Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 9

"Drizzle" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting
I don't know about you, but this painting makes me hungry! :) And I think it certainly says "Drizzle," which was the word prompt for day 9 of Creativity Boot Camp. The end is in sight, only 4 paintings left!
This painting is 5 by 7 on pastelbord done in soft pastels, and pastel pencils. I wanted to remain consistent with this challenge, so that is why all the paintings are the same size and are done in pastels. I may try the challenge again in a different medium, or with photography.
I hope your week is off to a good start!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekly Dose of the Puppies

This is a spare bed, and the dogs just love it! I suppose it's a soft place to land when they're wrestling around :)
Bentley just loves sitting in the window sill with the breeze in his hair.

I was sitting at the table having lunch and I look down and see this... Ha-ha!

I can't help but notice that I am always able to get more pictures of Bentley, than of Cooper. Bentley will always stay in the same position long enough for me to grab the camera, but not Cooper. As soon as I get up to get it, Cooper is trailing behind. I guess I'll just have to start leaving the camera out! :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Latest Project

A few days ago I posted that I had finished a project recently. Well, this is it! The pictures are not great, but you get the idea. A friend of mine who owns an art studio was having a moving sale, and I had my eye on this drafting table. When I went to see it, it wasn't in as good of shape as I had remembered, so I wasn't sure that I wanted it after all. The pad was peeling up all over and it was in desperate need of new paint. But then I got thinking that I could just put a new pad/cover on it, and give it a fresh coat of paint.
The asking price was $400, with the drafting machine and some other extras, and after doing some research I discovered that this was a great price. This table and drafting machine brand new would cost upwards of $2,000. So I bought it, and put about $125 into it (with paint, and the new pad), and after a week of work, it looks like new! I've never purchased anything that needed work before. I generally like to buy things in perfect condition, but this project was kind of fun! I think I might look at things with a new eye now. Just because something doesn't look perfect right away doesn't mean that it can't, with a little bit of work.
So anyway, I am so happy that I made the investment and put the time into restoring this table. It's a wonderful space to work on. I only wish it would fit in my studio!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 8

"Ornament" 5 by 7 Pastel Painting

"Ornament" is my painting for day 8 of Creativity Bootcamp (only 5 left!). With the word prompt of the day being "ornament," I wanted to think outside the box and not do a Christmas ornament. I've been wanting to paint this vase for such a long time and this was the perfect opportunity. The colors of this bottle are so beautiful! I had a wonderful time doing this painting, even though it took nearly all day! :)

The original photograph was taken by an incredible photographer, Kate Young. She has graciously allowed me to use her photos as references for paintings. I didn't realize it until today, but this is the 4th photo of hers that I've used for this bootcamp! You have to check out her blog, she's wonderful!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 7

"Fly", 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

"Fly" is my response to day 7 of Creativity Boot Camp. You guessed it, the word prompt for the day was "fly." I'm officially half way done now. This is 5 by 7 on pastelbord done with soft pastels and pastel pencils. I think I spent more time sharpening pencils than I did actually painting today. My leads kept breaking and I think my sharpeners are getting dull.

The colors in the background of this photo drew me in. They were much more subtle in the original photograph, but I played them up. I'm very pleased with the way this turned out.

Next is "ornament." I'm not too sure where I'm going to take that one. I better figure it out! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 6

"Fluid" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

The word prompt from day 6 of Creativity Boot Camp was "fluid." I knew that I wanted to paint a cup of tea or coffee for this painting, and I chose a picture from Aiken House and Garden. Thank you Carolyn for allowing me to use your beautiful photograph! We were supposed to challenge ourselves for this one. I don't normally alter photos at all, but I added some things to the painting that were not in the original photograph.

The shadows on the plate, in the photo were so difficult to achieve. If you look at it from a distance, it makes sense and looks good, but it doesn't look that great up close. So, I'm not really happy with this one. But I wanted to share it anyway. I guess they can't all be masterpieces! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 5

"Grow" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

Here is my response to day 5 of Creativity Boot Camp. The word prompt for day 5 was "grow." I thought this one would be easy! Again, I wanted to challenge myself and not choose something easy. I had a rather difficult time getting the background of this painting just the way I wanted it, but I'm pleased with the result.

"Grow" is 5 by 7 on pastelbord, and I used a combination of soft pastels and pastel pencils.

Thank you Kathleen Young for allowing me to use your beautiful photograph!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekly Dose of Bentley and Cooper

"Mom, do you think you could play with me, and not paint?"

Cooper is such a baby! He loves attention!

I'm not sure what Bentley was doing, but he looks so cute!

Bentley made himself at home on my desk!

As promised, here is the weekly dose of Bentley and Cooper! I snapped so many cute pictures of them this week; I found myself running for the camera, a lot! And unfortunately when they're doing something really cute, the camera is no where in sight. Like this morning when I gave them some apples pieces - Bentley ran to the couch with his and Cooper, who had already scarfed his down, rested his chin on the couch waiting to see if Bentley was going to be able to handle it on his own. They are such characters! :)

I hope you have a great week!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 4

Well I finally finished my painting from Day 4 of Creativity Boot Camp. The word prompt was "heavymetal." This one was a challenge! I'm noticing that the word prompts open up all kinds of ideas for photographers, but it's a little more difficult for us painters! :)
Anyway, this painting is 5 by 7 on pastelbord, and I have named it "heavymetal." I have been asked if I'm going to sell any of the paintings from Creativity Boot Camp, and I'm not really sure. I wanted to complete them all first, and then decide. Even if I decide not to sell the originals, I can always make prints.

The word prompt for Day 5 is "grow." I have many ideas for this one!

I hope you all have a great weekend!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Break

I felt like bringing a little beauty to my blog today! It has been so cloudy and rainy this past week. Bring out the sunshine! Actually the sun made a brief appearance today, but that's it.
I wish I had a completed painting to share today, but I don't. I just completed my last final, and all my other homework. I've been working non-stop on this big research paper, and it feels so good to have it done!! It feels great to have everything done :). Now I have 4 whole weeks off! This is the biggest break that we get at my school. Normally we only have a week and a half off in between quarters, and that just isn't long enough! So, I am very happy that I can just focus on painting for a few weeks! How wonderful!
I have started my "heavymetal" painting which is from Day 4 of Creativity Boot Camp. I plan to work on it tomorrow, hopefully finish it, and get it posted. I may also post pictures of a project I've been working on..... :) Have a lovely evening!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Item of the Week

"Carnations" is this week's item of the week in my Etsy shop. It is an original 7 by 10 watercolor painting. The sale price is $22. It's been quite some time since I've posted an item-of-the-week item on my blog, so for those of you who don't know, I choose a different item every week to offer at a special low price, and it also ships anywhere in the U.S. for free! Prints of this painting may be available soon :). Have a great week everyone!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bentley's Birthday

Bentley can't resist a laundry basket!

One of Bentley's favorite spots!

Bentley's very favorite spot!

Well I simply couldn't resist putting up some pictures of my Maltese, Bentley, today because he turned 3 years old. I just can't believe it! My Fiance and I got him shortly after we moved to Wisconsin, and I suppose it's equally hard to believe that we've lived here for so long. We left all our friends and family behind (in Michigan) when we moved here, and I wasn't sure we would survive this long! So, Bentley is very special to us. He has been a very loyal companion and I just adore him! I think family pets are so wonderful for so many reasons. They teach you patience and unconditional love. Animals love you just the way you are, and they're SO easy to love!! I imagine that would be similar to how someone feels love for their child, but I have yet to experience that! :) I never thought of myself as a dog person, but now I can't imagine not having one! I should mention that I also have a Yorkie named Cooper, and he's very sweet too. I'm thinking that I just might begin doing a "weekly dose of Bentley and Cooper" here on my blog. Why not! They're sweet, and they just might make you smile! :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 3

"Multilayered" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting
The word prompt from day 3 of Creativity Boot Camp was "multilayered" and this painting is my response to that. I knew as soon as I saw this photograph that it would make a perfect "multilayered" painting. However, it was much more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I really love working in pastels, but it's difficult to achieve fine lines and details. But I took my time and I'm pleased with the way it turned out. The word prompt for day 4 is "heavymetal." I'm not sure if I have my idea planned out yet or not - this one is tricky!
Thank you to Kathleen Young for allowing me to use her beautiful photograph as a reference for this painting!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 2 - Complete

"Fruit Picnic" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

Fruit Picnic is complete! This is from Day 2 of Creativity Boot Camp. The word prompt was "picnic." I've never painted fruit before (I usually choose flowers) and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. So far I have painted 2 paintings that are very different for me - that is why I am loving Creativity Boot Camp! It's pushing me to try new things and I plan to continue challenging myself. If you are also participating in Boot Camp I would love to hear how it's going for you! And if you haven't heard of it, here is the link so you can get involved too - http://creativebootcamp.blogspot.com/

I really wish that I could "keep up" with the daily assignments, but because I'm a painter I just can't. This painting took me about 3 -3 1/2 hours to complete. That really isn't too bad, but sometimes they take longer (depending on the size). I'm just going to go at a comfortable pace for me because if I feel rushed to get something done, it won't turn out the way I want it to. So, if you're following my paintings for this camp, please have some patience :).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 2 - WIP

"Fruit Picnic"(Work in Progress) 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

The word prompt from the 2nd day of Creativity Boot Camp was "Picnic" and this is my response to that. I started it today and it took me about 2 hours to complete what you see above. It's a few slices of grapefruit on a mat, or cutting board. The background is pretty much done, but I have a lot of work to do on the fruit. I had a lot of fun working on it this morning, and I can't wait to get back to it. I do have to give credit to Kathleen Young for the photograph. She's a wonderful photographer and she's graciously allowed me to use her photos as references for paintings.

I just wanted to let you all know that I will be working on my art for Creativity Boot Camp daily, but I may not be able to finish a painting everyday. I just don't have several hours to set aside each day to complete a painting. As far as I know I am the only painter participating in the challenge. It's been great watching what others are doing! You can check out all of our work on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/groups/creativitybootcamp/

Monday, June 7, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 1

"Ivory" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

"Ivory" is my response to Day 1 of Creativity Boot Camp. "Ivory" was the prompt word of Day 1, so I decided to name my painting that as well. If you haven't heard about Creativity Boot Camp, it is a 2-week intensive online course designed to expand your creativity, no matter what your creative outlet is. It began yesterday, but I was unable to fit some painting in, so I started today. I plan on going at my own pace because my life is crazy busy at the moment. I have finals and final projects due within the next two weeks.

After having completed actual boot camp, 7 years ago (for the Air Force) I thought this Creativity Boot Camp would be a piece of cake! The truth is however that pushing yourself in any way, whether it's physically, mentally or creatively, requires hard work. It's going to take a lot of effort and discipline on my part to participate and stretch my creative muscles. But I'm really looking forward continuing this and growing as an artist.

I need to give credit to Mary Carroll for the photograph that she graciously allowed me to use as a reference for this painting. Thank you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Painting Style and Pricing

I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about my painting style and how I price my work. I get asked the question, "What is your painting style?" a lot, and I never know how to answer it. I don't have one particular painting style. I like to paint in many different ways. It depends on the subject I'm painting, the medium I'm using, and sometimes even the music I'm listening to. I like to paint realistically, abstract, loose and everywhere in between. I've always been under the impression that people expect you to have one painting style, but I'm learning that that isn't necessary. Having one style of painting certainly makes your work more recognizable, but you shouldn't feel like you can't try new styles. I feel like I have many, many styles, and I paint in pastel, watercolor, and acrylic, but I would like to try new things too. Your creativity should be limitless. I have no plans to just stay with one medium or one painting style, and that is liberating for me.
As far as pricing goes, I have had some trouble with this too. In the beginning I wasn't sure what was a fair price for my work, so I just went with what I thought was reasonable. If you do some looking around you'll discover that artists charge all kinds of different amounts for their work. Some artists charge thousands for a piece, and some just hundreds, or tens of dollars. Even artists who have achieved some fame, and sell a lot of work, have fair prices. I suppose it all depends on how much work you're able to sell, and if you're selling a lot you can raise your prices. For me, I think art should be affordable. I'm not going to charge more than what I would be willing to pay. When pricing my art I take into account the time I put into it, and the price of the supplies or painting surface I used (which is why my paintings are all priced differently).
I hope this gives you a little more insight into me and my painting style! :) Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sunny Day Tulip

"Sunny Day Tulip" 5 by 7, Watercolor and Pastel

Sunny Day Tulip is the painting I thought I had completed yesterday. I went back to it this morning and just built up the darks a little more. This is a 5 x 7 painting on Pastelbord (in watercolor and soft pastel). I've never used water on Pastelbord before, so this was certainly a new experience. The entire background is watercolor and watercolor pencil bits. The tulip was done entirely in soft pastel. For an experiment I think this turned out pretty good! :) Having the watercolor background really made this painting easier to handle. I didn't have to worry about accidentally resting my hand on it.

I actually have several other tulip pictures that I took along with this one and I think I might do a tulip series. This was just too much fun. I'm contemplating putting this on Etsy. I always have a difficult time parting with my original works, but I suppose if I want to make money I have to, right? :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Paintings

"Carnations" 7 by 10 Watercolor

"Greenhouse Iris" 6 by 11 1/2, Watercolor

"Zebra Butterflies and Lilacs" 6 by 11 1/2, Watercolor
Whew! Things have finally calmed down around here. I had a nice time with my company this weekend but it's nice to have things back to normal. These paintings are not ones that I've done recently, but they're ones that I've held onto because I wasn't sure if I wanted to sell them. They are now available for sale in my Etsy shop.
I completed a painting today, but I'm going to go back to it tomorrow to make sure that it's finished. I really like it and can't wait to share it! I combined watercolor and pastel for the first time on pastelbord. It was supposed to just be an experiment, but it turned out really good.
I hope you all had a great holiday weekend!