I have wanted to do an oil painting of this little girl ever since I first drew her sketch here. I really love the graceful tilt of her head, which seems such a precocious gesture for one so small. Her full lips and dark eyes caught my attention too. And of course those beautiful flowers in her hair and on her dress. And I have to say that I really like how this painting turned out. :) Reference photo, with thanks, by Ryan Lobo.
I've decided to try and have weekly themes for my paintings. I sort of feel like I jump all over the place depending on what interests me at that given moment, and then also when commissions demand it, and then I feel a little bit lost when it comes time to sit down and paint. Too many ideas can be just as paralyzing as too few in my opinion. So this week, my theme is children's portraits in oils. Here we go with number one. :)
*Sigh* I feel like a huge weight has just been lifted off my shoulders by making that commitment out loud here. It's already decided for me what I'll paint this week so no more indecisiveness (which is code for STRESS in my mind) about what to paint and what medium to use. It's all in the bag. The hard part's done, now the fun, easy part remains (Har har. I jest, painting be hard maties!).
This weekend our family went to a Bird Refuge that is about two minutes away from our house. We go every year and it is one of my favorite trips. Hardly anyone is ever out there, and honestly we don't see very many birds, but it's so peaceful and just fun to be together. Here's a couple of pics featuring our trusty 'Crocodile' (my four year old son's term for the navigator, which sounds like alligator, which he then confused with a crocodile) and our little family's quiet adventure. Happy Monday everyone. :)
Another foal to add to my series of 'baby horses with itches that can't quite reach them'. I'm not married to that series title so if you have something better lay it on me. I tried asking my husband and son for another title that was similar to 'Can't Reach' or 'Almost Got It' but their suggestions were less than desirable. 'Scritchin and Scratchin' was my husband's contribution which was actually kind of a cute.
In any case, this little guy (a Gypsy Vanner foal) is so darling. I love his soft baby mane and tail, and that gesture of him reaching around to scratch his knee with his little nose is so endearing that I can't look at it without my heart melting a little bit. :) He was a pleasure to paint and is owned by my friend, Sue Niesen, of Gypsy Lane Farm.
And how about a Huzzah for Friday hmm??? Huzzah!! See you Monday everyone. :)
Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to paint this beautiful little girl. Her mom sent me several photos and we both talked about which ones we thought would make the best portrait. We settled on this one of her in a lamb hat. :) She has the most beautiful eyes and lips and such a solemn and sweet expression. Commissions are easy when you have such beautiful subjects. ;)
“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth
sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical
than the pipe of Hermes. ”
This is the largest oil painting that I've ever done so far and it was a lot of fun. The funny thing is that as I was painting it, it didn't seem that much bigger than my 5 x 7's. I wonder at what point I'll be able to feel a difference? Four feet by four feet maybe? Har har, I jest. ;)
With watercolors I can always tell a difference right away when I go up in size, because the timing and control of your water all needs to change when you have a larger area to cover.
In any case my goal with this painting was to give an impression of speed and power. I painted the horse's body very quickly, and I tried really hard not to go back in once I had put a stroke of paint down, hoping that the energy of my brushstroke would show through in the power of the horse.
I hope you all have a great weekend! It's a grey, chilly day here in Utah but hopefully tomorrow will be different.
A few weeks ago I somehow ended up looking through a bunch of my old sketchbooks. I found one from 2004 that was my first sketchbook that I worked in nearly every single day. Most of my other ones were very hit and miss. I was absolutely amazed at the difference between the sketch on the first page of the book, and the one on the last page. Here they are:
First page sketch 2004
Last page sketch 2004
Kind of a big difference don't you think? I almost couldn't believe it.
As I looked through this book I could remember almost exactly how I felt with each sketch. The first pages were filled with insecurity and doubt, and a lot of not knowing what I was doing. But there was also such a desire to improve, to learn as much as I could, and most of all a passion for drawing. By the end of the book I remember feeling so much more confident, and also I remember it being more of an intuitive process, where my mind wasn't actively thinking about how to draw, I was just drawing. Where as in the beginning my mind was filled with 'rules' and what not to do.
After I closed that book I wanted to get back to sketching a lot. So when I saw that Strathmore had come out with these new sketchbooks with tan paper you can bet I snapped that baby up faster than Uncle Si could say 'Hey Jack!'
But then when it actually came time to sketch in my new, pretty book I kind of froze. The first two sketches were horrible. And I mean Horrible. Un-redeemable. I ripped them out and threw them away, which was very liberating.
I am pretty superstitious about my art creating rituals. I don't like to skip pages in my sketchbook because then I think I won't be able to make great sketches after that. I have a paint brush that is totally beat up and basically unusable but I always keep it next to me while I'm painting because I secretly think that it's the key to a successful painting. If I'm struggling with a certain area of a painting I have to put 'Hysteria' by Muse on my iPod and that will instantly make everything better. Yes I am a weirdo, I openly acknowledge this.;)
Then finally I did a sketch that I was happy with. The deer sketch is the first successful sketch in my new book. :) And I'm so excited to do the next one. Huzzah and onward to the next!
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
This beautiful little boy was a commission that I recently completed. I love his cheeks, full lower lip, and wide brown eyes. :)
I sometimes think that our senses were never so sharp as when we were brand new to this world and we were not immune to the beauty and wonder of our every day lives. Lately I've been looking through photos of my kids from 2010, when my youngest son was not quite 18 months old. There are so many photos of him caught looking at something that utterly captivates him. I was so taken with his expression that I photographed him a million times, mostly close up zooming in to his face, and now I wonder what it was he was looking at that filled him with so much wonder? Probably something as ordinary as a turquoise sippy cup with the light shining through it. Which to him was not ordinary at all.
Earlier this year I met an amazingly talented artist on deviantART, Amanda Drage. We became online friends, following the art each other made, and one day she mentioned doing a piece of art as a trade for another artist. I quickly commented "I wanna trade too!!" (because I'm subtle and tactful like that). So we decided to do it. We each painted a 5 x 7 oil of a horse (a subject we both love) for each other and here's mine for Amanda. :) You can see the one she painted for me here. Isn't it lovely? I can hardly wait to get it.
In other news, I was very pleasantly surprised to be featured on FASO Featured Artists blog series. :D You can check out what they have to say about me right here.
I'm a mom, wife, artist, writer, eater of chocolate, and lover of all things furry and fluffy, except for tarantulas. I am passionate about painting watercolor portraits and any other subject that looks shiny, or fluffy when sitting in the sun. I create something every single day, it keeps me sane and makes me happy. I've won some wonderful awards with my artwork, been priveleged to be included in some prestigious invitational, group, and solo exhibitions, I've taught workshops using my techniques in watercolor for beginner to advanced artists, and have been blesssed to be able to connect my artwork with collectors around the world. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog.