It is that time of year – it started a month early, in fact, so I have been busy this October with Christmas gift painting. Most of them I can not show until after the holiday, but here is one that I can share.
I have broken out into a whole new phase of my ornament painting. Realistic nature!
Remember the Inktober drawing I did of a hummingbird? The photographer of the “model” for that image contacted me to commission an ornament. Something I had not contemplated before.
I had never painted a hummer in oils, and certainly not on a curved surface. I started it then panicked, “I can’t do this!”
However, I know my process pretty well by now and panic is part of it. So I broke state, went shopping, then came back and was in a much more steadied state to finish the first layer. I began to breathe again.
After a couple of days to let that dry to a tacky surface, I began shaping the next layers, pushing paint around and making tiny little touches. Finally, today I finished it and feel like I have had a tremendous breakthrough in my art. This will always have a special place in my heart. I plan to use this little Rufous Hummingbird to help me push through some watercolor practices in the next month. He is very inspiring.
The date is 2017 to commemorate getting the home last year, but this was a commission for this year.
Painting the love in peoples life – preserving memories for their tree.
I was looking at the magnified detail that can not be seen with the naked eye and it hit me that it is impressionistic.
I push paint around and create the impression of their pet. Often with a 000 sized brush and a cat’s whisker (the cats participate via donations throughout the year.)
This football helmeted tiger was for a high schooler whose team is the Tigers.
A first Christmas for a new little cousin and another for some cousins who just got married.
I first started painting these ornaments in the early 1980s. At that time my sister was very young and I copied a favorite artist (Karl Odenweller) for a gift for her. This past year, one of her own kids dropped it, so I recreated it for her, only with a slightly larger image. Second sister had the same thing happen. Hers was a Hallmark bunny that I placed in her little burrow. And no, I do not copy and sell these.
I do not know how I did those original images the size of a dime when I was younger and with no magnifier!
And speaking of magnification, I finally found a magnifying system that works for me now that I am wearing glasses. Getting older presents new challenges.
I found a couple of old sawblades from 1984 when I was first starting out. I would sell a blade at a local consignment art shop and go buy supplies. These have been in the bottom of a box probably since 1988. A lifelong friend saw them and wanted them, so I cleaned them up today, fixing some scratches. It has me longing to paint again.