Saturday, December 8, 2012

An Irish Kick

With my husband in India (he comes back tomorrow, yay!), my daughter's friend and her mother came over for dinner on Thursday night to keep us company. We had a lovely dinner, with Reese's cheesecake...

Not bad looking, huh? This was my piece! Notice the bowl full of Christmas ornaments? My mother had a box full of plastic ones she was going to toss, and I just couldn't bear the thought. I brought them home and couldn't figure out what to do with them, so I dumped them into a bowl! I like it so much, I want to do it all over my house. That would be over-kill, of course... *ahem*
It was a nice night. Unfortunately, at about 2AM I woke up with the flu. For a while, I was worried I had food poisoning, but as I seem to be the only one affected, I'm going with flu. I'm fortunate that it's a fairly functional one, so I'm still able to operate (even if I did sleep most of yesterday.) Today I finally finished my Irish lass commission piece:

6x6 stretched canvas, acrylics
I think she came out pretty well! I used iridescent paints on her hair and the clovers (I can't seem to stay away from them. I just love the shiny stuff too much.) I was wondering how another figure in acrylics was going to go. While it went well, I still miss the smooth-mixed texture and appearance you can achieve with oils. Granted, I've always had a bit of a heavy hand when I paint... but even so, when it comes to people, I feel better about the results in oils. I just feel that they're deeper. Of course, this was on a small scale too, so likely the results would have been about the same. I'm pleased with her, regardless.

With that in mind, I am finally working on some Santas and the thing is that while I'd prefer to do them in oil, I'm so far behind this season that I there is no way they'd be dry in time to ship anywhere. Of course, on the other side of the argument, if it results in a piece I'm more satisfied with, then I should do that anyway. Maybe I'll do both. Test out how I want my Santa to look in the acrylics and really make a nice piece in oils when I'm ready. Really, I love the holidays, I ought to paint stuff year round when the mood takes me, and then I'd have dry stuff when the season rolls back around!

This conflict between acrylics and oils is going to be tough going forward with my Alice series, because I have one Alice painting started in oils. Bringing together the characters, if they've previously been done in one medium, they likely won't look the same in another... it might make the series appear visually disjointed a bit, do you think?

Now that this commission is done, and the others I have don't have the December deadline, I've decided to stake out my studio as a commission-free-zone and just work on what I want until January. I want to paint Santas, and I really want to work on my Snow Queen. She's been in my head for weeks now! She's going to be in watercolor (to start anyway) and I just can't wait to get started!

I did manage to get my Studio Newsletter out, even if I missed November. I'm working on trying to organize my Zazzle store (advice always welcome on that, because it seems like it would be easy and instead I feel like it's akin to doing advanced mathematics!) I'm also opening up a separate store with my photography on Zazzle. I figure, what the heck? Of course, then the migraine sets in with all the issues of trying to get it to work, just like I have with the first one. (I know, one would ask why I would open up a second, if the first is giving me fits? I don't have an answer. I'm as baffled as you are. *sigh*)

And that's where things sit on this drizzly, dreary Saturday! Oh, except I'm already working on sketching out the elephant I mentioned before. Alice needs an elephant!

I hope you are having a good weekend!


  1. Kyra, your acrylic looks amazing. I can wait until your start your elephant paintings. They will be magnificent, I know that.
    I could never work on commission. I so do not work well with that type of pressure, so I completely relate to having a commission-free-zone studio!

    1. Thank you! Oh the elephants! I need to get them going too! I used to take commissions and then pull my hair out over it. Then I stopped. Then I got to the point where as long as I make it very clear that this is my style, and that "artistic license" is something I take seriously, and they understand that, I found that taking them is OK again. :) At first people wanted something painted they imagined and that's what drove me out of it. Now people come to me for my style, so it makes the commission more of a partnership, and it works. :)

  2. Have you ever tried painting with acrylic first and then finish with oils? Gives a great effect! Here an artist who does it all the time. The site is not really suitable for children:

    1. I haven't, but I'll check into it. I know it cracks if done in reverse. New ways to play, thank you!

  3. I hope you're having a good weekend too ;o) I hope you are feeling better! Your commissioned piece turned out beautiful! I love it! Don't worry about painting Santa too late. I was having his conversation with a few other people. I say, paint what you feel. I really wasn't in the mood to paint "Christmasy" things this year, but I might be in the mood in January, so that's when I will do them ;o) I will just be early for next year ;o) LOL! Good luck with everything! Seems like you have a lot on the go ;o)

    1. Thank you! That makes me feel better. Santa may end up as a July guy, but hey! I also have to get a calendar put together so that next year I can actually sell one. So many people are disappointed I didn't get that done this year. Painting the holidays when I want for that gives me permission (if *cough* I needed it! *wink*)


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