Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 MPSGS Honorable Mention Award!

I've just received my letter from the Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society (MPSGS), and I am so excited to have been given an Honorable Mention for my work Hay Bales in the landscape category in their 76th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature!! yippie!!

It was selected from the 724 works in the exhibition. I am thrilled! That show opens on November 23rd through January 2, 2010, with an awards ceremony Sunday, November 22. I sure wish I could be there. Sigh...

Congratulations to all my online miniature artist friends who's work has also been awarded!

Final Phase, Bringing it all Together!

Work in Progress, Acrylic on Gessobord, 4" x 4"


I worked on darkening the edge of the large rock, adding the holes, giving them depth. I also needed to pay attention to the rocks on the right side, give them some detail without making them too important. I added shadow areas throughout the holes and rocks.


I further refined the dark forest, adding tree trunks and branches, touching up the sky holes, bringing some trees forward, moving some back. I also added some cliffs on the far right side. Here is a closer view of the rocks in the foreground.


More branches were added here as well as some leaves. I also worked the roots on the upper rock on the right.


The front edge of the large rock has been further defined with the under shadowing and carried over where it meets with the other rocks. I like the shape and curve of this opening. All the details have been added and it's just a matter of looking to see what else needs a bit of tweaking.


In one of my photos of the area, I noticed a seagull. I really didn't see it at first, except when I was trying to see some other detail under magnification, there it was. I thought it would be a great addition. However, the seagull was not easy to paint! At first I just couldn't get it to look real, I did not want the cliché of a "bird". I realized my difficulty was the surface, it wasn't smooth, there was too much drag on the brush. So after letting the area dry, I added a thin layer of soft gel medium diluted with water, like an isolation coat, and let it sit overnight. The next day I was able to work the bird much easier, the brush moved freely on the surface. I was able to create the shape of a bird with some light and dark areas suggesting the body and wings. Whew! it was so tiny to paint! All I have to do now, is put the isolation coat on, and then after it dries, varnish and frame it. Oh, and yes, the fun part...a title!


Above is the final work in the frame I have chosen to put it in. I am pleased with the outcome. I really like the way the seagull breaks up the darkness of the forest and pulls the eye through the work. What struck me was the serenity of this place. There were so many ways for the senses to be stimulated, the feel and look of the different textures of the rocks, the contrast of the dark forest and the overcast sky. Not seen in this painting, but can be imagined, is the water of the sound on the left, the sand and pebbles and tidal pools below. It was chilly, but the air was fresh. I can't wait to go back!!

I'll be posting the final image on my website and here as well when it gets scanned and I give it a title! This work was done for the Miniature Masterpieces and More exhibit coming up at Kaewyn Gallery's holiday show. I'll be talking about that in the near future, so stay in touch.

Thanks for looking and reading about my process. I have done this for myself as well as anyone else who is interested. I think it will be good to have as a history, not only of how I worked at this point in time, but what I thought about it. I do want to make it clear that this wasn't posted in real time. I took a photo every day before I started working. Then I took the best photos in their order and posted the work a few at a time. I take a long time on each work, too long! If I posted them in real time, it would take forever between posts. Therefore I chose to do it this way. I wish I were faster, but I'm not and that's the way it is. Besides, it's the journey that's important! Now, next, graphite on film.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Next Phase: "Work in Progress", Acrylic on Gesobord

The work continues.
* Note, some of the images are under the magnifier for a closer view.


I've given the overcast sky the solid, flat look I was after without it being too stark white or too dark. I'm still adding values and defining shapes, overall.

More tree branches which help break up the sky and texture on the trunk of the tree, are seen here.

Oh no! The color was too dark and started to loose the texture I wanted. I ended up wiping off the paint and letting it completely dry. (see the white spot on the rock)


You can see here where I was able to repaint the color and start to give it form again. It was another of those flat places where I wanted to blend the surface edges but instead, overworked the area. I hate when I do that! But it has been saved and I am moving on.


Next you can see where I've started to lay color on the rock in the foreground. When I paint, I work from the larger area, then gradually add more values and outlines of shapes of objects. I work all over the surface at the same time and try not to add too much detail in the beginning, just enough to see where I am in that space. I've found if you get too caught up in the detail too soon, you often end up changing it anyway.


Above is a closer view of the detail on the surface where I had to redo the basic color. Also, you can see the great textures of the tufoni rock formations.


I'm happy with the trouble spot that I reworked. I can see the work is going in the right direction now and it's time to start sharpening up areas and loosing some edges. Then I get to do the fun stuff. Next, the fine details!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Work in Progress, What I'm Painting Now

Here's a preview of the painting I'm working on and how it came about.

Silverpoint on Multimedia Art Board -4" x 4"
(Rejected by me as being too dark and surface not smooth enough)

I did this image as a silverpoint drawing, it was my first silverpoint. I really like how it came out except as I've stated in an earlier silverpoint post, I was tinting the ground too dark. Also this one was done on multimedia art board and I didn't like it as a support, it seems to be too bumpy for a miniature. I now know it can be gessoed and sanded smooth prior to using the silverpoint ground. (So much to learn and since I still have some of the Mulitmedia Artboard left, I may try that!) Anyway, I really liked this image in silverpoint and I am going to do it as a larger silverpoint work later. I already have some very nice illustration board prepared with silverpoint ground, ready to go. However, that will have to wait because I do have another miniature show to submit work to at Kaewyn Gallery's, Miniature Masterpieces and More* annual exhibit in December. (It's an invitation only for the submissions and I'm always happy to be invited to participate in this group show.) *More on that later.

#1 Image on left is the new painting, right is rejected painting. (4" x 4" Gessobord)

Several months ago, I decided to paint this same image, as a miniature. I ran into trouble with the surface in blending the colors in the sky area. I'm not sure what the problem was, but nothing was turning out the way I wanted! So I put it aside and worked on something else. Now I am back to it and so far it's going really well. (As it should since I am very familar with every curve and shadow in this piece!) Notice the mess I made of the sky in the one on the right! That's after I sanded and reapplied paint, then sanded some more! Definitely time to put this one in the reject file! I do keep rejected work, however, because it's good to have as a reference. A reminder of what worked and what didn't.

#2 A close up view of the beginnings.

In the above image, I laid in the shapes and darks of the forest. The rocks and tree forms have been outlined, with a few values added. The sky area has been covered with the first thin layer.

In the above stage, I've laid more values on the front rocks. The forest has been defined further and another layer added to the sky. I find the areas where I get myself into trouble is when I have to blend a large smooth flat space, as in the sky. The paint starts to pick up and then it becomes uneven. The more I paint, though, the better I am able to get past these annoying mishaps! I become more mindful of using a lighter touch and not to over thin the paint. Oh, and to breathe!


In this one, you can see the full view of the surface under magnification. You can see the rocks are being defined further as well as the tree with the small white branch. Still a lot more work to do, but so far, it's coming along without problems! I'll be back soon with more updates. Thanks for looking at my work in progress, untitled for now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Elder Street Gallery Photos

I finally got some of the photos resized that my daughter sent me of the show at the Elder Street Gallery in Houston TX. She was there early in the day so the crowds happened later. You can get a good idea how the show was hung and I was happy to see that the method of hanging was very secure.

The gallery and artists' lofts are in a beautiful historic building.

My works on exhibit.

In this photo, notice the tiny miniature to the right of the man. It has a red dot indicating a sale and it is one of Mona Diane Conner's beautiful eye miniatures done in egg tempera. Congratulations Mona! *

My work has been returned promptly from the Elder Street Gallery show in Houston. I was happy to participate and glad that my daughter, Gina got to see a miniature art show in person. Thanks for putting this show on Terrence!

* Mona Diane Conner does beautiful work in egg tempera and has a mini demo on her blog. I have the book she recommends by Robert Vickery, New Techniques in Egg Tempera. It was a very nice surprise from my husband (I had it in one of my wish lists). He found it used at a very reasonable price and in wonderful condition. Now I need to find the time, but it's going to happen some day. Also, my friend Janie Olsen is going to a one day workshop on egg tempera given by Koo Schadler in December. She is also interested in learning more about this beautiful way of working. I can't wait to hear about it Janie! When she does her first work, I'll be sure to link to it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Work accepted in MPSGS!

I got my acceptance notice in Saturday's mail and I'm excited to say all three of my works were juried in to this year's 76th Annual Miniature Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers Society, (MPSGS) exhibit. I am thrilled!! Here is the blog post (second paragraph) with my three works that will be in this exhibit.

On another note, I just got back from North Seattle Community College where I delivered my work. Brenda and her gallery helper, Wendy were busy hanging the show and from the peek I got, it's going to be a very nice show! I can't wait to see it when all the work is up for viewing. Mark your calendars for the opening reception, Tuesday, from 1 - 3 and 6 - 8. The show will be up until November 6th.

Group Show at North Seattle Community College

I've been asked to participate in a show called "Shrunken Treasures" at the Gallery at North Seattle Community College. It's a show of small works and miniatures, (all work must be 12 x 12 inches or smaller). For Small Works, I'll have two colored pencil drawings on film, and two on paper. I will also have five Miniatures, three in colored pencil on paper, from my Italian Landscape Series, and two other works done in colored pencil on film. Together they should provide a nice grouping. The show runs from October 13th through November 6th. There will be an opening reception on Tuesday, October 13th from 1 - 3pm and again, from 6 - 8pm. I"ll be attending the evening reception, 6 - 8 pm. The Gallery is located in room IB 1322, the address is 9600 College Way N, Seattle. I hope to see you there!

This is proof that having a website and blog are helpful. Brenda Anderson, the curator for the gallery saw my work on my website. When Brenda contacted me for this show, she wrote in her email...
"We are a small Art Gallery on the North Seattle Community College campus. Our main purpose is to expose the students and local community to art. We strive to have professional shows that allow students to see work they may not otherwise venture out to see. We also have a wonderful art program on campus and the gallery is an important part of those students' education. We have 6 art shows every year, 5 professional and one student show for the art students to showcase their work."

I am honored to be a part of this exhibition. I know that community college gave me a place to explore and further my art interests. I gained confidence in myself, my work and met many a mentor at both Valencia Community College in Orlando, Fl and Cabrillo Community College in Aptos, CA. Community colleges are a great resource for adults as well as students.

Parking and Directions: If you are coming from I-5, you will get off at the Northgate exit and head west on Northgate Way. Turn left onto Meridian Way, it will turn into College Way. When you get to the campus, you want to turn left into the 2nd drive/entrance. You will come to a "T", turn right for visitor parking. If you somehow get lost on campus, look for the Bookstore. The gallery is in the same building, directly behind the bookstore.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Frustration and Perseverence!

Wow, what a week!!! I finally got my work shipped to the Miniature Art Society of Florida, (MASF) for their 35th Annual International Miniature Art Show. It was a really close call as the deadline is this Friday, tomorrow, October 9th! I thought I had the right sized mats cut for the two new works I just finished, (varnish still drying) but they didn't work out. So, I had to cut two new ones, and that is the worst for me!!! I don't know how it always looks so easy when you watch a demo, but I end up cutting so many before I finally get one that is without flaws! I got so frustrated, I thought about giving up and not doing this show. Seriously! It's not only one of THE two most important miniature art shows of the year in the USA, but it's the largest miniature art show of the year and I am a society member! MPSGS in DC, the oldest miniature art society in the USA, is the other most important show, (work shipped on time). I made myself take a deep breath, persevered and was able to get everything together and made a mad dash to the post office and shipped five works priority mail, 2 to 3 days on Tuesday! I love usps online shipping and printing! Thanks to Wayne for all his help!

I'll be posting the two new works as soon as the images are sized and my copyright put on them. The one that I recently posted as a work in progress is the new Italian landscape I submitted. The other new one I submitted is done on film with graphite and acrylic. It's an image of trees and a crow with a key! It was inspired from the larger graphite on film, Finding Time. I love how one work can send your mind into other possibilities for future works. Never did I think I would be watching crows as a subject in my work, but now I see crows everywhere, (course they are everywhere!). I'm hoping to post these images soon. I told that to my "webmaster" and he just smiled at me, so we'll see. SOON!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


A quick note to say I have been busy with finishing work, plus matting and framing. My deadline for MASF is so close!! I will be back to blogging once this is done, so please come again!

Yesterday, however, we did take a much needed day off to go to the Festival of Family Farms Tour in Skagit Co. and what a beautiful day! We visited several wonderful farms with, sheep, alpacas, and Highland cattle. In the wilds we spotted an elk herd off in the distance, and eagles soaring overhead! It was a breath of freshness and beauty that I sorely miss! We didn't want to come home.

Today it's back to my studio to work. I hope to be back to regular blogging by the middle of the week. Meanwhile, I hope your days are filled with health and beauty!