About Me

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I love art! I am a self-taught artist living in Maryland. I am one of the many artists who spent a childhood doing art and then it got pushed to the back burner as life took over. I am not happy when my art is on the back burner! Things have changed! I am extremely happy to say that as of this writing January 2016, I am a full-time artist. I am living my dream! I work mostly in pastels and colored pencil, but also plan to revisit some of my old favorites -- charcoal and ink. Maybe I'll even combine some of my favorite mediums or try some new ones. I've got big plans! I hope that you'll follow along on my art adventure!

Friday, January 29, 2016

More Flowers - White Tulips

I don't usually do a whole lot of florals, but maybe looking out and seeing all that snow has driven me to florals for now.  Maybe I'll be doing snow scenes this summer!  Anyway, as a followup to my pink roses, I did white tulips.  I've actually had this picture in mind for a long, long time and finally it was time to do it.  It's again done in oil pastels on Ampersand Pastelbord.   It's 12 x 16 and is currently available on auction starting at $50 or for immediate purchase on Daily Paintworks for $80.

White Tulips - starting bid $50

12 x 16 inches on Ampersand Pastelbord

Monday, January 25, 2016

15 Pinks - Latest work

Well, I did something I hadn't done in quite some time -- I got the oil pastels out.  Actually, I haven't done but a handful of pieces in oil pastel overall.  I tried these lovely pink roses.  It looks so much like a painting in real life.  I am just not a paint and brush person for whatever reason, but don't mind manipulating oil pastels with palette knife, stump, etc.  Infinitely quicker than colored pencils which is what I have been doing a lot of work in most recently.  Not sure if my next one will be another go at oil pastels or my original and first love which is soft pastels.

This piece is 12 by 12 inches on Ampersand Pasteboard.  For those who like the details, it was mainly done using Caran D'Ache Neopastels, a few Sennelier and one Holbein (a light bright green used in the background).  This painting is available for purchase at Dailly Paintworks.

15 Pinks - 12 x 12 inches

Oil pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord

Saturday, January 16, 2016

New work - Laundry Day

Nothing like painting a warm, sunny day in the middle of January.  I wish I had done this bigger.  There is more that I would have done with it, but the 8 x 8 size limited me just a bit.  I think I will definitely give this one another try larger just to add a few things and change a few things.  Overall, I'm pleased with it.  It went through quite a few changes along the way.  I started out with colored pencil and basically completed the piece that way.  I felt like it was a bit washed out and added some selectve areas of Pan Pastels on top to brighten things up a bit.  Still wasn't quite happy so then I got the soft pastels out and finished her off.  What started as a colored pencil piece is now totally buried under pastels.  There are a few pix of this process further below.  Yup, that Ampersand Pasteboard will take whatever you give it!  Available at Daily Paintworks.

Laundry Day - $60
8 x 10 - pastel on Pastelbord

My initial sketch on board with white charcoal pencil:

Mostly just one layer of color  all over, a few with two:

Embellished with just a little bit of Pan Pastels over the colored pencil:

Calling it done!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Latest Work - Play with Me

Just finished this little guy.  I always do the eyes first.  I loved having those big brown eyes looking back at me while I worked!  This piece is 8 x 10  and done in colored pencil on green Ampersand Pastelbord.  That is becoming more of my favorite with each new piece I do.  He is up for auction on Daily Paintworks and prints will be available soon in my Fine Art America shop.  I've also included a few shots while he was still on the drawing board below.

Play With Me

8 x 10 - colored pencil

Just a few minutes into color after sketching it out with white charcoal pencil.  As you can see,  I originally planned to have him in the grass and the sidewalk behind him, but changed my mind and reversed it.  I know you're supposed to do the background first in colored pencil.  Occasionally, I actually do that, but not too often.  I 'm always too anxious to get to the fun part!  Of course, then when you finally get to the background, you live in fear of messing things up!  One day I'm going to get burned doing it this way, but so far so good!

Here he is mostly done and waiting for some grass and sidewalk.

This last shot was basically finished, just a few last tweaks and a signature to go.  Gotta remember to take more pictures in process next time.  I get too involved and forget!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The best pencil sharpener ever! (thus far)

Okay, today, I am not posting any artwork (should be finished with my current piece for posting tomorrow, though), but want to talk to about something near and dear to many artist's hearts -- pencil sharpeners!  So many of us have been through the struggle of finding an electric pencil sharpener that will hold up under colored pencils, no less pastel pencils.  Some of them don't work from the beginning and others quickly give out.  Do you get as tired as I do of trying to maneuver out the broken tip with an X-acto knife?  Well, the Bostitch Professional Quiet Sharp 6 is a dream come true! No broken off leads; a very long, needle-thin point in literally a second or two; and automatic shut-off when the pencil is sharp.  The diameter adjusts with a simple turn of the knob and there are suctions on the bottom to hold it steady.  I've only had it a few days, but I am so absolutely pleased with it that I feel confident in sharing my discovery.  I don't think it will, but if this relationship goes down the tubes, I promise to let you know!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Where Flowers Grow

This piece is 8 x 10 and was done in pastels (actually Pan Pastels and pastel pencils) on Ampersand Pastelbord.  I started with a rather dreary picture of an abandoned house with gray skies and overgrown fields.  I originally planned to do it much like in the reference.  However, before I knew it, the old abandoned house was surrounded by overgrown fields and flowers with blue skies overhead!  First rule in art -- make it your own!!!

(Currently being auctioned at dailypaintworks.com)

Where Flowers Grow

Starting bid $45

A very recent piece

I had a reference picture of the bricks and the beautiful teal paint that I really wanted to incorporate into a picture.  I decided the gray cat was just what it needed.  This piece is 12 x 12 on wonderful Ampersand Pastelbord.  That has really become my favorite surface for colored pencils and pastels!

Alley Cat


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year 2016!

Wow, last post was May 2013.  I am happy to announce that this blog will be alive and kicking going forward.  Over the last several weeks, I have made the transition to full-time artist!  My husband had originally, a few years ago, dubbed my art venture and my store on Etsy "23HourStudio", as we had figured out that with very careful planning, after work and everything else, I should be able to find 23 hours a week for my art.   Well, let's just say that was very wishful thinking.  While I have put my Etsy shop on hold since I found other avenues that are working better for me,  I thought I would change the name of my blog, but decided the name still fits.  Now, I can work 23 hours a DAY if I want!  You artists out there know what it's like when a piece is working so well and you just don't want to stop!

Anyway, I'm glad you found this blog and very sorry if you visited an inactive one in the past.  I will be doing my best to post several times a week.  My work can also be found on Vangoart, Daily Paintworks and Fineartamerica.  If you're in Maryland, my artwork can be seen at my booth at Sammy Girl Crafts at theTownMall in Westminster.  Next post soon!