Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fiesta Fish

Trying a few new things to get back in the groove.  Painting fish is total fun because it just seems odd and lets you play around - I wanted to do something more angular / abstract, but these guys just wanted to get going - somewhere, anywhere.  .  .  .  right now it's 18 degrees and I am in Virginia -- the whole week it's been freezing, but I guess that's happening across the country right now.   

Brief history - The capelin is a small, silvery relative of salmon that forms large shoals in cold and Arctic waters and is a vital food source for sea birds and marine mammals.  The reference is from photographer, Viacheslav based in Russia, who has several amazing photos on PaintMyPhoto (a wonderful resource for artists). This painting takes a huge leap in playing with color - now it looks like they are headed to a Fiesta, I guess a really smart thing to do in this weather! I couldn't find the mileage between the inspiration and the inspired, but a direct flight would be almost 10 hours.  Art connecting the world.  

Fiesta Fish
Click Here to bid - starts Saturday 1/10/15

Last night one of my holiday auctions ended and it is still so exciting to find out who "won."  I didn't expect that the identities would be hidden from me, but that's how it works.  Once it gets down to the finish though, they have to know where to send the money and I have to know where to send the painting!  Very exciting to me and I hope so for the buyer as well.  It is triple-fantastic when it's a new buyer - I don't really care why that is, just know it makes me do the happy-dance (seriously).   So the painting below is off to sunny Texas, near Houston. Interestingly it's from another reference photo on PaintMyPhoto (Rodney Campbell).

Goldfinch Pose

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Catching Up - Class Recap

What I seriously love about being an artist (despite being a former, rather structured, computer engineer) is all the rule-making and rule-breaking.  Egads, it's a free-for-all in the art world.  I haven't completed a full analysis, but it looks like half of the art instructors are insisting you HAVE to do it this WAY and the other half is saying do WHATEVER you WANT.  I guess the trick we finally figure out is pick-and-choose what we like and what feels natural (ish).  As a rule-based person, this is quite a challenge, but each class and workshop propels me through this particular vortex!

There also seems to be a little "mantra" that goes along with this cult - do something, then tell us what you learned.  So here's the recap from my recent class and the new things I learned:

  • Block it in (largest object first, then middle, then "baby bear")
  • Make an interesting mud for the background (huh, really?) fascinating concept this one - mud is made by mixing too many colors together, but this idea was to mix all the colors in the painting for the background as each object would be complementary to some part of the mud.  When objects are complementary, they pop out even more.  Go figure.
  • Get extreme on the composition - zoom in!
  • Fine-tune the focal point
  • Then destroy the other edges to give it drama and interest (oh yeah, wild woman now!)  This one also loosens you up knowing that precision is not going to survive to the end -- can't wait to try more of this. 

Class paintings

Yellow Pom-poms in a crystal bowl (12"x12" canvas)

Abstract composition / zoom (9"x12" canvas)

Fruit Titanic (10"x10" canvas) 
You should have seen the size / shape of the bowl this was in - humongous!  I'm putting this one on sale at DailyPaintworks - let's see what happens.  I love it.  

And I painted some silly things -- okay the grammar police say NEVER start a sentence with the word AND, but I just had to do it now that I'm "breaking bad!" 

Stuffed dog, house and bird (5.5"x5.5" panel)
Stuffed dog, Embarrassed (5.5"x5.5")

This is what you get for a couple hundred bucks and a few weeks of training. . . . LOL.  I guess  being able to laugh at yourself, take risks, and be willing to fail, are all part of the adventure. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and being a part of the journey.

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year

The holiday art sale was a real boost - I was thoroughly delighted that four paintings sold.  Even better, I got to deliver them in person - it is always extraordinary when people connect through art.   I don't think it matters if they like the same things or not, but having it in common really does seem "out of the ordinary."  I learned that having one of my works become a part of the buyer's amazing collection is a pretty mind-blowing experience that I don't think really hit me until days later.  Another painting was purchased as a gift and is headed to Europe.  The giftee moved last summer literally across the street from where I lived in Germany several years ago.  That shared experience, and now this painting, shows me there are no boundaries. How does something like this happen with someone who also lived across the street from where I live now?  Extraordinary!  Art has truly become a personal journey as each chapter unfolds.  

Here are the paintings that sold.  I'm hoping that blogging and thinking about art will help get me motivated and "resolute" about the new year!   


The Star

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,