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.


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,