New commission

I just got some new commission work. Back to a pen and ink with pastel architectural! Hooray! I forgot to take the pencil up photo so here we go directly into the finished pen. Lots of nice landscaping in an established neighborhood.

Done for now

I worked long and hard on this one, but it seemed that most of the effort was at the end after the painting was basically finished. I had put the orangy tones in the water last of all, but they seemed to be too strong and competed with the lily pads. I used multiple greenish glazes to tone down the water and pop the lily pads more. I am letting it sit while I am working on the commissions I got a couple of weeks ago. Got to get that Christmas gift money in the purse to spend. LOL

Finished for now

Final for three

Finished watercolor

I realized after the last post that I skipped portrait number two. I’ll post it next, but let’s finish this one first.   I spent two extra sessions with the  watercolors for this little thing. It was hard to get the right amount of color without much in the way of flowers in the landscaping.  A white and black house does need some additional colors.  However, I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Greencastle colored

Greencastle shops

I’ve mostly finished the watercolors on this one.  It took quite a few sessions to build up the golden yellow and the green.  Lots of use of the very little brushes for the details, too.  All told, I am pretty pleased.  I will let it sit for a bit now before I list it as I think it needs slightly more shading.  And I now have a home portrait on the table as well as a cat portrait in the wings.  Fall is shaping up to be busy.

Arches everywhere on a new commission



A new commission piece came onto my desk last weekend, so Felix is on the back burner for now.  I have been talking back and forth with a client about the pictures for a while because the main one with the whole house view is almost totally covered by a leafed out tree.  I have had to piece things together in a major way to even get a sketch for her to see. It is half of a mirrored duplex, but its mate is covered by an even larger tree so there is no additional information to be found there. Nobody else can see much from the street either, which is fortunate for me.  Still, I like to be as accurate as I can be, and this should be pretty darn close.

There are plenty of cute details and unique color accents so it should be quite an interesting portrait, difficulties aside, when I am done.  It is a brick building with arch top windows and half grids.  The larger window under the gable is actually a bay window with a cut glass window panel above.  And see the little brick arches under the  porch?  There are red diamond accents on the eaves and 2 round plaque insets in the upper gable area.  I move the pesky tree to the right, but wanted to keep it as it is obviously a very tree lined street  and a part of the neighborhood character.  The pen work starts after the holiday weekend and we’ll see how panicked I get when inking makes the work get real.  Thank heavens it’s only an 8×6 picture or I might be in real trouble.

Inking the corgi commission

Boomer inked

Boomer inked

I finally took pen in hand yesterday to start inking the corgi. I really had a hard time with the pencil up but now I am on my way.  Sometimes the first stroke is the hardest, but when I make it, everything becomes a lot easier.  The face and chest are mostly white.  I’m waiting to hear if his base coat color is a reddish brown or a golden brown.  I think the pictures were taken indoors with a phone and I don’t trust what came through.  They are somewhat yellowed.  The eyes are dark, so I’ve asked about them too.

In the meantime , I am also making a few more paper mold ornaments.  I sold the angel one last Saturday and decided to use some of the corgi down time making a replacement.  I found that I actually have two molds for the angel, so I am making up two new ones as well as another rocking horse.  I think I will do a blue based one for both.

A little gift

Last Friday my dear father passed away at 84 following a brief illness, leaving a large hole in my family’s lives. But sometimes God throws in a bit of unexpected distraction to lighten the daily experience. Early yesterday morning as I was watering some plants in my garden window and thinking about the day’s difficult tasks, I looked out to the front flower beds.  You will never guess what I saw strolling up the brick pathway.  It was a small, black, horned goat.  My son and I did a double take watching it walk the rest of the path and then step up onto the front door porch.



I am sure it could hear us talking inside because when I went over to the foyer, I saw it peeking into the house through the sidelight glass.  Talk about surreal.  It circled the house after we went out to see it more closely and perhaps make a plan of action, but it became apparent that we needed more help.  I had no grain to entice it and it didn’t seem interested in the offered celery.  And it had a respectable pair of horns.

Seen any coyote puppies lately?

Seen any coyote puppies lately?

I rousted John out of bed and had him drive to a neighbor down the road who raises goats.  It wasn’t one of his, but he kindly offered to come over to get it and take it back with him. So John, he, and his grandson proceeded to try to catch an unwilling victim.  Goats are smart and for a bit it evaded capture.  Finally, it made the fatal mistake of ducking into the garage where it was cornered and captured, screaming “you’re killing me” protests.    They made a nifty little halter out of a lead line and carried it to the truck for transport.  After one (almost successful) escape attempt over the side of the bed, they drove off with their prize.

I don’t know what cosmic message was being sent, but I do know it brightened the start of my day and my mother laughed when I told her about it.  And maybe dad did too.

A short note

I hope the holidays have been good for everyone. Minus the 15+ inches of snow we have gotten since December 26, we have had a wonderful time with family.  Way too much weather for me, although we can finally get out.  The lake and woods are beautiful, frozen and snow-covered.  It is lovely to look out at from the warmth of the house and the fireplace.

The wildlife has hidden itself away.  I have only seen a few deer tracks – not the deer themselves.  Even the birds have been quiet.  I threw out some old bread for them to find, but I may have to see if I can get some bird seed.  I don’t normally put any out because I don’t want to draw in the squirrels.  After our truck going up in flames on the driveway a few years ago because of squirrel squirrelliness, I tend not to put out  much that will attract them. These may be exceptional times, at least in the short-term until the snow melts.  And it may take a while for that with the temperatures in the teens and twenties for a while.

My blogging/camera download computer has been in the shop since Christmas Eve, hence the lack of pictures.  I hope to get it back in the next couple of days and resume posting pictures and artwork.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all that celebrate the season. I have enjoyed sharing the past year with all of you and I look forward to more of the same for 2013! Thanks you all for sharing your time with me.

Good to go – almost

My baby sized splint

Oh happy day, as the song goes. As scheduled, I went and saw the hand specialist today and the news was all good. While I was told the original cast was overkill (rightly due, I think, because I was from out-of-town and would have to travel home to be treated) the manipulations done to get my wedding ring off and taking the x-rays actually managed to rotate the bones back into alignment.  The doctor felt that what was appropriate at this point was a much smaller hand-made, removeable splint.  No surgery as the broken portions were well aligned!  I will have it 4-6 weeks, but it will be so much easier to deal with than what I had.  I should be be able to wear my own clothes and not have to worry about getting a hard cast wet.  I certainly will be able to get back into the studio and finish my latest drawing for which I am eternally grateful.  Still, I have to be careful.  The main thing is not to lift with that hand at this point.  The physical therapist who made the splint said not to be afraid to move the fingers and wrist.

As you can see, my fingers are swollen and somewhat discolored but all in all not too horribly so.  My palm and the back of my hand are a nice mixture of greens and yellows but the doctor actually thought it didn’t look too bad.  The swelling has already been reduced although my fingers and hand have been twitching just a little in the sudden freedom.  It feels quite odd and  a little achy but I am overjoyed that it has turned out so well.  I just have to not to bang it, which, for me, as you now well know may not be as easy as it seems.

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