Monday, December 23, 2013

Crash and Burn - and finished portrait

'Her Soul' 
16 x 16 inches 
oil on gessobord
SOLD - private commission
Hello? Anyone still out there??? I'm back. .. for now. :) 
The last half of this year has truly been a whirlwind for me and my family. With the majority of it spent prepping our old house for sale, showing said house to prospective buyers (ARGH), selling house, packing and moving out of house, moving into a rental condo for 2.5 weeks waiting for our new house to be ready, moving out of rental condo, moving into new house. 

Oh and all the hustle and bustle that just comes with raising a young family. :) 
And right in the middle of this I decided to start a new little side business for my little clay animal figurines that sort of took over my life. In a good way. :) I've been busier than I ever thought I would be, selling out of my little creatures faster than I can sculpt them. Here's my Facebook page if you want to take a peek: 

It's been an incredible blessing to be able to make a living from your creativity. While I've done really well with selling paintings and commissions it hasn't always been exactly reliable. There have been dry spells that stretched for a very long time, and a lot of the time lately when I was painting I felt like I was up against a wall. Painting because I had to not because I loved to and I just had had enough. I needed a break.
And while sculpting is not painting, it still rings all those creative bells that painting does, in fact. . . I think it does it a little better. Because these creatures are more imaginative, more whimsical. It's been a dream of mine for a long time to be a children's book illustrator but I really struggled to come up with unique and cute characters. Now I think I finally have, just in the form of clay.

I really had lost the love I had for painting. I dreaded it more and more. What used to be a joyful feeling of opening up a box of paint and holding a brush had started to feel like the worst form of torture imaginable. Finishing up these last few commissions took all my strength of will. I pushed through them and was very happy with how they turned out. But now I'm closing down painting commissions. I'll let you guys know when and if I open them up again. 

It's been just over a month since we moved into our new house and we are starting to feel settled. It's starting to feel like home. There's still lots to unpack, paintings to hang, photos to display, but it's starting to feel like home. :) 

Lately I have really wanted to paint again. I am starting to miss it more and more, and I know when that happens it's time to break out the brushes again. But this time I will be a little more slow to post them, and it will be a little more irregular. I don't ever want to feel that burned out again. 

I promised myself that this time I will only paint when I really, really want to. :) 

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season! Merry Christmas to all of you. 

Hugs and cupcakes,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Oil portrait work in progress

 16 x 16 inch oil portrait commission
In progress

Still working on commissions, but I thought I'd show a pic of this one in progress. Nearly done (well. . . the hardest part is anyways). 

And here's a little Last Unicorn doodle I did while drawing with my son the other day. :) 

Hope you all are doing well!! 

We've sold our house and will hopefully be all settled in to our new place by the first part of November. Then life can get back to normal, lol. It's been a crazy last few months!

Reading: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
Listening to: The Monstrumologist (audio book) by Rick Yancey
Watching: Supernatural
Snacking on: buffalo spiced Wheat thins

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

So Studious

'So Studious' 
16 x 20 inches
oil on gessoboard
private commission

Finished up painting number 2 in my commission series of portraits. I am really happy with his face. I think I captured something special there. But I'm not sure what. . . What does that say about me you think? ;)
I miss daily painting, but still have found it difficult to get much painting done lately. So far, my weekly goal to post once a week has not come to pass. And. . . I'm okay with that. For nearly 4 years I have been diligently posting and painting, mostly to fill this blog. And I feel like it's okay, more than okay, to slow down now. 

Maybe I should have done so sooner. There are more important things in life after all than paint and brushes. I worry that sometimes I get too caught up in the day to day 'have to's that I lose sight of the big picture. 

My children. Growing before my eyes. My littlest is in kindergarten now and it was just a few weeks ago that he clung to me and didn't want me to leave him when I dropped him off in the morning. Now he runs off with a wave and a 'bye mom!' shouted over his shoulder. 

But that's the way it's supposed to be. I'm glad that he's happy and secure enough to know that I'll come back for him. 

But still. The shift from being the center of his little world, to not so much anymore is hard. But I know that this too will pass, and soon I'll be okay with it. After all, I know he'll always be my little boy, my best friend. He whispers it to me every day when we hug goodbye. :) 

I'll post when I can again, but not sure when that will be. Hope all is well with you good blog friends. Sending hugs and cupcakes your way. 

Mood: Contemplative
Listening to: Hurricane Bells
Reading: The Monstrumologist
Watching: World War Z
Snacking on: chips and my mom's homemade salsa
Drinking: ice water

Friday, September 6, 2013

Smooth and Supple

'Smooth and Supple' 
5 x 7 inches oil on panel
$100 plus $7 US shipping/$15 International

Hello??? Anyone still out there?? It's me Crystal. You know, that crazy, geeked out girl who used to paint a lot? :D 

Yes, I've been gone a while haven't I? Weird. Life has been crazy hectic lately, we just put our house up for sale so the last few months has been a blur of packing and cleaning, organizing, and everything else that needs to be done to get your house ready for perfect strangers to walk through it and go into a crazy amount of debt to buy it. ;) 

I also have been busy with commission work, that's taken all my focus away from daily painting. But I am going to try, really hard, to try to post a new painting or drawing once a week. I feel like that's all I can manage right now, but I recognize that I NEED to do something. Or at least. . . a work in progress post once a week so you guys don't completely forget about me. :) 

This horse could count for 'J' in my alphabet series had I not cropped out his legs and body. Because he's actually jumping in the air. 

I also have broken quite a few compositional rules with this one. But I don't care. I LOVE this painting. And breaking rules is sort of a job requirement for artists. We're rebels at heart. ;) See you next week everybody! Thanks to all of you for checking in with me! Hugs to all of you, and virtual cupcakes too. 

Listening to: Pinback
Reading: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Watching: Revolution
Snacking on: Chips and salssa
Drinking: Dirty Diet Coke's as often as I can get them (the best thing ever and totally bad for you but well. . . see above about rebels and such)

Reference photo by Deidre T on deviantART, thank you! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


12 x 16 inches, oil on gessobord
First of all let me just say that 12 x 16 inches is MUCH larger than 5 x 7. Yes, I realize that many of you are saying in your very best Severus Snape/Alan Rickman voice: "OB-viously." 

I knew that, but, knowing and applying one's knowledge are two vastly different things. Her face alone took me several days to paint, and I must say that I'm very happy with how she turned out. 
Painting so many small paintings, I've gotten used to painting a face in one sitting. That took me by surprise with this painting at first, but it was also very good for me I think. For all the benefits of daily painting (of which there are many) there is also something (or many things, whatever) to be said for slowing down and taking your time with a painting. 

This is the first in a series of portraits I've been commissioned to paint as part of a corporate installation. Also, this one is the smallest size. O-o. 
This will require epic amounts of cookie dough and Supernatural episodes. I'm totally up for this challenge. :) 
Listening to: Grinnin in Your Face by ZZ Ward
Reading: Nothing :(. Ain't nobody got time for that (right now anyways. Life is hectic these days). 
Snacking on: honey mustard pretzels
Watching: Alphas
Drinking: diet coke

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Filigree - Self Portrait

5 x 7 inches, oil on panel

I'm part of a small group of artists that have banded together as a sort of peer mentoring group. We talk about our goals, our vision for our work, share business ideas, and challenge each other. It's full of awesomeness. These women are incredible and I'm so honored to be part of their group. :) 

So we had a painting challenge. It was to paint a self portrait that was a true reflection of you. I kind of suck at that. I've painted myself before, and every time it has been a very uncomfortable experience for me. I don't like looking at myself. I hate drawing attention to myself. In a crowd or group of people I prefer to hide, unseen and unnoticed. 

And a self portrait is basically the opposite of all of those things. It's all about ME. I mean, there's really nowhere else to look. Unless you like grey backgrounds, and if you do then. . . awesome.You've come to the right place. But, I digress.

My way around this is to typically hide part of my face in some way. Like the filigree mask above, or like this: 

Or like this:

So how then, was I to paint a self portrait that was a true representation of myself? I did what I felt most comfortable with. A partially hidden version of me. Again. Because I do think this is really how I am. I could go on and try to think of something really meaningful to say about why I paint myself this way. But I won't.

Because there is no real deep meaning to it. I just prefer to be in the background, instead of the spotlight and that alone says SO much about who I really am that there really isn't anything else to say.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I is for. . . Iron Man SOLD

'Iron Man' 
4 x 4 inches 
watercolor on paper SOLD

Back to work with my alphabet series. 'I' is for, you guessed it, Iron Man - Lego style. In our house, superheroes and Legos are king. 
I got my kids involved with this painting, because I could NOT find Iron Man's tiny Lego mask. And well, without his mask he's just Tony Stark, which while Tony Stark is awesome, he is not quite as awesome as Iron Man. ;) Also Tony starts with a T. ;)

So, we took a bunch of photos of all different kinds of Lego guys, Batman and Catwoman, Storm Troopers and Jedis, and the riders of Rohan and the Uruk Hai army. Not sure that I'll get to painting all of them, but it was a lot of fun. And I organized all the Legos while we were at it for about the hundredth time. Let's hope they stay that way for more than a month.  

We've got a bunch of home improvement projects going on right now, and I am loaded with commissions (a good thing :) so I may need to take a break from this series for a little while, but I'll be back to it for sure. Hopefully soon because it is a lot of fun. 

Huzzah to you my friends! May your week be filled with cupcakes and acts of superheroism! 

Listening to: "The Ballad of John Henry" by Joe Bonamassa
Reading: The Unwanteds
Watching: Supernatural reruns
Snacking on: half baked, fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies
Drinking: diet Coke with lime 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

On the Brink

'On The Brink'
7 x 10 inches
watercolor on paper, not for sale

This is one of my beautiful nieces. She just turned 13 so I thought it was time she had a portrait. :) I love this stage of young womanhood, that in between time of not really a little girl anymore, but not a grown up either (I love seeing it happen on other people, but living it? Not so much)

This girl is sweet, funny (downright hilarious actually), with a huge heart. And of course she is incredibly beautiful, with her jewel colored eyes and rich, dark hair. I just can't say enough good things about her, I love her to pieces and am so proud to be her aunt. She is such a special girl and I have loved getting to see her grow up. I'm excited to see where she goes next. :)  

Lest ye think that I have fallen off the alphabet series wagon, let me just say - Nay, I have not. My next painting is 'I' and I'm all geeked out over the subject matter. And that's all the teaser you will get until Monday. ;) 
Huzzah my friends! May your cookies always be full of chocolate chips!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Alpha - original wolf drawing

6 x 10 inches
colored pencil on toned paper

I have always been fascinated with wolves. I read White Fang and The Call of the Wild so many times as a kid and teen that I could quote passages of them to people who really, probably didn't want to hear it. But good literature should oft be quoted no? ;) 

When I was in high school I did my senior art portfolio test all about wolves. And all of them were painted with instant coffee and water on brown craft paper, and all of the poses were very stereotypical, slavering mouths agape, and chilling, predatory eyes burning in the night. Those art examiners ate my quirkiness up let me tell you. ;) 

I've since learned more about wolves, and how much of their interaction is very gentle, like a loving family and a parent who sometimes has to put their kid in a timeout. I feel like it's kind of a responsibility for animal lovers, especially wolf lovers, to not promote the vicious animal stereotype that surrounds them still, so now I try to portray them in times of playfulness, or love. Like this one. I love that calm, tolerant expression of the wolf who's getting chewed on. :)

In other news, I finally made a cute little clay pony that I'm really happy with and I'm putting her in my new Etsy shop as a made to order option for anyone interested. :) 

Listening to: 'What Happened to Goodbye' audio book
Watching: Merlin 
Snacking on: mini Snickers bars
Drinking: coconut/lime diet Coke

Reference photo of the wolves by Bob Haarmans, thank you!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


7 x 10 inches watercolor on paper
not for sale
Earlier this year I took my son out for the day. We went to the book store, hung out and had a treat. Then we drove around looking for a good spot to take some pics for paintings. We found this winding road with an old twisted tree in a pasture with a white horse under it. You can bet I'll be painting that in the future. 

But what I really wanted was to paint a portrait of my boy. I haven't painted him for a while and I was so surprised to see how much he had grown up since I last painted him. Painting this one really tugged on my heartstrings. Kids grow up so fast don't they? It was like I was trying to put his younger features on his older face because I was used to painting him that way, as a younger little boy. Is that weird? 

In any case, here is H for Hoodie, continuing with my alphabet series. :D
In other news, I also decided to open up an Etsy shop for my little clay critters that I've been making. And I started a facebook page. So my good wonderful friends. If you want to come like me, you'd really make my day. :D You can click here to see it. 
Reading: The Unwanteds
Listening to: AC/DC (yeah baby)
Watching: Supernatural (surprise surprise!)
Snacking on: apple slices with peanut butter

Friday, July 5, 2013

Newly Minted -SOLD

'Newly Minted' 
ACEO 2.5 x 3.5 inches
watercolor on paper 

I've always had a soft spot for palomino horses. This horse is actually a Haflinger, and has a gorgeous golden color with an INCREDIBLE flaxen mane. I have always wanted a Haflinger horse. But I'm a tall gal (5 ' 9") so I'd have to find a taller one since they are typically small horses. But beautiful. And gentle. And sweet. I could go on, but I sense I may be losing your interest with all my adjective throwing around. ;)

Reference photo by Limit of Gold on DeviantART. 

In other news, today I finally watched Neil Gaiman's 'Make Good Art' commencement speech, and was completely blown away. It is a little long (20 minutes) but so completely worth your time. I feel so inspired and uplifted since watching it. And Mr. Gaiman is so amazingly awesome that I. . . just. . . well, you should watch it. You'll see what I'm talking about. And this does not just apply to visual artists, but writers, photographers, dancers, musicians, knitters, whatever. Here it is: 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Grapelight - G is for Grape

5 x 7 inches 
colored pencil on Ampersand Pastelbord
$100 plus $7 US shipping/$15 International

Every time I do a colored pencil piece I have a series of conflicting feelings: 

1. (Infatuated beginning) "This is SO much fun! Why don't I do these more often? I can't wait to do more. I want to do a pony, and a puppy, and some glass bottles, and some orange slices, and some shiny ribbon, etc. etc. etc." *manic grin*

2. (Midway through) *sigh* "This is taking forever. I want to be done. Maybe I'll just call it done. No wait, I can't because I've already spent like forever working on this." *sigh* "And I'm all out of cookies." *heavy sigh* 

3. (Almost done) "Almost done! Huzzah!!!" *lackluster fist pump*

4. (All done) "I am never doing one of these again. Never." *takes bite out of cookie* *thoughtful gazing at finished piece which I'm very proud of even though my fingers are totally sore now from pressing so hard* "Well. . . maybe not for a few days at least."

In other words, it's something like this: 

This is G for grape in my alphabet series.

Happy Independence Day to all my American friends!! :D

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fairy Lights - F is for Fairy

'Fairy Lights' 
5 x 7 watercolor on paper
$100 plus $7 US shipping/$15 International

“I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?”
― John Lennon

I saw this young woman at the zoo last year. And she wasn't wearing wings (not to say they weren't there. . . You just couldn't see them ;). I loved the swish of her dress, and the colors of her sun struck skin against her dark hair. But most of all what I loved was her gesture of holding her hand at her throat. I just so happened to catch her at the right moment and I've wondered ever since what it was that made her do that? Was it some news she had just heard, or maybe this was just one of those unconscious things she did when she heard something funny, or felt uncomfortable. 

In any case there was some magic about her that day it seemed. So I thought it only fitting to give her wings.  and a few will o' the wisps for companions. :) 

This is F in my alphabet series, for Fairy! Now it's time to go on to the next.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dark Horse E is for Eye SOLD

'Dark Horse'  SOLD
5 x 7 inches, watercolor on paper 

E is for eye. Yes I know, not all that creative. But I love horse's eyes. I always get lost staring into their eyes whenever I'm around them. There is so much soul there. So much. More than many humans I dare say. ;) And better personalities a lot of the time too. For example:   

Straining to get right up in my face, this is Zannie, my old, sweet, little pony mare that is at my parents house. We live in the suburbs, with no land for a pony. :(  I went for a visit on Father's Day and she would not stay far enough away for me to get a good shot of her. But that's okay, I'll take sweet pony kisses over good photos any day.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Last Minute Adjustments D is for Dancer -SOLD

'Last Minute Adjustments' 
5 x 7 watercolor on paper SOLD

The next one in my alphabet series, D is for Dancer. Last year me and several other local artists hired this ballet dancer to model for us. I did some quick charcoal sketches from life and took lots of photos to paint from later. And I am just finally getting around to painting them. All that detail in her tutu was a little intimidating, but I am really happy with how it turned out, even if it did take me forever. I thought as you grew older you were supposed to become more patient, instead of less??

This was my favorite pose from the bunch of photos I took. I love her graceful back and gesture. And of course, that full, colorful skirt. :) 

In other news. . . 

This is Fenrick*. I found him this weekend curled up in a corner of my watercolor box, whimpering about being lost. I don't know how he ended up there, or where he came from. . . or even what he is. He looks a little bit like a mix between a lemur, a sugar glider, and a. . . cute monster maybe?? 
In any case, in the short time since Fenrick has joined my family he has proven to be a very useful pet. He likes to sit on my shoulder while I paint, whispering encouragement, and suggesting paint colors. He's quite the little muse and takes his job as such very seriously. He only takes a break about every 30 seconds or so to scamper down  my arm and take a nibble of my cupcake before climbing back up to his post.  Which means that I eat less cupcake, but I'm willing to take that one for the team. It's worth it for all the inspiration this little guy is bringing me;) 
*Fenrick is made entirely of colored polymer clay with just a dab of white acrylic paint for his eyes. He's the result of this weekend's dragon day.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A letter to the artist as a young girl

5 x 5.75 inches graphite on paper

A letter to the artist as a young girl,

I thought about you the other day. I pictured you sitting at that old computer desk that you dragged into your room. I remember how you placed it, with much planning and care on your part, so you’d have a clear view of the cherry tree in the backyard, the horse pasture beyond that, and the acres of apple orchards even further beyond that. 

I can see you in my mind with your pans of watercolors spread out in front of you, sketches of horses and ponies littering the floor, along with the odd crumpled up paper that didn’t quite live up to your expectations.

You are an artist, and you have been from the very beginning. And here you sit, painting and drawing away, feeling nothing but the uninhibited joy of a child creating.

With that in mind I have a few things I’d like to tell you. First of all, that I’m proud of you. For your passion for art, your perseverance even when things don’t come easy to you, and your faith in your future that you’re sure is filled with brilliant things.

The second thing I’d like to tell you is this. Don’t give up.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Why would I ever give this up? This wonderful happy-making thing that is art?

I’m afraid I can’t tell you that right now. Some things are better left for you to discover first hand. But know this, there will come a time in your life when things won’t feel this rosy and optimistic. All roads might seem to end up leading to nowhere. You will feel discouraged, frustrated, and maybe even a little hopeless. That dream that you’re holding tight in your heart right now might one day start to look a little tarnished, it might feel impossibly beyond your reach.

That’s why I’m writing you this letter. To tell you that no matter how dark things might look one day, they will get better. But not if you give up. The only way things will get better is if you keep making art with that same passion and love that you had when you were sitting at that beat up old desk under the window in your room. Things will get better if you listen to that voice inside that keeps whispering to you to paint your heart out no matter what anyone else tells you. Especially then.  Don’t ever let the opinion of others stop you from making art. Things will get better if you just don’t give up. I promise.

Now go on back to that desk and paint something pretty. I know you can do it.

Crystal (your future self, who just so happens to be a professional artist)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fast and Furious - C is for Corgi

'Fast and Furious' 
5 x 7 inches watercolor on paper
$65 plus $7 US shipping, or $15 International 

When Brodie and I went on our honeymoon we stayed at a little bed and breakfast. It was in Park City, so of course the surroundings were gorgeous, and this little place was kind of an undiscovered find. Not very many people stayed there. It was very quiet and homey. The owner had a little Welsh Corgi that strolled around the B & B greeting the guests and hoping to snag somebody's unprotected bacon. Ever since then I have LOVED these little dogs. 

So naturally. C is for Corgi today. :) 

I also wanted to paint a corgi today because of some fun little lore I just found out about them. Some folk legends say that Corgi's where once very mischievous fairies who were turned into a little dog as a punishment. Other legends say that they were actually the mounts for small fairies. With bridles and saddles and everything. That's what the 'saddle' fur patch on their back is supposedly for. I may comeback to this corgi one day and draw him with a fairy rider on his back. :) Because that would be awesome. 

Reference photo by Blissfully - Blind on deviantART. 

Mood: Hopeful
Reading: Creative Thursdays (which I highly recommend) 
Listening to: You Me & Apollo 
Watching: White Collar
Drinking: chocolate milk

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Object of His Affection - B is for Bird SOLD

'The Object of His Affection' 
5 x 7 inches watercolor on paper

Here's painting two in my alphabet series. B for bird. 

Ravens, to me, have always been beautiful and fascinating. And, yes, because of some of the lore surrounding them a little creepy. I still get the shivers when I read Edgar Allen Poe's the Raven. But with this painting I wanted to emphasize a softer side, by painting a baby (who has blue eyes, once he matures his eyes will turn black), with an open beak, completely humble and dependent. I had a little bit of fun by incorporating a lot of color, and swirling designs to emphasize the slightly mystical reputation that ravens seem to have.

This is also a depiction of the bird that reaches a very troubled boy's heart in one of my favorite books. The baby raven is the one thing that softens his razor edges and harsh presence. And I found that absolutely compelling. The book is Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. 

Reference photo by Digimaree on deviantART.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tough Choices - A is for Apple, a new painting challenge

'Tough Choices' 
6 x 6 oil on masonite
Not For Sale

For a while now I've wanted to do a series of paintings based on the alphabet and I thought that now would be a great time to do that since I've kind of felt like I needed a new creative challenge. And can I just say how EXCITED I am about this? I love thinking up new subjects or themes based on a letter. 

Last night I laid out all my photos (yes all of them, because I'm awesome and old school like that) and sorted them into piles of paintings I'd like to do based on letters. This is going to be a fun project. I'm excited. Wait. . . I already said that. 

Anyway, here is the first painting in my alphabet series, A is for Apple. This is a painting of my youngest son when he was about two. He simply could not decide on which apple to eat, so he compromised by taking a bite out of all three of them and then leaving them there with little mice sized bites taken out of each one, thus interrupting my still life set up. The cute little stinker. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


6.5 x 8.5 inches
$85 plus $7 US shipping, or $15 Int. 

I saw these horses late last summer when me and my mom and kids went to a historical farm. These draft horses were massive, with bulging muscles everywhere under their sleek coats. But they absolutely loved people. They stuck their big heads over the top rail of the fence and tried to press their soft noses into our cheeks. I think I want one for a pet. Should fit okay in my back yard I think, as long as the neighbors don't complain. ;) 

I wanted to capture some of that strength and power contrasted with their sweet personalities. Hopefully a little of their playfulness comes across in this painting. I'm so enjoying this new, slightly whimsical approach to my watercolors. It's just what I needed to break me out of a rut. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Studio Sale - Arabian Horse Painting SOLD

'Opportunity' SOLD
9.5 x 14 inches
watercolor on paper

I have a few pieces that I painted quite a while ago that I'd really love to go to someone who would love to have them. Right now this painting is sitting in a clear bag in a storage bin, which is sad. She deserves to be loved and petted and named George. ;) 

So if you've been wanting one of my paintings, especially one of my white horse paintings (this is one of the first ones I did using my current method for painting whites, painted early 2010) then click on the link to bid. :) 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone! Huzzah! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Enchanted Golden

'Enchanted Golden'
5 x 7 watercolor on paper

Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I've had to make myself.
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Fess Up Friday: For a very long time, probably since I was a little thing, I've wanted to create gorgeous fantasy worlds with my art (and words, truth be told), rich with details and never before seen magic. 
I just reminded myself of this the other day while browsing through Barnes and Noble at all the fantasy art books. So here is a baby step of mine towards that goal. A magic Golden doggie. :) The painting I did a few weeks ago of a little girl with fairy wings was another step towards that. 

In other news school is officially out!! Boo yah!! And Huzzah!! 

I'm looking forward to lazy summer days spent with my boys and nieces and nephew. I want to slow down this summer, paint more pieces that tap into this inner child that is clamoring to be set free, read fairy tales on a blanket in the shade, and just enjoy these days when my boys are all around me. It's going to be a good summer. 

 Field day at school with my middle boy and his good friend. :)

 Field day with my oldest (how did he grow up SO much?? He's 11 but looks 16 here!)

My sweet littlest Cook. We took a day and just played, savoring these last free days just the two of us before he starts kindergarten in the fall. *sniff sniff* 

What do you guys have planned? 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Flicker in the - SOLD

'Flicker in the Dark'  SOLD
5 x 7 oil on masonite

“Sunsets, like childhood, are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting.”
― Richard Paul Evans

This is another painting I have wanted to do for a very long time. It's based on another photo taken by the wonderful Steve Evans (babasteve on flickr) of a beautiful little girl from Madagascar. I was so taken with her piercing gaze, which to me looks very serious, but also curious, contrasted with the very childlike gesture of her hands close to her mouth. I think she probably has one or more fingers in her mouth because I only counted three fingers and one thumb on her curled up hand on our left. 
Portraits are my very favorite subject to paint, because of the emotional connection I feel while painting them. But. . . they are hard for me. Even if the process itself isn't always hard (but usually it is), the act of trying to bring out human emotion on a little flat piece of wood with a stick with some hairs on it and a couple of tubes of smeary oil color is definitely draining. 

But this time, I really feel like I caught a little of something that I wanted to. A little bit of soul perhaps. I hope it's visible to you guys too. :) 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Thief - (SOLD) and a photobombing Giant Schnauzer

 'Thief'  - SOLD
5 x 7 oil on masonite
private commission***

This is the first little Yorkshire Terrier I've ever painted and I'm quite certain that he's also one of the cutest dogs on the planet. Seriously. Those little eyes just look straight into your soul! Thief is a champion show dog and this painting was a gift for my client's mother on her birthday. :)  I love being a part of gift's like that.

In other news, this happened:

Maggie Stiefvater is giving away illustrated bookplates if you send her a link to a photo of you holding her book, The Raven Boys. She also said you could send a photo of your pet and the book, if you were, um, as handsome as Quasimodo and didn't want to show your face. ;)

*So at first I took this picture:

But then I thought. Dude. That's boring.

So then I did this:

And this:

And this:

And then FINALLY, this:

So I hope this meets your specifications Maggie. Twas no easy feat to photograph my giant hound (who is sitting on my lap**) whilst holding your book at the same time. :D

*There's a part of me that often thinks that I need to be a "serious artist", and therefore this should be a "serious art blog", but. . . I'm not serious. I'm just. . . me. And that's what art is all about right? Unique individual expression.

**No animals, books, or artists were harmed in the making of this blog post. 

*** Why yes I am accepting commissions for pets or people, thank you for asking. Please Click here if you'd like more information.

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