Sunday, August 28, 2011

No regrets (Thing-a-Week)

It's a painful thing to admit, but summer is already winding down in Alberta. It's pitifully short, but at this time of year, I always have regrets: should have maintained that garden/gone camping more often/spent more time outside.

But I have no regrets when it comes to my art. Lately, I've been painting quite a lot in my free time - even squeezing in an hour here or there during my work days (it's one of the perks of working at home).

This week, I finished a large-ish painting (20 x 24"). I think of it as an 'abstract landscape.' I'd intended to paint a minimalistic ocean scene, but it morphed into something far more abstract. And, of course, it continues the bubble motif I'm apparently obsessed with. But I think it's partially the result of all of the "swimming" I've been doing lately (I just splash around with a flutter board and look awkward).

I've got a few other new paintings up my sleeve, too, and also a comic. I'm a little nervous about pushing it into the world (I've got a lot to learn about the genre), so I thank my friend Tammy Lee for giving me the nudge I need.

It's finished, but I'll probably post it tomorrow, after giving her a sneak-peak first!

Tammy's very skilled in the ways of comics (and also fine art), so check out her stuff online.

And, of course, don't forget to visit my Thing-a-Week pal Mike Kendrick's blog. For once, I've beaten him to the punch, but I'm sure he'll have another super-duper post for you today or tomorrow. Certainly check out his latest blog post, featuring terrifying monsters from the depths of his imagination. They will haunt my dreams tonight, I'm sure.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hey, remember me?

It's a bright, sun-shiny morning in Edmonton, and after two hell-ish weeks, I am finally turning my attention to art.

After many, many mornings at my desk at the break of dawn, writing like a maniac and conducting phone interviews, my schedule has relaxed. I'm looking forward to not writing 7,000 words this week and painting at my easel.

Oh - and blogging about it, too!

In spite of the craziness, I did manage to finish some art, believe it or not (just ran out of time to update you, dear readers). I painted today's piece with acrylic paint on a 24 x 30" wooden panel. I used some gel mediums to add a little shine to the piece, but I plan to spray it with a high-gloss varnish, to protect it from UV exposure and add a nicer finish.

I'm also behind on my next newsletter and plan to catch up later this week. It's time to reveal the winner of my first art give-a-way! I'm excited.

Not surprisingly, Mike Kendrick has already posted his Thing-a-Week. I'm always impressed at what that dude accomplishes. I really struggle with self portraits, but he makes it look easy (and Mike, you don't really look like a wanted felon. For serious.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thing-a-week: Painting trees on trees

This week, I finished one tree painting on a wooden panel and started another...

I'm loving the feeling of wood under my brush and the smell of birch. Dee-lightful!

Also found this snappy app to post blog entries with my iPhone. Snazz! Expect more regular posts from me, directly from the studio!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thing-a-week: Digital commission

Earlier this summer, I received an e-mail from a fellow writer living in Edmonton. It was rather out-of-the-blue -- we hadn't spoken for a couple of years. Apparently, she'd been surfing the web for pregnancy-related art and stumbled across a digital painting I'd posted on my account.

She loved the mood of the piece, and the aesthetic, and wanted to see more of my work. A few weeks later, she came by to view some of my other pieces (all acrylic on canvas) but nothing really resonated with her. There was something about the digital painting that really appealed.

As we chatted, it dawned on me that I could create a new digital piece, similar to the painting she loved, with a figure that resembled her. After a few tweaks, we came up with the image above. I had it printed on stretched canvas and will never print another on canvas, to ensure she has the 'original.'

It was a fun process and makes me want to explore digital painting a little bit more. It took years for me to warm up to the idea, but I've been tinkering with photoshop and my Wacom tablet for about a year now.

My goal is to upgrade to a larger, fancier tablet later this year. I've got my beady little eye on this one...

...which is what Mike Kendrick uses in his day job as a graphic artist. I'm more than a little jealous!

Speaking of Mike, check out his thing-a-week too. He's posted some old, and new, drawings from his sketchbook which chart his growth during the year. Very cool.

I think this thing-a-week business is paying off for both of us!