Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Back in the Pond

I haven't posted anything of late... I've backpedaled a bit. I'm working on two children's rooms for an old client of mine. Yes, I know I want to give up the mural business and essentially I have. But the circumstances surrounding this job are special and I always liked this client anyway, so it's okay. Besides, I've always said, depending on the circumstances or client, I'd still do "Two Frogs" stuff. I just don't want it to be my focus anymore. Once I get the rooms done, I'll post photos of them. In the meantime, my blogging time has turned to frogging time.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another Paint Break...

"Logan", 20" X 20", acrylic

I've realized that I won't be done with the woodwork today, dang it! So, during this coffee/paint break I was poking around in my old "stuff". I ran across, "Logan" and thought you might enjoy this spunky little guy, since I haven't done any new painting this week. He's a little boy that lives down the street from us. It's over a year old, but I still love his expression! He has a little sister, Francesca, that I'll have to paint when she gets to be about the same age. It's always so much fun to do a child's portrait and try to catch the essence of their spirit.

Sigh...I miss being in the studio! I'm going to take a couple days off from being a house painter and get back to the business of being an artist, dag nabbit!

Found: Awesome Artist

Aargh...! Bad news: I'm still in the paint fumes, still wielding the paint brush - Good news: I should be done today. Painting woodwork is not a "fun" job, but it's one of those "must do" jobs to finish a room. Painting walls is much more satisfying, much more along the lines of instant gratification. I don't know about you, but for me there's something a little thrilling about what color can do to a room. And a fresh new color is always a kick.

But that's not what this post is about...

What I am writing about is what I do during my "paint breaks" - I surf around the web, looking at various artist blogs and websites. It just amazes me how many artists' sites there are and all the wonderful artwork and postings and resources and organizations and help and, and, and... geez-o-pete! How does one sift and sort through it all? One link leads to another link, leads to another link, leads to another link... I get so overwhelmed!

I ran across a wonderful artist yesterday that I want to share with you. Her name is Marsha Robinett. She works in pencil and her drawings are exquisite. She has made me fall in love with the power of the pencil, again. She refers to her style as "creative realism". Her attention to detail is tremendous and the depth of values in her drawings is just scrumptious. So rich. Being a painter primarily, I tend to forget about how wonderful working in pencil is. Pencil was my first love and Marsha's stunning work has made me want to revisit that medium. There is just something about graphite and charcoal that you can't get with any other medium, in my opinion. And no one does it better than Marsha. I've added links to her website and blog to this blog. Give your eyes a treat, check out her work.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Break Time/Play time

I was just taking a break from painting - not that kind of painting, house painting. That's my daily painting right now! I realized I needed to get the woodwork in the guest room done before my brother comes for a visit and I have a bit of painting to complete that got started in late December, in my Lizzy's room before she comes home on Spring Break. I still have to do some floral graphics inspired by her snowboard. (Remember, I was a muralist/decorative painter in my "before life"...) These are the kinds of little paint jobs in the house that are easier to do when it's basically just the dog and me around the house during the day, until my husband Steve, comes home from work. Theoretically one would think summer would be the optimum time, but not around this household! It gets way too busy. So for right now, we're living in the paint fumes (I use oil based paint for woodwork). I think I'll haul my air cleaner upstairs for some relief since it's too cold out to open windows...

Anyway, as the old saying goes, " An idle mind is the devil's workshop." Apparently, so too are idle hands! I changed the "look" of my blog. I thought I'd like to see a softer background so I shuffled the colors. I think I like it. It seems a bit easier on the eyes. We'll see... Anybody else have an opinion?

Monday, March 10, 2008

In, Out... No, In

I'm kind of "stuck" on this idea/concept of daily painting. And I realize that not every "daily painter" produces a painting per day, but somehow that scenario just keeps reverberating in my head. As I've stated before, I believe it's every painter's dream or goal to be able to paint every day. It's good discipline to make that commitment because otherwise it can become too easy to say, "I'll get in the studio later...", which can become, "Okay, tomorrow for sure...", which then becomes, "Man, I gotta get in the studio!", which has the potential to become, " Now, what the heck was I doing in here?" when the artist finally gets back in the studio!

So, new week, new Monday, new painting - but it won't be completed in one day. It already has a title, "Piccioni!" It will be the first painting from my series to-be called "The Italian Works".

Hm-m-m...maybe what I can do to "keep myself honest" about my daily painting is to post the painting's progress each day until it is complete. Otherwise, I'm afraid I may find a "reason" to be out of the studio, instead of in the studio.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Two Day Painting?

"Ena's Rose", 6" X 6", oil on canvas

Well, let's see... Monday I prepared panels to paint on, so I didn't paint per se, I gessoed panels. Tuesday, I went through the "what shall I paint" frustration syndrome again. Although I did manage to settle on something - a rose, up close and personal. Yeah, like we haven't seen that before! But it happened to be a rose that was in my aunt's garden, when I visited with her last summer. She has since passed on, so I felt that this rose transcended the triteness of subject. Anyway, I'd been playing in iPhoto with cropping and liked the abstract feel of the severe crop, but of course, painting it was a whole different thing!

I was in the process of checking the original photo on my computer when I discovered that the snow melt was causing water to seep into the basement! Aargh! So that took care of finishing the painting! I spent the rest of the day and night sucking up water as it would seep in and started demolishing on the cabinet that was covering where the water was coming in.

So, long story short, it became a two day painting instead of a daily painting.

I've also decided along the painted path I'm traveling, that doing "daily paintings" is not really working for me. I have found what I suspected before I even started, that the venture would be too limiting for me. It keeps me from doing other paintings because I'm so involved with trying to get a daily painting done. Also, I've never been a still life painter, so for me to set up a still life, no matter how simple, just never feels comfortable. I still love and admire the daily painting genre. It's just not working for me, personally. Will I continue to paint every day? Certainly! But will I produce a painting a day? Not likely. But maybe.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Own Parade

"My Own Parade", 6" X 6", oil on canvas

I'm back to my daily paintings. I know, it's "daily" painting... and my reason for the lapse? Getting ready for the exhibit, tired/burning eyes and basically, just not mentally prepared to commit over the weekend, apparently. But those are all poor excuses. It's a commitment. And when one makes a commitment, it's sometimes easier said than done. I think, in my case at least, it's more about the studio set-up. I need to get a system in place. One that I can just step into and do my work. As it stands right now, I don't feel very organized for this endeavor. So, that's my goal today. Get myself comfortable in my studio for doing these paintings AND do a painting today.

The painting I'm posting today is the one I did yesterday. It's of a little wooden figurine, from a set of "The Pied Piper" figurines. They were made in East Germany, (remember that?! Before the fall of the Berlin Wall?) over twenty-five years ago. I used to collect these little figurines for my oldest daughter, Sarah. I chose the little boy, blowing his horn. I call it "My Own Parade" because sometimes that's how I feel being an artist. Aside from "marching to the beat of a different drummer", I sometimes feel that I'm in a parade of one. That I have to "blow my own horn".