It was an honor and joy to paint this portrait of Jelly Bean. She was commissioned by co-workers for Dee Ratcliff. Can you imagine you and your precious pet being so loved?
Here is a small part of Jelly's story as told by Dee: Her story, well I had lost my Boston Terrier who was my everything. After a year of being sad, my friends took me to a pet store. I have always been against this and wouldn't you know my dream dog was there! I still have guilt over buying a dog from a pet store! Ok, this is not about my guilt but about the girl that brought me back to life! Jelly did that! She made me excited to get up again. She was a total diva and commanded respect! I still had my English bulldog, Torre. She became Mama Torre, she loved Jelly! Jelly would fight her over toys and antagonize her because Jelly was the total alpha! Jelly was my perfect baby! ~ She was diagnosed with bone cancer and given 4-6 months. She lived for another year and a half! I know she did that for me. I lost my brother a few years back and didn't handle it well. My Jelly watched me not handle it well. I believe that is why she fought so hard to be here for me. Sadly, the cancer progressed. She put up such a fight but the cancer had obviously gotten into her brain. I knew I couldn't let her keep fighting. She became so lost and I couldn't watch her suffer. I cry thinking about that day, but I know she is in heaven with Geronimo and Mama Torre! It's not fair that our beloved pets can't live longer lives. ~ I was incredibly touched by your painting! I look at it and see my girl looking back!
Dee is a dog groomer and fellow artist. Dee's art has been on hold for awhile, but she has been inspired to begin again! Hurray for new beginnings! I look forward to seeing her creations! I'm thinking Jelly Bean would be happy about it as well!
After 7 years, I've decided to resurrect the art blog! I've not been far and have enjoyed viewing other artists' blogs. I've missed it! So, here we go! First up is Ralph, selfie style! A bit older than in his adventure with thefraternitydrink cozy.
My daughter Laura and her friend Anna did a lovely job with this value study "cubist" style. Incredibleart.org has some fantastic ideas for working with students of all ages. For the guidelines of this project and a host of others, check out their Hands in Art ideas here.
Meet Motya! Her portrait is part 2 of the birthday gift for my sister-in-law. Here is Moyta's story from Jon.
Motya - After Kuzya died, I really wasn't interested in getting another dog. I hit the Internet and studied canine health to help me understand why my best friend died. Sveta however, found a Golden Retriever Rescue and saw Motya, her name was Dolly at the time. We inquired but learned she had been adopted already. Sveta kept looking for a dog. Motya showed up again 2 months later. The family gave her back because she wasn't fun. Nobody wanted her and the Rescue was desperate to find her a home. We decided to foster her. On the 3rd day that we had her, she managed to slip out of her collar. She ran off during the coldest, snowy days of the winter. I tracked her for 9 days in the 5 miles of fields around Mom's home and eventually caught her in a live trap using deer meat. Since then, Motya never gets more than 100ft from us. Sveta recalls the moment Motya realized she was part of the family. Moyta looked up at us both, her tail went up and she changed to an open posture. :D
Motya is a princess. She needs her space. When we go to the dog park, she is ready to leave after about 10 minutes while a normal dog would never want to leave. Motya was abused the first 12 months of her life. She was adopted once and then returned because the family didn't think she behaved like they thought a dog should. It has taken a while for her to trust us. She doesn't approach strangers and will tolerate kids petting her only if I am there. She will give me that look, "Must I endure this?"
Motya has won 3 dog show beauty contests where we just showed up and entered the contest. No hours of preparation, no salons, no beauty contest training.
This sweet golden retriever is Kuzya. My brother has commissioned this painting for his lovely wife's birthday. Kuzya passed away 2 years ago and is greatly missed. Here is her story from my brother, Jon.
Kuzya - Sveta and I like to follow crowds sometimes. You just never know what you'll find. So we followed a crowd to the park near the Nebraska Humane Society. They had Golden Retrievers doing really advanced tricks. I was impressed. Then this guy came up to us and said the NHS had a Golden Retriever that was going to be destroyed because nobody wanted her. I begged Sveta to go look with me. There she was. 9 months old, skinny, very awkward and lanky. She was trying to get people's attention but nobody was interested. The family gave her up because they had a newborn baby and were afraid. The rest is kind of a blur to me. We took her home that day, she ran to every room upstairs downstairs, then came back to us at the door and sat on my foot. We were officially adopted. I had no intention of getting a dog that day.
Kuzya was our little girl in a fur coat. goofy and photogenic. Kuzya was our comforter, protector and entertainer. She always wanted to play. Kuzya had to be everywhere we were. She helped Sveta get through law school by staying awake while Sveta studied.
When she wanted to go for a walk she would bring us her leash. I taught Kuzya how to get her leash off the hook and carry it to me.
The last week of her life I carried her around the house and placed her next to me where ever I was. She barely had enough strength to hold her head up. I was carrying her through the kitchen and she raised her head and grabbed her leash. Sveta and I went to tears.
Kuzya loved the pool. She figured out how to use the raft.
Isn't this terrific? My daughter Laura created this collage for her art class. The rubric asked for the following: *Collage is clearly a portrait, still life, or landscape. *Collage exhibits Surrealism by using metamorphosis and/or combining realistic objects in an unrealistic way. *Objects and shapes are neatly and accurately cut. *There is a clear background and foreground. Images are organized into a clear
picture, not randomly placed. *Design is balanced. *Similar art elements are included to give the collage a sense of unity. *Differences in art elements are included to add interest to the collage. *Collage is neatly glued with no tears or peeling edges. *There are no stray marks.
She had so much fun doing this project! I had so much fun watching her enjoy the process! I'm pretty certain her teacher is going to love it! What do you think?
Another sweet girl to paint! This is on a small 4" x 4" canvas. I've got several I'm working on this week. Emma started out in acrylic, and I finished her in oils this morning. The photograph picks up the weave of the canvas, but in life, it's not as severe as it looks here.
Sometimes I paint the sides a dark color so they "float" on the wall. I wrapped the image just a bit on this one.
Yes, I have finally finished their portrait. The family has been so kind and patient with me. These girls are absolutely adorable! I know, I've said that before, but everything they do is cute! Everything they wear is cute! Every time I see them, I want to do another painting of them! Okay, I will not stalk these girls with my camera! To view this portrait in progressive steps, click here.
The purpose of the project is "To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again"
I have been tagged by my artist friend Azra Iqbal to list paintings in the following 7 categories.
Your most beautiful post
Your most popular post
Your most controversial post
Your most helpful post
A post whose success surprised you
A post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved
The post you are most proud of
So, here we go... My most beautiful post, in my opinion, and in the comments and emails sent is "That Dog." Sera was a joy to paint, and the story of her name was included in the post.
My most popular post, if you went by pageviews would be "Wild Violets." Hmmm, it's a cute little painting, however, I would never have thought it would be viewed by so many! It's my favorite little flower, but did you know that some folks spray poison to kill the sweet things in their yards?
I'm not sure that I have a most controversial painting, I'll work on that, but for now I'll go with "Fire and Ice". It caused some friction in the family over reflections in the vase, too many, too few, wrong colors, too tight... ah... family!
My most helpful post, and I take that to mean to other artists as well as to myself would be "Boogie Samantha." It's the first post to include in-progress photos.
The painting whose success surprised me the most would be "Black Eyed Susan." It's a little 4"x4" oil on wood. It's quite plain, but folks liked it.
The post I feel didn't get the attention it deserved is "Bands of Freedom." I loved painting our countries flag! I am proud to be an American!
The painting I am most proud of is not quite finished yet... it's "Those Cute Girls." Now that my kiddos are all settled in their classes, the daily routine is becoming, well, routine ~ so I'll be back in the studio soon!
Thanks for taking a look at my art! Thanks for the tag Azra!
Update~ The picture on the left is where I started today. The one on the right is where I had to stop. Looking at them side by side and having the work in front of me, I can see that there is a lighting problem. The skin tones of the girls are very similar, not as different as they seem in the photos. It could also be a light leak in my camera! I'm still working on the older sister.
The cute girls have been patiently waiting for me to get back to work. Those life things keep happening! So ~ I'll be working mostly on the girl in blue today. I may have to go visit the girls before putting down the final strokes.
As you can see, I've started filling in the background. I'm adjusting lights and shadows on the girls as more colors are introduced with the flowers.
This is where I am starting today!
I have received a couple of emails asking about time spent on a portrait. It depends on so many things: size, number of subjects, amount of detail. On this particular pastel, what you see above is 20 hours. I estimate at least another 10 before I'm ready for the client to view. Although ~ my clients are welcome to see the work at any time during the process.
I work in 30 minute "pomodoro" (my timer) segments. Actually, it's 25 min. then I back off for 5 minutes. This works well for me, because with pastels I stand at my easel, and when my timer goes off, I can move around a bit, mark my time, and wash the pastel off my hands. I find that this allows me to really focus on what I'm doing and it relieves me from the parental tendency to watch the clock. Also, my kids know that if the timer is a-tickin' ~ unless it's a 911 situation ~ don't interrupt!
I've added more layers to her face, hair and dress and I've started on the lace trim.
That's it for today. The lace is in, it needs a touch here and there. I've started putting some of the flowers in the background. I see that my Ottlite has cast a shadow across the board. I'll be more careful on the next round of photos.
I've started a new portrait of 2 lovely girls. I toned a sheet of Wallis sanded paper with Prismacolor olive green, brushed out with Gamblin odorless mineral spirits. It's a bit more even than what you see in this photo. Once it was dry, I used blue/violet to sketch the girls and a kneaded eraser to remove some pigment from areas that I want to keep light.
I used mostly Rembrandt pastels here. With pastels, I usually work from top to bottom, left to right, to minimize loose pastel falling on finished areas. Once the older girl is in, I'll start working in circles around the paper, adjusting, shading, and highlighting.
I didn't have much time in this sitting. Still using Rembrandt pastels.
I see a few things I need to adjust before moving on.
These girls are so cute, I find myself smiling through the entire painting time!
My son named this painting. His 20th birthday was yesterday and I didn't think the title "The Day After Jay's Birthday" would be appropriate. Cat and I took over 100 photos of American flags in different locations around our fair town. Although many were great photos, they weren't what I was looking for to paint. When Karen Werner posted "Old Glory 2", and then Dana Cooper posted "Stars and Stripes", I decided to follow their lead. I took the flag from our porch and leaned it against the wall in my studio and there was my painting!
Have a fun and safe Independence Day! Remember those that have served and those that are currently serving our country to secure and maintain our freedom!
This is Sarah. Her real name is Sera, short for Seraph, the single form of Seraphim. We adopted Sera, and Rubi (R.I.P.), short for Cherub, the single form of Cherubim, about 11 years ago. We chose those names as they imply the high ranking class of celestial beings that surround the throne of God. Seraphim, according to Christian angelic hierarchy, are the direct caretakers of God's throne, and sing "Holy, Holy, Holy..." 24/7 ! Cheribum, are described as "almighty and fearsome winged beasts and guardians of Eden." NOT the innocent childlike being that Renaissance artists would have you believe them to be. The sisters, Sera and Rubi, although not always "angels," have many crazy stories about their life with the family ~ Frazier. Sera is now retired (right Carol?), and enjoying her days as guardian of the ranch where my SIL keeps her horse. She is old, as you can see by her graying face, but seems to have endless energy. She is loved!