Tag Archives: drawing

Yep, the Quirky Dame is back!

So it’s been a while!

I had a lovely vacation in Hawaii and it ended up being such a good break from reality.  I went with six other lovely people and it was so hard to leave.  So hard, in fact, that I had quite the difficult time getting my groove back when we returned.  It took at least a month to finally settle in to something resembling normal. 

Complicating matters was a certain little neighborhood rabbit.  You might remember I mentioned Hopper in my last two posts.  (If not, well, it has been a while!)  While I was in Hawaii, my wonderful and talented brother-in-law built a fabulous hutch and rabbit run.  It is truly an amazing little home for a rabbit and better than anything I could have bought at the store.  (Believe me, I looked!)  So, less than a week after getting back, Operation Rabbit Rescue commenced.  At 8:30 am on a Saturday morning, I was able to grab a very surprised rabbit and put him safely in his new home.  The next few weeks were full of adjusting to having a new pet and helping the new pet adjust to us!  

I have enjoyed every second I’ve spent getting to know Hopper and learn about his unique personality.  I can’t believe what a blessing it’s been.  He’s become such a happy, loving little bunny and a special part of our family.  And he’s also become a major focus of my artwork.  Every day after I get home from work, I go outside and let him out into his special playpen for two hours, twice as long on the weekend.  I sit out with him and spend lots of time petting and playing with him, then I use the rest of the time to read or draw.  I just received a portable easel for my upcoming birthday and will be using that to start painting out there. 

Hopper

Spending this time with him has given me the chance to observe him endlessly and record it with photos, videos and drawings.  I am inspired and now rabbits are popping up everywhere in my art!  One of the goals I am working on is to build up my collection of rabbit art and  I plan to donate a portion of every sale to a rabbit charity.  These furry little critters have hopped their way into my heart and it has become an important, heartfelt goal for me.  Plans are in the works and I am having a good time putting those plans into motion.    

The king on his throne

The latest piece of art that I am concentrating on is a block print.  A local gallery, the Upstairs Studio, features art challenges very month or so that anyone can participate in.  This time around they are doing a summer block print challenge.  I have completed my sketch and plan to start carving the linoleum this weekend.  I’ve been working on some others, as well.  It’s been great fun to get back into this medium.  As soon as my entry is completed for the challenge, I will be sure to post it on here.  (In case you are wondering, it does include a rabbit!)

I hope that all of you are having a wonderful summer so far.  I promise it will not take nearly as long for the next update!

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My Artsy Weekend

I’ve been enjoying the long weekend and being very productive.  It’s been a nice change from the previous weeks and the weird mood I’ve been in regarding my art.  I haven’t been very productive at all and it’s been bugging me.  But I finally dove in this weekend and ended up working on several things.  What’s really nice is that it was a mixture of realistic and non-realistic.  I like a little of both.

Cat PortraitFirst, I’ve been putting the final touches on the pet portrait.  I was going back and forth between painting the sides brown or gray.  I consulted a few friends and finally decided on gray.  I’m rather happy with the results.  It was a bit nerve wracking painting them, but I took it slow and easy and I didn’t get any gray on the front of the painting.  Success!  It’s now hanging and drying, waiting for the retouch varnish.  I’m trying to decide on a name.  That is my least favorite part of painting.  🙂

Summer PoppiesAfter working all that time on such a realistic painting, I wanted to just play around and have some fun with something less realistic.  I had taken a photo of a poppy earlier this summer (which you can find in an earlier blog entry) and that poppy has been sticking with me.  I finally decided to do something with it.  So I watered down some acrylics and put them in some small spray bottles then grabbed a series of three canvases I had bought on impulse the other week, then sprayed them with the paint.  Then after it had dried, I sketched some poppies and started painting them.  They were quite fun to do.

Coffee and a SketchSaturday I had some running around to do, but I wanted to have a little fun, too.  I was in great need of some coffee, so before I left the house, I grabbed my sketchbook and pencil.  I decided to stop by Barnes and Noble and sketch for a spell in the cafe.  I’m a little addicted to the Starbucks Frappucinos and they have that delicious M&M blondie blast treat.  Mmmm!

I have a photo of my best friend that I’ve wanted to do something with for a while now.  Just on a whim, I grabbed that, too.  So, after getting my sugary treats, I sat down and did a few sketches for the Art-o-mat blocks (which are on their way!) and then whipped out the photo and got started.

Progress so farI worked on it for quite a while, at least until a couple sat down next to me that I thought would end up breaking out in some violent spat.  That got a little uncomfortable.  I’ve continued to develop the drawing and will be updating this blog as progress continues.  I’m hoping to get an even closer resemblance by the time I’m done.  I need and want to challenge myself more often by attempting this.  I love to do the quirky, fun sketches, but it’s just as important that I do realistic, as well.

Saturday night I sat down to get caught up on some TV and I grabbed a small 5×5 canvas that I had painted previously.  It had this hideous pink background that I couldn’t stand, so I thought I’d just slap some paint on and see what came of it.

Hawaiian SkyThe summer we’ve been having here in Alaska can be described with one word: rainy.  It’s been driving me crazy and I keep dreaming of the vacations I have planned for November and February.  I’ll be going to my future home of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  One of the things I love seeing in Hawaii is those gorgeous palm trees against the brilliant blue sky.  That’s what I ended up painting on that little canvas.  I can hardly wait to see the real thing in two months, but until then (or until this piece sells) I’ll enjoy seeing it on the canvas.  🙂

While working on the sketches for the Art-o-mat blocks, I’ve stumbled across some girls that I call The Quirky Girls.  They’re a little kooky or nerdy, but I love that in a person.  These girls have been great fun to create.

Quirky Girl FrankieI had an 11×14 hardboard and another 5×5 canvas lying around, so I have used both of them to bring two of the Quirky Girls – Quincy and Frankie – to life.  To the left, you’ll see Frankie.  She was done on the 5×5 canvas and, like the palm tree and summer poppies, is available in my ArtFire shop.  I’m still working on Quincy, but she’ll be making your acquaintance soon.  It’s been good to do these pieces and it’s helped me to work out a few things for when the blocks get here this week.

So that’s the update for now. I tend to do longer updates for this blog every week or two, rather than shorter updates a few times a week.  However, if you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, I do show pictures of works in progress and update people on various projects.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I’ll be sure to post my progress on the above projects soon!

(P.S. If you are receiving this for the second time, I apologize.  There were issues with the photos the first time I posted it, so I had to trash it and start again.)

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So many projects, so little time…

So I’ve been spending my time working on a few different things.  Thought I’d take a moment to post a little update on each one…

Cat portrait updateFirst, the cat portrait.  I’ve made slow progress on this.  I’m posting a picture of mainly the cat, as that is what I’ve focused on.  I’m thrilled to say that I’m almost done filling in her fur.  She’s got pupils, so she’s looking a little less creepy.  🙂  I was over at my friend’s house this weekend and spent a little time with Penny.  I took a closer look and realized that her eyes are actually much greener than the picture I’ve worked from.  So I will be correcting that as I complete work on her.  Once I’m done with her, I need to turn my attention to the bird and the feeder.  My goal is to finish this by the middle of the month, so that she’ll have a little over a month to dry before the auction.

Mermaid paintingI started this piece as a way to get used to painting in oils again after an eight month break from them.  Plus I have a bigger mermaid painting forming in my mind and this was a good way to work some things out.  About all I have left to do on this painting is to add some detail to her tail and touch up a spot or two on the water.  Then I’ll be listing her in my ArtFire shop.

Art-o-mat SketchesI’ve also been sketching away, coming up with some fun new ideas for the Art-o-mat paintings.  I’m having such a good time indulging myself with all sorts of fun ideas.  I’m looking forward to getting the wood blocks so I can finally get it going.  🙂  Some (especially ones that don’t make the cut for the Art-o-mat pieces) I’m even contemplating expanding and painting in a bigger format. Many thanks to my best friend Alicia who came up with many ideas for titles during our lunch this weekend.  I’m awful with titles and she’s such a fantastic writer.  I’m so blessed to have her input!

Art by auntie and her nieceAnother fun thing about these tiny sketches?  Seeing the delightful drawings that my six-year-old niece comes up with when she sits down to copy them!  She’s been adding her own art to the pages and I love seeing her put her own twist on things.  Here she’s decided to copy one of my pictures, but to do it with a real bunny instead.  Love it!

So that’s the latest on things.  My main objective over the next week or two  is to get the cat done and set aside to dry and then to get the mermaid done and listed.  That way I’ll be free and clear when the blocks arrive.  Plus I have many other unfinished paintings to create and a Christmas project to continue doing.  Just wishing there was more time in the day to do all of it!

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Uff da!

Ever had one of those weeks where  you felt like every time you picked up the pencil or paintbrush (or whatever your  preferred medium or tools may be) it just… sucked?  That’s what’s been happening with me the past two weeks. It’s one of the reasons why it’s been so long since the last post.

I took my acrylics with me when I was house-sitting, along with an older painting that I wanted to touch up.  There were some parts of it that I was never quite happy with and felt that I could spiffy it up a little.  I spent about an hour on it before I gave up.  It’s been set aside to give me time to ponder if it’s worth it or if I should just gesso over it and start again.  I still like the idea, but the execution just wasn’t my best.  I’ve gotten better with acrylics since then.

I sat down with the sketchbook several times while I was gone and scribbled some more mostly uninspired ideas for a project I’m hoping will come through.  If it doesn’t happen, I can still use the sketches I’ve completed (more than just the few I did this past week) for fun little mini paintings for my shops.  But the latest sketches just didn’t excite me.  One thing I’m learning to ask myself  when evaluating something I’m working on is if  it has my touch of quirkiness or whimsy to it.  And if so, is it enough?  These just didn’t have it.

I sat down again tonight with the sketchpad.  One of my art groups just announced another idea for a charity and I felt that maybe I might be able to complete something in time to participate.  I fooled around a bit, trying out a few things, but just got frustrated. I wanted to throw the pencil and pad at the wall, but instead snarked a bit about my frustrations to my Mom, who patiently puts up with me.  She’s a saint.  🙂

It’s been an hour since then and I think something might be loosening up inside.  After that short little outburst, I just started playing around and letting the lines fall where they may.  I grabbed the paper that had pre-printed squares on it and just forgot the normal subjects I usually gravitate to and instead let the lines go.  I didn’t think about if it would be good enough for this or that project, I didn’t try to draw something even remotely realistic, I just felt myself start to follow these wonderful curvy lines, created jagged angles and splattered fun polka dots on the page.

You know what?  I’m feeling better.  None of the doodles are earth shattering or creative masterpieces, but I think two of them may become some abstract mini paintings in the future.  And they got me to see some common everyday things from a different perspective.  Maybe, just maybe this funk I’ve been in is slowly lifting…  🙂

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