Sunday, July 11, 2010

When Soulful Studios Was Full

Soulful Studios currently looks empty and embarrassingly messy so I posted these photos to remind myself of what my workspace can look like when things are in order. Now I'm neat with a stocked inventory in a virtual world. Being busy is wonderful but sometimes when the walls are bare, (most of these paintings found homes), and the "to-do list" lengthens pressure can build. Pressure can be good for an artist in terms of productivity; it can be deadly if one doesn't keep it in check. I'm searching for balance at the moment. Luckily my current projects are very interesting and quite a few stretch my creativity to new levels. This is an exciting time.

The pet portrait in oil of three dogs is coming along nicely. I will post progress images next time. Monday I will start sketches an eagle for a client that is looking for something unique. The paintings surface will be an antique muskrat skin stretching board. I generally don't paint on objects like that but this gentleman was insistent that he wanted my work on his board and would wait as long as he had to for the painting. I found it to be a rather amusing idea so I went for it. Frequently I there is a bald eagle that soars over my studio. The images I gathered are very good so this could spawn other regular paintings in the future.

I've been very busy with Gallery 50 lately. They have their annual competition featuring wetlands, so I'm also working on a sketch for that as well. This piece is interesting because it has very limited color with more of a conceptual feel, which is very different for me. "Hiding in the Shadows", the painting on the previous post, took 2nd place at Gallery 50's miniature show and I also sold one of the last few "Bunny Brave" paintings there as well.

Finally, I was honored with an interview by EBSQ. I've been a member since the beginning of my blog and they were kind enough to include me in their Blogger of the Week section that you will see here later today.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I'll post the dog commission in progress and a few other goodies very soon. Back to the canvases...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

July Already?

fine art by Lori Levin

"May I Come In?"
acrylic on panel
email to purchase

fine art by Lori Levin
"Hiding in the Shadows"
acrylic on panel
pet portrait by Lori Levin "Griffin"
graphite on paper
private commission

Am I really that busy that it is July already and I was not aware? Above are some of the projects I've been working on. "Griffin" was a recent Soulful Studios pet portrait commission I finished yesterday. The two paintings are entered into Gallery 50's miniature show that is opening this Friday night. Maybe I'll get lucky and win a prize? Typically I stay away from sweet paintings but somehow no matter what I did, both pieces came out looking like work for children's books. In general, children are big fans of my work so perhaps I really will do the book my husband has been putting together. Who knows, maybe that degree in illustration will actually get used someday?

Beyond these pieces and the endless effort on the large painting of the three dogs, I've been nesting. During the day I give it my all in the studio but in the evening I spend hours working in my garden. Right now I've only been involved in flowers but come August I will start my first vegetable garden. My father would be proud. Before I had cancer, all I wanted to do was travel. Then I was too sick to go anywhere and enjoy it. Now, I'm feeling fine but don't want to leave home. My surroundings are gorgeous and I'm rather disturbed by our world at the moment.

This obsession to make my home beautiful and a sacred place happened to me once before. After the planes hit in NYC, I drove the next morning to the craft store and bought yarn. I hadn't crocheted in 15 years but instantly I had to make an afghan. Then I baked and painted like a mad woman and refused to watch television or listen to the radio. Since the BP accident, I've baked quiches, scones, various cookies and created new recipes out of my head. The television and radio have been silenced. Beyond that, I've added foliage and flowers to every inch of our two acres, as it was bare when I moved in two years ago. My friend Denise graciously gave me 30 irises and they now line my fences. Paint, plant, repeat.

Many may see this as a healthy outlet. Personally, I know this is just a cover for the insanity that I keep in check. If anything else happens I may be forced to buy chickens for fresh eggs and put up a fence.

Wish me luck at the show. Until next time, you'll know where I'll be hiding.