31 October 2015

"Bean Sídhe" - A Banshee for Halloween 2015!

"Bean Sídhe" - the Irish Gaelic woman of the barrows, the wailing woman, the fairy spirit heralding death, or as common culture calls her now, the Banshee... She is an ancient apparition, often one being tied to an old Irish family, or house, making there supposedly be many banshees for the many strong old tribes throughout the country.
According to myth, this particular spirit is either that of a woman who has died in childbirth, fated to play the grim role until the time she would have died of natural causes, or, a woman who has been murdered, or brutally killed.
Often robed in green or grey, she is fairly silent in solitude, dwelling like a foreboding presence, until, should someone in the family approach death, she breaks the night with chilling screams and wails.

Her association with the screech owl is a possible origin for the myth.

I liked the idea of her sudden screaming voice coming to life to be the cause of her suddenly lurching forward from her shadowy garb consumed by terror. As if trapped, she'll soon return to her hooded robes, silent once more, after death.
Final art is available!

If you've been following along on my Instagram - Mairintaj_InMediasRes - the behind-the-scenes process will look familiar, but the rest of the imagery following is debuting here, freshly finished, never before seen online.

Here's how I started this little seasonal vision:

1. Jump straight in on hot press with graphite:

Phase One, Graphite, 2015
Phase Two, Graphite, 2015

2. Throw on some veils of watercolor washes, building up the values to the right degree, then block in the flesh tones and richer values, colors with acrylic and colored pencil:

Phase Three, Graphite, Watercolor, Acrylic, Colored Pencil, 2015

{And I realize I'm jumping ahead here, conveniently}
3. Whittle away, through the ugly phases, into the tightening up and the final details, until it's done...To gloss over the sweaty, hard work nicely:

"Bean Sídhe" - Banshee - Final Art, Mixed Media, 5x7", 2015
The bean sídhe's detail shot, wailing, 2015
5. Find the right frame! {An understated challenge at times, but not this time, happily}

Framed, In the Studio, Now Available for Purchase, 2015
Framed, In the Studio, 2015
"Bean Sídhe" - Banshee - will be available for purchase in the premier Artists' Open Studio Auction by Strange Dreams Surreal Art Collective this Sunday, November 1st through 7th - so the first week of the month.

*Follow my social media for release of availability and open auction information!

**Find me and regular information on my Facebook Page HERE

And as always, contact me directly HERE - or please comment below! - for any questions, comments, or work interest.

30 October 2015

"Scrap Sneaks" - Artists' Evening Figure Drawing

I've started in with another tight little group of artists in my area for an evening live model figure drawing session, and this past Thursday, as a short break from my all day work on a Halloween-themed piece, I did this:

Model Stephanie, Reclining pose, Graphite and wash in 5x5" sketchbook, 2015

Our excellent model composed the pose herself, and our small group of four dove in to a twenty minute segments accompanied by stellar music and some pleasant banter.

Anyone familiar with Spheres by Daniel Hope? It's good stuff to draw to, I highly recommend blasting it while you work.

I intended to do a quick gesture study of the pose across the centerfold here, in the sketchbook shown above, then move on to a tighter drawing on a loose horizontal sheet of hot press watercolor paper, but I found I enjoyed the start I got with the first attempt, so I just kept along with that one. A few twenty minute segments later, time flying by, and this is what I had for the evening.

Detail, Stephanie, left, Graphite, Wash, 2015
Detail, Stephanie, right, Graphite, Wash (Fishburn...not), 2015

I actually took it home and added the wash color later.

An altogether delightful way to relax and change up the inner gears. I'm looking forward to next time!

In the meantime, back to that newly finished painting, and posting it, and continuing on that other freshly started painting...


17 October 2015

At the Artists' Cooperative - Themed Life Study Session "Huntress of Cameroon"

When schedules allow, I enjoy the creative camaraderie of our local artists' group co-op and the themed sessions held there, not to mention the inspiring model reference available to work from.

This month we've managed to schedule in the well-suited Hawa Lassanah for a "Huntress of Cameroon" staged and costumed pose.

Unfortunately for time, I was at my own gig, modeling for the school's figure drawing class down the street, so once work was taken care of, I had only the tail end of the day to drop by and join in with everyone else!

It was worth it.

Much needed conversation and critique aside for other work, I got to explore the subject matter in a sketch that evolved in my little book over the course of a few twenty-minute segments. I also came away with full on reference shots for future work with the pose, as it can happen.

Here's an example of the day:

Graphite sketch, evolving drawing, Model Hawa Lassanah, Lancaster PA, 2015
Model Hawa Lassanah, Sample Reference Photo, 2015
Thank you to the Fulton Street Art's Cooperative in downtown Lancaster, PA, for another great gathering and group experience.

For however short or long a time can be managed, it is always wonderful seeing old and new friends, talking shop, and sharing in those supportive exchanges.

More material to be safely stored and picked at, as things allow!

*Next on the Art Dispatch - Process scrap sneaks of the seasonally themed latest painting!


09 October 2015

"Scrap Sneaks" - The Infinity Tree

In the middle of chipping away at the involving, consuming, slightly perplexing concept for an upcoming painting aiming at a conference cross country (more to come on that), I felt a tug in a playful segue, and started sketching down a fat tree trunk in my sketchbook...

I was working off of the serendipitous key words, "Yggdrasil", and "tree bridge".

I know, it sounds random. But anything rooted in mythos is fuel, for me...pun intended.

*On a side note, I've been gently annoyed with myself for the past several months at how much I do not have trees in my developing new work, or much in my old work, either. I'd like to remedy that gross oversight, on my part, by factoring in the very inspiring, diverse, and important icon of the tree into what is coming. So it felt freeing and very much heading in the right direction to lay down marks reminiscent of tree anatomy again.

The following evolved swiftly, with little formula, and through a few light layers of mixed media - I've got graphite (my favorite), colored pencil, matte medium, acrylic paint, and gold leaf, here.

This might be a more clear vantage point - 2015

Working title jotted at the top, I intend for a larger, more mature and evolved direction for this idea, but I simply wanted to get the idea down in an experimental fashion before I mused on the future applications of the concept.

Sometimes it can be drastically dangerous to young ideas to think on them too long. It may be an obvious thing to say, to write down so definitely here, but I wouldn't be surprised if we all needed such simple reminders on a regular basis.
For my part, I can overanalyze before I put enough work into a piece, and I'm actively, consciously working on amending that for myself.

It's going well!

Back to the sketch - I found myself, in the fluid process of drawing on the page, working in an infinity figure eight into the trunk of the tree as gently as possible, while trying to maintain a plausible growth direction for the limbs, and such.

Merging water and the ether sky, this vertical "bridge" is a concept I'm going to be revisiting again, as other projects allow.


05 October 2015

"Currently In Show" - 'In His Hands' "Handed" An Award!

This October is currently featuring "In His Hands" as part of a juried collection for the Susquehanna Orchid Society's exhibition, and this past opening reception weekend, the 1st through the 4th, was a bustling installation, judging, awards, and public reveal for First Friday and Lancaster Art Walk!

I had such a delightful time joining with my fellow exhibitors and honored artists, a few quality art friends of mine amongst the lovely batch.

The event has been put together by the jury from Mount Gretna School of Art and by the Susquehanna Orchid Society, and hosted at the Ware Center in downtown, aided by the impeccable Lancaster Galleries.

Categories for the submitting artists include "Works On Paper", "Paintings", and "Photography".

I was honored with the First Place winning for 'Works On Paper' category!

"In His Hands" is available and on display at The Ware Center through the month of October, 2015 - Stop by if you're in the area and enjoy the full exhibit in person, at your leisure!

Art Prints are available through my website store HERE

And as always, with additional requests, questions, or comments, please contact me directly HERE

Enjoy and happy Autumn!