Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Borgas Shmorgas

Who doesn't love the Swedish Chef? And what better place to have him displayed than at a restaurant? Here's his debut:

......and then I decided to repaint everything I'd already done because I thought he was boring and needed more shading for depth. Cue the swearing...

Ok, now I can breathe, much better.

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

18" x 24" original acrylic painting on canvas

Next up, I'm paying a tribute to my favorite place, the Towpath, where I will be freezing my ass of this Sunday in the Towpath Half Marathon. Yippee!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Iron Man

A recent dinner at Grumpy's gave me the chance to size up my soon-to-be-display space even further, (and gave me an excuse to try the most delicious pasta ever). Upon further inspection, I decided I would need a few tall paintings to throw in the mix. Which got me to realize that most of my paintings are wide loads, and not tall glasses of water. OMG, what did I just write.

Anyway, I spent the rest of dinner trying to come up with ideas for tall, narrow paintings and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to appeal to my male audience and show that I don't just paint princesses, butterflies and unicorns
(tho, ha! I haven't done a unicorn yet......but that is a good idea....).

Trying to think of stuff the Turtle would like hanging on a wall of a mancave (have I mentioned there's a light sabor hanging on our living room wall?), I came up with a few ideas and first up is Mr. Tony Stark himself.

I give you, Iron Man:

 A few years ago, I discoverd I have a nack for sketching robots. On a whim, I sketched Master Chief as a birthday gift for the Turtle and was surprised at the result. While robots don't exactly inspire me, they can be pretty easy to do (at least for me), because I can look at it as just a bunch of straight lines instead of curving, swirling fairytale whisps. Robots are pretty black and white, and you can forget the big picture of what you're trying to be drawing and just isolate it, line by line.

I painted black over the pencil so I wouldn't lose my lines if I smeared color when doing the yellows and reds

And finally.....

"Iron Man"
18" x 24" original acrylic painting on canvas

The Turtle is already begging me to overprice it so no one will buy it and he can have it all to himself. He's also threatened to poke a hole in Iron Man's chest and put a real light there. I'm going to have to keep my eye on him!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sunset on Cinderella's Castle

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm going to have about a dozen paintings displayed at a local Cleveland cafe this winter. It took me hours to come up with the perfect idea for the main piece that would be in the center and really sum up who I am as a painter and where I'm coming from. It didn't take long for me to choose Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World..and then I realized this will be my 3rd piece showcasing my favorite building in the world.

I knew I wanted it to be big and colorful to really catch the eye and be the 1st thing you see when you walk into the restaurant. I went with a 30" x 40" canvas, and upon beginning the sketch was reminded of just how much more work and how much more difficult painting on bigger canvases is...

Wine bottles make the best iPad stands

Here's how it turned out....

I wanted to make the castle as uncartooney as I could (well, for me), so I tried to sketch in as much detail as I could stand. The plan was to sketch in EVERY detail of EVERYTHING: trees, bridges, water...but after the Castle, I lost patience.

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

"Cinderella's Castle at Sunset"
30" x 40" original acrylic painting on canvas

I'm so happy with how it turned out, I think its my best castle yet! And I feel immensely relieved to have my piece de resistance complete for my Grumpy's show. Phew! This took me almost a month to do from start to finish! Plenty more to come as I continue cranking them out!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Gallery Debut!

I'm officially an artist! I had my debut last weekend at The Doubting Thomas art gallery in Cleveland! It was awesome to see one of my paintings hanging on a gallery wall!

The show was called, "Out of the Box" and the idea was for artists to hang a piece in the medium they normally work in, and one in a medium they're unfamiliar with, that's 'out of the box'. Going with the box theme, I decided to paint a picture of a puppy peeking out of a box. Here's how it went....

And finally.......

18" x 24" original acrylic painting on canvas

I'd say it turned out well! For my 'Out of the Box' piece, I took a picture I had taken on our honeymoon on the beach of Maui and photoshopped it. I kind of found out last minute about the need of a 2nd piece, so this was a bit unexpected! And yet, from what I could tell at the opening, more people were looking at my picture than my painting! Grrrrrrrr! FOCUS people :-)
With my 2 pieces

"Mischief" and "Maui" can be seen at The Doubting Thomas at select times the next few weekends. And now its back to work for me...I am super excited to announce that my paintings will be displayed at Grumpy's Cafe in Cleveland this February & March! Grumpy's has absolutely delicious food and is located right in the heart of the Tremont area of Cleveland. I'm getting an entire wall to hang my work...which means I am uber-stressed with trying to pump out paintings. I think I can fit about 10-12 paintings up there, so I have my work cut out for me. So excited that I'm starting to get my name out there!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Eiffel Tower

Another painting, another serious case of "What the hell did I get myself into"

I was asked to paint the Eiffel Tower coming off my stint of painting Disney hotels, when my confidence in painting buildings was at an all-time high. Evil....they caught me in a moment of weakness!

Sure, I said. No problem. What's one measly little tower compared to an entire Boardwalk at Disney World? Piece of cake.


Once I saw the picture they wanted me to do, I could feel the throbbing of a headache begin. I had been picturing a quaint little tower in the midst of trees and empty lawns (clearly I'm not up on my Parisian geography). How was I supposed to know that the dear Eiffel is surrounded by homes and churches and buildings all requiring my most favoritest of painting techniques, perspective. Blyyyeck. What have I gotten myself into? Why does everyone seem determined to get me to improve on my weakness?

Here's the picture I was given to paint.

Such an innocent and unassuming picture
And here's the picture after I photo-shopped it...

And that's when the heart palpitations started. Lots of black dots and undefined lines. Ooh goodie. Oh yeah, annnnnnnnd, they wanted it to be in shades of purple instead of blue, so I had to make sure I remembered that when I was mixing colors.

Here's how it turned out:

Wait, that's more aqua you say? Doesn't look like purple to you, or even a nice lavender? Crrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaap.....And I had been soooo happy with how the tower looked with the highlights. Back to the drawing board. Is it too early to start swearing?

Feeling happy...all curse words shelved

Now, all I have to do is the hard part. Nooooo problem.

It took me forever, FOREVER, to get the colors to blend smoothly for the background colors of the city/park. I think I went thru an entire bottle of blue and lilac paints. There has to be at least 5 layers on that side of the park alone.

Yup, painting the background for the other side didn't get any easier. My mom was visiting and when she'd walk by I would forbid her from even looking in it's direction. I think this is about the time I started cursing France and having a very colorful dialogue with myself about my newly discovered hatred for anything French.

But somehow, I got it together. Surprisingly, the black outlines for the buildings became the easiest, though tedious, part. And once again, I was shown that practice really does make perfect because I think this painting is even better than my Disney Hotel buildings.

Here's the final piece:
"Eiffel Tower" - 22" x 28" original acrylic painting on canvas 

I'm really happy with it, and can't wait to hear the recipient's reaction when she gets it on her birthday.

Next up, I'm in my first art show! This weekend I'll be featured in "Out of the Box", a show at the Doubting Thomas Art Gallery in Cleveland, OH. So excited! If you're in town, stop on by! I was also supposed to be running the Towpath Half Marathon, but thanks to our lovely congress, the Towpath is closed with all the rest of the National Parks. So, now I'll be shopping for snowshoes for the November 3rd rescheduled date. Yippee.