Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge

Kelly  9" x 12", charcoal, pencil, pastel on colored pastel paper
We are on Week 3 of  Kelly's Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge.  Being a busy week for me with so limited time, I thought a charcoal sketch on colored paper would be quicker, and I still get to participate.  For this week's challenge, I took some artistic license and changed Kelly's face slightly.  I just couldn't see her face very well in the photo posted, so I used another picture of  her face. 

If you would like to join us, every week she posts a picture of herself in a pose for you to sketch or paint or whatever.

I really enjoyed the challenge.  You can see the original photo here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

To My Grown Up Daughter, Love Dad

Kristen in her new dorm room with Mom & Dad

Here is a poem written by my husband for our daughters.  It was inspired by and adapted from "To My Grown-Up Son" by Debra Barone but changed significantly.

"I was so busy throughout the day
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to
I didn't have much time for you.

Home from work—so much time it took
When you'd bring your coloring book
Ask me to play with a great big smile
I'd say: "Maybe in a little while"

I read to you in bed by your nite-light
You wanted me to read all night
I was always anxious to get out the door
I wish now I'd stayed a few minutes more.

For life is short, the years rush past
A little girl grows up so fast.
No longer does she pull at your side,
Or move behind you--from the world to hide.

The toys and things are put away,
There are no longer games to play,
No good-night Daddy for me to hear
That all belongs to yesteryear.

I longed for days of quiet peace.
Times without little girls at my feet
But now I wish I could go back and do
Each and every thing you asked me to."

Love Daddy! ♥

I'm getting so sappy in my old age! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday

As you see, I'm still working on my nutcracker idea.  I came across this pack of  4" x 12" canvas in Michael's and thought maybe this would be a better idea.  So I'm working with flimsy the way I would work as an interior designer. I just sketched these guys quickly to give me a feel of what they might look like.  The backgrounds could be 3 different flat colors.   You could imagine a row of these guys on the wall.  If I made prints, I could mount them to the canvas and paint the sides a color.

Background in watercolor/acrylic

Background in pastel
This is the backgrounds I came up with for what I was working on last week.   I do like the look of  the pastel, but I don't want to start learning a new medium for this.  I'm also tempted to make their faces warmer/friendlier. By stylizing them, do you lose the fact that they're nutcrackers?  I would love to hear your thoughts/ideas. 

If you want to join us in the fun, just click on  "In the Studio"  and give it a try.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge

Kelly mixed media 10" x 13"on watercolor paper

It's time for  Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge.  Kelly posted another ballet pose on her blog for anyone wanting  to sketch or paint her.  This week, I decided to do this painting as a mixed media piece.  I've admired artists who mix painting and papers with their figure work and always wanted to try it.  I used papers, stamps, watercolor, acrylic, pencil, and gesso.    It took a lot longer to do than just paint, because I had to invent the background and not just paint it.  You see I can't get away from opera pink and cerulean blue. 

I really enjoyed the challenge.  You can see the original photo here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday

Not ready to see Nutcrackers  yet?  Me, either.  Here they are all over my desk this week.  In order to be ready for the holiday season, we'd better start now, right?   Well, when I do open my etsy shop, I have an idea of selling these little guys as prints.

So many of my friends go all out with decorating their homes at Christmas and wouldn't it be fun to have a grouping of these little men on the wall?   There's the idea, but I've been stuck on do I do a background or not and if I do, what kind of background.

So, I decided to just start painting them.  I can always print some to fool around with a background later on.   I've tried different ideas...musical notes, lyrics from the Nutcracker ballet, but so far I haven't liked anything yet.

Also on my desk is my new Kodak picture frame.  Instead of printing the picture to paint from, I can put it on the screen and paint a more 3-d version of the subject.  Although with this new printer I just got, the printed picture of the nutcracker was much better than the picture frame.  So,  maybe good for some pictures and not for others.  I'm still experimenting.

If you want to join us in the fun, just click on  "In the Studio"  and give it a try.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kelly Berkey's Weekly Challenge

Kelly 10" x 10" watercolor on bristol illus. paper

I came across Kelly's Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge, and decided it was a good way to get back into painting after my break.  Every week she will post a picture of herself in a ballet pose for you to sketch or paint or whatever.

I really enjoyed the challenge.  You can see the original photo here

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bryce Canyon, Utah

While we were taking the 1.5 mile hike through Sunset Point in Bryce, my daughter, Dana, said she couldn't help but think of this quote:

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.  Henry David Thoreau

This reminds me of my experience at the Art Festival last month.  There were many artists who had so much artwork consuming display walls and racks that I felt overwelmed by the sheer quantity of good quality work for sale.   Comparing myself to them put the fear in my boots.  So, my new practice is to stop feeding the monster inside my head.  Ignore its raging ramblings and fill my head with quotes like the one above.

I don't know what my castle will look like in the end, as you, but let's just show up together with mortar and brick, holding hands, doing the our creative best so that some day we'll stand back, look up and admire together those beautiful castles in the sky.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rainbow in Arches

"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web.” -- Picasso

Rainbow at Arches National Park

How I wish I could take a few hours and park myself somewhere to paint.  I brought my 
paints, brushes, but forgot paper.  Auugggh.  Oh well, kind of hard with family waiting on you anyway.   

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Arches National Park, Utah

Well I have to start this post with the typical tourist picture from our trip to Arches National Park in Utah.   Delicate Arch is the most well-known arch easily recognizable on many Utah license plates.

Had to take a family shot under the arch.

Nowhere else can you see such a diversity of natural geological formations.

The clouds are unbelievable...all these pictures taken on 1 day.

The camera gets past back and forth between Kristen and I ...never know what you'll get. 

The beautiful scenery surrounding us.

Kristen poses for this shot.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday

All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. - Eckhart Tolle

 Welcome to Sneak Peek Friday everyone!  In lieu of showing my actual desk today, because I'm excited to show what I've been working on all week ...the process of my dog portrait paintings.  My intention is to add it as a page to the tabs at the top of my blog.  Here we go:

Image 1:

I do a light pencil sketch from a photo of the dog on watercolor paper.  Then I start blocking in shapes and laying down the lightest color first. 

During this beginning stage, I give special attention to the eyes since they are the soul of the dog and if they aren't correct at this stage, I will never be able to fix them later on. 

Image 2:

Next, I start laying down thin washes of color watching that there are no hard edges where they're not suppose to be.  I use 2 brushes at this point...a brush to put on the color and a wet brush to blend and wipe away.

Image 3:

Up to this point, there is no actual fur painted.  Even though beautiful Ella is a short hair Vizsla, the hair still needs to be stippled on top of the shading.   I still go back and forth as I work all the areas together as a whole. 

Here's the finished portrait of Ella, 12" x 16", on 140lb. Arches watercolor paper.

Here's the original photo...

To add a final explanation point to my painting, I made a little stamp with a paw print to work my signature around.  

If you want to join us in the "Sneak Peak" fun, just click on  "In the Studio"  and give it a try.

I will be taking a short creative blog break to go on a family vacation through Utah's State Parks.  Hopefully, I can post some awesome vacation photos during our trip. Thanks for stopping by!