dark green. “Look!” they seem to say. “Isn’t it FUN to save?!”  I love that, human nature being what it is, the bank held the only key to the box—which is also why it’s rare to find these with their key.

I love the array of little lidded boxes inside and the different categories each person came up with. I have one with the preprinted labels.

Others have handwritten labels like “stamps”, “paper”, “vacation.” I’m charmed by the idea that once you could fund an entire vacation with only enough money that would fit into a little box smaller than 3”x2”x2”…

I love imagining the age and circumstances of the previous owners. Surely “camp” and “bicycle” were for a child? But “insurance” and “rent” were for an older person. 

And I found this poignant story of a home budget bank with the categories “honeymoon”, “yours”, “mine” and “ours”.

I love the hope that this simple little gadget could build character, change our spendthrift ways, and move steadily, diligently toward our goals—and our heart’s desire. I love that each box, each label, represents a responsibility accepted—or a dream. I love the implication that even a dream involves responsibility—planning for it, saving for it, even naming it. Realizing it takes energy to bring that dream to fruition. I think this is the thing I love the most.

I like to imagine such a home budget bank for my art. I wonder what I would choose to budget money for.

Perhaps “supplies”; “classes”; “framing”; “new studio”.  Or perhaps time? “New work/experimenting”; “cleaning the studio” (on second thought, maybe not this one); “finish an old project”; “research”. As a creative person with many demands on my time—spouse, children, aging parents, job, friends, pets, housework--I sometimes forget to just sit and dream. Perhaps a time slot/box for “daydreams”….?

I can think of some things I wouldn’t budget for—“pointless anger”; “self-doubt”; “fear of failing”; “procrastination”; “envy”.

Maybe I could replace them with “forgiveness”, “confidence”, “courage”, “motivation”; “self-improvement”.

What labels would YOU put on your six little boxes, if you had a home budget bank for your art?


This article appears courtesy of FineArtViews by Canvoo,

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Portrait Session

Today was another portrait session at the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League.  There were nine artists in attendance.   This is my version of our lovely model.  It is approxinately 12" x 16" on pastel paper - Charcoal with pastels.  I was very pleased with the charcoal drawing, but lost some of the details when I added the pastels.  One of these days I will have to learn to stop before messing it up.  :-)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 2 of Watercolor Workshop

Today was day 2 of a 2 day watercolor workshop.  I was able to finish the snow scene that I started yesterday, and was also able to start a floral.   Both can be seen below.  The class was a lot of fun.  I think many of the students were surprised by the quality of work that they were able to produce.  This was the first class ever for one lady, and she painted some really pretty pieces.  It's nice to have a teacher who is able to relate to both beginners and advanced students in the same class.

Both of the following paintings are 8" x 10".  The snow scene is on 140 lb paper... the floral is on 300 lb. paper.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Watercolor Workshop Day 1

Today was Day 1 of a two day Watercolor Workshop with Lorelle bacon at the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League.  There were nine students ranging in age from 11 to 85 and it was a lot of fun!  We experimented with several different techniques before beginning our projects for the day.  Our first one was a snow scene...I'm still working on that one.  Then we started a still life of a cluster of grapes in a crystal bowl. 
Yep, it was the first time I had tried to paint crystal in any medium.  It was a bit tedious, but fun nevertheless.
It was certainly a challenge. Hope you enjoy seeing today's project... 5" x 7" on 140 lb watercolor paper.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Garnel Life Study

I went to a live model session at the Swannanoa Valley Fine Art League studio this morning.  Our model was a lovely young black girl named Garnel.  This is only the second time that I have tried drawing a portrait from life.  Usually I use photographs.  I think it came out pretty good, although there are a few things that I could have done better.  It is charcoal and soft pastel, and measures 12 x 16 on pastel paper.  I worked on it about two and a half hours.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pink Tulips

I started another painting today... I just couldn't wait to have something else on the easel!  The working title for this piece is Pink Tulips.  Hopefully I will be able to come up with something a bit more creative for a title.  It is 20" x 24" on stretched canvas.    The first picture was taken after I had just blocked in the basic colors. 

The second was taken after I had spent a couple of more hours on it, adjusting the colors and adding a few more details.   Hope you enjoy watching the process. 

Sweet Kitty 2 is finished!

Whew!  This was one of those paintings that just kept going and going.  I would look at it and think "yes, I am finished."  But then, I would see something....something small... something that would just take a moment.  And then, one brushstroke would lead to another, then another...  Yes, I am sure you know what I mean.  :-)

I finally finished the whiskers last night and signed it.  NO more painting on Sweet Kitty 2 allowed!

I am debating on my next project.  I have several ideas mulling around in my head... another close up of flowers, a portrait, a still life, another kitten picture (Wait! Maybe not another kitten picture.)  I do have some illustrations that I need to do for a children's book.  And yes, I need to get to them soon. But I have been waiting for the studio to be completed so I can set up my new drafting table.

Bert and I worked on the studio yesterday.  It was good to be part of the actual building process.  The inspector came and we won't need another inspection until it is completed.  That in itself is exciting.

Today Bert is picking up the inulation that we need for the walls.  Unless he puts it up sooner, we will be hanging the insulation on Thursday.

I can hardly wait to get out there and get everything set up!  I plan to have my new drafting table set up, my pastel station,  my studio easel, a flat work surface to use for framing, pattern assembly (for my pattern company), and fabric layout for my quilting and sewing.  Needless to say, I will post pictures.

Well, here is Sweet Kitty 2...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Sweet Kitty 2"

Yesterday, Day 1 at the Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain, I did a pencil drawing of a darling tabby kitten.  Today I took my oil paints with me, used the same reference photo, and painted  a color version of the same tabby.

Painting on site did seem to draw more people to our booth, but sadly, there were no sales.   I was able to wander around the show some this afternoon, and had a chance to speak to several of the other artists   It seemed that they were all in the same predicament... lots of lookers but no buyers.

I still have some final refining to do on "Sweet Kitty 2" but he is nearly completed. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Sweet Kitty"

I spent the day today at the Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain, North Carolina.  While I was manning the booth, I decided I had better do something productive. This pencil drawing "Sweet Kitty" is the result of my day's efforts.  It is done in #2 pencil on bristol vellum 9" x 12" paper.  The actual sketch measures 8" x 10".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Still Life with Onions"

I stayed up late last night, painting into the wee hours of the morning, then got up early to the "Sound of Music".  No, it wasn't Julie Andrews, though I do love her in that movie.  It was the sound of hammering!  The construction crew had arrived, and they were working on my studio at 7:30 am.   I could have slept a little longer, but having them here, even at that hour, makes me smile.

I finished "Still Life with Onions" this morning.  I think it came out well.  It was the first time I had ever painted transparent glass, or attempted anything semitransparent like the onion skins.  For the most part I think the painting is a success.  I certainly enjoyed the process, though the bottle rims were a pain.  I think I spent more time on them than on any other part of the painting.  I hope you enjoy seeing my latest project.  Please excuse the glare - the paint is still wet!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still LIfe with Onions

I started this painting last night, but forgot to take a picture of it in the earliest stages.  I am enjoying the challenge of painting it so that you can see both the transparent glass and the semi transparent layers of the onion skins.  We will see if I am successful.  :-) It is 12 x 16 on stretched canvas. I apologize for the glare - wet paint does that.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Master Sailor

I came across the following article, and thought I would reprint it here for you, my readers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. 

A Master Sailor by Keith Bond

This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here. http://canvoo.com/fineartviews/submit/

The seafarers of old are not that much different than you, an artist.

One didn’t just wake up one day and decide to sail a ship around the globe. Much learning was required. Depending on the type of vessel and the time in history, a seaman may have learned as an apprentice or may have learned through formal education at a naval academy of some sort. Even those who had more formal studies also learned hands on under the tutelage of a seasoned captain or sailor.

But what did the mentor, teacher, or captain really teach the aspiring sailor? In the end, they gave them him the tools needed to problem solve. That is it. Everything else the young sailor learned was through his own experience.

Whether in the academy, as an apprentice, or as a sailor’s son, the student would have learned the constellations. The seasoned captain would explain how to chart a course by them. But it wasn’t quite that simple. Currents needed to be taken into account. Wind speed and direction also influenced the course to be taken. Weather needed to be understood and even predicted. Obstacles, such as islands, shoals, reefs, etc. needed to be avoided. Situations constantly changed on the open water. Bearings would need to be checked. Adjustments on a regular basis would need to be made to ensure arriving at the desired location. Seldom could a straight course be taken. Depending upon wind and currents, sometimes a zigzag course was necessary. Yes, much learning was required to understand how to navigate the ocean.

But, all of the theory means absolutely nothing to the aspiring sailor until he captains the vessel on his own. He can be told or even shown how to adjust the sails under different situations. He can be told at what angle he must approach the wind. But until he does it, he has learned nothing. He must feel how the vessel moves with or against the wind. He must gain experience through doing. He will have trials and errors. New situations will arise. But the seaman learns by doing. The knowledge accumulated over the years would tell the sailor things he could never learn from a book or teacher. Over time, his intuition will guide many of his choices.

Artists Are Like Sailors – You Are Self-taught

You are not much different. You may have learned your art from dvds, books, instructors, a mentor, etc. Regardless of how much tutelage you may have had, you are largely self-taught.

A Good Teacher Does Not Teach You How to Create Your Art

Your teacher or mentor is important. He or she serves a crucial role in your development (books, articles, videos, etc. are also beneficial, though they lack the individual attention provided by a teacher). But that role is not to teach you how to create your work. Rather, the role of an instructor is to teach you how to observe, how to question, how to problem solve. You will be taught how to sift through all the stimuli that are the seeds of creativity.

Art Fundamentals Are Like Constellations

Just as the young sailor learns the constellations, you must learn the fundamentals of art; design, color, value, edges, drawing, rhythm, etc., etc., etc. These are guides only. They are tools, not blueprints. They give guidance to reach the end destination. And yes, they must be understood well.

But, the fundamentals do not take into account everything that lies between you and your destination. You must know how to navigate around the multitude of challenges, emotions, stimuli, etc. as you keep your end destination in mind. The fundamentals are there to fall back on or refer to when you need to check your course. They may help you make corrections along the way. But then you must be in the thick of it, making your way through the swells, rains, winds, etc. of each work of art.

Learn All You Can From Your Instructors (or books, etc.)

They will help you understand what tools are available. They will help you learn how to problem solve. But do not expect your teacher to teach you “how”. Again, that is not your instructors’ role. You must learn on your own by doing. Only then will you discover the freedom of expressing yourself through art.

You Choose Your Own Course

Your teacher cannot chart your course. The constellations cannot decide where you want to go. The fundamentals of art will only serve as a guide. You, and only you, must decide where you want to go and how to get there. Everything you learn is merely how to problem solve.

You must have a desire to get to your chosen destination. You should understand why you want to go there. You must see all of the choices and obstacles along the way. You must understand how your choices will affect later stretches of the journey. You must evaluate your progress and make adjustments as necessary. You use the tools you have learned to aid you, but you do not become enslaved by them. This you do with each work of art. This you do with your broader body of work. This you do with your career. Then you will be a master sailor.

Happy Sailing,
Keith Bond

This article appears courtesy of FineArtViews by Canvoo, a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists, collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

This article originally appeared at: http://fineartviews.com/blog/21960/a-master-sailor
For a complimentary subscription, visit: http://www.fineartviews.com


Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Daisy Delight" is completed!

I finished fine tuning the flower center on "Daisy Delight" this morning.  I am very pleased with it.  Now on to another painting.  I am trying to decide if I should do a still life, or another oversized flower...decisions, decisions.  Then again, I could change gears completely and do a portrait. Hmmm...

It has been an unusually hot summer, but this morning it was 64 degrees when I got up.  Ahh!  That's more like the mountain weather that I love. I am so blessed to be able to do what I enjoy most - being creative, while living in an area of our country that is so dear to my heart, with the man of my dreams (Yes, after 36 years of marriage I still feel this way.)  I am so very, very blessed!

As I type this, Bert is outside working on the studio. The construction crew is supposed to return on Monday and begin building the carport extention that we are adding.  The electrician is also supposed to come and do his part.  Once those are both completed, we will have another inspection, and  after that, Bert and I will hang the insulation. More inspections, drywall, etc...

I can hardly wait to get out there and claim my space.  I have both a drafting table and a full size studio easel in boxes waiting for me to set them up.  Bert says that the way it is progressing, I could be out there sometime in September. Yippee!

Well, here is the completed "Daisy Delight" with the added details to the flower center.  If you scroll back through my previous posts, you can see the progression. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ice Cream Anyone? is finished

I finished drawing "Ice Cream Anyone?" this afternoon while it was raining.  We are blessed to have the privilege of living in the mountains surrounded by woods. In my opinion, there isn't any place more peaceful during a rain shower.

However, yesterday morning the construction crew removed the old roofing shingles from my new studio in preparation for the new roof.  Of course, it rained yesterday afternoon - a real "gully washer".  We got over an inch.  They had left the felt lining on the roof, which is waterproof.  However, they failed to notice the 1000 or so nail holes that no longer had nails in them. Ooops! Can you imagine a colander turned up-side-down on my studio instead of a roof? Yep, my studio was drenched on the inside.

Bert and I opened the windows this morning and put several fans in there to help dry it out.  Thankfully we were able to put a couple of tarps over the roof this afternoon just as it was starting to rain again. No colander effect this evening.  Phew! By the way, the studio is still completely empty with cement floors and no drywall on the walls yet. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ice Cream Anyone?

This morning I worked at the art show sponsored by our local art league.  They recommended that I bring something to work on.  Well, I obviously couldn't bring "Daisy Delight" - I would have had paint all over everything.  Instead I decided to do a little pencil drawing.

I haven't decided on a title for this one yet, but I think this will be used in notecards to sell at our local ice cream shop. I am really pleased with the hot fudge sauce. It makes me want to go in the kitchen and make myself a bowl.  No hot fudge sauce here, but I do have Hershey syrup.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daisy Delight - adding the flower center

Today I spent a couple of hours working on the flower center.  It still has quite a bit of detailing to take care of, but that will have to wait until it dries a bit. The additional colors that I am using are Cadmium Yellow Light, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Sap Green, and Burnt Sienna.
I am very pleased with this painting, and look forward to seeing it hanging in my new studio.
The studio remodel is progressing quite rapidly, and today we passed our first inspection. I now have all my windows installed, an AC wall unit installed, and a front door with keys.WooHoo!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Daisy Delight continued...

Well, it's time to call it an evening.  I have the petals all blocked in, and will adjust the shading on them tomorrow.  This is so far out of my comfort zone in painting - but I'm having a blast!

Daisy Delight - let the coloring begin!

Well, I have started putting in the color.  Obviously a lot yet to do, but I am really enjoying this one. It has a limited palette so far: white, dioxazine purple, untramarine blue, & cerulean blue.  I will be adding other colors when I get to the center of the flower.

Daisy Delight

Well, I am going in a completely different direction than anticipated.  Instead of a traditional still life, I am doing something totally unexpected.. . an oversized close-up of a daisy.

I just finished the charcoal drawing and am waiting for the fixative to dry.  This is 20 x 24 on stretched canvas.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Buddy is finished!

After a few finishing touches this evening, "Buddy" is now complete.  I am very pleased with the way he turned out, and I think he will be a good example of my work to display at art shows.

Now to decide on my next project.... hmmm.  I have downloaded several pictures from the Wetcanvas website in the last couple of days, and at this point, I am leaning towards doing another still life. Then again, I may surprise myself and go in a completely different direction.  We shall see.  :-)

Here is "Buddy", painted in oils on a 12 x 16 stretched canvas.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Almost there...

I am almost finished with "Buddy".  Phew!  Why is it I like the little details so much?  ... the small hairs on his muzzle ... saliva bubbles on his tongue and lower lip .... moisture highlights in his eyes.  These are all the crazy  little details that cry out to be painted!  I have been working on him for several hours today completing those crazy little details.

I cut 2/3 of the hairs off of a Loew-Cornell 7350 Liner brush so that it only has about 4 or 5 hairs left on it.  Yep, I am a glutton for punishment, but I think that was the tool I needed to get those tiny details. 

I still have to finish the details on his collar and add a few more hairs to his muzzle.  Other than that, I think he is finished.

Hope you enjoy seeing the progress.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The boxer continued...

Well, "Buddy" is coming along nicely, though a bit slower than I would have liked.  I fiddled with his mouth during art class today.  There are a lot of weird little details there, and it helped to have a second set of eyes looking at it.  Here he is...  Hopefully tomorrow I can get him finished.

Boxer 1 in Oils

I decided last week that I needed to create a dog portrait to keep on hand to use as a sample at my art shows.  So far, all the great ones are commissioned pieces that have already found new homes to go to.  Hmmm... who would I choose?

If you have been watching my recent posts, you have already met my little buddy "Boxer 1" through a pen & ink that I drew. This little guy has so much personality in his face, and great coloring as well.  Would he be the one to inspire me? Yep!  "Buddy" is the one!   (Am I the only one out there who talks to their paintings and gives them names?  If so, we may have to find me some medication. )

Anyway, I started him yesterday evening and worked on him late into the night.   After a wonderful breakfast of homemade waffles made by my loving husband (Thank you, Darling!) I got back to work.

My studio is not yet completed, so I am currently working with a makeshift set-up in the guest bedroom.  Here is what it looks like... I apologize for the glare on the painting.  I have a better close up of it to follow.  I really like using my laptop to display the reference photo as I paint.  It allows me to zoom in and see the littlest details.

Here is the close up of the painting so far....  Hopefully I will be able to finish it this afternoon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

View From Mitchell

Today we took Shannon up to Mount Mitchell.  For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. We love going up there during hot summer days.  With an elevation over 6000 feet, the summit is always several degrees cooler than it is here at 3000 feet.  We hiked from the parking area up to the summit, then around an "easy" trail called the Balsam Trail.  Obviously the "easy" only applies to people who are under 55 or physically active.  Since I am neither, I found it a bit strenuous.  I will definitely need some Tylenol tonight for my knees.

Of course, Bert and Shannon decided that they wanted more hiking, so they hiked the Old Mitchell Trail.  They hiked a mile down to Mount Craig and back. While they were gone for two hours, Libby (my cocker spaniel) and I decided to hang out at the picnic area. Libby rested under my bench while I drew the following picture.  I call it "View from Mitchell".  Of course that isn't the most creative title, but it is accurate.

I think I am inspired most by the different textures in this vista... the hardness of the rocks against the softness of the shrubbery...the gnarled and weathered trunks of the dead trees balanced against the feathery softness of the pines...and the soft, velvety look of the mountains in the distance.  I especially liked drawing the dead, storm damaged tree trunks.  Storm clouds were also rolling in, and I tried to capture them with my pen.

I hope you enjoy seeing my latest creation.  I was able to finish it just as it started to rain.  Libby and I gathered up our belongings and headed for the covered picnic cabins.  We were dry and doubly blessed as well!  Some other picnickers who were leaving gave us some fresh cold watermelon.  Yum!

As always, limited edition, numbered and signed prints and note cards are available of my pen & ink drawings.  In many instances the originals are also for sale. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beginning of a new series...

Today I started my first installment in a new series of pen & ink drawings focusing on horses.  I haven't decided what to call it...any suggestions?

I started this one this morning while at an art show at the Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace Historical Site.  The crowds were not as large as I had hoped, but I was still able to make some great contacts.  This one isn't finished yet,  but it is progressing well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Faithful Companions" - Boxer

When I saw this dog, I knew this little guy had to be a part of my "Faithful Companion" Series.  Who could possibly resist that face?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Faithful Companions" - Golden Retriever revised & Sheltie

I just wasn't happy with the Golden Retriever.  I tweaked it some during art class this week.  (It does help to have a second set of eyes look at it.)  Here is the revised version.

In addition, I have completed the fifth installment in the "Faithful Companions" series. 
This sheltie looks like a real sweetie.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Faithful Companions #4

Here is the fourth installment in the "Faithful Companions" Series. I started it at 10:00 pm last night.  Beginning a drawing that late in the evening is NOT good for my sleep schedule.  I finally finished it at 2 am.  Since it is such a different pose than the other drawings, I wasn't sure how it would turn out.  I am quite pleased with the results.  Now on to another drawing...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Border Collie

Here is the third installment in my "Faithful Companions" series of dog illustrations.  It is a Border Collie.  I am enjoying this series more than I anticipated.  I can hardly wait for my studio to get completed so I can devote more time to developing some additional series. Hmmm... wonder what the next series will be?

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Faithful Companions" - Golden Retriever

This is the second installment of my new "Faithful Companions" Series.  We had a golden retriever when my daughters were growing up.  Buffy was the most loving and loyal dog we have ever had.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cocker Spaniel 1

In response to a local request, I have decided to start a series of dog portraits in pen & ink.  This is my first one.  It took about an hour yesterday afternoon for the initial drawing, and then another 5 to do the inking.
I am quite pleased with the results.