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?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Growing my Audience Q8Q6KRZ634UG

I am still trying to learn all I can about my blog. I've been reading books that will help me get the most from my blog and to expand my's been a great help!

Today's task was to go to many of the search engines and register/submit my blog. It is very easy to do and doesn't really take much time. Has anyone else gone through this process who may have tips?

Saturday, March 13, 2010


There was a break in the rainy weather today, and the sun began to peek through the clouds. I felt a wave of excitement because I thought that one of my goals would not be met due to the predicted forecast.

I came to Corolla NC to celebrate my anniversary, but that was not my only motivation for being here. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I will be painting live at an art show and was in need of inspiration for the background of my painting...a natural element. I knew that I needed something that related to the ocean/beach but was unsure of what. What better way to get inspiration than to put yourself in the natural environment that your trying to portray.

As I walked the beach smelling the fragrance of the ocean, hearing the sounds of the waves, and holding the shells in my hands, the ideas began to flood my mind. I now find myself eager to work on this piece!

What do you do when you need some inspiration?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Apple Tea"

"Apple Tea"
Oil on Canvas
For Sale: $275.00 (Framing and Shipping not included)
Contact me by E-mail
I have been concentrating on Portraits for the past year and though portraits are my favorite subject, I wanted to take a break from flesh tones. I have never tried painting shinny silver before and wanted to incorporate it within my still life. The spoon was an after thought. Once my composition was determined and drawn on the canvas, I realized it was missing something...thus the spoon. I'm pleased by my addition and I feel that the composition is better balanced.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Painting Live

(The above flyer was created by the upper school Art Teacher, Rita Ray)
Announcing Greenbrier Christian Academy's Annual Art Extravaganza! This year I was asked (along with other artists) to paint live during this years art show. My first emotion was fear...I would really be out of my comfort zone. After much consideration, I came to the conclusion that it is time to step out of that comfort zone and get some exposure.

I will be painting a portrait while in some way or another, including this years theme of Nature.


The past few months I have been focusing on the business aspect of my art. Creating this blog, reading books, and today I designed my business card and letter head.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Studio

Do I even dare to call the place where I paint my studio? I do even though it's not my vision of what a studio should be.

I have found that the best place for me to work is in my kitchen. The counters are at the perfect height, and the recessed lights in the ceiling create the best lighting than that of any other room in my home. I set my easel near the counter and the all glass patio doors, cover the granite counters with thick cardboard, turn the music on and begin my painting. The kitchen is placed in the center of my home giving me the ability to still hear and monitor family activity (although, I prefer painting late at night while all in the house is asleep).

The downside of using my kitchen is I can't just leave my supplies laying around making it more effort to begin and end the painting session, and I tend to worry about using the chemicals in a place where my family eats. One day I will find my ideal studio, but for now...I'm just happy to paint somewhere.

Do you have a studio that isn't a "Studio" and if so how do you work around the challenges of that space?