Mar 30, 2010

Breakfast Break – Sandhill Crane Series

I was reading the article "The Figure-Ground Conundrum" by Carl Purcell from one of my old "The Artist's" magazine (Dec. 2009) and found that it really hit home. I had been working on my little sandhill crane and wondering how to do the background. As I read the article I decided I would give it a try. The key principle is to explore various value shifts by putting light against dark and dark against light with transitions in between. It is so simple and something I do all the time but I never really put in this context before. I started working around my crane and just putting my darks against the light areas and my lights against the dark areas with a few grasses mixed in. Then, just as the article said, things that were suggested began to make sense. The result is a very interesting background and that really makes my crane pop. To top it off I put a touch of red on his head to make their very distinctive marking. I also dabbed a bit into the background so the red on his head would not be alone. This little picture "Breakfast Break" is only 3 x 4 inches but I do find it interesting.

Mar 27, 2010

Soleil and Billy - Ready to go Home

Soleil and Billy - Sold

Soleil and Billy are looking good and ready to go home. As you can see Soleil was a challenge, she is much lighter than Billy so it took a really light touch to get that fluffy Pomeranian look without going too dark. I listened to my own advice and proceeded patiently as I layered and lifted, layered and lifted. Seems so easy but you know what it is like. Suddenly, you are there, and wondering what all the fuss was about.

The owners have had their look and were very pleased so once I spray them and cut a mat they can go home. I got some lovely extras with this one as they wanted cards and memo pads with the pictures on them. I did a set of 3 memo pads for them: two small pads (4 ¼ x 5 ½) with the dogs separated and then a larger one (8 ½ x 5 ½) with the dogs together. They looked great. I put together memo pads of my work all the time but this was a first for my commission work.

Mar 21, 2010

Soleil and Billy

So many projects and so little time! I often wonder how other artists keep up with the demands of marketing and still have time for their work. Is there really only 24 hours in a day!!

Soleil and Billy are my latest. They are a lovely pair of Pomeranians that I have been commissioned to draw. Their background is snow which is unusual for us as we often don't have a real winter but last year we did and their owners got some great pictures for me to work with.
I have Billy pretty well done and then it will be on to Soleil. I must admit I started out wondering how I could get that fluffiness to his hair. At first I fought with it, trying one thing after another but to no avail. Then suddenly it was there. The secret, layers, don't expect it to happen with one or two, you need to layer and lift, layer and lift, each time you get another depth to his hair and the more you have the thicker and fluffier he gets.
Well back to work. I am excited to start on Soleil as she presents a new challenge, to get those layers going with a much whiter dog!!
Have a good day.

Mar 8, 2010

Logs on the Trail

Well I am over the Olympic jet lag and back to work. I started with a miniature to get back into the groove. As I mentioned earlier I will be having a miniature show in October this year so I really need to get to work. The subject for this picture is one of my favorite. I love the west coast forests. "Logs on the Trail" (3 x 4 in) is from an old second growth forest area. As you can see the cedar and fir trees are quite tall and the coniferous trees are getting very spindly as they fight for light. They will not be around much longer. The undergrowth is not as lush, again because of the light but moss and ferns are everywhere providing a beautiful cover. The trail winds through it all looking for open ground but is often forced to go over logs and break through brush. Over time the logs will become broken down and rough steps will appear. It is a great place to walk but particularly on a hot summer day.
This picture is from the west coast of British Columbia north of Vancouver. It is called the Sunshine Coast and one of my favorite places to visit. Steve and I are planning another trip up there this July and I am already getting excited about it.

Mar 1, 2010


Yes, the Olympics are over and I am back on line again. Who would have believed what an experience it would be to have the Olympics in your own town? I was busy not only as a volunteer but also going to some of the games and taking in the sights. As a volunteer in the village it was great, I saw lots of the athletes and talked with many of them. They were all great people and most appreciative of any help you gave them. They were all ages too, which surprised me, the snowboarders and some of the skaters were young but the rest were every age. My daughter and I went to seeing some of the curling, of course and had a great time. The fans were loud and busy, it was more like a hockey game then a curling game and the action on ice was amazing. I was at the dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremonies and that really brought out my Olympic Spirit. After that, whenever I had a free moment I was downtown taking in all the other events. Vancouver was just an amazing party with people everywhere. We have never seen anything like it. However, like all good things it has to come to an end and I think I am ready for it. February has been a blur and my husband says I just visit the house, I really feel like I would like my life back. So with renewed energy and spirit I will be attacking my work, lots has piled up: commissions, projects and upcoming shows. This is turning into one busy year.