Thursday, January 31, 2013

Art Show Invitation

Hello there people,

Sorry I haven't posted on my blog in 13 thousand years.  Instagram ate my blog and I forgot it was still here.  I'm an artist and that means that I am artistic and that means that I don't get things done.  You should see my closet...on second thought you should not see my closet.  Anyway, I posting now because I am in an art show.  Here is the lovely flyer that was sent to me to shamelessly plug the show.

And here is the painting I have in the show.  
"Grandmother's Hat"

When my mom passed away 6 years ago, I was gifted the opportunity to go through her belongings.  We found this sweet hat, so I put it on Art Girl and took a picture. I think it turned out pretty good.  I also didn't draw it first or anything, in fact, the original photo was much larger so I had to reduce in size from my regular "sight-size" method of painting/drawing. I just hope it doesn't sell at the show because Art Girl really likes it and wants to keep it.  That's the trouble with painting your kids.

Here is the frame I have ordered for it.  Some people might think it is a little "old lady" but I thought if I used a contemporary black frame and it didn't sell, I would have spent a bunch of money on a frame I didn't like so I just put it in a frame I want to keep.  That's how I roll. Plus, I guess I am an "old lady" seeing as I am a grandma now and all.  I just like timeless gold leaf frames. And maybe the frame will keep it from selling and Art Girl will get to keep her painting (until the next show... hee hee).

So, go to my art show at the Northern Trust Bank in Scottsdale.  Let me know what you think, if anyone is still reading my blog.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

How I Wrenched My Back

It all started out oh so innocently. I had this great idea to do a painting of some sweet Souvenir de la Malmaison roses that amazingly are blooming in the shade at the edge of my driveway. They are antique roses that I grew from a cutting that I got from my parent's house.
Then I did this cool set up in my kitchen under the over head lights to get some down lighting on them. Realizing that I might not get them done in one day, and roses change quickly, I decided to take a photo to preserve the information. Well, that didn't turn out so hot. I readjusted to get better color and shot again...
Here is the second adjusted attempt. Yuck. I knew if I wanted to get a good color reference I was going to have to get out the tripod, meter the light and adjust the white balance, etc… Ugghh. That was just too much work so I decided to just paint from life, which means paint fast.
Well, I painted as fast as I could but life got in the way and I had to get new roses and repaint and so on and so forth. (I have 8 kids) But I got it done. Whew!
Here is a close up. You can just feel the softness. Okay I (again) was too lazy to get the tripod or haul it outside to shoot it.
Then, on the day needed it to be at a friend's house to drive it to Utah, I decided to paint and silver leaf a frame. Luckily I didn't have to MAKE the frame as that would have been a disaster. I had my friend Steve make it. He can make anything! After I worked all day priming, painting, glazing, sanding, sanding, gilding, sanding, etc. it was well into the night. Then, I decided I needed to re-gild it with more silver. At this point it is 10:00 pm. So back outside I go with more lacquer and more glaze and more silver.
But, I think it turned out great. Now, you are probably wondering how I wrenched my back. Well, after I finished the frame at midnight, I had to put the painting INTO the frame. You really should pre-drill the holes where the clips and the hangers go, but I didn't have a drill. So I hand screwed all the screws into the hardwood frame. That did it! My body said ENOUGH! and my back went all wonky and spazzy and all. I could barely take pictures and place it in the box.

So, now I know why custom handmade frames are so expensive.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Leonardo Quotes

Today I'd like to share some quotes from my favorite old master Leonardo da Vinci. Study closely as there will be a pop quiz at the end.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452-May 2, 1519) was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculpture, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of unquenchable curiosity and feverishly inventive imagination. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person to have ever lived.

Besides his obvious genius, he has great advice on how to live and make art.

Sounds like me, right? I paint, design homes, garden, help kids with math/science homework, plan birthday parties, take photos, serve in church, write a blog, cook from scratch, sing, and am politically active. I think I'm a little MORE diversely talent than Leo. Ha, just kidding. Maybe.

"I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have."
-Leonardo da Vinci

What? I wish I were so offensive! Artists are typically so very hard on themselves.

War chariot with scythes. Eww... gross. He even drew the chopped up bodies.

"There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see."
- Leonardo da Vinci

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."
-Leonardo da Vinci

"You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself." - Leonardo
I am always telling my children that. Good advice for sure.

He was a master of drapery. I really wish I could do fabric like that. I saw this drawing in person and there are hardly any pencil lines. He can really blend.

I love to draw houses but I never drew anything so fancy. He had very wealthy clients.

"The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions." -Leonardo

"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence."- Leonardo

When I saw this in person I was saddened by the age and deterioration but in awe of it's beauty. This is my all time favorite work by Leonardo.

He said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." I wholeheartedly agree.

Besides the 'Mona Lisa', 'The Last Supper' has got to be his most famous work. Unfortunately, he experimented with unproven techniques and failed. If he had done this work on panel or canvas like his other works this would be the most incredible painting of all time.

"Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else." - Leonardo

"Learning never exhausts the mind."

"Talent is like the grease on the wheels of the cart, you don't need it to get to town, you'll just squeak on the way." -

"Art is never finished, only abandoned".-Leonardo

"Nature never breaks her own laws."- Leonardo

And my favorite quote of Leonardo da Vinci is this one, "Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel." -Leonardo

Maybe that's why he never married.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Portrait Commission Step by Step

My girls take piano lessons from the famous, lovely, and talented artist Angela Henrie. Some of you may know her name from her line of jewelry or her blog. She has 8 kiddos just like me. She even has 2 boys and 6 girls just like me (and my Aunt Joanna). I just love her, and my kids do too. I also dig her hot pink kitchen! Who wouldn't want to cook in there!

Here is Art Girl at her recital. Did I mention that Miss Angela is very Classy? Yes she is. I think it is from going to the same High School as me, Mountain View.

Here's Mini Me playing Brahms Lullaby.

Well, I begged Miss Angela if I could paint a portrait of one of her kiddos and she said "yes". So here is how I go about making a portrait for someone.

Step one: Arrange a meeting with the client and discuss what you want and the clothing. Angela really liked my paintings of angels and wanted one for her little Winnie. For her clothing, I draped and pinned some silk fabric on her and set her in the light the way we wanted. They both wanted a dark blue background and so we set up a black poster board behind her to set the values.

Step two: Talk with the model to loosen her up. As you can see Winnie was a little shy at first but we took care of that with a few jokes. Then, I just shot with the camera to get the model used to idea. The best shots will never be the first ones...ever. So relax and shoot away.

Step three: Have your model grow some angel wings right before your eyes. This might take a few minutes so be patient. Just kidding, we used some costume wings and propped them up to approximate what the lighting will be on the painted ones. Also, note how Winnie is starting to warm up and smile.

Step four: Choose which pose you like the best. Sometimes this can be agonizing and sometimes it is very easy. Winnie is so cute that it was hard to choose, so Angela had me email her a few shots and they had a family vote. They chose this one. The family just loves the way she smiles. Me too.

Step five: I did a mock up of what the wings will look like and the colors I would use for Angela's approval. I juiced up Winnie's skin a little with some color in her cheeks and made her eyes just a teeny bit bluer. I put in the blue background and of course, painted in some wings.

"Winnie" Angela's Angel. 2011

And here is the finished painting. See how easy it is? For you guys, not for me. I love painting angels. I think there will be more angels in my future. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Decorating Trends

I used to be an interior designer and I love to follow decorating trends and decorating styles. Personally, I have always NOT followed trends but designed timelessly. If you decorate English or French or Italian, stay true to the style and you will never go wrong or out of style.

That being said, I'm happy to find out that "Old Masters Paintings" are a hot trend right now.
Online store and blog VandM just released their trends for 2011-2012.

VandM officially publishes the year's main trend forecast every August. But what many don't know is that the studio prepares a report each month. We thought it would be fun to share an early peek at the main trend forecast as it is shaping up for late 2011 - early 2012.

Dark InteriorsLight and all White Interiors (Unless black & white)
Old Masters PaintingsToo Many Contemporary Pieces of Art
Eclectic ClutterMinimal Glam
Stuffed Taxidermy BirdsAntler Mounts
17th/18th Century AntiquesDanish Modern
Strong Patterned Flooring (especially animal print)Simple Textured Flooring
Cameos/IndaglioFramed Butterfly Taxidermy
Victorian Hair ArtVictorian Shell Art
American Silver TankardsSilver Trophies
Gold Gilt Elaborate FramesSimple Modern Frames
Thrown-likeWood ChairsModern Plastic Furniture
Chip Wood FurnitureChrome Furniture
Animal Pelts/BlanketsChennile Throws
GobletsClear Stemware
Think Medieval/DarkagesThink White Minimal

One of our shorthand tricks to knowing what the culture is about to start to lean towards comes by way of HBO/Showtime. The number of shows relating to Medieval/Darkages is exponentially multipling. Everything from Robinhood, Merlin, Game of Thrones, cue the 1980's obsessions of Lady Hawk, Labryinth, etc

I think they are right. We are thirsting for comfort and history. I can't think of anything better than making history with a painting. Click on the link and see for yourself. Yay for paintings!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Get a Portrait?

Why get a portrait? First of all, they are wonderful precious family heirlooms.

Kathryn Ireland

And secondly, they are great to decorate with!

Ralph Lauren

Let's face it, art is just decoration after all. There is a new-ish trend to decorate with heirloom portraits. I say new-ish because portraits are always IN, it's just right now they are more IN. I mean this room in Ralph Lauren's house could have been decorated 20 years ago or last week.

But what if you don't have a family heirloom portrait? Well, have one painted!

Charlotte Moss

Decorators all across the country are decorating their own houses with antique portrait paintings. Don't they look gorgeous? Charlotte Moss is my favorite decorator.

Even old fashioned folk art portraits look amazing in a room.

Okay, yes this is the green room in the White House. And yeah, that is Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson...I think. But this Federal Style room looks totally timeless and, well, green.

You don't have to have traditional style to have a portrait painted. Love the modern abstract. Notice the traditional furniture to anchor the room. Seriously, the only thing modern in the room is the art and it makes the whole place look modern.

I love 17th Century Swedish Gustavian antiques.

You don't have to relegate portraits to the living room or the bedroom. I love it in a hallway. I have one in my hallway and every time I walk by it I love to see it.

Sometimes the portrait can dictate the style of the room. Sometimes you can get a portrait to fit your style. I wonder which came first, the portrait or the wallpaper?

A portrait can really personalize a room. Even if you don't know who it is.

A portrait can set the mood. What attitude! Such a manly man's room. No women allowed!

Darin Giese

You can never have too many portraits!

All these photos were from two decorating blogs I love, cotedetexas and tartanscot.

New Website!

I have a new website. Okay, not that I had an old one but saying that I just got a website sounded so amateur. Which I am, but shhhh...don't tell anyone. Here is a link to it. And there are some new paintings. Let me know what you think, unless it's bad then just keep those thoughts to yourself. Thank you.