17th Hole at Sawgrass

 

My first commission piece. I will have to take a better photograph, the cell phone does not do it justice.

 

This was fantastic to paint. My client asked for it to be done by Fathers day a week before (!!!) and I knew it couldn’t happen. Luckily she settled for before September. A week and a half later it’s done!

My favorite parts are the trees and the reflections in the water.

Selling Art in Paradise

Selling Art in Paradise

So it’s been a hot minute since my last update. I’ve been doing much better. Remember that post where I asked what you do when you feel blue?
Well, I felt really blue. Mostly because of lifestyle choices which I have since been able to get a grip on.

I’m back in the gym lifting and eating healthy, work is going really well and it looks like there is something on the horizon there as well.

I showed off my art at the Stanford Multicultural Festival – a festival celebrating both diversity at Stanford and those who have managed to work there 15+ years without going crazy.

I made my first two sales! A coworker of mine bought the larger seaside painting because it reminded her of her wedding, and another person bought one of my Sonoma vineyard paintings. Since then I’ve scored a commission that I am hoping to have done and posted here soon.

The Stanley Cup just came to an end. I have never been to a hockey game but I live within walking distance of the SAP Center so I was treated to the crowds for the past week or so. A great opportunity for people watching.

In between games on a Friday night I packed up my easel and used the great backpack straps to haul it over to the SAP center to paint the palm trees, which was the featured image for this post. It was nice and hot out and it brought me back to a tropical paradise state of mind. The underpainting is a golden yellow, which really brightens things up and adds a nice glow. Andrea Bocelli was playing that night at SAP so everyone was dressed up in their nice clothes and the bike taxis were playing his music. Altogether it was lovely.

Teacup Study

Teacup Study

 

I have my first “show” coming up this Thursday, which is quite exciting. It’s the Stanford Multicultural Springfest, a yearly celebration of Stanford staff. Luckily, since I am one of these staff members I can show off my work and they will provide a table for me at no cost.

While I find this absolutely exciting it is also terrifying! Other people will be gawking at my art in person. The last few days I have been wondering if I am good enough, or if people will even like my art. It’s times like these that I wish that little voice in the back of my head that doesn’t respect me would just shut up. It’s not ok for people to talk to others the  way my inner dialogue talks to me, so perhaps it would be beneficial to be more mindful when it comes to my own inner dialogue. Perhaps if I name it Donald Trump it would be easier to tell it to fuck off.

No sales are allowed at Springfest but I can hand out my business cards and see if anyone would like to purchase from me after the show. My goal this year was to sell a painting, after all.

The last few weeks have been difficult for me mentally – I have been feeling pretty blue. It has actually helped to let other people know that I am feeling blue. I’m feeling on the up and up and I know every day I will feel better.

 

Ikebana #2

Ikebana #2

This is the second of my ikebana paintings, finished while camping in Arroyo Seco, California.

I have a massive pile of very cheap canvas boards which I regret purchasing now that I have become more serious about my paintings, so I am trying to use them up and reserve them for trial paintings.

I’ve been back at work for two weeks now and I am glad to spend time here, but I get tired. Trying to combat the fatigue with building my stamina – it feels good to be back in the gym and out running.

 

This painting is a reminder not to rush. Some parts are good and some parts stick out like a sore thumb, and it’s ok to embrace and learn from these things. Perhaps I will go back and fix the lines at a later date, but now I am working on a landscape.

Ikebana

Ikebana

This is the first of a series of Ikebana paintings, each 4×4″

I love florals but the stark complexity of ikebana-style arrangements are so captivating. Combine that with a moody background and you’ve got something kind of special going on. It definitely calms me to look at this painting. I am also exploring the way light hits vases and while this piece was something that I have made up it’s good to try to spend time thinking and trying to understand how light works. James Gurney’s book “Color and Light” is a fantastic resource.

I’m back at work now after a few weeks on disability but it’s good to be back at Stanford. I’ve also made it to the gym today and have been running semi-regularly. Today was shoulders and arms as well as squats (3×5 @ 115 pounds) and planks (60 seconds x 3). I have to start out slow and I’m sure I’ll hurt tomorrow but it’s good to get back into it.

Empty Mug

Empty Mug

 

I’ve gone through a few types of earl grey tea recently on my quest to find the most outstanding tea.

Twinings Lady Grey as well as Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey are up there for sure.

After reading lots of good things about Teavana’s Earl Grey Creme I can say for a fact that I am not a fan, even after drinking through 2oz of loose leaf.

Here’s an empty mug – an ode to finishing up that tea that wasn’t so great, and looking forward to better tea!

REDdit Gets Drawn

REDdit Gets Drawn

Today I thought – hey wouldn’t it be nice to paint and not be in front of the easel, perhaps on a comfy couch?

I’ve always wanted to try digital painting so I looked into brushes for photoshop.

Kyle’s Brushes are super affordable and amazing. I bought the gouache set for a whole whopping $7. I first heard about them while editing photos for a friend and listening to ArtProGoShow Episode #5. Kyle talks about his illustrations and his custom brushes for Photoshop. I know I’m not the first person to learn about them, but I am probably also not the last. I figure what the heck, I’ll try them.

Lo and behold here is my first shot at digital painting for Reddit Gets Drawn.

It’s a little messy, but it adds character – right?

I’m a podcast fanatic – if you have any recommendations please let me know.

Still life box: Part 2

Still life box: Part 2

I’d like to expand a little more on the still life setup box that I made.

It was inspired by Carol Marine‘s instructions for a still life shadow box. Her dimensions differed from mine a little – I had Lowes help me out and cut down the plywood to 18×18″ and based all of my other dimensions off of that.

The height does measure a few inches more than the width of 18″, which means it can accommodate for vases and larger dioramas. I was able to find a clip on lamp at a local thrift store which cut the price by $10-15. The whole project ended up costing about $110 and a day and a half of my time.

It really makes a difference to be able to look at something in front of you and really see the way light changes your subject rather than working from a photograph. Working from life will also give me a better understanding of how objects and volumes relate to each other in space.

The box is lit from a warm flood light as well as a cool CFL. Colors and shadows are so much more interesting now.

The 18″ depth/width offers an interesting flexibility in the fact that a lot of flooring options are available in 18×18 (see Home Depot’s site if you don’t know what I am talking about). I picked up two “slate” effect vinyl tiles to work as an alternate to drapery for my shadow box. Best of all it was less than $4 for the both of them.

All I have to do is put one on the bottom and lean one on the back. It’s pretty convincing, and I could pick up different tiles if I wanted. I had thought about ceramic tiles but the weight would not work at this point in time, as the box is not secured to the stand that it is on. Perhaps in the future.

On a side note, it’s important to think about process. I dove in to my first project with this box without underpainting. I was so excited to start that I completely forgot about the process. If you do not follow a process paintings can take much longer. I found myself struggling with the draping in the painting, but I think it’s turned out fine. I’ll post it tomorrow – keep an eye out for it.