Catching Up

Foregoing the usual "Oh so much has happened since I last blogged!"  I am just going to dive into the latest.

I am on Art Loop Wilmington in September at Zaikka Grill right on Market Street, it is a tasty spot, in more ways than one.  Delicious Indian food, and right next to Film Brothers, who have connections to the Fringe Festival, which my feeble attempts to describe would be ridiculous so click on the link there.

I have recently (like, last Friday) submitted two works to a juried show at the Newark Arts Alliance, and they were accepted! So my first artist reception is TOMORROW NIGHT!!!  I am so excited! 

Backing up a bit (I know I kind of said I wouldn't) I went to an artist workshop by Alyson Stansfield.  It was a "Lift Off" and we spent the entire weekend learning how to market ourselves and our art, how to set up websites, who to contact, how to visually present websites, marketing materials, everything you could possibly imagine.  Some of it may prove to be cost restrictive, and I am doing a little at a time, trying to go for impact as well as effectiveness.  It was a very timely workshop, and it seems as though my eyes AND my mind opened up.  Things really started happening for me once I took the initiative, got over my shyness or lack of confidence or procrastination or all three, and put myself out there.

I am still doing portraits, and I love them!  I just completed a drawing for a friend's mom of her rescue dog. Bogie. His story was so inspiring, and I could tell from the series of reference photos taken from the time he was first adopted to the present that he became a truly joyful dog.  His expression and the way he held himself changed.  He was confident, no longer fearful or unsure.
One thing that really touched me was that he never had toys where he lived before, he didn't quite know what to do with them. 

The picture I chose as the main reference for the drawing shows Bogie as if he is smiling, love and happiness shining from his face. I am glad Bogie is finally home.

My love of animals will never change, neither will my respect for that bond between humans and their animal companions.  One of the greatest factors in me choosing to do pet portraits (or the portraits choosing me) is my own friend, Oedipus.  At this point I am tempted to link you to another blog, because this dog was awesome. so here is my little blurb on facebook.

I am working more now in colored pencil, way more actually.  I came across so many different looks colored pencil drawings could have, and was starting to consider it a serious medium.  Some drawings were too dense looking, some too sparse, where I could see the white off the paper underneath, but some were so amazingly lifelike they would blow me away, and some were so painterly I would not have been able to tell on my own. Colored pencil had so much potential, and so many different ways of being handled I gave it a try. Without even doing studies I finished "The Tree " in about 40 hours, or two weeks. Inspired by some photographs I had taken of Brandywine Park, I was overwhelmed with how much color I was missing out on, color was an important part of the narrative of nature.  Now, there is a time and place for dark, or simple monochromatic drawings, sometimes it is a bit classier and elegant as in portraits. However, the bright pop of a pretty blue eye, or a child's red hair, or that green glow of sunlight through new growth in that old oak.


So I am addicted now to color.  I have denied myself so long that I am starved for it.

I am going to post some in-progress pics so that the process of the drawing is exposed.  Colored pencil is not so easily corrected, I have found.   The drawing really needs to be planned out and serious studies done, both for layout and color. There is no simply erasing like with graphite, or rubbing away a mistake like charcoal.  Once the color goes down it is a commitment, and the order the color is laid down, and HOW it is laid down is extremely important to.  For instance, for the little girl above, I stared with very light peach, then white, then pink, then white, then cream, then burnished again with white, with the freckles and cheeks and eyes and all the subtle shadows and colors being worked in at the same time. But again, a whole blog for itself....

In conclusion, the six month plan, the one year plan, the two year plan and the five year plan are things to be taken seriously, and I am ahead of schedule. A to do list everyday, if possible, or at least a very long weekly list, and do something for your goal EVERY day, not just the days you feel inspired or energetic or happy. 

One thing that motivates me is thinking back on working a 22 hour shift at a store I ran and then they  declared bankruptcy a few weeks later,  or of working 100 hour work weeks and blacking out at work,  having nightmares where I would jerk awake every single night for weeks.  Or being told by an aggressive employee that I was the "worst f*#kin manager" he's ever had.
  I don't want to be stressed out at work, or because of it.  I want to enjoy what I do for a living. I don't want to have to put aside my art, or my family, or my health for the sake of making money. I will always have my art and my talents, I can do this.