Sunday, November 13, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Beginnings of 8x10 oil portrait.
It’s been a long time. I’ve heard from several readers expressing their concern over my well being. I was so surprised to find out how many people I’ve never met, regularly checked into Soulful Studios. Thank you to those who reached out. I am physically well and still giving others gray hair.
Emotionally I’ve been struggling. My life has changed yet again but this time my art couldn’t carry me through it all. At first it was an outlet but then it became frightening. Humans make connections to places, scents and tastes. Sometimes this is a good thing. Think of the smell of cotton candy. Where do you go? Other times it can have devastating results. Think of the smell of a musty basement or alcohol wipes. I was truly unaware of the associations I had made with the process of making art. Holding a brush surrounded by the aroma of oils and paints kept taking me to a place I no longer wanted to visit. Feelings would bubble to the surface that I had no desire to face. A soul can only take so much and finally I was flying the white flag. I put down my brush.
The fact of the matter is that the world really doesn’t care if you are screaming surrender. Life goes on with or without you. If you look like dead meat vultures will make a meal of you. While I watched the scavengers circle I was called to duty. A pet portrait was needed. This was no ordinary portrait but a proclamation of love. Love is something that I can never resist. So, again the brush was in my hand.
Above is the beginning of Hansel. Hansy’s “mom” was going through great loss and pain. As all good dogs do, Hansy stayed by her side to soften the grief. Dog’s can be selfless that way. They will absorb the pain of those they love. If you don’t believe this, try being with someone that has a heavy heart and walk away feeling light. It is impossible. Hansy had a noble purpose beyond also being comic relief. The man that commissioned this piece knows this and wanted to honor that and his love for Hansy’s “mom”. This is irresistible to me. The painting needed to be done.
Now I’m forced to face those feelings and find new connections. I’m pleased with the progress and thankful to be saved from myself one more time. I do believe being able to paint as I do is a gift and to let my easel collect dust is probably a sin. Creativity is not supposed to sit in the shadows. It is light and must shine or it becomes just another part of the darkness. I can’t let that happen. So until the sun shines brightly again, I’ll just keep lighting candles.
Monday, April 04, 2011
Graphite on archival paper
Finally I can post my recent Soulful Studios dog portrait which was commissioned as a very thoughtful anniversary gift. This is "Jade". She is another loving pooch so thankful to be rescued and brought into a caring home. Loyal to her human dad, Jade has matured to become a sweetheart that gives back every single day. Sure she may have started out as a challenging addition to the family but like so many rescues, love cured all for her.
Do you know a great dog and want to honor him or her with a portrait? Mother's Day is fast approaching and commissioning a portrait of Mom's favorite furry child is a great way to say how much you love her. The process is easy. Just go onto the contact page of my Soulful Studios main site and send me a request for information. Gather a few photos and we'll choose together the best pose and that's it. Hope to hear from you.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Spring is finally here and they are calling for a little March messiness tomorrow. I've been busy working on several small pet portraits that are surprise gifts so I cannot post them yet. Those will be posted as the recipients get the chance to enjoy their pet portraits. Meanwhile I thought I would share the progress of Max and Maya's dog portrait painting in oil.
As you can see, I have mostly completed Max and will now start on Maya. As I get her closer to finish I will then add final touches of color and detail to make everything sing. I do tend to go to details early because I enjoy watching things come to life quickly. I always have to fight myself not to do that too quickly so as to focus on structure. However, sometimes it is great to eat dessert first!
Soon Soulful Studios will take it to the outdoors again to do some plein air paintings. There's a blue heron at a local pond that I'm dying to at least capture with the camera. I wonder if I can't paint fast enough to suggest him on the spot. Oooh, I think I see a challenge...
Monday, March 07, 2011
5" x 7"
Acrylic on Canvas
This weekend we push our clocks forward an hour. I can remember years ago when we had a major snow event in April. My gut says that won't be happening this year. That being said please don't email me angry letters if I'm wrong.
I look at these geese paintings and think how peaceful that day was but at the same time there is some dishonesty here. Yes, this was the scene before me and it was charming and serene. What I didn't show was what happened next. If I were to do another painting from this day, it would depict geese frantically flying away from a very excited little grey dog. Any guesses on the name of this dog?
Perhaps the lesson here is nothing is permanent. Take your pleasures while you can. You never know when some sweet little dog is going to chase away your bliss.
Stay tuned to Soulful Studios for updates on more pet portraits and spring paintings. Send me an email through the website for more information on these or other paintings. Feel free to leave a comment on the blog to let me know what you think.