Friday, May 31, 2013

The Boardwalk

It's no secret that Walt Disney World is one of my favorite places on the planet. But did you know that of all the resorts on property, my favorite is the Boardwalk Resort?

After staying here for the first time in February 2011, the Turtle and I fell in love. The atmosphere, location, mood, everything about it is wonderful. It has it's own magic that captures you as soon as you step onto its wooden walk.

It's the perfect place to walk with your sweetheart....or walk laps at midnight to walk off 5 mason jars of sangria....

And it's also home to most yummy dessert ever - the No Way Jose

So I decided to pay tribute to my favorite resort by painting it's portrait! This took awhile, and there were many, many times I thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew. But, as we all know, the more I think I should give up, the more determined I get to complete it. So, here is The Boardwalk:

This is based on the picture at the top of this post. I was so pleased with myself when I finished this little section of the sketch, as it's the most difficult part of the painting. Perspective has always been my weakness...I still remember making an absolute disaster of my first piece (and last til now) of perspective in my high school art class. After a few attempts at giving me pointers, my teacher gave up and would just walk by shaking her head (as she probably headed to go cry in a corner). Perspective involves rulers and 'points of origin' and rules, and discipline and...blyeck. No, thank you. I'm far too impatient and go-with-the-flow with my art to handle it.

So I was super impressed with myself.....until my mom pointed out that my buildings were at an angle. Then I could barely sleep that night, obsessing with how on earth I'd fix it since it's so impossible to erase on canvas. ARRRRRRRRRRG!

But, somehow I moved on and here's the rest!

When I painted the water, it took 2 days and I was so unhappy with the results after day 1, that I had to take a walk so I wouldn't smash it to pieces. I didn't take any pictures of the water step, but I did take pictures of the creative ways I had to paint. This is a 16" x 40" canvas, so when you're painting all the way on the right side, the left seems like its on another continent, and your perspective gets all messed up! Sometimes you just need to be able to step back to get a better view.

I put mom to work keeping it steady so I could paint the sides...And no, I never change my clothes ;-)

And finally:

"The Boardwalk"
16" x 40" original acrylic painting on canvas

Not to toot my own horn, but this picture really doesn't do it justice. There's a lot of subtle color shadings that my little camera just couldn't capture. All paintings are so much better live!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I could not wait for mom's birthday this year! I'd made her a special painting of our family trailer in Pennsylvania and I couldn't wait to give it to her.

I finished it back in April, and with mom coming to visit me all last week while the Turtle was in AZ, I swore to myself I'd wait til the last day to give her her present.......and then 5 minutes after she'd set all of her bags down, she found herself on the couch with a box to unwrap ;-)

Camping is something my family and I have done since I was born. Some may scoff that our be-decked trailer is hardly camping, to which I say, you're right. But then, going to the gym and using the crunch machine like a Lazy Boy is hardly working out, yet people still claim they are (I'm not bitter). Sooooooooo..... Tough poopies.

Here's the original picture I was working with:

And here's the process!

The original picture show's my brother's van, so I used artistic license and swapped it for my mom's truck instead!


And finally.......

For some reason, I never took a close up of the finished product, but you get the idea. She loved it! Hurray!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ready to Pounce

As promised, here is a painting I completed to enter in a cat-themed art show a few weeks ago. I found out about it last minute, so I literally did this entire painting in one day! Unfortunately, I didn't make it into the show (sigh). But here is the Puddy Tat.


 And finally......

"Ready to Pounce"
11" x 17" acrylic original on canvas board

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adventures with RRB

I knew it was going to be an adventure when RRB texted first thing asking if I'd brought old shoes. That can only spell one thing: MUD. Luckily, I had a beat up pair of Mizunos at my mom's...though one shoe was missing a shoe lace I now have hanging around my rearview mirror. After raiding her sewing basket, I tied 2 old laces together and presto! Like a brand new shoe!

My next race on Father's Day has 4 killer hills in it (ok, not really killer, but any slight incline is torture for me), so I've been wanting to get some hill training in before then. All I have to do is slightly mention that I'm even thinking about agreeing to doing hills and RRB seizes the opportunity. Seizes the opportunity without properly scoping out our path. Ok, he trial-runned our route days before....and got lost. And yet, I still follow him.

We went to Hinckley Reservation in Medina, OH and ran up some monstrous hills, that never really had the equal downhill to go with it. But it was so much fun!

I have no idea why I keep putting my life in this guy's hands
Halfway thru the run we climbed the mother of all hills. At the top? This really cool rock/cavern grove full of rock carvings some guy in the late 19th / early 20th century carved into them. Really neat!

Well, it was really neat the first time....RRB realized we'd made a wrong turn after descending down the mother of all hills (Everest). Passing the carvings the second time was not as fun.

You are NOT my favorite person anymore. (Note hot orange makeshift shoe lace)

After threatening RRB's life, I got over it...until I stepped in a creek. I've mentioned in the past that I don't do trail downhills very well. I pause my Garmin and tend to tiptoe down, fearing for my life...same goes for creek and river crossings.

Step 1: Stare at body of water in confusion. "You want me to cross this!? F&#*!"
Step 2: Scratch head and plan attack...mutter expletives, curse out RRB
Step 3: Tentatively step onto first rock..more expletives
Step 4: Scratch head and plan attack. Curse out RRB again
Step 5: Onto next rock
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until crossed

Yes, I have serious issues.

Anyway, my carefully crafted creek crossing plan failed.

Glad I wore old shoes

It was a great run, we got 10.5 miles in. We had so much fun and I got some monstrous hills in to help with my race. I love being back home!

Friends thru thick, thin, mud, hills, fire alarms, hamster circles and insanity

Monday, May 6, 2013

Once Upon a Dream

Here's one of 3 paintings I have finished recently. I've got a few Disney Princess ones I want to do in this style, so they're going to be part of a set.

Here is "Once Upon a Dream"

I was a little nervous about tackling the trees, so I put it off for awhile. Then I got sick of having it stare at me leaning against the wall while I watched I sucked it up and gave it a go. I ended up doing all the trees in one night! I think it worked out pretty well! 

And finally..........

"Once Upon a Dream" - 20" x 28" original acrylic painting  

I had a fantastic run with RRB over the weekend, which I'll post about next! More paintings to come!