Monday, June 29, 2009

Guarded - one of my favorite paintings - revisited

Artists, if we are lucky, occasionally make an image that seems to connect with everyone who sees it. I created this painting, "Guarded", about 5 years ago, and it actually sold only about 2 hours after it left my studio for the first time. From then on, every time I participated in an outdoor show, the prints of "Guarded" sold out almost immediately! I still receive e-mails from potential collectors looking to buy the original!

I had been working on a series of female figures that were all in various ways fitting into a "square" or "box". Many of the paintings from that series were painted from pictures of myself. (you'd be amazed at how helpful and attentive my husband was when I said "Honey, could you take some photos of me? naked?)
I hate speculating on WHY people resonate with a certain image, for fear that I will put my own interpretation and meaning out there, preventing you from seeing your own ideas and emotions. But whatever the reason, I am deeply honored and thrilled to connect with people thru my work.

Well there is a new prospect on the horizon - an opportunity to share this image with a whole bunch of new people! The opportunity has encouraged me to re-visit the image. I had a giclee printed out as large as possible from a digital file, and I am now going to paint over it, enhancing the colors and the textures to capture the same feel of the original painting. (That is the print on canvas hanging in my (messy!) studio)
I'm very excited about this new opportunity and promise to keep you posted as it progresses!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Finding Joy and Thanks in little things....

Morning Glories are one of my favorite flowers. I started growing them every year from seeds about 8 yrs ago when we lived in Poquoson, VA. Even though they are considered annuals, mine would come back every year! They covered the entire trellis with lovely blue flowers, facing the morning sun, shrinking away quickly if rain was approaching...

This year, much to my dismay, all of the seeds that I started indoors got moldy and didn't survive. It happenend to my neighbor's starter plants, too. We don't know why! I was so sad at the thought of no Morning Glories to say hi to every day.

Then about a week ago I noticed a few lonely leaves popping up from the planter. Soon, it became a vine...and it crawled ever so quickly up the trellis towards the sun! Oh yes! A morning glory vine came back!

Now, as if that wasn't cause enough for a celebration, the flowers were not the pretty blue I always planted...but a deep purple with a fuscia star in the middle!!! That color NEVER grew for me! The blues always took over!

Now I am enjoying these gorgeous flowers every morning...

My point is, and I do have one, is that this morning glory seems to be a metaphor for many things in my life. Cultivating a relationship with my husband, friends, and neighbors, raising my children, building my art business on-line...the results aren't always immediate, or even what I planned, but sometimes, a seed that I planted long ago suddenly begins to thrive.

My hope is that you are finding surprising and joyful moments in the things you are cultivating your life. The rewards may not always come quickly, or even be the results you planned, but you never know what seeds of potential you planted log ago may suddenly begin to grow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SOLD - Saying good-bye to a few favorite figure drawings

It's been a bitter-sweet few weeks of saying "good bye" to some of my favorite drawings! I just packaged up three more orders today (I swear! Safely packaging up a pastel portrait might be harder than creating it! Well, not really, but you know what I mean!)

In the last (almost) year that I have been selling on-line, it has been incredibly satisfing to connect with fellow artists and collectors. For me, the sales are just the icing on the cake - a validation of my skills and a reward for effectively sharing my work. Thank you to all of you who have shared your work with me, and a special thanks to those who are living with my work - originals and reproductions alike - it is incredibly flattering and I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me!
A few recent sales...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Art Quote

You need a certain dose of inspiration, a ray from on high, that is not in ourselves, in order to do beautiful things.

Van Gogh

Monday, June 22, 2009

Metro Montage Art Opening - Marietta, GA

What a wonderful evening I had last Saturday...the opening reception for Metro Montage at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art was just lovely. A great crowd, delicious food, and some wonderful Art. All made even more special because my sister was in town, and we followed up the opening with a DELICIOUS dinner on Marietta Square with our darlings and several of my favorite fellow artists! It's a rare opportunity these days to have a Date Night, and this one was well deserved.
My cute sister and I standing next to my drawing!

A shot of one room...very nicely curated!
My buddy Cecil and his wonderful landscape!

Yay! My drawing is on the big banner out front!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pastel Portrait Drawing from the Live Nude Figure - the Red Scarf

It was a bitter-sweet evening of drawing from the live model on Wednesday. Wonderful drawing from the lovely Miss I, and we got to celebrate Shane's birthday early with the best ever chocolate cake, but it was also our last drawing session of the summer. The GA heat really permeates the studio! Hopefully summer will go quickly :)

Since I had done two drawings of the full figure last week, I decided to focus on a portrait of her face, because, well, she's gorgeous! I worked with Nupastels on a purple piece of COlorfix paper. I started with a lot of dramatic color - fuscias, bright blues and turquoise, intense orange, and slowly added peaches and creams and whites and olives.

I loved the red scarf, the drop earring, the shape of the shadow on her shoulder. It was nice to work on one section, the face and neck, for the full session. I felt that I was really seeing a lot of information. Can't wait for summer to be over!

Do you grow weed?

My neighbor Mr. B and I often discuss what' happening in the garden, exchanging thoughts on what the deer and bunnies are eating, what needs to be pulled out or what we like in other people's yards. But my FAV moments talking to Mr. B are when he says to me "Do you think that's a weed?" and points out some new monstrous growth that has popped up in his yard. Occassionally I say "Well I always pull those out". But this time - I must insist - he has grown a weed to be proud of! This thing is HUGE! I took this photo after the kiddos were in bed last night, or I would have had Ari and Jack pose next to it! It's at least 3 ft tall and has HUGE velvety silver leaves. The top actually looks like it may bloom! I will keep an eye on it and post more pictures if it does.
I wish I could grow weeds like that....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Metro Montage Poster from the MCMA

I mentioned before that I got one piece into this year's Metro Montage Juried Art Show at the Marrieta-Cobb Museum of Art. I just got another nice surprise when I saw that my pastel drawing of the nude male, "Mike Drawing in the Sand", was included on the poster! I am very honored to be among such gorgeous pieces of art.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Drawing Flowers in My garden...I need practice!

I love flowers. I love plants, trees, shrubs, and almost anything that grows. I even love the bizarre weeds that my neighbor Bruce grows, never sure if they are supposed to be there (I have GOT to take a picture of the massive one growing in his backyard - you will be amazed!)
However, gardening is not my strong suit. Neither is drawing flowers. I was encouraged by a blog reader to try it - I love flowers, I love drawing, so why not? Well, the whole time I was drawing I kept thinking "so THIS is why I usually draw naked people..." With the figure, I only have to keep track of two arms and two legs...with flowers and leaves and stems - wow! my ADD kicked in!
Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed the quiet time sitting in my back yard as the kids napped - totally worn out from the sun and water on the boat today - but I think I need a lot more practice! Here's a few shots of my work space, and the pastels that I am brave enough to show!

Oh and the kids on the boat :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Male Nude as a Warrior - Figure Drawing in Graphite

Our figure drawing group in Woodstock was very lucky to have Mike posing for us in military garb on Thursday. He is a very professional model, and you can tell that he treats the job as more than just "standing there" - he actually made a spear to use based on a drawing he saw in a book. He had several props, including a sword and a shield, and a cranberry piece of cloth that he used to tie over his shoulder, giving him the look the he just stepped out of the screen of the movie "300".
And let me tell you - holding this pose was not an easy task. Any one who has ever done Yoga knows that holding a pose is incredible exercise!
I did two graphite sketches from different vantage points. The lighting was great, and he has incredible definition in his torso. This is a plus and a challenge - every breath changes the landscape of his torso, so you have to either catch a moment or combine each lighting change as he breathes.

The pose and costume reminded me of the sketch I did of the soldier on the horse, much like the one my great-grandfather did.
You can tell that Mike is one of my favorite models - more samples of male nude drawings.

Latest Portrait Commission - Grandpa for Father's Day

Just mailed out a custom portrait commission for Father's Day. This is the client's Grandfather, who passed away many years ago. It is a gift for her father - isn't that wonderful?

This is a charcoal drawing on cream drawing paper. While the approach is pretty traditional, I also wanted to have a loose quality to the drawing, and used a cross-hatching technique for shading and defining the space.

Drawing glasses can also be a challenge. The distortion of the features, the reflections, the frames, can all look cartoonish if drawn in a different approach than the rest of the face. But I love a challenge and I am very happy with the result. I feel that the eyes are the focus of the portrait.

View more of my custom portrait samples in my Etsy shop.

New Figure Drawings of the Female Nude - Pastel - The Red Scarf

I know it's been a while since i shared some work! Now that the sun is shining and the lake is full, we are enjoying many wonderful mornings at the beach. I will have to post some pictures of that, too!

We drew the lovely "Miss I" last Wednesday, and I was so tired, and worn out, and I just wasn't "connecting" as much as I wanted to with my work...but I am glad I worked thru it. I was trying to create a focal point of her head/red scarf. The red was warm and rich and wonderful.
I also did a quick sketch from another view....
I am pleased with the colors on her skin - the olives and reds and pinks coming together in layers, but I am not overly satisfied with my background - perhaps I need to soften it with some blending.
You can see all of my recent pastel drawings of the female nude in my Etsy shop.