Something New

Every once in a while you need to mix it up. A different support, different medium, different approach, all of it , whether the outcome is successful or not, is how an artist grows.

This piece is from a reference photo I shot in Pensacola Florida one morning. The sun was barely up and I was walking in my Mom’s neighborhood along the Bay. I saw Osprey, Pelicans, an Egret and this beautiful Great Blue Heron- well worth putting my sneakers on before my eyes were completely open. Turns out, it was my last time walking on this stretch along the Bay. My Mom has passed and her house sold.

I may have a terrible memory for many things, but I know my reference material. So, when a Raven piece that had been slated for an exhibit this fall unexpectedly sold and needed to be replaced, I thought of the heron photos. I was out of my go-to support, Crescent 100% rag 4 ply mat board, but had a drawer full of watercolor paper. Why not mix it up? I had always wanted to use watercolor with colored pencil. Here is the result: Night Fishing, 10 x20” watercolor and oil colored pencils on watercolor paper.

Night Fishing 4skb.jpg

A path towards recognition

Most people don't have a clue about how an artist becomes known. One important way is to compete in juried shows. It costs money, takes commitment and teaches one to grow a thick skin, while emptying the bank account. Since January, I have submitted to four juried exhibitions, while preparing for at least two exhibitions, to which I have already been invited. The first result will be posted tomorrow. 

After paying the exhibition submission fees that fund these shows, (anywhere from 25.00 to 175.00) and if I am accepted, I will be responsible for framing the art to the exhibition specs, insuring the art, packing and sending, as well as paying for the return shipping and cartage fee. Sometimes there are additional printers fees for an exhibit catalog. And I've recently used a professional photographer to get decent photos of my larger works.

If I win a prize or sell the original piece, great! If I sell some giclees of the original, awesome! But the main reason I do it, is to grow my reputation and my ability. The more invites, the higher the bar and of course, my work increases in value. I have been doing this seriously since 2010. Let's see what 2019 brings. Wish me luck!! 

PS. In case you're wondering why 'CPSA' follows the signature on my current artwork, it is because I am a 'Signature Member of The Colored Pencil Society of America’. I earned this by being accepted into three CPSA International Exhibitions within 10 years.  
https://www.cpsa.org

I am also an Associate Member of Society of Animal Artists. My portfolio was reviewed by a jury and accepted into this international society of animal artists.
https://www.societyofanimalartists.com

Finally, I am a member of Masterworks for Nature, a local to Cincinnati group of esteemed wild life artists, including John Ruthven. I was sponsored and eventually invited into this amazing group.
http://www.masterworksfornature.com

Home Grown

Home Grown

Marley

I recently started to teach Pet Portraits in Colored Pencil to the brave souls that also took my Pet Portraits in Graphite class.  This is my sample.  The photo reference is from a series taken while working on a commission.  The Border Collie Marley was particularly photogenic.  This piece is 9x11"various light fast colored pencil with solvents on Rag Mat Board.  I used many of my tricks on this.

Stonelick Covered Bridge commission is completed

Stonelick Covered Bridge in Clermont County OH is an icon for many. Recently restored, it is a beauty!  I spent hours trudging around the bridge, bushwhacking through the waist high scrub, scrambling from rock to rock in the creek-bed and shooting photos from every angle, at different times of the day, over a period of a month.  The reference photo used for this piece was taken at 5:00 on a fall afternoon. The sun washed bridge vs. deep shadows cast by the trees as the sun descended, made it interesting as well as a challenge.  My client is a covered bridge enthusiast, so every detail, down to the numbered sign, is meticulously rendered. The original measures 20x30" and was painted with various brands of lightfast colored pencils on rag matboard. Fine Art Giclees are available for sale. Contact me for details.

Sink or Swim

Here is Preston the Welsh Corgi, 12x14" colored pencil on linen, my reference photos.  This was a custom portrait created for the best of clients who expressly encouraged  me to paint whatever made me happy; thus the unusual angle and wet fur. The client, myself and her two dogs, spent hours walking and photographing at two different locations, until I had many beautiful reference shots from which to choose. My art needs a story and Preston provided one when he unexpectedly  followed his housemate, a Labrador Retriever, straight into the river. Corgis are all chest and no legs. Preston had never been beyond wading. He sank like a stone, then bobbed to the surface. The swimming technique, newly minted, added to the hilarity of  Preston's alarmed expression, but he arrived safely to the water's edge soaking wet and disgruntled.

I'm Having way too much fun!

You know,  this is the most fun I've had in months!  And the most interesting part is it is a custom portrait, not something I'm doing for myself or a competition.  This is a WIP of Preston, a very wet Welsh Corgi that just discovered that water can swallow you whole. During the photo shoot we took a stroll along the bank of The Little Miami, East Fork Branch. Preston followed his Labrador Retriever housemate straight into the river without a thought.  He'd never been in water over his head. He sank like a stone, then bobbed up with an expression of pure shock! Pres isn't entirely sure water is to be trusted ever again!  This piece will eventually be 12x14" Painted on lovely blue linen mat with CARAN d"ACHE Luminance, PRISMACOLOR and DERWENT COLOURsoft pencils.