Thursday, March 31, 2016

Commission Work, Small Paintings and What's Next on Finding Faith

Commission painting
mixed media on 9 x 12 inch canvas

A friend of mine has this wonderful and faded photo from 1926 of her grandparents and her grandmother's two sisters jumping rope in the middle of a field in Kansas.  She asked me to paint them in my style and this is how it turned out.  She loved it, which is always a relief!

Bedroom in Gold and Sky Blue
mixed media on wood block 4 x 6 inch

 Last week seven of my tiny paintings (4 x 6 to 6 x 8 inch sizes) sold from Tessera Gallery, so I painted several more to fill the empty spots.  I really enjoyed doing the interior paintings that were inspired by some old decorating books I bought from a used bookstore last year.

Dining with Cobalt and Paisley
mixed media on wood block 4 x 6 inch

And of course my favorite subject...figures.  These are all imagined or from my "sketchbook sweetie" sketchbooks.

Peggy and Patty in Pigtails
mixeed media on wood block
4 x 6 inch

Grace With a Good Luck Cat
mixed media on panel 5 x 7 inch

Liliana and the Sleepy Cat
mixed media on panel 5 x 7 inch

Bike Ride in Spring
mixed media on panel 5 x 7 inch

 And look what I found!  A red flannel shirt for my next Finding Faith project.  It cost $3.49, so does that make my project low budget?  :)  I am happy to tell you that things are well on the way and we are excited about how the video and photos have turned out.  Time for the painting!  Wish me luck!

A million thanks for all your amazing and uplifting comments on this project.  I was truly overwhelmed with all the kind comments, sweet emails, and encouragement to keep at it.  Faith loved reading all the comments too, and that's important because without her, there would be no Finding Faith.  :)

See you soon.
♥ Lisa

Monday, March 21, 2016

Finally! Finding Faith Project Unveiled: the Video, Photos and Painting

Over a month in the making, and my "Finding Faith" project is finally finished! I named it Faith is Waiting For Spring and it is a three part art project using painting, video and photography to tell a simple story.  I have always loved to dabble in photography and with my new-found love for videography, I had the idea to connect them with my painting and this is what materialized.  

I really hope you enjoy the video and photos and especially the surprise ending in the painting!

 FULL details on the making of this project are below for those of you who want to know more.  I know who you are and it was written for you.  

Thank you for looking!

♥ Lisa


Faith is Waiting For Spring

Video: click to play

Faith is Waiting For Spring
oil on canvas
30 x 24 inch


 Details About the Project

working in the studio
As you know, if you follow my art, I am a figurative and narrative painter and often paint intuitively (where the story unfolds by itself as I paint) or by creating scenes using vintage photos.  However, I had a new idea for my approach and that was to create the story with the use of video and photography, and then attempt to paint it.   In all honesty, this whole concept started with finding the 8 mm app for my iPhone.  It is the same app I have been using to make my "Studio Clips" videos, and it has me hooked on video making.  It's kind of funny to me how such a big idea can come from such a small thing like finding an app, but that is what happened.  Plus I have always loved taking pictures, so this project provided a way I could sort of tie these arts together with my love of painting. 

  The video and photographs took only 1 1/2 hours to shoot, but took over 10 hours to edit because I was very picky and kept changing my mind about the clips of video I wanted to use. Plus, selecting the music took a while.  I needed something slow since the whole theme was about Faith waiting for "Spring" to arrive. It is amazing how music can make or break the mood!

My beautiful niece, Faith was my gracious and willing muse and we did the shoot in an open field in the middle of Benton, Kansas.  I found her dress and the small props at a thrift shop,  borrowed the table and chairs, and  I made the flower crown myself.  I was pretty excited the day of shooting because everything turned out exactly as I had envisioned and the weather was perfect!  

My friend and gallery owner Teressa Sliger helped me locate the property after I sent a text to her one day to ask if she knew of any "Andrew Wyeth-looking places" out in the country where she lives. (My all time favorite painting is Christina's World, and the Kansas landscape looks exactly like that painting). So Teressa took me driving around one day trying to locate the perfect spot for my project and I ended up selecting the first one we saw.   I have to point out here what a great friend and support Teressa was to do this for me...indulging with me on my what had to seem like such a crazy creative whim.  She questioned me very little and just rolled with it.  Had she not done this, I might have just chucked the whole thing aside labeling it as a dumb idea, but her interest and enthusiasm helped push me forward.  Also, the property we chose was private property and we were not sure who owned it, so she offered to meet us out there on shooting day to keep watch for anyone that might question what we were up to.  We had to lug the table and chairs a long ways off the road to the tree that provided the main part of our stage and Faith and I were a bit nervous about trespassing.  I  imagined poor Faith being hauled off to jail in her pretty dress and flower crown, and me having to explain to her mother what had happened.  But having Teressa there helped us relax as we worked.  She assured us it was not a big deal to be out there and it wasn't.  We never saw a soul for the entire hour and half we were there.

After the photos and video were complete I busied myself in the studio attempting to capture the scene in the painting.  Since I do not paint realistically, this was a challenge for me.  I had to keep reminding myself that my job was to capture the essence, not every single detail.  Also, I knew from the start that I could not make Faith look like Faith.  I had already tried painting her face over and over again in my sketchbooks.  I decided that if I could at least capture the scene with just a likeness of her I would be happy.  I worked in oil because it is easier for me to make adjustments.

   Being outside, collaborating with people, taking photos, shooting was such a fulfilling way to work in art!  Plus working with all the images from the photos and video,  and physically having been in that location provided a lot more information for me to work with, which for some reason seemed to make the painting process flow more easily. However, I can't always work this way because it is so involved.  From time to time though, it will be fun and I love the challenge.

Didn't Faith do an incredible job?  She is a natural beauty and she just knew exactly what I was wanting for the video and photos.  She was such an easy model to work with and I could NOT have done this without her!  We had so much fun that day and I am happy to say we are already scheming for the next project.  I just need to find a red flannel shirt somewhere.  :)

Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 14, 2016

I Wore Blue the Other Day and Another Peek at Finding Faith

available here

The Week before last I was in the mood for blue, so I painted another series of blue pieces of clothing.  They are all done in oil on 4 x 6 inch heavy watercolor paper and I used a palette knife and very small brushes.

available here

I think it's easier to make things look more painterly and loose in oil paint vs acrylics, at least for me it is.  I tend to tighten things up when I paint with acrylics.

available here

I tried to work quickly on these and not get too caught up in details...not worrying about perfect sleeves or perfect flowers.  I see things I might have changed had I slowed down a bit, but if I had slowed down I know things would have tightened up.

available here

Painting these pieces of clothing got me thinking how much fun fashion designers must have at work every day.  And imagine how excited they get when they see someone walking down the street wearing clothing they dreamt up one day while having morning coffee.

I am still working on my Finding Faith project and I cannot wait to show it to you.  It is tempting to give you what I have so far, but I think you will enjoy the whole kit and caboodle all at once instead of in parts.

But here's another trickle of evidence that I am working.

Props for the Finding Faith project
I am anxious to progress more on it this week and it's getting closer!  Thank you so much for all the visits and comments and for following.  Happy week to you!  See you soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Studio Clip, Commission Work and Finding Faith

I made another studio clips video and in this one you will see a commission piece I have been working on for a friend.  She has this wonderful, very faded photo of her grandfather, grandmother, and her grandmother's two sisters jumping rope and I had fun trying to capture them.  I will post the painting later on after she has seen it.

I hope you like the video.  This is truly becoming another art form for me.

In an earlier post I mentioned painting faces for a particular project I am working on.  These are some of the attempts.  Upper left is done with acrylic and the others are in oil.  I have been calling it my "finding faith" project which will all make sense later on.

Stay tuned and thank you all for the great feedback on my last video.  I am so happy you enjoyed it.

♥ Lisa

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Studio Clips: a First Attempt at Video Making

I was on Instagram one day and saw a lovely video of  Kate Hudson playing in the snow.  It looked like an old reel-to-reel movie and it had music.  For some reason it set my creative mind on fire and I just had to figure out how to make such an old-looking video.  After some hunting, I found an app called 8 mm for the iPhone, and boy has it been fun.  

 I know many of us love seeing videos of artists doing their thing and in their spaces, so 
I thought I would start making short videos of life in my art studio to share with you once in a while. It has provided another creative outlet for me and another way to sort of shake things up.  If you know me, you know how I like change.  That's why I switch from oil, to acrylic, to mixed media from painting to painting just about.  Keeps me from getting bored.  My mother used to tell me when I was young, "bored is your middle name," and I think she was right.  

I am also working on another idea for the use of this app,  but I will share more about that later.

Hope you like it!  It's just over a minute long.