Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Bernese Mountain Dog

My husband has many clients within the community that range from car dealerships, fast food, hair salons, and pet groomers. After completing the scratchboard of my pug, I bounced an idea off of my husband...would one of the pet groomers allow my to display an example of my scratchboard portraits? We talked to them and they were excited for me to do a portrait on their beautiful 9 month old Bernese Mountain dog in exchange for displaying it in their shop. The above picture is the portrait while still in progress.
Here is a close up of the face.
Details of his muzzle.
This is the finished piece (picture taken before I framed it). Scratchboard can get redundant and I have to take breaks often to give my mind a rest, but I love the black and white effect.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Home Studio

A new easel for a new studio

Was able to get all of this from a kitchen/bath showroom that was having a major sale due to moving to a new location...major bargain

Fell in love with this and decided that if I ever get a studio, I would put this on the wall.
I have been dreaming of my own place to work and paint for several years now, and I thought my only hope was either a new house or wait til my children grew and moved out (then I could turn their bedroom into a studio). Well....after talking to my husband, we decided that we didn't need another den (his office consisted of his desk and then a couch, chair, tv etc...), and that he could give up half his office for me to have my studio. Was so Excited to hear him say that.
I began my plans. I knew that I wanted a desk, place for my easel, and then some sort of counter/ storage workspace. By my surprise, he called me a couple of weekends ago and told me that he visited a showroom that was having a major clearance sale and that he found the perfect solution for me for 1/3 rd of the price that I originally thought it would cost. He took me down to the showroom to see if it met my approval...two weeks later, my studio was installed and ready for creating. nice to not have to paint in my kitchen or garage.

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Break the Bread"

"Break the Bread"

Beverly Gurganus

16x20 Oil on Canvas

I was frantically finishing last minute details for my student's art show when one of my moms brought me this beautiful loaf of bread (whole wheat to be exact). The bread was not only perfect because of my endeavors of eating clean, but also perfect in form. I had never seen homemade bread look so picture worthy before (not including bakery bread...they are just as beautiful) This loaf wasn't baked in a bakery; it was baked in the home of a precious family...a family of ten children and four are still being home schooled. I've never made homemade bread (unless putting ingredients into a bread machine counts) but I do know the work that is involved in making it (which is why I've never made it).

Admiring this bread, brought me to the conclusion that this bread was worthy of my next still life painting. I had finished the previous still life "Pears & Bottles" and was ready to start another that would also include a colored glass bottle, and a repeat of the striped cloth (which I now have named "The Striped Cloth of Death") I love this striped cloth and have used it now in four still lifes (oil pastel, color pencil, and oil) the process of working on it drives me insane, but so worth it (even if there are errors within the stripes).

Thank you Marci for the beautiful and equally delicious bread.

Survived the Fire!

I was awakened early Wed. morning with a notification that my Home school Art class that I teach was cancelled due to a fire in our church. They said the church sanctuary was burnt to ashes and the rest of the church suffered extreme smoke damage. Below is a picture of our church taken by WVEC (a local news station) showing the intensity of the flames. Though this looks depressing, we are rejoicing that the missionary family (man, woman, and two small children) were able to escape without harm. It will take a while for our building to be replaced, but our church body has come together to praise God in this journey.

Wednesday Morning approx. 2:30am

Once the shock wore off and I began to think about the details, I remembered that I had an original painting hanging in the "Prophet's Chamber" (an apartment area within our church where visiting missionaries stayed). I asked those capable of retrieving this for me if it would be possible to get the painting. I didn't want the painting considered damaged and thrown out...I wanted to be the one to make that decision.

Yesterday, after having our first Sunday morning service together in another local church building, I was given my painting. It was triple bagged, and I was warned to only open it outside due to the odor.

When I got home and opened the bags, I was amazed at the condition of my painting. Other than the smell of smoke, there wasn't a trace of smoke damage. To help you understand this better...the church office is at the opposite end of the sanctuary and everything was covered with soot and ash. The prophets chamber is the closest room to the sanctuary (if going down the hall toward the offices on the right). Below is a picture of the painting. I have not done any sort of cleaning or restoring.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zentangle 2

One morning when the weather was cool and dry (the weather for the past 2 weeks has been wet and hot), my 4 yr. old and I (with coffee in hand) decided to enjoy some outside time. We were on our way to our neighborhood park when we were distracted by something in the water hole. I call this the water hole b/c I don't know what I would technically call this body of water that separates my neighborhood from another. Hmmm...maybe a pond? Anyway, we walked to get a closer look to see what appeared to be creating large ripples in the water. The only culprit we could see was turtles. We stood there awhile watching the turtles and the occasional small fish that swam by. As many of you artist know, its often those quiet simple moments when ideas begin to flow through your brain.
I had just finished teaching my students a lesson on shape and patterns where they were to demonstrate shape and pattern by creating a zentangle art piece. In a earlier post, I introduced my first Zentangle where I simple "scribbled" on the page and filled in the areas where my lines intersected with patterns. It was random and interesting to see what the final outcome would be, but this time, I wanted to plan my design so that it was a recognizable shape. Watching the turtles and admiring the details of their shell, I decided that my next piece would be of a turtle. I wouldn't call this a masterpiece, but I'm rather fond of this little guy :)

Friday, September 9, 2011


My second school year teaching home schooled art began this past week. This year, I've not only expanded my classes to include 1st - 3rd graders, but I've also added 3-D design and some other mediums to my curriculum. I'm excited to create with them.

I was going through one of the supply catalogues when I decided to browse through the teacher resource books. I found this book about the art form, Zentangle. Did a little research on the Internet and thought that this would appeal to the 4th - 6th grade students. I looked up materials on the subject and ordered the book "Zentangle Basics".

The above picture is my demo for my students. I have to admit that my students are not the only ones who will be enjoying this...I think I'm hooked :D I have a few ideas of what to do next.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pears & Bottles

Beverly Gurganus "Pears & Bottles" 20x16 Oil on Canvas

I started this piece a few months ago when I was asked to paint live at a student art show. Last year's show I painted portraiture, so this year I chose to paint still life. In this piece my challenge was to paint color glass while maintaining its transparency. I have done several drawings of transparency, but this is my first attempt painting a transparent object. I was intimidated at first, but as I continued to build up the paint and step back to view the painting, I grew very excited of its development. I am now in the process of planning my next still life that will also include colored glass along with the striped cloth.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

MacArthur Museum Commissioning

Beverly Gurganus

"America's Heroes"

3ft. x 5 ft. Acrylic on Canvas

It has been a crazy past couple of months. My daughter's home schooling year has come to an end along with my art classes I teach, and my oldest daughter has graduated. In the midst of party planning, preparing for a Student Art Show, and closing out grades, I received an e-mail from a friend informing me of a museum looking for an artist to paint a panel for them to be displayed at our local Botanical Gardens. Of Course, I followed up on that by e-mailing my digital portfolio.

The Memorial requested that the theme of the panel be patriotic while honoring past and present veterans...the catch was I only had one week to plan and paint the panel. Above is what I came up with in such a short time. This piece will be at Norfolk Botanical Gardens June 18th thru the Summer.

Monday, April 11, 2011


"Blowing Bubbles" Beverly Gurganus Graphite on Paper

I was on my way on a mini vacation and was going through some of my resource pictures so that I could do some sketching. I came across this one of my daughter that was taken during my drawing IV class. I didn't use it for my class, but saved it for future use. I'm considering this for a painting.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

GCA's Art Extravaganza 2011

The Art Show was awesome! The theme was the impact of music in the arts and throughout the show there was scheduled performances from the music department such as piano and hand bells. Then there was voluntary musicians like this photo of a last years graduate...such a character.

Along with the music, there were many stations set up with live art. Mosaics, sculpture, painting, drawing, and some action painting with a spinning canvas on an easel. I was asked to participate and enjoyed it. Above is a photo of me working on my piece which I will post later in it's completed state.

Group projects were done by each of the art students and were all painted to some sort of music. The blue musicians would have to be my favorite. These were displayed throughout the exhibit.

Clay pots and clay sculptures were on display as well has wood burning pieces.

The 2-D work consisted of good range of media...drawings, paint, mixed media collages.

I hope you enjoyed this small peak of the GCA's Art Extravaganza :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Painting Live 2

This Saturday (April 9th) I will be painting live at a local schools art show. I enjoyed being a part of the show last year and was more than willing to participate again this year. I'm still trying to decide on what subject matter to paint... portrait or still life.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Palette Knife Painting

Beverly Gurganus
36"x48" Oil on Canvas
I am so happy to finally get this painting finished... I am still considering its title.
I was challenged by another FB artist to try to do a palette knife painting. I agreed, but was very hesitant to give up what control I had with a brush. I found at the beginning, I tried to use the knife as a brush and found myself getting frustrated. That sparked my YouTube study of palette knife videos. I then, took to my canvas with the idea of just throw on the paint, have fun, and see what happens. (I tend to over think things.)
Above is the results of my knife :) It definitely screams first, but I am happy enough with it to find a place on my wall for it to live.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Charcoal Commission

Beverly Gurganus


14x11 charcoal

I was commissioned to do this portrait for a young man who wanted to surprise his finance with it. I've been waiting to hear word that she had received it before posting it (didn't want her to see it on my blog before she received it from him).

It was a nice break to do this portrait in a different medium. Now, I need to get back to my oil paints...need to complete another commission within the month.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 Student Art Show

Plans have started for my student's Art Show. We still have a few months of work ahead of us, but getting excited!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Painting Semester for Students

Beverly Gurganus
11x14 Acrylic on Canvas
I am entering into my second semester teaching, and we will begin painting. I'm excited to see my students' continual growth as we work our way through this last unit.
It has been a while since I have used Acrylic on canvas so I thought I needed a practice run before teaching. This is my quick practice piece. We will be starting with black & white then working towards a basic color palette, and their first assignment will be similar to this example... photos that I took of various fruits, veggies, and glassware.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Fallen King"

"Fallen King"
Beverly Gurganus
9"x 12" Prisma Color Pencil on Canson

Every so often my husband and I venture out to the local thrift store to see what "treasures" we may find. I tend to migrate to the glassware in search of color glass and knick knacks for potential still-lifes.

The most recent trip, I was looking for interesting subject matter for my students to use as still-lifes. I stumbled across four chess pieces ( 1 queen with matching knight & 1 king with matching night). My first reaction was to pass them by, but as I continued to look at other possibilities, these pieces began to speak to me. I had no choice, but to purchase them. I try to do a sample drawing for each of my student's assignments...this is the example I did for the color pencil unit.