Thursday, July 30, 2009

Family Time

Drawing of Geese by Lori Levin
Graphite Drawing of Geese by Lori Levin
Drawing of Geese in Moleskine by Lori Levin "Family Time 1, 2 and 3"
sketches in moleskine

I'm working out some ideas for the painting of geese I've been commissioned to do. These little sketches are currently being turned into small acrylic studies that I will show and sell in galleries. The person commissioning the work will be able to pick what they like to be blown up for the final painting which will be rather large. It will be hard for me not to choose for her. Normally I wouldn't give this many options but each grouping has significant meaning to the client so I want her to pick what moves her most.

What fascinates me is how the images in my work always seem to reflect what is going on in my life. I've never really done a piece about family but right now this is the focus of my art. Since the summer began my days have been filled with "family" and all the good and the bad that goes with it. There is no doubt I am certainly not bored or lonely this summer.

Actually, I doubt I will ever be lonely again. Are you asking why? Well, the Friedman family just adopted a small dog from SOS Dog Rescue. His name is Brady and he is all things "love". There's lots to tell here with this story! Do you want to know more? I guess you will just have to come back to Soulful Studios to get the scoop.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Veil

Equine Art by Lori Levin
"The Veil"
oil on canvas

When I left Pennsville this painting was sitting on my easel waiting to be finished. The new studio was built and other works took precedence. Finally, last week I was able to put the finishing touches on the piece. The emotions that I had about the oil painting still held true at the finish. Often we hide behind things or adornments when trust is an issue. Sometimes this affects our approachability. Other times nobody notices. Everyone does it to some extent. What is the veil that you wear?

Currently I'm working on some studies for an unusual pet portrait. Soon I'll share those with you. Soulful Studios is now being requested to paint geese of all creatures! I'm enjoying this project very much. I have other pet portraits waiting in the wings once I get these small paintings worked out. Also, I would like to add to my array of equine art. Oh and then there are the bunnies, the birds and so many other things I want to paint. No more time for typing, I have to get that paint brush in my hand.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Being Judged

Graphite drawing by Lori Levin
Graphite drawing by Lori Levin "Varnold's Paradise" (top)
"Where the Varnold's Play" (bottom)
sketches in moleskine

If you scroll back and look at "Bunny Brave Looks to Home" you can see a winner. It won an honorable mention at the juried exhibition at Gallery 50 in Bridgeton. This gallery also has shown the works of artists like Stan Sperlak, Glenn Rudderow and Bobbie Berg. There, my work was well received, sold and even got me the offerings of a possible one man show. All in all I should have walked away feeling like a success. Let's face it, 75 other works at the show did not place in the judging. Yet, the experience left me unsettled. Really, being judged made me feel like I needed a good bath.

Let me explain. Truly, I am grateful for the honor of the award and the great people I met that night that had such flattering things to say. In my college years I was accused of painting without heart and too much technical showmanship. Now, I paint with all heart and put every emotion out there for all to see. I'm getting better at this all the time. Though I do understand the need in this world for ranking things, it is uncomfortable to have one's soul measured against another's. Ok, I hear you guys out there telling me to stop taking myself so seriously or to act like a professional who knows the judging is subjective and based on many criteria. Others would tell me not to detract from my success and rather to play it up to get more business. You are all correct.

Still, as I become more adept at being who I really want to be as a person and as an artist, I have less need to see where I fall amongst my peers. I used to paint for something to do, for acceptance, for a grade or for the money. Now, I paint because it is my way of putting my world in order. It is my language. It is my connection with The Creator. How can something this sacred be judged?

Again, I realize how silly I'm being. Why do I share this with you then? Simply put, my goal here is always to help you understand what being an artist is all about. People often think it is just about making pretty pictures and playing with paint. It is so much more. How and why you create the work is just part it. What you do with the work is a whole other story. Depending on where you show your work and what others say about it can sometimes alter the course of everything. Van Gogh's paintings did not sell while he was alive and yet many are in awe of him now. Being judged is a dangerous playground.

Now that I'm done ranting, I'd like you to go back and enjoy the above sketches from some recent outings to my happy place. Maybe I need to take a trip back there and cleanse myself in the pond.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Where Is Your Garden of Eden?

Animal Art by Lori Levin "Bunny Brave's Garden of Eden"
acrylic on panel

A farmer's field is practically our backyard. Hawks frequent our property because mice in the field make for a nice snack. Being mindful of this, I try to feed my sweet rabbits and birds under the protection of the tree that shades my studio. The squirrels are on their own and frankly, I could use less of those.

I notice the rabbits love to sit under the lilac bush and relax or munch. Obviously this is a safer place to be than running in the open space. All creatures seem to have their favorite spots that provide food, shelter and sometimes just a place to breathe without threat.

I try to create places like this for myself but often life gets in the way. A quiet corner with a good book gets interrupted by the phone or family need. To combat that, I drive or walk and find a place in someone else's paradise to rest. My new found hideout is by the pond on the property owned by our local veterinarian. Their backyard is like the Garden of Eden. Sheep, birds, fish and turtles of many types flourish here. Always I am awestruck by the serenity and beauty of it all. That leaves me wondering. Do the people that live there feel as if it is paradise or do they have to escape Eden for some peace?