I remember the day when I took the reference photo for this painting so well! I was stuck at an intersection on my rented bicycle behind this pony cart driver on Inishmore Island, in Ireland. We were waiting for about ten other pony carts and bicycles, and a minivan and I took advantage of the moment to ask to take his picture. He has such a magnificently craggy, character-filled face! And he kind of frowned, and looked off in the distance, and said “Fine then, shoot away.” No smile, nothing…but I remember it fondly…
The color companion to my previous post for Kunamokst:
this is from the same reference photo, but I wanted to see what it would look like without the blue color restriction. I’m really happy with the results! I painted it in about 4 hours, right over the top of an old painting that didn’t work. No drawing, no prelim, nothing. The feeling of spontaneity and freedom was so liberating! I didn’t have to plan and I felt like there was nothing to lose, since it was on an old ruined canvas anyways…If I could only have that with every painting. I have been doing a lot of painting lately, but I’ve really been struggling. Nothing has been working for so long. I started turning towards photography to fulfill the creative buzz, since so many bad paintings were bringing me down. This success was exactly the confidence injection I needed!
I have to try to get a better photo of this one, without the blur and the glare, but nonetheless, it’s still one of my favorite paintings to date. I’m getting better with the loose brushstrokes, and this one literally flew off of the brush. It was really inspiring to achieve exactly what I was going for in this painting. It doesn’t happen for me that often. The looseness worked, the colors worked…and thanks very much for the great contributors at WetCanvas for the great reference photo.
This is a portrait of the actor in Barkerville portraying the character of John Cameron, the first man to strike it big-time rich there. He discovered gold on December 22, 1862, but his wife had recently died, and he decided to return to Victoria in February to grant his wife her last wish, a decent burial at home, for she despised the cold, miserable north where her husband had his claim on Williams Creek. This is an amazing story in itself, and you can read more about it at
http://www.cariboo-net.com/sentinel/vol2/cameron1.htm. This particular image is at a time in the performance when he is reminiscing about his dead wife and child.
Anyways, after his return, he mined vigorously from April until October of 1863, and the gold was so abundant that it was being mined not by the ounce but by the pan. By October, Cameron had taken out the equivalent of $5 million in today’s dollars and Cameron Co. became the richest claim in the colony.
I’ve been meaning to post a few times this last week, but our internet service is really bad right now, and blogger hasn’t been letting me upload pictures. Since this is mainly a blog about pictures, and I didn’t have anything interesting to say, I just didn’t say anything at all.
This painting is one out of this week’s set of ACEO’s. It is from a gorgeous photograph that my friend, James, took, and he graciously gave me permission to use it. His was black and white, and I used my imagination to colorize it. I couldn’t think of a name for it that I hadn’t already used before, and “Mo Cuishle” came to mind, because it means “my darling”. In the book I’m writing, I had to do a lot of research on Gaelic endearments because it’s based in Ireland, so the term was fresh in my mind. Anyways, I hope you all like it.
Bye for now.
Hmmm…much to contemplate these days. I’m not sleeping well, thinking too much…too internal. I feel like walking, running, writing, reading, but not painting. Is that a normal artist thing? Am I just avoiding work? LOL! I’m having a hard time focusing on painting, but, I’m still able to churn out these little babies because they only take an hour. That’s about as long as I can focus on one thing, and even then, I’m finding myself getting up twenty times, to look in the fridge, the cupboard, the drawers, only to go sit back down at the easel, empty-handed, because I’m not really looking for food. It would probably only take half-an-hour if I didn’t get up so often:)
I did finish the 18 x 24 for Inside Barkerville…I think…maybe. There’s still something bothering me about it, but I’m not sure what it is yet.
Anyways, I love the look in this cat’s eye, and I also love the way I did the red background. It really brings it to life…I think it does anyways. (Thanks a bunch to the copyright free WetCanvas photo library for the reference photo!)
Well, I’ve been trying to post for the last few days, but Blogger hasn’t been letting me upload any pictures. Either Blogger or my crappy internet connection, who knows.
This one’s went pretty fast. It was fun, too. It’s a picture of my son, taking up the whole kitchen floor, sitting in a beam of sunlight while he colors. The scene took my breath away, and I knew I had to paint it, so I snapped a few quick photos, some of which turned out really well. There’s another one from the series I might paint, too. But this is it for now.
Aren’t children precious? Everything they do is precious, even the not so precious stuff. And today, that really hit home for me. I mean, I’ve always known it, and always thought it, but sometimes we take it for granted a bit.
That all stopped today. My daughter almost died.
For weeks, I’ve been telling her “Take that out of your mouth! You could choke!” Instead of just getting rid of the offending marbles, or picking them up, we’d get distracted by something else. She’d take it out of her mouth, and we wouldn’t give it another thought. STUPID!@!!@#$% She’s two. She doesn’t listen or she just doesn’t remember.
Today, she choked. She was gasping, and barely making a sound. Her face was starting to turn purple and she was clawing at her neck. I rushed over and stuck my finger down her throat, but it was a marble, and the slippery little thing just pushed farther down. I freaked! My husband rushed over and tried to get it out, but to no avail. He finally grabbed her and did the Heimlich maneuver. After only one or two tries, the marble flew out and landed on the floor in front of me. I broke down. I couldn’t stop shaking. I just cried and cried. It was too close.
We went through the whole house after that, throwing out anything smaller than a baseball…well not quite a baseball, but you know…
I’ll never take my children’s safety for granted again. Nothing matters more than them. Her throat is sore, and she’s shaken up, but she’s alive.
Just a quick post tonight. I’m busy and tired. I painted three aceo’s today, cleaned house, played with my kids at the park, cooked dinner, gave the kids a bath, put them to bed, folded three loads of laundry, and now it’s time to get to work on my Barkerville paintings.
But, I’m painting:) Who could ask for more?
Okay, well, I know I have painted this image of my beloved Shiva before, but never this small:) I sold the original one, and I really love this picture of her posing in a ray of sunshine on our old farm. The light is so beautiful, I just had to do it again as an ACEO.
In other news, hmmm…let’s see. I know I had something I wanted to talk about. Oh yeah…commissions. I’ve discovered something new about actually working full time as an artist. I hadn’t up until this Barkerville project came up. I’d always dreamed of being able to support myself with my art, but let’s just say I didn’t do a whole lot to make that dream happen. I painted when I had the energy, or when inspiration hit, or when I thought I had time. When it’s a job, though, holy…do priorities ever change. Suddenly it’s really not that important to have coffee with girlfriends, or make sure your child gets to the play centre three times a week that’s half an hour drive away, and lasts for three hours, or watching Medium every Monday night. I’d love to still be doing those things, mind you, but they sure don’t allow me to get any painting done. This is hard!@ It’s work. It’s good work, because I’m doing what I love, but sometimes I have to do an image I’m not crazy about, or subject matter I’m not familiar with, and…it’s work! I’m the one who decided I wanted to paint Barkerville anyways, so it’s not like I have to just paint what I’m told, either. But still, I started to feel smothered, and hopeless.
I know I was going to go somewhere with this…damn mommy brain…I wish I could sleep at night:) That’s it…back to the ACEO’s. I’ve realized, that no matter how tiny, or insignificant it is, we, as artists, need to remember to take time to paint just for ourselves, or we’ll start hating it. I was getting so burnt out. The last thing I wanted to do was pick up a paintbrush. And then I took an hour and put it aside for just me, and painted a little trading card. It turned out great, and I felt great, and I didn’t have to take it all seriously, and worry if it was going to be good enough. So now, when I’m feeling smothered by the project, I grab a little 2.5″ by 3.5″ card and whip off a little kitty, or horse, or something totally frivolous, and suddenly everything’s all good again.
I know!!! I’ve been away from here forever, but…I’m going to try to come back, I promise. I’m finally painting something I’m allowed to show you all:)
For the last five months, I’ve been working on a top secret project:) I’m not allowed to show the paintings off online…yet. Not until the website is up and running. I’ll give you a hint, though. The Candyman painting is one of the paintings included in the project. And, this cat painting is not, lol! Okay, I’ll tell you about it. I know that I mentioned somewhere that I decided to do my body of work on Barkerville, this cool historical, restored ghost town near Quesnel, B.C. — Well Serendipity walked in, and about a week after I’d made that decision, I was contacted by a man working in Barkerville, who saw my art online and wanted to know if I might happen to be interested in illustrating a book he was writing. (At that point, the only person I had told about my decision was my husband.) Well, DUH!! I had just decided to do twenty or so paintings about Barkerville anyways, so that was a no-brainer.
So, I’ve been working really hard on those full-size, original oil paintings ever since, and haven’t given myself much time to paint anything just for me. These little ACEO miniature paintings are perfect, since they don’t take long to finish, so they’re not really cutting into my project time, but I still get that wonderful sense of accomplishment of finishing a new painting. Plus, I can paint whatever I want, and that’s nice, too. I’m really enjoying the Barkerville project, but sometimes it’s hard as an artist when you’re being directed. So, Baby Blue Eyes was my solution! Hope you like her. She’ll be on Ebay for the next week, so have a look.