Thursday, April 27, 2006

Birds of a Feather

Portrait of Birds
Sorry for the really trite title for this entry. I just couldn't resist. The cat is out of the bag, or should I say the birds? This is a portrait of two very loved birds named Tiki and Ketta. It was commissioned as a surprise gift for the retiring president of residential styling of Mannington Mills Inc. The graphite drawing is 14"high by 11" wide on 100% cotton rag paper.

This portrait was one of the reasons my blog entries have been minimal recently. I was never asked to draw birds before and I was excited to try something new. However, I soon learned that it required a bit of research and experimentation before working on the finished piece. I had to develop a new visual vocabulary for feathers. Fur I am familiar with...feathers not so much. It was a truly enjoyable process and judging from the reaction of the recipient, quite a successful result.

A little shout out goes to my friend 'B' for letting me know right away how the picture was received. I live for these moments. Thanks my friend! I needed that.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dog Portrait Continued

dog portrait
Most of my work recently has been commission related. Soon I will be able to share with you one that I recently completed. It was a surprise gift so I've had to keep it under my hat. See, I can keep a secret!

Now all of my attention goes to this portrait of a lovely Golden Retriever named Summer. I have shared the progression of this piece in earlier posts(Original Photos and Beginning Sketch). It is somewhat of a challenge because I need to make her look younger than the photos provided but still retain her current personality.

Here you can see the under-painting. It is quite colorful and loose. From here I will add more realistic color and the detail that I'm known for. The entire painting will become lighter overall. I always start dark and work my way towards lighter values. It is almost impossible to go the other way. This stage of the painting sets the tone for the rest of the work. If I start too tight and lack vibrancyhere, the final painting will be lifeless. Also, the character of the animal must be firmly established at this point. I believe this one is off to a good start.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Ebay Or Not It's Friday!

Feline Art
As I type I can hear the lawn mowers chewing up grass all over town. Spring is here and I am so thankful for it. Weather like this makes me want to work even harder. Each year I wonder how I made it through another winter. I shouldn't complain because this year it was warm but I just can't help myself.

There will not be an eBay auction this week. I am entrenched in commissions as well as starting to gather ideas for work for galleries. In doing so I am overwhelmed with images in my head and wonder if I will ever have enough time in this life to paint all of them?

This painting, "Down Below", is another piece exploring the idea of fear and reality. It is left up to the viewer to decide why the cat is in the tree. I know the answer but that would ruin it for you and I wouldn't want to do that. This 16" x 20" oil painting currently is part of my private collection.

Today's shout out goes to my dentist of all people. Yes, I actually look forward to seeing my dentist. Dr. Wallet and his wife, Dr. Wallet, are not only great dentists but wonderfully caring, interesting people as well. They feel like family and that is just darn nice. If you live in the area check them out I'll have a glass of wine this weekend on them...literally, they gave me the bottle!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Ebay Friday - Foal Frolic

Sweet, sweet Friday. If you are celebrating a holiday right now, may it truly be a blessed occasion for you. People all around the world are turning their thoughts to rebirth, freedom and all things new and fresh. It really is a wonderful time of year.

Keeping with the theme of spring and all things new, I have decided to auction this special little piece called "Foal Frolic". It is a 5"high x 7" wide oil painting on canvas that is beautifully framed. This piece has lovely texture and warm tones with a lively spontaneity. A young foal loves to test out his tiny little legs in a manner that is captivating and lightens the heart. I often need to remind myself that play is so important to creativity and growth. It is so easy to get caught up in being a serious adult and to stymie oneself. If this were a crime I would have a long record of offenses. Paintings like this remind me of the importance of lightheartedness.

Ebay auction starts Sunday night. Contact me before then if you would like to purchase "Foal Frolic" before the auction begins.

I would like to take a moment to thank my student and friend, Carolyn, for the wonderful compliment she gave me last evening. She had high words of praise for my efforts in art instruction. I should thank her really. I learn something new every time we meet. The teacher often becomes the student. As I see her work blossom I am reminded of what it takes to grow. Thanks Carolyn.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Beauty Found Where You Least Expect It

Occasionally I email photos I've taken to my friends and customers to be used as desktop wallpaper. This photo is for just such a purpose. (Feel free to email me if you would like a picture for your desktop) It is taken at a historical site less than 2 miles from me. Many times I have driven past it and thought nothing of it. Frankly for the most part it is quite unattractive. However, I find that anything can be seen as beautiful in the right light and circumstance. This is an idea that I often play with and can be seen as a theme in my work. You will see more of this idea in future works so stay tuned.

Currently I am working on two commissions that are taking up much of my time. I cannot share them with you yet because they are surprise gifts. This has made it difficult for me to do much updating on this blog. Please hang in there though because some new and exciting things will be happening shortly. Please note that I will return to eBay auctions this weekend. Back to business as usual.

A special thank you goes out to my friend Nancy at Veltri Designs. Her design ability is truly inspiring. I just love her work with children's themes. She has been so supportive of not only my work but my personal life as well. I really value our friendship and her honesty. Thanks Nance!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

EBSQ Plus Membership Received

Hello everyone. I'm back from my little vacation. It was truly glorious to spend an entire week with loved ones and traveling to my favorite local haunts. Though this blog is supposed to focus on my art, I promise to let you in on a little of my private side in the near future. See that, yet another reason to come back and visit Soulful Studios.

This year I promised myself I would enter a few shows and such. I am a member of an internet group for self representing artists called EBSQ. This online community has helped me get the word out about my art on the internet. Twice a year EBSQ holds screenings for its members in good standing to become "Plus" members. This is a juried process based on five works completed in the past two years. The judging is done by 15 existing EBSQ Plus members. I applied a while ago and just received notice that I was voted in as an official Plus member. It is a great feeling to be accepted by one's peers.

The judges did give very positive and encouraging feedback. As a result I will be working on some new things very soon. My goal for the rest of this year is to build my inventory with much larger and more complicated works. Currently I have only a few pieces left for sale and I must get busy. I envision works that are even more expressive and challenging than before. If I want it bad enough I believe I can make it happen.

A little thank you to my entire family for their open hearts and open minds this week. I am truly blessed to have so much support. Remind me that I said that then next time that they gang up and tease the daylights out of me!