What I Did on My Vacation

Some of you are aware that I have a full time job that is NOT related to my art. AT. ALL.

So in February, I decided to take a week off and not go anywhere or do anything but work on my art and art related marketing. This was a big step for me, because while I’ve been involved in the art community for a few years now and see myself as an artist, I see myself as a part-time artist who can’t spend a lot of time doing art things. I have excuses galore!

My productivity isn’t anywhere near what it would be as a full time artist, but I think I did pretty well on my week “off”.
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I started off by going to several galleries in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Pittsboro with my sister (check out her blog here).

We visited Fearrington Village and took pictures of the Belted Galloways (rare breed of Scottish beef cows), Of course I only had my iPhone with me. I need to learn to keep my camera with me at all times. I always see things that are be “picture worthy” when I don’t have my camera.

We then went to a gallery in Pittsboro, Liquidambar Gallery, where many pieces of art were being auctioned for “Art for the Animals” – a benefit for the Carolina Tiger Rescue. (A place I need to go to WITH my camera!)

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Agh! My first official day off, and it’s a snow day. Snow isn’t unheard of in the piedmont NC area, but it was the only day this winter it snowed. The kids had the day off and spent the morning making a snowman that would quickly melt by early afternoon.

I had an appointment at the NC Crafts Gallery, and ended up leaving behind some magnets for the gallery to sell. The gallery is exactly what the name says– a great collection of art and crafts spread throughout.

I loved these watercolor paintings attached to panels here.

During my vacation week, I went to a few artist meetings, one that I’ve participated in for a while, the other I was recently juried into.

I also went into Raleigh which isn’t TOO far, but far enough to wait until I had a few other errands. I picked up my violet painting from the Visual Art Exchange where it was hanging for a month. I then went to Jerry’s Artarama…anytime I am in a 30 mile radius of this place, I JUST HAVE TO GO! Plus, if you check in on Facebook, you receive a 10% discount on any item. Not bad. After stocking up on a few things, I then went to “A and B Store Fixtures”. I talk about the place in this post.

On Saturday, I went to a pastel workshop that I was looking forward to for a long time (I talk about it here). It was great that I was able to bring home three small pieces. I promptly re-framed one of them once I got home.

OK, so it doesn’t look like I was THAT productive, but at the end of the week, I finished a malamute, a goat, a donkey, started an elk and a lesser kudu. AND I received quite a few interested emails from my revamped blog, facebook, and twitter accounts.

I’m fascinated by the daily activities of those who create art full-time and would love to hear how you go through your day!

WIP: Elk

This is the WIP for the Elk. In order to depict the massive rack, I wanted to do this on the largest surface I had in the studio. So, I used my only 18″ x 24″ pastelbord (gray). If I had something larger, I would have used it. I’ve found I like to work large when working on animals…maybe it’s because I prefer to stand when using charcoal and pastel, maybe it’s because the nature of the subject warrants to me really get in the fur without getting bogged down with the detail. 
On the other hand, the colored pencils are the opposite. I prefer to sit down, work smaller (for now), and concentrate on the details.
So let’s get back to the elk…I’ve added captions to each step. I guess I didn’t take a picture of the drawing, but my favorite step is below…right after I’ve drawn in the subject, and I pick up the first and second color. It’s just magic. 🙂
Blocking in the elk and background…
  Adding detail…
  Here’s a good photo of the easel and reference photo. Not the best placement for the photo, but I haven’t figured how to affix the references without looking away from my easel.
  Working on the horns a little more…
  Softening the horns further away, working on the chin contour, correcting the ear