Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cookie Time

Last week I set up a still life for my student, Carolyn. I chose objects that I thought would give her a laugh. As I've been working on some of my landscape pieces I decided to do a little oil sketch of it myself to shake things up. Why should she have all the fun? What I didn't realize was that painting cookies for a couple of hours makes one dream of them at night. Especially if one hasn't had a chocolate chip cookie in a very long time. Lucky for this artist that all of the cookies in the set up are very, very stale. "Cheap Date" is 8"x10" oil on canvas. This is posted for sale on ArtByUs. Please click to purchase.

I want to send a big "thank you" to 4 Tails Design Group. They just finished my new website and it looks great. These ladies are super talented and great to work with. So if you need a new look for your business or a website contact them. Tell them Lori sent you.

You haven't seen the redesign on my website? Well, go check it out. Don't forget to sign up for my quarterly newsletter as well. The first issue just went out today and it includes a free music download so don't miss out.

Stay cool everyone!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tea Anyone?

Many commitments this week with networking groups and other means of promoting my work are limiting my time in the studio. These times are difficult,because I am an artist dying to be making art in the studio, not running around telling people about how I make art in the studio. However, artists today can no longer sit home and wait to be discovered, they must be out in front of the public like everyone else running a business. During these times it is important for me to take time to sketch. With only 25 free minutes yesterday to make art, I chose to do a sketch of my favorite teapot. I was feeling rushed and hassled but moving the pencil across the paper calmed my mind. Little sketches like these are what help me stay clear and focused for my finished pieces.

Why the current rush to promote? This is actually prime season for me to accept commissions for pet portraits . People tend not to think of hiring me until right before the holidays, when time may be running out or I'm already booked. A finished piece takes about 8 weeks to complete once the work is started. That is not counting the time taken to receive and edit photographs or shipping of the final piece. Also, most animals look best this time of year when their winter coats have been shed as well as a few extra pounds. (I think even humans relate to this.) This holds true especially for the equines. I know Christmas and the holidays seem far away but they are right around the corner for this artist.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Win Some Lose Some

Last week I promised to show you how my recent experimental pieces were progressing. Well, the underpaintings went well but that is where the good news ends. As I continued to work on the piece shown here I found that this much detail, this soon really stifled me and it went downhill from there. I used to paint this way in college, when I was learning how to do book cover art. It always resulted in strong work then. However, now I realize that my work no longer lends itself to this type of technique. This is why you can never ask an artist how long a painting takes and get a straight answer. It is impossible to figure in the hundreds of hours working, experimenting and throwing away pieces to get the few that actually make it to public view. So, enjoy this piece as it is in its infancy and virtual life because this is the last anyone will ever see of it. Georgia O'Keeffe routinely burned all the pieces she considered not to be successful. So if you see a plume of smoke rising from behind my house, don't call the fire department just bring some marshmallows.

What's next on tap? I am going to continue with a few new series of works I have in mind that are more complicated and structured but still use my regular method of painting. I've also ordered new papers to do a series of works on paper featuring the landscape of Supwana Meadows.

Soulful Studios would like to thank the lovely ladies at the New Jersey Boxer Rescue for their caring, effort and understanding. They are truly angels. If you are looking to add a 4-legged family member to your home please check out this site and consider one of these wonderful pups just lookin' for love.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Amusing Photo and the Humble Pencil

Since it is Friday I wanted to show you something that I found rather amusing. I was looking at my photos from my trip to England and found this one of a building in London. This particular building looks very out of place there but what I found interesting was the man in front of it. His shirt seems to compliment the building. Or is it that the building compliments his shirt? Considering the building was there first I vote for the former. This photo really strikes me as funny and gave me a laugh. Is it just me and my strange sense of humor? Please don't send me emails answering that question, I already know I'm strange.

Monday I will post the progression of my recent works. How's that for something to look forward to?! I'm sorry, that was just pathetic.

If ever you are in Keswick please take a moment to visit the pencil museum. Yes, there is a museum dedicated to our humble servant, the pencil. Click this link to read about the history of the pencil and even how to sharpen it properly. Now that is intriguing isn't it?! Seriously though, this is where the pencils that I use for my graphite commissions are made. I've been using these Derwent pencils for 20 years. Yes, I'm that old and bored that I can tell you what kind of drawing pencil I've been using for 2 decades. I will stop here so as not to over stimulate you with exciting information.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Image for 6-6-06 (Please See Previous Entry)

6-6-06 and Bending

***Blogger issues today prevent uploading of image. As soon as able I will add today's picture.***

It's on the news, the big screen and all over the airwaves. Yes, it is the dreaded 6-6-06. This is supposedly the day of doom so close your shutters, lock your doors and go back to bed until tomorrow. Well, I have news for the media, bad crap happens on other days as well and as far as I'm concerned today looks to be pretty good.

I won't go into detail but I've been hit with a string of bad and stressful events all in one ugly dose. Things just couldn't get worse I thought. Example you ask? Well, I stopped running due to an injury to my foot, only to be 2 miles from home when I got a flat on my bike. I limped home with my bike practicing every four-letter word I knew. (I really need to learn how to change those things.) See, I was trying to do good but bad just kept happening. Sadly, most things were less amusing than that. You know it is bad when you step in the only pile of dog poop on an abandoned property and it makes you cry like a baby.

One of the things that I've learned from all of this is represented in this oil sketch for a new painting. We all know what happens to the tree that does not bend. Only death is final and even that has a certain legacy. So, in life if you don't learn to bend or to at least think differently you will certainly break. I must admit I've been darn close recently.

I've had some questions as to the change in my style. The works shown in the last two entries are only under paintings. This means that color will be applied in transparent glazes after all of the values are worked out. My work has taken a more somber tone but will not be all in grey. This is how many of the old masters began their works. However at the moment I may be switching to drawing for a few weeks because the injury to my foot does not allow me to stand in front of the easel for very long. I refuse to stop working so I will find something else to do until it heals. I'm bending not breaking.

I want to thank Jill at Raise Your Dreams Farm for making one of the hardest things I've ever had to do a blessing. I gave my horse, Dandy, to her for use in her therapeutic riding program. At first he struggled with his new job but now he shines and is giving a great gift to so many. Dandy taught me so many things about patience, strength and "bending" and now at 22 he will continue to do it for others. He is in his glory with all the love he receives for his efforts and so am I. Thanks Jill.