Saturday, September 26, 2009

Finished With Chickens

Well, this has been a mostly visual art free week. I have been focusing on my writing. I do have one thing to present in the visual arts category. ;) I'm finally putting up the final version of the chicken painting. Obviously I added some elements, these elements weren't in the original photograph, but I had always planned on adding to it for the composition's improvement.

My Perspective
I have to admit I'm not that interested in painting chickens, but it was good practice. :) The point was to make my Mom happy. I think it will look good with a glossy varnish and presented in a frame to my Mom for her birthday. So far she is quite pleased, from what I can tell. ;)

(I hope the colors of this come across in this web posting. It may look more vibrant on a glossy screen. I have a matte screen.)

I hope you enjoyed the post!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Custom Made

The Object
I want to share the process of commissioning a pendant from me. It was a gratifying process, both Kelli and I were pleased with the piece that resulted. :)

The Means
Through my shop on Etsy there is what is called an "alchemy" section that will take custom orders. Kelli had seen my pendants and she decided she wanted to commission me to make a pendant in some of her favorite colors. (Kelli loves color, and she works with it beautifully! Check out her vivid paintings here:


In her bid she asked for the colors she was interested in and pointed out a couple of pendants she liked best from my shop. We "convoed" (or emailed for people not familiar with Etsy) back and forth discussing details. The price was at the high end of the prices in my shop due to the extra time spent finding the elements to make up the pendant as well as giving her options in the design.

The price, color scheme, and amount of artistic freedom I had was decided before the commission was finalized. I sent her images of the design options and we agreed on the final design. In the process of the final stitching it does change a bit. Then I sent her an image of the final pendant before shipping it off. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chickety Chickens: Those Images

The Reason
Alrighty, this is a present painting. My Mom loves chickens, now I'm pretty sure she has never met one in person but an image of a chicken makes her feel glee. She has for ages pointed out needle points in antique shops of chickens, to exclaim at the site of a plate with a chickeny flourish on it, and appreciate any painting that involves a chicken.

For this amount of time I've tried to dissuade her of buying anything with a chicken image, for those chicken engraved items that she will like when the chicken high has worn off. (To be fair to my Mom she really does have beautiful taste and is herself an artist. ;))

The Hidden Motive

Now of course, I'm feeding her addiction and indulging my desire to paint. ;) This painting is an amalgam of a couple of photos and is still very much in progress. I sketched directly with my brush and have continued to build up the painting from there.

This is the first time I've tried "open" acrylics which have a much longer drying time. They aren't oils, but they do let you paint a bit more like oils. I'm still not totally used to this in between medium, but I'm enjoying trying it out. :) Perhaps I'll start using this new product in my main mixed media style.

I hope you enjoy the imagery!

Update: I'll be posting the final imagery soon.

Friday, September 4, 2009


The Fun Begins
It is Friday. So, a bit more catfish is revealed. ;) At first I was thinking of doing a catfish portrait of sorts, and I still might at some point. So, I played with catfish proportions. I made them into what my Dad called "Gobblers", which I have to say was apt. :D

A Direction
But since I was more intrigued by a sense of mystery I did some thumbnails of more ambiguous interactions. I'm posting one of the thumbnails. It is the composition I'm most pleased with.

My Current Plan
The piece will be mixed media, with the large catfish largely collage. The final image will have flat spaces and some atmospheric abstraction.

I hope you enjoy it!

Update: This piece has progressed. You can see that here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Preview of Coming Attractions ;)

The Encounter
The other night I saw, for the first time, a swarm of many large catfish coming to the surface. It was almost dark, and all I could see was dark shadows, slimy whiskers, and wide mouths. They had come to snatch bird pellets away from startled ducks and coots.

It was vaguely scary for them to come out of the dark. I didn't worry that they'd eat me, of course. It was simply mysterious. Mystery tends, in my experience, to send a thrill through us wee humans. And animals of all sorts met up close will always inspire my contemplative side.

The Result
I'm not sure if it was the time of night, all silhouettes and the sun's last glow. Or if it was that a creature was coming from a place that I hadn't considered much. But, the experience made me want to make art.

I'll be posting a beginning of this project for my sketch this Friday.

The catfish photo is from deviantart by Slopjockey.

The twilight landscape is one of my own photos. ;)