Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Newsletter

My April newsletter is out...A brief update on what's happening in my studio AND a code for FREE SHIPPING in April...enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Paintings of Charly Palmer, Atlanta Artist

Last night my husband and I, and I'm betting along with everyone else in our neighborhood, were woken up at 4:30 am by the loudest clap pf thunder I have ever heard.  The entire house shook for a full ten seconds.  The rain never let up, so when I got ready to take the kids to school I turned on the TV hoping to catch an update on the road conditions.  Well I never made it to the news because I landed on a channel that was profiling local Atlanta artist Charly Palmer.

I only got to enjoy about 5 minutes of the program, but I was immediately drawn to his brushwork, his palette, and his obvious joy in his paintings.  He has a wonderful way of telling a story about his subject matter, layering time and space and multiple vantage points on one canvas.

I look forward to learning more about this fantastic artist.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tinkerbell brought her magic today

Today was a special day...Tinkerbell came to my studio to paint along side me...and when she isn't painting, she's skipping around the studio.  Just skipping.  It's her preferred mode of travel. And it makes me smile.

I was getting started on a new painting, very of three, they asked for lots of color and texture, so I prepped the surface with my favorite mix of modeling paste, paint and gesso and then sketched out the figures.

I also finished a watercolor portrait, and photographed this drawing from our Wednesday night figure drawing session.  This was our first time having this male model, and he did an amazing job.  Wonderful pose!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Time in the studio...

I walked into the studio first thing in the morning the other day and was filled with a great sense of appreciation.  That I have this beautiful place to come to and create, a new commission sitting on the easel.  That I have wonderful clients full of enthusiasm and great ideas.  That I have a supportive husband and two delightful, healthy and creative children.

I am so thrilled to have a full custom portrait schedule for the next 4 months.  I can't wait to finish each unique and special piece.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Portrait Information and A Painting Update

This has been a very exciting couple of days.  I was truly humbled and honored to be featured on Heather Armstong's Blog last Thursday.  Her kind words about my work meant so much to me.  (To be honest, my goal is to make every client go "Holy Crap!" ...much better than "Eh, it's OK")

Within minutes of her post going live I had thousands of visitors to my blog and my Etsy Shop.  The response has been overwhelming, and in such a great way.  The positive words, the genuine kindness about my work, and enthusiasm for my style has been amazing.

Heather took a big chance on me, and I am only now beginning to comprehend what that means.  By sharing that painting, she basically has said "I believe in Kristina's work".  Believes in my work.  It is hard to put into words how that makes me feel.

I am not taking this opportunity lightly!  I hope that I treat every new visitor and client with respect and fairness.  I look forward to creating many more beautiful pieces, and I am so excited that so many clients are drawn to my colorful and eclectic style.  I have several portrait commissions lined up, and if I can take on yours, I will do so, depending on the schedule.

Here is a little more information on my Custom Portrait Process.

In the I order new supplies and get ready to start on new orders...I really want to finish up the model in the red skirt and striped vest!

This media is awesome to work with.   A primed panel, I spread a thin layer of a modeling paste/gesso/paint mix that gave it a textured layer similar to venetian plaster.  Glazing and painting several layers on top of that, I am building up a lot of color and interest on the surface.

So I better finish this one VERY SOON!

Thank you so much for checking out my blog and my work. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A new painting on my easel...

I have been in the new studio (yay!) for a couple weeks now and as soon as I moved in I knew I wanted to work on a large painting.  I had taken some photos about a month ago of one of our gorgeous models in a red tutu, a little striped vest, and a black cap, keeping with the ballerinas and the stripes and the dancer motif I have been exploring!

Yesterday I started on a 30" x 40" primed panel, first sketching out the figure in charcoal.  Then, I added a layer of primer - a mix of gesso, modeling paste and paint to seal in the sketch, put some color down, and build up some texture on the surface.

Next I drew on top of that with some blue paint, working out scale and position of model.

I wanted to start with blue because I thought the red of the skirt, which is a really true red with cool undertones, would work best on top of blue rather than an olive green or brown.

Today, back in the studio, I worked with very thin layers of paint to block in the larger areas of color - the background wall, the cast shadow, the skin tones, the red skirt.  I love the texture from the modeling paste! 

I love this stage of the painting, where everything is loose and bright.  My goal is to build up several layers of color, maybe sanding back to the blue primer in some areas, or rubbing in some dark glazes in the textures.  It's hard to predict where I will go...but I always enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Healing Portrait

A couple of weeks ago our wonderful family of Artists experienced a harsh dose of reality.  One of our fellow artists went into emergency surgery to remove a fist-sized tumor from her brain that had gone unnoticed for almost a decade.

After the dust settled and the shock wore off, if only a bit, our good friend organized a Healing Portrait Painting Party at his studio.

We each took turns painting and collaging on the canvas, capturing different aspects of our friend and her personality.  Her love of swinging, a picture of her dog, a photo of a woman hiking, beautiful flowers.  I'd like to say we all bowed to each other's vision...but no.  We painted over each other's work, we added colors and layers over different pictures, we all wanted to make adjustments.

But as each artist stepped back and glanced from the painting to our friend, we each returned to the same goal.  To capture her likeness, to heal our shocked hearts and her stapled head.

It's times like these that reinforce my belief that Art, and Artists, have a truly important and worthwhile role in our society.  I feel so blessed to be part of such a talented and nurturing group.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Creative Little Girl

I have to share a story before I forget it.  My little girl, Arianna will be four this month and it seems like her imaginative play has kicked into high gear.  She is always making up stories and drawing pictures and just chatting a mile a minute, lego men living very complex lives on top of the kitchen counter.

A couple weeks ago we had some warm sunny weather and the first opportunity to clean and rake the yard after a very long cold GA winter.  As I was raking the pine needles in the back yard, Arianna was sitting on the edge of the deck, talking to the ground (I'm not sure if the ground was talking back, but she sure had a lot to say.) Suddenly she calls me over, exclaiming

"Mommy mommy look the baby bird is hatching from the egg!"

Being pro imagination I went over, bent down and looked real close and said

"Oh yes I see the baby bird coming out! Where is the mother bird?"

Arianna responded with a long explanation of the mother's bird absence as I went back to my rake and the never-ending supply of pine needles in need of attention.

A short while later she calls to me again, a bit of panic in her voice

"Mommy mommy you have to help the baby bird he's stuck on the roof!"

"Oh no!" I cried, coming closer to the house, looking up as high as I could.

"You have to rescue him" pleaded Arianna.

Abandoning my rake for the second time, I bravely climbed the wooden swing set, determined to rescue the ill fated young bird from certain death.  Reaching the top of the swing set, I reached my arm up as high as I could, adding a grunt, putting forth a great deal of effort to retrieve the small creature.

As I craddled the tiny bird in my cupped hand, I deftly climbed back down the swing set, prepared to be hugged by my grateful daughter as she cried "Thank you mommy!" over and over again.

I presented my cupped hand, proudly saying "See Ari - he's okay!"

Ari peered into my hand, and said

"That's the wrong bird"

Ari in my new studio space.  I cleaned, she created :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Figure Drawing and Sculpture Show is all set!!

SO excited! Last night sculptor Matt Lewis brought some gorgeous sculpture to my new shared studio space and this morning I was setting up for Mardi Gras on Main, and everything came together beautifully.  Matt's sculptures and my drawings found a wonderful dialogue, and I can't wait for everyone to see the pieces in person.

If you can't make it this evening, please contact me and I will arrange studio hours for a tour. Thank you!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Pastel Figure Drawing...

Just taking a quick moment to share our long drawing from last night's drawing group!  One of my favorite models, a lovely pose and subtle lighting.  This is Nupastel on cranberry colourfix paper, 13" x 19".  I started with dark blue and dark red, slowly adding the lighter skin tones.

I made sure to develop the drapery at the same time as the figure.  Because the drapery was light silver, I had to make sure the light value of the drapery was correct compared to the light values in her skin.  Also, being silver and a little shiny, it had a reflective quality.  So, as I found the colors in her skin tones, I had to pick them up in the drapery as well.

If you are interested in joining us in Woodstock, GA for figure drawing, please check the Studio Schedule.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Figure Drawing and Sculpture Show - part of Mardi Gras on Main, Woodstock

So excited...I am actually moving into this studio on Main Street in Woodstock!  A place to create, share, teach and sell my work.  This show is going to be wonderful, and it sounds like Mardi Gras on Main will have a lot going on!  See you then!