Monday, July 27, 2015

Live Sketching & Live Bands

A good night of sketching

Before my trip to Kentucky I was fortunate enough to catch a really great band named, "Empire in Decline" at the local bar and grill. I had my sketchbook in hand and the drawings were, for the most part, on that night. My determination for the past year and a half in trying to truly capture people's likenesses within a few seconds of view in an everyday setting (and in some instances a most uncomfortable setting) has been very challenging. With constant observation and practice it's almost second nature now.

Well, almost....I can view, retain in my memory, and then reproduce the faces I've viewed, but add a musical instrument or have a bass player walk around the room while trying to sketch him, and it changes things greatly. I now have new challenges to work on for the future.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the outcome of this particular session, and the band was truly great that night. It was the first time I had ever heard them and despite my drawings being on with patrons, I struggled drawing the band as they played. They were not one of those, grow on you after a few beers bands. No, they came out full force great with a U2 song, which absolutely delighted me cause 1). I love U2 and 2). I was dying to hear U2 loud in a room and I got that and then some. But the band not only did great covers but their own music is fantastic! I'm very happy for my Empire in Decline CD. It was well enjoyed to and from KY and hasn't left the car or my playlist.

Sadly, the bar was sorta empty. People are missing out on some great creative inspirations! But the patrons that were there that night got to enjoy great music and they did not escape my pencil. Here are some of the patrons....

Nailed the hat.

Another hat with a brim
that was crimped just so...nailed it!
He was my best drawing all night I believe.

Loved the position
of his neck and shape of the head.

2nd best drawing of the night.

Drummer in the band.
He wasn't sleeping....but he was difficult to draw
behind all the equipment.

Sorta captured his likeness. Sorta....
It was very dark in the bar at this point.

The bass player.
He moved the most, but I captured his side view a bit.

And then....the lead's guitar.
The lead singer didn't move much so that made it easier to try and capture his likeness, but I struggled, non the less. He had a beautiful voice and this great red guitar and I had so much trouble drawing him cause I wasn't seeing in pencil...I wasn't seeing line...I was seeing paint....I was seeing him painted....but I kept trying to capture his likeness. So, I kept trying....

....and trying.

...and trying.

....and trying.

And I finally sorta captured him in pencil.
But the image in paint remained in my head.

...and so I had to paint him...

As always, I send up a thanks to everyone I had the opportunity to draw that night, most especially the band. You were all a helpful part of this never ending creative journey called art.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When It Gets Quiet

For Sale: Moxie resin
Mixed media X Jenn Danza
$550 ppd in USA
Time payments accepted.

When it gets quiet here a good place to check out is my Instagram page. Some days my work in the studio just sweeps me away and I don't get a chance to blog about the activities, but I do like to take photos of stuff in progress and I do that on my Instagram page.

I have been extremely busy with commissions, repairs and sales items in the studio as of late. At the moment I am totally in love with Sarah Rose's new sculpture "Moxie" and had the pleasure of painting two for sales. One has already sold, but the appy remains and I happily accept time payments.

Moxie resin from the back.
Lots and lots of yummy details on her.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Changing Of The Guard

All brushes go here.

Since 1990 I've continually used the same container to wash all my brushes out. The bowl was an old discarded soup bowl with a nifty "Mushroom Soup" recipe around the body. This was my water container of choice. The container followed me throughout college and through my professional life as an illustrator and into my adventures in the model horse industry as a full time artist.

Every paint mark left and every every chip created more and more character throughout the years. Yesterday, one of those chips traveled into a crack and this loved art supply had to be retired. It will now hold brushes and has been replaced with a brand new water container! I felt it was blog worthy as this art supply is the most used art supply in my studio. No project can get past without having spent some time with the water mug.

So to the new "Joy" mug with happy snowmen cheering me on through every art project, illustration and horse painting…….cheers and happy painting for many more years!!

The crack that doomed the mug.

The happy new replacement!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New Ear

Dab glue and baking soda
on the base of the horse's head.

I was very happy to acquire another G1 Breyer Saddlebred Stablemate from a friend most recently. He came as a little "fixer upper" with a bent leg and a missing ear.

Sometimes ears break all the way down to the base of the skull and the method to fixing such an area can be messy. Such messy fixes make for great blog entries though and I documented this ear fix today in the studio.

Using various Dremel bits
slowly drill away at the blob.

It's now starting to really take shape.
Drill slowly taking breaks as needed.

After much drilling
the blob now resembles an ear.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

One Day Off

Field of Crystal dreams.

For weeks now I have been implementing a "One Day Off" or "Get OUT of the Studio" day in which I force myself OUT of the confines of my studio and I tear myself away from work. This idea started in the winter when I began to feel a little burnt out from the normal day to day, in and out of working at the same spot for hours. This idea has helped spark new ideas and new creativity for me and in the process has actually helped my regular work.

Today I found myself with good friends searching and digging for crystals in a local field. This was the very first time I had ever done this and to my surprise I am enchanted with the idea of going out and finding beautiful crystals in the ground. Yep, I guess you could say Im a little bit of a rockhound I guess!

Crystals were just waiting
to be found!

Mother Earth was so
very generous to me today!

The tiny ones were, of course, my favorites.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Mane & Tail

Resin receiving a new mane and tail.

This resin's owner had a request to have a new mane and tail sculpted on the piece. In order to be on the same page with the owner I sketched out my idea on paper before starting. The owner approved the sketches and I am excitedly creating the changes with Apoxie Sculpt.

I am documenting the change.

New mane.

Side view of the mane change.

Tinfoil application in order to
"flesh out" the tail shape.

Tail shape feels much like
the sketch.

Adding Apoxie from the bottom up.

Tinfoil fully covered with Apoxie.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Pinholes filled and sanded.

No matter how diligent and well one preps a resin there will always be those naughty pinholes that show up unexpectedly. They love to pop out as soon as a little bit of paint has been layered onto the resin.

This Eberl "Forte" resin had quite a party of fun pinholes that popped up without notice after about the third layer of paint was added. What do to? Well, deal with them with some filler and then sanding.

Unfortunately, one also has to deal with reapplying paint after all that sanding and this piece took about six or seven layers of paint to get the sanded areas to match the rest of the body. I documented the process cause it always looks scary, but with persistence it all turns around to a pleasant finish.

First layers of color.

Many more layers.

Looks good as new!

View with the reference in the background.

Monday, May 11, 2015

One, Two, Three, Four?

A Working Girl Resin.
She's for sale! $225 plus ship.

Four months without a post? Seriously?
Yep, looks like it and in all honesty it was yet again, another much needed break. What can I blame my laziness in keeping up the blog on this time? Let's go with Winter! Winter lasted way too long and after my February post it went on to snow up until APRIL! Craziness!

In all that time much has been accomplished. Perhaps sharing a few pieces here will be the best way to ease back into all things "bloggy." Here they are. Enjoy!