Goodbye, Wonderful Old Woman

Goodbye, Wonderful Old Woman

Today, I said goodbye to a familiar face: a drawing I’ve had in my collection for 22 years. It is one of my favorites, but it was time to let it go.  A customer who met me at the Falling Leaves Art Studio Tour this year bought a print of this drawing, and later through email, said she loves the image and would like to buy the original.  This is a drawing I did back in 1993, when 15, so it is very special to me. I discovered that black colored pencil could achieve a really rich black, almost like ink. In addition, although nearly impossible to erase, it doesn’t smudge like normal graphite pencils. When I showed it to my art teacher, she loved it, and later on referred to it as the drawing of “that wonderful old woman” The name stuck. My source photo was of an elderly woman, an immigrant from the depression era. I chose not draw a background behind her, leaving the white of the paper to draw even more attention to her face. You can imagine the stories she’d tell if you waited a while to listen. Her careworn face, etched with deep wrinkles, is almost like a roadmap that guides you in learning more about the difficult journeys of her life. And yet, behind that melancholy stare there is a glimmer of hope, a firm resolve to not give up and to make it through. I met today with the customer to hand this drawing over to her. And I’m glad.  The joy of this drawing blessing somebody else makes it easy...
How to Display and Care for an Acrylic Painting

How to Display and Care for an Acrylic Painting

I always smile a bit to myself when I have my artwork at a show, and a child reaches out to touch one of my paintings. “No! Don’t touch that!” the parent scolds. I don’t want to minimize the parent’s admonition, but I try to reassure them that the painting isn’t as delicate as they assume. In Western culture, from our experiences encountering centuries-old masterpieces in museums, we are conditioned to give artwork its distance, and treat it as an ancient archeological relic. Granted, I do try to show my artwork respect–because it is valuable–and not allow the surface to get scuffed or otherwise abused, but I know the medium I use, and it’s very resilient. So on the one side, I want clients that purchase my original paintings to treat it with care (and almost everyone instinctively does) but I also want them to feel comfortable knowing the painting can live in a house where people cook, children play, pets shed, and life happens. Ever since the Renaissance, oil paint was the standard medium for painting. It allowed for a long working time, brilliant color saturation and blending, but because it could get brittle over time, oil paintings had to be handled with great care. Then, in the 1930’s acrylic paint was invented and became available to artists in the 1950’s. Acrylics are great because of their versatility. High quality acrylics such as Liquitex, Windsor & Newton, and the kind I use–NovaColor– are extremely flexible, non-yellowing, water resistant, and highly resistant to scratches once dry. Although I have tried oils, acrylic is my medium of choice. Since I...
Great Time at Falling Leaves

Great Time at Falling Leaves

This is a very short post just to say thank you to all who came out to visit me at the Falling Leaves Art Studio Tour! For those who were not able to come, thank you for your encouraging words and support of my art career. From the beautiful weather to the great turnout, to the excellent hospitality of the hosting studio and artist, Ron La Blanc, I had a great time at the tour. I sold several prints and made contacts for future art commissions. But the best part of all was the in-depth spiritual conversations I had with folks over a cup of hot cider while viewing my artwork. Next year , I plan on having a greater selection of prints available as well as originals. To do that, I will need to set more clearly defined goals that keep me on track all year long, complete with a production schedule of artwork. Custom art commissions are always incredibly welcome, and I thank God for them since they provide a more guaranteed income enabling me to continue to produce art, but they can leave me with less time than I’d like to create my own ideas–typically, narrative art with an inspirational, encouraging message. But that means I just need to use my time more efficiently so that I can fit both originals and commissioned work into my schedule. One of the resources that is great for keeping a guy on track, regardless of their profession, is blogger and author Michael Hyatt’s Ideal Week. In it, he shows how to block your time out on a weekly basis...
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