Thursday, December 27, 2012

Great end of year painting completions & sales!

Recently I completed a commission for a Chiropractor who had agreed to barter services for our daughter when she was eleven.  Our daughter is now 22, so this agreement has been pending for years and years.  At the time our Chiropractor wanted to wait until her youngest son was older before giving me a photo to use for a portrait.  A year ago she sent me a jpg of her two sons, then ages 3 & 5.  They are now 8 & 10, so you can see how this assignment has been pending.  On a positive note, my ability to paint figures & portraits has increased over the years so she did receive a much better painting than I could have produced 11 years ago.

Here is the original photo:

Initially I decided to work from an 8 x 10 print to create a 16 x 20 painting.  That way I could use a 1 inch grid on the reference to a 2 inch grid on the canvas to transfer the image.  I am amazed at how easy it is to create an image if you take the time to use a grid.  You just draw what is in each square and magically the image appears.  Of course, once you start painting the lines disappear so you have to adjust the painting with brushwork, but gridding is a great time saver, in my opinion.  I also used orange paint to prime the canvas to "kill" the white before starting to block it in.  I later found the orange pretty distracting and covered it up. Sometimes having a bright color "peek" out between brushstrokes adds liveliness to the painting.

Working upside down is also a terrific way to lay in an under painting. It keeps you from getting distracted by small details as the painting develops.  I found myself stuck at this point and became distracted by my pastels for a while.  A few months passed...

In November I attended a three day workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry (see previous blog post) that re-energized my commitment to painting in oils.  I came home and used some of the skills developed in that workshop to get cracking on this commission.  I was thrilled to deliver it just before Christmas.

I call the image "Looking for Trouble" because two boys with sticks usually are!

The client was very happy with the painting.  I could have fiddled around with it for a couple of more months, but once she saw the image and loved it I knew it was done.  Artists are rarely DONE when they stop painting!  The important thing is to keep starting new paintings and learning new things, not simply repainting one painting over & over again.

This has been a wonderful fall.  I have been blessed to sell 4 paintings recently plus delivering this commission.  It gives me great pleasure when work goes out into the world to new homes!

Here are the pieces that have been sold:

Last Light, Pastel

I failed to get a good image of this piece before framing it.  This is a bit dark but captures the feel of it.  I love the water just at sun rise or set.

Autumn Up North, Pastel

This piece went to the same collector as a surprise for his wife for Christmas.

Both of the paintings below sold during the December Essex Studios Art Walk.

It is my intention to participate in a painting challenge in January.  I will post here how it goes.  Meanwhile, have a healthy & prosperous 2013.  May you be who you are, love what you have and do what you can do!