Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Painting - The Present is Your Creation

The second in the triptych - click on the images to enlarge them
This painting is all about being in the present moment. When we take them one at a time they feel much better than when we're anxsting over the past or worrying over the future. This little faerie is humming along under the warm sunshine, doing what she loves best - decorating flowers!

The border says - Learn, Grow, Create, Act, Move, Breathe, Sing, and Believe, which are all action phrases that mean a lot to me as I bring my dreams into reality to share them with you.

Sketch for The Present is Your Creation
I start by doing a little research on what I need to know more about, in this case, what do irises look like, and what do butterfly wings look like (though I may break all the rules when I finally start drawing). Then I sketch out a draft of the design in my sketchbook, which I draw again, freehand, on fine watercolor paper - this is hot pressed paper, which gives me a lot of control over the fine details. I like to use a watercolor block so I don't have to stretch the paper; it stays put with the layers of color washes and dries nice and flat.

Detail of The Present is Your Creation
 I often think the pencil sketches are the most beautiful - they're where my hand is finding the lines and some of the expression gets a bit lost after I ink and paint over them, but I strive to keep the soul and spirit of them intact.

Working on the purple
 I allow myself one color a day, because I have a "day job" so I have to budget the time I get to spend painting. If I had my way, I'd most likely paint for days and nights without eating or sleeping, I love it so much ; ) So this image was taken on the day I worked with purple - the iris was so much fun to do.

My happy place
This is my drafting table where I love to work. The sun comes in in the afternoons and feels wonderful. At night I light a candle to set a peaceful mood, and put on my favorite music, very often David Arkenstone - he's a true master of perfect sound to soothe the soul.

I bought some new paintbrushes which you can see sitting in the beautiful horsehair clay jar I bought at the Green Drake Gallery in Millheim, PA. I think wonderful tools deserve wonderful homes. You can see, too, the photos I downloaded from the Internet when I was researching butterfly wings and irises. I don't copy them, but do sort of "put myself into them" to get a sense of the line, form, and color. Once I have a feeling for the "real things" in my pictures, I then do as my muse directs, which often results in thoroughly unpredictable surprises.

I'm pretty picky about my palette - try not to use "cheater colors" and I know a good deal about mixing colors. One thing I like to do to make sure the picture has a synchronicity about it when it's finished is make sure there's a little of each color in all the other colors, so they pull together. I'll put a tiny bit of red into a green, or a bit of blue into a yellow - not enough so you can "see" it, just enough so it "registers" and pulls together. I LOVE color.

Me in my happy place
Here's me in my studio, doing what I love best, enjoying the sunbeam, listening to great music, and creating wonderful, whimsical, totally unpredictable art for you.

Thanks for visiting : )


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Past, Present, Future Painting

The Guiding Star (click on the images to enlarge them)
The Faerie

My muse has been visiting me again, and this time we've created a wonderful image that is part of a triptych based on the Past, the Present, and the Future. This drawing is a detail of the faerie at the cusp of her past and present, right at the moment when she succeeds in reaching for the stars and finally makes contact.

The Past is Your Teacher (Graphite Drawing)
Here's the entire image before I painted it. I love the delicacy of line in the drawing, the looseness, the flow. As she makes contact with her lucky star, she becomes empowered by the light and energy flowing into her from the star, who's a magical being, much like herself. The moon is there watching over her, as always, a constant in her world. (Yes, my Moon has elfin ears, lol)

The Image with Ink
I did the outlining with Winsor and Newton Nut Brown ink, using a quill pen with a number 512 Hunt quill tip pen. I like the control I can get with this pen, it handles curves well and will give me very thin or somewhat thicker lines depending on pressure. The paper is 140 lb Arches hot pressed watercolor block. Hot pressed means the paper is very very smooth with nearly no texture, which allows me to control the line and to get very fine detail.

The Moon begins to glow behind her.
I like to use Winsor and Newton watercolors because they perform reliably as I apply layers of color glazing to build up depth. I also applied a little masking fluid to select areas before painting in order to reserve areas I could later paint in soft bright colors.

Her Guiding Star comes alive, as her little Guardian Star  cheers, Hurray! 
The little Guardian star has been with her all her life, cheering her on. She has learned to meditate and in the peace of those moments discovers a higher connection. Her Guiding Star (the larger one) transfers energy and light, empowering her to bring her message to the world.

Detail of her Guardian Star, did you know we all have one?
The border shows that as she grew from faerie childhood into her adulthood, her little Guardian star inspired her to hold her dreams close, sleep, laugh, meditate, reach, dance, love, not to give up on her dreams, to share, to learn, and to grow. 

The Final Painting - 33 hours later
Detail of the Finished Faerie
So now that this one's done, I'm on to the second in the triptych - "The Present is Your Creation." I will post about it when it's a bit further along.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to paint paint paint because I've missed it, and I feel so many paintings pushing to get out. They want to be shared with you. In order to do that I'll most likely start another Etsy site, where I can sell the prints, and also a Zazzle site so that you can choose what type of decorated item you'd like to purchase - it could be a coffee mug or a pillow, a notepad, or a water bottle decorated with my image - I'll be figuring out how to set this up later this year. First the painting, then the production. 

It looks like it's going to be a very exciting year!

Best wishes to you as your New Year unfolds as well.

Thanks for checking in--