Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Nasturtium Nosegay

In preparation for some freelance work for a stationery company a while back, I needed a warm-up to reacquaint myself with my acrylic paints. It had been months since I had even opened my paint box, as I had been working on pencil and colored pencil portraits, which were keping me busy. I did a pencil sketch of these nasturtiums, and then painted right over it with the acrylics, just to get over my initial "paralysis". I expected the result to be a throw-away, really, but surprisingly, I quite liked it! The texture of the pencil lines on the rough paper peeking through the glazes, and remaining as an occasional outline, somehow pleases my eye.

Friday, May 25, 2007

...and now for something completely different

A few months ago, I decided to try offering some of my work through ebay. I looked around at what others were doing, and thought the little ACEOs might be a fun way to stick my toe in the water. I had done some small colored pencil pieces years ago that I always liked, depicting fanciful suns and moons, and I decided to do a few new designs in this even smaller 2.5"x3.5" format. Their whimsy and resemblance to old book illustrations seemed a natural match to the miniature size. I figured I'd do a few and move on to something else.

OK, here's the thing. I just listed the 30th one in this series. I can't stop! The ideas just keep popping into my head, and I find the whole process very therapeutic. Maybe it's the novelty of working from my imagination, rather than from "life", which up to now has been a rare occurrence. It's fun! For now I'm looking at it like exercise... admittedly, kind of silly exercise... but exercise just the same.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I think I've done hundreds

Over the last 35 years or so, I can safely say that I have done hundreds of portraits in pencil. It's just something I have always done, from the time I was a teen. I sketched my brothers and sisters, my parents and grandparents, my friends and neighbors. A few of these old drawings still hang in my mother's house... my sisters at age 6 and 14, one of my brothers at 16. They all have some gray hair now, but on the portrait wall they are forever young!

Pencil portraits were my main thing from the mid eighties to the mid nineties. I sketched so many local children that I couldn't keep them straight in my head. I would meet them in the store and feel bad that I didn't remember their names. I remembered the faces, though! I sometimes recognize adult people whose portraits I drew when they were 10 years old. I guess faces are forever, at least in my brain.

I still do portraits, because I just love faces! This beautiful face belongs to my niece, Grace.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's A Start

It's hard to know where to start! This is a colored pencil still life, called "Autumn Gold". It was sold at an auction to benefit a historic farm restoration project in the town where I grew up in Massachusetts. Prismacolor pencils are my most often used medium right now, and the still life is one of my favorite subjects, so this seems an appropriate first post.