Sunday, November 27, 2011

When it Rains....

I hope everyone out in Cyberspace had a nice, safe Thanksgiving.  I did.  Beautiful weather, which made for a perfect Jingle Walk with my daughter and her husband yesterday.  Got to visit some really cool shops in New Albany, Indiana, and tasted some fantastic wine as well! 

Last time I wrote, I told you all I had another portrait commission from the gentleman whose Pekingese I painted.  Well, since then I've received two more commissions--one for two pet portraits (does that count as one or two commissions if it's from the same client????), and another for a custom-designed pendant. Luckily the portraits are 8 x 10's, so I should be able to get them finished in time for Christmas and the pendant shouldn't be too difficult either. Ha...famous last words.  So..after recovering from an evening of wine tasting and yummy pizza, followed by leftover turkey and trimmings today--I actually managed to paint!  First, the people portrait: My understanding is that the original color picture was destroyed in a fire, and somehow the client managed to come up with a black and white version, and several smaller photos of his grandparents, which I'll be using to get the correct skin colors and hair colors.  The photos I do have to work from are fairly small, so it's difficult to see the eye colors, but the client has been very helpful in filling me in on that information.  This is only an 8 x 10, so it's a bit of a challenge for me to fit the subjects in that small a space.  I've opted to sacrifice the top of the gentleman's head in order to focus more on facial features.  The photograph below shows my first pass with putting color on the canvas. Everything needs adjusting at this point.  Lots of work ahead! 

The next photograph shows the pet portrait in progress.  The client provided some wonderful reference material, and again, this is just the first pass on the canvas--so I'll be posting both paintings as they progress.  This piece is 8 x 10 also.
Some of you might wonder why I'm doing 8 x 10 portraits, when it would be much easier to do the larger ones.  Well, portraits are expensive, and if an 8 x 10 is all a client can afford, I will do my best to make it work. Obviously you can't fit too many subjects on an 8 x 10 canvas if you still want detail in the faces, but I'm willing to do what I can! I think it works in this case....hopefully the client will be pleased as well!

So that's what I've been up to this holiday weekend!  I'll post photos of the pendant when I get it started...I'm still working out some details and searching for just the right beads. The client was very specific about what she wants and I don't want to disappoint! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday Creativity Overload!

So, we're heading into the holiday season and I am already running into creativity overload.  I just finished the portrait of those cute little Pekingese, Lucky and Buddy--I have to say, I miss seeing their big brown eyes staring at me from the easel.  But, like children, I do have to eventually let them go--and my client was thrilled to finally get the painting in his possession.  And, lucky me, he has commissioned another portrait! Yay!  I will be posting progress reports on that as soon as I can--hopefully this weekend.

In addition to working on the portrait, I was busy making jewelry for the Trims & Whims show held this past weekend in Shelbyville, KY.  It was my first "jewelry only" event--although I did bring promotional material for my portraits.   I was very pleased with the event, and made the biggest sales of my short career as a jeweler, and even got another pet portrait commission out of it!  All in all, it was a very successful weekend for me.  I'm beginning to feel ever more confident about creating jewelry, and look forward to experimenting with different metals and wire techniques over the winter.  The necklace on the left is completely handcrafted, including the links.  It is made with 18 gauge copper wire.  The necklace on the right is also copper, and I made most of the links, with the exception of the small chain links.  The earrings are copper and brown jasper. 
And, of course, I had to make some Christmas earrings.  The first pair are sterling over copper wire with sterling silver ear hooks and Swarovski red beads. 
 Next, a pair of free form sterling over copper Christmas tree earrings, also with sterling silver ear hooks and red and green beads. 
Finally, a pair of copper wire Christmas tree earrings, also with Swarovski red beads.  If you'd like to see more of my jewelry creations, visit my Facebook page:  Wit's End Studio.  

And then, the other night I decided to play around with different links made from copper wire, and the end result was the bracelet below.  Again, all the pieces except the beads were handcrafted.  I am really having fun, and hope to continue making beautiful jewelry and portraits! 
And now, it's back to the studio.  I have a lot of work to do before the end of the year.  Check back when you can to see what's new at Wit's End Studio!