Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"I expect you to die, Mister Bond."

"I expect you to die, Mister Bond" is available here, $69.
Everyone posts pictures of their pets on Facebook. Lots of people find it silly. Then there are people like me, who love to draw animals and think it's one of the greatest resources ever.

One of my friends posted a photo of her cat, wearing the most deliciously wicked expression. Immediately I saw him as the elegant, cultured villain; I added the bow tie and ran with that idea. It's delightful to me when I can create not just a new piece of art, but a character.

Result: "I expect you to die, Mister Bond," 10 x 8" mixed media on velvety, expensive imported French printmaking paper. Nothing but the best, you know. This fellow took a considerable amount of care and attention, which you can see better on his Etsy listing (photo quality sadly suffers on this blog). $69 for the original is something of a steal -- so I'm sure our Very Bad Cat would approve.

Prints and greeting cards are here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy Sparrow #2, today's fast-and-loose original, sold

Sorry, folks, but this one got snapped up before I even had a chance to post it! It's the same bird as the first; the two reference photos I used were taken within seconds of each other. These are house sparrows that come to my balcony -- really the only species I ever see here -- plain and "boring" birds but also cheeky little things, very entertaining to watch.

While the original of this one has sold, prints and cards are available here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Zen Goldfish for a Cold Monday

I mean, I'm in Minnesota and we'll be lucky if we make it to zero degrees today, and there's not much to do about that except stay indoors and make art with nice, warm colors.

This is another in the series I'm doing from photos I took at Josephine Geiger's little pond last summer. While most of my daily pieces are 10 x 8", this one needed a slightly more vertical format, so it's 10 x 7". The original is available on my Etsy shop at $35.

My blog site has made this photo's oranges and greens much yellower and brighter than they are, while the same photo on Etsy looks like the actual piece of art. Does anyone else see this shift when they click through, or is it just an idiosyncrasy of my monitor/browser/blog combination?

Friday, January 24, 2014

"Now is a good time."

That's the sentence I often use when I need to do anything from the dishes to the next huge painting.

Insomnia, about 6 x 6", mixed media on paper, $30. 

"Why not now?" I ask myself. "Now is good." I almost never feel like it, but now is good.

On that note, I'm off to do some grocery shopping, because today is warmish and tomorrow will be "Dante's 9th Circle of Hell" type cold, and I don't paint well when hungry, so, yeah. Now is good. In grocery shopping as in art, waiting for inspiration basically never works.

I'll have to say it all over again when I get home in an hour and have paintings to make. I wish I could say there was a point at which I no longer needed to push myself to start things, but it's looking as if the best I can do is get better at pushing. I'll report back if that begins to change.

Purple Pony for Friday!

Today I have a drawing I did as a study for Bug Bite, in one of my classes. I was demonstrating how to use watercolor to create quick areas of light and shadow. Yesterday, I found the unfinished drawing and added pen, deeper washes of blue and purple, and some white acrylic for highlights. The result charmed me, so here it is. Purple Pony is 6" high x 7.5" wide, so it'll fit a smaller space and could be float-mounted in a 9 x 12" frame.

Available for $20 at my Etsy shop.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Morning Coffee, Goldfish, & a Friend

Creative people stick together a lot.

Years ago, a guy I was dating asked me why that was. Why, he wanted to know, did artists "hang out with other artists who also don't live in the real world?"

That moment was the first time I ever bluntly told someone to f*** off. But once I was done telling him what he could do with that notion that there is a "real world" and that I didn't live there, I answered the other part of that question.

First, it isn't because (as my ex assumed) we don't value the opinions of people who are educated in things other than art. That's most of our audience and market! We want to hear from them.

But they can only tell us so much. If I take my car to the mechanic, I can tell him it isn't running right, that it's making a weird noise, but I might not have the faintest clue what the problem really is.

An average person might see a painting of mine and know that something looks weird. Another artist could immediately say, "Oh, you've got the proportions wrong on the upper arms," or, "The shadow on the face doesn't match the one on the body, so your directional lighting is borked." (We artistes use lots of highbrow technical jargon such as "borked"). Another artist can also tell you what's right, and that it's done, stop messing with it before you kill it dead.

The photo above was taken a few hours ago at breakfast with one of my artist friends. We were both out of half & half for our coffee this morning, we both needed to clarify our plans about upcoming projects, and I had new goldfish art and wanted to know if it looked good to someone other than me.

So we get each other out of the house on days like these. We critique and challenge each other, keep each other focused, and often spark new ideas for each other. I don't think this is at all unique to people in creative fields -- maybe because there are few fields that don't actually need creativity. This is why we have mastermind groups, and Facebook groups, and professional associations.

It's easy to fall into being more or less a hermit, when you work on your own most of the time. It's just not a whole lot of fun for most of us to live and work that way.

Things Going Swimmingly

Red and White Goldfish, 8 x 10"-- today's fast and loose original. I am reminding myself that the world will not always be caked in snow, so I've been looking at my photos from Josephine Geiger's goldfish pond last summer. These guys are waiting it out beneath the sheet of ice, and aren't we all? Available for $40 on my Etsy shop.

Tomorrow's daily original is a smaller one, a purple pony that was originally a quick demo in one of my workshop classes. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Carried Away by a Raven: Original Drawing for Wednesday


Carried away, in the sense that this was supposed to be another half-hour drawing but it took at least twice that long because, well, how was I supposed to stop?

Autumn Queen is 10 x 8." Sketched out in terra-cotta colored pastel pencil, then micron pen, watercolors, and white acrylic. I love this image a lot and will miss her when she's gone; $60, plus $5 shipping if applicable.

Click here for  Prints and Greeting Cards of this image

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Big and Little Goldfish: $30 Drawing for Tuesday

Red and Black, 8 x 10" watercolors and pen on cotton printmaking paper. Second in my series of 30-minute drawings, this is based on a photo I took at a friend's goldfish pond. The fish are so graceful and calming to watch, with their colors and curves, that they've become a favorite subject of mine.

This piece is available for $30 plus $5 shipping if applicable. Click here to purchase at my Etsy shop.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Very Happy Sparrow: The $30 Original Drawing for Monday

This little guy was eating seed from a china bowl on my balcony when I snapped his picture. That blissed-out expression was more than I could resist, so he became the first of these fun, 30-minute drawings.

I used watercolor, white acrylic, and micron pen on my usual lovely Rives BFK Tan paper. Size is 10 x 8", so he'll be easy to fit into a standard, ready-made 11 x 14" mat and frame (if you don't frame a lot of art, take my recommendation and do either mat or float mount your original art so it isn't touching the glass of the frame; it's a preservation thing).

SOLD Available for $30, or $35 total if I need to ship him to you; if you'd like him, click here to contact me. I take PayPal (which lets me accept major credit cards), cash or check.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cartoons of Ruby the Great

I was sketching Ms. Ruby from life last night, and she was moving a LOT. So I got these cute cartoon drawings rather than an actual portrait -- more based on Ruby than actually looking like her, but still so fun. 
Sizes of these are about 6 x 6" and 9 x 6.5". Pencils, micron pen, and watercolor on tan paper. They're available at $39 each or $75 for the pair, unframed.