Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ruby and Roscoe WIP

This is a portrait of two dogs, Ruby and Roscoe, that I started working on at the art festival. The WIP above right is where I was with it at the end last week. I would say that altogether it has about thirty solid hours into it. It measures 16 by 20 inches. Though a bit time consuming, I am really liking this size. My brother and sister in-law will be getting this as a surprise gift next week sometime. They have commissioned a couple of gifts for others, but not their own dogs. I took the photos I am using about a year ago. Ruby and R0scoe were both adopted as puppies from a rescue organization. Ruby is reported to be collie mix breed -- she is a medium-sized dog. Roscoe was also reported to be a collie mix, but my brother recently discovered a breed, Chinook, which he seems to greatly resemble. I have seen this breed dog, with which I was not previously familiar in two movies. in the last couple of years -- The Shooter and Cats and Dogs. He is a very large dog whom I find very beautiful. They are both quite attractive, actually. I am enjoying doing their large portrait.
I am a little under the weather -- developed a very painful infection in my mouth related to oral surgery last week -- an seeing the dentist this afternoon. Feel like I am losing alot of art time, as well as falling behind with housework and mowing once again. Hoping to feel better enough to resume work on all of these things tomorrow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cat Pet Portrait Progess

This is the portrait, colored pencil on Ampersand pastel board, 7x5 inches, completed to this point. I am going to let it sit for awhile. I do not plan to deliver it for another week or two. Any thoughts/comments are welcome. I am going to move on to the two dogs I was working on at the art fair.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Cat Commission and Feedback about Sanders

These are the photos I am working from on my current cat commission. The bottom one is a full bodied view. The order is for a 5x7 inch size so I cropped the image to the view in the image appearing at the top. This will be a gift for the client's mother. This cat has also gone over the Rainbow bridge. He used to love to ride in the car, which I know some cats do -- though I have never had one that did. His right eye had a defect, but is reported to still be blue. I will include this in the portrait, but not as prominently as in the photo, after talking with the client. The client said he was silver point, but darkened with age -- I will also use this information to choose the colors for his portrait. He also was reported to often stick out his tongue like in this photo. The client wanted a pose of him with his tongue sticking out; so that also weighed heavily on which photo to choose for the portrait.

I thought about showing a work in progress, but the phone line was no good all of yesterday and part of this morning -- so I had no internet. I have gotten it about three fourths done now. So will hopefully post a finished version tomorrow -- at any rate I will post the progress to-date tomorrow. I had hoped to have a full working day today, but since I did two minor medical procedures this week (Mon and Wed) --wanted to get them them out of the way -- I am much more whipped today, after the second one yesterday afternoon, than I expected to be. Moving slow, having a hard time getting necessary/routine tasks done today. But still may get a few hours in on the portrait.

I was very happy this morning to read the comments I was e-mailed by the recipient of the Sanders portrait, which I posted about yesterday:

"Angela, thank you so much for the beautiful portrait of my beloved Sanders. When Bob gave the present to me and I opened it and saw Sanders, I was so shocked. Unbelievable!!!! I have his portrait hanging in my dining room. I feel like his eyes are watching me. You captured his eyes and everything about him which is unbelievable...It is just a beautiful piece of art, and, of course, my precious Sanders! Thank you so much for putting so much time and feeling into drawing his portrait!!!"
What more could an artist want?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cat Pet Portrait Commission

I finished this pet portrait of a cat a little while ago. I had not posted it here or to my website yet because it was a birthday gift and was not being given until this past Friday. Though I doubted it would be seen if I posted it, I wanted to error on the cautious side.

This is a portrait of a cat named Sanders who recently went over the Rainbow Bridge. My photo is just a tad blurry compared to the original. This commission was created as a composite of two photos. I got an email on Friday showing photos of the gift being opened. The recipient looked very touched. It is very touching to me that her boyfriend put the thought and effort he did into having this gift created. The commissioner was very happy when I delivered it to him. Which was a fun experience for me.

This portrait is 12 by 9 inches, colored pencil on colorfix paper.

I have another cat commission which I am happy to work on this week.

My website has details on how to commission a pet portrait.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mentors and Guides #4

Can you have a devoted patron and collector following and make a decent living from art living in the middle of nowhere - try Rolfe, Iowa -- using not oil paints but the more obscure media of oil pastel or water color pencils? On top of that make your art about animal images often presented in an expressive, colorful and spiritual way. Maybe you couldn't, but Mona Majorowicz can! (I didn't even add "and have a last name that is difficult to spell")

Follow the link to Wildfaces Gallery to see a multitiude of Mona's beautiful work. Her originals sell very quickly, but you can obtain a print online there, as well as an original, if you are lucky.

Mona not only makes uncontrived, unique artwork that emotionally touches the viewer, she does so with the same high standards that she puts into picture framing, supporting the giclee reproduction business her husband, Mike, manages, participating in beaucoup art fairs and creating illustrated articles for a horse magazine, Apples & Oats.

Read about her life and get down to earth advice on the business of art on her blog, Fur in the Paint. A post there that gives you a good introduction to Mona's success and attitude toward it is "All Good Things Come From Art Fairs, Part 2". Also, to understand the full of care and touching way with which she does all things, read "Customer Testimonial"

Mona has several squido lens that provide information on difficult to find information on subjects such as How to Frame Oil Pastels, Tips and Tools for working with Oil Pastel, About Watercolor Pencil, How to Make Handmade Paper, and Watercolor Pencil Technique.

I really cannot express in words the profound respect I have for Mona Majorowicz. I love her unique animal artwork and I find her to be an outstanding example of how work ethic leads to success in art. I am thankful for the personal friendship she has taken the time to show me. I hope the above photo of a Blue Ribbon Winner -- says some of what I am not adequately equipped to convey in words about Mona as an artist and as a person.

Monday, August 10, 2009

First Art Festival Report

I'm back -- tired, not much richer, but very happy for the experience. Here are some photos -- one shot of some fun visitors and a few shots of the festival and my booth.

First of all, let me say that the festival organizers worked very hard -- the tents were provided, there were volunteers who were great with helping to load and unload, bottled water was plentiful and provided to artists for free. There was free coffee Friday night and Saturday morning. There were plentiful booth sitting volunteers on Friday (but could not find any on Saturday). The portable restrooms were the best I have ever seen (on a big spacious trailer) and wonderfully clean -- this may seem indelicate mentioning, but it was definitley something that made the experience much more comfortable than it might have been otherwise.

I found setting up the framework exhausting -- much more pressure and less space than the driveway added to this I think. Volunteers were very helpful with helping me hang my artwork and with tear down/load up. I am very glad I took a demo piece to work on, not only did it attract attention like was intended, but it really helped me enjoy those long hours more. I did enjoy meeting people -- all of whom were quite friendly and complimentary to my work. Children, mostly aged six to twelve, were really plentiful and quite interested in looking at the work and the prints -- often much more thoroughly and with more questions than the adults. I had not really anticipated this and found it delightful. Several artists were quite complimentary -- and this was very much appreciated. Some aspiring artists asked for advice, and this was also flattering, and I did realize I have learned alot over the last few years and felt gratified being able to be helpful.

Sales -- I paid for my Friday night motel -- that is better than nothing. I would certainly have liked to have done better, but like I said, it was better than nothing. I sold a couple of prints (one a child chose -- her mother made her look at all the vendors before she was allowed to have it, but she came back for it -- and that was great!) and five greeting cards. The guy selling handmade brooms, six to thirteen dollors, next to me did great. The guy behind me, who came from Buffalo, N.Y. (his daughter lived locally) sold some big ticket watercolors to some doctors (there are two regional hospitals located in this town). I heard him say this, I could not see him once my wall was up. Otherwise, I heard some artists stating that the majority of visitors were lookers and the economy kept people from buying. I really don't know, I could not leave my booth enough to really look at at other people's booths that much, let alone talk with them. I was able to talk to my neighbors -- the broomaker and a fabric artist, alot, though.

Businesswise, however, at least ten visitors expressed an extensive (versus more casual) interest in commissions -- I believe at least some of them may actually follow through. A lady who runs a touring company expressed an interest in me showing and demoing (and she would pay me!) at her regional dinner destinations -- something I never would have thought about. I find that quite exciting and will call her this week. Several people expressed an interest in learning more about colored pencils. I have been thinking about doing some workshops and this really makes me think about pursuing that sooner rather than later.

I wish I could do another festival or two sooner rather than later -- but without a complete tent and most deadlines past I do not think that is possible yet this year. I think I do need some grid like structures for ease of set up though for smaller venues. I may do some farmer markets and animal related venues yet this year, since I have inventory ready, but I think I need a less extensive set up for these. Dunno yet, maybe with more practice, that booth won't be quite so difficult.

There was a little rain, I packed up over night because of it. The guy next to me poked the tent roof with a broom handle in the morning and I got a flood on one wall, after I was set back up -- but salvaged everything o.k. The bugs (we were over water, remember) really gathered on those white walls. I had to work on getting them off in the A.M. and was also glad I packed up because of them, too. I also clamped up the bottom of the walls so they would not get wet. Overall, the weather was great, but I did get a little sense of how fragile one is in the great outdoors.

Well, that is my report. Summary: I am VERY tired, but VERY happy for the experience.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dog Portrait and The Big Weekend

This is the dog portrait I finished yesterday. The reference photo was by Daisytree, forum name, from the reference liabrary at the Wildlife and Pet Portait forum. I loved the dog's eyes. The dog seems to exude so much loyalty and faithfulness -- I am calling the portrait "True Blue". It is 10 x 8 inches, color pencil on Ampersand pastelboard. Daisytree did not say what kind of dog it was -- she took many photos at a dog show. It looks like a young Bernese Mountain dog to me, though. What kind do you think it is?

Well the big weekend has arrived -- my first art festival. I am about three-fourths packed. I need to finish packing, do the barn chores, get myself ready and GO! I am leaving about noon. The set up is 2:00 P.M., think I will have lunch and be on the dot, as the town is only about an hour from me. The festival is taking place in Zanesville, Ohio, on the Y-bridge. An artist colony was started in Zanesville several years ago. The Y-bridge was the first of it's kind, and is thus an historical landmark. Pilots once used it as a major navigational landmark, prior to instrument navigation being common. I will post photos when I get back. See you all when I get back!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Art Fair How-to Information

As art fairs are so big on my mind and to-do list right now, I thought I would share two sites that have lots and lots of information about showing arts or crafts in fairs and festivals. The sites are Art Fair Sourcebook and Art Fair Insiders. Both sites have interactive forums, as well as access to specific show reviews. I bought my used mesh walls and gallery covers by looking at the for sale items on Art Fair Sourcebook.
Done packing prints and framing except for the one I am working on right now -- working on one more dog pictue to exhibit, and one to demo.


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