Friday, July 5, 2013

New Blog

Since I recently retired from painting pet portraits, I wanted to invite you to my new blog which is still about art but is not so focused on pet paintings.  I wanted a new blog as a symbol of this new direction I'm taking with my art.

So, without further ado, let me present the J Gibson Art Studio blog:

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Flower for my Daughter

Well here I am again.  I wanted to post the Tiare flower I just finished and to publicly thank Mr. Troy McKaskle for allowing me to use his photos as painting references.

You can click on the photo to see it larger.

I painted this in oils using a grisaille.  A grisaille is the entire painting done first in shades of gray (NOT 50 of them this time!  lol) then the painting is done in layers.  Each layer has to dry to the touch before another layer is added so it's quite a lengthy process since oil paint takes a while to dry.  The fat over lean principle must be observed to prevent cracking and the fatter, more oil medium added to each layer increases the drying time of each layer.  This process is supposed to add depth to the painting but I'm not sure I'd want to do another grisaille.  I want to paint a similar painting using the alla prima method and see if there's really a difference.

I'm pretty pleased with this especially since I haven't really painted in oils for a quarter of a century or so.  Even then, it was very sporadic as my husband couldn't stand the smell.  These oils are water soluble and don't require the smelly solvents nor do they smell in and of themselves.  Oh, happy day as I've always loved the look of oil paintings!

I haven't signed the painting yet as I want my daughter to choose whether she wants it in the landscape or portrait format.  I painted it thinking it should be a portrait format but when I took it off the easel and saw it in the landscape format, I really liked that better.  She'll see it this weekend then I'll sign it and maybe we can go look for frames if she likes it. 

OK, back into hibernation in the studio as I've been painting up a storm since I got my mojo back!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day - Acrylic Rose

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you still out there.  I had some leftover acrylic paint on my palette and decided to try a rose before it all dried up.

Many of you know that acrylics are not my favorite medium and I sometimes find it's quirks a little frustrating.  This time I decided to use a palette knife and not a brush.  I think it would have worked if the canvas had been larger - this is a small 4 x 4" square and my palette knife is relatively large in comparison.  I still think it came out pretty well for a medium that is sometimes difficult for me!

So, for all of you ladies, a red rose for Valentine's Day.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Final Commission

I wanted to share my final commission with you even though I haven't posted here in quite some time.  I've decided to retire from painting pet portraits or other commission work and this gorgeous white German Shepherd Dog makes a lovely good-bye post.

I want to make it clear that I adore painting animals and pets in particular.  There's nothing more satisfying than knowing one of my paintings is paying tribute to someone's beloved pet.  But a series of events this past year has shown me that I need to change directions in my art.

The first clue I had was my husband retiring this past spring and wanting to do some traveling.  That was fine, one can work around various trips and travel plans, right?    I had a couple of commissions on the books as of the end of summer but neither client was in a big rush.  I was able to make a good start on one of the commissions but we couldn't get decent photos of this big guy until right before my husband & I left for an extended tour of areas way west of us.

When we returned, I quickly finished the one commission and got started on this one.  As it turned out though, I caught some kind of a flu bug and was in bed sick for nearly 3 weeks!  I couldn't paint even if I'd felt like it because I was coughing so much and so hard that any brush stroke went far off the mark!  I finally got to feeling well enough to paint again only to find that all that coughing had pulled some muscles and I couldn't walk!  Another week just laying around and all of a sudden, it's Thanksgiving!

I should have known I was being led (pushed?) in another direction especially when a series of events involving my mother in law again had us on the road.  To be honest, by this time I had completely lost my mojo and nothing was working for this portrait.  My client was incredibly patient and understanding which made me want to finish it even more than before.

Finally, I woke up at 2:30 in the morning a couple of weeks ago feeling the need to paint on this portrait & everything started clicking into place for it and I finished it yesterday with client approval this morning!

During January, I was also given the opportunity to display my art in a gallery in a beautiful town on our North Carolina coast called Beaufort.  The gallery is wonderful as is the gallery owner, Angie Williams, and if you're ever in Beaufort, you ought to stop in and see what all she has to offer.  The gallery is called the Artestry Hideaway and it's at 412 Front Street with the entrance from the boardwalk.  You can see some of the beautiful things by checking out her FaceBook page:

After losing my mojo for so long with a commission in the works, I realized I just couldn't continue to accept commissions any longer.  Plus the fact that both my husband's mother and my father are very elderly and live some distance from us means that we have to be able to go to them at a moment's notice.  It's just not fair to clients to have to wait while we work out family issues!

So, I'm giving up pet portrait commissions and will probably give up this blog.  I'm going to set up a new website and domain name and probably a new blog.  However, the blog may be a part of my new website.  Whatever I decide to do, I'll be sure to post it here before any major changes are made! 

Thanks to all of you who stuck with me all this time!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Unconditional Love

I have heard it said that dogs are about the only creature who give unconditional love.

An internet friend posted a photo of her sister and her dog and I thought it captured that love beautifully.  This is my attempt to translate that feeling into a painting.

Soft pastel on PastelMat.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Orchids In Oils - WIP 3

Here is the third installment of the work in progress of the orchids I've been working on.  It doesn't feel finished but I don't know exactly what is wrong so I can finish it!

Any C&C gratefully accepted!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Orchids in Oil - WIP 2

I haven't done a whole lot with this painting but thought I'd post an update of the little progress I've made.  It has a long way to go but at least you can sort of tell they're orchids now!