Winter Sunset

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A gift for my hunting enthusiast brother and his bride. I tried to capture a midwest winter sunset.

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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!

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!

Mrs H

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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.

Dani

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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.

Wood Carving 2     Wood Carving

Whimsical Rabbit Hutch for a Special New Pet.

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Recently we were gifted with this adorable ball of fur. No one really wanted him, especially not my husband. What good is a useless pet? My answer: “To spoil him of course!” My daughters finally settled on the name “Eugene” for him. It took a bit of convincing that he probably wouldn’t appreciate being named “Pwincess Anna of Ary-dale.”

As soon as I agreed to take him in I began searching for rabbit hutch ideas. I love whimsical themed hutches and coops. Especially ones with thatched roofs and round doors! My carpentry skills are nowhere near thatched roofs and round doors so I had to opt for something simpler.

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I did a quick sketch and some rough dimensions based on this tutorial. Then my mom came to visit and help out around the place for a few weeks and she got really excited about helping with the whole process! It would have probably taken much longer and not looked as nice without her help. Thank you mom! And so I give you the finished product!

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My mom and husband built the frame and most of the box as well as most of the roof. I had fun making the doors and painting!

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It is the biggest hutch I have seen in person so far. We would like to enclose the bottom and add a ramp eventually so it can hop around down below as well! The little crooked chimney from the sketch is still yet to be made. ha!

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And here is the whimsical part to it all. What rabbit wouldn’t want to live in a hobbit house?

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This was rather hastily painted but honestly I don’t think he minds. The maple sticks you see on the left are tied together with cotton thread for an edible hay manger.

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With some grass to lure him close, he checks out the entrance to his new home.

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He loves it and it brings a smile to my face every time I check on him!

 

*for those who may have concerns about him chewing on the wood & paint, please know that I was careful not to use the dangerous kind. Also I did not put multiple layers of it on. The interior of the enclosed part is paint free and he has many tasty branches and lots of fresh hay to chew on instead.

Thanks for stopping by!

Girly Hands & the Agony of Book Reading

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Hands have been my focus over the past few days. I am equally grossed out and intrigued by them.

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I can’t say I am good yet but I have become more observant. Which is always a good thing!

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But another problem has appeared… I seem to only be able to draw girly hands. This poor pizza chef is so manly with his scruffy beard. But one look at his hands and all I can do is sport a lopsided grin of defeat. It has been fun!

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In the mean time, I have also scribbled out my first cartoon? Also fun but somewhat more time consuming as I try to keep these sketches under 30 min. each.

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I will close with this angry chicken being bothered by a bug. I live in an area infested with bugs. I’ve decided I¬†need chickens to eat said bugs and lay eggs for all my hungry children.

Awkward Hands & The Dilemma of Wrinkles.

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I struggle with hands the most. I am ready to try a new approach… maybe just make the suggestion of fingers instead? This would require me to loosen up my entire sketch which I feel I am beginning to do on some level.

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I also have a tough time approaching wrinkles in fabric. How to create a piece of fabric from the suggestion of shadow? So naturally I am drawn to try these two things over and over. The good news is I have improved from the beginning of the year… I think this may take a lifetime to reach satisfaction!

I will be more absent in the summer months when it comes to posting on here. My summer days are completely immersed in food and feeding hundreds of hungry people. This leaves so little time to do what I enjoy. I took a break one day to stop in at a local art gallery and browse for a few minutes. I left feeling so refreshed yet so sad that I couldn’t use the inspiration to create in that moment! Life is a complicated mess, eh?