Friday, July 24, 2009

Coneflowers - My First AIP Product!

I'm so excited! I just saw that my painting of some purple coneflowers from our garden is the first design for the Art In Pink Zazzle Shop! Vic, from the Art with a Pencil blog, has been working overtime trying to get the shop set up with lots of attractive products for sale with 100% of the profits to benefit breast cancer research and education.

I'm not going to post any photos here but am going to make you go take a look at the actual shop! So, run right on over there now and bookmark the site so that you can return to it on an ongoing basis! Several artists are donating art to be used for this very worthy cause so the items will be added to or changed regularly!

And, remember, when you need a gift or just a little something for yourself, the Art in Pink Zazzle Shop is the place to go!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bluebird on Fabriano Tiziano

This is the bluebird painting I talked about a post or so back. It's from my own photo reference and is pastel pencils on Fabriano Tiziano paper - orange Fabriano Tiziano paper to be precise! (as if you couldn't see that!)

This was the pack of paper on sale at Hobby Lobby that my husband insisted I buy. I'm sure it's really a nice paper but I just chose the wrong color for this. The colors range from pale yellow to this deep orange and I chose the orange because of the bird's breast and because it's my least favorite color. I figured if I messed up the painting, it wouldn't bother me much with an ugly colored paper!

Or maybe I should have used regular soft pastels to tone the paper before starting the painting. I'm not sure that would have done much good though as it doesn't seem able to hold much pastel at all.

Oh, well, live and learn. Maybe I'll just save the orange sheets for painting pumpkins at Halloween or something!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Art In Pink

This is Jack, and, yes, he's pink here although he's the normal tan color in real life. Jack belongs to a good friend and seemed like the perfect model for a pink pug.

Why pink you ask? Well, a group of artists is getting together to promote breast cancer awareness and to raise money for cancer research. Breast cancer has claimed the life of a sister of one of our artists and has probably affected all of us in some way or another. We believe it's high time this devastating disease was eradicated!

We've started a blog, Art In Pink, and are working on some online stores where predominately pink articles will be for sale. All of the profits from these items will go to breast cancer charities and if you need a special gift or just something for yourself, why not purchase an item and support breast cancer research at the same time? It's really a win/win situation.

Jack's masculinity isn't threatened by his pink color and he's happy to do what he can for this worthy cause. We hope you'll do what you can too.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Award, New Painting

Pastel on PastelMat
Jan Gibson

First of all, I'd like to thank Vic, from Art With A Pencil
, for the lovely award. Since I've recently received the award from another artist, you already know seven things about me and seven other artists have received the award from me so I won't repeat them. I do so appreciate the recognition from my peers though. Thanks so much, Vic!

Except for the portrait of Benjamin Capone, I hadn't been painting much up until a few days ago. Then, suddenly, it seems I couldn't get paper and paints in hand quickly enough! lol.

My husband and I went to Hobby Lobby over the weekend and there was some Fabriano Tiziano paper on sale that he insisted I buy. It really was a great deal and I'd never used it before but, it was a pad of colors that I never use so I wasn't going to buy it until he insisted.

So, of course, I had to come home and try it out. What a mistake! I'd picked a sheet of orange (the colors ranged from pale yellow to deep orange) and attempted to paint a bluebird from one of my own photo references. I could not get the paper covered with pastel. No matter what I did, including repeated sprays of fixative and added layers of pastel, that orange kept showing through the painting. What a bummer as I think I did a pretty credible job with the actual painting for a change! Live and learn! That paper doesn't layer well at all for pastel pencils!

Then, yesterday, I got brave enough to try the PastelMat that another artist (Nancy, Reflections From Life Blogspot) and I went in together and ordered from England. I'd heard about how great this paper is and I really wanted to try it but it's not available here in the US at this time.

At first, I didn't like the PastelMat much at all. Since I'd been hearing for months about how great it was, I was extremely disappointed. But, I perservered and eventually found the best way for me to paint on it. It seems to be a matter of filling the tooth to a point where blending is possible. Anyway, the egret above took me most of yesterday (working in bits and pieces of time) to complete but I'm fairly pleased with it as a first effort. The size is 4"X6" or OSWOA sized. Of course, this didn't take much pastel but it did make blending and getting into small areas a real effort!

So, do I like the PastelMat after trying it? A sort of qualified yes. It seems to almost be a mixture of my three favorite supports - PastelBord, ColourFix and Velour - which should make for a super favorite, right? Well, it may become my all time favorite after I've had time to work with it, but for right now, I think PastelBord is still my top choice. Besides, I don't want to get too attached to using it since it's so hard (not to mention, expensive!) to get!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Separation Anxiety

I happened to glance out the window a few minutes ago and saw a small fawn tearing around the back orchard. Seems mama had jumped the fence separating the orchard from the hay field but the baby just couldn't quite make it and couldn't find any other way to get out.

I took several photos of the fawn racing around the fenceline with mama running from one area to another trying to be there when the fawn finally found its way out.

It shouldn't have been too hard for the little one to have gotten out as the deer have almost wrecked the fence and it desperately needs repair or probably replacement. There have been so many fawns coming and going over the years that there are some pretty good-sized holes of stretched out wire in various places. This fawn finally found one of them and was off like a shot through the hay field and headed for the woods!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wildlife on the Farm

Wild Turkey

Coyote Family

I had promised you all some more photos of the wildlife I've managed to photograph recently. The wild turkey was a huge surprise even though I thought I'd heard them several times this spring. Although the turkeys are making a come-back in our area, I'd never seen them on our farm.

The coyotes are another story as they are not native to North Carolina and not very welcome either. I've been told that someone brought a mating pair into our county 30 or 40 years ago and the explosion of sightings is due to this error in judgment on the part of that idiot! I had spotted a lone coyote a year or so ago loping across the far hay field and saw a single one this spring right after our hay was cut. Then, right after my sisters left, we saw a pair of them foraging in the hay field behind the barn (about 150 yards from the barn). Imagine my surprise when the whole family appeared this past week! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it!), they were about 200 yards from me and it was getting dusky-dark. I got several photos but none that were really sharp and clear.

I have tons of photo of deer and rabbits too but I think a lot of the wildlife probably comes out at night more so than in the day when I'm ready with the camera!

If I spot anything else, I'll keep you posted!

Monday, July 13, 2009

WIP Final - Benjamin Capone

"Benjamin Capone"
Pastel on Velour
Jan Gibson

I finished this portrait of Mr. Benjamin Capone a couple of days ago but was waiting to hear from the owner before showing the final here. I understand that she's out of town so I thought I'd go ahead and post the final version.

I've had the privilege of meeting this little man several times and think I have a pretty good likeness and, more, that I've captured his personality. He has had this "look"
on his face everytime I've been around him and in every photo I've seen of him. He's a real sweetheart but seems to "reserve judgment" about people until he really gets to know them and is not whole-heartedly in love with everyone he meets at first.

Does that make sense? I guess I'm used to dogs who are all over you wanting attention and hugs and scratches behind the ears and BC is a little different. He's very friendly but not in the way of most dogs. It's as if he's so self-assured that he doesn't need the ego-stroking attention that most dogs want.

Well, if you have any comments or suggestions for Mr. Capone, please let me know! I'll let you know what the owner says as soon as I hear from her!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Award Premio Meme

Award Premio Meme

Christine from Creative Life Studio has honored me with an award! Now I'm supposed to tell 7 things about myself that you might not know and pass the award on to 7 other deserving artists.

What don't you know about me? Hmmmm

1. I saw a complete coyote family on our farm evening before last

2. I wish I hadn't seen them! lol (they were too close for my comfort)

3. My mother in law was 90 years old today (Happy Birthday, Ma!)

4. I'm a vegetarian

5. I like to cook

6. I don't like housework

7. I like photography almost as much as I like art

Now to pass the award on - this is always the hard part because there are so many deserving bloggers!

1. Carole (Reading Sully) at Art Plus - Carole is so very creative in both her artwork and her writing! Go check out her blog and follow along with the short story she is publishing there!

2. Joann Wheeler at Painted Panache. Joann is another person who is able to do many things well!

3. Brenda Thour. Brenda does some beautiful artwork and you should go check out her blog!

4. Lisa at Art by LisaK wears many hats - go check out her blog!

5. Jeanne Grant. Jeanne always has the neatest art and the most interesting blog posts!

6. Adam Speight. Adam's blog is so inspiring and he always has the most beautiful photos.

7. And last but certainly not least, Lori at Twin Cedars Drawing Board. I'm always so inspired by Lori and she just gets out there and shows her art and enjoys life.

And I want to say thank you again to Christine!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More Bennie - WIP2

Bennie 2

Here is Bennie after another work session. I'm still blocking in color but feel it's progressing nicely. Today should be a slow day as far as other commitments are concerned so I hope to have made a large chunk of progress by the end of the day.

A quick post but I want to get back to painting! Stay tuned for further developments!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Commission WIP - Benjamin Capone

"Bennie - AKA Benjamin Capone"
Pastel on Velour

This is Bennie, also known as (and responds best to) Benjamin Capone!
But this guy is no gangster but a real sweetie. I believe he's a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen but I can't even say that let alone confirm that as his breed! lol

Anyway, I've been so busy lately that I haven't posted here and I got going on this portrait and forgot to take photos as I worked! Right now I'm in the blocking in stage and doing a little refinement as I work from left to right to keep from smudging the portrait. The final detailing will come as I get close to completion.

The owner wanted Bennie's eyes showing and had him groomed to better show them but, as you can see in the photo, they're still pretty shaded/hidden. I have other photos of him and some show his eyes a bit better but I'm still working from memory and a little guesswork here. I emailed the client earlier and she approved of the portrait so far. I hope to bring the eyes out a bit more but will wait until closer to the finish.

Just a quick note, I finally got my website redone and while it's still a work in progress, I hope you'll stop by and take a look. There are things I want to change but that will have to wait until after I finish this portrait.

So, have a look at and if you see anything amiss, please let me know! Also, stop in often as I plan to change things on a regular basis.