These days it seems like the projects I am most excited about are gifts for friends – which proves handy ’round the holiday season. Here’s one my man and I put together for a good friend, Scott (of Smitty’s Brew Review fame).
It’s an advent calendar with a craft beer for each of the 12 days of Craftmas. Who needs cheap chocolate or silly little toys when you can have craft beer?! We got the idea when we saw a commercially-produced advent calendar in the liquor store, but the beers inside couldn’t be vouched for and the price tag was well beyond us – plus making one is more fun! Husband picked the beers while I made the calendar.
Got to rock my Grandma skills, including my interest in knitting, as part of a recent commission from my sister. She wanted to thank her Grandma-in-law with a painting featuring Estonian flowers and traditional knitting patterns. I got to spend my prep and research time looking at pictures of Estonian mittens and knit patterns – could be worse! Here’s what I came up with…
It’s 10×10″ and done in watercolour. I took a botanical illustration course a few years ago, which came in very handy. Sis liked it, so I hope Grandma does too!
A little while ago, a former coworker contacted me with a painting commission. She commissioned a painting for her son when he was born three years ago, and now she’s got a little girl who deserves her own painting! She told me that she wanted something with a butterfly, done in watercolour. I gave a little peek at the finished piece in my last post.
Here’s what I initially brought her:
It wasn’t feeling quite right for her, so we discussed a few changes and this is the final version.
It got me thinking about what often seems like one of the biggest decisions with any artwork: when to stop. I tend to err on the side of less, but this isn’t necessarily the always the right thing for the piece.
Here’s a peek at the project that got me thinking about making a how-to…
All of a sudden, so much time has passed since my last post! I must admit, I was feeling pretty doom and gloom last week. Between the grim budget delivered by the Vancouver School Board and the inevitable low-points of making art, some poisonous post was probably best avoided anyhow.
Instead, I’m finally feeling game for sharing a new painting. I’ve been increasingly interested in local birds. I received a bird book last year and have really enjoyed putting a name to the birds I see and hear. Josh also brought home a bird feeder, so there’s been some amusing activity right outside our window. While wandering around our local library branch, I picked up the book Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds, by Trevor Herriot. Although the birds he describes are specific to a different, and dwindling, landscape, his enthusiasm for each bird as a representative of the spirit of the land is contagious.
So, yeah, I’m interested in birds. Enough blah, blah, blah. Here’s the painting…
It’s 30 x 30″ and I haven’t titled it yet. I’ve been interested in the depth and texture achieved through acrylic mediums and glazes, so the background gave me a chance to explore some interesting techniques. As I learn more about local birds, it was inevitable that I would begin to learn more about how human activity threatens many species. Among other things, I was thinking about the increasing toxicity of a bird’s environment. And so, the acid colours against the neutral and natural tones of the bird and it’s home.
I always love to hear what people think…
Apparently y’all are rockin the positive thoughts! I posted the last post, watched some inspirational art:21 and marched myself into the studio. Now the painting is finished! Here’s hoping the commissioner likes it. Wow, “commissioner” makes it sound like I am a renegade NYC cop. That’s right: Serpico, artist and illustrator. Anywho… here’s the painting. 9 x 9″ watercolour called New Growth, featuring three grandchildren.