Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!!

Click on image to see greetings
Please click on image to see my greetings to you all!  Hope you're all being safe until I see you next time!  Wishing you all the best that 2012 can offer you may you be prosperous, have good health, be surrounded with love and have lots of laughter in your year to keep you smiling! xoxox Erika

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hope Springs!

Today I received my sketchbook from Art House Co-op's Sketchbook Project 2012.  This will be my latest attempt at creating art.  With our continued effort to move and sell our previous home, we've been too busy and a bit stressed about the whole "downsizing" effort.  So far all my art supplies are filling up the 2-car garage  yikes!  Yet I don't think I have an art room to speak of in our new (older) home.  It does cause me to question if I want to continue being a visual artist!  It takes so much supplies and space to do this unless I want to limit myself to small format or nothing bigger than 8x10 - then fork out the money to have everything custom framed.  I just can't express myself well in those tight dimensions.

In the meantime we can only focus on what's here.  That there's too much and there's only the two of us who will mostly have to sort through it.  For now, I'll throw out a question to the universe if I really should pursue this thing called Fine Art or go explore a different creative outlet.  For now, I will participate in this Sketchbook Project just to have a small string tethered to the fine artist in me.  My theme is "Hope" :)
 Somewhere here is projected to be a space for my art creation.  It's windowless and dark.  I know this whole plan is good.  I will keep a look out for more direction :)

By the way I am uploading some images for merchandising in my Zazzle store.  They have a special until Nov. 6 for 50% on cards  code:4EVERYMOMENT  <--my Zazzle store :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Featured Artist for September and latest art

We are still in packing mode for our selling and buying home project.  It seems I've been packing mainly my art supplies and paintings for a million hours now and I'm not sure I've hit halfway yet :(  It makes me really really REALLY wonder if I really want to be an artist HAHAHA!  

However, I am keeping up with my artistic obligations as well.  Last night I had to paint my 2 5x5 canvases for Art Center of the Ozarks's annual 5x5 auction fundraiser.  I had lost track of deadline so I naturally resorted to acrylics.  I have packed most of my accessories for this medium because I don't usually work with it.  But thankfully, I can enjoy a very limited palette so when I got hold of my red, yellow, blue and white tubes, I know I had no worries.  Also helpful were my Beste Duo brushes  which I really hadn't played with until last night!  They were perfectly handy to have except I couldn't figure out what end to soak in water!  My solution was to paint very fast :D  Used one of our dinner plates for mixing...I usually use an enameled pan.


 "Isolated Peace" and "Purple Clumps" 5x5" acrylics on canvas

Above are the two finished pieces.  I'm so happy I managed to paint them after packing all day and definitely exhausted!  But it felt so good to have painted and to meet an obligation!  My friend Mary picked them up first thing the next day to deliver 3 towns away from me.  Thanks Mary!

Hey, I am honored to be one of 2 featured artists at Poor Richard's Art this month YAY!!!  The other artist is Damon Chatterton, a wonderful polymer clay sculptor!  I plan to be be there for the Twilight Walk come see me!!!

"Kathy" 8x10 watercolor on paper

Another success story I have to share is the completion of this tribute portrait of my very missed niece Kathy.  This is a gift of mine to my sister Anna for her birthday next week - Happy Birthday sis! Enjoy Hawaii!  I love you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Daily Paintworks Happy Birthday Carol!

"Texture Crow 1"  5x7 watercolor on yupo paper

This is my contribution to DPW's "Happy Birthday Carol!" challenge.  Some people say crows bring them fortune.  I just like the drama that I feel inside me sometimes because they're black and they remind me of Hitchcock's movie of course.

I just want to let you know I'm pretty busy these days.  My husband and I downsizing  and hoping to sell our house and move.  So please think positive and happy thoughts and send them to Northwest Arkansas :)  Hope you're having a nice summer!  Thanks so much for visiting my blog :D  

Ok I'll also post my other new painting of strawberries.  I love painting on yupo!  Sometimes my current life events keep me from painting full sheet ones though :P 

"Fresh Strawberries"  5x7 watercolor on yupo paper

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Sterling day for Starlings!

"Sterling Starlings" 20x26 watercolor on Yupo

This morning I received a call from a very excited lady who saw this painting hanging at one of the galleries currently exhibiting my work.  She just had to have this for her office so she can look at it daily she said!  She also wants to know what else I have.  She promptly made arrangements to pick it up after our phone call :)  Wow what wonderful way for an artist to start her day!  For me it's better than Christmas since Christmas is not about me anyway ;)

I've been busy cooking up big plans in the background.  Getting ready for September when I am one of two artists featured at Poor Richard's Art's for the month!  :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

DPW flower and reflection challenges

Since I all my plans didn't quite work today, I was determined to at least get some painting done finally.  So I braved the 98°.  This challenge put forth by James Coulter on Daily Paintworks, instructed outdoor painting for an hour only.  It was almost 10AM when I finally stepped out the door to paint my blackeyed Susans which were planted by my neighbor Shirley for me by the gazebo.  They looked tired so I watered around first to give them a chance to perk up a little bit.  After I carried everything I needed outside I realized I was using a different tripod/easel which was not compatible with my artbox.  So I ended up just holding my artbox on my lap and proceeded to paint after I set my mobile phone timer to 60 minutes. 
 "Blackeyed Susan in 98° Heat" 12x9 oil on canvas

This next photo was the beginning and after that, 30 minutes later I had what I thought was gonna be the finished painting within an hour.  But I actually feel pretty good about the painting after 50 minutes of working in the heat and the ants that made their way to under my sundress.  I now realize one doesn't wear sundress plein air painting.  But I enjoyed being outside, hearing soft movements among trees and ground from birds and other moving things.  Butterflies visited the flowers but I didn't bother to paint them in.  Of course I actually could have painted them since they were so wiped out by heat and were very thirsty.  But my brushes wouldn't have done them justice.  I still have 10 minutes I didn't use, I wonder if I should tweak a bit more?  I finally got in the house after hauling everything back in at 1PM.  Suffering for the love of painting outdoors is fun as long as I have air-conditioned house to come home to ;)

^^First stage of the painting^^

 "Cherries and Cream Reflections"  2.5"x3.5" watercolor on paper
I painted this last week for the DPW Reflections challenge.

I am brave enough to report that I've failed my 30-day painting challenge.  I had to forfeit because my dear artist neighbor Shirley sold their house and were moving to another state.  I helped her for two weekends at her garage sale.  She had given me artist furniture and other supplies and I had to make room for them in my art room.  And since my art room was already busting at the seams, I had to move most things out so I could rearrange and sort through things.  When I decide to organize, I try very hard not to just pile everything back in.  I really sort. 
Above is the new development.  I moved my desk at the corner where I am now surrounded by windows on two sides.  These pics are actually from last week.

This the artist furniture Shirley gave me.  I had been DREAMING of having something like this!  What a wonderful gift! :)

One view of the old pile.  It doesn't look half this bad anymore.  But my rotator cuff problem has flared up again.  As I was painting today it reminded me of watching Serena Williams play tennis with a lot of grunting.  But all I was trying to do was raise my hand up to my eye level.  Hey, the painting looks pretty good though :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cat Nap and Rembrandt ACEO watercolor art

"Cat Nap" 16"x12" watercolor on paper

I do love sleeping paintings!  Somehow they make me feel like I too have caught up on my rest!  This painting will be delivered today to Poor Richard's Art in Rogers, Arkansas along with some prints.  Recently they have sold a giclee on watercolor of my "Dreaming Sweet Dreams" and my original ACEO below.

"After Rembrandt Self Portrait 1659" 3.5"x2.5" watercolor on paper

This favorite ACEO I've painted was sold by Poor Richard's Art for $350.00!  It's quite exciting for me because it breaks my old ACEO record of $250.00 for this small format art!  Giddy and so grateful!!!
Here I wanted to show my "Bed Hair" ACEO along with my latest obsession the wasabi peas!!!  I've been crunching and doing my 30 days of painting this summer.  Hope you're all staying cool and doing outdoor fun stuff!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

30-day painting challenge day #3

"Poppy Landscape" ACEO/ 3.5x2.5" watercolor on paper

Here is a website explaining ACEO click --> HERE

I am challenging myself to just paint daily for 30 days.  I won't be painting a finished piece but I will paint something everyday which I don't do.  Well some days I take pictures all day or read an art book or peruse art websites but those too get in the way of creating.  So I painted this at 11:50PM last night lol  But it was done at 12:30 - I love that panic button!!!  This is a monthly challenged in Wetcanvas miniature group.  I had never participated in any of that before, usually I just go to the image library.

This video prompted me to do the 30-day deal from email my brother and sister sent me.  By the way this painting is day #3

Friday, July 8, 2011

DPW Old Mill and Tools challenges, etc.

"Neglected, but not Forgotten" 3.5x2.5 watercolor on paper
I'm surprised this painting fell together in an hour.  I had an hour to produce something before I had to fix dinner but I still went ahead and grabbed a blank ACEO watercolor paper (btw a gift from a dear friend Barbara Ann Spencer Jump).  She was kind enough to gift me a variety of watercolor papers in 2.5x3.5 format! This is equivalent to winning the raffle ticket for me because I can only cut trapezoids for some reason!  Check out the submissions "Paint What You Paint With Challenge"

I felt SOOOO challenged by the DPW Old Mill challenge!  It's not so much that the reference photo was low resolution and dreary.  But I admit, I'm not a landscape artist and I'm especially not used to painting with a with a make-believe prettier picture in my head HAHAHA  So I submitted anyway, such as it was....

"Solo Mio" 7x5 watercolor on paper

Finally, I took a picture of myself....rather, I happen to like this one picture I took recently of myself so I thought I'd paint it for the DPW All About Me challenge.  I started painting it before Romel Delatorre workshop, but I think was a mistake not to finish what I had started before the workshop because I was simply dying to paint when I got back!  It would have behooved me more to paint something on a blank canvas.  My saturated brain was not ready to go backwards.  So I'm disappointed in this painting.  I'd like to start painting with more subtlety.  We'll chalk this one up to painting while I'm in transition but I am sharing it here as starting point (fingers crossed).  We'll see where I go from here :)

"Departure" oil on linen 6x6 inches

Umm here is the reference photo don't laugh!  I am the only one allowed to laugh!  Oh of course you can laugh! :D

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

4 days with Romel Delatorre workshop

I discovered Romel Delatorre's art on Facebook.  Aside from obviously being an outstanding figurative artist what struck me was the warmth he gives the fleshtone, his sense of light and just an understated very strong skills in painting and drawing figures.  I eventually found out he also studied with an artist I admire Richard Schmid. Romel is a faculty member of Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts,and a multi award recipient and signature member of Portrait Society of America.

Here are some photos I took at the 4-day workshop last week.  I always sat on the side to learn from watching the artist paint and photography is just secondary so these are not the best photos but I will add some of my notes as I go along.  Be aware you can always click on my images to see bigger version!

Coordinator Brenda Laney was simply awesome with the whole thing.  Mornings were 3 hours live demo and afternoons were 3 hours students painting from live models.  There were 15 students and 4 models.  We also had the best snacks and coffee kept flowing.

First Painting First Day
First Romel toned his linen canvas. Brushed on faint colors with turp and smeared it around with paper towel.  He proceeded to draw a simple face with a brush.


Face emerges
From simple drawing, and painting in the light and dark shapes of the face.  He advises to paint what you see and keep your colors simple.  On the first demo he used Anders Zorn’s palette (Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Black and White).
3 hour demo

My first painting
I don't know why I was so tired.  I think from packing and anticipation of the class.  As a matter of fact Romel came up to me to point out I was painting on the back of the canvas HAHAHAHA!  Then I should have realized I was just sitting too far from the model.  My double vision was not happy with me but I was just not being aware of many things that afternoon!

Mom getting sun
Mom, who lives in OC, was at the last end of her visit when I dragged her to the workshop with me.  I was SO LUCKY I did!  I never would have made it through 4 days alone!  All the oil painting equipment was too much for me to deal with!  And the hotel was not really equipped for handicap needs.  We ended up using a regular room because the handicap room had Wi-Fi that only worked if I sat in the hallway plus A/C was broken  and the room didn't feel like a happy place for $72.00/night.

Rooms had no windows so I really missed the sun; we had to step out of the building to see outdoors.  So I made sure Mom and I got our outdoor time daily. I made her walk around the hotel walking up and down outdoor stairs and walking briskly around the emptyish parking lot.  Thank God I'm so blessed with a wonderful strong Mom I had to make sure she was being healthy while in the cave!!!!

I also learned plastic plants zap my lust for life lol  The hotel was full of them! I will note the staff was accommodating and they have good breakfast buffet and really good chopped sirloin steak dinner and great coffee! :D

Plastic plants galore

Back to art.... 2nd day
Romel toned his canvas, did about 4 brush lines and proceeded wiping out the light side of the face.
Simple shapes

Face emerges again!

With model

Final Painting 16x20
Second demo was full color.  That is: Yellow ochre, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Alizarin Crimson, Transparent Oxide Red, Terra Rosa, Cobalt Blue, Ivory Black and Titanium white.

My 2nd painting
I tend to see too many colors which is good for watercolors.  I was really struggling with all the different lights I was seeing.

Third and fourth day were extended painting from same seating.

Toned, drew and wiped

Simple abstract shapes for guide

A beautiful face emerges and wonderful likeness

A few of us have painted from model Rachel at this point and we've all struggled with her light complexion and light hair.  Of course Romel didn't.  He reminded us to paint what we see, not what we think.

My 3rd painting
My painting started so slow...well it is 18x24.  I decided to paint a couple more hours in the bedroom after the class session.

Last day was painting supporting parts of the face...
2nd day same set up

Paint a hand in or both before model goes on break because she will not capture the same hand positions again!

Some palette knife details

The last pic I took
I didn't get a chance to photograph the final painting.  It was lunch break and I wanted to get done eating so I could paint in the background on my piece.  I didn't realize the painting was sold after the last demo and the student who bought it had to get started on the long drive home so the painting wasn't around for photography after lunch.  Just take my word for it, it was gorgeous!  I'm happy for my friend who owns it now :)

Shaping up nicely

Mom, painting and Joe Kelly

About an hour before class ended I decided to pack it up.  It was Friday and Mom has a vertigo like condition that makes things very unpleasant for her in traffic.  And I determined whatever I had to accomplish with my painting was going to take more than an hour.

I needed a whole month more with Romel watching him paint so my thinking, my eyes and reflexes can truly grasp as much as I wanted to.  He was a wonderful teacher.  I don't take much workshop because it's usually not in my budget and I feel guilty that I have a college degree so I should have enough art education for a lifetime!  But I've heard a common complaint about workshop teachers not giving attention to individual students.  Not in Romel's case.  He took the time for us.  He'd stand behind a student watch how the person works and Romel determines the best immediate advise to give at this point.   

For instance he asked me to  warm up the light side.  He stood next to me as I mixed my batch and he watched me brush it on the canvas.  He then instructed me to  make my own orange instead of using the cad yellow deep.  And again I mixed my batch and he'd wait for me to brush it on and he stood next to me until we reached a good solution.  This made me very nervous HAHAHA but I appreciated that he wasn't just barking orders and walking away as if he just needed to throw me orders so he can leave and move on to another student.  Yes, he did same when I was painting on the wrong side of the linen canvas.  He stood next to me until he saw me painting on the primed side HAHAHA  Oh my garsh was that embarrassing!  I had worked with Claessens linen roll before and should have known better!!!  

How much did I learn from Romel Delatorre?  A whole lot more than I realize.  And I know it will creep into my routine if I simply keep painting!  YAY me for saving up for this workshop and taking Mom along!  Brenda did such a cool workshop with daily giveaways I felt like I was in an Oprah show :D  I got Claessens linen canvas samples, viewfinder, value scale, and a fresh tube of Cadmium red! 

Morning demo set up
Some students setting up in their corner

Romel had some studies he brought to sell plus his demo pieces

Most of these sold.  I REALLY wanted the #3 piece!

The happy students (most of us), Romel and models copyright photo by Romel Delatorre