Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cameo pastels

This charming little girl was created in pastel and is one of my popular "cameo" sizes.
That means they are usually around 9 x 12 in size with one subject.
Super popular at Christmas as gifts!

Her grandmother had sent me a number of photos and as usual, some were great for a portrait and others were simply cute photos !
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Here comes the Bride!

This 24 x 36 oil of a lovely bride-to-be was completed in record time for one of my oils! The bridal dress did not arrive until 2 months before the wedding and I hurried to the home to get the photography handled :-)
I completed the portrait using the expression from one photo and the body pose from another....the bouquet and what it actually would look like was a very last minute  decision but finally, she's completed, the clients are delighted and life is good for this almost new bride!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Art as Comfort Food

Really, all we needed last night in our studio was a crackling fire to add a little more of the already present ambiance of the evening! Munching away on cookies and relaxing with hot coffee and lemonade (the wine has to be next for the all adult classes!) the two hour class zipped by. It was "comfort food" in the form of art!

Part of the idea behind the START (Stop Thinking Art is Really Tough) classes is to engage and re-engage artists of all ages and give them the opportunity to not only create but to experience new mediums and techniques.

In this class, we concentrated on dog portraits in acrylics. Our mother and teen daughter duo had never used acrylic paints. They travel a lot and were delighted to discover the ease of use and quick dry times of acrylic paints!
Our participating Dad, with his teen daughter, at the class after a long day at the office, relaxed completely as he became immersed in his painting! The interesting thing is how delighted the parents were at their own efforts. They easily slipped into the Art Zone after years of disuse!

I suggested to several adult siblings recently when they asked me how to get their mom back into painting, that with the holidays coming up, they purchase some art supplies, as well as an easel and taboret for their mother. Better yet, sneak into her home and set up a mini studio so that all she has to do is walk in and sit down to paint!

Add a gift certificate to a START class and they have given back to their mother, all the encouragement that she showered on them through the years!
The cycle doesn't get any better than that!

Diligently working away

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Figuring out your painting sizes

Of all the areas a client has trouble visualizing, it is the size of a portrait that stumps many of them. These photos of finished artwork hanging in a home can be amazingly helpful when your current clients are trying to determine a size! Steve drove to her home to deliver and hang the portrait. Even at 6'6", on a little wooden stepladder, it was a stretch! Roxanne, our client, kindly moved everything out of the TV console so it could be more easily pushed away from the wall.

These 30 x 40 oils for example were created 5 years apart. Hanging in our booth at a show, framed and ready to go, an oil this size looks large! Displayed in its final destination, it could actually have gone larger!

When creating artwork for a client and when sizes are discussed, it helps to have some images of a completed portraits or paintings in their settings to help the client visualize a work of a particular size in their own home!

In all the years we have been creating paintings, we have never had a client wish that their final portrait had been smaller. But we have had them wish that they had gone larger!
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Enjoying going to the Studio

I made it into the studio to paint! After the weekend art tour, the set up at another show, the phone calls  and emails, the art classes and business matters, the escaping dog…..I spent a whole day painting. Maybe some people call it a Zen thing. I call it the “Art Zone”. No matter how long you have procrastinated or how many chores still need to be done,  clients  to see, bills to pay, kids’ games to see…….somehow, it all goes away when you are creating.
I suppose you can compare with that quiet time everyone tries to steal for themselves at some point in the day- that perfect cup of coffee, a good book,  an evening glass of wine, a peaceful moment :-) .
All artists have their  Art Zone moments but it is the same universally. Lost in thought, concentration…..whatever you are creating seems to just …..happen.  For a few minutes or hours you can become immersed in another world-one known only to artists who create.  This is the art time that flies, the concerns of the outside world fade, and the immersion is total.
When all is said and done, it’s what makes you tick as an artist. Call it what you will, the Art Zone is  the balm of artistic people.  And for those creative people who don’t pursue this sanctuary in some form, nothing in your life will be complete or total until you make the time to go to the Zone.
So whatever it is you like to create, go do it!  Once you step into the Art Zone, however momentarily,  and experience what it does for you, you’ll make the time to enter it regularly. Not only will it change your life for the good, it will have a positive impact on the lives of those around you.  And really, life doesn’t get much better than that!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Helping the Rescue Dogs

When the call came out for Steve and I to help with a calendar for Danny and Ron's Rescue organization that we support, we were "doggone happy" to oblige :-)

It is hard to believe that two men who work full time jobs have been so influential in the lives of thousands of homeless dogs in so short a period of time! Visit their link above to read the complete story.

I was provided a photo of one of their success stories-a little miniature Australian Shepherd, and created the calendar sized image using pastels. Steve created two paintings.

Even if you cannot add another dog to your family (we have 5), take the time to visit the Rescue Organization's website  and donate to a cause where 100% of your donation is used for its actual purpose!
No salaries, no politics, just good old fashioned "rolling up the shirtsleeves" and getting the job done!   And look for the calendar-out soon!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Creating art for your friends

I received an email from a former art student of mine who now resides in Texas. What  a great little artist she is! And to top it off she is now in the Air Force and flies jets....just too unbelievable actually :-)

Any way she is still into her horses and I had created a pastel cameo of her beloved German Shepherd a few months ago. But now, her trainer's favorite horse has passed and she wondered if I could work from the few photos that they had?

Of course I would! I have done this a long time and have worked from some amazingly  poor photographs to create lovely little pastels that the clients will treasure.

So I completed this 9 x 12 cameo yesterday and hope that it helps ease the loss of a loved animal just a little :-)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Studio Tour! Oct 2-3


We're easy to find at 2109 Old Mill Farm Rd in Franklinton NC 27525

Last weekend was hot and humid and with the incredible rain that came through the last few days...... well this weekend will be perfect! Cool, sunny and FALL at last!

Our studio was built by us from the remains of a 1910 house that was being torn down in Wake Forest. We salvaged the front doors, windows and the hardwood pine floors. The ceilings are 10' high and all we need is a steeple to make it look like the little church that people think it is at times!

Come on by and visit with us Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 1-5. We have a few specials going on inside the studio!
If you think you're lost, call us at 919-528-9703!   
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