Tuesday, September 10, 2013
After I warmed up with the daily painting, I moved on to one of my commissions. Still a lot of fine tuning to do on this one, but here's "Hope."
And you know, it's not too early to be thinking about Christmas...so if you'd like to commission a portrait for that special someone, or as a gift to yourself (hey, why not???), just send me a note! I have gift certificates available, too. I also have a couple of special projects in the works. I'll be posting details soon, so be sure to check back!
Saturday, September 7, 2013
And then, instead of painting another daily piece, I ended up playing with Zentangles(r). I intended to just work with shapes, black and white, etc, but then I saw a photo of this cat and decided to see what I could come up with. It ended up being the cover of a blank notecard. I'm calling it "Jazzy Zen Cat." I know, I probably should have done another painting instead of the Zentangle, but this is considered art too! In fact, I just received a set of Sakura pens and some samples of the Zentangle paper...can't wait to try them out. So off I go!
Friday, September 6, 2013
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
One thing I have become aware of is, over the past couple of years, I have moved from large paintings to smaller ones....and I'm wanting to grab a HUGE canvas and really loosen up, with big brushes, large, loose arm movement....so don't be surprised to see a very large painting in the not-too-distant future.
And here's a slightly different subject: had lunch with a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago and she introduced me to the wonderful world of Zentangles®. Here is the definition of Zentangles, along with a link to their site: "The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com."
After sharing her beautiful Zentangle-inspired art with me, my friend gifted me with a lovely sketchbook, a couple of gel pens, and several pieces of paper--and I am now in love, and addicted to, the art of Zentangle. Here are a few I created over the past week.They are more Zentangle inspired than official Zentangles, but I am loving this technique. It's a great way to warm up before tackling a commissioned painting or just to loosen up and get centered.
So...if you are so inclined, visit the Zentangle site and have fun! And off I go now to paint...and play.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
BUT....there are some days when I should just stay out of the studio, and today was one of those days. I decided to paint a seagull from a photo I took when I was back in New York. Talk about trying to fit a square peg in a round hole! Or should I say, a rectangle in a square. You'd think, with all my artistic experience, that space and placement wouldn't be a big deal for me any longer. Wrong! I really am spatially challenged. So there I was, trying to squeeze this oblong seagull into a perfect square. I started over at least three times, and each time, ended up making the gull larger until I cut off its tail feathers and half of its beak. I considered giving up, which would place me one day behind already. So I forged on, determined to complete Day Two of the Thirty Day Challenge because I'm not a quitter! The result: not one of my better pieces, but it's done. And when I realized it wasn't going to fit on the square canvas, I decided to focus on color and lighting instead. I was a little more successful with that.
So what have I learned? Well, I'm still spatially challenged. But, I completed the daily painting. Two days down, 28 more to go. Stay tuned....
And here's Day One's painting:
Sunday, April 21, 2013
...and he has taken the dragon with him! My latest commission was a real challenge for me because it involved imagination, but also some knowledge of the story of Michael the archangel and the 7-headed dragon. The client didn't want me to follow the story exactly, which made it a little easier. But it has been a long time since I created a dragon, and I was a little rusty. I did a lot of research, both on dragons, and archangels, and my client did as well. I borrowed some of the background for the dragon from Raphael's version.
Michael was a little easier for me as he was more in keeping with my specialty, portraits. My client didn't want the typical image of Michael that you see in Raphael's depiction or that of many other artists. She had very specific ideas, the main one being she wanted him in Medieval-style armor, descending from Heaven rather than fighting the dragon on the ground, as I had him doing in my original sketch. I borrowed Michael's pose from a version by Esther Sanz. So above, right, is the final image.
This was one of the most intense commissions I've ever had. At times I felt completely out of my realm and overwhelmed by the enormity of the project. I believe there was some divine intervention, however, when my darling studio cat, Gracie, decided to leap onto my palette, which skidded out from under her, knocked over the water bucket, sending the bucket, brushes and water crashing to the floor. Although none of the dirty water landed on the painting, it did splash everywhere else, including all the drawers of my caddy, so not only did I have to stop to mop the floor, I also had to remove everything from the drawers and dry them. I know God was watching over either me, the cat or both!
And now I move on...here's what's currently on the easel: This is Tara, a beautiful yellow lab. It feels good to get back to painting pets!
Friday, March 1, 2013
I found an early self-portrait (above left), which not only made me laugh, but also reminded me of those early painting days. Back then, I didn't think as much about what I was doing. I just jumped right down the rabbit hole and did it! And I think jumping in without a lot of thought isn't necessarily a bad thing. For me, anyway, because I have a tendency to over-think things and then I get so wrapped up in the thinking that I lose interest in the painting. I'm not saying there's no value in art education, workshops, etc. I've benefited from all that. But I think you can spend way too much time analyzing, planning and critiquing, and before you know it you've lost all the emotion and freshness, as well as maybe some of the joy of painting.
|Where Shall I Go|
by Stephanie Allison
Now I may have arrived late at this revelation, but I suspect I'm not the only one. Lesson learned: stepping through the looking glass into the past can re-ignite a lost or buried creative spark. It has for me!