Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oil portrait commission and

update #3 on this oil portrait commission
I've been working on a few portrait commissions for the last stretch of the holiday season. I was hoping to be done this week in time for my Mom's arrival on Sunday but I don't think it will work in my favor as I have 5 more to go!!!! I might be able to finish three this week and one next week but the big one I have until end of December. For some reason my brain knows exactly when my deadline is so the rest of my body will find all kinds of obstacles so I only have but a small window to meet my deadlines. Do any of my artist friends know what I mean, I wonder?

I had a lovely Thanksgiving I hope you all did too! I got full too fast for my liking so I didn't get more than 3 slices of turkey at my SIL's. So yesterday I roasted our own turkey :) In fact I roasted just the turkey body (is there a more proper way to say that?), as in no limbs. And I think that's the way to go for us because neither one likes the dark meat. We also met for the first time our first grand niece, little Ava Elise, who is every bit as pretty as her name! I'm sure to paint her at some point and I will share it with you.

I LOVE how my grandma's book turned out!!!!!!! Excellent quality I completely endorse photobooks! I know my Mom will SO CRY, she will be all weepy at Christmas Eve when I give this to her mwuahahahahaha! I got her 3 books so she can give copies to a couple of her sisters. She has 4 sisters but these books aren't cheap.... in fact I will get myself a copy later. But I made another book which is about portraits I've done. (the title is "My Favorite Portraits"). I wanted to try the book with dust jacket for one thing. But I prefer the hard cover. The jacket will fall apart faster than the cover which doesn't have anything written on it. On the cover is the 3"x4" oil portrait I did of my Mom which printed beautifully even as a bigger version of the original. Ok I must go back to painting!


  1. Erika, there must be a better way to have our studio time. Life often gets in the way of creativity. If we put Art first- over life- we appear dysfunctional.
    What can we do?
    Your book "My Favorite Portraits" is going to be a valuable tool for you have. The Cover painting is beautiful, you should feature your previous work on your blog so that we can discuss it.

  2. Nice painting - it will make someone a lovely Christmas gift.

  3. Hey, 'lil China Doll...otherwise known as my twin sister from different mothers...teehee!

    OK. Deadlines. A part of me you don't know is that I was a successful graphic artist/designer/art director for over 20 years. I would sometimes have 50 or so projects at once, all with deadlines. I used to play games with me...each job had its own 'jacket', an oversized horizontal envelope (9x12) with the flap cut off for easier insertion of notes, etc. The front was printed with all kinds of spaces for time sheet, descriptions, etc. Made it easier at billing time.

    Everything was neat that way. I could just pull a job and go to work. I found that it was the NUMBER of jobs, regardless of the intricacy of the job that added to the weight on my shoulders. The PRESSURE was real, the weight was implied.

    SO, once I was aware of that...I'd start with the smallest jobs...the ones that might just be a small correction or small bit of typesetting. As my pile of completed jobs grew on the right side of my computer, my 'weight' lightened. They also acted like a warm-up for the bigger ones.

    Another game I played with me was when I got a new job with a deadline in the future, I'd go to work on it immediately (or as soon as the little ones were out of the way). I'd always finish it way before deadline (never told the client, however). That way if a 'hot' job (read, lack of planning on client's part equals more money on my part) came in, I had time.

    I think job jackets like this would also work for painting...especially commissions. copies of emails, contracts, notes, sketches, all preliminary drawings safely in one spot.

    luvs ya, babé

    Oh, almost forgot. Can't wait to see the quality of the book...

  4. I work a bit like Vikki, got every client in a tabbed Manila Folder, put it in my file box according to the date I need to work on it. However, there's something about you Erika, that loves (and maybe hates too?) to work against a looming deadline. Does it still work for you?

    Sweet portrait! What did the client say?

  5. Alice thanks for your interest as always sweet woman! I don't show all my commission pieces as many of them are surprise for their loved ones or I am not given permission to make them public since I do also get orders for some intimate figure portraits :) But I try to show the ones that are cleared and the ones I manage to get photos of before I give them to the client. Oftentimes I don't even have the time to photograph them especially if they are watercolors. But I will post some from the book, I think you'd be interested to see Mom's portrait.

    As for life and art. Sometimes it's just a little more unpredictable for me especially this year since I've been sick most of the time. I've been blessed with great clients who seem to respect my talent and situation so I feel extremely supported by them. Part of why I get sick is I tend to be an over achiever lol It's a vicious cycle for me.

  6. Thanks onpainting, now it will be a lovely Christmas gift, it would have been nice to have it done for their anniversary :)

  7. Vicki we work differently then. I usually like to get started on the bigger jobs...well ok I do that too with my graphics jobs. I used to do flash animations for corporations that are Internet based and those things get very intricate. But one thing I do is I like to feel right about the job whatever it is so I like to work on it a little and think on it or look at it for days/weeks if it's a painting. Then like you, I also do a variety of mediums - my usual oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels. My brain is beginning to lose elasticity lol Then of course I've been sick and have had to go to a million tests and doc appointments yada yada so that threw off everything. sigh I wish I could be as organized and disciplined as you!!!!!

    I have the portrait book, I'll have to order a copy of grandma's book for myself!

  8. Hillary Miller? Do we know each other? Ah yes, the ORGANIZED one from my college days lol Why didn't you rub off on me more? For some reason you manage to have less trauma in your life how do you do it??? I know, I tried your Manila folder system and for some reason the three job folders (that were not empty) began to ALSO fill with other "little" jobs that I could do "really" fast simultaneous to the current job WHILE I'm getting ready for an art show. arrrgh So much art to conquer, so little time.

  9. Erika, the portrait came out beautiful! They look happy together. I don't usually paint people, but did a couple of portraits of my mom and dad about 5 years ago. My mom liked it especially because I made her look younger. lol
    I LOVE your mom's portrait on the front cover of your album. She will be so happy to see it and cry for sure. :)

  10. Erika the portrait gave me goosebumps. Call it connecting with the people you have an uncanny gift for capturing people beyond the canvas!

  11. Akiko I'd like to see the portrait if you have a photo? Thanks! I might post a pic of Mom's many times have painter her anyway lol

  12. Oh Julie how sweet are you? Thank you!


Thank you for taking the time to comment ~Erika