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.

Related Posts with Thumbnails