The Fruits of My Labors

Labor’ would be an exaggeration. Painting is a labor of love. It is harder not to create, than it is to let it out. I start to get very antsy if I cannot get into my studio for any length of time. Even if I am not inspired, prepping a canvas, tidying up, or writing in my journal helps me to unwind. I have to admit, that I love the ‘smell’ of art supplies-lol! I guess that is an occupational hazard as my DH loves the smell of jet fuel. The smell of gesso, so pristine and white, and full of possibility, reminds me of long ago art rooms of my school days. I am preparing myself at the same time I am preparing a canvas. It is cleansing. It opens my mind. It allows me to leave problems at the door. It is the first step in the process of creating. I never feel like this is a ‘chore’, it is the anticipation of the next step in my artistic journey.
How do you prepare yourself for your next project? Do you have a favorite step in your process of creating art? I would love to hear from you, so if you want to share a bit of your artistic ritual, please do!
These are scans of part of my finished pieces, ‘Bounty’ and ‘Harvest’. You can see the works in their entirety in my etsy shop.

New Etsy Listing

Finally, I finished this canvas! It has been sitting on my easel, begging me to finish it. Summer is here though, and it is so hard to get much indoor time. ‘Abundant Love’ is a 12x12x2, gallery wrapped canvas. I got to use my new Golden paints and Caran D’ache water soluble crayons on it. It is so wonderful to work with quality mediums. Check out my ‘Yart Sale’ that will be going on until the 20th of June. I have already sold several things, and I do have a couple of canvasses still listed, as well as some prints and smaller works. It’s a great time to get some good deals on Etsy. Remember to buy handmade!

New Landscape

After seeing my friend Michelle Dobell’s http://funkysiren.blogspot.com/lovely new landscape paintings, I was inspired to create my own. I have been wanting to do this for some time as I have a wall in my kitchen eating area that has been waiting for some artwork. Every time I think about buying something to hang there I stop and say, I should just paint something. But I never do. What is it they saying about the plumber’s house having leaky pipes? This artist’s house needs some of her own artwork! I did recently move a decorative easel into my formal dining room and have a couple of paintings displayed on it. My thought on that is to display new works until they sell and rotate the art so that I can enjoy it for awhile before it goes to it’s new home. I have listed these two on etsy, http://www.etsy.com/edit_listing5.php?listing_id=12193974, but I am going to paint a similar set for my home. It is really hard sometimes to keep my artwork as I try to grow my shop and my ultimate goal is to make a modest living doing what I love. My husband is so fortunate to have

a career that he loves. He often says he would fly for free, so getting
paid to do it is a bonus. We should all be that fortunate, to be able to make a living doing what comes from the heart. I don’t want to be rich, (ok, it wouldn’t suck either-lol) but it would be so wonderful to be able to contribute to the household income by doing that which calls out to be done. I would create for free, I have been at it for most of my life, but to be able to support myself and create, well that is a goal and dream I am on the road to pursuing. Let’s face it, we have to pay all of those Hobby Lobby/Michael’s bills somehow!

My Current WIP

Here is the second picture of my current work in progress. As you can see, I have started to work on the shading, and I have started her eyes. I decided to make them a grayish-blue color. I really am liking how her hands are coming along. I love showing hands or partial hands, in my portraits. So much of who we are as women are is shown by what we do with our hands. I kind of cut off the bottom of the picture, but I will make sure to get a better shot next time. I am going to work on some highlighting and finish her eyes, mouth and fingers next. I have not decided what color of hair she will have yet. I did add a couple of little birds to the collar of her dress. Well, I am off to work on her now!
I am adding a picture of my favorite brush. I just bought a new one at Michael’s yesterday for a whopping $20.00! My old one was just getting too scruffy. I have had the old one for years though. If you buy good brushes and take proper care of them, it is worth the investment. This brush is what I do almost all of my shading with. It is a Loew-Cornell, 3/4 inch wash, #7150. It has a wonderful chiseled edge to it and is my number one choice for shading. You can see that my old one has paint in the ferrel, bad, that is something to avoid, but I grew lazy toward the end of this brushes life. Now it will become my primary base coat brush and the new one will be taken care of properly. I do not use good brushes to do my background work, I leave that to my two-inch chip brushes, the scruffier the better! I actually have two separate containers of brushes on my desk, I think it shows it in a picture in one of my earlier posts. One is for brushes past their prime and I use those for any and everything. Then I have my good brushes, that only get used for detail work. To maintain a nice edge on them I use ‘The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver’. It lasts forever, and after cleaning them, you can just swipe the brush across the cleaner (it is solid, like soap) and let it dry. It will keep a nice chiseled edge and protect your brush. You just wet it before you use it. Well, now I really am going into the studio to get back to work! Just thought I would share some tips before I break in my new brush:-)

Wear a Hat!

‘When you wear a hat, you become the dream that started when the hat was conceived. The original energy that was put into the hat doesn’t die; it only changes forms and owners.
The dream doesn’t die; it is passed on, sometimes from
generation to generation’.

This was done on a 14″x18″ stretched canvas. I used acrylics, stamps, transfers, ink, charcoal, water soluble crayon, and graphite to do this mixed media portrait. There is a lot of subtle detail in this piece, the hats hold collaged images of dreams that fill the women’s minds, and there are transferred images of birds in the background. I used molding paste for the foundation, so there is a lot of texture to the work. This is the largest piece I have done. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to adequately fill the space, but I guess I didn’t
have to worry about that.