Friday, December 12, 2008

Something is finally happening...


This week has been a very good week for me! I'm very happy to report that all four ACEO's sold.

I was initially asking $9.99 for each, then changed my mind and lowered it to $7.99. I ended up getting for all four $45.00. One sold for $18.25, pretty good for a newbie!

All of them were Madonna and Child images which I thought might sell for Christmas. All are done in Colored Pencil (Prismacolor, not my favorite) on 2-ply Plate finish Bristol Board.

They were a labor of love and pain. These caused me major amounts of pain in my neck which I'm still recovering from. The pins & needles feeling in my face is driving me crazy. I did love to do them and will probably do some more and sell them for next year.

Now I just have to come up with my own stuff. That's the hard part!

I think I'm more of an illustrator than fine artist as I do like to have a purpose for the artwork, not just a means to express myself. It's the action of doing the art I love, subject matter doesn't usually do anything for me. That's why I think I get artist's block a lot.

The juried show entry that got in

Juried Show

2nd great thing is that I got into the Center for Visual Arts juried show coming up in January. It's called "Midwest Seasons" and was marketed toward National/International artists. I think it's mainly for the Wausau, Wis area however. We'll see what all ends up being at the show.

I'm really happy I got in, but not as happy as I would be if it were the one I wanted to get in. Actually, it is the one I thought would get in, but I was working on the Daffodil picture and another one for so long, I was hoping one of those would have gotten in. Objectively, the one that was chosen is the strongest!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Getting up the nerve

I finally got up the nerve and posted some Art cards on EBay the other night. I'm patiently, impatiently waiting to see if someone bids on at least one of them. They are all of Madonna and Child images which I hope will spark someone to buy for Christmas presents.

They were more of a last minute deal to see if the format, which is very small would be of interest to me (they are always 2.5" x 3.5"). I did find it a challenge but it wasn't too bad. All of them are reproductions of mostly Raphael images, so it was also an exercise in drawing.

I think I'd do it on different paper using different pencils.

I'm really not a fan of the Prismacolors. I feel like the only one out there that doesn't just love them! Reasons why I don't like them... too waxy, they seem to crumble too much, especially when I was using the bristol board. layering also seems to be harder to do for that reason. They don't have the dry feel like the oil based ones (which escape me right now, and I'm too lazy to get up to see what the name is right now!) I think that's what I hate the most.

I did make a significant investment in Prismacolors before finding the other ones which shall remain nameless right now. I regret doing that now. I'll use them up eventually. Good thing they never go bad. I have pencils from college I'm still using, and that's been nearly 20 years now.

Monday, November 10, 2008


"Maggie's Daffodil"
11"x14" Colored Pencil on Cream Colored Stonehenge Paper

Here it is, finished. I adjusted the color so it is closer to the actual image.

I'm glad it's done, the thing about it is that it has so much time involved in it, was it worth it? I'm hoping to get it into a juried show this month, if it doesn't get in, I'm afraid I'll be horribly disappointed. I have two other paintings I did since this one just so I have a better chance of getting something in.

"Beautiful Truck"
Pastel on Pastelbord 8"x10"

I have never worked on a pastel in this fashion before. It's always been on a watercolor as more of motion marks. I never used real pastels either, always "nupastels", which are a very hard consistency. I bought some Sennelier pastels to finish the piece which gave it some punch and boy are they velvety! I hardly have to put the pastel to the board and it leaves a heavy mark.

The majority was done in pastel pencil and some nupastel.

"Past Their Prime"
8"x10" Colored Pencil on Strathmore 500 Illustration Board

This piece was the first time I used colored pencils on a hard board and also used a solvent (unconventional Isopropyl Alcohol). The background is mostly done with the solvent application. Not an easy thing to control for me. I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. I didn't like using Turpentine, too greasy. I think next time I'll try to use heat instead of anything solvent based. I see wonderful things done with just melting the pencil lead on the surface of the paper.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Working like crazy - not much time!

I can't work fast enough! I have only a few hours left by myself but this is as far as I have gotten. Now I have to confess, this image took me about 2 years to complete, with 1 year off.

I have been working on the right side all weekend. It's colored pencil, 14" x 11". Boy this takes forever to do but I love to draw in CP.

I know the subject matter is overdone, but for some reason I just wanted to see if I could draw really REAL and tight. Probably because I have been doing a lot of technical drawing when I was working in graphic design. I'll loosen up eventually!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Becoming an Artist - For Real

So I finally have time to myself. A whole weekend to do some artwork and here I am blogging and fooling around on the computer! I figure if I do this, it should be something semi-productive. In this case, writing about my trials and tribulations of becoming what my dream has always been, being an artist.

I have been an artist all my life. I've been drawing since I was a child, pretty continuously. I knew I wanted to be a commercial artist since I was 10 years old and was very serious about it.

When I was in high school and college I kept getting pushed into the fine arts. It worked out just fine. I am glad I did that since I find that knowing how to draw and paint makes doing artwork on the computer and design work so much easier. I know way too many graphic designers who do not know how to draw. I find that to be quite sad, like they are missing out on an aspect of their education. I have a BFA in drawing and painting, so my background is in the fine arts.

My work background is in the graphic arts and that was by accident. Lucky that the newspaper business was in need of paste-up artists in the early '90's and that's when computers were really starting to be used in the design field. I got free training and learned as much as I could. I ended up at several jobs that allowed me to really do whatever I wanted to do in graphic design and Web site design. It was fun for a while, but then I got sick of it. When I get good at something, I lose interest in it. I think that's what happened. It wasn't fun anymore. I still do it, I can make a living at it at least!

It's funny, I read "The Artist's Magazine" and other magazines promoting full-time professional artists and almost every single one of the people interviewed has in their resume, "so, and so worked as a graphic designer for 20 years and quit to become a full-time artist". I tell my husband that every time I read another article! It's not just me who has the itch to do what is really a natural progression from graphic arts.

It may be because one goes from working on someone else's vision to wanting to do your own. I never have done something for myself. I don't think I have ever done my own project. Even when I draw and paint it's always been something that has been an assignment or a commissioned piece of some sort.

Right now I have my opportunity to do something that is my choice, whatever I want to do. I have to clear out of my head unhelpful comments that past professors made about what is or isn't art by their definition. I just have to do what I like and just do it.

I'm such a procrastinator though and have such a fear of failure it's hard to get started or if I start, it's impossible to finish!

So, here I am again. I have 3 projects going right now. One I am determined to finish this weekend. This is a colored pencil drawing that has potential I think as long as I keep my confidence up. I would like to enter it into a juried show this fall.

The other one is a watercolor painting which is about 75% done, but as I look at it more and more I'm losing interest in it and not liking it. It might have to be scrapped. I'll post pictures.

Third project is one for my Pop -- which there is always something going on for my Pop! It's a cover of a magazine with a Harley swapped out for his Indian Motorcycle, also colored pencil. That one is a big project. It's been on my easel for 2 years now.