May 18, 2011

I am..

...a daughter of the King

My current Work in Progress is one of great scale and testimony to myself. With the state fair right around the corner (work due June 17th) I knew I wanted to do something "special" just for it.

I knew:
-I wanted it to be larger than 8x10
-I wanted to show more play in watercolor
-I wanted it to be fantasy oriented
-I wanted it to be a self reflection of some sort
    I spent a day going through photographs and concept phrases. What am I going to paint?!

    The phrase "I am Eve" was my starting point. I am of Eve, she was the first woman, and I come from her. I am also fallen like she is. So I had to find an image that said "I am Eve". Once I found it, I sketched out my concept.

    Concept Sketch "Daughter of the King"

    As I sketched her out, the title changed. Although I am of Eve, that wasn't what was most important. That isn't the point. And that certainly isn't the end of the story as to who I am! The Spirit said I am more than that, I am more precious than just a daughter of Eve. 

    I am the daughter of the most high KING. I am a daughter of God. 

    I was ready to move onto the watercolor paper. A very scary task. I loved the sketch so much that I was actually afraid to go on, to try drawing the portrait again. I was also afraid her size would not be what I wanted or planned. The paper was 20x16, and I wanted most of it to be play with watercolor. Which meant she wasn't to be too large. I was also preparing to draw in colored pencil only, so erasing was minimal. 

    I started...worked so hard to make sure the emotion and spirit was there...that I didn't realize I drew her too big. :/ I prayed.

    I had two choices: let this drawing go and start again (which meant buying another $10 sheet of watercolor paper); or continue on and work with the challenge presented to me.

    I always teach my students to problem solve when their piece doesn't go as they planned. Here's a perfect opportunity to practice what I preach. I also believed God was working with me. 

    It was time to solve the background. I knew I wanted it to be loose, fun, and experimental. Garden like, and I had my colors already in mind. I used to squirt watercolor paint out of tubes onto large sheets of mat board then add water...allowing the paint to do what it wished. I wanted to do something similar but with a mature level of control and purpose.

    Once that was in place I had Brian come in to help me figure out the butterflies. He's awesome at composition and placement of objects!

    Background and butterflies solved.

    I traced my butterflies and began to add greens into the shadow areas of the skin. I wanted to switch my focus to the skin and face. One of my biggest inspirations of all time, and to this day, is Mucha. I wanted this piece to reflect how much his work inspires mine. So the face is pretty important, as Mucha would put much attention to it and not the rest of the skin of the body. Nor the values of the clothes.

    Everything is to a point where I can't determine what needs to be pushed or left alone until the hair is finished. The hair is a pretty loud part of the piece. Confident with the face, time for hours towards the hair, my style of course! :)

    This is where I am today. After working on the hair for a while I can now see that other areas of the piece need pushing. The fabric will be more navy as well as the tones in the skin. Stay tuned for more updates!

    P.S. "Where did the wings go?!" You ask...well...composition wise they didn't work since I ended up drawing her too large for the paper. Also, fairy wings for me denote "Earthly" or "Eve", but the change of title...although I am earthly and human, I wanted to emphasize the relationship to the King.

    May 10, 2011

    Love Birds Finished

    It takes two to tango.

    There is currently only one other set in all of my work that belong to one another as much as these two do. I am excited to see them finished and together.

     "Perched at Dawn" & "Perched at Dusk"
    { watercolor & colored pencil | 2011 }

    view sketches for paintings here!

    It's hot here in Des Moines, record high of over 90 degrees F. The studio is packed with humid air, so this post is short. I think I might take a nap till Brian get's home to pass the heat away.

    But I wanted to share and let you know...

    The limited edition, yes Limited Edition, prints of these two WILL be out THIS week. Keep your senses about you and look for them. ;)

    hint: check my facebook fan page:

    May 4, 2011

    The Vault

    There has been some talk about opening the vault.
    It's scary.
    It's old.
    It's saturated.
    It's outlined.
    It's purple.

    What's in the vault?
    { Right Image: "Lady of the Lake" }
    The vault means surfacing work from 2007 and back. There may be a piece here and there from those years still floating about on my etsy page or website, but those are rare. I've had several requests/comments to bring the old work back.

    Why open the vault now?
    In 2007/2008 I began to change my way of painting, which has been in constant change till about now. That's natural, I believe, but my past work personally doesn't do it for me. 

    I have adored the concepts, compositions, colors, etc. always, but relying on black lines is not something I teach. It was a way to make sure my lines showed up, and to clean up the pencil from sketching. The black lines were used as default, without any real purpose. I thank one of my college professors for pointing that out. And I took him seriously.

    I moved onto sepia pens, but that my opinion, restricted my work. 
    Placed up against my work today, there is a drastic difference in style. Tho you can tell it's still my work, I have moved away from the anime/Disney look to a more realistic. Maybe it's the challenge that I'm after, or that I want my work to be more high end fantasy. Not sure yet as to why the switch. 

    Where's the vault's work?
    { Left Image: "Truth" Limited Edition }

    So I have started to list the old work up on Etsy. You'll see it clearly up against my current work. It's saturated, deep in rich color, and the lines are heavy. For those of you who have followed my work for many years may remember some pieces, and wonder why some are listed and some are not. Please remember that not only did my style change, but my faith did also. This will affect my choices of what to list.