Thursday, May 31, 2012

Looking Up

'Looking Up'
6" x 6" acrylic on masonite

I painted this little portrait of my youngest son a couple of weeks ago. The photo is from when he was a baby, about seven months old, and he's sitting down in that little frog-legged way that babies do when they're just learning how to sit up on their own. My mom stands behind him, leaning over with her arms on either side of him, ready to catch him if he wobbles too much and topples to the ground.

I love that photo. I plan to do a large watercolor of the whole image one day because I love the look of my mom's hands protecting him and his trusting expression as he looks up at her.

But I just felt like painting an acrylic portrait and I loved the lighting on his sweet, chubby face. :) I think it will be interesting to see what the watercolor looks like in comparison to this acrylic study. When I get around to it, which might not be for a while. Always too many ideas and too little time.  I wonder if that will ever change? I sure hope not. About having too many ideas I mean. :)

Huzzah my friends! Until Saturday!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Aqueous SOLD

'Aqueous' SOLD
6" x 6" watercolor on watercolor board

A painting of what I paint with. Except my water container is never that clear, and it's not a pretty glass mug either, but you get the idea. :) I thought it would be fun to do a painting of my watercolor set up.

I can't help but think, when I see that plain old mug of water, that watercolor really is magical. I know I've said it before, but come on people! What other medium gets the same results of brilliant colors and life with the most humble of supplies?

Probably the most magical of any art medium, at least in my opinion (no offense oil, acrylic, pastel painters! I love your work too!). Brush, water, paper, and color. Those four simple things make some pretty amazing magic in an artist's hand.

This was a fun painting to do and I really, really like how it turned out. But holy rusted metal Batman those tiny details in the glass were beginning to make my eyes cross! I think I'll stick to a face for my next painting. :)


Friday, May 25, 2012

Smitten Sketchbook Saturday

Smitten sketchbook study
Prismacolor on some sketchbook paper :)

Ahem. Your attention please ladies and gentlemen, while I define my purpose in sketching. The purpose of my sketchbook is thus, in order of importance: 1. practice 2. fun

And that is all. I want to be the best artist I possibly can be and I firmly believe that drawing practice is the way to get there. And drawing is fun. Enough said.

I don't usually do preliminary value studies before my paintings. I tend to get bored if I focus on one thing for too long. I guess you could say I have a


wait a minute. . . what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, a short attention span. :)

So, I was saying that I ususally don't do preliminary value studies before a painting, but this baby is most definitely going to be a painting. A black and white one similar to 'Magnetic'. It actually is the same couple too. :)

This is another sketch done in my car while waiting for my boys. I wonder, now that summer's here, if I'll miss sketching in  my car. :)

Nah, probably not.

See you Tuesday!

And one other thing before I go, I've been posting more frequently on my facebook fan page. Behind the scenes stuff like works in progress and the daily ups and downs of being a momma/working artist. I have a close up photo of a current work in progress over there right now and I'm asking everyone to guess what it is. If you're the first one to guess it you win a page from my sketchbook. Fun right? Clicky clicky right here to like me if you'd like. :)

Now, seriously. See you Tuesday my friends! Huzzah!!

Photo reference by Mariana Amorim, thank you! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Messenger sold

'Messenger' SOLD
5" x 5" watercolor on paper

Yesterday I new I wanted to do a small animal painting, but I couldn't decide which one! So I posted it on my facebook page and let my followers decide it for me. Nearly everyone wanted me to paint an owl, with a cat coming in second, and no votes for the dog. So an owl it is!

Barn owls are my favorite owl. I love their creamy white fur scattered with gold, rust, and purple hues. I love their dark, intelligent eyes, and the way they seem to carry themselves with so much  of elegance and wisdom. 

And owls remind me of Harry. :)Me and the boys have been listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the car when we go to and fro all the places we need to. It's their first time hearing this story of Harry's and it is SO much fun to share that with them.

Huzzah my peeps! See you Saturday for another sketchbook post. :)

Photo reference by Nick Jewell, thank you!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lunette - sold

"Lunette" SOLD
5" x 5" watercolor

I have a thing for shiny, highlighted. . . things. I love painting them. But I really love painting faces and life too. When looking for a face to paint, it's usually the eyes that decide it for me.

I thought it might be interesting to paint a series of eyes all as close ups, so the eyes are the subject matter. What do you think? This is my first one, and I absolutely loved all the different colors in her eyes, and those lashes?

Sigh, sigh, happy sigh. Come on ladies, who doesn't want lashes like that?


That's what I thought. :)


Photo reference by celynek, thank you!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vices and Virtues SOLD

'Vices and Virtues'
6" x 6" graphite on Strathmore 400

I love to draw. But really I can't think of an artist that I know who doesn't love to draw. And if you're an artist who doesn't love to draw, you need to learn to love it. Make drawing your favorite. :)

Technically this drawing isn't a sketchbook study, it's much more. . . fine tuned, I guess you could say, than most of the drawings in my sketchbook. But it is one that I started while waiting in the car to pick my kids up from school. I do a lot of drawing in my car, I hate waiting and being bored. :)

When I first saw this woman I thought she seemed a little haughty. But the more I studied her face as I was drawing her the more I thought of her as just plain confident instead of prideful. She had a good mix of the two I suppose. And there is a certain curiosity in her expression that I really, really like. Don't you think?

P.S. I'm hopefully going to be posting more drawings and sketches every Saturday. . . As long as I get to it before my children wake up and demand breakfast and park trips! Loveable little minions. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Always Striving - sold

'Always Striving' - Lauralee
6" x 6" watercolor - sold

When I first started painting portraits a lot of my painting time was spent thinking. What colors to use, how much water should be on the paper and on my brush, what shape did I see, etc. etc.

It was exhausting. Painting then wasn't really a stress reliever, but a stress inducer. Now painting a portrait is very stress relieving, because I don't have to think as much. I've painted faces so many times that it seems almost instinctual for me. Sometimes I think that if I closed my eyes my hand would still know where to place my brush.

Or maybe it's just that I've stopped noticing how hard I'm actually thinking while I'm painting. I've grown accustomed to it, it's just part of the process. 

Maybe it's like learning to drive a car that way. In the beginning all you can think about is all the rules you need to follow and all the steps it takes to actually make the car go: turn key in ignition, check rear view mirror, put car in reverse, don't hit the car behind you, check rear view mirror, place hands at ten and two on the steering wheel, step on the gas just a little, check rear view mirror, don't hit the car behind you, step on the gas, DON'T HIT THE CAR BEHIND YOU, etc. etc.

Stress inducing right? 

Once you learn how to drive it's actually kind of pleasant to go for a ride in the car, driving around the borders of glassy lakes and fields of green grass full of fat and glossy animals. You are so used to following the rules that you've stopped having to think about it so much and you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

But sometimes we feel so safe in our routines that we stop reaching, striving, growing. We're comfortable where we're at and trying something new, learning a new set of rules to follow, sounds about as fun as a double root canal with no anesthetic.

But still. . . that feeling of stepping outside of what's comfortable is exactly what we need sometimes. Striving for new levels of growth is the only thing that will compel us to create our finest work.

 It's in us, just waiting to be let out, but we won't be alert to what it is, won't be able to hear its whisper if we've stopped worrying about hitting the car behind us.


Felt like it was about time for another Motivational Monday post, albeit on a Thursday. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rosy Cheeks and Birthday Cupcakes

'Rosy Cheeks'
6" x 6" acrylic on masonite

Today I felt like doing an acrylic painting. So I did. Because it's my birthday and you're supposed to get what you want on your birthday right?? ;)

My goal is to feel as comfortable at painting portraits with acrylics as I do with watercolors. I don't want them to look the same, and really they can't just because of how different acrylics and watercolors are. But I want to feel confident in my ability to handle this medium so I can be expressive. Every painting gets me closer to that goal.

Today I found it incredibly satisfying to feel, for just a moment, that hum of the creative groove when everything just flows and comes together exactly as you wanted it to. You know what I mean? Yeah, it's awesome.

And my sweet family made me cupcakes for my 31st birthday today. :) Big ones, pink ones, little ones, blue ones, chocolate ones, strawberry ones, sprinkled ones, and GIGANTIC ones.

What else can a girl ask for? Nothing that's what. I've got it all. Time to paint, a loving family, cupcakes, and just. . . life. It's been a good day. No, scratch that, a great day. I hope yours was too my dear friends.  


Thursday, May 10, 2012


6" x 6" watercolor
$100 plus $7 shipping

I love shadows. I love the contrast between the darkest darks and lightest lights. It's why I so often paint a face in full sunlight, letting the light side be practically overexposed.

 I like leaving some of that information blank, because so much of what makes a face look like a face when in sunlight is what's revealed in the shadows.

And of course colors in skin tones are quite simply bea-U-ti-ful in shadowed areas.

One of my favorite things to do is to paint a simple face, with a simple pattern of lights and darks, with some basic, simple primary colors.

I'm kind of a simple girl I guess. :)))

Huzzah my peeps!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sharon's Boys

Sharon's Boys
10" x 14" watercolor - sold

I was contacted by a wonderful mother to create this painting of her son and his rugby team. She sent me several photos to work from, but as soon as I saw this one I knew it was the one.

I love the way they're all linked together, so happy. It makes me wonder what they were doing right before this moment and then right after. Did these boys grow up together? Have they been friends from the time they could walk? I like to think so.

Maybe it's because I have three boys of my own but I could instantly relate to this image. There's something about a smiling, happy, young boy that gets straight to my mother's heart. And I was really happy that I could share that with another mother who lives across the world from me.

Huzzah! :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012


'Martha' SOLD
6" x 6" watercolor

Yesterday while I was painting this sweet girl I had the thought that I was doing something that was just right for me. Painting faces. It felt so natural to smooth my brush down the contours of her face and catch the highlights in her eyes.  

For all that I love to try new subjects and new mediums I will always come back to my watercolors and an expressive face.

They feel like home to me. :)

Huzzah. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


'Curious' SOLD
6" x 6" watercolor

I find it curious that the times I want/need to paint are the times when I suddenly have absolutely no time to paint at all.

I find it curious that I can use the same four or five colors over and over again and get endless combinations of new and exciting (or, if we're being honest, awful) colors.

I find it curious that water and thin puddles of color can create depth and form on what was originally a flat, boring piece of paper.

I find it curious that chocolate never gets old. Not even a little bit.

And finally. . .

I find the expression of this curious horse to be very, very endearing. :)

Huzzah :))

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