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.
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