Thursday, April 28, 2016

What You See and Paint is not Always What Your Viewer “Gets”!

Blue Vase
This past week I've had some interesting interactions with people who have viewed my art.

This is the last week of my art show at the Logan County Library in Russellville KY. Various librarians have remarked that they've had a few comments on the artwork. One that was repeated was: “Isn't that painting of the blue vase hung upside down??”

On the one hand I'm pleased that people are looking at my artwork close enough to wonder what's going on with each painting. BUT I'm also confused with the question. In MY mind I know that I painted this vase laying abandoned in the melting snow, with the sun glowing thru the glass. I believed that I had included enough “visual info” to say that to a viewer. That question leaves me wondering if I did my job as an illustrator......


This is one of my business cards I designed a while back. It's also the basis for the blog logo at the top of the page and my FB banner.

The other day I handed this card to a person so's they could email me some info. He looked at the card and then shot me a quizzical look.....and asked me if I did local CLEANING jobs!! Not hearing him totally because of the background noise I replied, that I did picture book illustrations along with house/people/pet portraits.

As you can tell from this exchange.....we were BOTH talking past each other!

Later, Frank pointed out the “disconnect” in the exchange. I have to assume that in a context that had nothing to do with children's picture books, or artwork the term “illustrator” just did not register with this person. Sorta kinda like when Charlie Brown is talked to by a teacher.....all the audience “hears” is “Blah, blah, blah”
On the card the only visual to give a clue is my little girl carrying a huge brush, a pail of paint and walking in her stocking feet. This was my visual for “Walk Softly and Carry a BIG Brush”.
An adaptation to Teddy Roosevelt's quote: “Walk softly and carry a big stick”

Again out of context, I can see where this visual could be construed as someone carrying a washing bucket and mop.

My take away for all this is that an artist can't have too many “eyes on the artwork” prior to a show or publication of the art. The more critiques or editorial advice a illustrator gets, the more likely a lot of these opinions (misguided or not) can be addressed. After all, in the case of a picture book, the illustrator is hoping that THOUSANDS of eyes will eventually “see” the artwork.....and that most of those little eyes will “read” into that artwork exactly what the artist intended.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Southern Kentucky Book Festival Saturday April 23rd
I wanted to let everyone know that I, along with a “few” (about 150 plus) other talented folks will be at the Southern Kentucky Book Festival, at the Knicely Center in Bowling Green KY on Saturday April 23rd, from 9 to 3.

It's a great time to see favorite authors( and illustrators), hear them speak and meet new authors (and illustrators) if you're so inclined.

I, along with a few of my fav Midsouth SCBWI friends; David Arnold, Susan Eaddy, Aileen Stewart, Kristin Tubb, Mary Uhles, Amanda Driscoll, Jessica Young, Donna Driver, Courtney Stevens, Bethany Griffin, Tracy Barrett, Sharon Cameron, Lois Sepahban, Brooks Benjamin, Gail Nall, will be there along with the ever popular “Many Minnie More”.

Do come to listen to the authors/illustrators discuss their work, mingle with other book lovers, and maybe get a book or two for your Christmas gift can be one of those annoying smug folks that finish their Christmas gift list earlier than December 24th

But most of all come 'cause it's a great BOOK party.

See you there.

Monday, April 11, 2016

THE Pepper- in Coloured Pencil

  8x10 Coloured Prismacolor pencils 
over acrylic glazed background
on bristol board. My photo reference
This post is about a recent doggie portrait I painted. The subject is our faithful (to two separate families at the same time) pup pal, PEPPER, who passed over the rainbow bridge last year.

I took a photo I had of Pepper, and decided I was going to “paint” her in coloured pencils.
Since my main interest was the Pepper herself, I decided to rough in a mottled background in a light ocher acrylic glaze. I covered her drawing in a frisket cutout and sponged an acrylic wash over the background. I could be a bit sloppy in it's application since I had protected the drawing beforehand, and I've found that coloured pencils work over a thin acrylic glaze with ease.

After the glaze dried, I set to work with my coloured pencils. I started with her expressive eyes first, then roughed in more of her face. I “reserved” the white on her muzzle, chest and paws and worked around those areas with the various browns, dark colours and blacks of her coat.
I also reserved till the last some furry highlights on her black coat. Even with pre-planning, her longish fur gave me a bit of trouble.....showing highlights while maintaining her black fur. It didn't really help that she'd just had a “rough cut” haircut.....the only kind she would allow. She really wanted to hold onto all the cockle burs she picked up running thru the fields chasing after bunnies.

THE Pepper is on display at the Logan County Public Library for the month of April.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Art Show up at Logan County Library

2016 Logan County Public Library
Front Hall 

This is just a bitty blog post showing my display at the Logan County Public Library in Russellville, KY. 

These pieces are a few of the paintings I've finished over the past year or so.  Some are watercolor, some acrylic and a couple feature coloured pencils.  
I've blogged about most of the paintings shown.....just scroll down and you'll see some of the same pieces in their very own blog.

Thanks SO much to Logan County Library for the lovely display place.