28 January 2015

New Year = Renewed Stamina

This may be belated - if a wish for a good year ahead can be belated still only within the first month of said year - but nevertheless, Happy 2015!

I'm making a healthy spread of updates, changes, and additions to the online presence that represents my work and conveys my art to you fair members of the world.

For a start, the blog has been refreshed with some key new imagery and features; I'm calling it the 'Illustration/Art Dispatch' to more accurately title a space designed for sharing and connecting on my 'art right now' experience.
You can also translate the blog, read up on what I'm about, where I'm coming from, G+1, join me on Google+, shop directly in the store for a piece of art you enjoy in print, for your iPhone, on a t-shirt, or tote bag, and directly join my Newsletter, which is released just four times a year. Everything is readily available on the right side column.

But there's more I want to add!

So forgive this first post of the year serving as a 'to-do' outline, of sorts. I want to provide some information about my ideas, and I think this is a good place for doing so.

This year, this blog begins to function as an all-in documentation of the process I go through, dishing out choice but abundant behind-the-scenes extras, offering a kind of daily dispatch, if you will. I want to include new 'sub-categories' of content as we move forward and implement a better experience.

Here's what I have in store for you:

     "What I've Learned" - Reflections on Failures
     "What I'm Reading" - Sharing Discoveries
     "Scrap Sneaks" - Wherefores, Clowns, Small Previews (more on what that means later)
     "What's Inspiring Now" - Influential Art Works
     "Tell Me A Story" - Inspiring/Entertaining Writing/Experiences

And of course, in amongst the additions I will continue to document the process of illustrations and commissions, from concept to completion.

And to conclude the first post of the year, I'd like to remind you that it's more fun when you join in - Jump in with your comments, ideas, questions, or contact me directly using the right-side Contact Link, and I'll not only reply back within normal business hours, I will include relevant stories, contributions, or content in future posts!

I'm excited.
Let's get to it.

-Mairin-Taj

23 December 2014

Yuletide Portrait Commission

Last minute commissions, print orders, and product sales are always a mix of serendipitous pleasure and frantic schedule maintenance, but I tend to balance both through my great enthusiasm for satisfying new or recurrent clients and contributing my skill to caring, festive people spreading their friendship and fondness for art. It's a wonderful way to engage in the holidays!

Gift-giving with the one of a kind and tailor made work of an artist is deeply supportive to those independent creatives in your community, or throughout your social network (and I personally thank those of you who have been coming to me for your go-to illustration and portraiture services!), but it also allows the gift-giver to initiate a rather unique and intimately valuable connection with their giftees.

Fitting in a new commission from a new client with my existing schedule, I had about a week, and only two days of actual painting, to complete this portrait of a much-loved animal friend for a local family, to commemorate his life, and his love.

I had an absolute uplifting time working on the little guy's smiling face, pictured as requested to capture maximum, accurate character.

Here is a recent example of a private commission portraiture piece in watercolor:

'Sam' Commemorative Portrait, Watercolor, 11x14", 2014.
One of many sample photo reference...
'Sam' Commemorative Portrait, Detail One, 2014.
'Sam' Commemorative Portrait, Detail Two, 2014.

For more samples of commission work, portraiture (animals, people, etc.), and to contact me directly for inquiries or comments, follow here to my website.

And for the brief remaining time before the winter holidays are upon us, I personally wish you all your own peace, rejuvenation, and joy for whatever you may be doing on the seasonal break, and wherever you are.
And because today is the Winter Solstice, cheers! Keep the Fire going.

-Mairin-Taj

13 December 2014

'Abolishing Monsters' - Final Pre-Painting

'Abolishing Monsters' is another of the new portfolio pieces, as identified in the series of War In Love, and it has been sitting patiently, waiting for a digital version of its completed self to be presented to art followers and friends here, there, everywhere.

But, now that I have sorted out a dreadful bed-ridden illness and a ridiculous game of scanning competence with the Office Max folk - now that the final is indeed presentable - I am going to preface my reveal with a little context.

Some of you may be aware, having gleaned information from my various social media, or having seen my modeling portfolio on Behance, that I am a part-time artist's model. I work with individual photographers, illustrators, and various artists who require the reference of the human figure for paintings, their photography work, or studies in anatomy. I also work with institutions and life classes, such as the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, or the local Lancaster figure drawing groups.

While I was posing nude for a senior fine art figure session a few semesters ago, I was studying the familiar posture of an art student. (When you model for a class, you have a lot of thinking and observing time available to you; as an artist myself, I take full advantage of this and let the mental gears grind). As the student was poised between brushes and canvas and me, capturing with professional, near clinical focus, the aspects of figure and color and light from her particular vantage point, I noticed the 'armed' stance she held, seemingly to attention, grasping her utensils as if they were the weaponry with which she fought her inner foe...

Now, this fit puzzle-piece like into place with an earlier idea of mine, regarding the concept of killing one's monsters, or demons, or psychological darkness, mess, and violence. And I had wanted to use the artist's tools as the method of victory over such darkness.

Using myself as the figure, as I often do in my personal work, I armed myself with classic tools of creativity to face the shadows of the psyche.

The 'monster' is not important. It can be anything, or a multifaceted thing, as so many of our inner struggles are. But it had to have a maw of some kind, and a way to wail or gnash upwards it's gory center as it dies into emptiness. It had to reflect a flicker of unpleasantness and monster 'scare' while still demonstrating, in the face of this resilient creator, that it wouldn't be getting up again...

And you may notice, the arm with which the artist wields her brushes, loaded and ready, is the arm with a totem-like tattoo of a bird-of-prey talon grasping forth, curled and sharp.

'Abolishing Monsters', Graphite Drawing, Pre-Painting, 13.5x18", 2014.
'Abolishing Monsters', Detail Crop, 2014.
'Abolishing Monsters', Detail Crop 2, 2014.

I'm excited for the painting of this piece, and am eagerly looking forward to the non-corporeal gesturing of color associated with the 'monster' presence. I see violent red, for one...But you'll have to wait and see!

I've got holiday work to attend to in the meantime, and some shop gift promoting, so please visit by the store for items, including prints, of this new graphite addition to the artworks you can purchase from me! If you'd like a reproduction of 'Abolishing Monsters' to take home, before even the painting is done, I have it up on various products at the store, hint hint.

The Store frequents many quick succession sales, but they won't last for long with Christmas 'round the corner! Stop by and share the inspiration just in time. Browse products now! 

In the meantime,
As ever,
Mairin-Taj

26 November 2014

'Ghost Love' - Finally, the Final!

For context, process, and concept origin, featuring a vivid dream and a biographical event, visit back to the first few posts:

Ghost Love - The Warning Dream (Stage I)

Painting Progress - Ghost Love (Stage II)

Catching you up in these next several posts with new content, from portfolio to side projects and events that have been my focus, I am happy to finally get this piece scanned properly and presented! It is long overdue.
(*Scroll down for the link to purchase products, including iphone cases and tote bags, featuring the artwork)

Ghost Love:

'Ghost Love' - The Warning Dream, Watercolor on Hot Press, 13.5x19", 2014.
This personal painting was triggered into being by many interwoven events during a turbulent year of change for me, throughout 2013, and as may be apparent in the tittle, it holds significant value for me. It is melancholy, it is foreboding, it is suspended in a mix of hope and loss, and it is oddly futuristic, while harking back to a past of sorts. 

'Ghost Love', Detail One, Watercolor, 2014
It pictures that space between the two, that moment when we could almost see the space closing and their hands grasping tightly again, safe and secure. But it is just enough space for that reunion to be unlikely, just enough space for more to grow from it, and the falling one to fall away for good. 

'Ghost Love', Detail Two, Van Gogh-esque Dream Sky Over A Mediterranean Coast, Watercolor, 2014
Ultimately, it is meant to function as a kind of frozen vision, memory, or knowing. A preservation, of sorts.

What an excellent function, of the many, that art has.

And here again is the graphite preliminary version I worked from:

'Ghost Love', Preliminary, Graphite, 13.5x18", 2014
*Purchase prints and other products with Ghost Love featured at my Store HERE. And check back again for ever-updating, rotating products available!

Always remembering,
Never forgotten,
-Mairin-Taj

Preview Preliminary - 'Abolishing Monsters'

I have a number of works to interject here before the end of the year turns over into 2015!

Dear followers and friends, I know I haven't posted anything in quite some time, and I intend to rectify that, despite the fresh batch of heavy winter weather that has my need for scanning finished or process works severely thwarted...

I have here a preview of a piece that is indeed finished, but has yet to be rescanned correctly. (Long story, but in short, it's too large for scanning in one piece, and the attendant at Office Max fudged one half, making them unsuitable to merge into one file...I need to get it done again).

I'm quite excited about the piece, though. It's called 'Abolishing Monsters', and is in it's finished state, pre-painting.

Once I get the scans merged into one satisfactory file, I shall post it in all it's glory here, but for now, here is a preview:

'Abolishing Monsters', Graphite, Top Half, 2014
Studio Process Shot, Graphite Hands!
Check back for the finished upload, and for more on the content, as well as further recent work and project updates - I'm catching everyone up!

-M