Friday, July 15, 2016

Outdoor Draw & Paint Session at Como Park!


I will be at Como Park/Como Conservatory tomorrow, Saturday the 16th, at 9 a.m. until noon, to create some sketches and an oil painting on site. This will be mostly outdoors on the beautiful grounds; we may take sketch books and non-bulky materials indoors, but easels are not permitted inside the Conservatory itself.

Green Pond, 5 x 7" oil on canvas, ©Tracie L. Thompson 2016 (available)

Petunias at Como Park, ©Tracie L. Thompson 2011 (available)

The petunias in progress

Dancer Statue at Como Conservatory, ©Tracie L. Thompson 2010
This will be my first ever "Come as You Are" class opportunity. If you'd like to join me and learn how to choose a scene to draw or paint, how to create a thumbnail sketch before you begin, and have feedback throughout the process (as much or as little as you like), meet me near the Carousel at 9.

$20 for the class; bring your own favorite materials. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, dry media -- whatever you please. Hats and sunscreen highly recommended!

I'm Sorry, Wordpress, It's Not Working Out

Robert Street Bridge, 8 x 5" watercolor and pen ©Tracie L. Thompson 2016
I'm about to transfer over to a brand new website.

The one I've had for the past three or so years ... I just have to accept that I am never going to put in the hours of effort required to get it to work for me; that I am not up for the learning curve and don't retain what I do learn about using it. It's Wordpress based, which seems to be a great thing for a great many people.

I am not one of those people. Wordpress leaves the cap off my toothpaste, then drops it in the drain. It uses the last of the toilet paper and doesn't put a new roll on. For other people it's the sharpest dressed site in the room; for me, it shows up with shoes that don't match.

It'll get better, I keep telling myself. I'll learn how to communicate, I'll spend a romantic weekend resizing all my images. I'll figure out what I said to make it "lose" my Equine Art portfolio. We can work it out!

But the truth is, we won't. I have too many other things to get done.

Breaking up, as they say, is hard to do. I like the people I've been working with and dread having to tell them I'm out.

I'm heading for Fine Art Studio Online, which I've tested and found much more aligned with how I actually will use a website -- updating images is post-and-go just like this blog, which will also probably be moving in the next week or so, as I roll over to the blog function on FASO. The notion of being more centralized and less scattered is very, very enticing.

FASO let me link my Paypal account and put "purchase" buttons and a shopping cart on my site in, literally, about two minutes, without any third-party anything. If I'm not in love, I've at least got a massive crush. So I have come to the bridge, and I'm crossing it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Birdhouses Continued: The Barn Owl House

barn owl, owl art, birdhouse,

The first birdhouse, the Screech Owl House, was so much fun to create (it was work, and a lot of work, but work I truly enjoyed) that I chose to make a second one. This has a tiny bird's nest inside just like the first one does.

barn owl, owl art, bird art, birdhouse

My goal was to have it completed by April 22, when Saint Paul Art Crawl opened, and I made it!

Deadlines are perhaps the least fun but most useful tool in the Artist Productivity Kit. This is one of several brand new pieces I've completed ahead of Art Crawl, with most already posted to my Facebook page.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

owl art

The birdhouse project, which has had me quietly singing Birdhouse in Your Soul for the past few days, began with a decorative basswood birdhouse from Ye Olde Crafte Shoppe. Saint Paul Art Collective gave a lot of birdhouses to a lot of artists and asked us to make art out of them. The finished works will be auctioned during Saint Paul Art Crawl from April 22 to 24.

owl art

The first thing I did with my birdhouse was give it some legs. Then I needed to figure out what kind of bird it belonged to. I liked the shape of an owl's head with the feather tufts on top, but a Great Horned seemed too big and too serious.

owl art

owl art

So I chose a little Screech Owl instead. They are an interesting combination of adorable and eerie; the eerie part is when you hear them in the middle of the night and HOLY CRAP WHAT WAS THAT.

owl art

A tight deadline meant I had to use acrylics instead of my default oil paints. This needed to dry, and it needed to dry FAST.

owl art

All the twigs are attached like pegs. I drilled holes in the base and the roof, just large enough to wedge the branches in and then glue them.

owl art

owl art

And on the inside, a tiny nest I found fallen to the ground some time ago. It was a perfect fit.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Art Crawl is Coming Soon!

As usual, I'll be at J.A. Geiger Studio, and will be creating On the Spot Animal Portrait Sketches during the event. Start snapping shots of your favorite critter now!