November Flower: Work In Progress (WIP)

November Chrysanthemum, colored pencil

Not the greatest picture…since this was taken from my cell phone.
I changed jobs recently and had to fly out to my new official company yesterday and just flew back home tonight. I brought my colored pencils, a pad and a few works in progress to do on the plane. I really need to get a better pencil sharpener, because the travel sharpener I have really eats up the pencils. I’m learning a few things now that I’m creating more pieces. When you create artwork, you’re using supplies and they run low quickly!
  • Creating Art = Good: well, creating art! Bad: Supplies run low
  • Not Creating Art = Good: Supplies are always there. Bad: Not producing art…(Jerry’s Artarama, here I come!)

On another note, as I was waiting for my flight at RDU yesterday, I hear over the intercom “Mr. So and So, please come to security to pick up your package…” and I’m thinking, oh, I hope this so and so guy picks up what he left behind…I really don’t want the airport to shut down! I guess he picked it up, because I got on my plane uneventfully. Coming back home today, guess who did the same thing at the Providence airport? Sometimes, I really need to go blonder to go with my mind. I was so happy that for once I didn’t have to go through security and unpack a laptop, that I left behind the case that I brought to carry my drawing pad! I was happily (and lightly) walking down the aisle to my gate, talking on the phone with my mom, and was telling her how nice it was to not be weighed down with all this stuff…and I realized the reason! Tomorrow, I’ll see about putting my name on the case.

Portrait

Lavada and Ken, charcoal, 11″x14″

I feel like I’ve neglected this, but I guess not…it’s only been 5 days or so. I think I’m getting to the final stretch with the most recent portrait, though I’m still not calling it done. It has a different feel to it than the others, but I think it has more to do with the following:

  1. the source photo: the source photo was not as clear as the others, so there is less detail. Less detail in the photo=less detail in the portrait.
  2. vicinity to the camera: this comes back to the # of subjects for obvious reasons.
  3. # of subjects: the more people in the portrait, the less focus I can provide to each. Basically, this is the key to the whole portrait – the more subjects, the further they have to be from the camera, and the less detail it will provide.

So, really it comes down to you get what you give me. As a customer, it’s up to you to tell me what you want. You are paying for a portrait and I want it to be the best that it can possibly be. That means when I ask you to give me criticism (ie, does it look like you/him/her? What about the nose that doesn’t look right?). I’m perfectly fine with straying from the photo, since photographs are known to lie.

Sold!

Some of you already know that I joined a local art co-op a few months ago. We’ve been quite busy trying to get the studio up and running as a co-op and last night we had a reception for friends and family. The turn out was great, and the gallery looked extremely nice. The website is being updated, but you can go to Art and Soul Studios to learn a little bit about us.

I also learned that I sold one of my pieces! What more encouragement can you ask for than to have your art sold! The piece is called “Three Sisters”, painted with watercolor.
I have to work on replacing this piece and haven’t decided on whether to do another watercolor or continue to work on some more charcoal or colored pencil. The painting that sold definitely inspired me to work on another one with the same theme. There is one that I’ve thought about doing with my son and nephews…We’ll see!

First Real Attempt at Colored Pencil…and Arlington

This is a pretty bad photograph, so I apologize for that…but I’m beginning to see how obsessive colored pencil can be. The only thing I did before this one was an ATC a month ago, but I guess I still didn’t get “it”. I’ve just been too hesitant to use just one color, thinking that it was cheating. The flower above was done using an example from the book Painting Light with Colored Pencil by Cecile Baird. The flower is a little different from the book since I didn’t have the colors she listed, and I didn’t worry about getting the petals like the example. However, the steps that were listed were clear enough that when I followed them with my version of colors, it turned out pretty good for my first serious attempt at CP. Since it’s just a practice one, I didn’t worry about the background, either. I may add it later.

As for the sketch below, this is just to prove to you guys (and me), that I’m continuing to work on different things – even if it’s not finished! My brother recently travelled to Washington, DC with his wife and visited our dad in Arlington National Cemetery. This was a photo he took looking at the marker (Court 8) with the Pentagon in the background. (Well, can’t you tell that already?)

Weekly Sketch

Lightbulb, charcoal, 9″ x 11″

Yep, it’s a lightbulb. As a part of my renewed commitment to my work, I am participating in a weekly sketch over on Wetcanvas. The great thing about this site is that it provides reference photos without any issues of copyright. The photo gallery over there is wonderful! I have spent many nights browsing the photographs, from people, animals to landscapes and machinery. However, the downside of drawing or painting from a reference photo is that you can be limited by the quality of the photo and its composition. The one thing I never thought about was that you are also limited by your printer. I printed a photo of the lightbulb and went on my merry way to begin the sketch. The shadow kept bothering me since it was cropped so harshly. Once I finished, I went back to the site to post my progress and lo and behold the original photo was different! My printer cropped the shadow more than the original. I know, it’s a little irritation that can be easily remedied by adding more to the right of the sketch. Since I used vine charcoal, it’s easily corrected.

Where I Am Now

So, there’s a first time for everything, right? I’ve pondered for months whether or not to start a blog and like all bloggers, I decided to give it a try. Before, I thought I had nothing to talk about except for my kids, my husband, my family in general…and who wants to read about my life?

Well, since I am an artist, it never occured to me to talk about my art! After all, it’s been quite some time since I did anything real with it. Once I graduated, (with art and history degrees), I went straight to work…in clinical research. Oh, I get the question all the time. How does one with an art degree go into clinical research? Ummm…I always wanted to be a starving artist, until I figured out that meant not having any money! Plus, it helps to have a sister that knows someone with a temp position open…Anyway, that’s beside the point. It’s been a while. Now, I am back, trying to pull artself back together and get serious (as serious as I can get with a full-time job and two toddlers. Oh sorry – one toddler and one pre-schooler).

<-preschooler