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Showing posts from 2018
Commissions are interesting endeavors. A bespoke painting often means an artist is asked to create something quite different from their regular body of work. It pushes us a bit outside ourselves. Without fail I find it refreshing and deeply rewarding. Some artists specialize in pet portraits. I enjoy doing figure studies and portraits of people but until now I had not painted anyone's pet. "Gizmo" is the Maltese-Yorkie companion of Katie Ruth Williams. And like many diminutive creatures, his personality can barely be contained. This bite-sized Napoleon strives to rule the household. I can't say how successful he is at that but I do know Gizmo is loved. Such a subject deserves a portrait. I wanted Gizmo's likeness to be larger than life—more than double his size—and grand as an Elvis on velvet. Thanks to snapshots by his adoring family, I had plenty of references from which to work. This piece was pure joy. I look forward to many others. "Gizmo&
"Practice makes better" is what we tell the five-year-old. When the child is older, I will explain (and repeat) the 10,000-hours-towards-mastery concept. I don't believe in Perfection. Mastery allows for experimentation to continue and recognizes two important things: the time one must invest in order to improve and that failure is a necessary part of achieving success. Portrait painting has been the most difficult thing I've attempted. It's positively baffling to me. I can't work from one photo. Working from life is ideal, but my current subject (my grandmother) is no longer living. A wall of photos of a person from different angles, different decades (like I'm some sort of stalker) is better for me simply because a single photo rarely captures a personality.* I believe a painting of someone can express who a person truly is by combining impressions from many, many moments. *Of course there are master photographers who CAN capture the essence of
Calligrapher's blotting sheet Starving . Now why would that be? Less than 10 percent of artists make their income from their art. (Less than that if an artist is female or nonwhite or a combination of the two.) The secondary market is where the money is. What an artist is paid at the first transaction is a fraction of what that piece may be worth in the future. Dead or alive, the artist will never see a return on that higher price point. Debbie Downer, right? So, why do artists do what they do? They're called to it. Ever hear someone talk about being called to the ministry? They say they tried to ignore it, went off in another direction and somehow ended up with that call ringing in their ears. It's like that. For many of us it isn't a choice at all. It's like having the Universe constantly pouring color, images, sounds, and ideas into your head. It has to pour out somehow, sometime. When you aren't creating--if nothing is being let out--the