Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Award!

Just a quick post today as I'm still immersed in painting. However, Christine from Creative Life Studio has given me an award and I've been remiss at posting and thanking her for it.

So thank you so much, Christine! I'm so gratified that you thought of me. I'll have to think about who to pass the award to next!

Please bear with me and I promise to get back to posting soon. We're still dealing with many things right now but they have dismissed my husband's mother from the hospital and moved her into a rehab center.

I also have new photos of our two foxes and a herd of deer grazing unconcernedly in the hay field with them. Actually, I even have photos of two of the deer chasing one of the foxes away. It was very interesting to watch. But, I'll have to get those photos cropped and fixed up enough that you can see what's going on! Where does the time go?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Finally Finished

Acrylic Ink on Ampersand
Jan Gibson

I finally finished that cute little Jack Russell Terrier I've been working on. Acrylics aren't my usual medium but somehow, Zoey seemed to want to be in that medium. I started first in watercolor then switched to pastel but she just didn't begin to come together until I started using the acrylics.

I just got the final ok from her owner who said (and I quote)

I'm so happy with it I could jump and touch the ceiling lol i feel like.It is wonderful, you did a beautiful job."

As I told the owner, part of the payment of any portrait or commission is the satisfaction of knowing that you've met the expectations of the person who has commissioned the painting.

Now I can let out my breath as I was holding it until I heard from her!

Thanks so much, Holly - I really wanted to do a good job for you.

Two plus Fifteen

Wildlife composite

Just waiting for a little daylight before getting back to painting so wanted to post some photos from yesterday.

The fox was back again along with a mate perhaps? Anyway, there were two of them this time. I had a hard time getting a photo of one of them as it hung back in the treeline to the right where the shadows were too deep to see it.

Then, later in the afternoon, a herd of deer wandered into the same place where the foxes had been. We see the deer all the time, sometimes too often, but the herds are getting larger and larger. Not all are seen in the photo but there were about fifteen deer there yesterday. Sometimes we see herds with thirty or more deer in them.

Oh, some news and I'm not sure whether it's sad news or not. I haven't seen the rabbit since the last photos I took of it. It had let me photograph it from just a few feet away several times so I wonder if one of the foxes got it or if it just got fed up with me pointing the camera at it so much. I hope it found a better hiding place but I do miss seeing it! Maybe it will come back one of these days.

I got some really good shots of the one fox but, again, my poor little camera just couldn't zoom in close enough to get any detail. I'm saving my money for a new camera and if anyone has any recommendations, I'd love to hear them.

I need a versatile, point and shoot camera since I photograph animals from quite a distance away and also photograph flowers very close up. I wouldn't have time to mess with changing lenses and fiddling with f-stops, etc. which is why I'd like a simple camera. However, it needs to zoom in very close and take good, sharp photos! And, a great price wouldn't hurt either! lol

OK, back to the easel!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do You See What I See?

This is just some of the wildlife we see here from time to time. I'll let you know what they are in just a bit, but first, I want to apologize for not posting for a while. My mother in law is in the hospital and I'm scrambling trying to juggle a bunch of stuff that needs to be done. I'm also working on the commissions I have and want to get them done as quickly as possible but still do the absolute best job I can.

Ok, what do we have here? (You can click on the first one for a larger view, the second one has been cropped from the original photo and is about as big as it can be.)

Still can't tell what it is? It's a good-sized rabbit that hides under the barn shed. It's very hard to see but it's there almost every time I go to the barn. The water faucet for my horse's tank is located in this shed so I see it nearly every day. It has let me take many photos of it but none of them turn out very well because it's so very well hidden.

And many of you still won't be able to tell what this is either. I took the photo from the barn which is quite a ways from where this animal was hunting for something in the grass. It's times like this that I'd really, really like to have a great camera! Oh, it's an adult gray fox - do you suppose that rabbit was hiding from him?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Barbara!

I just had to post today to wish Barbara from Barbara's This and That a very Happy Birthday! I know she's already gotten her birthday present and is probably very happily playing with it!

Have a great one, girl!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lion On Alert

"On Alert"
Pastel on ColourFix
Jan Gibson

I think I must have cats on the brain or something as this is the second lion I've done and I've been eyeing a couple of cat reference photos too! I started this lion soon after I finished the first one located HERE. By the way, I ended up with a title of "Intense Pride" for that lion at the insistence of Martina who felt the word "pride" should be in the title somewhere!

Anyway, I put a first wash onto the Zoey painting and decided to finish this while the wash was drying. Most of the time I like to work something from start to finish as I sometimes get sidetracked but since this lion was nearly finished, I decided to go ahead and finish it.

It's on a 9x12 inch, dark blue ColourFix sheet and I'm not sure I like ColourFix for pastels. It ends up being very messy plus, I think I've worn the fingerprint off my index finger trying to blend it! I like ColourFix for colored pencil but it really makes a mess with pastels. I still think my favorite pastel support is the Ampersand PastelBord. It just seems to have the right amount of grittiness to hold the pastel without being overly abrasive.

I think I'll buy stock in Ampersand as I like it for just about every media I use!

New Commissions

Jan Gibson

I've just started a couple of new commissions and will post the wips here. They are both Jack Russell Terrier/JRT mix and are cute as buttons. Unfortunately, the male has passed away but I received some really decent reference photos of him so I hope he won't be a problem to paint.

I apologize for the light sketch - I tried to enhance it in my graphics program but couldn't do much with it.

I think I'll be working one dog at a time but we'll see how it goes. I started with Zoey because it seemed the right thing to do (I don't know why!) but it was a little difficult getting a pleasing composition because of her upright ear. It was standing in nearly every photo I got of her so I think it must be a part of her that I felt I needed to include. It's just so perky and cute anyway, don't you think?

Friday, February 6, 2009


Pastel on Velour
Jan Gibson

I heard one artist say that they thought a painting of theirs was finished but they wanted to let it "marinate" before they signed it. I feel the same way about this lion. I think it's finished but I want to wait to see if I spot anything later (or if any of you spot anything! lol)

As always, C&C appreciated and welcome!

An Honor Indeed!

Teresa, from Blueberries, Art and Life has chosen me for an Art Blog Award. Thank you so much Teresa!

In conjunction with the award, the recipients are supposed to tell seven things that they love. I quit using the word "love" in describing objects quite a while ago when I saw that we're only to love God and people and loving anything else is a form of idolatry. So, I'll tell you things that I like a lot!

1. I LOVE God, my family and my friends.

2. Our animals are very close to my heart (2 dogs and a horse)

3. I have a passion for painting

4. I like fresh, homemade bread right out of the oven

5. I like spring when the flowers start to bloom and everything is new all over again

6. I like food fresh from the garden

7. I like the satisfaction of a job well done

I'm also supposed to pass this award on to seven other artist bloggers. It's a monumental task to choose as there are soooo many fine artists out there but I've chosen:

Barbara who is an artist in her own right. Her Poser creations are awesome!

Christine who is a first rate graphite artist - her portraits are especially beautiful!

Jeanette whose work is first rate. I don't think there's a medium she hasn't conquered.

Lori Andrews whose work I admire very much.

Lori Talbert I've been watching her grow in her art and become another fine artist.

Paulette, someone else who does excellent graphite work.

Teresa who does excellent colored pencil work and must have the patience of a saint to have chosen that medium!

Ladies, I hope you'll tell us seven things that you like very much and will pass the award on to other bloggers. If you're too busy, then just enjoy the award - you all deserve it!

There are so many more who deserve this award - again I thank Teresa for thinking of me!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lion Update

WIP Photo #2
Pastel on Velour

Well, I've done a bit more and am taking a break so I thought I'd post it. Still a long way to go with it.

OK, back to work!


Pastel on Velour
Jan Gibson

This is a painting that I've wanted to do for a very long time but was just hesitant about that first step! The reference photo is very intimidating and challenging!

So, in order to keep myself working on it, I'm posting it as a wip. If it ends up as I envision, I may enter it into an online art contest. It was the announcement of this contest that was the final push for me to start the painting so I think I ought to do it. We'll see how this ends up though.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Pastel Acorn

pastel on paper
Jan Gibson

The acorn above was done for a challenge at Let's Make Art, unfortunately, it was done rather quickly and I didn't add the detail nor take the time with it I should have. However, my husband came home from work and saw it and wanted to frame it right away! If men have a hard time understanding women, it's nothing compared to women trying to understand them! Oh, well----

I'm getting rather excited about a new online watercolor site/class I've signed up for at Lori Andrew's Come Paint With Me Ning site. She's a fun person and there are many levels of painting skill within the members so I've already learned much from them. I think I told you about another class I'd joined online that I was kind of disappointed in and which has pretty much come to a stand still. Fortunately, I didn't pay for that class!

Anyway, Lori is a go-getter and is setting up her classes so we can interact with her online. This is both exhilarating and frightening! For one thing, I guess I need to get a web cam so I can show my painting for critique during the class. I've never been comfortable painting in front of others so I hope I don't freeze up completely.

Also, I think I'm going to have to move my computer onto my work table or set up some kind of space for painting near my computer to make this all work. That's kind of a dangerous situation for me! I can be a klutz sometimes but I think I can leave my computer where it is, put my mat cutter away and use that table for painting and keep my water container away from the computer stuff. Right now I'm not sure how to arrange everything so I can paint and compute at the same time.

Well, I'm sure it will all work out. I just like to have things all worked out before any event so I'm not caught unprepared but it will be awhile before the first class so maybe I have time to work it all out.

I'll keep ya posted!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Confidence (or Lack Thereof)

Jan Gibson

I suppose this post goes hand in hand with the last one but in a whole different direction. Someone once said that it was just pride to get all upset over what someone says to, or about, you. They are right.

It's really no fun when someone doesn't like or puts down what you do but it is pure pride to react with other than a shrug and a comment something to the effect "to each his own."

The old "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me" just isn't true. Words can be as bad as a sharp stick in the eye and if I felt a little hurt over digital painting being referred to as cheating, then think of what a kick in the teeth it is when your most ardent fan doesn't like something you've done!

My husband is the most wonderful person in the world. He's so supportive and just goes out of his way to make sure I have the supplies and time I need to paint. He's infinitely patient if I'm "in the zone" while painting and haven't even thought about supper. He also almost always likes everything I paint.

So, it was a real kick in the teeth to have worked hard on the daffodil above only to hear him say that he didn't really like it. I'm not a huge fan of the colors of orange and yellow and they're his favorites so I thought for sure he'd like this, especially since he also likes daffodils - a lot. But no, not this one.

When asked why, he said he really didn't know, but when I pressed him further, he said it was the dark background, that most of my florals had dark backgrounds and he really didn't like them.

Well, I happen to like the contrast of light against dark and just like dark backgrounds for many florals although I have done several with lighter backgrounds. And I think I should trust my instincts and not be so concerned about what people think, even my husband.

To be honest, I don't have a lot of confidence when it comes to watercolors. They are sometimes (a lot of times) a struggle and I'm never sure if what I've done is pleasing in any way. I'm usually not even sure if I'm pleased and I'm supposed to be the one with the vision for the painting!

But this painting I did like - I know what I wanted to "say" with it and felt that it got said. The dark background was a necessary part of the message which is basically light from the darkness. This is a kind of common theme with me, most of the time unintentional, so many of my backgrounds are very dark.

With the daffodil above though, I saw it almost as a candle shining in a dark place. Kind of hokey, maybe, but, as I said, I really like that kind of contrast. I also know there's always a tiny ray of light somewhere even when it appears totally black around us.

So, I resolve to trust my inner guidance from here on out and not be swayed by either the likes or dislikes of the viewers. After all everyone has a right to their own opinion.