Not much in the way of real fall weather yet... but a little taste of cool temps every now and then. Been a very busy summer around here, as I'm sure it has been in your corner of the world too. I've been enjoying spending time with my grandson who has gone from a 1 lb 4.5 oz preemie to a healthy, giggly seven month old who now weighs a little over 14 lbs! He's a miracle that's for sure. A lot of prayers went up on his behalf and each one was sincerely appreciated.
Posting pics of Colton below so you can see his progress.
Been busy on the art front too. I've participated in the Drawspace ATC trade each month. Love the small size of an ATC, and it gives me a chance to experiment without worrying that I might be ruining a painting in which I have a lot of time invested. Also done 50+ individually painted bookmarks that will be for sale at craft shows and local gift stores.
I'm noticing a difference in my approach to art and my expectations of the finished product. I was stuck in the "must slavishly reproduce the photo" mode for longer than I should have been. But I've noticed that for the last few months I'm straying farther and farther away from the original reference (unless it's a portrait) and also doing some art purely from memory and imagination. Yay! I'm breaking free from The Reference!
I'm working on a couple of portraits... the one at the top is a commission, the other is for advertising purposes as I continue to build my portrait business.
I've been doing some experimenting with different paints, papers and techniques (I love to experiment... I learn so much by playing :-). In both of these portraits you'll see a lot of masking - using masking fluid, and also using plastic wrap and artist's tape to easily and inexpensively cover a large area. The masking bandwagon has been something I've been rather slow to get on, but after a lot of struggling (and disappointing results) to get the clear colors and seemingly effortless backgrounds that flow so beautifully as I've seen in other artist's work, I figured even if it took a lot of time it might be worth the effort. Guess what? It is! I was thrilled, relieved, happy (all of the above!) to find that the time I spent masking allowed me to have complete freedom with the backgrounds. It felt GOOD to float those yummy colors wherever I wanted them without having to worry about avoiding this or that or saving the whites. Previously I'd used a little masking fluid here and there, but not in large amounts. I see another trip to the art store in my immediate future for more masking fluid.
This watercolorist says "Hooray" for masking fluid!
Update on Colton... he's doing GREAT! Thanks to all of you for your concern, good wishes, prayers and thoughtful comments. All so deeply appreciated.
He now weighs 7 lbs 4 oz! Here's a recent pic of our sweet little bundle....
It's been busy, busy around here so I'm trying to put more in each post since the posts are farther apart :-)
First, an update on my grandson, Colton. He's doing great! He weighs 5 1/2 lbs now and if all goes well he will be coming home in a couple of days. Yay! He is SO SWEET!!!! Just sitting there holding that precious new baby is one of the best feelings in the whole world. This grandma is smitten!
I'm posting photos. The first pic is of my son, Philip, the first time he was able to feed Colton. Until recently Colton was getting nourishment via an NG tube. He's now graduated to a bottle. The second pic is the first time I was able to hold Colton, and the third one is a close up of the world's sweetest baby (which is what every new grandma thinks).
I'm also posting some art pics. I completed a couple of commissions recently. The first one was a group of three outdoor yard signs that a neighbor had had for years. They had faded badly but she liked them so much she asked me to repaint them and restore their original colors. I've posted before and after pics. That was a fun little job!
The second commission is the portrait of the son of a very good friend.
My grandson, Colton, now weighs 4 lbs 1 1/2 ozs!! Yay!! (See previous post... he's a preemie, weighed 1 lb 4 1/2 oz at birth). He's doing very well. Still on CPAP intermittently, but making huge strides. I'm very grateful for his progress and would like to say a heartfelt "Thank You" to all who offered prayers on his behalf. God is good.
I have been doing some art which I'll post soon. Done some more ATC's, and I've been working on an 11x14 portrait which is almost finished. I took photos along the way, so I'll post WIPS and the completed portrait soon.
I bought a sheet of rice paper over the weekend. I know next to nothing about rice paper, but think this is not the kind that you crinkle up after painting. It's the Unryu with the fibers in it. I'm going to do some playing around with watercolors on rice paper and unless I make a horrendous mess (which is a good possibility ;-) I'll post some pics of that too!
and...... I have some news.........I'm a new grandmother!
My first grandbaby, Colton Joshua, was born on February 26, 2012. He's a little guy... a preemie. His Mom, my DIL, was only 25 weeks along when Colton decided he'd had enough and wanted out! At birth he was almost three months premature, weighed 1 lb 4.5 oz and was 12.5 inches long. He's doing very well though, and the doctors and nurses in the neonatal unit are doing a wonderful job taking care of him. He'll be in the unit for at least another two months. If you could weigh sweetness, he'd have been a ten pounder! This grandma can't wait for him to go home so she can hold that precious little bundle. The photo above was taken when he was three days old. He's gained a little weight since then.
On the art front, I've been active over on Drawspace, participating in the trades there every month since September(?). I find ATC's to be a wonderful way to get in some relaxed practice, and experiment with new colors, paints, surfaces and techniques. The first batch below is from the January trade with a theme of "What's in Your Back Yard"?
This next batch (below) is from the February trade. It was a trade to be done in graphite and/or pen and ink using any subject. I chose to do a series of shells. Normally, graphite is not my cup of tea (What? No color? YIKES!) but it was great drawing practice and, to tell you the truth, I ended up really enjoying just drawing for the sake of drawing.