Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Almost Got It - SOLD

'Almost Got It' SOLD
4.5 x 6.5 inches watercolor on paper

Still trying to scratch that itch. :) These two paintings were so much fun. I think if I could only every paint babies, of just about any species, I would be a very happy painter.

Today's painting and yesterday's were painted close together on one sheet of paper like this:

Happy Spring everyone!! We've finally got some more sunshine today! How about you?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Can't Reach - SOLD

'Can't Reach' SOLD
4.5 x 6.5 inches watercolor on paper

Spring always means newborn foals to me. Last year when my husband and I were out driving around we saw this field full of mares and foals.This little girl kept trying to scratch her belly and flanks, but couldn't seem to quite reach. I got a few different shots of her attempt. She was so dang cute, and her baby confirmation is already showing that she will be a looker when she grows up. Tomorrow's painting will show her second attempt. :) 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sweet Baby Xander

'Sweet Baby Xander' 
8" x 10" watercolor on paper
not for sale

Remember around Valentine's day when I had a contest where I was giving away an 8 x 10 painting to whoever submitted a 'smitten' photo that got the most votes? Well here is the finished painting of sweet baby Xander.

I love his little nose pressed against his binky and his chubby fist. Brings back so many memories to me (although my kids were never into pacifiers, not for lack of trying I tell you!). There is just nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby is there? 

Listening to: ZZ Ward 
Reading: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (for the second time)
Watching: Grimm
Snacking on: Salted caramel hot chocolate (it's chilly today!)  

Friday, March 22, 2013

An Abundance of WIP's

 'Powerhouse'  work in progress
7 x 10 inch watercolor

'Sleepy smitten'  work in progress
8 x 10 inch watercolor

It seems like I have lots of works in progress right now. These two, and a colored pencil piece, and a larger commission too. But those last two are still in the drawing stage. 

Do you ever feel like you have so much to do that you just kind of sit there, not knowing where to start? Yeah. That's how I feel today.

At least I am fortified with chocolate. Now I can conquer anything. Huzzah?! ;)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt SOLD

 'First Up'  SOLD
6 x 6 inches
watercolor on paper

 “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
― Margaret Atwood 

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina 

Yes, for those of you who are long time blog readers, this is a painting I have posted before. But it's the first day of spring! Which naturally means that here in Utah it is a dreary, rainy day. :) And so I've spent the morning inside, with my youngest, making pretend food to feed to all of his stuffed animals. It's been perfect.

Although if I'm being honest I'll have to confess that I wish it were just a tad warmer and sunnier. Like last week, when we took a trip to the park for the first time this year.

Such good times. :)

So my friends, what are you most excited about now that spring is here? (At least according to the calendar here in the US)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


5 x 7 inch oil on masonite
$65 plus $7 US shipping, or $15 International shipping

You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair, people who haven’t red hair don’t know what trouble is – Anne of Green Gables

I realized something today. Part of the reason I like painting with oils is because it's a constant challenge for me. And there's a lot of discovery too, figuring out how to do something that I was having trouble with before. I have to think the whole time, and there's also a lot of uncertainty. . . which is also why I don't like painting with oils. ;)

But the only way to get over that is to keep on painting. Onward! :D

Reference photo by Katlin Lewis. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dauntless - Arabian Horse - SOLD

'Dauntless'  SOLD
5" x 7" colored pencil on Ampersand Pastelbord

I love the way this horse is turning, quickly and gracefully. Mane and tail flying. And the sun on his grey coat, all those colors in the shadows. I don't really have much to say about him other than that. He is a beautiful horse and I tried to capture him the best I could.

Reference photo by seed of beauty on deviantART, thank you! 

And since some of you asked about our St. Patty's day dinner here are a few pics:

 Cheese ravioli (which I bought, because seriously who has time to make that on their own?) with a green Alfredo sauce, which was just pureed frozen peas added to a traditional Alfredo sauce - which I did make, huzzah for me! Although my husband told the kids it was shamrocks that made the sauce green and not peas. I did not correct him. ;) 

Pistachio pudding over an Oreo cookie crust and topped with whipped cream for dessert. My oldest son pretty much did this whole thing by himself. :) Proud mama moment!

Green fruit salad, which was supposed to be cute fruit kabobs on skewers but. . . I forgot I was out of skewers, so fruit salad it was! We also had a green marshmallow creme fruit dip, steamed broccoli, and green fruit punch. It was a lot of fun and the kids loved it, although perhaps not the broccoli. :)))

Happy Monday everyone!! :) 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bird's Eye Bottles

'Bird's Eye Bottles' 
6 x 9 inches, watercolor and gouache on paper
$100 plus $7 US shipping, or $15 International

This is another painting that I started last spring then abandoned later on. I started painting this as a demo at an 'artist's night' at our local high school. I brought a bunch of my paintings and several of my sketchbooks and there were a lot of kids that just loved art that stopped by to talk to me.

My sketchbooks seemed to be a big hit with them, I think they really liked seeing the less than perfect scribbles and drawings. I don't even show you guys those. ;) But I felt like it was important for young artists to see that not every painting or drawing will be as good as you want or try for it to be, and that's okay. 

That's how this job works, we are always striving to be better than we are today so naturally some of what we do will fall short. Especially in sketchbooks, which by their nature are meant to be quick studies, and charmingly imperfect. At least that's what I tell myself. ;)

These are some of those bottles that I showed you a photo of that are sitting in my living room on a shelf. I saw these two at a book store that also sold some small home decor items. They are made by hand, so the glass is thicker, and their shape isn't machine perfect. Which is what makes me love them so much. I think I'll be painting them more. I definitely want to try them in colored pencil next. 

I thought it would be kind of fun to show these very translucent glass bottles against an opaque gouache background. I like the contrast between those two, I think it really makes the transparent watercolors glow.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a happy St. Patty's day! I'm planning a fun green dinner for my kids that night as we speak. :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Call It A Day

'Call It A Day' 
7 x 10 inches watercolor on paper
$150 plus $7 US shipping, or $15 International

Every Easter Sunday we go to my Mom and Dad's house and have a big egg hunt with me and my sister and our families. It is so much fun, my favorite part of the new year, and it never really feels like spring until we get to do that. 

My mom has lilac bushes surrounding her yard that are blooming, and there's always tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths in every color imaginable all over. The cherry tree is full of fluffy white blossoms and there's always the sound of laughter and shrieking as the kids chase after butterflies, or the kids get chased by my husband. :) It sounds idyllic I know, but well, it kind of is. Just a perfect family day. My favorite kind of day. 

I started this painting last spring, but somehow lost interest in it after a while. Then the other day when I was looking for painting boards I found it again and decided to finish it. I had a lot of fun with that background and didn't want to cover it up too much (which I sometimes do then regret it later) so I just suggested the fence and grass here and there.

My favorite part is my sons colorful shoes. They are Lego shoes, and have little lego pieces on them. They were his first 'real' pair of shoes that he could actually walk in. He wore them until they were completely beat up he loved them so much. I still have them and will never part with them. :)


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What Lies Ahead

'What Lies Ahead' 
10 x 14 inches
watercolor on paper
$300 plus $10 US shipping, or $20 International

Lately I am fascinated with the back view of a person. I like the mystery and the unknown of what they're doing and thinking. And I am in love with back lighting. My favorite kind of lighting I think. 

I wanted there to be that unknown quality with this painting, so I made the forest background more suggested than detailed (also because I don't like painting detailed backgrounds :). There was a point when I was working on this painting where I felt like I was never, ever, ever going to be finished painting that dress. It took many, many layers.

So even though midway through I felt like pulling my hair out, in the end once it was done I felt more like doing this:

Because it turned out exactly like I pictured it in my head.  Which pretty much never happens. So I'd call that a success right? ;)

Until tomorrow friends! Huzzah!!

Reference photo by Jessica of Faestock on DeviantART, thank you! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Almost a Smile

'Almost a Smile' 
7 x 9 inches
graphite on paper - not for sale
This is a beautiful little girl that lives in my neighborhood. Last fall I started asking some fellow moms I knew to see if there were any willing models nearby. And I had a pretty big response which made me SO happy! Then the holidays came and well, I am just now getting around to working on the photos I took of this darling little girl.

When I ask someone to model for me I give them the option of either me paying them for their time, or giving them a sketch. Her mother chose the sketch. I want my models to know how much I appreciate their time, so I always try to compensate them in some way.

Except for my children and my nieces and nephew who are exempt from this rule. They work for free, and occasionally cupcakes! :)))) Mwa ha ha!!!

With this sketch I wanted the emphasis to clearly be on her eyes, so that's where I kept my darkest values and the most detail too. I am really happy with how it turned out. But let's face it, having such a beautiful model makes my job pretty easy right? Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A bigger work in progress

new watercolor work in progress
10" x 14" 
 reference photo by faestock on deviantArt

So. I felt like it was about time I did a bigger painting. There is just nothing like big splashy watercolor backgrounds. So much fun. The background and her hair are finished, just the rest of her figure needs work. When I started this painting I masked off the entire figure (after I had painted her hair) with a combination of frisket film (for the majority of her figure) and masking fluid to seal the edges. It looked like this: 

It ended up working really well. There's just that one spot on her arm that leaked, but that's a dark area anyway so it won't matter. Which is a good thing because I used a ton of pthalo blue in the background, which if you're an artist you know NEVER COMES OUT OF ANYTHING. I've ruined quite a few shirts by splashing pthalo around indiscriminately. 

I had originally planned to pour the background on this painting. But after giving that a try on another painting that I did for a fundraiser with my son's class, I decided not to. I really don't care for pouring. I think it gives the most beautiful and luminous results, but I don't have the patience for it. Maybe one day I'll give it a try again. 

Speaking of my son's class fundraiser I just remembered I never showed you guys the finished painting! Here it is, they did a really great job I think. :) 

The finished painting! I had three of the girls write the quote with a wax resist crayon and then each kid got to pour several cups of paint onto the painting. There were about 65-70 kids and each one of them got a chance to build up this painting. It was really cool. The stars are colored pencil drawn on once the painting dried. But the letters are entirely wax resist. It worked out pretty awesome I think. Considering all the paint that got poured onto it.

Until tomorrow friends! 

Listening to: The Dead Weather
Reading: old art magazines
Watching: my crazy dog hiding in the curtains
Snacking on: Cadbury mini eggs

She is such a good hider. :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Kiss On The Nose - sold

'A Kiss On The Nose' 
5 x 7 inches SOLD
colored pencil on Ampersand Pastelbord
I hope you'll excuse this post that is all about the feelings of my heart right now. 
Lately I have been overwhelmed with melancholy when I think of all my kids growing up. I know I shouldn't. That's my job as a parent right? To prepare them to leave home and live happy, successful lives as good men. Of course I love them no matter what stage of life they are in. But there's something so very precious about these early years when our bond is so strong and we are each others whole world. 
So, the only way I know how to express those feelings is through art. I've spent a lot of time looking through photos and shedding a few tears at the years that are gone. I don't know how to not feel this way. I love being their mom so much. I love how close we are. I hope things always stay this way. But I know things always change. At least a little bit. 
All I can do is love the moment, the season, that we're in and try to remember every single detail. And not mourn it's passing when little hands grow big. :) 
"This curious fact of life: that when parents are old and their children grown up, the grown-up children are not the persons they formerly were; that their former selves have wandered away, never to return again, save in dream-glimpses of their young forms that tarry a moment and gladden the eye, then vanish and break the heart."  - Mark Twain

Monday, March 4, 2013

Penumbra watercolor portrait - Framed - sold

'Penumbra' SOLD
6 x 6 inch watercolor on paper - Framed

I got this painting back from the Randy Higbee gallery 6 inch squared show on Saturday and I have to say that I am very impressed with their frames. It looks absolutely beautiful! So I'm offering it for sale, fully framed, at a low price for anyone interested. Because I think she deserves to be loved and appreciated and hung on someone's wall. :) 

Here's a couple pics of the frame:
 In warm light in my kitchen. 

 In cool light in the dining room. 

 And the back, because I thought it looked snazzy. Speaks a lot about their attention to detail I think. :) 

In other news, I also FINALLY updated my website! It's right here if you want to take a peek:

In other, other news, I got an email on Friday telling me all about Kindergarten round up for my youngest baby, sweetest littlest Cook. *Sniff, sniff* I don't think I'm ready to send him off to school just yet! What will I do without my little best friend around me all day???? *tears*

My littlest monster. :) 

Until tomorrow friends.
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