Sunday, December 26, 2010

Parents receive Christmas Gift

Early Christmas Morning my Mother was taken to the hospital with a rapid heart beat, chest pains, shoulder pain, and upset stomach. She was put into a room so they could run test on her heart (she has a history of heart disease and over 10 years ago had triple bi-pass surgery).

My Father called me Christmas morning to inform me that they could not come for dinner b/c of her being in the, what else could I do but take Christmas to her.

Above picture is my parents receiving the portrait that I painted for them. They seemed to really like it and that made my day!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Wishes

My 3 girls: Casey 13, Courtney 17, Christina 3
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a
Happy Prosperous New Year!

"Daddy's Store"

"Daddy's Store"
Beverly Gurganus
20x16 Oil on Canvas
I haven't had much experience painting landscapes, but I really wanted to attempt this painting for my Step Mother-in-law whose father used to own a store. I was told that in it's glory days, it was a small gas station. It would be interesting to have seen a photo of what the store looked like in those days, but this was the only photo I was able to get my hands on. This is what the store looked like before it was demolished.
I was told that my step Mother-in-law was deeply saddened by its destruction (her father passed a few years ago) so that inspired me to paint this for her.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"The Early Years"

"The Early Years"
Beverly Gurganus
20x16 Oil on Canvas
I am calling this one done :). It definitely was difficult painting from two separate photos with one being only black and white, and even though it isn't a perfect likeness, I am satisfied.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The start of a few more paintings

A couple of the paintings I will be starting in hopes to have complete by Christmas.
The top is of the store that my step Mother-in-Law's Father owned. He is now past and she was sadden by the fact that it recently was torn down. I decided that painting this memory for her would be the best gift I could possibly give her.
The second is for my parents. My Mother has been wanting me to paint their portrait and I was surprised to see that she wanted me to paint their younger years. This is challenging for me b/c the reference pics are of them individually and at different time frames. This is my rough sketch and I still need a little tweaking before I start adding paint.

Impasto using pallette knife

I have been staring at my tall wall in my Living Room for a while. My couch sits against this wall with art work hanging above that is obviously not to scale with the wall. I decided it is finally time to get a much larger piece for the space.

While chatting with one of my Facebook artist friends, I was challenged to attempt a palette knife painting and so after researching the medium (tool) I accepted the challenge. My first attempt taught me that you should not do impasto without a medium to assist in the endurance of the paint but also the drying time. Oil paint is way too costly!

The above picture is what my piece looks like thus far. It is taking me longer than I hoped because not only is it a larger piece (3'x4') but also I'm starting a few Christmas gifts that has hit my priority list.

So far, this has been a learning experience and the only advice I would give to someone who wants to give this a try (besides using a medium) would be...don't be as ambitious as me and start with a much smaller canvas :).

Keep Creating all!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Portrait of Jeanie

Beverly Gurganus
24" x 30" Oil on Canvas
I took my daughter to get her senior portraits done this past summer and while I was there, I gave the photographer my business card. She said she would keep it on file just in case she had some request for hand painted portraits. I got an idea!
I went to photographer's FB page and found a photo of her that I was pretty sure she liked b/c she had chosen it for her profile picture. It can be difficult pleasing the subject of a portrait (or so I'm told), but I felt that if I used a photo that was liked by the subject then that would be a good start.
It has been a couple of months since I began the painting and I completed it this week. I'm sure that I will see areas to touch up and since this photo was taken, I have already made some touch-ups to her teeth. My intentions is to give this to her so that she has an example of my work, but as of now, I haven't decided if it is good enough. I'm going to give myself some time away from it and then make my decision when I can view it again with a fresh eye.
Would love your feedback :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Re-worked and SOLD!

Baby Kisses, 20" x 16" Oil on Canvas, Beverly Gurganus
I introduced this painting several months ago when I was planning my live painting at a local school. I have shared with you the progression of this painting as I have worked on it and found that I needed to share the final results.
I picked this back up and reworked the flesh tones. The tones of the Mother were competing with the tones of the daughter. I opted to cool the flesh tones of the Mother rather than warm the tones of the daughter.
I find myself attached to this painting (not b/c I think it is the best I've ever done) because I can relate to the relationship of Mother and Daughter. It brings me joy and I hope that the buyer of this piece will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed painting it.

Student's Work II

Ethan Mongold, 7th grade, charcoal on Canson

Sabina Marian, 8th Grade, Charcoal on Canson

Andrew Pearson, 11th Grade, Graphite on Paper

Cameron Paul, 4th Grade, Charcoal on Canson

Rebekah Pearson, 4th Grade, Marker on Cardstock

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paper Bag Assignment- 2pt. perspective

Casey Gurganus 8th grade

Sabina Marian 8th grade

Stacie Mongold 10th grade
After introducing my Middle School and High School students to 2pt perspective, they were given the assignment to draw a paper bag while demonstrating 2 pt. perspective.
I provided the paper bag and they set it up on the work table themselves. Many of them took the bag home to complete, and many of them made the decision to add backgrounds and other objects to their drawings.
I was very pleased with the over drawings especially since many of the students are first time art students. I so look forward to seeing them grow as the school year progresses.

Friday, September 3, 2010

slide show feature

Excited to finally take the time to add a slide show of my work to my side bar. Hope you enjoy it :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

To Teach or To Not Teach

Work from a former Art Student
Oil Pastel
When I was surprise with the news of expecting my third child, the decision was made that I would quite work and become a stay at home mom. I have enjoyed being home with her and I would never trade that time with her for anything.

It has been three years since I have been in the class room with students, and when I was approached about teaching art to a group of home school children, I was hesitant to accept. With much consideration, I accepted the position.

I have spent the last month preparing for this school year and it wasn't until I pulled out my resources that I had in storage, that I realized how much I missed teaching and interacting with my students. I've planned out the year with drawing and painting units and we will close our year with a student art excited!

Today, I had an orientation/Meet and Greet with the students and their parent/s. The meeting went well and we are set to begin classes next week. I will definitely share with you some of their work. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I feel so disconnected to my blogging these days. This summer has kept me busier than I thought I would be. When I think of summer, I think of relaxed days with my kids, lots and lots of painting, and good quality time at the gym. Who was I foolin!
I have done lots and lots of painting, but not on canvas. I spent approx. three months painting (with help) in prep. for our church's VBS, and although I have no art to view in my studio as a result of all that painting, it was rewarding to see the finished product of our hard work (see above picture)
My oldest daughter went to San Salvador for a mission trip and both my 17 yr old and 13 yr old went to camp for a week. We had lots of preparing for both of those trips that fell just weeks from each other. If the trips weren't enough, my oldest daughter is going to be a senior this year and that brings lots of decisions to make that are bitter sweet. (It was fun taking her to get her senior portraits...can't wait to see them!)
My husband and I have also taken a huge step in deciding to homeschool my 13 yr. old. I've been doing paper work and watching orientation videos for the distant learning program she will be doing. This decision has opened yet another opportunity. When my homeschool church family got news of our decision, it didn't take long for them to approach me about teaching art classes at the homeschool co-op. I miss teaching art and I was planning on teaching my daughter art as part of her I said yes. I will be teaching an upper elementary class and a combined middle school / high school class. I'm super excited and all my planning and supply list etc... is all done :)
It's been a different summer than what I had planned it to be, but it has been a fun and exciting time as well. I do look forward to time allowing me to get back to my painting...lots of ideas swimming in my brain LOL.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Baby Kisses

Beverly Gurganus "Baby Kisses" 18x20 Oil on Canvas

I first introduced this piece when I was was going to paint live at an local high school's art show. After completing a few commission pieces, I was finally able to pick this piece back up and finish it. My favorite part of this portrait painting is the pattern in the background...I love the orange with the blue.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TCC's 340 High Street

Today I was excited to pick up my copies of the 340 High Street Student Art Magazine from my local Community College. I went to lunch and enjoyed taking my time thumbing through all the beautiful pages of student's work. I saw many beautiful pieces and was extra excited when I recognized a fellow classmate's work.

The annual magazine is a true example of the wonderful art program provided by the Visual Art Center of TCC with a wide range of mediums such as glass blowing, pottery, 3-D design, painting, drawing, computer graphics, photography, etc... The instructors are awesome! Lets face it, you can't have a good program if the instructors aren't masters in their field.

This specific edition I'm personally interested in because three of my pieces were selected to be in this publication. I have seen these pieces of mine over and over, but Wow, how different they looked published in the magazine. I felt I was viewing them for the first time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Post Cards

I am happy to announce that my first set of post cards have been ordered! I have been working on my mailing list for some time now and researching what type of mailing would be best for me. Post cards seemed to be the best fit. It allows me to use one side to exhibit one of my paintings and then on the other side, a short to the point message. The post card will be less likely to be tossed and more likely to be placed on a fridge, used as a bookmark, or just left on the foyer table (the three places where I leave my mail that I don't trash immediately LOL).

I compared the cost of local printers and I wasn't happy with the amount of money they wanted to print my postcard. I was looking at the possibility of printing them in house when a friend recommended an online printer. It was one of the best recommendations...they are very cost efficient.

I was able to design my card, proof read it, and order it all from one site. If anyone is interested in any print needs go to .

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Face art

Although I haven't spent time painting in my home studio as much as I would like, I have been painting almost everyday. My surfaces have changes as I continue to work on my church's upcoming VBS...wood, card board, paper etc...
This past 4th of July, I painted on a surface that is new to me...faces. I was asked to paint the children's faces at the church picnic and I was a little intimidated with the idea. I did some research and found some examples that I felt would be a hit with boys and girls. I now can say that it was so much fun and the children were so excited with their "face art". I had to close my station after about 4 hours and felt bad that there were still children whose faces lacked paint :( I would definately do this painting job again!!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mural/Drama Set

The Egyptian Exhibit

I Later added dimension to this part of the paintings (the water box)

Water House painted by Seema and Courtney

Water house #2 painted by Casey and Me

This year our church is doing an Vacation Bible School called The Egyptian Files. It looks like it will be fun, but before that can happen, there is alot of work behind the scenes to prepare for VBS week. I (of course) signed up to paint.

This is the back drop for the drama that goes along with the program. Two and a half weeks ago my two daughters, Courtney & Casey, an art student from GCA, Seema, and myself headed to our church to begin these large pieces made out of plywood.

The water houses were our first paintings and after the pictures were taken, I went back to them and added the dimension to the boxes. The larger piece began with a painting crew, but ended with me completing it. I had my helpers there to paint the color blocks of the tile and doorway, but faced with time constraints and busy schedules I painted the rest. It was alot of work, but we had fun!

I have a larger painting crew coming to help me paint cutouts from cardboard such as hippos, gators, monkeys, birds, camels, pyramids, potted plants, palm trees, snakes etc... The large pharaoh head will be mine to paint...I've been looking forward to that one :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Beverly Gurganus
16x20 Oil on Canvas
I wanted to give up my security of the grid and try this portrait freehand. The likeness is still a little off, but I feel that the figure is recognizable to those who knew him. With practice, I know that this will get easier...just hope it doesn't take too long :)
As with my latest oil portraits, this was a special piece to work on, and I experienced many emotions during the progression of this piece. Eddie and his family is so very special and has made such a positive impact on my life. I love them dearly and look forward to a heavenly reunion.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Promote Your Art by Writing a Guest Blog Post

For all you experienced artist, this is a great opportunity to share your experiences with other artist and receive some exposure all at the same time. I am new to the art business world and don't have experiences to share...yet.

I love blogs such as Art Biz that shares a wealth of information to artist and I have found that it is of great help. I love it so much that I follow this blog as well as subscribe to her podcast on itunes. Check it won't regret it.

Promote Your Art by Writing a Guest Blog Post

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Drawing the Head #2

Here is my second attempt with this technique. This was drawn from a photo I had leftover from my portrait painting class that I took last summer. I enjoy drawing these and hope to improve with each one.


In Loving Memory of Maddie


20x24 Oil on Canvas

Beverly Gurganus

I was honored to be commissioned to paint this portrait of a sweet little girl. She loved Elmo and all that girly stuff such as lip gloss and going to the spa with mommy to have her nails done. Her life was cut short by an avoidable accident that isn't talked about much when we baby safe our homes. We all know about electrical plugs, gates, toilet latches, but have you been told to strap your furniture?

I am a mother of three, and I have to admit that my furniture wasn't strapped. I never even thought of that as a hazard, but children die from falling furniture. Please visit Maddie's website and pass the word along to strap your furniture.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Drawing the Head # 1

Pencil on Canson Paper
Beverly Gurganus after William Maughan
This is my First attempt following William Maughan's technique. I wanted to duplicate one of his drawings as a way to get a better understanding of his methods. The rest of my drawings will be from various photos.
This technique was easy to follow and I hope that I achieve the same look when I trying it using my own photos.

The Artist's Complete Guide to Drawing The Head By William Maughan

I checked this book out from the Library a couple of weeks ago and found it interesting. I've been wanting to get more practice on drawing the head so that I may one day not have to grid my canvas.
Artist William Maughan does a wonderful job in explaining his technique in this book. You only need two CarbOthello pencils and Velvet Grey canson paper. The paper will become your medium fleshtone of the figure. I highly recommend this book!
I will post pictures of my drawings as I study his technique.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Art Mentor: Rita Ray

Graphite on Paper by Rita Ray

Becoming an Artist was not something that crossed my mind until a few years ago. I always loved to draw and create, but an Artist... I could never be good enough to call myself "Artist".

An artist and fellow classmate of mine, Rita Ray, played a key roll in my choice for going to school and study Fine Arts. Rita is an amazing artist and art teacher at a local high school. As I think back to my elementary days, it makes sense that she is an art teacher. When we were in 6 th grade, we sat near each other and she would demonstrate how to draw animated characters such as "Woody Woodpecker", "Coyote", "Road Runner", etc... I still know how to draw the characters she taught me.

Many years later, we came in contact with each other again at the school where she currently teaches. We worked together in the art department where I learned so much from her, and that is when my focus turned towards an Art degree. I no longer work at the school, but Rita remains on of my Art Mentors.

Rita works with all mediums, but when I think of her work, my mind goes to her highly detailed pencil drawings. She is very meticulous and never shys away from the details that bring her work to life.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

GCA Student Art Show

GCA Student Art Show was an enjoyable event. The student's (pre-school thru Middle School taught by Kristy and Middle School thru High School taught by Rita) work was amazing and well displayed. The works ranged from drawings, paintings, sculpture, mixed media, wood carving, to mosaics with a variety of subject matter.
It was a full night with talent being showcased throughout the show. Live music was provided by current students and the live art was provided by Alumni, students, and the Art Teachers. Stations were set up so that viewers could watch artist paint (oil and Acrylic), sculpt (clay and Wood carving), and design with Mosaics. I was honored to be part of the live art.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Candy Lady

Every Sunday after the church service, this sweet lady sits outside the church door with her candy box on her lap just waiting for the little children to come and pick their special treat. I have witnessed this for several years and in the past few months the desire to capture this moment on canvas has lead me to taking this picture.
I am looking forward to painting this portrait and only hope to successfully portray the kindness that floods the heart of this dear lady.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Live art at GCA

I am counting down the days til the GCA student art show where I will be painting live. The above picture has been prepared for this event. I have painted most of the back ground with the exception of shadows from the starfish and touch-ups. As for the figures, I have completed the under painting. It was hard to stop painting after this stage, but I felt that the on lookers need to see more of a raw stage so that they can witness the painting coming to life. I am a slow painter so my hope is to come close to completion, but I know that it will be a challenge.
I am excited for this event not only for the joy of painting, but in hopes to gain prospective commissions. I will have my business cards displayed as well as wearing an apron that displays my business identity.
I will post the finished painting as soon as it is complete along with photos of the event.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Plans for Painting Live at GCA

(Graphite sketch)
In keeping with my current work using patterns for my backgrounds, I have created this sketch for my next piece. I will be painting this live during a local private school's student art show.
As of now, my plans for the background is to paint it so that it creates the feeling of the ocean, and the pattern will be of starfish. The detail in the starfish will be minimal so that it will portray a starfish but not compete with the figures.
To prepare this for a two hour painting session (that is all the time allowed during the show) I will complete the background and the under painting on the figures prior to the show. This way I can focus on the flesh tones and hopefully get the painting close to completion during the allotted time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

To Project or Not to Project

"Saving Grace"
From my Bluegrass Series
(The image was projected)

For many years now, there have been artists who have used techniques and tools to transfer their image/s onto canvas, and still I struggle with the concept of projection.
When I was taking college painting classes, we had opportunities to use the teacher's projector to transfer our images onto our canvas. My first reaction was, no way! I struggled with my proportions and my likeness of my model, but no way was I going to "cheat". I thought that with practice, my likeness and proportions would get better. One day, I broke and used the projector. What a relief to not spend so much time hand drawing my image on canvas...I could work my composition out by moving the projector until I was happy with the placement. What freedom...all my time and focus can be towards applying paint and not the drawing, right?
My so called bubble was popped by my sense of guilt. When my work was complete, yes, I thought my painting turned out well. My likeness was dead on and the proportions were correct, but I had this little voice taunting me and reminding me that I "cheated". I felt that not all the work was mine.
After two attempts with a projector I have come up with an alternative to my drawing weaknesses... the grid. Since I struggle with projectors, I use a different tool for transfer that allows me to feel like I was true to my work. The grid helps me to keep my proportions where there should be and my likeness (although not as good as the projection) is believable.
I do not have less respect for any artist who uses a is just a personal preference for me to not utilize one, and who knows what my preference will be as I continue to grow and develop.
What do you do to transfer your drawings to your canvas? Does anyone else struggle with the idea of projectors?