Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Well I've been a busy camper this summer. Hope all is going well for you.

I was accepted into the juried fine art show, Great Lakes Art Fair for this fall in Novi.

And I've been busy painting. As I sit here typing this entry I'm enjoying the faint smell of oil paints drying. Ahhh....okay so they're probably bad for you, but I suppose we all have our vices.

Here is the red amaryllis that I've been working on. It's finished now. The last of the details were to paint the stamens and add some shadow detail. This really made it pop. I think this would look gorgeous on a white, blue, green or grey wall. It's very stunning and definitely an attention getter!

The next painting is one I did yesterday as a watercolor demonstration for my young student. I ended up having so much fun with it that I finished it up right after she left. It's mixed media - watercolor with pen and ink. Love it when things just come together!

And speaking of watercolors. I just had to do the next ones. They are of my daughters playing in Lake Michigan. It was a hazy cloudy sunset but that didn't keep them from having fun throwing and collecting beautiful stones by the lake shore. I credit my mom with taking the photos. This is not from one photo but several as I picked specific poses from different pictures to compose just the right image. Did I mention my mom too is an artist? She sculpts and throws pottery on a wheel. I grew up in mud :).

My most current work in progress is of a blue iris. This one has been a transformation. I'm usually one to do more realistic works, but needed to step out of that box. Here's the work in progress. I started with the plain soft blues of this iris. It's an oil painting on 30x40 inch wrapped canvas.

And now the transformation:

It's still a work in progress. I have much more to do with the red. So stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Therapeutic Art :D

I just have to say this last month has been weired. We started out having water problems with out water softener. Hubby replaced it after a faucet above it broke and started dripping water. 2 days later we started having noticeable differences with our well so the well guys came out and we had our well worked on. Another day without water. Nothing helped so we ended up replacing our well... 214 feet later they finally got water that works. We enjoyed lots of water for 2 days. Then hubby went to get a shower and no water! He went downstairs to see what was the matter and another pipe burst! This time our hot water heater was in 3 feet of water - fried! So as I'm typing this we are once again without water. Amazing how we take water for granted. Today I ended up cleaning my brushes in a bucket and thought hmmm this must be how they cleaned brushes before modern plumbing. I didn't mind cleaning them from a bucket. I was just happy that I could paint today. Somehow it takes all the stress away. It's so therapeutic :D. I'm just hoping tonight I get a warm shower.

Curious as to what I'm working on? Well here it is! An update to the amaryllis I started last time I updated the blog. I'm really enjoying this one. I spent 4 hours on it today. The time just seem to fly by. That's why I think painting is so therapeutic. I didn't even think about being without water.

I've been busy doing another portrait. This is of Father Zeke - he's just retired. I painted this for a farewell present given to him at his retirement party last weekend. It was done with oil on wrapped canvas. Again I started out with a drawing, then transfered it onto the canvas. Then I started with blocking in darker colors, working my way up. He was a lot of fun to paint. Such a happy smile. He will be missed.

I'm really enjoying doing portraits. I think the best of all is to see the reaction I get from the people who receive them. Well so far atleast everyone's liked them!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Okay car shopping is done. Phew!! Back to the art world - much more fun! Ford F150 pick-up truck is on it's way. Now I'll have something to take art to art shows in. Anyhow I haven't spent all that time on cars. I've been busy working on paintings. I've also been busy drawing. Here's a work in progress I started last weekend. It's of an amaryllis. I took photos of this last winter. I had planned on doing one of the iris that are blooming in my garden, but couldn't decide which one. As I was looking at one of the files I have my flowers in I came across this one. I just love the composition of it.

I started with a yellow under painting and blue where the darker red will be.

After letting the under painting dry I spent the better part of today working on the the red. Here are the first two stages.

Yay! I finished the Hibiscus!! I think it was well worth the wait. So without further ado here it is...

Since the last time I posted I also finished the boys. I call them "Brothers in Arms". I just love how their cheeks rest against each other. Here is my sketch. I then started with a pastel painting. It came out really nice looking. I was rather happy with it ...then my kitten kept thinking it would be fun to thinking it was time to put some workable fixative on it, I sprayed it....well lets just say the whiteness disappeared from the baby and the blue paper background came forward! OPPS!! So since I goofed up I decided an oil painting might be a better bet. I just couldn't bring myself to doing pastels so soon after such a goof up!!Below the drawing is the finished oil painting.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flint Institute of Arts

As some of you may know, I take classes at the Flint Institute of Arts. I recently took a portrait drawing class. During the last class the director for the Art School came in and saw the portrait I was working on of my eldest daughter. She asked if she could take photos and I agreed. Who wouldn't? So next class starts which is figure drawing. My instructor Alla Dubrovich -wonderful teacher! - tells me that my drawing was chosen to be put into the Spring FIA Art School Catalog. I'm rather excited about this honor! If you'd like to check it out here's a link: It's on page 9. Also if your in the Flint area - it's a wonderful place to take art classes, from beginners to advance.

I'm almost done with my hibiscus. I know I keep saying that :D. We just got back from a trip and now I'm busy car shopping so leisurely painting is on the back burner. Good news though I am working on a commission of two cute brothers. One's a gorgeous teen and the other in his arms is his adorable baby brother. I'm at the sketching phase. Once their mom approves I'll move on to the painting part. I'm thinking of doing them with pastels. Then I'll post an update.

Catch ya later! Stay safe and enjoy spring!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Busy busy busy, it must be srping!

Lots of busyness going on with the business. First and foremost I've finished my eldest daughter. This has been quit the work in progress. My first start was with a different pose. I wasn't happy with the way it was coming out. What started it all is when I flipped the image in photoshop so that when all three portraits are together they are looking at each other. Well being that I've had 16 1/2 years to look at her, when I looked at the photo it was like looking at a close replication of her but it wasn't her. So after sketching the photo and starting on a painting I scrubbed that one and took some more photos, in the right direction this time. We both agreed on one,,,I know shocker! So I got to sketching and drawing it and finished with this painting.

My middle daughter has her confirmation this weekend and I've been busy painting banners for the church. The director approached me for help on one subject and now I'm doing three more banners :). The art is more mural type art. I painted them on cloth so they can be wrapped up and easily stored away in a small space until they are needed again.

I think this is a great idea for people who want a mural on their walls but may be renting or moving soon and want to take it with them. Imagine if you wanted a mural for a baby's room but know the child will out grow it, or if you want to move furniture around but you can't because you'd block the mural. Well why not have a painting done on a fire retardant cloth? The child can enjoy it for many years and when they outgrow it you can take it down for a keepsake. I'm open for murals! P.s. they also ship easily.

I'm also taking figure drawing classes. These are so fun. I love the challenge of drawing the human figure. The models we have in class are so good too. It amazes me how long they can stand there without moving. The one the other night did so good that I was getting antsy with standing at the easel wondering if she was ever going to take a break! I told her how restless I was getting, when she finished and she started laughing.

I've also taken on a private student. She's great. If there are other artist out there reading this I would strongly suggest you do this. It's amazing how much you learn about yourself when you teach others.

So with all that's going on I still am working on the hibiscus. Hopefully this coming week I'll get to putting the finishing touches on it.

Thanks for checking in :).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring feels like it's here today! Wow the warmth and sunshine are so intoxicating! But I wanted to take time from outside and be sure to post my most recent happenings :) . So I'm still working on my Hibiscus but it's coming closer to completion. It's true what they say good things come to those who wait. Well it'll be a little I sound like a broken record, or do kids theses day say CD's that skip, any rate, it's oil and it takes longer....but here is the most recent update:

And as I said I've been working on my daughter's portraits. Here is my youngest. Funny comment about this one. When I showed her it she said "Wow, it looks like me. I like my hair." Then her sisters commented on how "that's not Niki, her hair never looks that neat." Ah, sisters.
Here is the sketch.

I saw some issues with it once I got the sketch done that I wasn't happy with so I pulled out my artistic license and changed things around. The first being her hair. She doesn't always put it up so I preferred to keep it down. The other is that the lines on the face weren't spot on. So I switched those around. Next I created a the watercolor painting.

I've started on my eldest daughter. That will be my next to post. The plan is that their portraits interact with each other on the wall. Individual portraits but also one when all together. They are beautiful girls and they generally get a long well. I say generally as they girls and sisters and 2 are teenagers.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Well here is Sabrina's portrait. I started out with a detailed drawing, expect for the hair. In real life she's got beautiful hair not "crazy witch hair" as I've been told I drew. Well what really happened is she was tired of seeing her face without hair. So I spent oh, a good, 30 seconds throwing some hair on the bald goddess. And it shows :). My real goal was not to have a finished graphite drawing but something I could paint from.

I choose to do watercolors on this portrait. I enjoy watercolors. I haven't worked with them for a while but it hasn't slowed me down. I like the fact that you can blend colors easily without the wait for the drying time. Another favorite medium I like to use are pastels. I enjoy them for pet portraits.

Here's the finished version of Sabrina's watercolor portrait.

Next I'm working on Nichole's portrait. She's been drawn up but I'm not exactly happy with her eyes...yet. Or I'd show you the finished drawing. I was going to start painting her portrait in watercolor the other night when I looked at the paper and thought, wow this looks like hot pressed but It's off a block of cold pressed 300lbs. of Arches. That's high quality stuff, what's going on here. was the back board oops. As I live far away from an art store it was off to the www to get an order for paper in. Well now I'm waiting for my Blick order to show up so I guess you'll get to wait too.

After I finish with the Nichole portrait I'm going to do one of Cassie. Then I'll have a complete individual portrait of all three of my daughters. I'm composing them individually but so they can interact, or look like they are interacting on my wall. Then when they are all grown up they can take their portraits with them.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hibiscus Update

Here's the long awaited update to the hibiscus work in progress. I spent 4 more hours on it yesterday. Putting more details and glazes on it. I'd say most of the canvas is wet. I even painted the sides. That's why the photo I took is a little off. I was standing on a chair precariously balanced between it and a table looking down at my semi-angled easel. I managed to stay upright and not fall into it he he he. Well any how this gives you an idea of what it looks like at this stage. I'm getting close to being finished. A few more days and it should be good.

The three orchids are pretty much finished. Again the canvas is wet enough that it's hard to get a good shot so I'm just waiting for when it dries and I can get a finished shot.

What am I starting next? I'm working on portraits at the moment. I'll post those in a few days once I get some more work done on them. I really enjoy doing portraits. Just studying peoples faces is a lot of fun.

Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Three White Orchids Update

As I'm typing the title I'm thinking I need to come up with a better name then that...any ideas? I've spent several more days working on this, in between letting it dry as it is oils. So here's the update. I'm close to being finished, There's more work to be done on the back ground and a few more areas that need to be glazed. I've found it's important to make a nice solid background, otherwise it's just an unfinished background, one that I'm not happy with. Soo It's the paint and wait to dry part which takes patience.

If your curious about what's going on with the hibiscus it's coming along. I hope to work on it today or tomorrow. Today would be great as we got several inches of snow yesterday and it's cloudy outside today. Perfect light for painting :) .

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Update on the Hibiscuis

After giving my hand a "day off" from painting I was able to get back to the easel today....although my shoulder told me later it was too soon so I won't be working on the trio of orchids - today. Lots of blahness outside. Snow pack remains in my yard and it's grey skies outside so I mixed up a bunch of different yellows, reds and white to work the canvas with. Mind you this is just an underpainting so it's still very rough. Don't worry if you don't "get it" at this point. It's missing a lot of detail in this stage.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Where do I start?

Okay so here's the reason I've been AWOL....I finished this last week and quit my job. Yup I quit my day job and am back to painting full time.

This blue Clematis is 24 inches by 24 inches on wrapped canvas. A variety of layers of blues were used to complete this piece. I'm still thinking of a name for it. Any ideas?

Since I've got that pesky need to create I started working on a trio of white orchids.... This is the first undercoating. First I start with bright under paintings so that the color will come thru. It kinda reminds me of a watercolor. It's tempting to leave it like this. Perhaps another time I'll experiment more at this stage...but for now I'm turning it more white.

And here's another update of it looking more white :) .

Being that it's oil and I have to wait till it's dry I've started working on something a little more colorful. White's hard to work in the dead of winter...especially when we've had snow on the ground for over 2 months now. Did I mention we have a 2 1/2 month old snowman? I digress, here's my newest work in progress ...a hibiscus. It's a fancy one with all sorts of petals in the middle. Normally peachy color I decided to kick it up a few notches. Then my hand, wrist and arm started hurting. Time to rest and get back into shape.. after not painting much lately I'm out of shape!