Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Golden Age SOLD

The Golden Age SOLD
16" x 20" watercolor

Here's the Christmas commission I talked about in an earlier post but couldn't show you until now. I hope you all had a great holiday! We did. :) Although, I'm still trying to figure out how many miles I need to run in order to work off all the Christmas candy I ate. Probably more than I want to know. 

Every time I worked on this painting, I couldn't help but think of those few, brief times in my own boys life where they seemed to be getting along perfectly. No arguments, no teasing, or fighting. That was truly a golden age. And one that was over far too quickly.

Because now, this is what I hear, all too often:

Kid A, Kid B, or sometimes even my littlest, three year old Kid C: "Mo-ooom (see how the syllables of my name have been drawn out in a supremely offended tone, this adds emphasis to the victim's case) he's looking at me."

Me: "Oh really? That's nice babe." (Sometimes if I'm very lucky, this indifferent response is enough to subdue the situation)

Kid A, B, or C: "But, Mo-ooom, he's LOOKING at me!" (clearly this is not one of those times)

Me: *sigh* "Well, have you asked him if he needs anything?" (After my first failed attempt at indifference I have now resorted to peaceful problem solving. Because surely he wouldn't be LOOKING at his brother without just cause now would he?)

Kid A, B, or C: "No!" (this is said with little arms folded over little boy chests with a huff. Hmph!!)

Me: *double sigh* "Well, maybe you could give that a try." 

Kid A, B, or C: *shakes head emphatically* "Nope, Mom, I won't."

Me: "And why not?" (this is where my patience is starting to grow rather thin. I count to ten)

Kid A, B, or C: "Because he's still LOOKING at me!"

Me: *brief pause so I can count to 100* I press my fingers to the bridge of my nose and close my eyes, then I say, "Darling, unless he's looking at you with laser beams shooting out of his eyes I really don't see the problem."

Kid A, B, or C: Gives me a look that says a deep injustice has been wrought upon him and all his mother can say is that there's not a problem unless laser beams are involved! Then with blue eyes glinting, he asks me, "Mom, when does Dad get home?"

Because apparently Moms just don't understand the problems of brothers LOOKING at each other. Go figure.  

*This painting helped me work on one of my unspoken goals I've had for this year: work on expressing emotion in my paintings without relying on facial expressions.
Since we couldn't see the faces of these two darlings I had to focus on other things in order to get a message across. Mainly, gesture, and movement. I personally, find paintings of people where we can't see the faces to be deeply moving, if the gesture of the figures is convincing. (Karin Jurick for instance is a MASTER of this. I could stare at her paintings of people studying paintings for hours. Literally.)
I'm hoping I was able to pull that off here. My new collector seemed very happy with it. :) I'm hoping his wife was too, since it was a gift for her.

See you next week everyone and Happy New Year!! :))) Huzzah!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Prince of Peace

Prince of Peace
6" x 9" watercolor
 'And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.'
Luke 1:7

Here's part two of my Believe monthly painting challenge with Carrie.

 I believe in Christ. I do. 

This was an emotional painting for me, and I felt more compelled to paint this piece than I think I ever have with any other painting before.

And so, my wonderful bloggy family, I wish you the merriest Christmas ever, I hope you all have a very, very happy one. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, well, then I wish you a very happy rest of the week. :) 

O holy night,
the stars are brightly shining
It is the night
of the dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
till he appear'd and the soul felt His worth
A thrill of hope,
the weary world rejoices,
for yonder breaks,
a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees,
oh hear the angel voices
Chains shall He break,
for the slave is our brother.
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy,
in grateful chorus raise we.
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord, let ever, ever praise Thee
Oh night divine.

Merry Christmas everyone. :)

And here's Carrie's painting, which I totally love. I want those cookies!!

The Night Before Christmas by Carrie Waller
9.75" x 9.75" watercolor

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Magic

Christmas Magic
6" x 6" watercolor

Christmas is magic. There's just no other way to describe it.

The way it makes people see the good in others when normally they might be shaking their fist and yelling obscenities at you when you *accidentally* cut them off in traffic.

How a corner of your home that receives the least amount of attention the other eleven months of the year becomes the BEST spot in the house, simply because that's where the Christmas tree stands.

How it compels you to make batch after batch of sweets and treats and force them into the unsuspecting hands of any neighbor or acquaintance you can find, calling "Merry Christmas!" in a loopy, sleep deprived voice while wiping flour off your chin, hands, glasses, shirt, hair, etc. etc.

The way it makes you think, for this ONE time a year only, when you hear Mariah Carey sing "All I Want For Christmas Is You," that maybe, maybe she's not all that bad after all. Maybe.

Christmas magic is seeing things, and feeling things, that the rest of the year you just don't. It's like being an artist with even more heightened senses. You become Super Artist. Master of Observation.

But most of all, Christmas magic happens when you see your child take in all of the lights, sounds, and smells of Christmas that you did when you were a child. It's seeing the magic written on their face, eyes wide and full of wonder, lips curved up in a permanent grin, with rosy cheeks and noses from waiting out in the cold for their turn to see Santa.

Christmas magic is hearing your child ask Santa for the smallest thing imagineable and being touched beyond belief when you ask him why he asked for that one small thing and hearing him say, "I don't need anything else Mom, but other kids might."

Christmas magic is seeing your youngest sit on Santa's lap. :) How cute is that?

sorry for the blurriness of this photo, just pretend you're running real fast past us :)

Christmas magic is being together with your loved ones and holding them close and feeling so thankful that you get to have them in your life.

Merry Christmas my dear, dear friends. I hope you're having a magical holiday season. :)

*this painting is part of my entry for Carrie Waller and my monthly painting challenge. She chose the topic for this month, "Believe"  On Thursday I'll show you the other half of my entry. :)

Until them mis amigos, I'm off to spend the day at my son's school for all kind of Christmas festivus. :)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Continuing Adventures With Pastelbord, colored pencil WIP

more work on this colored pencil portrat
11" x 14" on pastelbord

Is it just me or does it feel like Christmas is approaching at warp speed? I'm not even done with my Christmas shopping yet! AND we don't have any snow on the ground. . . and I live in Utah! Home of the 2002 Winter Olympics. And we are currently in a snow famine. Man, what a bummer.

But, it is still such a magical time isn't it? Every time I hear my boys talk about Santa, or watch them look at photos of past Christmases I get so excited. I LOVE Christmas time.

Of course I had planned all kinds of festive Christmas paintings, but haven't seemed to have the time to get to any of them, except the jingle bells. Which is fine by me, since I'd rather be decorating my Christmas tree and making treats with my family anyway. Chocolate covered salted caramels anyone? Oh, wait, they're all gone. Sorry! :)

I'm also working on a super secret commission that I don't dare post until after Christmas, since it's a gift. It's turning out nicely, I'm pretty happy with it. But constantly plagued by the fear that the next brushstroke I place will ruin it and I'll have to start over!

So, any extra positive vibes you may have, feel free to send em my way. :)

In between all of that I got this older colored pencil piece out and started working on it again. I always forget how much I enjoy working with colored pencils until I have one in my hand again. Very therapeutuic and meditative. And lots of fun.

So, I'm off my friends. Hope you're all having a wonderful Holiday season! And next time I make chocolate covered salted caramels I promise to save you one. . . Or at least take a picture of them. :)


And if you're looking for a one of a kind Christmas gift I'm having a holiday sale on all the items in my Etsy shop until December 18. There's a variety of paintings and drawings, all originals. Just use this coupon code TTTEAM20 at checkout. :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Noble Face SOLD

A Noble Face  SOLD
6" x 6" watercolor

Every so often I paint a portrait, whether it's human or animal, that does exactly what I wanted it to. I've captured one small aspect of who this person (or horse as it seems to be in this case) is. It's something I really try to do, but not something that always happens. With this portrait of Troy I think I've captured something of what I felt about his personality.

There's something very noble, and gentle about this horse. I've seen a picture of him reaching his neck out so a child can stroke his face, and another picture of him standing in the sunshine with his head held high, looking exactly like royalty.

This was one of those paintings that flowed from the first moment I set brush to paper. I love it when that happens as flow is such a tempermental little beast. :)  Here one minute and gone the next.

This last fact was proven to me again yesterday afternoon when I sat down to paint while my youngest son napped. Argh. The flow was just not happening.

And I was all out of cupcakes too. Double Argh.

Ah well. Today is a new day. :) 

This beautiful boy's name is Westmoreland's Come Fly With Me, AKA Troy, and he is owned by Shannon Johnson. Thanks Shannon for the use of your reference photo!

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