PT is well under way and they are working on flexing my already stiff wrist in more ways than one. Slightly conflicted if the pulling and pushing feels good or if it hurts. Trying to change the mentality of no pain no gain. Crunch time, school starts in 2 weeks and I have assignments stacking. Another week and I fear I may go shit batty. Disability payments suck and my inability to counter crappy pay without fully utlizing my art skills has been beyond frustrating. Okay, let's face it. I'm at wits end. Today, I signed up for patreon.com and upwork.com in hopes of incorporating those avenues into my marketing plan. Goodnight all.
I'm not very fond of having my picture taken most of the time so I try to paint a self portrait every few years. This one was created in the beginning of 2015. I'm overall quite pleased with this one because I was able to capture my general personality in this painting which is hard to do.
Two great influences....Remington and Charles Russell. I had the pleasure to see many Remingtons' while in Forth Worth. They are to say the least absolutely amazing! He's color palate and handling of a brush were sophisticated and delicate, skilled in technique in every which way. His dramatic compositions, exaggerated gestures and dramatic lighting are definitely noteworthy characteristics of a "Remington". Charles Russell's work is quite breathtaking as well. His use of color, exploration of his palate, and his storytelling capabilities are nothing short of great skill. Remington and Russell's work are definitely key influences in my work and ever so inspiring. :)
This little black lab pup was so charming. My graphite drawings consist of hand tinting the background with recycled powder dust that I collect from sharpening my mechanical pencils. It allows me to have a nice mid-tone of a gray to base my lightest lights and darkest darks off of. What is unique in my graphite process is that I do not add any additives to make the white areas of the drawing. Everything is 100% graphite.
Portraits are challenging and one of the reasons why I enjoy them so much. The woman's eyes is what lead me to paint this one. I often listen to Lindsay Sterling's music while working. There were many ideas for this painting. I originally wanted to have a complicated war scene in the background but after alot of pondering and alot of music later, I wanted to place her underneath the Northern Lights. I wanted her melody to dance with the background, I think what really helped this piece was adding the stars in the sky. It really made the painting come full circle.
Here is the 2nd bucking bronco. My process has been the same throughout however, as much as I want to consider this one done. It is the last painting I did before my surgery. After much critique and debate there are a few things that I plan to alter and touch up a bit before I officially consider this one done. When I am able to get back to this piece, I will followup with the corrections!
The inspiration for this piece came from my trip to Pasenda, CA in Nov. 2015 with the MFA grads of Hartford Art. I heard a wonderful presentation from the all time famous Illustrator Kenton Nelson. He mentioned he painted the Colorado bridge, aka the Suicide bridge yearly. So I just had to see this bridge since I was staying nearby. Architecturally the bridge was grand. But the weight of how many lives its claimed was very heavy.
In my piece, I wanted to capture that weight, beauty, and reflection. Suicide is ugly but the desire to seek comfort in others is beautiful even if its not in another human. To be clear, it isn't a self portrait however a lot of me is reflective in this piece. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had a troubled childhood and at an early age, I also contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. Thankfully, that is long behind me but the scars always remain. So, in "Contemplation," I wanted the woman to interact with something living... sometimes salvation can be found in the oddest of places and this woman for a moment has found it with this pigeon. Is she saying goodbye or is it a moment of peace? I don't know perhaps the viewer can decide, does she jump or does she stay.
The above series of photos, shows my initial reference photo of the light post. Followed by my proposed sketch, drawing process on the board. A little hiccup of realization that I did not want daylight colors. The next photo is a digital color comp. followed by the stages of laying in the paint.
I loved creating this piece. This bronco is 1 of 2 pieces created in the same week. This is version 1 and also my reaction piece to my trip to Fort Worth Texas, March 2016. Seriously, my place to be. So much inspiration. :) Again, I apologize for not having pics of the initial steps before pic 1. In pic 1, you can see that base color that I tinted the panel with prior to adding my first layer of oils. I tinted my clear gesso with an acrylic raw sienna and then I started to lay in very thin layers of burnt sienna for the background being careful to not tint the center of underneath the horse, to give the effect of a dust cloud. Then, I started to block in the colors of the horse followed by painting in the rider. I personally love tobanio paint horses so this horse definitely reflects my preferred color tones of my real horses. Ironically, I had a colt with similar markings and he was a hell-fire and ironically is the sweetest horse imaginable now. I wanted my subject matter to be a moment in time. That second before he realizes that he will soon hit the ground and that second where he can appreciate what brought him up to this point.
I loved painting little flaws into this piece as well....for instances- the riders left boot is well worn. :)
So, a little bit of how I work. I really enjoy my cowboy paintings. I was lucky enough to attend a contact period in Fort Worth Texas for my MFA degree with Hartford Art. It truly was my place to be and when I came back home, I was loaded with a ton of reference photos and a whole lot of inspiration. During my Texas trip, my class went to the Stockyards (it was TOTALLY awesome!) and we went to the rodeo. I will post some of my reference photos at a later date. But in the meantime, I'd like to talk about this painting. The basis of this painting was actually started about 5 years ago. A fellow photographer and friend, Gail Klett gave me permission to use her photograph and five years ago, I drew it in graphite.
The first picture above is Gail's original photo (she is really a fabulous photographer!) and the second image is the beginning process of disssecting what I want to take out and use from the original photo. I actually do not use much royalty free photos anymore and have branched off to acquiring my own photographs. The later is much more satisfying. However, I did promise myself many years ago, that I would develop this one in color. The next set of photographs show my painting process. I love the subject content of the above photo but I wanted to put this cowboy out in the open and in his element so there was no background noise to compete with leaving the cowboy and cow as the main focal point.
I will go further into my painting process next time around, but as you can see in the first picture above, you can see the cowboy, cow, and ground drawn in. I wanted a nice warm tone to come thru in my painting so I tinted my canvas with burnt sienna. From there, I was about to start laying in the tones of the cow and roughed in the colors of the horse, followed by the basic colors for the cowboy and tack. I loved painting this piece. I started marketing it to a few editorial publishers and created a rough mockup with type to see how this illustration would look with font.
This was an assignment for grad school. The assignment was to create a finished artwork using a particular illustrator of a given time frame and pair it up with a notable magazine of the same time period. My chosen subject was Clint Eastwood for Entertainment Weekly. Of course, I was going for a cowboy type theme...and he had that right look.:) The first photo below is my lovely husband modeling his hand for me under a light source so that there was some cast shadows that I could pull from for the illustration. PLEASE NOTE THAT IS NOT A REAL GUN. Then I had to tweak my reference to pull some structural aspects to the piece....aka...the bones. The second image I tinted the board with yellow orche and drew out my illustration as my starting point. Then laid in the background. At this particular time, my arm was giving me a lot of grief so I was working in broader strokes. My particular process is starting from the background and working my way forward. These pictures show the type in white and painted in. However, at the last moment, I covered up the type so I had a solid complete illustration and entered the Entertainment font digitally. Last pic shows the final piece.