Sunday, September 28, 2008

SOLD - for $4500

This has been quite the adventure!!! The original commissioned painting commemorating the house's final auction went on the block Saturday - and brought in a new record for one of my paintings! $4500! I didn't get to see it sell (I got there too late!) but here are some shots from Friday night's preview party. What a night! There was a live orchestra playing music outside with all the huge gazebos and statuary for the gardens, as well as the race cars, bentey's, and Rolls Royces that were for these amazing little cars called Henkel's. Inside there was a Jazz singer on one end of the auction house, then as you meandered passed the tables of chicken kabobs, raosted lamb, filet mignon, and pastry stuffed with Brie, there was a dance party going on at the other end! It was crazy! But SO much fun. Also, a bunch of the signed posters sold for $500 a piece! Three other paintings of mine are going on the block today...I will let you know how they do!

Figure Drawing Techniques...9

I got to draw from one of my favorite models this week...Mike posed for our drawing group Thursday is a quick, 2-minute gesture and our long pose for the evening. The long pose is on a gessoed piece of watercolor paper (this is actually the 4th layer on this board - there have been many attempts to draw on this surface, and every time I paint over it in frustration! But that's ok! It just makes for a more interesting atmosphere for the figure!). I like surfaces that I gesso myself - the brush strokes give a great texture and it hold s the charcoal much better than the ultra-slick machine rolled gessoed surfaces that you can buy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Commission Update - Auction Poster

Well my commissioned poster for the auction house is finished! I delivered the painting about two weeks ago, then went back to the auction house to sign the limited-edition run of 110 posters! I don't think I have signed my full name that many times since we bought our house!

I am so pleased with the result and I look forward to watching the original painting go on the auction block this coming Saturday. This painting commemorates the final auction for this particular auction house, and it promises to be a very exciting event! I will try to post pictures of the painting when it goes on the block.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Figure Drawing...the Pregnant Model

What a special treat! At our figure group last night Katie modeled for us...only 8 weeks away from her due date! (Can't wait to meet her little Jack!)

She was absolutly glowing...with the overhead light her beautiful belly was a wonderful shape to draw. The gestures were two-minute poses - I started with blocking in the large shapes using light pastel, then defined areas using charcoal pencil.

The top drawing is on a gessoed board, which is actually very slick, but I think it can out very soft and feminine. If I can "fix" the drawing with a good spray, I might tint or glaze it and see what happens.

The last drawing is done by a very talented artist - you can see his work here - - he is the host of our Wednesday night drawing group. Beautiful drawing, Shane!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This is so exciting! My piece "It's not about you" is featured in a Storque Article! The Storque is the blog for Etsy and content is contributed by staff and artists and in this case - a team dedicated to Etsy Patrons! I am very flattered and greatful for the kind words about my work.

Thanks guys!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Blog You Must Read

My fellow Etsians are incredibly generous people...they have donated amazing handmade items to this auction, for a mother who lost her legs, an arm, and her eyesight after complications arose from an emergency C-section.

I encourage you to read her story, thank the Lord for your healthy children and successful deliveries, then BID BID BID. If you'd like, there are also ways to donate directly to the family.

My thoughts and prayers are with this family.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Figure Drawing Techniques...8

WOO HOO! I finally got to draw from the live model Wednesday night after a LONG break over the hot summer months. We had the fabulous Miss Denise who is such a great model.

This first color explosion of a drawing - you can tell I had lots of pent-up drawing energy inside me!

This is drawn on a 16 x 20 piece of tan mat board. I started with large areas of color, blocking in the major shapes of the form. Then I layered charcoal line drawing over the pastel, defining the form.

Then I added more color and definition, trying to establish an interesting color pallette, while also maintaining the overall feel of the light source. I had fun!

I love when time allows me to draw the same pose from different vantage points. I spent about an hour (actual drawing time) on the first drawing, then moved my easel to another part of the room, where the pose was just as lovely.

This time I painted on one of my favorite surfaces - watercolor paper painted with gesso. I start with vine charcoal, and it glides overs the surface, blocking in large areas of light and shadow. I can smudge and erase with ease.

Then, after establishing the large shapes, I start in with a line drawing, defining areas and making sure proportion and placement are correct. I continue defining areas of light and shadow, and add in some environment for the figure. This would have been an awkward pose if there was no reference to what she was leaning on, so the chair had to be included in a small (but discreet way, so that it did not compete with the figure)

I can't wait until next Wednesday night!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering and Honoring

I can't say much about 9/11 without tearing up, so I will just share a couple of pieces that I've done...

This young man, Mike Stokely, died serving our country. You can read more about Mike and the amazing Art From the Heart project at

And this young lady is standing at a Red Cross table, where they were doing what they could in the aftermath.

May we always be mindful, may we always stop to remember.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Treasuries!

These don't last for long...check them out!

Ok they expired...but I'll let you know when I make more!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Figure Drawing Techniques...7

If black and white gets a little boring, but you don't want to create something in full color - you can also create a monochromatic figure drawing. All you need is a neutral background and 3-4 pastels or pastel pencils of the same color, but different values.

Start with the lightest value and sketch the entire form - defining the major areas of light and shadow. This should take at least 10 minutes. Next, use your middle tone to further define shadows and form. This should take about 20 - 30 minutes. Reserve your darkest value for the last 10 - 15 minutes of the drawing - you should only put the darkest value in the deepest shadows. Don't over-use it.
I like working with a monochromatic can create a strong emotional content to the piece. And don't hesitate to try a bold color!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Best Place to Buy Fine Art on the Web

There is a lot of "art" on the web these days. How do you know that you are buying from a well-established, legitmate artist? Look no further than the group of Gallery United Fine Artists on Etsy. This group is made up of talented artists from around the world.

The benefits from buying from this group are numerous. You can buy with confidence because

1) You are buying directly form the artist. No galleries, no representatives. Ask questions about style and technique, learn about the artist and their work. The relationship you build with the artist is very rewarding.
2) You can see feedback from other buyers. Buy in confidence! Know that the Original Fine Art you are purchasing is well made, of the highest quality, and will arrive in perfect condition.

3)Find exactly what you are looking for - or commission a custom piece! When you are searching for the perfect piece of fine art, use search terms that will ensure the best results - always use "galleryunited" (one word) and another aspect you desire - nature, landscape,
modern, contemporary, or blue. (for example)

4) Shop where the Interior Designers are shopping! Our Gallery United Fine Artists are not only International Sellers, they are THE artists Interior Designers seek out for their clients!

So visit Gallery United - An Etsy Visual Arts Team - and begin collecting Fine Art today!

Click blog post title to start!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Latest Commissions...Updates

I've got two actual art projects happening right now - the painting commission and the dog portrait commission. I worked on both - here they are!

The painting is coming along! (This is the interior of an auction house). I didn't think it would be dso difficult to emulate Leroy Nieman (the seller's request) but what he makes look easy is quite difficult! I think that goes for all great artists - they make it look effortless. Until you dance in their shoes, you have no idea what it takes to "make it work!"

I'm very excited about the progress on the dog portrait. I worked on adding some more highlights and shadows. One thing I try to keep in mind is to keep areas of high contrast towards the foreground, and soften contrast in the background. This helps to create a greater sense of depth.

And to be very sparing in the darkest darks and whitest whites! If you use those two extremes too often, they lose their "punch".

I've still got work to do on both....