Thursday, December 31, 2009

Janie Olsen's Painting, "The Whippets", Stolen!

Sad news from my friend Janie Olsen who emailed me last night to tell me she had a painting stolen! Yesterday morning, Wednesday, December 30th, around 10:30 or so she was taking down work from her show that was in the Lake Stevens City Hall. The title of the stolen work is The Whippets. (Click on the title to go to her website to view the missing work.) She thinks it must have happened while she was loading them into her car. The back door to the car was open as they were walking back and forth during the loading. It is a small place right by the police station! When she got home and unloaded everything she couldn't find the painting anywhere! She said she remembered it was one that she put in the car first because she had plans to enter it into a competition coming up. Everyone who helped her look for it, remembered it. It was a large framed painting! The only other possibility is it could have been taken sometime while she was transferring some of the paintings from that show at the city hall to the library where she was hanging a few of them. She said she is sure she locked her car because it was full of her work. When she got home, unloaded and found it missing she drove back to both places to look for it, and with the help of others, still could not find it! She did talk to the woman from the Lake Stevens Art Commission who said she will put an article about it in their local paper. We all as artists and art lovers know how this must feel for Janie. Any information or a safe return of this painting would be greatly appreciated. Here is Janie Olsen's website and contact page, Good luck Janie! My heart goes out to you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Illuminated Letter For Gina

This is a little something I did for my daughter, Gina. She should get it today. It's something I worked on while I was sick. I love illuminated letters and last year I did a miniature for the February "Romance Show" at the Arts of Snohomish Gallery. I had such fun doing that and want to do something similar again for their show this year. (I'll say more about that in my next post.) Meanwhile, I remembered I wanted to paint something on a stone. I love rocks and stones and have them all around our home. Once when I had some leftover gel medium I used it on some of the rocks that were sitting nearby. After several coats, the surface was so nice, I knew someday I wanted to paint something on one. Gina also loves rocks and found natural treasures. When she was little, she gave me two stones that she painted for me. I love them and have them in my studio, they make me smile every time I see them. I thought I would return the favor and had one with just the right shape that was perfect for her. I thought the colors and gold paint did well on the surface. It's painted in acrylic and finished with varnish. I forgot to measure the size, but you can get an idea by the first photo. It was done with love. It's not everybody who can say their Mom gave them a rock!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Feeling Better and Pie!

I can't believe it's been so long since I've done any blogging. First off, I hope all my blogging friends have had a great holiday! I've been trying to keep up with everything new that's been posted and reading all the great things you are all doing.

After years of staying free of colds and flu, my luck ran out. Last Wednesday while out doing the food shopping, in spite of constant hand sanitizing I picked up a bug. Boo Hoo! I have been stuffed up and dragging around, feeling like not doing much of anything. I felt like a wimp complaining. After all, it was just a cold! But, I forgot how miserable a cold could get, especially at night! Fortunately, I was able to cook and taste all the goodies I made. I even experimented and made a pretty decent pie crust from oat flour, I've been trying to avoid spelt. I made a pumpkin filling without eggs, or cinnamon which are also problem foods. It was really good!!! It was a great treat for me to be able to eat pie!

As for getting in my studio and doing some actual work, I'm afraid very little happened. I did however, manage to do some designs for future work. I'll say more on that later, so stay tuned. Fortunately, I think I'm almost over the worst of my cold and getting some energy back! I will be working in my studio today! Yay!! To good health! Salute!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays To All My Blogging Friends and Good News from Kaewyn Gallery!

I received a happy email from Lynn at Kaewyn Gallery in Bothell saying I sold two of my miniature art works!! Yay! I went over yesterday and picked up my check and saw the show. Lynn's year end, Miniature Masterpieces and More - Holiday Exhibit is by invitation only, so I'm always happy to be included. The show is hung very professionally, a great well lighted space, with many different styles from local northwest artists. This year I was able to send some new pieces, and the one I blogged about here as a work in progress (WIP), Time is a Patient Sculptor, is gone already! That was a fun one to do and turned out so well! I am pleased that someone else thought so, enough to want to add it to their collection! The other one that sold was, All Washed Up. That was also a fun one to do, another northwest scene that I hope will be a happy addition to someone's collection!

I still have four works remaining in the show which will continue through January 9th. There are three miniatures, "Rhodie" With Bee, Innocence, The Sentinel, (see above photo) as well as the small work, A Meditation on the Pacific Northwest. That small painting is up near the front of the gallery by the window. If you go, don't miss it as it is difficult to see all the fine detail and shimmering iridescent colors here on screen. Seeing it in person is much better!

A Meditation on the Pacific Northwest, can be used as an altar piece and does well leaning back on a shelf leaving room for candles or an offering. It would also work well hung in a meditation or yoga space. It would make a great gift ... even to yourself! Namaste.

Miniature Masterpices and More Exhibit at Kaewyn Gallery, located at 10101 Main Street in downtown Bothell, WA. The Exhibit runs from December 4th through January 9th, 2010. Original art is a lasting treasure and makes the perfect gift! Support your local artist!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Completed! Work In Progress, Another Silverpoint/Metalpoint!

Cropped image above is the final metalpoint work, untitled for now.

Finished metalpoint work above before cropping. Notice the wonkey horizon line! (I don't know why I didn't notice this earlier!)

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted! I was determined to finish this and am finally calling it done! YAY!! I am so glad, I'm ready to move on! Thank you, to all you who have followed this work in progress and for your support. Thanks to you too, Karen Hull, for linking to this post! I'm happy I've gotten some of you interested in trying out this incredible medium! I'm looking forward to hearing what you think, Karen and seeing your lovely style of working done in metalpoint!

There are some things I would do differently in the next metalpoint, (I will do more!). First, until I am more familiar with using the different metals, I am only going to use one at a time. It will be interesting to see how the two metals I used in this one, (silver and copper) age in the image. I have seen where other artists have used both successfully together, but I'm not sure what I think about it in my own work. Next, even though I was able to use an eraser to lift off some of the metal to change the image, I will wait and see how or if the erasing will change the surface, to see if it leaves any residue. Remember to keep a clean cloth or sheet of paper under your hand to prevent oil from you skin getting on your surface. Also, I would be sure to have my composition worked out completely. It's difficult to correct or change things. Another thing I would try to be more aware of is not to get dark too soon. I found that the darks have a different appearance when they are built up lightly rather than using pressure like you would graphite. It's similar to when you build up layers in colored pencil, except it's using the same pen. It's also difficult to photograph the beauty of the look of the metalpoint. It has a glowing appearance to it that doesn't come through on the screen.

I did like using the Golden Silverpoint Ground. The liquid brushes on evenly and yet the texture comes through. I think this is probably why I find metalpoint so great for doing things like rocks and trees.

Now, as to why I felt the need after all that work to crop the image... I used several photographs to extend the landscape to include the water and island on the left. Unfortunately, after it was completed and I downloaded it to screen, the area on the left side didn't look right to me, the horizon line didn't make sense. In using the photos, I should have made the line of the beach area on the right, higher to match and continue the horizon line across. My husband pointed it out to me after I told him I thought something was wrong! It's always good to step back from your work to look at it from time to time. If I had been working with graphite, it may have been possible to lift up some of the graphite and correct the problem areas. Not so in silverpoint! I think my only solution to make this work stronger is to crop the image as I have done above. I think I will darken the small area of the rocks on the far left side at the bottom, just to separate them from the larger rocks. Doing this makes the metalpoint drawing look like my painting, Time is a Patient Sculptor, that I did of it in miniature. Oh, well, it must be that this is the best composition anyway. At last, I am ready for a new project! is the best website on silverpoint with a lot of useful information, history and links on this fine medium.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Metalpoint/Silverpoint Tools and Work In Progress, Another Silverpoint/Metalpoint Continued...

Above are the tools that I use to create my metalpoint drawings. At the top left you can see the copper wire, purchased from the hardware store to make my copper points. Under them are two pens for the two different sizes of points. Next to the copperwire pens are the two silverpoint pens purchased from the * website. I placed my order online and they arrived quickly. The putty and the click type eraser I use for all my drawings including graphite and colored pencil. Metalpoint, however, is difficult to erase. If the mark is light enough, sometimes it can be lifted. Try not to rub the surface too hard or it will become too smooth and the marks won't adhere to it. When you do go back over the surface with the pen, do so lightly and allow the marks to build up slowly. I always keep a hake brush handy to brush away any lint or specks. The sandpaper is used to shape the metal into a point or smooth the point. What I have here is Gator Grit, 180-C Waterproof sandpaper. Be careful that the point is not too sharp, or it will cut into the ground. The ground I use is Golden, Silverpoint Drawing Ground, you can buy at most art supply stores. There are recipes on the silverpoint website if you want to make your own ground. I really like the look and feel of the Golden ground. It can be used on many surfaces, anything you want to draw on. I am now working on a piece of Strathmoore 500 Series Illustration board .

You can see above where I stripped off the top of the outside covering of the wire. I think one is around .05mm and the other may be around .07mm. I don't remember what the actual sizes are. I just looked at the wire in the hardware store, and bought several sizes in about 6 inch lengths. Some have several strands of the wire in them. Then I just took old pens apart until I found ones that would work for the wire sizes. Leaving the outside covering on the wire and just peeling it back helped it to hold in the pen more securely. In the smaller pen I also put some of the putty at the base of the pen, which helped hold the point steady, (you can see the gray area at the bottom of the pen on the copper wire pen in center).

Above you can see the different marks the pens make, copper on top and right, silver, both on bottom. Below is a closer view.

I don't know if you can see it clearly, but in this abandoned silverpoint miniature drawing that was started several months ago, I've added new silverpoint marks next to the aged marks. Notice the color differences (at the base of the tree, right side). This is another one of the beautiful characteristics of metalpoint. I'm looking forward to seeing how this new work ages, especially since I've combined the two different metals in it. Please keep in mind that I am new at using silverpoint/metalpoint, so I am learning as I go. So far I can say I really like the look and feel of the metalpoint on the ground. My first successful work, (as far as I was concerned) was done as a miniature called, The Silent Ones. The one I'm working on now as a work in progress I'm hoping will be a successful piece. If you wish to see more of my attempts at silverpoint, just click on the word "silverpoint" in the labels section at the end of the post. I'm already thinking of what I'd like to do next! If you love to draw, I say it is definitely worth trying.
* is the best website on silverpoint with a lot of useful information, history and links on this fine medium.

Here is what I've recently done on the work in progress. I really had a great time doing the large rock, I love the texture, and metalpoint is great for doing textures!

Above are two closer views of the area. I'm ready to bring this one to a close. Looks like I still have more to do though! (sigh) Until next time...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All 5 Works Accepted in 2009 MASF!

I've received my acceptance letter from the Miniature Art Society of Florida, (MASF) and I'm so happy to have all five of my miniatures accepted into this wonderful exhibit! This show along with the other miniature art society show, Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society, (MPSGS) are the two biggest deals for a miniature artist in this country. I'm always so pleased to have my work get juried in these two shows!! My five miniatures in the MASF show are, A Touch of Autumn, Buddha in the Pacific Northwest, Joey, and the two new works, Wednesday,Late Afternoon, and The Key.

Wednesday, Late Afternoon, Acrylic on Polymin, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
I did a partial work in progress on this acrylic painting on polymin, in this blog post.

The Key, Graphite and Acrylic on Acid-free Film, 2 3/8" x 3"
This work is done on Dura-lar Matte film. I have been fascinated with crows lately, they keep appearing in my work!

The 35th Annual International Miniature Art Show runs from January 17th, through February 7th, 2010 at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, FL. For more information on exhibition dates, times and places to say, please visit the MASF website, click on "Annual Exhibition", then scroll down for the 2010 schedule and listings of places to stay. This would be such an exciting show to see!