Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Been A While...

Sometimes life just throws you for a loop and sometimes it just plain interferes with your "Real Living".  Huh?  Since I'm moving out of that starving artist stage into a very hungry artist I still have to work, kinda sucks.  But working with my husband is what feeds me so--I work.  Don't get me wrong, I really do like my 8-5 work life--it's populated with wonderful friends and clients (I really do mean that too!).  But I haven't been paitning much.  However, I have finished some paintings and will post them soon.

I've been fortunate to pick up some commissions that I actually like; you fellow artists out there know what a miracle this can be.  I've also planned and sketched on some REALLY BIG canveses that I'm just itching to start.  I think I've reached a point where my wildlife portraits are pretty awesome--you'll see, those pictures will get posted soon.  But I've also realized that I really need to work on my landscape backgrounds--you'll hear more cussing about that later too.

All in is good, life is full, and it just has this really annoying way of intruding into my painting time.  But then time heals all...Hang in there with me my friends.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wrangler Series

Monica, this one is for you…(lucky girl)

The evil webmistress sent me this photo and I just had to paint it! What do you think? Responses from the women in my life, be they 9 or 90, have been overwhelmingly positive. I wonder why? What’s the saying, “Cowboy butts drive me nuts!”

Much thanks to my teacher, Jim Strong, for his unerring advice on how to tackle this bad boy. I decided to focus in on the “important” aspects of the painting. Keep the colors simple, vivid, and primarily primary! Careful blending was important to achieve that subtle blending in the wranglers and the folds of the shirt. The texture of the chaps and vest in contrast were very easy to achieve. A quick block-in of yellow ochre with some burnt sienna and burnt umber, then a quick, light, dry scrubbing of umber and sienna to achieve the texture. Were it always this easy!

I so enjoyed painting this that I have decided to do a whole series of Wrangler butt paintings. Imagine my delight at haunting rodeos and photographing cowboy hind ends! There’s also my husband to photograph. He sets the standard for me when it come to prime Grade A cowboy beef. The hubby has also encouraged me to expand my series to include cowgirls and kids. Imagine a painting of a little girl wearing those Wrangler diaper covers with pink lace—just too damn cute!
So expect more of the Wrangler Series as I get those photo ops. I’ve entitled this painting: The Wrangler Series 1: “All Mine” and it’s an original oil on 20”x20” linen. I’ve framed the original in a copper frame that highlights the copper rivets and the silver buckle. Giclees are available as well as beautiful prints on archival water color paper.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another One DONE!

Let me introduce my latest painting—“Charge!” It’s a 30”x40” oil painting on canvas of an African bull elephant charging through the red evening dust. Do you get the idea he’s angry? I wasn’t sure if I should name the painting “Charge!” or “Run!” ;-)

I wanted to paint the immediacy of the moment so I narrowed in on the focus of the elephant—the original photo showed the surroundings. By deleting everything but the elephant and the dust he stirs up you get the idea of his mass and aggression. The churning dust creates the movement and further narrows the focus. The color of the dust also lends to the overall feeling of danger and anger. I feel that this is my best painting to date. It took me less time to produce because I feel that I’m finally experimenting less with technique and focusing more on the composition and story of the painting. This is an exciting time for me. I’m painting more and I like what I paint!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Staying Busy!

This has been a productive time for me, despite the Christmas rush and madness. I’ve finished my elephant painting and am very happy with the general feel and mood.

I’ve also finished my lion portrait. Wow! If I do say so myself, WOW! This painting was a breakthrough for me; it just seemed to flow. I really enjoyed working on the dark background. I’ve learned that this creates a dramatic feel to any painting. I used a mix of colors to create the black background. This makes the painting have depth and a velvety “feel” that a straight black would have lacked.

I used primarily raw umber, alizarin crimson, and ivory black. Once the painting was finished I touched up the background with a glaze of alizarin crimson and ivory black and brushed the edges of the lion’s mane to blend it into the background. I have an idea to do another portrait of the same lion with a lioness below him.

Ideas are abundant, I’ve started two small bird paintings. The background and branches that the birds will perch on are complete.

I’ve done some work on my three rams picture; finally figuring out a plan on how to proceed. At first I was overwhelmed with all the detail of the ram’s heads. So now I’ve decided to finish their bodies first and work intermittently on the detail of their heads and horns. I’ve also planned out how to attack the painting of a charging elephant (30x40 in.).

Once upon a time I would have just thrown paint on the canvas, but thanks to the sweet diligence of my teacher, Jim Strong, I’ve learned to do small, quick studies of my ideas. I wanted to make this painting dramatic and had the idea to use strong red and ocher colors in the background to denote an angry feel; but the study just didn’t work.

So instead, I’ve decided to use a strong contrast of warm and cool colors to really make the elephant appear to jump out of the canvas. This promises to be an exciting painting. I have some worries though, simply because I know I’ll have no problems detailing the elephant but rather will probably fuss with the soft, impressionistic background. I’ll try to keep it simple (stupid!); which if you remember from earlier posts is hard for me! Silly me.

Sooooooo, exciting times! 2010 promises wonderful things for me and mine and I hope and pray the same for you. God Bless.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


African Lion: "Royalty"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009