Friday, July 29, 2011

A Peek...

A Peek at the studio desk:

...and a peek at a little bouquet that has been completely inspiring me all week. There is just something lovely about a clunky beautifully shaped bottle on antique lace with Queen Ann's Lace shoved inside. Just does something to my creativity.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Birth of Painting Clothes

Charcoal on paper

Francesco: "Mommy why is that sweater still hanging on the clothes line?"
Me: "Cause it is."
Francesco: " Is it yours?"
Me: "It isn't."
Francesco: "You should take it down it's night time now."
Me: "Let it hang just a little while longer."

It has hung there for 5 days now. A last attempt at trying to get it clean. It has hung through the rain and through the scorching heat and it has managed to remain unscathed even though a hundred or more birds have flown over it to get to the neighbor's feeder. It hangs with stains that can never be removed. They are permanent. Made by accident in the laundry the very first time it was ever washed. Hidden in a corner of the basement for months so no one would know. Thrown in the rental truck when we moved so no one would know.

No one knows.

One day I may decide to wear it even though it is enormously too large for me. I will wear it while painting and the ill marks will be accompanied by spatters of paint. Colorful, vibrant, and funny splatters of paint will pair up with the marks and it will be glorious and it will help create beautiful art. It will become my lucky sweater.

Until then though, I'll let it hang.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Full Steam

Weather Girl first layers

It's full steam ahead here with commissions. I've been enchanted by Brigitte Eberl's new Breyer mold "Weather Girl". I just love this mold. Every part of her is so well sculpted and beautiful. I love it so much I opened up my books in order to paint another. This one is going bay with some faint dapples and some minimal whites.

The Babette is beautiful too. Heavy though and Im finding I have to work on one half of her body and let it dry before working on the other portion. She's just too heavy to work with in any other fashion. Well, things are drying very fast in this heat so back to work.

Weather Girl with a few more layers

The drying station...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Plate

Summer Plate with
"wheat" sample

I tend to juggle many different projects all at once. It keeps me on my toes creatively and keeps inspiration at an all time high. After finishing a Telsa resin and nearing finish on two Working Girl resins I got the urge (and inspiration) to revisit the huge problem area in the one Four Season plate I've titled "Summer".

The lower portion of flowers and wheat proved to be difficult right from the sketching phase where I just scribbled in something just to have that area covered with pencil marks. I always say that I'll figure it out later on and sometimes such areas never find finish, but last Thurs and Friday were the days I felt inspired and decided to tackle this area.

I'm very glad I decided to create a sample of wheat on a piece of scrap bristol. Having the sample nearby and having the process still fresh in my mind helped during the 3rd and 4th layers of the plate. As you can see, there was a problem with blocking in color and form right from the start, but I managed to tame it and I like the look. It isn't as covered with wheat and stalks as I originally envisioned, but I believe with all the activity on the bottom of the illustration a simpler handling was what this area needed.

Left hand side
with first layers

Several layers later
wheat begins to form

Upper portion now a problem

Of course, once areas come closer to finish the remaining areas start to look bad and the upper portion of clouds now need serious attention. Clouds are difficult to paint. I was fortunate enough to see and quickly capture some incredible clouds hanging over the house the other day. I will keep them on my Blackberry and refer to them as I flesh out the form and color in the upper left hand portion of this illustration. I couldn't ask for more perfect clouds.

As this piece nears completion I'll start on the "Winter" plate and handle it the very same way. Many layers of washes and then acrylics and then finishing touches in oil.

Perfect "live" reference

"Winter" plate getting taped
and prepped for sepia washes

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bar Sketching

Big hair, up high. Loved that
her cheeks and neck became one.

So what does an artist do on a Friday night when there is no one around and her son is partying in Brooklyn? (Yes, he was at a sleep over party having a tremendous time with his cousins). We gather pencils, pens and other drawing items and hit crowded places to sketch people. The fact that I wanted a cold beer prompted my trip to the local bar.

Last night I was very interested in people's faces and capturing their features. We all have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, ears and etc., but the combination of how these elements are placed together vary greatly which make up an individual. Capturing that in live time with people moving and watching and wondering (and getting drunk) can be difficult, but very fun. Here are some of the better sketches from last night at the bar.

Tommyboy's, Nanticoke PA

Shape of his neck
was fun to draw.

Her hair and eye lashes
intrigued me and I had to draw her.

Sometimes when people
shift positions in a chair
it creates interesting lines.

Bar view.
Way too much change/movement so I
quickly bagged this idea and centered in
on just capturing faces.

He knew something was up.
He wasn't pleased and kept an eye on me.

Yeah, people sometimes get pissed about being drawn. I've never understood that, but an angry person is something I have to contend with from time to time. This guy was quickly sketched and I avoided making any more eye contact with him. Overall the bar was a very pleasant one to sketch in and no one really bothered me. A few were curious and sent a designated person over to ask what I was doing. News quickly spread throughout the bar. That happens too.

Arms crossed was
difficult to capture.

Guy with the big gold chain
knew something was up too.
He kept a close watch.

Loved how elongated his
face was. The goatee accentuated the features

Yeah, papa had a
rockin' neck!

And, that was that. I'm currently searching out for another bar to sketch in maybe next week. A bar is good since people move in and out of view, but stay long enough to be captured on paper. This was just way too fun not to do again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Second layer of pigments

It's been a week of random happenings and creating. In trying to unify this thread all I can come up with's all rather random. From painting a lovely Sarah Mink medallion, to catching a hilltop race in the area, to hearts everywhere, it's all been a mixture of randomness. So I'll just share with you the photos and spare you a lengthy thread.

Finished Mink medallion
portrait of a childhood horse I once knew.

Giant's Despair.
I liked this little blue car.

Went to the race a second day
but was continually getting interrupted
so only one drawing exists from this excursion.

Out of all the hearts seen
recently this was my favorite.

Friday, July 8, 2011

After the Vacation: Work

My father laying in
hex wire in the coop.

Back to work...or at least I say it's work but it's not really work cause I do enjoy what I do. It's rarely a chore. It's rarely "work" and the best part is I get to work at home. Of course working from home has it's drawbacks. There are always many interruptions during the day. Some good, some not so good. I had been waiting a couple of weeks to build the chicken coop with my father. My poor girls were hanging out in the 2 car garage I own. It wasn't a bad accommodation, but it certainly wasn't the best. So when dad came over with tools in hand I dropped studio work to help.

I have to say it was very interesting to watch every part being built. I loved watching him work too. He was so careful with every part making sure it was square and perfect. In the process of all this cutting and building I began to have ideas about the discarded wood from the project. The wood was nicely weathered and I could picture something to hang. Here is what transpired from that vision. Fun...nothing serious.

Inspired by cut pieces
of weathered wood

Hen painted on with acrylics

Topped off with a bow
ready to hang

The coop took about a day to build and once finished one chicken loved it the other hated it. So I guess you can't please everyone all the time, even hens. Studio work resumed and I'm happy to say I made lovely progress on a wild patterned Working Girl resin. In general dry pigments, acrylics, and oils are placed on the piece first. Then the white pattern is layered on with acrylics. It will take approx 20 or more layers of white to get this pattern perfect. I'm about half way there at this stage.

Reference used for the pattern
on Working Girl

Color blocked in

After many layers
of white