Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Eyes Have It

Today's painting for the 30/30 challenge is a study in composition and shape.  Again, I started out thinking I would do the entire head of my little Cavalier, Charlie.  But when I laid it out on the 3 x 3 inch canvas, I decided it was just another head shot, and wanted to make it more interesting.  I was intrigued by the way his eye seemed to echo one side of his nose, and how the shape of the red-brown fur around his eye was almost the inverse of the white on his nose and face.  I think my recent interest in Zentangles influenced this piece as well. As I painted, I completely forgot about it being my dog's face and immersed myself in the shapes. Imagine folding the piece in half:  the parts would almost fit over one another. This was a fun piece to paint!

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

A Basket of Fruit and a Jazzy Zen Cat!

Now I'm two days behind in the September 30/30 challenge, but I'm not giving up!  Unfortunately, I will end up even further (farther?) behind this weekend, as I see no, or very little, painting time until Monday!  Ah well....that's why it's a challenge, right?  So I did this mini-painting while sitting the gallery yesterday.

 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

Eye on the Prize: PAD #4

Well, for me it's day #4 in the Painting a Day challenge because, as usual, I'm running behind.  Maybe I'll catch up tomorrow...in the meantime, this painting, titled "Eye on the Prize" is in acrylics, on a 3" x 3" canvas. I started out trying to fit the entire horse's head on the canvas, but again, I gradually made the image bigger, focusing more on the horse's eye. I made several attempts to correct the size, but kept making the image bigger, until I finally quit struggling and let the painting go where "it" wanted to.  I actually like this composition, and as I painted, I realized that my recent discovery of Zentangles (R) was playing a role here because I was focusing more on the shapes rather than the horse itself.  Next time, I might even make the shapes more defined, creating a real abstraction.  That, for me, would be wonderful as I have always had difficulty painting abstracts.  I always try to make them look like something.  So we'll see how it goes!  Check back tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September Painting a Day Challenge: Day #3

Here's the 3rd in this month's challenge.  I decided to take a break from painting pets...this sort of reminds me of a materials pattern...something you'd make a tablecloth out of maybe?  I'm trying not to rush these little pieces, but when the day is ending and I realize I haven't done the day's challenge....I become very impatient to finish--or start!  But, these daily paintings do offer an opportunity to learn.  By working small, I am having to face my personal issue with space, and having a daily deadline also forces me to choose simpler subjects, sometimes whatever happens to be in front of me, and get right to the important stuff of composition and color.
 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

A New Month and a New Challenge

The last time I tried to do a Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge, it was back in January, and I didn't quite make it. Ended up completing about half. I was disappointed in myself for not finishing the challenge, so when I saw another one for September, I decided to jump right in. And then, I started thinking: maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself. Even working small, painting one piece a day is a lot of work. I've taken on other daily challenges: a photograph a day, a poem a day -- and failed miserably. I'm good for about a week, maybe two, and then I get distracted, or bored, and move on to something else. Maybe it's the long term commitment that scares me, although thirty days is hardly long term. I'm one of those folks who usually works better with a deadline. So why do I fail at these one-a-day challenges?  Beats me, but I have decided that, this time, I'm really going to do it.  YEAH!

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

Michael has Left the Building...

...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

Through the Looking Glass

Portrait of Stephanie Allison
In my continued quest to learn all I can about art marketing, I've come across TONS of information. But the one that peaked my interest the most (well, at this time, anyway) suggested posting earlier artworks--I'm talking like back in the stone age when I first picked up a paint brush.  Well I can't go back THAT far because, silly me, I didn't keep any refrigerator art from my school days (and neither, apparently, did my mother) but I did head down to the studio/basement/garage and started pulling out old portfolios and files, canvases that were stacked along the wall--and discovered a small treasure trove of old work, student work, canvases I'd started and, for various reasons, either lost interest in or got stuck and quit.  Not only did I find paintings I'd literally forgotten about, but with each new discovery, I became inspired again.

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
Watercolor Collage
by Stephanie Allison
Which brings me to why taking a step back and rummaging through earlier art is beneficial to your art marketing:  it's easier to sell artwork you are passionate about.  If you are brimming with enthusiasm over something you've created, your potential customers will feel that joy as well.  Sometimes (and I am guilty of this) we spend too much time painting what we THINK will sell, and pay no attention to what has actually SOLD and, more importantly, why.  So looking through my old stuff helped me see what I was passionate about and what I'm still passionate about. Digging through the bones of earlier artwork also showed me how I've grown as an artist--where I've been, and where I want to go.

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!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Business of Art? Not So Scary After All!

by Stephanie Allison
18 x 24 Oil
I've been spending a LOT of time lately on the Internet, reading all sorts of material on the art of marketing.  Some of it I sort of knew, but chose to ignore because it meant stepping out of my comfort zone and actually communicating with people! Not that I haven't talked to people about my art, I have...but I'm not good at it. At all.  My sales pitch most often goes something like: "Would you be interested in buying one of my paintings?  No?  Okay, thank you for your time." And then I would slink away feeling miserable. Or when someone asked "what do you do?" I would hesitate before saying "I'm an artist," as if I were ashamed.


Some of the changes I'm making are out of necessity (my recent retirement) and some are because I started thinking about the fact that I've been painting for years, selling more often than I realized, and, most importantly, I love it!  So why not focus on doing something I love and maybe actually make money at it? Like so many other artists, I thought art was something to do in my spare time; the real money came from having a real job. And maybe I can do this now because I am an empty nester (although my dogs and cats and husband might have a different opinion on that)--but one thing I'm learning is that you really can make a living from your art if you know how to do it--and you don't have to be famous! The key is finding out what you love to do, do it, and, most importantly, share it with others!


The Internet has made it so easy to connect with people and get your art out there.  It seemed scary, at first, and  overwhelming.  But I found a wonderful site, The Abundant Artist, that has been instrumental in helping me become more business savvy in terms of my art.  What did I learn? It's not that difficult!  Social media seems to be the key:  a website, a blog, and as many other social spots you can find: Facebook, Etsy, Pinterest.  So I've been ramping up my presence on those sites, and surprise! it's working.  No sales yet that I can link directly to my new efforts, but something even better:  I'm finding so many other artists out there who share my interests and some whose work is completely different, but fascinating to look at!  And by connecting with them, my own work is being seen more and I'm making like-minded friends.  That alone is worth the effort!

I'm still wading through a ton of information on art marketing, and I'll be glad to share in future posts.  Meanwhile, I'd love to know what the rest of you are doing to promote your art and whether or not it's working.  Feel free to comment  below!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Successful? Depends on Your Definition

2 x 3 in. watercolor
Stephanie Allison
When I "retired" a month ago (has it really been that long?), the plan was to devote myself to developing and promoting my art business, because yes, art is my business.  For a long time I waffled between treating art as a hobby, along with gardening, writing, reading--well, you get the drift, and making a real go at it. That means marketing, promoting, developing contacts--as well as painting. When I talked with other artists, and read articles on the subject of running an art business, I scoffed at the idea that I would be spending at least 50% of my time on the marketing aspect of art. IF I want to succeed.

So that got me wondering what my definition of success as an artist really is.  Do I want to be famous?  Have my art hanging in high end museums, like MOMA and the Smithsonian?  Or will I be content to get a commission here and there and sell a few paintings now and then?  Well...I've been giving it a LOT of thought, and, for me, success is creating beautiful portraits that make people happy.  And sometimes their happiness means I make them cry.

I learned that over the holidays.  I had several portrait commissions--some portraying people, most depicting beloved pets.  And although the money was nice, what really mattered to me was capturing not just a likeness on the canvas, but getting the spirit and personality right, too.  So when I handed those commissions over to the clients, I gauged my success by their reaction. A big smile, a hug--and frequently tears.  Not that I wanted them to cry--but the fact that my work evoked such emotion validated what I'd hoped to accomplish.  Translation:  success.

Having said all that, don't get me wrong: I like making money too.  Which is why I've spent the last several days, make that weeks, scouring the Internet, checking out other artists' websites, Facebook pages, and blogs to see what they're doing to promote themselves. And it's a LOT of work.  So many tiny details to think of:  linking to your other pages, linking to other artists' pages, getting your blogs and sites noticed by all the big search engines.  My eyes blur and my head aches.  But I'm slogging through it.  So over the next couple of weeks, if anyone is actually reading this and visiting my Facebook page, you might see some changes.  And I'll probably screw things up too, since I'm not the most tech savvy person when it comes to all this. But it's worth a shot, and if it helps me get more clients, that's great, because it means I'll also get to know you and your loved ones--two and four-legged, and that's what really matters.

Meanwhile, if you're interested in learning more about promoting yourself as an artist, or want to learn more about the various things you can do with Facebook, here are a couple of links I found helpful:

ArtBizCoach: Lots of helpful information on running a successful art business from Alyson B.Stanfield.  I visit this site quite often.

Pagemodo. This site will help you create a new cover photo for your Facebook fan page.  It has a "free" option, which was sufficient for me, but if you want to go crazy, you can sign up for a paid account.  You can also create new tabs, but I had trouble with that--I may have to go back and take another look at that option.

So here's to success--however you define it!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

This Ain't No Hobby!!!

"Bad Hair Day"
8 x 10 Oil on canvas
Whew! Being a full time artist is a LOT of work.  I have spent HOURS this past week tending to the business side of art--namely updating my website and, most recently, this blog.  I suppose if I were a computer geek it wouldn't have taken as long as it did, and I wouldn't be suffering with a headache, neckache and blurry eyes. Even with the use of templates, I found that I had to do a lot of searching online for "how to's" on adding things like my own banner, and getting it to look the way I want it to.  And I'm still not satisfied, but my eyes are about to bug out of my head, so this is it for now.

I have to wonder just how successful all this internet/social networking stuff is in terms of promoting art.  I'm sure there are plenty of artists out there who don't even have a website, and manage just fine. The weird thing is, despite the fact that it takes me forever to manage my website, blog, and Facebook page, I still enjoy it.  Just the little successes are satisfying:  like creating the banner you see at the top of this page.  Might seem pretty simple to some of you, but for the barely computer literate like me, it was a major feat.  Almost as satisfying as finishing a painting!

Here's a link to one site that offers some good advice on art marketing: Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee.

And speaking of marketing, there's a great animal support group called Labrador Life Line, and they are holding an online auction to raise funds. There are a lot of wonderful items available, not just for dogs, but humans as well--including a gift certificate for a pet portrait from yours truly. You can see the auction here: Labrador Life Line's Annual Heart Dog Auction.

So.... I don't have any new paintings to post--but let's consider the revamped blog and my new banner as the project-of-the-day. And the painting above, titled "Bad Hair Day" pretty much sums it up, only right now, my hair is in even worse shape!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

White Pitcher, Grapes and St. Michael the Archangel

Had to take some time away from daily painting to work on another study for my commission, St. Michael the archangel killing the dragon. But I managed to fit this little one in today--it's a 5 x 7, in acrylics.
       Now back to St. Michael:  below is the study I did--it's pretty rough.  I did quite a bit of research but most of the paintings depicting St. Michael made him look very feminine and unrealistic in the sense that he looked more like he was posing rather than about to unload on a 7-headed beast.  So I ended up using a baseball stance combined with sort of a samurai warrior pose to get what I've depicted here.  I've still got a lot of fine-tuning to do, and I've asked the client to determine hair color.  I may end up changing the outfit too--depends on what the client wants.

 But I feel I've made progress.  I will have to work on both paintings simultaneously so there's a smooth transition from one panel to the other.

So now it's back to the 30/30 challenge until I get the go ahead from my client.  I'm now 12 paintings behind. Oh well....I'm still having fun.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rollin' on the River

So this is the end of week two of my "retirement" and it's taking a little getting used to. I keep thinking I have to rush through things because I have to go to work the next day, but then I realize I don't, and so I stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning, and then I sleep late.  It's not the best cycle to be on and I imagine I'll settle into a routine that works.  But here I am at 2 a.m., wide awake and posting artwork online. 

The painting on the left is from a photograph I took back in 1991.  We'd just moved to Kentucky and were lucky to attend the riverboat race--one of many pre-Derby events.  This is the "River Queen" and we were on the Belle of Louisville.  I don't think the "River Queen" was in the race--but she looked pretty! This painting is #11 in the 30/30 challenge, 5 x 7 acrylics on clayboard. I've fallen behind on the challenge, but still chugging away!

This next painting,  "Milo," is an 8 x 10 acrylics. I started it the other day in the gallery, but didn't quite finish it.  Then I was lazy for the next two days and only got back to it this afternoon.  But hey, I completed two paintings in one day, so that's kind of a record for me.

I'll still be working on the daily challenge, but now I have to devote my time to a large commission: St. Michael the archangel fighting the 7-headed dragon.  I posted a study of the dragon a few days ago. I'm working up a study of Michael next, and if the client approves it, I'll be focusing on those two pieces over the next couple of weeks. They're large canvases, giving me a little break from the small artworks. Time to loosen up and paint LARGE!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Walking Stick -- Daily Painting #9

Yesterday  was day #9 (for me, anyway) in the Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days challenge.  The "rules" don't say, specifically, that you have to paint 30 paintings in JANUARY, just 30 paintings in 30 days. So...I've fallen behind the group's schedule, but I'm not alone in that, and I think the idea is to paint daily--or frequently, if you can.  So that's pretty much what I'm doing.  Yesterday's painting was a real challenge for me.  I've had a wooden panel laying around in the studio for several months and I decided to paint on that. Eeks! I've never painted on wood before, but I figured, in keeping with my word-of-the-year "explore" I would give it a go.  I gessoed the wood first, then when it was dry began painting. I quickly realized that even with 2 coats of gesso, the wood was soaking up the acrylics. They were drying too fast.  The acrylic medium helped--but I still found it difficult to blend and smooth edges--so this painting has a more painterly, maybe even plein-air look to it--which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I think the colors ended up more dull than I'd hoped.  Since I don't know much about painting on wood, maybe that is typical.

Overall, it was --well, not so much fun as informative and I doubt I'll paint on wood panels again. But hey, if I hadn't, then I wouldn't know, right?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Somebody Stole My Crown!

First, I woke up this morning convinced that it was Sunday, not Saturday. Once I realized my mistake, I felt relieved, because I wasn't 2 days behind on the daily painting challenge--only one. So after breakfast, I schlepped down to the studio to paint. But I got sidetracked when I realized that my crown--one I got a long time ago from Burger King or some such place--was missing. Now I haven't even thought about that thing for quite awhile, but I am, after all, Queen of my studio--and today I wanted my crown. Hmmph...

Anyway....I gave up searching for my crown and concentrated on painting. I managed to complete two small ones, both 5 x 7, and both in acrylics on clayboard.  The one on the left is of Buddy Sue--a cute little spaniel mix that crossed to the Rainbow Bridge several years ago. She was a goofy little thing but as sweet as could be.

Next, because my word for this year is "explore," I decided to play around with my palette knives.  I still don't quite have the hang of it, but here's the end result: "Maui on My Mind."  I did end up fine-tuning it with a couple of brushes and my fingers. But the goal was to explore, and I think that's exactly what I did.
One thing I struggled with today was a very curious little kitty.  This is Gracie.  She is my studio cat, although she used to be a prison cat until I sprung her from her life of crime. She has decided that she needs a front row seat to everything I do in the studio--and today she was particularly persistent. She jumped right in the middle of my palette--leaving a trail of paw prints across the table and floor. She hopped into my paint box, scattering brushes everywhere.  And then she climbed all over me and my keyboard--making it a real challenge to get anything done.  But I love her--and given her rough beginnings, you know, being born in a prison--hey, wait a minute.... maybe she stole my crown!! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pulling an All Nighter -- Am I Crazy?

Came up from the studio at 5:00 a.m. this morning--boy, was that a surprise as I was so absorbed in painting I had no clue what time it was! Hubby and all the fur critters were fast asleep, and when I looked at the clock (I don't have a working clock in the studio, except for the computer) I remembered how I used to pull all nighters in the good ol' days--back when I was young enough that it didn't matter what time I went to bed. It felt good, but I suppose I'll pay for it later. But, I finished this little piece--from a photo taken awhile back, when we were doing the horse show circuit.  This was at the Lawrenceburg horse show. We used to plan our summers based on the saddlebred horse show schedule--if it's May, we're in Asheville; June at Rock Creek, July in Lexington, etc.  It was fun and I miss those days!

So this is painting #6 of the 30/30 challenge. I may have to take a break today, as it's already noon and I am just now waking up!
As always, if you'd like me to capture one of your fond memories or a loved one on canvas, give me a holla' and let's talk! Have a good one!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Many moons ago I went back home to Fulton, New York and went to a Renaissance Faire that was held in Sterling, I think.  Anyway,  I took a bunch of photographs thinking that one day I might actually paint from one of them.  Well, today I did.  The photograph was actually not very good--too dark, a little out of focus. But looking at it, I remembered why I'd taken the photo in the first place--I loved the woman's face!  She really "looked" the part of a musician (actually,I was thinking more of a milk-maid type, but what do I know?).  So, since I'm still hanging in on the 30/30 challenge (although I'm technically 4 paintings behind), I decided to paint this lady. 
     My word for the new year is "explore," and that's what I did with this painting.  I have a really difficult time with flesh tones. Maybe that's because I've started thinking more about them than I used to. I'm one of those painters who doesn't really plan out a painting: I just jump right in. And that can lead to problems--as in getting the right color flesh tones, or running out of room because I didn't think about spacing....Well,  I've got a ton of books on color and portrait painting, and they all have basic formulas for flesh tones, but somewhere in the middle of making puddles of flesh colors, I forget what I'm doing (because I'm so caught up in the actually PAINTING), that I end up just slapping on color.  But this time, even though I was deviating from the formulas, I figured why not "explore" and see what happens.  And that's what you see above--an exploration of color in flesh tones.  I used yellow ochre, burnt umber, raw sienna,  alizarin crimson, veridian, cad red light, cad red medium--even threw in some ultramarine blue and thalo green....oh, and a little bit of violet too.  Probably not the best way to do a portrait, but I'm pretty pleased with the result.  Might even do a larger version of this one day.  Check back tomorrow for painting #6!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ahhh...Retirement: Day 4 of the 30/30 Challenge

I thought "Ahhh...Retirement" would be a good title for this little painting.  Still hanging in on the 30/30 challenge:  this is #4 for me.  I'm not quite sure about the sun spots on the left of the canvas...seemed like a good idea at first, but now I don't know. What do you think?  Comment below, or email. I'd appreciate it!

Day #3 -- Pig Smack

This is my first official day of retirement--so I was able to spend the entire day in the studio, painting.  First I did my daily painting--that makes #3 in the 30/30 challenge.  This is an 8 x 10, acrylics, painted on the edges.  
Next, I did a study piece for a commission that involves 2 large paintings depicting the archangel Michael slaying the 7 headed dragon.  It's been awhile since I painted any type of dragon, and I've never tried to paint anything from the Bible--so it's quite a challenge. The client wants the dragon on one canvas and Michael on the other, which will be another challenge for me because I need the two pieces to work together. This study is very rough--no details on the dragon other than base color and shape, placement of eyes, etc.  The background I borrowed from Raphael's painting although I'll be adding my own little spin to it in the final piece.  If you're familiar with the story of Michael and the dragon, the dragon has 7 heads, 10 horns and 3 crowns--and is red.  Each head represents one of the seven deadly sins.  I decided not to make each head different--but the client may decide later  that's what she wants.

So, that's it for me! Check back tomorrow for the next daily piece and maybe an update on the commission. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

30 in 30 - Day #2 (for me, that is)

This is Day #2 for me in the 30/30 challenge.  This is a small painting, 4 x 5, in acrylics.  I've got another painting on the easel right now--I am hoping to catch up with the rest of the group, who are on Day #6.  But even if I don't catch up, I'll still try to complete 30 paintings in 30 days.  It's a great way to loosen up and zero in on the important details.  This one is available on my website, www.stephanieallison.com

Saturday, January 5, 2013

30 Paintings in 30 Days--Oh My!

Well, that's the plan anyway. I signed up to participate in a new year's project started by Leslie Saeta.  The goal is to paint one painting a day for thirty days.  I've tried similar projects before and didn't get very far, but now that I'm no longer employed (my choice), I'm going to get back into the studio full time, and this seems like a good way to get started. 

Besides the daily painting, I have started work on a big commission:  2 large panels depicting Michael the archangel slaying the 7-headed dragon from the Book of Revelation.  This is quite a challenge for me--I'm excited about it, but also a little intimidated--it's been quite awhile since I painted LARGE and even longer since I created any dragons!  I'm working on a study of the dragon right now--will post photos when I get a little further along on it.

The other project is for a book, "Pawsome Patriots."  I will be painting images of service men/women and their pets.  I'll post more details later, so check back, especially if you or someone you know would like to be included in the book.

Here's another small painting I completed this week:  it's called "Lucretia's Snake." This little girl's family ran a small zoo near Puerto Vallarta, and I couldn't resist photographing her.  I've had the photograph in my desk for years, knowing I would paint it one day--and I finally did it!  So...that's all for now folks!