Monday, May 18, 2015

Arches Oil Paper

I finally got around to experimenting with a pad of Arches Oil Paper purchased a while ago. There are 12 sheets sized 12" x 16" in the pad I bought. The texture is very similar to cold press watercolor paper. The weight is 140# and much more pliable than the gessoed or matte medium sealed WC paper I've used in the past.

 I started sketching on a very small piece. The paper texture grabs the graphite nicely, plus it erases fairly well too. I decided to use the pencil as the underpainting for the piece.
After finishing the drawing, I mixed together raw sienna acrylic with matte medium to sealed the graphite. Up to this point, with exception to taping the border, I hadn't taped the paper down to a board. It buckled considerably after applying the acrylic mixture so I stapled and taped in on my Incredible Art Board and waited to see if it would flatten out. It eventually did but I will say, it took longer than watercolor paper. 

I slowly started building up layers of oil glaze, Establishing my darkest areas first.The paper is very absorbent, even with the acrylic medium. The more layers I applied, the more I liked the surface.

As I worked the opaque warm white into the glaze on her skin, the paper took on a soft, fabric like feel. I continued to apply glazes on the scarf to darken it. I use Daniel Smith's painting medium to help dry the layers more quickly.

"The Girl with a Curl"
10" x 10"

Here is the final painting. It sold rather quickly on Everyday Originals, which is so thrilling. I will try the oil paper again but I don't think it will replace my preferred surface, gessoed panel.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Women of Wonder

I think I can share this now since the book is posted for pre-order all over the internet. Last year, I was contacted by Cathy Fenner to participate in a book she planned to edit this spring, entitled Women of Wonder. It highlights the female illustrators in the fantasy art genre. It is such an incredible honor to be included in this book...there are no words. In fact, I won't believe it until I see myself in print (I'll share which illustration is included later). It comes out next month (May 19th) and will be available at Spectrum Live. Today, shared the introduction, written by Lauren Panepinto, as well as some of the artist pages. It states on the cover that it's a celebration of women creators of fantasy art and truly, as a female artist, it's something to joyously acknowledge. Back in 2007, when I first made it into Spectrum 14, there were a mere dozen women included in the whole annual. I don't know what the current ratio is exactly, but this year's publication award nominees alone, list 13 women (some have been nominated twice, but you get my meaning I hope). Yahoo! Girl Power!
Here's the awesome cover by Chie Yoshii .

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I'm Still Alive's everyone been? Yikes! I fell off the earth there, didn't I? Well, I'm back and the Astro Calendar for Llewellyn Worldwide is completed. I'm satisfied with most of the paintings; some...not so much. Several other happenings have occurred as well. Rather than go into any lengthy explanation I'll just document some of the highlights.

First, here are a few of the completed zodiac signs. The calendar will be available in 2016. It was a learning experience for sure.



In November, fellow Utah artist Greg Newbold invited me to participate in the "Lost in Fantasy" art show at the Pioneer Theatre Loge Gallery. It was my first experience of the kind and was so honored to hang with the other wonderful artists, including James Christensen. We could display both prints and originals. Out of 7 pieces, 5 sold. Very surprised and pleased.
Pluck, Defender of Daffodils
One of the originals that sold.

I was both amazed and honored to be selected for inclusion in this year's Spectrum 22. The piece that got in is Aquarius from the calendar.

I've also sold a few originals.


This was a difficult piece to let go due to it's personal nature, but she went to a wonderful collector who has purchased other pieces for his wife.

Back in November, I was invited to participate in Every Day Originals, a brain child of Marc Scheff and Lauren Panepinto. Basically, it's an online gallery that daily posts small originals priced $500 or less. You have a specific day to post your original every month. I've sold 4 so far. It's also provided motivation to experiment on personal pieces. Here's the most recent painting to sell.


In June I will be heading to IMC once more. It's been 4 years since I attended. They have added a group that explores taking one's illustrations into the gallery genre. Brad Kunkle will be the guest artist. Very excited/scared to attend.

I hope this hasn't sounded like one brag after another. I've suffered set backs as well, mainly due to my lack of confidence and skill. Makes me want to push through these short comings and work, work, work. It's always a struggle to balance family and art. I have such admiration for the young women who brave motherhood and work on their art careers. I wasn't able to but that was my journey. Energy only goes so far. I am so grateful to have the support from friends and family now. It's been an incredible adventure...the good and the bad. 

And now, I end this blog post with the best news. Grandchild # 19 was born last month.

9# 6 oz.
He is one of those "surprises", It's been 10 years since my 40 year old daughter's last baby. Lots of arms to hold him. Such a blessing to live close by and be able to witness and help during his birth and watch him grow.

Life is good.
Bye for now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Calendar Progress

I've been holed up in my studio for about a month working away on these two commissions. I can share the calendar, but not the other. Here is the finished Aquarius piece. I ended up changing the head so that she would engage the viewer more.

Here is where I am on the calendar's cover. Watercolor wash has been put down. It's been sealed with Acrylic Matte medium and then proceed with oils...
...and finish by MONDAY!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Astro Cal Progress

Continuing with the calendar- met my deadline for another interior thumbnail and the cover concept. Rather than simply stick the 12 zodiacs randomly in the scene, I tried to "step into the picture" and make a story. This is what I came up with. Aries lights the way next to the Leo masthead, Gemini twins do the paddling, Sagittarius has her bow ready next to Virgo (sheaves of wheat), Taurus blows a bull's horn to signal their approach next to Libra on the banner, Capricorn plays with Pisces while Aquarius (the swan) and Cancer (crab) look on. The herons flying in the background are for Scorpio but they asked me to also include a scorpion on the banks. I asked if I could do a stencil of it on the boat instead and they said yes.

Here is Aries which has received the okay. That's dogwood in her hair with Mars in the background. The symbol with be in her earrings.

 I also redesigned the swan for Aquarius and changed a few things for a redo. It's ready for oil glazes.

Now I have a month to finish all three. Yikes!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Age of Aquarius II and Fantasy Con

Here's a progress shot of Aquarius. Probably one more pass with the oils and I'll call it finished. 

Detail from The Fellowship of the Ring- Descent from Caradhras 

I was able to attend one day of Fantasy Con here in Salt Lake City. It was the first time coming here but after the continued success of Comic Con's debut here in 2013, I believe there will be a future for these events in my area. Fantasy Con was held the weekend of the 4th of July which might have hindered the attendance some. I had offered to help Donato Giancola when I saw he was one of the guest artists on the website. He took me up on the offer so on the 3rd, I headed down and helped him set up and watched his booth when he attended panels. Howard Lyon, Justin and Annie Stegg, Heather Theuer, and Steve Argyle were there as well as others I was less familiar with. The picture above is a detail shot of Donato's largest painting to date. Measuring 6' x 10', it captured everyone's attention.

 Lots of LOTR and plenty of families that truly embraced the Middle Earth spirit. 

Donato's Booth

 This last picture is so geeky/Ringer funny. Here's Eowyn, Arwen, and Galadriel viewing Donato's Middle Earth Art book in front of his huge painting. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Age of Aquarius

As stated in the previous post, I'm doing an Astrology Calendar for Llewellyn Worldwide. They gave me permission to post on my blog about the progress. I sent in the two sketches and they selected this one. I finished the sketch and am now playing with some textures and colors in Photoshop.