Friday, October 24, 2008

October Virtual Sketch Date

"3 Pears"

4 1/2 x 6"

Neocolor II and colored pencil

Here is my offering for this month's collaborative sketch date known as VSD (Virtual Sketch Date). Check it out and all the wonderful artists who participate.

This month I decided to exaggerate the reference photo and use a more chromatic pallet using MiTeints red paper, Neocolor II watersoluable crayons and colored pencil to finish the detail.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Self-Aware and a Little How-To

"Self Aware"
6 x 8"
Colored pencil on canvas

This series has received such good accolades and, needless to say, I am thrilled.

Here's the story:

I have always loved figurative drawing/painting, even in art school when, shocked and a little embarrassed, I had to draw my first nude. However, I soon got over it and realized how wonderful it is to capture the human form in all its nuance and detail.

Several years ago, I asked some friends, who happened to be over 40, to pose for me. I realized that a "woman in her prime" is more comfortable in her skin and self-aware of who she is. I wanted to try to capture that in some of my work. Since that first grouping of pieces, I realized that I love doing this and seem to have a knack for making the women who pose for me to feel comfortable and to actually enjoy the process. I believe there is a great deal of trust involved on their part. But, I also think it's because I grew up with two sisters, spent a great deal of time in locker rooms as an athlete, and am comfortable in my own skin as well.

In response to some readers who wanted to know what I'm using for a support, I used a pre-stretched, pre-primed canvas. I applied two layers of black gesso (which has a matte finish and is great for taking colored pencil.) The canvas is not a fine linen; however, in some places I used solvent to "paint" the pencil wax into the canvas. In other areas, I let the canvas texture show through.
I really enjoyed working on the canvas and plan to do several more "colored pencil paintings" this way.

Oh, BTW, I have a rule for the women who pose for me: they have to be over 40. Unless, of course, they're a paying customer.

Swim Out

colored pencil on canvas
4 x 6"

When you step out of your comfort zone and experiment, good things can happen.

Obviously, I like to play with my pencils on different supports. From those experiences, I have had some wonderful opportunities come my way.

First, due to working on Mylar Duralar, I had a piece (Green Lucidity) accepted into the CPSA Explore This 4 show two in 2007. From that, Ann Kullberg asked me to write an article for her on-line publication, From My Perspective, on just how I did it. (Scaaarrry and way out of my comfort zone.) But from THAT, she invited me to teach my Mylar technique on her colored pencil workshop cruise in November.

And, after experimenting on canvas and hanging a show of a series of twelve small female figurative works like the one above, I have garnered a commission for a woman who wants a small series of these for her significant other. Sweet.

See how that works. It's so important that as artists, we don't get stuck in a rut. Don't be afraid to step out and take some risks. Remember, risk takers do reap rewards.

Here's one of my favorite quotes: "My ship will come in much sooner when I swim out to meet it." Swim, little artist, swim!

More New Work

"Morning Stretch"
6 x 8"
colored pencil on canvas

Here is another of my new figurative works on canvas. And for those who left all those wonderful comments on my last post - thank you. My self esteem is greatly improved and, with all my recent BIG LIFE DECISIONS, I really appreciate the boost.

This week I also had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Tennessee to make a presentation to a group of people this week concerning a the orphanage in Bolivia which is near and dear to my heart. We were able show them images of our trip last year and how we are building (physicallly and monetarily) a family home orphanage. They are interested in helping raise funds. Keep that in your thoughts for us that their decision is in our favor (and the orphans).

But, I am not fond of public speaking. Even though I seem to choose career paths that constantly call for it: advertising, owning a Jazzercise francise, and now art. However, making that presentation was a good leap for me; I did very well. Not nervous at all. (I think when you believe deeply about the topic you're discussing, you can just open your mouth and go.) This, too, was good for my self-esteem. All indications seem to point to the fact that my recent decisions may be good ones.

I have also been asked to sit on the Board of Directors of Global Gallery, a fair trade organization and the driving force behind the Bolivian orphanage. Again, another affirmation!

Now I'm getting revved up to teach on a cruise with Ann Kullberg and Gemma Gylling early next month. I so look up to these ladies; they set the bar rather high! So, if you want to get away and escape any of the frenzy surrounding the election, check out the cruise and consider joining us.

Never fear, I am voting early.