Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Seeing Sea Turtles

Oops! I did not get a post up last week.  I have been working like mad for the show this weekend.  A Frolic Through Dr. Doolitle's Festival of Animals...if you are in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area stop by. Below is one of my favorite paintings from the twelve new ones I have been working on. I love the expression on Blue Hawk's face.

Blue Hawk Bubbles

My friend Holly Stone-Barker from the Papered Moon is also showing work.  We will be having an art craft for children, fun fact finding game that can when you a prize, and music by Brent Gentry and the Fantabulous Stool Pigeons.

Sounds like fun to me!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Its Personal

I am still creating...but this time I am using my sewing machine.

 This creation  isn't business this is personal .My father-in law passed away earlier this year and it has been very hard for my husband as they were very close.  So he asked me to make a quilt out of his daddy's shirts...and I threw in a pair of jeans and khakis to round it out. 

 I like to make crazy favorite kind of quilt.  But....I wasn't sure I wanted to attempt a king size crazy quilt. (how to keep it square?, how how how?) Since I am not a professional quilter but a random creator of quilts I looked to several quilt blogs I follow.  I liked the idea of a row quilt.  A row has all the same design or blocks...but each row is different.  As you see I made a symmetrical row quilt.  The center row is just squares, but the rows going out mirror each other.  I really wanted a feel of a crazy quilt. To get that feeling  I worked hard to keep the fabrics really random.

Below you can see I wanted some of the details left on the clothing.  I purposely cute the squares to include seams....

and if you look carefully pockets.

My husband intends to hang it on the wall of his music room. 

My creations are all personal as in they each have a part of me in them, but some are for business.  This one is just personal.

Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, 
stitched with love.

Hug your loved ones!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What a Nose!

 The elephant goes like this, like that,
He's terribly big,
And he's terribly fat.
He has no fingers,
He has no toes,
But goodness, gracious,
What a nose!

-Nursery rhyme

Bleaux the Elephant

This is one of my new paintings for a gallery show in September. I will be giving more information about the show soon! Its going to be a BLAST!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Just Painting

If you have a garden and a library, 
you have everything you need.
-Marcus Tullius Cicero

Painting flowers is one of my favorite ways to relax....along with gardening, and reading.
This pot of begonia's sits on my porch. I have purple cushions on my chairs and I loved the way the peachy orange contrasted with the purple cushions.
Take some time today to do something you enjoy.  I shall paint!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Secret Commission

Here it is!  ... the secret commission I was working on last week. 

A friend(Darrell Rollins) asked me to paint this painting for his wife (Sonya) as an anniversary present. He had seen my painting.."The Edge of Blues" that I painted of my husband...Brent.  (below)

Commissions can strike fear into my artist heart, because I am creating something on demand.  I have gotten used to them and enjoy commissions. But... I always have just a bit more fear when starting a commission of someone that I know.  Will I really be able to catch the likeness?  I have learned over the years to let go of what I think the person looks like, and paint the shapes and shadows.  It always works.  I am happy with how it turned out and so was my friends.  

The photo for the painting of Darrell was taken by Misty Buhrmester. You can see some of her photos here. She is new to photography, but I love what she does.

Happy Anniversary to a great couple!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Busy Life

The great part of being an artist is that I get to work on very different art projects and commissions at the same time.  This week I am revving up on several projects and will show you a glimpse of a few.  

The next three images are the beginning of a series of pattern designs for fabric. This particular project is dear to my heart . I will tell you all when I have a completed project.

I have always had a passion for photography. I do this creative venue just for fun....what fun! This week I was asked by my friend Amber to take pictures of her very cute...but active...toddler.  In the thirty minutes that I took pictures I ended up with about a hundred. Not only do I run around madly(really I did...she is very active) taking pictures, but then I spend time editing them.The good thing about taking this toddler's pictures is I got lots of hugs!! Always a bonus.

This is my favorite...what a cutie!!

I am also revving up to complete about 30 paintings for a show in September...(more to come)
All the paintings are of animals, insects, and lovely creatures of the sort. Press releases for the show need to be out by this weekend.  Hurry! Hurry! Marita

I worked on a very cool commission which I can show you next week. (its a secret)

And is beginning here in the deep south. The planning of art-in-residence programs begins.  This planning includes lesson plans and testing.  It also includes conversations about updating testing procedures(to follow common core standards), and changing lesson plan formats so they are better connected for teachers.

 I do my share of seeking inspiration. (big smile) which includes sketching, sitting on the porch drinking coffee, and reading...

My favorite spot. A artist has to stay inspired!! (another big smile)

I have already started next weeks list.
That's okay, I enjoy the busy life.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Painting or Jpeg?

I am a traditional artist, but sometimes my work needs to be digital for the final does this work for me.

I always start with traditional art....watercolor and acrylic on canvas is my favorite.  So today I will show you how that works....

The job....create a journal using "Playground" as a theme.  ( this was for a competition called the Great Talent Search put on by Lilla Rogers Studio)

So I sketched....and sketched ....and sketched .(tons of 10 pages)

This is finally the sketch I liked the best.

But... when I started painting, the background felt conflicted... to much stuff going on.

So I painted it simpler. 

I painted it again in a whole different color scheme and got this painting...

In all the transition, I added friends that enjoyed  the playground too!

So now I scan my image, or take a picture and upload to Adobe photoshop.

I need to add the word "Journal"

I do this by creating the word in Sketch Book Designer Pro. (Another program I use to draw using my wacom pad.)

Then I start playing with all my elements...cutting, pasting, changing colors...
This is the final product. I submitted.

As you can see I took out the background color...adding brown paper. I took the flower elements off her shirt and added them on a side border. I also moved the dragonfly so that the word "Journal" would be a part of the design and not feel separate.  

I did not get picked for the Great Talent Search, but I enjoyed the process and enjoyed showing how I get where I am going sometimes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A swamp princess in the making.

The process of developing a character.
Sketch #1 

Sketch #2...
 done with Sharpie markers.

Sketch #3 
I am trying to figure out what her body is going to look like.

Painting...need to work out issues with the frog...

The steps I go through to work out a character. 
 This poor little princess is supposed to have stringy hair, and a wart on her nose.  She is a swamp princess.  When all is said and done I still think she needs work, but I like where she is going.  
P.S. the background hasn't gotten very swampy has it.  Just added a quick landscape so I would have a finished look.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Morning Sketch

 Warm up sketches...morning sketches..just sketches.  This is the one I did this morning. I take them from life, or the one above, or I just make things up.
I have been drawing a lot of characters so this morning I picked a picture of a New Orleans house I took several years ago.  Waalaa!  
Some morning when I come into the studio, I already have ideas for a current project, or I am ready to continue finishing something...I take right off.  Some mornings are slow. That is when I give myself free sketching time. Time to warm up and draw some thing completely un-related to any project I am working on.

I also sketch when I listen to my husband play music. Like most musicians there is always a jam going somewhere. The sketch below was done in Mountain View Arkansas on the square.(Musicians gather most every night in the summer to play music)

Happy sketching...morning, evening, or just sketching.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cluttered Studio Cluttered Mind

A lot has been going on in my life...
I have taken a course on "Making Art That Sells"(click here for more info)
working on a couple of book projects,
creating art for galleries, 
finishing up the school year and all the lesson plans that go with it,
teaching a summer art camp...
AND... helping my daughter plan her wedding,
AND...building a new art studio. (photos coming soon)

That means that my studio was just work, dump, work, grab, work, jump, work, work...
but no cleaning.  A few of my projects have finished, and I am starting a few more.

My solution:

Guess what!
 It worked.

Here is a before shot

This is the nice cluttered spot.  The rest of the studio was really quite embarrassing.

My paint table after cleaning. SO nice! Makes me feel like I can think.

See the top of the shelf under the bulletin board. There was so much was really daunting.
All sorted and put away in the correct spot.

My drawing table is clean, all the supplies nicely tucked in their boxes.
A feeling of contentment is stealing over me. Smile...sighhhhh.

And look! Yes! even the computer area is clean with no papers.
What do you say are all the papers from?...sketches and  photos I take, printed out to used as reference material. Sometimes a manuscript or two..if I am working on a book, and if it is during school...lesson plans run amuck everywhere.

So now....the studio is de-cluttered and so is my thinking.  Well, actually I took a few days off from creating and that can refresh the mind also.  Ready to start back again tomorrow.

So maybe your feeling a bit over run like I was...take a moment and breathe, make a plan, rest, then get back to it.  

Happy creating!