Friday, April 27, 2012

A New Blog - Pray That It Keeps On Going

I just stumbled upon a fairly new blog and want to share it with all of you as it will tug at your heartstrings and also give you pause if you're of child-bearing age.

Many of you know that I have two beautiful nieces who were born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA as it's called.  It's a genetic disease where the muscles eventually lose all tone and because the heart is a muscle and the lungs are powered by muscle, death  is the result.

The new blog I found is that of a baby named Avery who has been diagnosed with SMA and is chronicling her bucket list as she has been given only 18 months to live. 

Please go take a look at the blog and be aware that many of you carry this horrible gene and may not even be aware of it.

I'm sorry if this sounds choppy and disjointed and I'm sorry if you were expecting something about art.  Just please take a look and say a prayer for Avery and her parents.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Showing You Mine

Well!  It's certainly been a while since I've posted here on my blog.  I apologize but probably still wouldn't have a post if it weren't for my blogging friend, Sue, over at PencilPix.  She and I email back and forth some and we were chatting about updating our respective blogs when she issued the challenge saying "you show me yours and I'll show you mine" - well, I decided to take her up on that challenge!

It wasn't that I wanted to neglect my blog but I'm not much for multi-tasking and there's been a lot happening in the past few months.

For one thing, I'm still trying to find and learn a medium which will allow me to produce the paintings I want to do yet not have the paintings be so fragile.

Well, you know pastel is my medium of choice and it's really not so fragile if handled responsibly but it does need to be framed under glass and I'd really like to get away from that.  So, I've been experimenting with gouache, watercolor and acrylic.  I've produced quite a few paintings in one medium or the other but still haven't become really comfortable with any and all have attributes that just don't fit my way of working.

I really like pastel for the spontaneous way I can work in it.  It's always ready to go - no squeezing out paint, searching out brushes, getting water and no mixing on a palette.  That's such a plus for me as I tend to work "a stroke at a time" and it's so easy to lay out the pastels on my work table and work "as the spirit moves me".  There's no mess to clean up after every session and I don't have to worry about painting drying up and becoming unusable.

But, I ship a lot of paintings and I really would like for them to arrive intact, hence the exploration into other media.

I kinda stretched the truth a bit when I said that I had produced quite a few paintings during my blog hiatus.  It's true that I've started many paintings but I haven't really finished many.  I get to that "ugly stage" and just lose interest so they remain unfinished!

However, I did finish (I think it's finished anyway) the portrait of the little Maltese above recently.  It's been painted in acrylics, mainly acrylic ink, and it went fairly well.  I do find that I paint more loosely with a brush than I do with a pastel stick and I don't know if that's good or bad.  I also agonize over brush strokes, color and trying to get that one last stroke that completes the painting without over-doing it.

There wasn't really a reference photo for this little fluff - it's a combination of refs along with looking at our own little one for some of the details.  I would have used our baby exclusively but I really find it hard to paint our own pets.  I just didn't want to add that pressure on top of battling with an unfamiliar medium!

OK, Sue, here's mine - where's yours?