Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Graphite Portrait of Mare and Foal - Drawing Stage

Here's the progress on the equine portrait. Please pardon the dark and skewed photos. Things are moving along slowly but surely. The top photo was taken after about 40 hours of work on the project, including sketch time. The second photo was taken after a day of hard work at the drafting table. As you can see this requires some serious patience. We all know how good I am at being patient too. My cheek hurts from my tongue pressing so hard on it after that statement.

Well, I hear the Strathmore 500 Bristol calling me. That's the paper I use if you didn't catch that. Maybe I'll finish the mare's nose today! Patience is a virtue. At least I can work in my robe and fuzzy slippers. Are you jealous?

Thanks Kleo. Hugs.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Graphite Portrait of Mare and Foal - Sketch Stage

Once again I am making something out of nothing. Back during the end of summer I went out to take pictures of a mare and foal that were to be separated the very next day. Perhaps you remember my post with the photos taken while driving? These two were my reason for being out that day. The photos I came home with were less than I had hoped for but there was no turning back. I had to make this work and prayed that the art fairies would assist me.

The dilemma was that at this stage, mommy and baby were no longer really interested in each other yet, I had to create a pleasing image of the two of them for a portrait commission. I offered my client four options and this is the sketch that he chose.

The sketch is now on good archival paper and has about 25 hours worth of work invested into it. I will be posting images of the work in progress shortly. The finished horse portrait will be 16 x 20 on heavy archival paper.

I do believe the art fairies are lending a hand. Somehow when it counts they never let me down. I think they like the credit I give them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Bucket List

Gulls by Lori Levin Gray Day Gulls
graphite sketch in moleskine

Sitting in my box of a car at the marina near Salem, I felt weary from the grayness of the day. My body still mending from all that it has been through seemed particulary angry and I couldn't get my mind off of it. I sketched the gulls that stared and me with what felt like menace. The bird in the center never took his eyes off my car. Perhaps he was planning the poop attack as punishment for my intrusion on his day. I just kept looking at him feeling cold and tired and wishing it was spring.

However, as I sketched I felt more in charge and somehow excited to add yet another page to my sketchbook. Each page seems like a little victory and one more thing to say I've seen and recorded. Sure these things don't seem huge in the grand scheme of things but to me they are. Though there are some places I'd like to say I've witnessed before my day comes but for the most part all I want is these little moments. Moments where I am really seeing things and feeling them are what I treasure most. They aren't always pleasant but usually they are. The best times include special people in my life. I'm not saying that I didn't appreciate my loved ones before but these days it feels different, perhaps more intense.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no saint. I bitch and moan like everyone else. The difference is that I know even those moments have purpose. They are calls to action or red flags for rest, if I'm paying attention. Those times are just part of living baby and living I am.

I feel lucky that I am experiencing life this way now. It didn't take me until I was 70 with only 6 months to live to do it. I don't need a "bucket list" to make up for lost time or to change my life. I'm crossing things off the list every day. Wow.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pennsville at Sunset

Pennsville by Lori Levin
"Pennsville at Sunset"
graphite sketch in moleskine

Sitting in my car, armed with my moleskine sketch book, I watched the sunset over the Delaware River. People walked their dogs on the beach while the gulls called overhead. It felt like I was at the shore in September trying to soak up the end of summer. Instead, it is January and I'm still in a t-shirt. I'm certain that global warming is bad but right now I'm not complaining. The evening colors of late have been spectacular. I haven't tried painting them because I don't think I could come close to their glory. You'll have to take my word for it or better yet, take 15 minutes and find a good spot to watch the sunset and see them for yourself.

I'd like to thank a regular reader, Sandy, for her kind comments about my blog and work. I'm not sure how and when she found me but I'm honored that she did and stayed.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Watching 2008

red-tailed hawk by lori levin Red-Tailed Hawk
graphite sketch in moleskine book

For once I don't know what to write. Usually I sit here and the words just pour out. Not today.

I've been through so much in 2007. It was probably the longest year of my life. Despite a cold, 2008 started better than I could imagine. The evening was peaceful and warm and spent in the arms of someone very special. I had the knowledge that I was healthy as well as the loved ones in my life and that my work was selling. Comparing that to last year brings tears to my eyes. I get choked up so easily it is really embarrassing. Often I hide it with jokes and smiles but really most times I'm thinking about how far I've come and how darn lucky I am. It feels like I'm watching a movie about someone else. Only when I sit quietly do I really absorb that it is me.

It hasn't been easy and I'm still trying to rebuild the empire but I believe I'll get closer to my goal in 2008. My work gets stronger and grows in popularity. I'm fueled by a new passion and the desire to enjoy every moment. However, I still don't make too many plans. I take things as they come, savor them and watch the rest unfold.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2008.