Sunday, December 26, 2010

Handsome Jacob Commission

My best client just published the portrait on Facebook so I thought I'd go ahead and post here as well!

"Happy Jacob" 11x14 charcoal on toned paper
His parents are my friends on Facebook so I get the pleasure of being greeted by this happy spirit's great smiles. His father has been a loyal return client since ...1999? Wow a whole decade at least! I am so happy that Ron and his wife Katharine have been blessed with Jacob because I get blessed too as I watch him grow!

I thought I had more WIP (work in progress) photos than these. My main camera died on me around that time so I guess that's what happened. Here is a short slide show... Thanks Red for showing me (finally hahaha) how to do this Picasa feature! xxxx


Friday, December 24, 2010

A wish for a cheery Christmas!

Here's wishing you the happiest of holidays and a blessed New Year! See you in 2011!!!!
xox Erika

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Randy Higbee Gallery 6-squared Art Show

I took advantage of the opportunity to enter Randy Higbee Gallery's 6-Squared show that was announced on FaceBook And to my delight both my entries were accepted! Here they are, masterfully framed by Randy Higbee! The show will run until December 23rd at
102 Kalmus Drive, Costa Mesa, CA Phone# (800) 506-7624 As always, click on each image to see them in larger view. Hope your holiday season is going smoothly and happily! :)

"Autumn Harvest 2" 6x6 (art) watercolor on paper framed in white matt board and black rustic $175.00

"Charles" 6x6 (art) watercolor on paper framed in white matt board and black rustic $175.00

The official invitation

A small grouping on the exhibit wall with my paintings.

Monday, November 22, 2010 takes you to Glencoe, Scotland!

My latest trailer I've edited for is an art workshop from Glencoe, Scotland by a lovely pastel painter and teacher named Margaret Evans. Usually I edit a whole workshop then I create a trailer so a trailer is usually a reason to celebrate!

Thankful for you

"Autumn Harvest" 8.5x8.5 watercolor on paper (click image to see bigger)

This is a good Thanksgiving art to share on my blog. I was so thankful to be able to paint! I've been so busy dealing with technical issues and meeting a deadline which seemed to take forever. So when I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I made it my goal to finish editing my latest trailer (to my satisfaction) so I can paint today (Sunday)!

And I didn't waste time. I simply moved away my keyboard and set up my still life :) That's me seizing the day! Mom shipped me some lovely persimmons from California and I bought a pomegranate from the store! The fall leaves are from another still life set up I had which I haven't quite finished. It was a painting I decided to paint at midnight a week ago... Friday? Here is the painting beneath... I will show it when it's more done. I'm so behind my portrait commissions....


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wishing my readers a good fall season. Today we had a second Indian summer so I decided to take a break from work and give my bonsai a hair cut :) I also am busy with commission pieces but I hope to share some with you when I get permission from clients.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Conte Pastels and New trailer

Here I was garbed with my spinning beanie hat interacting on art workshop online as a tester student. This is for our latest class offering, a sepia or sanguine portrait class by a master of the medium Leslie B. DeMille. My 3-eyed drawing depicts different eye angles which Les demonstrates in his class.

First he drew some fruits to show simpler shapes that are reminiscent of faces but less intimidating to draw. Then the facial features: eyes, noses and mouths. Then a portrait from start to finish that he drew from a live model. Click on each of my images to see better if you wish to see larger :)

Finally another trailer I've edited today. The youtube videos are the only public ones and it's less than a 5th of what I edit daily since I started working for MyArtTutor. But we can only make the complete class videos available to students. So I hope you enjoy another trailer by me for MyArtTutor!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Art Tutor Launches!

A little over 24 hours ago, I found out the company,, I've been working for as Creative Editor etc. has chosen to make their public debut and launch off their first online art workshop. My contribution to the launch was to throw together the best Youtube video to talk about the online art workshop we are offering and how it works so that we can offer an interactive and hands-on learning experience for the art students. So about 9PM I went ahead and published this video on Youtube

Of course I would have liked to have spent 2 more days on the creation of the video, it but I'm so glad we made it happen on September 3rd! This is one of many art classes we're getting ready to roll out continuously so we'd love to know what you think about it! Our art teachers will walk you through your choice of medium and subject then give you assignments based on the skill level you are comfortable with and when you submit your assignments, they will be put up for discussions (or not if you prefer not to), and the art instructor will give individual critique of your work!

I hope this tells some of my readers and friends where I've been hiding lately. :) To give you an idea how much content we have, we work 7 days/week and averaging 15 hour days!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sent Mom Home

Sent Mom home with her oil painting of her dear conures Kiwi and Sunny. Bet you can't guess which is which can you? :) Mom visited for 3 weeks and we're missing her already. I guess this means her left over cooking is almost gone?

I've been busy creating but not much painting. I recently got hired as film editor with a lot of graphics involved and some art directing thrown with it. It's a small company right now so we're pulling all resources from within but we're having FUN! Keep an eye out for !

Right now I have a 16x20 and 30x40 canvas with gesso coating. However I need to do a charcoal portrait of a handsome young man first and I'm looking forward to that!

Hope your summer has been great!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

After 3 weeks of no painting

"Harvest Kitchen" 6"x18" oil on canvas
Originally uploaded by Art By Erika

I finally painted today. Showed up at plein air painting event at 8:30 despite the stormy situation. My friend Shirley and I did elect to paint indoors since the winds were so strong a neighbor's tree snapped off the ground. It's not REALLY plein air I suppose, but it's painting and it's from life. So I figured it wasn't a bad way to start a 3-day event of painting as long as I was actually painting. Well here's my result. I wasn't sure how I could make a 6x18 format work but I wanted to challenge myself that it wasn't going to be a gladiola painting or something floral and vertical LOL! Well there ya go, about 2 hrs and 15 minutes of painting. I considered painting another, but the weekend would give more painting opportunities so I had to try and distribute my stamina like a good soldier. The sun was out for about an hour so I'm glad we had a cozy set up indoors.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom!

When I heard this beautiful song by Celine Dion recently, I knew she was talking about my Mom! So I just had to send this message out to her :) For lack of better words: Thank you for everything Mom!!!!!

P.S. I will be painting en plein air this coming weekend so I should have some art to post soon :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bluebired Gone Wild

Something I filmed this morning. I'm curious about what information this will bring.
Thanks so much!

Monday, April 12, 2010

CMAM Favorite Food Ferrero Rondnoiri

"Yummy Ferrro Rondnoiri (Fine Dark Chocolate)" 5x5" oil on wood
Here is another Calypso Moon Art Movement entry with the subject Starving Artist talking about food we like to eat though it's bad for us. Cheetos, pork rinds, tweezlers, ICE CREAM, hot cocoa, fried chicken, etc., I could have painted all those and more. But this month is really hectic for me so I had to paint something readily available LOL If you haven't indulged in Ferrero Rondnoiri, you are missing out. The packaging alone illustrates how special they are. Wrapped in burgundy colored foil with brushed texture then seated in a chocolate colored paper cupcake. Then you unwrap it and you see this dark chocolate ball that's covered with chocolate sprinkles. It's a healthy bite size :) As your teeth touch down on it, you hear and feel a crunch. Slight one because it's a thin wafer that shells multi-layered flavors of soft chocolate and some hazelnut. Yes, you read it right hazelnut. My most favorite nut flavor. Check out their website Ferrero

Now it's 55 calories each. So it adds up. And it's bad for me because of that and because sugar simply makes me sleepy and takes away my focus on my art work. Some ingredients are semi sweet chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vegetable oils (palm and sunflower), whey, vanillin and traces of hazelnut.

I am (trying to) paint too much. So far finishing 2 out of 5. It saddens me I can't finish my biggest of them right now (20x24"). We had a death in my family, my dear auntie. Though I did not attend the services (she is being buried today), because it's in California and my family just asked me to stay put, I had to help my Mom get pictures and things ready and I had to contact some people and of course grieve. I don't take death very lightly. And right now I'm still jarred that someone can just be plucked out of my life without a warning. It was a natural death but it's a stunning reminder that we're not in charge. And that we need to make our loved ones priority and go out of our way to spend quality time with them. It's not always convenient, but it is always worth it to remember their smile instead of remembering a face that appeared to ask why you didn't stop to talk. I'm thankful that I always stopped to talk to my auntie.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CMAM Tea cup and Daffodils

"Margaret's Basket" 8"x10" oil on canvas
( scanned inside the frame because it's still wet)

This my contribution to Alice Thompson's Calypso Moon artist Movement. This month's subject objects we collect. We were instructed to show 2 items we collect but the day I was getting set up to paint my piece I was surprised by my neighbor along with her visiting granddaughter who had a handful of freshly cut daffodils for me. I am a regular beneficiary of my neighbor's happy garden but occasionally it's so I can visit with her favorite visitor who is a walking inspiration to me. But let me talk about this painting first...

What do I collect? Majority of what I collect is for my art's sake. So it's art supplies, still life props (cups, vases, scarves, pitchers, metal things, etc.), and even admired artist's works. In this piece I chose a couple objects from my still life props collection. A small glass vase which used to be a perfume bottle but the dipping glass has disappeared or broke from having been packed a few times. And a delicate and unusual bone China cup. Originally I wanted to depict red things I collect because I tend to gravitate toward red nostalgic objects. I chose the title because I bought a basket from a local artist who makes such sweet baskets (and makes them very well!), and I remember picturing it with daffodils inside so I had to give Margaret Alter credit somehow :)

I painted the still life in one day so I'm particularly gratified that I painted what I saw in my head! Painting flowers tend to stress me out because they overwhelm me and I always feel like I need to HURRY UP!!!

Early the following day (yesterday), I was due at my friend's house for a group painting session. Well my neighbor's grand daughter was there too! She is such an amazing girl at 10; mature and so innocent and definitely intelligent. She is blind but I've forgotten her complete diagnosis. I met her when she was rollerskating about 4 years ago in her grandparents' driveway. She also rock climbs but her real passion is horseback riding and she's been winning awards already! Anyway, rather than paint still life with my friends, I decided to attempt an impromptu portrait of her and try a limited palette. I knew it was a bad idea especially when she discovered the chair she was sitting in was a rocking chair! LOL It's hard enough to photograph an active kid and the donut and fruit juice didn't help. Well I didn't really do as well as I hope but it's not as bad as I feared I suppose. And I did resort to taking photo of her and popped the memory card in the laptop for the rest of the session while we tried to make sure we didn't neglect her presence. She even read excerpts from Harry Potter for a bit which I enjoyed because I love HP. All in all a day well spent with good friends!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pink for Spring!

"Pink Bunnies at Spring" 12x16 oil on canvas
I laugh each time I see this painting :) I don't think I've ever painted anything this pink but actually I HAVE! Click here for evidence. But what's really sweet is what inspired this painting to begin with....

For Valentines the husband surprised me with a delivered beautiful spring bouquet! He's frequently brought me home handsome flowers because he probably gets a kick out of losing me for a few hours or days when a flurry of photography sessions follow while the bouquet travels from various parts of the house catching natural lighting then studio lights. I bought the bunnies from the gallery, they were made a fellow artist Shirley Peshek who is also one of my most favorite people :)

This bouquet however was painted from life. They were obviously quality picks because they lasted longer than any bouquet I've had the honor of receiving. My admiration and respect is quite intact for artists who paint beautiful flowers. It is so challenging and humbling for me to paint them because I get lost among the multitude of petals thanks to my double vision. But thank goodness I wasn't painting hydrangeas which happen to be one of my more favorite flowers!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Calypso Genesis Self Portrait in Oils

"Erika Lost in Painting"
9x12 oil on canvas

This is my submission to a new artist blog challenge hosted by the talented Alice Thompson. The blog is Calypso Moon Artist Movement . This our genesis challenge - to create a self portrait which includes our shoulders because shoulder gestures add insight to the the subject's personality. We were also instructed to choose one color plus black and white in our paintings.

My color choice was yellow ocher by Lefranc. I like that it is both an earthy and warm hue which adds to the mood of my painting. I chose this photo because I've been told people who know me catch me in this position often times. They conclude that I'm a deep thinker :) Actually, if I could step out of myself and see me this way, I can attest that I'm very much in my creative zone and in the middle of mentally painting my next piece or maybe trying to determine a solution to a problem I've encountered on the piece that's been sitting on my easel.

Please visit CMAM blog to view what the other hand-picked artists have done to meet the challenge!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Portrait of Karin

"Portrait of Karin Jurick" oil on canvas 10"x10"x2"

FINALLY we got green light from dear SURPRISE COORDINATOR Jill Polsby to publish out secret portraits of the talented Karin Jurick who is the coordinator of Different Strokes by Different Folks blog. I love how this piece turned out. It is fun to do a piece for a fellow artist who would appreciate a more painterly style vs for clients who expected smoother approach for the most part. I think seeing brush strokes and some preliminary markings who the artist's hand or touch a lot better and I'd find it more personal.

I can't wait to see other works from same photo! Jill sent us a still shot captured from Youtube so it wasn't the best resolution but maybe it's good to have a not so perfect reference....hmmm.

**update! I just got a preview of the book presented to Karin of the 118 portraits painted by like number of participants thanking her for all Karin has done for us and it's impressive and beautiful! Thank you Jill for your hard work and thoughtfulness!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Na' Vi Me as Avatar

A couple days ago I FINALLY got to see the movie "Avatar" in 3D. My 3 gal pals and I had a girl day on a Monday which is rare. Of course we had a blast and there was a lot of excitement, screaming, jumping and laughing - it was all Vicki Ross LOL!!!!!!!!!

Well when I got home and had dinner with my hubby who stayed home from work, I jumped right on my Photoshop and played with my kid pic. The image came together fast and I was delighted to get it out of my system :) Here are a couple other steps:

Of course the main character caught my attention! Injured Marine soldier, Jake Sully, is confined to a wheelchair, finds his warrior heart inside a fully functioning and capable body! I so related to him getting so out of hand excited in the lab when he woke up as an Avatar and was able to stand, walk, jump and RUN!

I also appreciated all the hard work and perfectionist level that the whole graphics department had to maintain in order to produce such a flawless animated film. I remember when the first Shrek came out and I was disappointed to detect some glitches. But I sure didn't see any of that in Avatar I'm pleased to say :)

Well I do enjoy graphic art; I love the instant gratification when I think I'm done and I can print it or publish it and send it off to the infinite cyber world. Unlike the oil portrait I'm waiting to dry a bit longer so I can get an even tone and take a photo to show you...