Friday, February 18, 2011

... winterscape ...

How appropriate to post this latest portrait, since it seems that as far as the eye can see -everything is, once again, covered in white. This latest storm took everyone by surprise - even the local meteorologist ... HUMPH! How does that happen with today's technology? Oh well - just another school closing for the books.

This home portrait was commissioned for the McCandless Family. As you can see, their home is a lovely, two-story BRICK dwelling. ... Oh my ... all that brick. I was anxious to challenge myself with this piece, as brickwork can be tricky to capture with all of its shadings of color and texture.

I settled on the above photo to use as a reference for their painting, as it gives a respectful perspective of this home's grandeur and grace. Of course, the final painting will have this home nestled in a winterscape.

If you have followed my previous posts, you will know that I must ... and I mean "must" ... paint to movies. It's silly, I know ... but movies tend to be my artistic muse when creating. Depending upon my mood and the subject that I paint usually dictates the movie selection. In this case ... I was feeling a bit English. I know - the house favors more southern architecture, but it feels a bit regal with its columns - and when "regal," I think England ... and well, you catch the drift.

So - the movie pic? The Holiday ...

Not only does this movie have fantastic actors (Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz & Jude Law) plus a bit of humor and so much heart, but it also embraces the beauty and coziness of winter that I like to keep in mind when painting this season. It's a must see if you enjoy romantic comedies ... one of my ultimate favorites!

So, with the film rolling, my coffee steaming and my pencils sharpened, I began sketching their home ...

The challenges here are angles, size and placement ... Thankfully, I do have an eraser!!

Now, I began the trickiest part of this painting ... you guessed it ... the brickwork. Yikes...

There may be an easier way to do this, as I create through trial and error; however, I find that in order to create the depth of shading and texture, I must paint in layers and then add in the detail of mortar.
This pic is taken on an angle, therefore it appears that the house is leaning in on itself - I assure you it is not. :)
Next, the windows and trim to give that cozy-warmth and detail.

It's funny ... one would think that a winter scene would be the easiest to paint, since everything is just white -- when in actuality, it is more time consuming, as the foreground must be created in order to lay the snow over top. Otherwise, no depth is achieved. At this point, the front lawn had not been painted yet ... what you see is blank canvas - not snow.

And, alas, the final painting ...

... a winter's blanket covering the McCandless's home in white, while warmth of golden light filters from within.
I consider this painting one of my greatest challenges to replicate, considering the brickwork, trim and detail. Because of this, it is one that I truly cherished ... thank you, Nancy, for the opportunity to confront my hesitations, explore my craft and create this painting for your family. It was an experience that I treasure.
Challenges are what makes life interesting.
Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
- Joshua J. Marine

Monday, February 14, 2011

... L-O-V-E!

Happy Valentine's Day :)

I love this day ... no matter if it is rain, snow or gray-clouded skies outside - this day seems warm, bright and comfy inside.

I always wake up early to dress the house up in sparkles & satin, hearts & flowers, red & pink...
(owl created by Sue Crawford - potter extrodinaire!)

While the kiddos are still in bed, I bake up some cinnamon rolls - and prepare a scavenger hunt just for them.

The treasure? A heart shaped box of candy, of course! Small. ... because these children come home from their school parties with a B-A-G of candy! It's like Halloween all over again ... UGH!

Of course, I, too, am one of those moms who, initially, is determined to send in healthy snacks, but ends up sending in the sugar! ... oh well. I always have such good intentions :)

This year, I decided to try something that I've never done before - - candy-molded lollipops! I've been smitten with these ever since I was a small child and have always wanted to try it. So, I bought a Wilton kit and dived in.

All I have to say is - Wow ... & hats off to every confectionery artist out there, as this is a very tedious task. Funny thing is - I had just finished a home portrait (which I'll be sharing in the next couple days :) and was relishing the break of painting. So, what crazy thought lead me to "paint" chocolate- is beyond me!! LOL Needless to say ... it was rewarding in the end, but after 7 hours into a classroom treat, I suppose anything would be! Aren't cupcakes just the cutest things?!!

As I've said before ... love, love, LOVE this day - as it is quite appropriate to do so! :) A day for love .... chocolate ... and - well, anything else that brings you happiness!

How do you celebrate Valentine's Day?

You will find as you look back on your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

- Henry Drummond

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

...a day for love ...

Just in time to welcome the upcoming holiday of Valentine's Day, dressed up with heartfelt words, decadent chocolates & XOXOs, I am hosting a sale in my Etsy shop! Why not forgo the expensive flowers, which will undoubtedly wither away, and express your love & gratitude to that special lady in your life with a gift of original WEARABLE art that will can be cherished for a lifetime!

My necklaces are each painted by hand, overlayed with resin (3x), and embellished with sterling silver, as well as adorned with freshwater pearls or faceted crystals. Each pendant is suspended on an 18" sterling silver ball chain with a lobster clasp - a perfect length to showcase your original design :)

Your necklace will be received in a white slide-style box, enclosed in a protective bag and nestled among shredded tissue, along with an artist card designating design & inspiration for the piece.

From now until Valentine's Day - I am offering 25% off all handpainted jewelry + FREE SHIPPING! Shop now to ensure delivery and selection!!

So, stop by my little shop - - I would feel blessed to share my art with you.

Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine!

- Thomas Hood