Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Loon

"Loon"
16 x 20 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas
image continues on 1-1/2 inch sides
Email me if interested in this piece

I love loons! They are the most welcomed bird at the lake every spring. They arrive before the crowds of summer people do. Their call is undeniably unique, usually in the early mornings when the lake is calm - when you hear it, you know you've heard a loon!

A link to hear one

I spent quite a bit of time on this one, doing wash after wash on the background but also on the bird's wings. I love how this turned out.

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The link below will bring you to some wonderful music - it's called Loon Summer. I listen to this often when I am painting, in fact, I listed to it exclusively when I painted this! It starts & no matter where I am, I get transported back to the lake. The lake is my happy place!

Enjoy!!






 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Stately Home

"Stately House"
10x20 acrylic on stretched canvas
commissioned piece - NFS

I realized this evening that I've been long overdue with posting new work on my blog as well as on my FB page. Art fans, please forgive me - it has been a hectic 2017 (so far)! I have been painting some commissioned pieces, and I am going to see if I can catch up with my posts over the next few days.

This home is in New Jersey and was a recent commission piece. It is a unique, historic sandstone home and I have to admit, I was quite nervous at first on how I would paint it. All that stone, and texture on the roof, the numerous windows, roof peaks - ai yi yi! But I started with the sky, then worked each "piece" of the puzzle, one by one. The chimneys, the roof (or should I say roofs?), the eaves were next with their numerous points & shadows. Then it was time to start the windows - again, one by one. 

It always amazes me that what I think will be "easy" ultimately gives me the most challenge. I've done countless windows, but these - getting the symmetry correct, the centered position on some, the rounded tops on some. Even the front door! All a challenge. But I continued, section by section, piece by piece.

Once all the doors and windows were in, I sat frozen. Because next was the sandstone!!! One evening I spent time with my see-through ruler, drawing lines. Many lines, many different shapes & sizes -- all to represent the "stones" as I thought I saw them in the supplied photos. Here's a photo of that stage - and If you notice, the bottom right windows were not painted in yet. I was having a devil of a time getting them  positioned correctly! 


One the sketching was done, the painting sat & waited for me to finally pick up a brush & start working on the stones. Again, section by section:


Eventually, I had all the stones, and all the windows - last I added the front stairs & shrubbery. It was done but I wasn't quite satisfied with it. So I walked past it for a few days, stopping to look then kept walking. What was missing? Then I suddenly realized it needed better shadows, better darks & lights. 


I worked the shadows over the course of 1 week, tweaking here & there until I was satisfied. When I sent an image of the painting to the buyer, they pointed out that there was a bit of the building missing on the left side (it was lost in dark shadows in the supplied photos). My heart sank at the thought of this painting being wrong & rejected! 

But nothing is permanent to an artist, and with a bit of work on both sides of the painting, the building & it's sides were in place and the whole image was in balance. 


The painting will be delivered to it's now owner next week, he is quite happy with the outcome. 

So am I!





Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Never Accept Defeat!!


Do you remember this piece? The Hedgerow, one of my larger pieces, was entered (and later declined) from 2 shows. I actually felt bad for the piece - in my heart, I just knew it was a good painting.

Well, 3rd time is the charm. It was accepted in to the Fulton-Montgomery Art Show in upstate NY, which is held this year at the Paul Nigra Art Center. 

And I'm thrilled to say it won Best In Show/First Place - all media!! 

I knew, I just knew, the painting would get noticed! So glad it has gotten the recognition I always felt it deserved.

So my blog title on this ..... "never accept defeat" quite simply means that life may dish out defeat to you, but you have the option to accept it ...... or not! So glad I did not stop after 2 rejects! :)


Monday, May 1, 2017

DailyPaintworks contest

Back in March, I had a sudden impulse & entered my painting "Strings" into the DPW monthly contest. The contest is judged each month by a different artist - with 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners receiving a money award. In addition, the judge also picks a group of artists who win the "judges pick" - which gives them a month free membership plus a month being a featured artist.

"Strings" - March DPW Judges pick winner
This is sold but contact me if you'd like something similar done.
Featured artists on DPW have their work displayed at the top of the daily "what's new" page, as well as in the email blast they put out daily. Featured artists are usually established artists with sales & followings. So being a judge's pick moves your work up in the list!

 I have entered their contests previously but had never won anything. It is only $10 to enter, and each month there are, on average, around 100 entries.

I am very happy to say that "Strings" was a judges pick! And I was a "featured" artist for the month of April. But to enjoy this featured status, I needed to have a painting that was considered "new" each day of the month. Once I received the email that I would be a featured artist I went through my work that was still available & on DPW, and set their "view" dates. I selected roughly 28 paintings & had each one "new" on the next consecutive day. I also set their auctions to match so that each day, a new painting would be on display on the face page as well as had an auction on it.

I am even happier to say that I sold 6 paintings last month, and I believe it had to do with being a Featured artist. Online sales in 2017 started off very, very slow - perhaps the slowest I had ever seen. I kept doing commission work, but the online sales seemed to diminish rapidly from the volume last year. So imagine my surprise at selling 6 paintings in 1 month suddenly! I am thrilled (not to mention I can buy more art supplies!!!!)

I did not enter the DPW contest for April - I just did not have enough "new" work to display had I won a featured artist spot again. But once I have inventory again I will definitely enter the contests again.

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Artists Note: I read some suggestions on what to do with art that doesn't sell, and one artist suggested to ask your viewers - your followers - what they didn't like on some of those pieces. I like that idea of feedback - not the artists critique necessarily, but what did the art viewer think & why they wouldn't purchase it. I will be setting that up here on the blog, but also on my Facebook page - and asking for feedback! What a great idea!


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