Lakeshore Scene

I realize there have been crickets chirping over here. It is not for lack of doing anything. But more-so how incredibly busy I managed to make myself over the last few months! Much of the busy-ness has not been because of artistic ventures, but I did manage to get another custom order done! This is an 11 x 14″ canvas done with acrylic paint. It was based off of an actual photo with a few extra details thrown in at my clients request. First time ever actually working straight from a photo. I was nervous at first, I’m not sure why exactly, but it turned out good. Anyway here are some WIP photos. Sorry for the lighting in these. I paint at night when all is quiet. Enjoy folks. And have a wonderful New Year!

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And the final piece:

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The little details were done with my smallest brush and required a very steady hand. My favorite detail is the vintage brass letters on the light pole.

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I hope everyone had a great holiday season. Mine was not rushed or hurried in any way. The best kind!

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The Gem Under The Ferns

Some paintings seem to have a rough journey to completion. This one was up there with some of the toughest I’ve ever attempted. Here is part one of a poorly planned painting gone wrong:

I should stress that the poor planning was completely on my part! My client chose a very adorable sketch that I had quickly done up of a fawn hiding under some ferns. I didn’t give a lot of thought in choosing actual colors and perspective before I dived in. But dive in I did.
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Background was hurriedly painted and I drew the outline of the fawn.

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Then I thought, “It is a forest scene so it needs a stump.” So slap on a stump I did. It was horrendous and huge!

*Please ignore the clutter behind my easel. I have little kids…’nuff said.)

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Then I thought to myself, “This stump needs moss.” By then I was so horrified at how awful it looked I wiped it all off!

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At this point I realized it would never work… the way the fawn was positioned, the weird little tree in the distance, the massive empty space at the bottom of the canvas. So I sent my client a photo and she agreed with me! I waited for it to dry well and then sanded the whole thing down and started over.

And so began part two of trial and error:

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I very carefully made a new sketch to the exact dimensions of the canvas. I used math people!

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The new background. Pretty boring and bland…as it should have been.

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A bigger fawn with bigger ears and bigger eyes. It took four tries for me to get it in the right position on the canvas! I used math again…. it was awful.

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Finally things fell into place and I finished the rest in two painting sessions.

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At this point my client was pleased and I was over the feeling of doom!

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The finished piece! Perseverance, encouragement from a dear friend, experimenting, and a whole lot of patience and studying made it work out in the end. And now I can’t wait to tackle my next piece!

I am currently at an art & craft retreat and so excited for some kid free time to immerse myself in something.

Have a great weekend!

Garden Produce, Kittens, & A New Season.

Despite having been done with my summer job for a few weeks now I haven’t been able to find a lot of extra time to mess around with editing pictures and writing pretty blog posts! But that is changing now. I still sketch and paint on a daily…no make that weekly…oh wait, maybe monthly basis. Hmmm. Well you get the picture.

Some of the culprits behind my slacking in the creativity department have included taking in a rescued mother cat with 5 little rambunctious kittens. So I spend a lot of time staring in awe and letting my heart just melt to pieces at sights like this:

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And then there is the changing of the seasons and harvest suddenly having arrived. I have been cutting, blanching, freezing, and dehydrating tasty garden delights like a mad woman for the past two weeks.

But I have carved out some time to do artsy things. I discovered an original painting on canvas board that I pulled out of a heap of mass produced “Bless Our Home” wall hangings at the local consignment shop. I am thrilled to have it hanging on my wall! I love original works by other artists but can’t really afford to buy a lot. This winter scene is so peaceful:

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I have also hurriedly scratched out a few sketches (cheesy lettering included):

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And believe it or not, I have even completed another acrylic painting! On canvas. Not a few smears in one of my sketchbooks. Imagine that! Here’s a sneak peek for proof:

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Ok, that’s not really “proof” but there is a brush, dipped in paint. Paint that has been smeared and mixed! Tune in tomorrow to see how this paint was applied to canvas to create what sort of painting…

“Pinterest-y” Project for a Relaxing Summer Weekend.

I recently picked up two identical tables to turn into a coffee table and end tables for the area surrounding my couch. I decided to dive into the Pinterest, DIY insanity for once and even use…ready for it? Chalkboard Paint. It was a lot of fun despite the fact that I feel I may have sold my soul to the DIY & chalkboard painting crafty mommy masses.

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I actually took a “before” picture this time.

But sorry, I took no WIP photos. Sorry to disappoint anyone who might have wanted to see the actual progression of the project. Basically I cut about 10 1/2″ of the legs off and sanded it all down. Then there was a lot of painting. I did two layers of the regular paint and about 5 layers of the chalkboard paint. I let it cure for three days and drug it out of quarantine this morning!

Behold, the chalk dust monster… (fuzzy cell phone photos included)

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Tray found on clearance aisle at Target, vintage origami folding book at a local thrift shop, carved & painted turtle rock also thrifted, and the beautiful mug was made by a local potter who sadly passed away in the last couple years. I can’t remember exactly when but I wish I had bought more of his work when it was available.

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The table has already been put to use by my daughters. They are very excited about this new piece of furniture!

The end tables are yet to be made. I think that will be a project for another week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Unplugged.

I had the opportunity to spend a long weekend in the woods with 5 other women. We camped along a beautiful river and made memories. I challenged myself to only bring along my sketchbook. I missed my camera a lot!

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It was different trying to sketch people as they moved about the campsite. The results were often laughable but I did pull out a few that I am somewhat pleased with.

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Mushroom Stump

Aside from the moments I was dying trying to hike up steep inclines with a backpack, it was such a wonderful and relaxing time. I was able to discover that I am still my old self, just buried deep under my newer identity as a mother and wife. I still long for adventure and challenge and could happily sleep in a tent or under the stars the rest of my life.

I also carved a small piece of… something. I hesitate to show this as it is not finished. Maybe it is. I think it needs to be weighted with a  piece of river stone at the bottom.  It was fun to try something new regardless of how it turned out.

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