Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stretching to Sketch Challenge Week Three!

This weeks challenge was just that for me. This was a tough one. And I know I probably say that each week! I worked on this one for quite a few hours. The hardest parts were again the hands and this time a side profile of her face. I had never done that before. I also tried hard to get her torso to appear as if it was slightly turned which I think I did achieve.

I really enjoyed this one once I got past my initial frustration. I wanted to throw in the towel at first. I am now realizing that sketching takes time. Time to adjust shading and proportions. It is a process. Things such as this is where I see my lack of patience truly show up! I need to take time and enjoy the process more instead of rushing to get done. I get too excited to see it finished!

Be on the look out for Kelly's blog post today when she shares all the results for this week!

To see the original photo for this sketch click here!

And as always anyone can join! So please do if you haven't yet!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dipping Into Oil . . .

In the spring I had the great opportunity to take an oil painting class with an artist in her studio. There were only 3 of us and it was just 5 sessions. I met her through a friend and was curious about what it would be like to paint with oil. I had only been painting since February in acrylic so I really had no idea what I was doing and some days still don't!

This painting is a work in progress that I did in that class. It is at her studio still and hopefully I will get to finish it sometime in the future. As you can see it is a still life. Not my favorite thing to paint as you all know.

I have to say that using the oil paint was harder than I thought. I had a hard time blending it because it is so very wet and blendable! I don't know if I would have the patience for the long drying time. The complete opposite of acrylic. I kept muddying it all up. But the colors are so much richer than acrylic and the look of oil on canvas is so very different. I did not like having to use the turp. I paint in my house and I think that would just be too hard having to use something toxic like that.

There definitely pros and cons to both but if I ever did want to try it again I would explore using water based oil. As for right now I am having fun with acrylic and mixed media for sure!

And of course there is sketching! Stay tuned . . . I will be posting my sketch for this weeks challenge with Kelly tomorrow! She inspired this post today. Check out her vlog where she chats all about what she is doing to progress herself as an artist and a few of the resources she is using along her journey! Click here!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Look Into My Eyes . . . Sketch Is Painted!

Look Into My Eyes . . .
8x10 mixed media on canvas board

Once again, thanks to all of you for your nice comments on my last post! I finally had a chance today to paint her! So here she is all dolled up (as my grandma would say) !

You all know how much I struggle with color palettes. Well, I have to say with this one I decided to go with lighter colors. And I really like the tone of the painting. I thought that pink with white would be too blah which is why I have been making myself crazy with picking darker colors, complimentary colors etc when this is truly what I love. So I should do it right?! :)

These words were written in the top left of my last sketch. I didn't want to forget them. And in the sketch I had a barette in her hair. What do you guys think? I am on the fence as to whether she needs it . . .

It is also my first time painting this type of eye. I have so much fun with the eyes. Especially when it comes to lashes, shadowing and that kind of stuff. To me its like makeup! lol

Well, I hope you all like her painted as much as you did sketched!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pizza Date and Some Sketching

Every Friday nite my hubby and I have a pizza date. Whether we go out or make pizza at home it is a tradition we started a few years ago. It is something simple that we dedicated to "us". And I look forward to it each week.

After he fell asleep, which is usually early as he gets up for work in the wee hours of the morning, I picked up my sketchbook. I wasn't tired yet and sometimes late at night is when I feel most inspired. I used to write poetry. Some of my best poems were written in the darkest hours. Although it gets in the way of proper sleep sometimes you just can't fight the muse!

So here is another angel I sketched with some of the features I am learning in my Suzi class. Excuse my notes up in the left corner. Those are some words that I will use on the finished painting.

I am hoping to find some time this weekend to put her on a canvas and see what happens! Of course I am most excited to paint her eyes!

Thanks for all your lovely comments on yesterday's sketching post!

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Suzi Face Sketches!

Ok, so I will admit that I have been a bad girl. I have started my first class with Suzi Blu and I am skipping all over the place! I started with color theory, checked out the mixed media background video and then was so curious as to the face sketching that I just jumped right in with it. Oops! Can you tell I have a patience problem!

So here are a couple of sketches I did with her petit doll template. I really like how the eyes came out which is so different than what I have been doing. I am really learning alot about facial proportions which is hard for me. Hopefully you can see the shading from my scan. . .

The first one is my favorite. The second face I went tried to freehand more. So far I am really loving this class! Now if I could just stick to the lesson plan!

Shhhhh....don't tell Suzi!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stretching To Sketch Challenge Week Two!

Here is my sketch for Kelly Berkey's challenge this week. I have to say this was a tough one! I see improvements in my proportions and the hand but I had a tough time with the legs and was not happy how her hair came out. I went a little crazy with it!

Although this was a difficult one for me it was fun to do! Check out the other entries along with the original photo over at Kelly's blog! (Click here) There is some great work this week! I am looking forward to jumping in to the next sketch!

Hope you will join us!! Click Here for more info about the challenge!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall . . . Where Are You?!

Ok, so fall has arrived but here in NY you wouldn't know it by the heat wave that has ensued! Starting today until the weekend we are expecting humidity and temps in the high 80's. I have to say that I am sooooo done with summer! I am a summer baby and it used to be my favorite time of year. But these days since my cancer treatment threw me into early menopause it doesn't take much to spiral me into a hot flash! And the heat just triggers lots of them. This may be the winter I will go out sans a coat!

Fall has become my favorite season not only because of the crisp, cool weather but all of the beauty up here in the northeast with the foliage changing. So to get me in a cooler mood I decided to post some pictures I took last fall near my house. Actually these were taken in the same area as my wild flowers from yesterday's post.

Of course I needed a macro shot of the leaves!

The colors against the water are so pretty . . .

This is the walktrail across the street where I spend alot of time with my pug!

What is your favorite season?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wild Flowers

As we are on the verge fall's official arrival I wanted to share some pictures I took in the spring! Our house is across the street from a beautiful reservoir. I spend alot of time down by the water since they recently built a paved walk trail that runs right along its shore. I grabbed my camera and headed across the street to capture a few shots of these pretty purple wild flowers.

This is the view I can see from the bottom of our driveway.

These pictures were taken early morning with my Canon D10. I love to take macro shots and want to get a macro lens for my Canon XTi but I need to save up some dough for that one!

I did however get some great macro shots with the smaller D10.

And then I wanted to get even closer!

These are such tiny flowers but so pretty and what a vibrant shade of purple!

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Love Is All Around Us . . . She's Painted!

Love Is all Around Us . . . Falling Like Rain
8x10 mixed media on canvas board

Thanks for all of your comments on yesterday's exciting news! Later on in the day I found out that my card was featured in another treasury! My little Bosco was quite popular!

Today I finally had a chance to get to painting my sketch of this angel that I showed you last week. I am always on the fence as to whether I like it better as just a sketch. I suppose it is just a different look!

I am thinking my background has too much gray but I wanted to go for a rainy theme. This time I made her wings heart shaped. I kinda like them that way!

Oh, and I signed up for my very first Suzi Blu class! I am excited to jump in and get started!

Hope you are having a beautiful creative day! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wow! Another Etsy Treasury . . . For My Pug!

5x7 fine art photo card

I listed this photo card of my little boy Bosco in my etsy shop yesterday. This is actually the photo I sketched from which I recently shared with you. (see that post here). It is one of my favs. I think the black and white captures the essence of his expressive face!

This card has been included in an etsy treasury titled "Pug Love" by Hyacynthe. (check out the treasury here!) This treasury is too cute! It is filled with all kinds of cute pug themed items! Who doesn't love pugs?! I am very excited to have my card included! A big thank you to Hyacynthe!

And I also would like to thank Debbie over at The Wug's Backyard Blogspot for featuring my etsy shop in her blog post today! She did a lovely job and I am honored to be featured! Thanks Debbie! (Check out her post here!)

I am having a lovely weekend and I hope you are too!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Newport Horse Farm

I have already shared my love of Newport, Rhode Island in previous posts. It is a favorite place my hubby and I like to visit. Most of our trips are in the fall when the tourist season has quieted down. Living here in NY it is less than a 3 hour drive.

I took these pictures last year at a local horse farm in Newport. We drove by and couldn't resist stopping along the side of the road. It was too beautiful to pass up.

This old farmhouse was breathtaking . . .

I was excited to get a close up of these horses!

They wandered right up to the fence to say hello!

I originally took these photos in color but digitally altered them in a sepia tone. I just love the antique look it gives.

Always have your camera with you . . . you never know what will inspire you as you travel along the road of life!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend full of creativity and inspiration!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Let The Sun Shine . . . She's Painted!

Let the Sun Shine . . .
8x10 mixed media on canvas board

Thanks for all of your lovely comments on yesterday's post! I will be starting on the new sketch for this weeks challenge soon and am excited to see how I do with it.

So I finally had a chance to get my recent angel sketch on canvas. I did the background a few days ago and actually thought it made a pretty good landscape on its own! Yesterday I transferred the sketch and the only color I debated was her clothes. Originally I used folk art italian sage but then changed it to white. I almost switched her to another color because I was unsure of the white but left it alone!

Hope you like her!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stretching To Sketch Challenge Week One

This is my sketch for the Stretching to Sketch Challenge over at Kelly Berkey's blog. Each week Kelly will post a picture of herself in a ballet pose for you to sketch or paint.

I had never sketched the human form before so this was intimidating for me. I used graphite pencil and a pitt artist pen. I plan to participate in this challenge each week and hopefully improve on my skills especially in sketching hands! That was the hardest part of this for me. The hair was the easiest. lol

You can check out the original photo for this sketch here.

Check out the rest of the artwork in this challenge here.

Hope you will join us!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Angel Card Is Featured In An Etsy Treasury!

I want to take a moment and thank Realfaery on Etsy for including me in their treasury Natural Love today! Check out the treasury here!

I am very excited to have one of my photo cards part of such a lovely treasury!

And of course I couldn't wait to share my exciting news with all of you!

Painting The Beach

The water has always brought me solace and comfort. One of my favorite places to go is the beach. Of course being blue eyed and fair skinned I need to find a shady tree to sit under! But what really comforts me is the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.

Most of the traveling I have done in my life has been to tropical places. I have been to Jamaica, Barbados, Hawaii, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, and my favorite of all Aruba. My last tropical trip was my honeymoon 7 years ago to PR. Unfortunately I am not a big fan of flying and since my last trip my anxiety has increased. These days I would rather go on a road trip to the beach.

This painting was inspired by my love of the ocean. It was done on 8x10 canvas board with acrylic. Whenever I look at it I am reminded of one of my favorite places . . .

Do you like to travel? Where is your favorite place?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stumbling Through Fear . . .

I first discovered Etsy back in November of 2005 not long after it was launched. Back then I was making handmade beaded jewelry. I was having fun giving them away to family and friends. I had a thought about opening up an Etsy store and selling some. No pressure, just for fun. But as with most things in my life I felt that my work wasn't good enough. Then I thought "Who am I" to even consider something like that! Needless to say I never opened a shop.

Finally this past December, 4 years later I jumped in and opened a one to sell my photography. I had used my own photo to make Christmas cards and loved it. Even with all the same voices telling me I wasn't good enough I somehow pushed through and put my work out there. And although it was scary it did feel good. These are two of the very first cards I made but for whatever reason I never listed them. I think its time they took their place in my shop!

On this first card is a photo I took of the clock down at Grand Central Station in NYC. I used metallic bronze card stock embellished with a gold heart sticker.

The photo on this next card I took last year around Valentine's Day. The box of chocolates is from my husband. I loved how it looked along side the lamp. I shot this photo without looking. I just held it up, pointed it downward and clicked the button. I surprised myself with the results.

Have any of you fought those same thoughts telling you your work was not good enough? And if so did it make you stumble for a bit preventing you from putting it out there?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Still Life . . . Just Not My Thing

When I realized I wanted to try painting I felt lost about where to begin. I had fun trying some different things out on my own but thought a class would help. So I took a workshop at my local arts council. It was 6 sessions focused on still life and landscape painting in acrylic. I was so nervous as I had never painted before.

I walked into the class and cringed when I saw a still life set up. I had in my mind I would hate it. I know, not a good attitude! I think that came from my fear of not being able to do it.

This painting was completed in that class. It is acrylic on 12x16 stretched canvas. The plant is supposed to be parsley although I went a little crazy with spraying out the stems and leaves. My instructor was not happy with that but I liked it. It was difficult to paint the lighting and cast shadows. In the end I was pleased with the results but I very much struggled with the process. I realized that in regards to traditional painting I am more comfortable with landscape where I feel like I can make more mistakes and it will be ok.

But for now I am really enjoying mixed media. I do believe it is becoming my thing!

Is there an art medium you have tried that you just don't vibe to?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Only Love Matters . . .

I don't think anyone will forget where they were 9 years ago today. I am a NY'er and live less than an hour from the city. That morning I was laying on the couch in pain recovering from cancer surgery feeling sorry for myself when I got a call from my Dad. He told me to turn on the television. As I watched the horror unfold tears began streaming down my face. My heart instantly went out to those who lost their lives while at the same time I felt stupid for feeling such self pity. I realized in that moment how grateful I was for my own life. It was a lesson I should have learned years prior when my first husband was killed. It is something I work in within myself each day.

I remember feeling scared as we frantically waited to hear from my brother who was working in the city at the time only 40 blocks away. Then I remember the relief I felt knowing he was ok. Loved ones were all that mattered.

It is always so easy to get caught up in the small stuff. It is easy to loose our way and forget that all that matters is this moment. On days like today I am reminded of how precious life is.

My grandma always said . . . "There but for the grace of God go I . . . John Bradford". And it is so true. None of us knows how much time we have. All that we can do is live each moment to the fullest and most importantly LOVE . . .

I took this picture last year as my husband and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. The word love spoke to me that day as I glanced across the bridge and looked at the skyline noticing what was missing. Today is a reminder for me that all that matters in this life is love . . .

Friday, September 10, 2010

Late Night Angel Sketching

Thank you for all of your comments on yesterdays post and your advice about what to use for her eyes. That is what I am loving so far about mixed media is that you can try anything!

I got in bed late last nite (I am quite the night owl) and as I closed my eyes I saw her. Another angel. I saw hearts floating down and her heart wings. So what did I do? Of course I had to jump up out of bed and grab my sketchbook and pencil. I didn't want to forget come morning. Here eyes look a bit weird to me but it was late and my room was dimly lit! Just when I think I have found my niche or style so to speak something different comes out of me. I am curious to see where it leads me.

Speaking of sketching I wanted to let you know about a fun weekly sketch challenge Kelly at Kelly Berkey Designs is hosting over on her blog. The challenge is sketching, painting, or drawing the human form and she has posted a photo of herself in a ballet pose just for the occasion! I will be participating and hope some of you do as well. Although I have never sketched the human form I think it will be fun to try! (Read all about the challenge here.)

I am hoping to have some time over the next few days to start painting these angel girls. Excited to get started and share them with all of you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Let The Sun Shine . . . New Angel Sketch!

I sat on the couch last nite sketchbook in hand and out came another angel! I don't know what it is with me and these gals but obviously they are in my mind! I went small with the face (unintentionally) and hence the small eyes. I thought I would be the big eyed girl with the latest paintings I have been doing and then this. I am learning not to fight what comes through my hand onto the page. Just trying to let it flow. The words popped into my head after I finished sketching her.

I plan on painting her. Not sure how I will handle painting those small eyes though. That will be some fine detail I may have trouble with. Anyone ever use markers for eyes instead of paint? I know that is avoiding the paintbrush but my hand is not too steady yet!

As I look at this sketch I am trying hard not to stress over the potential color scheme!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous day! Here in NY the heat has finally lessened and it is starting to feel like fall! My favorite season! Just wish it lasted longer. It always seems so short doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back To My Angels . . . New Painting

Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments on my last post! As an update I have decided to keep the hearts as is for now. After walking away for a bit that day I went back to it after a few hours and it popped out to me. I really liked all the colors and the hearts!

Here is a painting I did yesterday . . .

Look To The Other Side . . .There Is Hope
8x10 mixed media on canvas

You may recognize her from a sketch I previously posted (see that post here). I woke up yesterday morning earlier than usual and saw her in my head. The texture I would use, the color palette and rambled over the details until I couldn't go back to sleep. That has never happened before. It was like she was calling to me and telling me what she wanted!

I used molding paste for texture around the outside of the canvas board. Although I was leery about the dark colors and the black hair as they are new for me I tried to just go with it. And I am pleased with how it came out.

I find that I am having trouble getting a good shot of my paintings as far as lighting for the colors to show accurately. Are you photographing your art or scanning it?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Love Is Falling . . . Sketch Painted!

Love Is Falling
8x10 mixed media on canvas

This is a painting of the sketch I posted Friday (see that post here). I got caught up in my color scheme again but in the end I am happy with it.

One problem I was having with this one is in going from the sketch to painting I feel like I was unable to get the hearts to pop out. The sketch is grayscale so it was easier to get them to show up on white paper with a black pitt pen! Here I was unsure if the pink outlined with the black pitt pen is enough to make them stand out. Or perhaps I am just obsessing again and haven't stepped back long enough!

Would love your input on this!

Hope you all like the painted version as well!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sketching My Favorite Boy

I want to thank all of you for your great comments and advice on my last post! It is so helpful to me as I learn to navigate the art world! I did start a background yesterday for her and will be sure to post her when she is painted!

Here is a sketch I wanted to share for today . . .

This is a sketch of my sweet pug that I did from a photo. I sketched this a few months ago before I even realized how much I would enjoy it. I used a brown colored pencil and a Q-tip for smudging to shade. It was scary for me at first when I decided I wanted to try this but I surprised myself. I think that it came out pretty good for a newbie.

I have to say that I may be too intimidated to take this on as a painting. Not sure about that yet.

Hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sketching Out A New Painting . . .

This image just popped into my head yesterday and I sketched it out last evening. I used my gray colored pencil and pitt artist pen. I am beginning to realize to not question as much and let the image take its form. Can you tell I like hearts?!

I am excited to get her on a canvas! My mind is still playing around with colors and I am hoping I don't let that stall my process. I should probably not think so much and let the colors come to me with the paintbrush in my hand.

Ever get caught up in trying to figure out the color palette for your art? Or does it just come to you easily?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Little Landscape Today . . .

First let me say that I was overwhelmed with all of your lovely comments on yesterday's post! Thank you so much! Being able to interact with each of you makes this creative blogging journey so fun!

And now here is my art for the day!

9x12 mixed media on canvas paper

I did this landscape yesterday on 140 lb canvas paper that I gessoed and then added molding paste for texture. I have never done a landscape with molding paste. I am becoming a big fan of it though! This was from a sketch I did and upon painting it took a life of its own. I was stumped on the colors but in the end I like how it turned out.

I have to ask for those of you who use canvas paper . . . how do you keep it from bubbling while you paint. I added gesso hoping that would prevent it from happening but it still did. I am wondering if I didn't use enough? Or does this just happen with canvas paper?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lets Fly Away . . . New Painting

Lets Fly Away
8x10 mixed media on canvas board

She started out as a sketch I did over the weekend. I was excited to paint her. My background was a little blah at first but at the end I used my distress ink (which I love) and smudged some all around with a cotton pad. Then she felt complete. I changed the color of the baloons 3 times before I settled on the pink. I used black colored pencil on the balloons and dress to give some depth and outline. The only thing I was sure of was the color of her dress. And then somehow all the rest came together. This time I didn't struggle as much with her hair. I am pleased with how it came out. The original sketch had barettes on both sides but I am on the fence about adding them. What do you think?

I find that I sometimes struggle with colors. Funny though that I originally thought I would make then pink and then tried 2 other colors I didn't like. I guess I better just let go and listen to the muse!