Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Project Complete - New Puppy Portrait

pastel on paper
Jan Gibson

The BIG PROJECT is finally complete and the client will pick up everything tomorrow evening. I moved the last Adirondack chair out of my studio while ago & it's amazing how much space I now have! lol I guess I'm pleased with the way the furniture ended up looking. Well, I'm sort of pleased - it's extremely rare to for me to really like what I do as I almost always look back & see things I would change. Sometimes you just have to stop and that's what I've done with this project. I'll post photos of everything as soon as I can photograph the last chairs. Since it's barely daylight here, I'll wait until I get some good light sometime today.

I also finished a portrait of a friend's new puppy and I do like the way it looks in real life. The problem is that it looks awful scanned or photographed. It's on a blue paper & I've had problems with reproducing paintings containing blue and red before. The actual portrait is not so colorful as the photo shows. Anyway, please meet Molly, a little poodle terrier mix. This has been done in pastel pencils and is on Strathmore charcoal paper.

So, what's next on the agenda? I have an upcoming portrait to do as soon as the client sends me some good photos of the dog. This commission is from a repeat customer and one that I love working with.

Also, I have to get my website redesigned! I've been trying to do that for about a year and something more important always comes up. Web design takes a lot of time and effort and concentration and since I only do it every couple of years or so, it's like learning everything all over again. Plus, the web changes at super-sonic speed and there are always new things to be learned.

And, last, but certainly not least, I want to explore painting some human portraits. I just need a good block of time without interruptions so I can concentrate on learning what I need to know!

OK, that's two pretty hefty blocks of time needed to accomplish my personal goals plus, my studio still needs some organization. I wonder if I can get one of those organizational experts to come in and do it for me? Hmmmm, since I don't have the ready cash for such a thing, I wonder if I can convince Oprah to have pity on me & send someone to come in and do it? Yeah, right. Just call me a dreamer!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm in Love!

"Cavalier King Charles Spaniel"
Pastel on Velour
Copyright - Jan Gibson

Pastel on Velour
Copyright - Jan Gibson

I ordered some velour paper and it arrived a little over a week ago. I was busy with a couple of commissions so didn't get a chance to try it until a couple of days ago. I have to say that I absolutely love it! The only thing I don't like about it is that mistakes are almost impossible to correct. But, with pastel, like oil or acrylic, you can paint over a mistake.

The first painting of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is from a reference photo from one of my art groups and I think there's more I could do to it. I just didn't want to take the time to tweak it when I painted it.

The second painting is of the little LowChen commission I posted photos of in an earlier blog post. I ended up combining several photos to get this painting. I've just emailed the dog's owner and have not had a chance to get a response back from her as to whether she likes the portrait or not. This dog was made for a pastel on velour, I think. The velour is very responsive to the curved strokes needed to depict his (& the CKC's) wavy hair in a way not readily available in another medium. With the portrait of Samson on the velour, I combined my love for the dog (I just want to steal him from his owner & kiss him all over his face!) with my love for the paper! A perfect combination, huh?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Happy Little Accident

Red Marsh Mallow
Jan Gibson

I've been trying to find a relatively light-fast red watercolor that I like and bought a tube of Terry Harrison's Roman Red when my husband took me out to lunch and to Hobby Lobby this past Monday.

The red in the painting doesn't show as it is in real life but is fairly close. I don't know why reds are so hard to scan or photograph!

I honestly wasn't expecting to paint a "keeper" but think this came out pretty good - much better than I'd thought it would.

Isn't that the way it always happens? I learned a long time ago to always use good paper and paints even when I'm just doodling. The mallows & their relatives are my favorite flowers and we have both the red and the pink marsh mallows. They look entirely different fron one another though & I wonder if they're truly related.

The red, as you can see, looks like a hibiscus while the pink looks more like a large, bushy hollyhock.

I guess it doesn't matter whether they're related or not, I think both of them are beautiful and I'm pleased to have painted a decent rememberance for those cold, winter days that are sure to arrive sooner than we want them to.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vanity, thy name is MAN!

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted in so long. I don't know how time gets away from one as quickly as it does!

This has been a busy summer for me so far and will probably continue to be so. My husband had cataract surgery on both eyes but the surgeries were spaced about a month apart. There have been continuing doctor's visits and were pre-op consultations with both the surgeon and the hospital so it seems that we've been "on the road" for the past couple of months! He has a couple more doctor's visits and then we'll be finished with that, thank heavens! He's done great and now has 20/20 vision in both eyes! Wonder of wonders, I remember when the surgery involved complete bed rest and thick,
thick glasses afterwards! Now, it's an out-patient procedure with permanent lenses instead of thick glasses!

My husband is very pleased with the outcome of the surgery but noticed that he had dark circles and wrinkles around his eyes now that he doesn't wear glasses any more. He had me get on the internet to find something to get rid of these and I found cucumbers helped some with the dark circles.

Volumes have been written about the vanity of women but I must say that men are just as vain. I couldn't help but snap this photo while he was "treating" the circles!