Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year-end Wrap-up

Per my tradition that I started a few years ago, I have constructed my Painting Quilt for 2014. This is simply creating a big square space and plugging in all the paintings from the year into one spot. It's a nice way to see what I have completed in a year's time, not to mention to be able to see some growth.

It might look like a lot to some, but I fear it's actually far below what I had hoped for this year. Oh, and I realize it's got this one in it that I forgot to mention that I finally finished by request right before Christmas:

Eye Spy, 9x12 chalk pastel on pastel paper. Original sold, prints available.

This and the little dwarf with the spoons represents my experimentation with chalk pastels. Chalk was something I did a lot with in high school, but not professionally. I'm not sure where I'm going to go with this medium, or if I'm going to abandon it. I imagine I'll work a bit more with it here and there, likely for the auction groups I work with on Facebook now and again.

Looking at my quilt, I can honestly say that I didn't complete anywhere near what I had set out to do. I looked up my post for last year and my big plan was to work on more large and in-depth paintings. I had such plans! ARGH! Instead, while I did finish the Queen of Hearts, as far as any large and in-depth paintings... I didn't do anything else. I'm pretty disappointed in myself on that level.

However, what I do see in my quilt, beyond experimenting with pastels, is a foray into digital art (bottom left corner) that I had been tiptoeing around for a long time. I had been thinking a lot about buying a real tablet (like a Cintiq) and trying my hand at digital art. To test out how I would do with that, I bought myself a Waccom pen for my ipad and the Art Studio app, which works a lot like photoshop. Those digital paintings resulted in a few that I really ended up loving like this one:

"Star Gazing" prints available

But I also realized that dropping major money on a high end tablet for digital art just isn't for me. I know that digital art always looks crisper on merchandise, and I'll probably create a few a year just for fun (and probably all having a bunny, rabbit, or bumblebee in them), but that I don't need to invest money in a big-time piece of equipment. The main reason is that I'm simply an artist who likes to get her hands dirty.

I like being able to see what I can create digitally, but I'm not drawn to it like I am a rack of paint on the wall and a stack of canvases. There's something about having the actual material beneath my fingers that I just need. So, I'll create my silly and fun digital work here and there (especially if I'm traveling or stuck somewhere), but my main focus will still be traditional work. I think realizing that about the digital artwork was a big accomplishment for 2014. It ticked one of those major questions off my artist bucket-list.

What I also see is a resurgence in my surreal side. I initially started professionally selling as a surreal and abstract artist, and then I kind of abandoned it for the fairy tale work. I realized a while ago that I need both, and I have begun to embrace that whole-heartedly. One of my very favorite paintings from 2014 is this one:

"Sail Away" 8x10 acrylic on canvas (original and prints available)

I had long been dreaming about a figure series where the character brings night with her. Honestly, I think I have been dreaming about this series since I was in high school. Finally, it just bubbled to the surface for a prompt, and I've completed two this year (the other being the black and white "Forward" painting.) Those two are the tiniest tip of the iceberg for me, and there will be many (MANY) more coming.

Looking forward to 2015 I see (and hope and plan):

  • The Nyx series (night bringer) in both acrylic and oils
  • Finishing out Alice if I can, I've been commissioned do many more paintings including the White Queen and Queen Alice which I am already started on and will be sharing that shortly. These are exclusively acrylic
  • Red Riding Hood (and possibly others), and a return to oils
  • A few more minis here and there because they're fun, in acrylic, watercolor, and possibly oils - but trying to not get sucked into them and have them take away from the larger pieces
  • An Alice in Wonderland Calendar, and possibly a surreal one for 2016
  • Creating a yearly Christmas painting that I offer as Christmas cards, as I did this year
I think if by the time I am putting together next year's quilt, I have less work but more in-depth pieces, I will be satisfied with that. So, here's to a very illuminating 2014, and I hope a more satisfying 2015!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas? I did; my family together. That's always enough for me!

Last night, before the cinnamon rolls were even done.
Notice the lack of flour all over my hair and face. 

I didn't realize how long it has been since I have posted! I didn't even show my finished Stocking Stuffers painting, much less all the little holiday minis I recently completed! I guess I've just been nose-to-the-grindstone and not really doing much else!

So, on this Christmas morning, with wrapping paper strewn throughout the house (seriously, it's driving me insane! I've picked up and it keeps multiplying!) children on sugar highs (and lows) and pets zonked out on a few of their favorite things... here is what I was up to in the past month!

First, I DID finish my holiday painting for 2014, and made Christmas cards out of it and filled orders. I plan on creating a holiday painting every year and doing that. I going to have 2015's finished by September though!

"Stocking Stuffers" 8x10 acrylic on canvas, sold (prints available)

Then there were the holiday minis I got going on. Basically, this is brain candy for an artist. I LOVE doing these little holiday fun ones!

"Candy King" 2x4 inches acrylic on canvas, sold

"Cardinal" 2x2 inches acrylic on canvas, sold

"Mistletoe Bunnies" 3x6 inches acrylic on canvas, sold

"Snowman" 2x2 inches acrylic on canvas, sold

"baby penguin" 2x2 inches acrylic on canvas, sold

"Candy Cane Dragon" 3x3 inches acrylic on canvas, sold

"Little Light" 2x2 inches acrylic on canvas, available

"O'Christmas Tree" 3x3 acrylic on canvas, available

"Gracie" 3x3 inches acrylic on canvas, available
You know what's neat? Knowing that some of my work is under the tree for someone. That makes me all warm and fuzzy!

In addition to working like crazy and trying to balance out the holidays, I also invested (finally) in an expensive art printer so I can make my own prints. And let me tell you, it's fabulous! I love how crisp and vibrant the prints are. Plus, this sets me free from the print service - for many reasons, this is a welcome change!

It's time to start thinking about how to structure 2015 to make it successful. More on that will be coming, as I promise to post for New Years. Until then, though, I must get my website finished! AND THIS HOUSE CLEANED!

Is there a Christmas cleaning fairy I should wish on a pile of ribbon for? No? I should probably get the vacuum out then...