In the world of fine art, the rule of thumb when an artist is working out a new style, is not to paint portraits of people you love. Since you know them in intimate detail, you're harder on yourself and this is a time to explore and try new things.
Pish posh. In my world, I paint what I feel, what makes me happy, or sometimes what just hits me in the gut. Case in point:
Grandpa, colored pencil, 8x10", 2002
I took a photo of my Grandpa Hall about a year after my Grandma died. Every time I saw it, the grief overwhelmed me. I felt, very much, like he looked. A few years went by and I decided I wanted to paint it. The expression, the wrinkles, the feel of it called to me. I still love it. It might seem odd to paint someone in grief but I don't think so, it's something we will all go through multiple times in our lives.
Wanting to paint something is enough of a reason to paint it in my book. So even though I'm fairly new in the big, bold, and colorful style that I'm using now, I decided to go against the grain yet again. I adore this picture I took of ManChild when he was about 4 years old:
Ohhhhh my Gawd, the preciousness of my baby is just so, so good! Yummy!
Here are the first layers:
And then it went through some really funky phases lol:
#6: Something unintentionally happened to his mouth, it shrunk!
#7: As I started messing more with his hair I decided it looked very strange with the dark background so I knew I would need to change that.
#8: By this point I started getting his mouth back to a normal size and began messing with the background to lighten it and give it more of an abstract look.
#9-10 It started looking more human and less cartoonish but I think it's at this point that people stop seeing such big differences—they are only big to me :-)
#11-12 I had to go back and really look at the reference photo—I was missing all the midtones. I had mistakenly pumped up the lights and darks and that was what was making him look cartoonish. I needed to follow the values that were there and not make them up!
There were about 50 more tiny tweaks between #12 and the final below. I learned a lot and because I love him dearly, it made it more fun, not less!
Hope in the Face of Grief, acrylic, 16x20"
So, the point of all that is: paint what you love! The stuff that gives you goosebumps or that makes you smile when you see it. Every time I walk by this in my studio, I grin—can't help it! And now that my studio/sitting area is next to the living room, I'm surrounded by all of my current paintings, it just makes my day:
Also! I was reading the most recent issue of Artist's Magazine and saw this little snippet about an artist who collects old tool boxes and uses them for supplies in her studio! OMG! So, I pulled out these two. The one on the orange stool was my Papa's (my Grandpa's father from the portrait above) and now holds my paints. The one in the middle distance, above the horse eye painting (that I did finally fix and love :-)) was Grandpa's and it holds my favorite everyday brushes, palette knives, etc. I'm so happy to be able to use them and I think they would be happy to know they are still being used!
And in case you're craning your neck, wondering what is on my easel right now, it's this, just 2 layers into the process and I'm already in love:
ManChild is a little, "My God, you're taking over the whole house but B-Rad (whose mother was an artist too) says it feels good to him ❤️🥰
Of course, they don't yet know my next plan! Haaaa! My formal dining room is to the right of the sitting area above. We didn't have a formal dining in our Colorado ranch house, just a big eat in kitchen so we don't have a table for it. I pulled out one of my art studio tables that B-Rad and I made and am using it along with my colorful studio chairs.
Which got me thinking...
You know...we still have a big eat in kitchen at this house too...and while we do occasionally have big, formal dinners in my dining room, it's pretty rare...and my studio is right next to the formal dining...and I'm really, really missing being able to teach art classes indoors in the air conditioning...and I have 2 of these tables which are 4'x7' so that means I have 14' of table if I brought the other one down...I was able to have 10 students in class with that much table space...if I just moved my sitting area down a smidge, I think I could have classes in my dining...
ManChild is going to have a fit! 😂
But, until our lower garage gets built out as a studio, this could work! I'm so excited!
Without further ado, here are May and June art classes to start! I'll add July and August soon!
Click on each link below to read more about these workshops where art, horses, Sweetness the mini donkey, the goats, and Polar Bear are all combined for an amazing experience!
And freebie Fairy House Workshops as well! These will still be held out in my barn with all the animals nearby:
Girls, ages 8-10 (these aren't freebies and if you have kids, you know why lol :-)):
More girls summer classes coming next week!
Bought some beautiful, second cutting hay this week. Of course the boys wanted to sample it immediately:
My family-heirloom African Violet decided to put on a show:
It's official, Wynter's mustache shed out with the rest of his winter hair. Darn! If you were hoping to catch a glimpse of it, you'll have to wait until fall:
Fairies live here:
MEMES OF THE WEEK:
This made me laugh so hard:
Thinking about starting or continuing the journey of listening to your intuition and finding your joy? Let's talk!
Here's the info and you can have all three!:
Equine Gestalt Coaching Sessions ($125/hr but $25 off your first session)
NeurOptimal Neurofeedback ($70/45 min but half off your first session)
Reiki Sessions (contact me directly) ($90/hr but half off your first session)
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