Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Respite" - New Work In Progress

Last week I started a new rather large (18 x 20") colored pencil drawing I am calling "Respite". My sister, Cynthia, posed for me several months ago and I got some great reference images including this one. This piece is also part of my "Beauty at Any Age" series of fabulous women, (not girls!)

I will be participating in an art demonstration on the street this weekend at the Gallery Hop in the Short North Arts District and will be working on finishing this piece while there. I had to make one large enough for milling crowds to see. If you are ever in Columbus, Ohio, on the first Saturday of the month, you should venture out to the Short North and take it all in. Wonderful!

Of course, I think my sister has is very beautiful and always has been (except when we were really little and fought all the time!). She is only a few years behind me in age and when I look at her, I like to hope that I, too, am aging as wonderfully as she is.

Respite - Phase 1

Respite - Phase 2

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My Top Ten

Good Chine II
colored pencil drawing
5 x 5"

Top Ten Reasons to Be An Artist and Work at Home:

1. You are your own boss (this, however, can be a bad thing, too!)
2. The commute down the hall is divine and doesn't cost $3.50 a gallon (just a cup of joe)
3. You can work outside.
4. You can work anywhere.
5. You can wear your jammies, sweats, a muumuu or anything you like! (Or nothing at all.)
6. You can eat whenever you want (this, too can be a bad thing!)
7. You can go to the bathroom while you're on the phone!
8. You can meet a friend anytime, and make up the work till 1 in the morning!
9. You can turn your music up really loud!
10. You get to do what you love.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another Milestone

Good China II (WIP)
5 x 5" colored pencil drawing
Yesterday marked another very big milestone in my life: my oldest son turned 21. I know he thinks it's his milestone, and it is, but it is also mine. I have loved being his mother while he was a boy; and I know I will love being mother to him now that he is a man.
He posed for the Wrestler and I thought I'd share it with you today. Happy Birthday, Ian.

The Wrestler

colored pencil drawing

20 x 32"

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Guilty Pleasure

Good China II (WIP)
5 x 5" colored pencil drawing

Recently, I have decided that I watch too much TV and have given up watching all but about 3 shows a week. Most of what's on is drivel and I'd rather read anyway, but I've heard there are a couple of very good shows out there. I found one.
In the last few months, I have read several books about King Henry VIII and his many wives. Never before had I ever taken an interest in history, but with this, I am smitten. Can't get enough of the stuff. Here's the list of books I've read, so far: The Constant Princess and The Boleyn Inheritance both by Phillippa Gregory, The Last Wife of Henry VIII by Carolly Erickson, and The Six Wives of Henry VIII by David Starkey (this one was a tome, but full of detail).
So imagine my excitement when I discovered a new series on Showtime called "The Tudors" (Tudor is the family name of Henry VIII; I know because I read it in one of those books!). The show is delicious: very well written, full of interesting characters, plot twists, beautiful scenery and costumes and an extremenly handsome leading man. (Even though my husband likes the Ann Boleyn actress.) Oh, and it's loaded with sex. This is not a show for children. At all.
My grandmother once told me that we were distantly related in some way to the royal family. But, if you take a look at their family tree, you'll see how intermarried and utterly confusing it is. Yikes. I guess that's one way to explain me and some other members of my family!

Monday, May 21, 2007

To Burnish or Not to Burnish

I kept looking at "Good China I" and decided I wasn't really happy with it. Too dull; the china wasn't shiny or luminescent enough. So, I took the plunge and decided to burnish this little piece with a bristle brush, no solvent or other pencils, just a short, hog bristle paint brush. It's finally where I want it to be.

Good China I
5 x 5" colored pencil on
Art Board
I am offering this piece for $50. E-mail if you are interested.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Just Like Magic!

Good China I
5 x 5" colored pencil
Tuesday evening my we had a scary spring storm with much lightening and so, of course, my computer got a zing or a zap or scared. Nevertheless (I love that word!), I woke on Wed morning with my trusty computer off but beeping at me in most annoying way. Panic. When my computer is down I have the same uncontrollable feelings I have when my car doesn't work: I cry. Then I call someone.
I called our "computer guy", Michael, who listened to the sad, sad beeping and somberly said, "It doesn't sound good." His diagnosis was a blown motherboard (which means you are SOL). He had me reboot, unplug and replug, wiggle some wires and still no go. So, I cried and called my husband, Lee. (Just like I do when the car breaks down.) He assured me all would be fine. Michael promised to come take a look on Thursday.
Now, my new outlook on life is to find the silver lining in all the clouds that come my way (see the post from Monday), and I soon realized that a day or two without a computer could be a delicious excuse to do nothing but make art. It was. I started a rather large piece which I hope to show you soon.
But the best part of the story is that my superhero husband, Lee, woke up early on Thursday and rebooted, unplugged and replugged and wiggled some wires and got my computer back up and working. He does the same thing with the cars. I think I'll keep him around.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Reality Check

"Good China" - WIP 2
(still working on it!)
5 x 5" colored pencil drawing
Yesterday, I had an appointment with the doctor for one thing and came out of his office with news about something totally different. More alarming. My blood pressure is way too high. Now, I need to let you know that I'm in pretty good shape (ran my first marathon last October) and am not large (wear a size 6) and eat a healthy diet (does chocolate count?), so this is a hereditary thing. However, I am determined to do anything and everything I need to do to get it down. Salt is now only a memory. And I may take up yoga. This is all good.
But, more than anything, I am now determined to have a better outlook on my life. No, it's not always great, but it's pretty darn good. I have so much and a lot to be thankful for. I am a very lucky girl (and I plan to call myself a girl until I die!) and know that having the ability and the opportunity to make art every day is a huge blessing that not many people in this world get to experience! (There, my BP just dropped 5 points.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

In Again!

"The Aviators"
Saturday I received notification that "The Aviators" was accepted into the CPSA (Colored Pencil Society of America) 15th Annual International Exhibition in Bethesda, Maryland this summer! This is great news if you are a colored pencil artist and I am very excited, happy and proud!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Little Miss Muffett

This week has been oh, so busy with paperwork, billpaying, chaperoning a million third graders to the zoo, doing physical therapy with Buddy (he loves that), and continually reminding all my kids that Sunday is Mother's Day, that I have not spent as much time in my studio as I would've liked. (And believe me, I would rather have been in my studio than at the zoo; but am hoping for some points in heaven.)

The fact that I had left my studio vacant for several days was made horrifyingly clear when, as I began to work on a new project, I had a small but very fierce spider stand his ground and threaten territory he obviously thought of as his. But it was my drawing table and he and I had to compromise. I gave him the easel and I took back the drawing table. We may have to trade if I decide to paint soon.

"Good China" (WIP)
colored pencil on art board
5 x 5"

Monday, May 7, 2007

Crystal Candy Dish - Complete

Here are the final stages to completion for Crystal Candy Dish which I am drawing with Prismacolor Pencils on Ampersand Pastel Board (5 x 7") and using Turpenoid Natural solvent to "paint" the piece.

So, in the following phase (continued from last week), I continue to develop the piece, glazing more layers over the background and at the same time, work to try to make the highlights in the glass "pop" forward.
In the following image, you can see where I have most of the detail of the glass worked out. I am also adding a lot more color into the foreground. All of this was "painted" over with solvent to dissolve the wax in the pencils and blend them together.
Here is the drawing as complete. As you can see, I warmed up the foreground to bring it forward and added a light blue to the background to push it back a bit. I also added some warmer color to the glass.

This painting is available for $50, plus shipping. Send me an e-mail if you are interested.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Crystal Candy Dish - WIP

For about six months now, I have been reading several blogs of other daily artists and have found some very good colored pencil artists. It's been a great way to learn about technique and what's current in your medium. Since one of the blog I follow closely is Nicole Caulfield's, I was very intersted in her use of solvent with colored pencil on pastel board. So, I thought I'd give it a try.

Here's my attempt at a small colored pencil drawing on a 5 x 7" Ampersand Pastel Board. I decided to burnish the drawing using Turpenoid Natural, which when used this way, is almost like painting. Quite a lot of fun. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Thanks for the idea, Nicole!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Not for the Squeamish

Columbus Zoo Carousel
9 3/4 x 9"
First, let me tell you the good news: I had two pieces, "The Columbus Zoo Carousel" and "Early Autumn Meditation" accepted into a National Juried Exhibition in Southport, North Carolina, and they'll be shown at the Franklin Square Gallery ( from June 25 through July 21, 2007. Now, here's the really funny part: my girlfriend who posed for "Early Autumn Meditation" has a vacation/soon to be retirement place in Southport and will be there in July with her husband's family. Boy, is she thrilled! But, maybe they won't recognize her, since I'm betting many of them haven't seen her nude before. Anyway, I told her she has nothing at all to be ashamed of! As if!
(If you're squemish, stop here:)
The bad news: Last evening my husband had a minor accident at his business. While underneath a customer's truck, the exhaust pipe fell/was dropped (not getting the whole scoop here) on his head. He had to, of course, go to the ER and have some sutures put in. It's not pretty and I've been calling him "Frankie", but I'm very glad it was just a minor cut (I don't know what I'd do without him.) But, I told him I thought that he was so jealous of all of the attention I have been giving to Buddy, that he wished this wound upon himself to divert that attention from the dog over to himself. Of course, he denies all of these accusations as I'm scratching his belly.....

Lee post op

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Getwell Gifts for Buddy

I have found that many people, not just me, love our dog, Buddy, and are wishing him well and speedy recovery from his surgery. We are receiving 'get well' gifts from the neighbors, left on our doorstep, and from the soccer parents! Makes a mom proud! (Told you he was special.)

Here's the last of my three-part series "Bouquet for a Mom", just in time for Mother's Day. Let me know if you are interested.

colored pencil on MiTeints
9 x 12"