Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Painting vs. Artist

Capitol at Midnight, 24"x36" oil on linen

Well, it's Wednesday and not Monday per the usual blog entry, but it was my goal for this post to be about the painting I've been working on this past week and I can say I successfully completed it.  Yay!  

Just like any project, sometimes a painting just flows, and other times, it's more of a process.  On occasion, it's a battle royale.  Cue this painting.  If you've been following my work, it's evident that I've painted different variations of the Capitol on multiple occasions.  So even though this is right up my alley, I found myself at 11 p.m. on Monday stuck on this painting, specifically the water for whatever reason.  It just wasn't gelling, and it was literally fighting me.  I pushed my chair out and threw tons of paint onto my palette, determined to get it completed, and when I would step back and it would look like a mess, I'd scrape it all off and start over again.  There is nothing more disheartening then scraping off paint you thoughtfully put onto a canvas!!!  

After hours of battling, and a mini meltdown, I finally feel like I won.  I am happy with the way it turned out, and I realized after putting my brush down that I was painting so intensely, I was absolutely covered in paint.  I looked like a two year old who had gotten into a box of markers.  I am a messy painter anyway, but even a couple days later I am still finding traces of evidence of this painting even after multiple scrub downs!  Ha!

Well, it was all worth it, and just part of the painting process.  I hope you get joy out of it as I definitely have a sense of accomplishment!

To celebrate finishing up the piece, it was summer pedicure time.  My mom came over and we beautified our toes just in time for flip flop season.  Since my girly pup didn't want to be left out, we painted her toes light pink to match her tongue.  Nobody call animal control on me, it was just for fun once!

Hope you have a great week and that your projects go smoothly!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fun Week!

Happy Monday!  While I did start a new Capitol painting this week (I hope to have it up next week, at least that's the goal!), I also did a few out of the norm things that were pretty fun!  On Tuesday, I ran my very first class to a troop of Girl Scouts.  They are working on their painting badge, so I taught them a little about light and shadow, and we had a great time painting a branch of cherry blossoms.

It's so amazing how you can have more than a dozen girls painting the same picture with the same colors and every painting turns out different!  Some girls did darker blossoms, some had larger blooms, some were more abstract, some more representational, all were gorgeous though and we had a great time!!!

On Thursday, I had so much fun accompanying an interior designer I have worked with, Christine Wiott, at the Clifton Tour of Homes (there she is on the left in the picture above).  She decorated an entire home (as well as designed the pavilion you see above), and it was featured as the first tour along the route.  I had seen pictures which were just gorgeous, but to see it in person was amazing.  Christine did the greatest job.  Beautiful floral arrangements, paint choices, draperies, you name it.  Christine's use of color and texture is just astounding.  This lady has some great taste (and if you're in the market for any level of redecorating, be sure to check out her recently relaunched website:  www.clwiottdesign.com).

And not that Christine had much to do with it, but look at that Chevy in the driveway outside the home!  LOVE THAT!  What a fun day!

Okay so I'm holding myself to it that next blog will be the finished product of the Capitol.  I'm working on it...wish me luck!

Monday, May 12, 2014


I love Chinatown...I love the vibe the Verizon Center brings on game day, the people waiting for the bus to NYC, the beats of the drummer outside the metro, and my ultimate favorite, Matchbox pizza (yum!!!).  So as usual, I was inspired to paint this fun, lively place.  It turned out pretty fun and I really enjoyed creating it.  Right now it is at The Cooley Gallery, hope you enjoy it, and be sure to check it out there if you want to take a look in person!

I hope you are enjoying your day, it's supposed to be in the mid-80's today, joy of joy!!!!!!  I love warm weather!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thinking Outside the Box...

One of my absolute favorite things as an artist is to see artwork hanging in its permanent home, so I'm really excited to have had the opportunity to snap this picture of an embellished giclee of the Capitol after we hung it up.  I love how perfectly it matches the living room furniture with the beige and navy blue accents, and how the frame complements the gorgeous crown moulding.

Since I offer to frame pieces in addition to creating them, I often get the question of what size to create, what style to frame in, etc. etc.  Since this is quite subjective in nature, I can give my opinion, but I typically offer up a couple questions to narrow down the field.  When looking at artwork, here are a couple great questions to ask yourself:

1. Where would you like to put the piece and how much space are you working with?  
This piece above is a 36"x54", which is quite large, and is a perfect size as it is hanging in a large living room with ample wall space.  When you walk in the front door, the piece is visible from the foyer, which makes a larger piece even more enjoyable as it can be appreciated from the moment you walk in the door.  So when considering a piece, consider the angles and distances at which the painting can be enjoyed, as it may make you realize a larger piece is the way to go!

2.  How large are you willing to go?
I typically paint larger pieces, because I paint with a lot of detail which can be appreciated better in a larger size.  While you do need a certain amount of space for a large piece, it's important to remember that if the work is a centerpiece, any room with sizable wall space and enough room to step back from the painting can handle a piece larger than you would think.  Notice how in the picture above, there is no need for sconces on either side, as it's large enough that the curtains frame the piece on either side without totally overwhelming the wall.  Any smaller, and it would have gotten lost on the wall without something filling the space on either side.  Also, notice how the room is light and airy, and the furniture is classic but neutral, which can easily handle a colorful, larger piece without overwhelming the room or making it appear busy.  It becomes the focal point and complements its surroundings.  The point of all of this is to just remember not to be afraid of a big painting!  You'd be surprised how much wall space you actually have!

3. When considering a frame, consider the painting, but more importantly, what does the space look like?
I get the question, "How would you frame this?" a lot.  This is almost an impossible question to answer, as picking out a frame can sometimes be like picking out a paint color.  Very few people will pick the exact same one.  In the example above, Heather, who I created this for, really wanted a rich looking, but not ornate, white frame.  Her vision was absolutely brilliant.  Look how it pops with the moulding and yet blends with the beige and off white furniture.  It is perfect in the space, and makes the Capitol itself come to life.  Great job, Heather! While there are certain frames that I might not recommend because it might clash, if everything in your room is decorated in dark woods, go for a dark wood frame.  If you decorate with lots of polished metals, go for a silver frame.  The possibilities are endless, so I always say, stick with what your taste is, and then we'll find a frame to complement the painting according to your taste!

Design and art go hand in hand, I hope on this sunny Monday this helped to inspire you and your space!