Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Pastel Drawings, Portraits and Commission work from the studio!

Has this been the busiest December...ever?!?!  I can't believe 2011 is only a few days away!

I've been trying to finish up a few projects the last couple of days, in between playing with my daughter's new Barbies from Santa and the new Crayola Crayon Making machine - which is like the coolest toy ever!

First of all I was thrilled to hear from one of my clients on Christmas day, after she and her family opened up a painting she commissioned of her son.  It's been 13 years in the making (although only 2 months on my end!) - ever since she had her other son's portrait painted by another artist.   It was a challenging and rewarding experience because I was emulating the style of the other portrait, while still keeping my own personality in the custom portrait.

I'm also trying to finish up a few pastels that I started from the live model in the last couple of months.  I just worked on this pastel figure drawing, which has that gorgeous lime drapery that compliments her black hair so perfectly.

And I am also putting the final touches on this custom pastel of a lounging figure with a white robe.  It should be ready to go to it's new home in the next few days.

I finished this drawing of the ballet dancer with striped socks last week, and have been tweaking and perfecting large and small prints, which are now available in my Etsy shop!

Believe it or not...this is just the very top of a long list of drawings and paintings and ideas that I have yet to develop.  Like many artists/moms, there's never enough un-interrupted hours in the studio!    I look forward to sharing new pieces with you in the near future.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Female Figure with Drapery and Stockings - the final touches in pastel

I finished working on this beautiful figure with a white silk robe and striped thigh high stockings.  The brick red colourfix paper gives the whole drawing a sense of warmth.  I love the way turquoise blue pastel pencil reacts against the color of the red paper...causing a little vibration on the surface.  That effect, combined with the pattern in her stockings and the folds of the robe, create a truly dynamic composition.

I'm working on producing prints of these latest pastels.  Keep an eye on my Etsy shop where they will be available soon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Time in the studio: a precious commodity!

Did you ever have one of those weeks where it seems EVERYTHING is plotting against you?  I have so many drawings and paintings and commissions and projects I want to work on in the studio!  The longer the list, the more of life's interruptions seem to get in the way.

But this morning I made the most of the 140 minutes I had between dropping my daughter off and picking her up!  I was working on a special request - a female figure, back view, a little drapery, soft palette...

It's coming along nicely!  Destined for a bathroom wall.  The pose was even based on how you enter the room, and what direction the client wanted the model to face.  (And I am so lucky to work with amazing models who allow me pose them!)

And this drawing of the model wearing the tutu with striped socks I started last week has been SCREAMING for my attention!  I had to work on it for a little while.  Other than finishing her hand and maybe paying a little attention to the background, I think she's done.  A fellow artist looked at it on the night I started and said "oh...you are never going to want to sell that!" and at first I thought "Sure I will!"  But now...I may have to live with it for a while :) I love it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Classic and Quirky, the Ballerina with Striped Socks

A couple of months ago I got this gorgeous ballet costume from my daughter's dance studio.  It is a velvet top with the sweetheart neckline in a warm gold and mossy green color, with a short tutu in layers of green, golds, and cranberry.  I was hoping it would fit one of my favorite models. 

So I brought it with me last night to our figure drawing group and asked our beautiful model if she would be willing to do the gesture poses in the outfit, a little fearful that it wouldn't fit, but also wondering if it might be too dull or "classic", not making for a very exciting drawing.

Well as luck would have it...she steps out of the restroom and the tutu fits her perfectly.  And the best part was that she had on these above the knee black and white striped socks that added just the right level of fun to the outfit.

Her hair up in a bun, she started with some beautiful gesture poses.

I liked quickly massing in the shape of the tutu and striping her socks.

A longer pose, about 40 minutes, with dramatic lighting, making full use of her long legs and gorgeous neckline.

I may fix a few moments, but I really like this as it is - the billowing layers of her skirt, the dramatic shadows across her collarbone, the outstretched leg.

For our final pose, she kept the stockings but switched to a light white robe.  The pattern on the socks again elevated a simple and elegant pose to something more.

Nupastel on colourfix paper.

Draw all you want, but you have to really listen as well

I'm in a really funky place right now.  The last couple of days have been weird, in many ways, and I'm still trying to figure it all out. 

There's no good place to begin so I'll just start, although I reserve the right to change topics whenever I see fit.

Two nights ago I had a very vivid dream that woke me up from a deep sleep, about a spirit lifting me up and carrying me thru a house.  The dream was so real that when I woke up, I was incredibly scared and thought for sure there was someone in the room with me.   I have had incredibly detailed dreams in the past, many of which corresponded with either a death or birth of a loved one.  So I was a little shaken yesterday.

Last night, I was at drawing group (I will post the drawings next) and I was chatting with a fellow artist about looking for my own studio space.  We had barely spoken a few words before she looked right at me and said "It's not the right time.  Your kids are still young.  You need to be there.  There will be plently of time for you to have your own space.  Be with your kids"  And I started crying.  Because for months now I've been thinking that it's time for me to get my own studio, to start teaching again, to hang my work on some walls and start meeting with clients, feeling like I am wasting away and not living up to my potential.  But torn because I really want to be home with my children.  It was like she was telling me something that I needed to hear - "Not yet".  And for the first time in a while, I let the idea go.  I stopped fretting and being anxious about finding a space and just said to myself "Not yet". 

Well right before class ended, around 10 pm, I got a text from my mother that my Great Uncle was being taken to the hospital.  Within an hour, he passed away from a massive heart attack.   So many emotions in such a short time. 

Had I dreamt about my Uncle? Was he the one who lifted me up and carried me around in my dream? Was my friend, who told be to "let it go" (in a good way) the one who helped me feel that sense of weightlessness in my dream?   I don't know. 

What I do think is that sometimes we have to stop focusing so much on what WE want, (and I'm not saying don't have dreams or ambitions or goals), but there are times when it is right to move forward and take a big risk, and times when you need to wait and be there for your kids or your family.  If you are not sure, just be ready to listen. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Charcoal Drawing of Couple accepted into NUDE 2011

Very excited...just received an e-mail that my charcoal drawing on textured modeling paste, "Moment of Surrender", has been accepted into Lexington Art League's Nude 2011 exhibition, which will take place January 15th to March 13th in Lexington, KY!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lime and Wine. Who knew it was such a magical combination?

Yes, wine is frequently a large contributor to our figure drawing sessions.  However, this time I am referring to the color of the paper I was working on, and the super 70's shag carpet lime green chenille blanket our model brought with her!  The color combination was awesome!

This was our long drawing, about an hour and 20 minutes of work time.  There is also a bit of white drapery under the small of her back. 

A shorter drawing, about half an hour on a grey piece of colourfix paper.  I think her raven black hair and the lime green blanket are also setting each other off perfectly.