Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Norman Rockwell and Me

I have met a lot of celebrities in my day, but the one that I am most excited about (and remember almost nothing about) is the great illustrator, Norman Rockwell. That is me, in white at about 7 years old. My brothers Brian and Chuck behind, and my mom. Later that day, My mother and I posed for a painting for an insurance company. I remember his studio being huge, but then again, I was very small. He was very patient, and I was a bit fidgety. I remember he had a soft voice and humble way about him. I did make him laugh though and he taught me a new word...you will have to ask me about it someday when we are together.
I have more pictures of that day around this place somewhere, so when I gather them together, I will post them.
Visit his website at www.nrm.org.

Good News

I just joined a wonderful group called the Worldwide Artists Nature Group. My website should be up soon, so drop by if you get a chance. www.natureartists.com

The Little Thief

When I was a little girl, I was captivated by the book, Misty of Chincoteague. My dog eared, stained copy was a constant companion with me growing up. I was sure that I destined to 'swim with the ponies' and bring a little paint pony home for my very own. Well, I never got to swim with them, but I have had the chance to see them and even get kissed on the face by this very fellow here. It was a childhood fantasy come true!!!
The inspiration for this painting came from my younger years growing up in Oklahoma. I had a shaggy, nasty tempered little shetland pony named Bucky. In the spring, when his thick coat would start to shed, sparrows would land on him, pull a hunk out and fly back to their nest. I used to laugh and laugh. After all, they were saving me the trouble of grooming him.

Jody and Jasper

This is the almost final product. I have decided to stay with a simple title, and I think it fits. These two are residents at Heritage Farms and owned by Kevin Johnson. My thanks go out to him for hitching them up and taking us for many fun sled rides!

Here is my newest painting in progress, no name yet. The place that I keep my horses in Foley, MN owns these two beautiful girls. I have always loved the draft horses, but never had much of a chance to be around them. The term gentle giant truly applies to Jody and Jasper. They are as sweet as two horses can get, and I always save a treat for them when I am there.

By the way, I am having all kinds of trouble getting pictures on my blog. They will only download once ever 100 tries lately, and I am not sure what the problem is. This is why my posts have been so erratic lately. As soon as I figure it out, I will step up my posts.

Art and Friendship

It goes without saying that we artist types spend a great deal of time alone in our studios. After all, the creative process requires a great deal of concentration and it is sometimes hard to carry on a conversation when trying to work in and out of a painting 'pickle'. (It happens to all of us) Having been an actress in my former life, I was used to hard work, hard critism and finally, applause for the effort. On becoming an artist, I still worked hard and still received harsh critism at times...but no applause at the end of a painting. Now...don't get me wrong, I am not in this career for applause, thank goodness. It is in the long hours of tedious painting, (grass, fur, etc) or the quiet times between paintings that I treasure my friends the most. I have been blessed with the best friends that one person could ever ask for. They are my support, my foundation, and my best source of laughter and I thank them for that.
This is a fun career and I love it, but it is also a hard one at times. We don't always sell as well as we would like, but the bills still keep coming in. We aren't always in a 'creative way' and nothing seems to work, but you push through them. Rejection is a large part of this career, you don't get juried into shows, you don't place in competitions, or you get a rough critique from a judge or teacher. You have to develop a thick skin-and this is a good thing. It is in those vunerable moments that your friends are your applause, your reward. In your victories, your true friends rejoice with you. In your sad times, they cry with you. In the lonely times, they sit with you. All in all, I would say friendship is as important to us as our canvas, paint and easels.
So this is to my friends, you know who you are...my IM'ing buddy, my car phone calling buddy, my horse crazy and just make me laugh all day buddy...there are just too many to name. Thank you for all you give to me and my paintings. There is a little of your laughter in each one.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My latest...

This is the painting I am currently working on. I photographed this model in South Dakota with a group of other artists at an event we attend every year. A fellow artist friend of mine, the very talented and funny Les Lefevre, painted the same model,(we photographed him at the same time) but I think our paintings are very different. I never worry about another artist painting the same scene or subject as me, even when we are all gathering reference at the same time. The end result will always be different, each artist will add their own touch and make it their own. Unless it is a truly unique and one of a kind situation, such as an elephant in a tutu, then I don't see any problem.

Colors of Africa

I did this painting a while ago, but I felt the need to put it up. The more I paint, the more I am starting to love painting people. This beautiful young Masai Woman was in a village in Kenya. She was young and very pregnant. Her face was young, but her eyes held a wisdom beyond her years. She was the first thing I painted when I got home.

This is one of my latest paintings. This lovely young Golden belongs to a friend of mine in California. I love his playful face. I have a step by step demo in my 'paintings in progress' if you want to check that out.