This is by far the biggest monetary award I have earned. In addition, my painting was hung in a primo spot, next to the works of well established and much more successful artists! Considering a few years ago, one of my best animal portraits ever, was hung as an after thought over a thermostat, where no-one could find it, I have now experienced the best and the worst. It was a huge honor to be recognized. And it came at a time when I most needed the boost. It isn’t always about the money, but in this case, I can now afford a new point and shoot camera with both wide angle and telephoto lens. Many thanks OVAL, http://www.ohiovalleyart.org/exhibits-events/ky-national-wildlife-exhibit/ for including me in your exhibition!
Alan Woollett workshop: Speke’s WeaverRead More
Summer Fox, Harpswell MERead More
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.
When I was a small child visiting my grandparents at their seaside cottage, I spent many happy hours exploring the rocks that reached like fingers into the ocean. Those rocks held cupped in their crevices, the coming and goings of magical things. See the Hermit Crab dragging its stolen home, bumping and scraping across the rock floor, while glinting black mussels, periwinkles and barnacles occupy their own rock real-estate. A flash of movement as a baby crab with antenna eyes darts sideways to hide in a clump of seaweed. Shadows play and water sparkles as waterbugs and dragon flies skitter across the surface. I have never lost my my fascination for these places. Have you ever walked along a Maine shore line to see millions of periwinkles piled up along the tide mark? Periwinkle Pileup is a "child's" closeup view, its diminutive size only 4.5"X 9.25" It is painted with Prismacolor, Luminance, Derwent and Soho colored pencils with the occasional brush of spirits on linen mat.
As I'm doing my usual Friday morning catch-up, it occurs to me that you might be interested in knowing a few things about me. You see me posting my art work fairly regularly on Facebook and my Pepper Portraits blog, but did you know that besides being a completely committed artist, I hold two part time jobs? Winning a few awards and getting published, does not guarantee a regular pay check. Nope, I go months sometimes without a sale. I'm married to a wonderful guy who pays most of the bills, but by no means makes enough money for me to do art 24-7. I have to at least cover groceries and vet bills, which with 2 older dogs and three cats, adds up, believe you me! So I continue to work as a vet assistant in a small animal veterinary practice. I've been working with vets since 2011- started in my 40's and still doing doggy yoga as I near 60. I feel like a thirty year old with no time to get old! My other job is a gallery portrait artist- picture framer -Girl Friday for a lovely little gallery, in a haunted brick building, in the small river town of Milford Ohio. There I teach portrait classes, frame picture, assist hanging shows and whatever else they might need of me.
12x20"Light fast colored pencil on linen mat board. This piece is created for an exhibition honoring the newly renovated Stonelick Covered Bridge in Clermont County Oh. The references are mine, taken while hiking both sides of the river on a lovely spring morning. I found the shadows and multicolored reflections in the river fantasy-like, the carmine red bridge playfully reflecting itself in the stream. Pure Walt Disney! Using Mineral spirit to spread color and layer values, I used q-tips, cotton balls and an old paint brush. To add detail and sharp contrast, I broke so many pencil points on the textured surface with my tick marks and fine line work, my studio looked like a colored pencil massacre. I often choose linen mat board as my surface because it allows me to add layer upon layer, much like an oil painting, starting with darks and ending with lights. Look closely and you will see the many colors used to build this river-scape.
Looking through reference material, I came across a series of photos taken in Cape May New Jersey and immediately thought "scale of justice." The scale is associated with Anubis. The idea of a guardian protector of the dead, who by weighing the heart, determined a soul worthy of Heaven or Hell, originated with the Egyptians and was later adopted by the Greeks, who named the God Anubis. In this image, two helmet-shaped, Horseshoe Crabs, deemed to be living fossils and estimated to be 450 million years old are held at arm's length by the beautiful yet indifferent young woman, who hides her slight amusement behind dark glasses. The white dress reminds us that our fate is yet to be determined.
Anubis is painted /drawn with Prismacolor pencil French Grays 10%-90%, black Verithin and some solvents. It measures roughly 39.5x 36". The photograph shows up blue at the bottom. This is some kind of reflection that I haven't figured out how to omit. Stay tuned.....