'After Degas' group art show


Well I did it! I participated in my first group show.

Part of me can't believe it really happened, I've been figure drawing and oil painting for less than a year, after all. It feels like I walked in to my first drawing session five minutes ago.

And another part of me is all WHEE! Do Again!

If you happen to be in Fredericksburg and want to see my paintings, you can view them at the downtown library in the atrium. I've been out of town, so I apologize for not writing about it here sooner but if you hurry, they'll be up for another two weeks before the show closes.

And if you can't make it, here's a sneaky peak of what I created! (including the painting above, which I sorta accidentally deleted the full photos of. So, you know, full shot coming later. Woops.)





A Royal Thrush at the Hope House Gala

Tonight (November 20) is the night of the Hope House gala at the Fredericksburg Area Museum. 30 artists were asked to create 4" x 4" works of art to decorate a ginormous 7 foot Christmas tree. The artworks and the tree are being auctioned off to benefit Hope House. If you haven't heard of them, Hope House gives housing for homeless women and children in our area. And they do more than that. They provide substance abuse counseling, parenting classes, social skills tutoring, financial education classes, transportation and vocational training. Plus a whole bunch more of excellent, most definitely needed services.

And guess who one of the artists was that they asked to contribute to the auction!

That's right, Susan Ishii! Susan is a sweet friend of mine, and an amazing artist, her still life paintings are rich and lovely. One of her still life paintings is gracing the Artist Tree at tonight's gala.

I met Susan at my favorite Tuesday night figure drawing sessions, she's been organizing it for months now. She also coordinated the Hope House Artist Tree (and gave it it's punny name) and convinced Hope House to let me have a spot on it.

Yea, that's right, one of my paintings is up on the tree.

Writing that last sentence makes my tummy feel weird.

get it? It's a bird. On cards. Get it?

Anyway, here's the painting I contributed to the Artist Tree. I named it "A Royal Thrush".

Just a little poker humor, folks.

Lovels forever,



Susan just emailed me to let me know that $1200 was donated to the Hope House as a result of the silent auction for the tree! Thank you, everyone, for your generosity. It will be put to excellent use.

My Mom. Isn't she a dish?

I've had something of a "secret" project going on for a while now. It's not really a secret as I've been asking all of my family members to send me their favorite photos of each other, would they be willing to pose for me, etc. Not exactly subtle stuff. I'm sure they've all figured out what I'm up to.

I've been drawing and/ or painting everyone I know. It's been a fun, hard, enlightening, frustrating and a fattening experience. I really need to get out of this chair.

Not many photos of my mother as a young woman exist... actually- strike that. Only compared to the rest of my family there aren't very many. See, at one time or another, my sister, my Mom and I have all worked as pro-photographers. I'm pretty sure that if you don't count the Obamas, we're probably the most photographed family in history. So the fact that I can only find a half dozen or so photos of my Mom is really frustrating to me. Am I spoiled? You betcha.

Anyway, J 2/4 found this super jazzy photo of my parents taken in the late 70s, early 80s. And my mom's expression? This face is a classic MOM face. I don't know what that means either. Except that out of everyone in our family, I think she has the most striking eyes. They're so dark, they're almost black. When she looks at you it can be really startling, especially if you aren't used to that gaze.

So that settled it, THIS was what I was going to draw.

The thing is, I didn't think Dad would like his pose in the photo.. I actually kind of like it, he's sleeping in her lap. Dad's a legend in our family for being able to fall asleep on any couch, anywhere, with anybody in the room. Also, Mom is comfy to cuddle with.

But I was afraid he would find it too casual, so I compromised. I drew Mom without Dad, knowing I could add him later if he liked. (he's since declined my offer. ;) )

Of course, removing an entire person and drawing something that isn't there is hard as heck. (I said "heck".) I ended up throwing on a teeshirt and leaning over in front of a mirror to get the wrinkles in her clothes plus her left arm right.

Hopefully I fooled everyone and no one looks at this and is all like "I recognize that arm! That's JD's arm, not her Mom's! Fake!" So don't tell my secret, k?

Dino Trubs (I want you to have it.)

Oh dear. Someone is in trouble. Or if the Dino-Mumsie is anything like my Mom, maybe not. Maybe the bebbeh here is going to be encouraged to draw on the walls of her bedroom if she wants to. My Mom was awesome, that's all I'm saying.

(I have to interrupt this post here to tell you that my son wants you to know he doesn't think this is a dinosaur. He thinks it's a Dino-dragon. Maybe a Dragosaur? We'll go with Dragosaur.)

(That is all.)

Anyway... if it looks familiar, that's because Dino Trubs Dragosaur Trubs was originally an Odosketch drawing way back when. And here's the thing... I want you to have it! I mean, if you want it. Don't take it if you don't want it. It's kind of big and really, no one wants to have something they don't want. Duh.

BUT! If you'd like to have this drawing, you can. You can print it out and put it on your walls or make it into a mug or a dartboard or whatever you like. It's my gift to you. Cause I love ya like a sister. (did anyone else sign all their notes in highschool LYLAS? DUDE. Flashbacks.)

To get your free picture just click here to download it. Beware, though. It's huge-mongous. 7.4 MB. I did try to zip it up to make it smaller for you, but that just made it 7.39 MB. Oh well.

The only thing I ask is that you don't try to sell it (cause it's my gift to you. Why would someone want to pay for a gift?) and please don't pretend you made it. That is all. ^_^

New Painting! Needs awesome name. Because, dammit captain, I'm a painter, not a writer.

If you've ever wondered what one of my Odosketch doodles would look like as a painting, this little autumn birdie was first a sketch months ago. Back then I called it "Blue". Because I'm Earnest Hemingway.

Anyway, to save everyone's bandwidth, I've linked to the odosketch speed drawing- just click on the pic below or one the title of this post. Whichever strikes your fancy.*

(PS if the animation won't play, you can see it on Odosketch's site by following this link.)


* doesn't that sound like it should be illegal?

New Bird ~ dun dun DONE

First off, I know it's been a while since I've made an Odosketch drawing. It looks like they're having some serious server issues. Not sure what's happening as their facebook page has gone pretty quiet. I hope this isn't permanent. I did do a doodle on their site late last night (seems to be the best time to get on) but I can't get to it now. I'll have to post it once their stuff has been resolved. In the mean time, I've finished the New Bird painting! You can see some progress shots here.

And here it is completed:

This one was harder to photograph... lots and lots of different whites! It's really best seen in person. The photo looks pretty blue, but in person it's a creamy, buttery mix of different whites.

The detail shots (below) I took in the evening when the sun was low on the horizon. (which is why the painting looks so pink) I wanted to show you the texture. This painting is almost a sculpture, it is so molded.

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Confession: I am a futzer.

Futz: –verb (used with object) 1. to mess with. to alter. to change.

2. to obsess. to revise. to pick at minute details.

3. to become completely anal about the tiniest line, hair, or texture. to obsessively measure and re-measure values, shapes and colors. To scrape off entire sections of a painting just because you didn't like the direction of that one brush stroke.

That's me. I futz. I futz because I am not satisfied with the way my painting looks. Because I don't want to call it done. Because I'm not ready to move on to the next thing.

And that, my darling internet, is exactly why it took me so long to post this final image of my finished painting.

I'm calling her J2/4.

I'm also calling her done.

If you would like to see my WIP shots of this one, they are here, and here and also here.

If you'd like to see all the futzing I did after those last posts, click to read the rest of this one...

Here you'll see that I changed the size and shape of her left eye, then I went and did the same for her right. Multiple glazes had shrunk them to incorrect proportions, so that needed to be done.

Then I attacked her background, her hair, her lips, her forehead and her eyelashes.

It was a brutal and violent assault, thankfully we all survived.

Painting: Tribal Hummer

12 x 12 acrylic on canvas This one took me a long time to finish. About halfway through I became so angry at the thing I nearly chucked a fistful of phthalo blue goop right at the hummer. Twitter told me not to, though, so I set it aside instead. ^_^

Good thing too, because two months later I figured out what to do with it and completely revamped the thing. (BTW, if you want to see in-progress shots, they're here and here)

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Also, also... once again, the color seems a little off. Hard to get it perfect in the sunlight. One day I'll own a fabulously expensive camera that will have diamond studded focus rings and gold plated clicky buttons. Then my photos will be TOTALLY ACCURATE.  But until then, the color cast is somewhere between the lightness of the detail images, and the deepness of the large shot. Imagination required. ;)

"content to hang", progress shots

This crazy painting was hella hard to photograph and get the colors right. I'm still not quite satisfied, it's one of those you'd have to see in person. The completed, angle shot is about the most accurate.

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