Free Spirit WIP -VI-

I was commissioned to do a memorial piece of a beloved pet that passed away recently. I am truly sorry for their loss. I am still familiar with the heartache that accompanies such a tragedy. With the recent passing of Sasha, it is rewarding to be able to help someone else that feels the same sting. I hope I can do this beautiful dog justice with my next portrait drawing. I don’t want to give away too many details, about the subject, until the finished piece has been given to the recipient.

Here is the outline sketch for the piece. I am very excited to see how it turns out. It will be finished by next week! Can you guess what breed she is?

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Thank you for reading this week’s post! If you have recently lost a pet, feel free to share their picture below and what you loved best about them. In times of loss, we need to remember the good times spent together.

Until next time,

“I wish none of this had happened… ‘So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

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Dusty Drawings

I have quite a few pieces that I have started in the past and for some reason or another they have been left unfinished. I’m quite fond of all of them. It’s not that I didn’t want to finish them. They were just pushed to the back burner and forgotten about. I figured if I shared these dusty works that I just might get the motivation to complete them all.

My first long lost WIP is a mare and foal. I was working on it for a Mother’s Day art show. I completed a couple drawings for the show already and was hoping to finish this one to add. I didn’t have enough time to complete it, though it is half way there. I’m excited to finish this one.

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Next is a simple drawing I started for practice. I was using a reference photo that I took at a steeplechase in Nashville, TN. It was never intended to be more than practice which is why it has been put off for so long.

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This next one is also from a photo I took at the same steeplechase. I played around with the image on a photo editing program and exaggerated the already vibrant colors. I decided it would make an awesome painting and started working on it. Unfortunately, painting isn’t my true passion and will easily get surpassed by my urge to draw.

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Another painting has been waiting a very long time for me to finish it. I started a painting of flowers I had photographed at the Botanical Gardens in Toledo, OH. The colors were bright with many shades of pink throughout it. Again, my lack of ambition to paint has left this piece neglected.

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Last but not least, another drawing that I am itching to finish. This one is barely started. I haven’t even erased my grid lines yet. This faint sketch is to become a portrait of one of my parent’s horses, Spirit. He is a gorgeous Spotted Saddle Horse with a trademark “V” on his neck. He is a natural beauty and I was eager to incorporate his elegance into my work. Now I just need to do the work!

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That concludes my neglected WIPS collection. Now that I have brought them to light, I know there are at least a couple that will reach completion. The urge may strike at any moment!…….maybe.

Which piece would you like to see completed? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“Hard work may not always result in success, but it will never result in regret.”

Contrary Creatures

HoliflyI have finally completed my second artwork of my equine/butterfly collection. This one is surrounded with innocence and curiosity. When I created my first piece, “Holifly“, I was intrigued by the natural acceptance these two diverse creatures shared with one another. This great majestic beast, capable of amazing feats of strength, mingles with a delicate flower gliding in the wind. The fragile meets the hardy.

I took this a step further with my second piece. A playful and curios foal discovers the vibrant monarch. Even for an adolescent, a foal is immense compared to a butterfly. Yet they have a delicate interaction of discovery together. Though this clumsy mammoth could easily squash this tiny bug, the monarch is only met with curiosity and a gentle nature.

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I enjoy the relationship, though brief, between these contrary creatures. They are unique from one another yet peacefully coexist. Much can be learned from such a terse interaction.

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For this work, which is still untitled, I used graphite, colored, and charcoal pencils. The charcoal gave me the dark contrast with a hint of white chalk to pop out the highlights. This is also the first time I have used this shade of paper. I like how the white stands out. Perhaps I will do a drawing using only the white pencil. This is also fun to do on black paper.

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I hope you enjoyed my latest work. I am glad it is finally complete. I already have an idea for the next piece in the collection. What will it be? You’ll just have to wait and see!

What animal opposites have you seen mingling? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.”

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Related posts: Free Spirit WIP V ; Free Spirit WIP VI

Canine Crone

Today is our beautiful Sasha’s 14th birthday! It’s hard to believe she has been with us for so many years. She has been a wonderful member of the family. She is very caring and kind, especially to children and young critters. We always refer to her as our son’s nanny.

Sasha is a white German Shepherd and often receives compliments on her wolf-like appearance. She is as loyal as she is beautiful.


Happy Birthday Sasha! We are glad to have you in our lives. Thank you for being one of the greatest dogs a family could have!

Have any of your furry friends celebrated a birthday recently? Give them a shout out in the comments below! Thanks for reading.
Until next time,

“That’s the funny thing about birthdays. They’re kind of an annual thing.”

An Artist’s Library

My son and I took a well-deserved trip to a local bookstore today. It was actually, quite literally a warehouse filled with used books. All books for a dollar! Who can pass that up? At that price, it was easy to find one to add to my collection. I am quite proud of the books I have accumulated over the years for my artist’s library. I’ve acquired most of them from bargain bins and auctions; uncovering each one has been like finding buried treasure!

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Today’s find is Michelangelo and Raphael in the Vatican  compiled by a small group of hard-working individuals. There is detailed photography of the Sistine Chapel as well as descriptions of the artwork and what it represents. There are also stanzas from the 15th century, sharing the history from the time these paintings were created. I haven’t read much out of it yet, just quickly flipped through the breathtaking photographs. There is so much to learn and I can’t wait to see what this book has in store.

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I have another book about Michelangelo by Frederick Hartt. It has over 130 reproductions of Michelangelo’s artwork; each one is printed separately from the book and perfectly adhered to the pages. It’s a gorgeous book with gobs of information. A must have for any kind of art enthusiast.

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Another great one to have is Norman Rockwell and The Saturday Evening Post. This was a gift from my husband. It is another fantastic compilation of great works by a great artist. Every piece is accompanied with a paragraph explaining the inspiration behind each cover done for the Saturday Evening Post.

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An artist’s library isn’t complete without Van Gogh and His Art by Rosemary Treble. This book so far is the easiest for me to read for extended periods of time. It’s a biography but it reads like a story. Once you get started, you’re enticed to keep reading. So either the author is great at their job, Van Gogh had an interesting life, or both. I think I would choose the latter.

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To throw things off a bit, I also have a compilation of The Art of Todd McFarlane. He is a well-known comic book artist that is known for adding intense amounts of detail in his work. This is a solid book with a lot packed into it.

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Last but not least, we have another master, Leonardo da Vinci. An artist’s library has to have him on the list. This was a lucky grab. I got it for a steal at Border’s right before they went out of business. It was the last one and for good reason. This is one of my favorite books. I haven’t even read a fraction of this monster yet. I like leaving it open on my desk so I can read the same page over and over again. I feel like it will take me a lifetime to really absorb this 700 page beauty.

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I have many other favorites by artists Terry Moore, Claudia Nice, and National Geographic photographer, Annie Griffiths. You can never have enough books. Especially ones filled with pictures! I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into my library and hopefully there was something of interest to check out yourself.

Are there any books not mentioned that you enjoy in your library? Share a comment below! I’m always on the lookout for a good art book. Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“Welcome to the library, young man. Don’t tell me. You’re here for a special book.”

Hearts & Hippocampus

I’ve completed my latest painting. I was commissioned to do a piece for a wedding gift of two seahorses in the shape of a heart. The newlyweds’ favorite colors are blue and orange, so this became the easy choice for the seahorses. The leaf in the corner is a little accent requested to highlight the date and to represent an Autumn wedding. My client wanted the background to appear wood-like, which I have attempted to capture before on other paintings. I’m quite content with how it came out. I didn’t want to put much detail into the wood grain in fear of taking away from the subjects. I adding the shadowing behind the figures to make them pop off of the background.

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Overall this was a very vibrant and lively piece. I have never drawn or painted seahorses before, which is surprising. I feel like I did great for my first go-around. I was a little disappointed at first because I felt the seahorses lacked detail. I need to keep in mind that my painting style is completely different than my drawing style. It’s not so much that my paintings lack detail. They are whimsical whereas my drawings are idealistic. They cannot be compared to each other; apples to oranges.

This was a special piece for me. I had decided that this will be my last painting commission. There are multiple reasons as to why. First of all, to be honest I don’t want to put money into anything else at the moment besides my drawing supplies and making prints. Paints, brushes, canvases, and the works adds up to a lot of money. All of which I would rather put into better supplies to better my drawings.

Also, I would like to further improve my paintings skills before offering anymore commissions. That’s a whole new set of lessons which again I would rather put into my drawings right now. I think this is the best choice in order to really boost my skills with pencils.

Before I bring this rambling post to and end, I want to send a special shout out to the newlyweds, Congratulations! I hope you can enjoy your painting for many years to come. Thanks for stopping by this week!

Until next time,

“Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you. The right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

Free Spirit WIP V

Boy, have I been slacking on my art! Well, not so much slacking as it is consumed with my photography the last couple of weeks. In the past month, I have taken roughly over 3,000

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pictures of everything I’ve been up to! That’s the beauty/horror of the digital age, you have an unlimited amount of pictures to take as long as your memory card is large enough! Mine can hold about 4,000 high quality photos, so I’m forever cursed with taking too many pictures of everything! I wouldn’t do it though if I didn’t truly love it!

Now that I’m done rambling, I can introduce my next WIP! In conjunction with my “Holifly” piece (initially entitled “Little Friend”), I’m creating another butterfly-equine relation drawing. I can’t wait to see how the finished product will look. I have a new pad of toned tan paper and I’m excited to use it for the first time. It gives a rustic, natural look in my opinion. I hope to have this finished in the next week or so. I also want to do a few more canine related pieces. Much work to be done in the near future! Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!

Is there a specific kind of butterfly you admire? Or maybe a particular horse breed tickles your fancy? Share your favorites in the comments below!

Until next time,

“Do I have something in my teeth?”

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Alligator Fabricator

I am so pleased with how my latest piece turned out. When I first saw the reference photo, I was a little unsure if I should tackle it. There was so much detail in the scales. And I guess I’ll let the cat out of the bag…I started this piece the night before the birthday party, so I had less than a day to work on it! I know, I know! What was I thinking!? How was I going to pull this off? I had no idea, I just started drawing. To my surprise, it was effortless and flowed together, like water rolling off a ‘gators back. Now that I’m thinking about it, I didn’t erase one thing from it, either. I didn’t worry much while I drew it, I just worked. It just happened. It just came to life. Each scale, each shadow… it’s like I did the “I Dream of Jeannie” nod and the art just appeared on my paper!

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I looked up the symbolism for the Alligator. It teaches us to roll with the punches of life’s hardships, like the ‘gator rolls with it’s prey beneath the water. The Alligator represents integration and seeing the whole picture before making a decision. Choosing to laugh at your own rigidness can help diffuse any anger and judgments you feel. The alligator will store it’s meat underwater to help tenderize it, teaching us that waiting patiently to make the right move helps us digest the situation better. If we find ourselves rushing, we miss the time to count our victories.

I’ve definitely been rolling with the punches these past couple weeks. I’ve had a lot on my plate but I’ve handled it better than I would have in the past. That’s progress, right? Maybe this piece was suppose to show me that even when things look rough, if I just step back and assess the situation properly, I can walk away from anything with confidence. I just need to remember to count my victories as I’m passing through life’s hurdles.

I brought the completed piece to the party and the recipient was thrilled! She absolutely loved it! Victory! I had a great time with my family and met a lot of new people while I was there. Victory!

Long story short, roll with the punches and remember to congratulate yourself on your winnings. We all work so hard for them!

Until next time,

“The first step to correcting a mistake is patience.”

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Related posts: Free Spirit WIP IV

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Alligator symbolism; sources: Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson  ~  refence photo: pixabay.com

 

 

 

Free Spirit WIP IV

I’ve had the pleasure this year to be introduced to an amazing woman from England. I’ve been helping her in her gardens and doing odd jobs at various locations. She is also an artist and as she says “went to university” for fine art. She’s very smart and immensely talented. I admire her poise. You could say I’m quite smitten with her! She has been teaching me so much these past couple months; she leaves me thirsting for knowledge.

Her birthday is coming up and she invited my family and I to her party. My first thought, being we are both artists, was to do a drawing for her as a gift. She told me a couple weeks ago that she loves reptiles and dragons. I found a beautiful reference photo of an alligator and I knew it was what I needed to draw for her. I love reptiles as well and I’ve been eager to do a reptile eye piece for a long while now. Her birthday gave me the perfect opportunity to start it.

I’ve been taking pictures of this piece as it progresses. It’s been exciting watching it come to life. It’s also coming along quickly. I’ve put about four hours into it now and it’s nearly done. I’ll reveal the completed piece in my next post! Stay tuned!

Until next time,

“Mama says that alligators are ornery because they have all them teeth and no toothbrush.”

Totem Animals: What Does the Fox Really Say?

Terrible songs aside, what does the fox really have to say? I had mentioned in previous posts that the fox has been appearing in my day to day life quite often. I even saw a wild one for the first time recently. With the reoccurring fox image appearing to me, I figured it was time to do some research.Fox totem eye crop

In my search, I discovered that the fox is a great symbol of becoming one with your surroundings and observing in silence. The fox is cunning and adaptable. It blends into the background and learns all it needs to know for swift thought and action. Because of the fox’s ability to become invisible, it allows fox to weave through any situation without detection.

If fox has presented itself to you, then you should pay close attention to other’s actions, as opposed to their words. Learn all you need to but keep your ideas and reasoning to yourself. Fox is also a symbol of the trickster. Perhaps someone else has been camouflaging their true intentions from you?

Fox totem nose cropOn the flip side, fox could be telling you that you are too camouflaged from the world. It’s time to stop being a wall flower and show the world what your made of! Show them what you have to offer.

I’ve been keeping fox’s lessons in mind as I carry on through the days. I’ve been meeting many new people and learning more these past few months than I could have ever imagined! I’ve been listening more than talking. Although, I have always tended to be the quiet one. Maybe that’s why the fox has been following me. We both blend in, listening, learning, observing.

So to honor my fox guide here is the completed piece I did. I enjoyed creating it, although I would really enjoy doing a full color piece of the fox in order to capture their rich red fur. I incorporated the orange tint into the eyes to make up for it.

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I’ve decided to continue with drawing animal guides I come into contact with and learning their totem. I think the best knowledge to have is taught by nature and what better teachers than the animals. Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“Goodbye may seem forever, farewell is like the end. But in my heart’s a memory, and there you’ll always be.”

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Related blog posts: The Eyes Give Life & Free Spirit WIP III

Sources: (1)Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson (2)Spirit Animal Website