Friday, December 18, 2015

Life Painting

Because our daughter is in dance and has been all her life, there's a lot of dance in our house!  On occasion it comes out in my artwork, too.  This beautiful ballerina is coming to life as she moves onto the stage; in fact, if you look closely, the only place she has color is in her face and neck.  She is literally coming to life as she dances.  If you are a dancer, you understand this.
Unusual for me, this painting is done almost exclusively in gold and black.  And I mean gold!  You can see the gold reflecting on her body; it's actually reflective like that all over the painting, but the lighting that was present when I took this photograph determined the shine.

She is ABOUT 40" x 30" - and yes, I am too tired to get up and measure her.  She's been almost-sold twice and everyone that sees her absolutely loves her. So... she is for sale again!  I just need to put her with someone who:
1) loves this beautiful lady; and
2) actually has money

So there!  By the way, her name is: "Life."

Ethereal Painting - 'Joy' - for Sale!

 I just finished this one - oh my goodness, I LOVE it!  This little baby is tiny - only 9" x 12", and is for sale.

Once again, I'm using Picasso's method of painting the entire background, and then painting into the negative space, making the subject come forward.

There really are not words to describe this piece, and photos don't do it justice.  I can't get a good photo for some reason, any better than I can catch the effect of sunshine glimmering on raindrops.

 The first picture you see is the entire piece.  Each of these three are different colors - the true color is somewhere in between.  The thin layers of paint that I used over the bright colors have the effect of milk glass.  You know, that old, antique, bluish, partly opaque glass you find in the antique stores?

It has this milky, ethereal effect that kind of makes you feel peaceful and glowy at the same time.  My bottom layers include gold, which pops out where I didn't cover it, and where the golds are not over-painted, they fairly shout!

However hard this painting is to describe, it's a joy to look at.  Maybe I should name it 'Joy!'

De-Mystifying a Commission, Part Three (Final)

Here's the almost-final.  Wow.  I love it.

I'm going to talk you through a few choices I made.

First, you can still see the red chalk lines - see them?  I used these to lay out the perspective lines to give the buildings the right proportions and correct angles.  I actually really like them left in and did a painting of Big Ben in which I left the chalk lines and varnished them down.  Anyway, I gave my client the choice of leaving in chalk lines or removing them, and he chose to have them removed.  Easy fix.

There is a little bit of work I have remaining in darkening slightly some parts of some buildings to make the entire painting flowing and cohesive.  Those things will be subtle and barely noticeable to anyone but ME, but it will make the viewer more comfortable.  Just little tweeks.

Also, before I began, I told the client I was planning on having the sunset showing through the buildings, so he already approved that.  However, I left a couple buildings really very transparent BECAUSE - with acrylics you can always ADD, but you can never REMOVE.  They're going to come over to discuss any final changes and then I'll do the final adjustments.  After that - varnish - a couple days to dry - and voila!  Beautiful piece!  This one is big and bright, so it's going to make a STATEMENT! :)

De-Mystifying a Commission, Part Two

Well, this is part two of my post, but an exceedingly great amount of work has transpired!  I missed downloading the pictures of the sunset.  Once the design was approved, I set about doing the background, or sunset, first.  It actually consisted of about five layers of color laydown, which took me about a week.

Once that was finished, it was time for the buildings.  The Bridge ties everything together and is in the foreground, so that was one of the first things I laid down.  Once I had that in, I set up this triangle of buildings (it must always be a nice shape; a nice composition, first and foremost.  If it's not, no amount of work will make it look good.)

Although I want this painting to look as if it was easy and just slapped down, I have to do some serious left-brained work to make that happen.  Much of that includes my t-square, my straightedge, a plumb line and my good old chalk lines - yep - the ones builders use.  I grew up tha-wunking those chalk lines as my dad's able assistant and chief builder's gopher!

By the way, this one is being painted outside because it's four feet by six feet.  The previous commission was five feet by seven feet.  They come in various sizes, however, whatever people want.  Actually, I sold nine or ten watercolor bird paintings this Christmas, and they were only 9" x 12"!

De-Mystifying an Art Commission, Part One

 I'm almost finished with a commission of the New York City skyline, and am terribly pleased with the results.  But to begin, I want to lead you through the journey of hiring an artist to do a commission for you.  Trust me - it's really not as terrifying and mysterious as it may seem; it's actually pretty fun!

My very first step is making sure a client likes my artwork.  Generally this is why people first approach me, because they've seen it!
 The second step involves an interview as to subject, size, colors, overall desires and price and timeline.  After that, an agreement is struck and we begin our work!

Here we have three sketches; once I laid it out the way I thought looked best, I presented this sketch to my client.  The second picture shows some questions and decisions we made, so I highlighted them in various ways so we were certain to be on the same page.  For instance, the red dot - flag or no flag on top of the Brooklyn Bridge?  

Or... just a little silhouette of the flag? These are customer decisions.

Here is a little color sketch on the same drawing.  This helps give an idea of the final outcome.  Once all is approved, I'm off and running!  Check my next post to see the next steps!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Back on Track - Lots of Catching Up!

Hello Wonderful People,
This is notice that I'll be posting again; pretty much took a couple-month sabbatical because for the entire time I was pretty much too busy to think.  Today I'm painting all day on a commission that's due.  Tonight when I can't lift a brush anymore, I'll switch to electronics.  See ya then!

The Continuing Saga of... The Artist's Desk

Yeah.  My desk.  Usually I keep my studio door shut when I'm not operating, but I must have  left it cracked this time.

I also am pretty fastidious about NOT setting drinks anywhere near the spill-zone of electronics, art or books, but, alas... I did it.  It was an oversized, lidded Chic fil A cup containing water.  Water, thank goodness!

One of our cats apparently decided to explore and knocked it over, spilling water all over my desk and down into the slightly cracked drawer.  Here's my drawer insert pulled out to let the drawer itself dry, and wet contents spilled all over my (nice pristine) carpet to dry.  Yep.  The artist's desk.

We have officially become 'those cat people,' logging in at four cats.  Each has a different personality, and although I was sleeping, I KNOW who did this.  Old Man.  Old Man, called Bones by my husband, really pretty much loves knocking things over.  And he's clumsy.  Imagine, a clumsy cat.  And although he does knock a lot of stuff down by accident, we've witnessed on-purpose meanderings, too.  Pretty sure he did this one on purpose.