15 December 2011

Old Woman Winter Visits Us...

A decent way back, on the 28th of Januray, I talked about the work I put into Cailleach, a prompt for a winter-themed greeting card.

Here is the entry, for those interested in a catch-up:

It took some time, but I found my way back to the painting board with this one. I was always annoyed by the treatment of the border; there was a bland, incomplete element to it that made Cailleach come off flimsy, dull, or just bald.

I revisited the thoughts I had had before it was about splashing it on quickly. I revisited the inspirational sample illumination (also in the original message link above).

Here is the result:

Cailleach, Watercolor, 2011.
Detail One
Detail Two
For some Winter Holiday fun, I also decided to take this for a test run round to my friends, family, and creative community. The greeting cards turned out alright and should be arriving at their various destinations soon.

Wishing warmth, light, and cheer through this holiday season and into the new year.

03 December 2011

Updates from a Previous Project

In "Greetings from the Studio", September 2nd, I took some time to share work on "Lemuria".

Here are some final scans of the piece, now safely off. It did not take me all this time to complete it, to be sure. I took quite a long break from it, for reasons best not waffled on about here and now.

And scanners really are worth mourning over...

Also, "Cailleach" - the Irish Winter personification piece - has undergone some tampering and will be posted as soon as the blasted thing is scanned! Greeting cards soon to follow, should all go well.

Here's to welcoming in the Winter months!

04 November 2011

Pleasures of Autumn...

I have been starting new work, and getting quite in the full throw of it, so my recent absence from the world of the blog has been due to that, as well as seasonal festivities.

Being in the delicious habit of running several times a week, I have encountered lovely pockets of natural reference.
I now have a functioning camera again as well, so you can be sure I've taken it up with frequent enthusiasm. Here are some samples of the sort of moments I collect.

Parrish-esque Trees & Sky

I also enjoyed some of the best autumnal craft-work one can have - carving pumpkins. Not having done it in several years mind, I had a bit of a time getting used to it again. But I did have a friend enjoying the process with me.
We made a stars and moons design on a white pumpkin, and two faces on an orange one; one side had a simple smiling face, and the other had a winking face.

My cat Lugh
My cat Samael

Farewell, October!

Greetings, November, and the smell of winter!
(More to come, shortly)

18 September 2011

Latest Private Commission

Alright - now that I have some time - here we go, the finish of what has been hinted at for the past few posts, along with some of the process. I have been celebrating someone's birthday today, so what I finished yesterday has had to wait until now.
There is another piece, possibly noticed by now to not yet be shown in its finished form? That would be the drawing from "Greetings from the Studio" (part one). I do have it on the desk, but I've been a bit busy with this finish and other projects (later to be shown).

I am quite happy with the process on this one here; I am also looking forward to where I can take this technical and conceptual development with the other projects.
Please feel welcome to leave comments.

Work space.
Private Commission, 8"x10", Watercolor, 2011.
Process detail one.
Process detail two.

16 September 2011

Greetings from the Studio Part II

An evening as any other at the desk, with the music, and Lugh.

And guess where my cat decides is the best spot to settle during this delicate process...

That is all for now! I'll post my finished work shortly...if my cat allows it the attention it needs.

14 September 2011

Second Current Drawing To Painting Sample

Here is the second of the two projects I am currently working on.
The first piece, shown last of the "Greetings from the Studio" post, is on its way and will shortly be up.
Private Commission, Tight Sketch, Graphite, 2011.

And this is just a doodle of mine of a fun looking, coral-like mushroom I saw while out camping recently.
WNY Fungus, Graphite, 2011.

02 September 2011

Greetings from the Studio

Hello from western New York, East Aurora.

The weather here is far more to my liking, yet after four years in the south of Pennsylvania, the lack of humidity and city-scented air is quite welcome. I think I almost forgot how green and fresh the gardens and field smelled!
Well, my borrowed studio space is just right here, and I have even acquired new gear for use in the studio at home, so I am rather excited. My father found the time and the interest to make me a custom desk, with a wonderful, natural wood frame, able to be dismantled for transportation convenience! I wish I could lug back this sturdy, antique leather, wood, and metal epic of a chair, but I'm affraid the size won't do for the car, nor the bare space left in it, once the time comes. Still, these types are rare, and wonderful!

And yes, Rembrandt is looking at you too...
Lugh takes command of the side table and materials...

Below are provided some sneak peeks at the action; I'm enjoying it so far!

This is how I work with my thumbnails/rough sketching stage; I enjoy writing and language, as I enjoy reading and research, so my visual notes tend to be fairly equal to the amount of written notes I make. I find this particular form of scrawling, diagram-like notes I have is a process which greatly helps my thinking through what I want to do, and how, and why. I also tend to re-doodle things - comparatively larger, smaller, differently. Also, at this stage, making things deliberately small seems to flow best for me.

These sample pages from my big idea book are containing seven paintings, three of which are a part of two different series projects in addition. Ah! So much stuff to do!

My Thick Idea Book, page 1

Page 2
Page 3

Here is one of the works in progress, including roughs:

Private Commemorative Commission, Graphite, 2011.

Be well and keep the creativity clear.
Until more next time,


Acquiring new (and old) books is a wonderful thrill, and speaking specifically (for the purposes of this blog) as an illustrator, ART books are even better. What with the sad but understandable situation with Borders going out of business, I found the time to stop by a local store to browse what might yet be available amidst the feverishly thinning shelves.

To my great delight, I found this:

And for clarity, it is Donato Giancola's Middle Earth book.

I got other books as well (naturally), and am quite content with an even larger than normal stack of literature and art to sift through. Natural Health for Cats (I have two), The Gallic War, other ancient history, and the rest of the usual and the exciting!

I have been in the studio at my parents' house in WNY, going at all manner of fun preoccupations, so more to come!

20 August 2011

Curious Art Controversy

I find the new situation with Odd Nerdrum to be...curious. Looking into it lately, I encountered two quick sources of perspective concerning the matter, as a kind of introductory read. For those interested, please follow the links provided.

I should say more research and follow-through is best, should further depth of content be preferred. 

From Fantastic Visions: Art of an Other Perspective:

And from Richard Thomas Scott:

12 August 2011

M. Warren Lee Paintings and Drawings: New Paintings and Drawings

I recently discovered M Warren Lee by paging through the blogs, and quite serendipitously opened up his work to view. It is always a pleasure to learn of other representational watercolorists.
Check out what he has to offer and his curious current geographical location!

With respect,

M. Warren Lee Paintings and Drawings: New Paintings and Drawings: Welcome to the new Blog everyone. You can once again make comments on the work, which I..."

23 July 2011

Winter Reflection

In the various maintenance tasks with which I have been occupying my time of late, I happened to be browsing through recent works on my blog, sifting through scanned paintings that needed editing on Photoshop, etc, and then quickly discovered I was missing some heretofore assumed posts!

This past Spring semester - my final one at PCAD! - I posted a series of rough and tight sketches of greeting card-inspired Winter holiday imagery. I also posted the one finished painting and color comp, but not the other! In retrospect, I think it was the fast rush of Senior Thesis work which diverged my attention, because despite finishing the second winter theme piece, I never managed to put it up.

So, here it is, the second of the two ideas completed in watercolor. For some sense of recollection or review, here also is the title of the original post - way back when. Comments welcome!

Also, the first painting post:

"Snow Queen", 10 x 14", Watercolor.
Detail 1
Detail 2

Cailleach Detail 1
Cailleach Detail 2

22 July 2011

An Introduction

I recently found a great (online) location for delving into 19th Century art, where - among many countless others - the brilliant epics from the hand of Jean-Léon Gérôme can be studied. I am infatuated with his mastery of medium and imagery, to put it mildly. One of such moving power for me is his "Pygmalion and Galatea", a copy of which is shown below.

                                               Explore at:  An Introduction to Nineteenth Century Art

10 July 2011

Portraiture at Mairintajcaya.com!

Recently I am taking steps to arrange my official website in a more productive, satisfactory manner, and this is my most complex update.
I am working on new paintings which should help flesh out this section, so all will be posted in good time.
Here is the statement piece for now!    www.mairintajcaya.com

18 June 2011

Mary Harju & Jasper Johal

There is a bit of a yoga/dance theme here today.    :-)
Out of sharing discoveries with others, I came across yet another one! I do enjoy exchanging inspirations with fellow artists and friends, and by passing along the name and work of NYC painter Mary Harju (Mary Harju Figurative Painting)...

...I was directed in return to Jasper Johal Photography (Jasper Johal Photography), which exhibits yoga, dance, fashion and nude figurative work. Having a history as a ballet dancer and coming from a yoga-conscious family, I was intrigued.
*Check both out at their respective links.



11 June 2011

Scott Eaton

I have been browsing someone recently recommended to me after being introduced to a work of theirs, and am thoroughly impressed with the aesthetic, the method, and the results. Check out Scott Eaton's beautiful, empowering sculpture here: Scott Eaton
Here are some sample images from Scott Eaton's website for your insight:

By Scott Eaton, www.scott-eaton.com
By Scott Eaton, www.scott-eaton.com