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!

Goat WIP

After I completed the donkey, I started to do this guy…and was asked by a few people to do it in pastel. OK…I hit a few bumps in the road since I haven’t really worked a lot with pastel. This was my first pastel animal (before the Alaskan Malamute).

I was working on two photos, but not on purpose. My reference was the black and white copy at the top. I realized I needed to go back to my photos and print out a color copy to work with pastels. The photo I chose wasn’t a perfect match, but I went with it anyway. (Not to self…delete the reference photos you decide NOT to use…or…don’t take so many photographs!)

Basically, blocking in color…but I guess I didn’t use a lot of charcoal in the beginning of this one.

Here’s a close up.
 

Adding more to the nose and face…note the lavendar/purple?

Working on the head and fur a little bit….and background still hasn’t been started! (There should be warning sounds here…) 

Because, what was a I thinking? I wanted to add a little more color to the background, I guess, but it wasn’t working. I should have stayed with the photo reference, but being used to close ups and values with charcoal, backgrounds could be abstract. That’s what I was going for, but my attempt to add color didn’t work at first. The goat started to recede and not pop out as much.

(*Cringe…*)

Starting to blend the background. There are certain colors that will be banned from my pastels…Olive green is one of them…

I decided to stop here for a while and even signed it, thinking that it would grow on me and that maybe, it was the goat that I wasn’t fond of. Maybe it was the subject matter after all…

Except it wasn’t. I like goats. I think they’re cute, so…

After I finished the malamute and went to the pastel class, I thought that maybe I overworked the goat. That I blended too much.

Part of what I love most about pastels is the texture that you can SEE. Some pastel artists do blend and create beautiful paintings. I love them! But…I want to go another way. I want to see the strokes of the pastel stick. To figure out when the artist used the flat end of the pastel or sharpened the end of it like a pencil. That’s the beauty of pastel to me.

So I worked on the goat a little more…and added some warmth to him and the background.

I’m getting there.