Friday, December 27, 2013

Looking Back On 2013

 My space at Crossroads Gallery

I can't help but to look back these last days of the year.  Christmas has passed and I'm tidying up the last to dos before the year ends.  Happily making big check marks on my mental and actual lists.  

Each year I make a list of Goals - Personal and Artist ones (it's a well known fact that I'm a huge list maker, a trait I have passed down to some of my boys and to my granddaughter), my husband jokes that I probably have a master list of lists and I actually do.  But I  digress......

My Personal List always has the proverbial : Loose 10 pounds+, Get more active,  ( somehow these are tied together and involve another item, find more time to do this), and tell more people I appreciate them in my life, live a more present day.........and so on....... You get the drift.
Crossroads Galley Space

But my Artist List usually has more concrete and productive Goals.  And I think even if you are not a regular member of the Make A List Club, your art can benefit by doing so.  Like making my grocery list, it's the very simple act of writing it down that files it into my brain, and makes me think about where I want the new year to take my art.  If your like me with busy days and stuff to do unless I sit down to ponder these things I don't feel in tune with where I'm going in my art.   Yes, there are professional artist goals like:  get my website redesign finished, apply to more shows, and redo my exhibit space at Crossroads Gallery.........

Then there are the deeper listed items that even the hobbyist artist can think on:  Developing better depth perception in my landscapes, continuing to refine my skills in lost and found edges,  growing my small band of plein air sketchers and journaling friends. 
There are many people reflecting on the year as it was and I hope just as many looking forward to the new.  As I think about what I want to do to spread the colored pencil paintings word and how I can help my students accomplish their goals I'm thankful for the small band of my blog readers.  I hope my blog entries have helped some of you or spurred on a curiosity for the media.  Let me know if it has, make a comment and tell me how I can help more or just share this with someone you think may enjoy it.  

And if your reading me for the first time, let me know how you found me.   I promise my entries are usually more full of pictures and how I did my latest painting than lists.      

Now to finish the last 2013 painting in my drawing desk.

Oh and instead of a New Years resolution (which I would un-doutably would break by the 5th of January I'm making a 2014 Mantra and it is: Accomplish Your Best   

What would yours be?
Gloria Callahan

Friday, December 20, 2013

Colored Pencil On Travertine Marble - Great new surfaces

                                        Celtic Greenman on Travertine Marble 10 X 10 Tile

This is a post that's been waiting to be written on a piece I accomplished at this years CPSA Convention in Brea, CA this summer.  Elliott Everson conducted this workshop, as a signature member of the CPSA, his work is very appropriate for this surface.  His website is here:  Take a look at his work and subject matter, it really goes well onto the stone tile he works on and his location.  But since I'm not a fan of snakes, reptiles, and such, I choose to work from a reference of mine that reflected one of my passions.  Green men faces, I have them all around my yard and home, on a wall of my front porch and elsewhere in my garden.  I just love them.  This mythical figure the Green man symbolizes the life that is found in the natural plant world and on earth itself, and has many interesting stories and fables surrounding it.  Being a gardener I can't help to love the simple idea of the green man protecting my garden.  Their faces are as varied as the human faces in our lives.  

I had created this Celtic Greenman originally on a used violin for a fundraiser for the Richmond Symphony several years ago, called "String Art" (see below).  I primed with colorfix pastel primer on the front face of the badly beat up instrument and then applied my color pencil on top.  It was auctioned to raise funds for the symphony so I never had a chance to enjoy it at my home and secretly wanted one of my own.  
So it was this image of a stone carving from the Bamburg Cathedral I chose to use as my workshop adventure with travertine marble.  I highly recommend Everett's teaching method on stone, if you ever get to take a workshop from him.  And being an ole decorative painter working on new surfaces intrigues me.  

Working on unsealed, tumbled marble tile was an adventure indeed.  My normal method of working in 20-25 layers on paper or pastelboard wouldn't work here.  Yes, the roughness chews up your pencil a little, so that's similar to pastelboard or sanded paper.  But after a few 3-4 layers of wax based pencil (Prismacolors) you find the pencil sliding on the stone.  Now that would have bothered me but I had just finished working on double frosted mylar for my Jamestown Sea Captain. (See my Aug. entry titled:  Gloria J Callahan, CPSA - Colored Pencil Paintings: Jamestown Sea Captain and my busy summer.   Mylar or Acetate does not take many layers of wax based pencil either.  The one difference is that with the travertine marble can be spray with workable fixative to get a few more layers down. Which worked beautifully on the Celtic Greenman.  

Working with the rough surface was fun to incorporate the dips and crevices into the subject.  This gave me a whole new idea for a series of stone pieces to create.  More to come....... so watch for new work.  Oh, one more thing, you finish and protect your work by spraying with fixative then several light coats of acrylic sealant or varnish.  This of course would not allow you to use the tile for a trivet with hot surfaces as the varnish would be damaged and thus your work.  I'm happy to display it on a counter easel for the art work it is.  And now I have one for my very own.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Recreating A Master - My Girl With A Pearl Earring

                                                 My Girl With A Pearl Earring 16 X 12
                                             Colored Pencil On Ampersand Pastelboard

This is a piece I worked on as an example of what can be done with colored pencil for my class of advancing CP students, Recreating A Master.  Of course most master works we think of are paintings so it was my goal to teach my students how to accomplish that painterly look with CP.  And as a tribute to Johannes Vermeer's, Girl With A Pearl Earring - I posed my granddaughter Cora in a head scarf and clothing similar to Vermeer's Girl.  By the way I had the pleasure last year of seeing this painting in real life at the Louvre Museum, in Paris.  And mine is almost the same size, except in inches not cm.  Below you will find the photo I worked from for capturing Cora.

I didn't have a blue scarf for her head, nor the right clothes but her Mom had a jacket that was of similar color to the original, See below, (I believe I can show the real image here since it's a master painting and his copyright has expired).  Johannes Vermeer painted this in 1655.

                                            Johannes Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring

I chose to make the clothing more similar to Vermeer's and scarf color.  I chose to change the turban like yellow scarf into Cora's pony tail.  For several reasons, but mainly to make her be well, My Girl.  Cora loved posing for me and especially liked getting to wear the red lipstick.  My pearl earring was not as large as as the one in the master's but it seemed to fit.

Working on this was a love in many ways, it's my oldest granddaughter, it's my tribute to Vermeer's piece, (one I have always loved) and I enjoyed trying to get CP to look like a painting.  The jacket and scarf were very much an act to replicate what a brush originally did.  

Checking in after a long hiatus from the blog, teaching and traveling have kept me from posting but I promise to get you all caught up on what I have been up to as we set into the cold months.  My students will show some of their master works at my January Student Show at Crossroads Art Gallery and My Girl will be hanging there also.  Enjoy Thanksgiving Day Everyone!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Stokes of Genius 6 is publishing my "Harley's Davidson"

         Harley's Davidson 16 X 16 Colored Pencil on Ampersand Pastelboard

Out of 1500 entries, 124 artists have been chosen for North Light Books’ 2013 drawing competition Strokes of Genius 6: Value | Lights & Darks!  Congratulations to the all the winners.  I am extremely excited about my own acceptance for the piece above.  I have admired this book in Barnes & Nobles and one day hoped to be one of the published artists to be included in a volume of it.  There are several CPSA member's in the book also, like Shawn Falchetti (Cascade). Tanja Gant (Waiting; Speak No Evil), Linda Lucas Hardy (Her Eyes So Blue; Repose), and Elizabeth A Patterson (Tomato Bullseye) to name a few.  All with admirable work.  

This piece is just back from the CPSA (Colored Pencil Society of America) convention and currently available for sale.  I wanted to thank all the volunteers of the CA chapters of CPSA for yet another wonderful convention.  When your piece arrives so quickly after the exhibit, safe and sound you have to think again about how much work it takes from the national board and local chapters to pull off another successful convention and exhibit.  

Find out more about the CPSA here

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Triple D Game Farm - Montana, Incredible Photos

                Exploring Dora - Siberian Lynx  10 X 8 Colored Pencil on Suede Mat Board

At the end of August I had a simply awesome experience at The Triple D Game Farm and Preserve in Kalispell, MT.  The photography and animal portrait workshop with Gemma Gylling, CPSA, a great colored pencil artist known for very moving animal portraits, didn't disappoint.  For more of her work go to:
Glassgems Studio

Triple D Game Farm is a great photographers resource for shooting wild animals in their natural setting, free of leashes, and cages.  And the young ladies who are their handlers Heather and Lindsy are so very capable, brave and knowledgeable.  Not only knowledgeable of these wonderful animals but of lighting, placement and just plain ole' "What makes a great photo"!

Day One:  I had the most incredible first day, photographing an endangered Amur Leopard named Kupalo, and a shy female Siberian Lynx - Dora.   Had someone told me I could shoot 965 photos in less than 3 hours with these animals I'd have laughed.  We were at times within 6 ft of Kupalo, a 2 year old male about 90 lbs. of pure energy and developing predatory skills.  Amur Leopards are as few as 30-40 in the wild and 300 in captivity.   Heather who raised Kupalo from a cub, worked with him so gently and skillfully, allowing him to be the playful young man he is, providing us with some wonderful photos like the one below.

                                                         "KUPALO" - Amur Leopard

Dora was shy and so very elegant in comparison to Kupalo's raw energy and male curiosity.  The finished CP portrait shown at the beginning of this post, was accomplished from a zoomed in photo I had taken on Day one.  In the afternoons we worked with Gemma on the techniques she uses on suede mat board for capturing the fur on her project of a Mountain Lion.  On day 3 we had the choice of following on with her project or moving to one of our own.  I chose the later.  And the above cp painting is the result.  Once I'm sure it's finished I will spray it with fixative and then frame behind glass.  Something I've been trying to get away with (framing behind glass) but needed for this surface.  My hopes are that I will be able to create the same soft fur textures on my favorite Ampersand Pastelboard.  So stay tuned for my further adventures in wildlife art.

I concluded the Montana experience with a couple days exploring Glacier National Park with my sister and her husband along with my hubby before moving on to Helena for a few days.  And many many more landscape photos for future cp paintings.  This is truly a wonderful area of the country and colorful too!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jamestown Sea Captain and my busy summer.

                                                               Jamestown Sea Captain
                                                   Colored Pencil on Graphix Frosted Acetate
                                                                         17.25 X 11

Each year I find that summer seems to play tricks on a person, it sounds like a long season, "Those lazy hazy days of summer".  But in reality they are fffffffffaaaaaaaasttttttttttt!  Whizzing by at ultrasonic speeds, no time to catch your breath, enjoy, or even get art enough art finished.  Life as you can see has crept up on me and my summer plans.  The portrait above has been waiting to be called finished for many months now,  and for a variety of reasons.  This guy was a wonderful character we came upon on a trip to the Jamestown Settlement a couple years ago and he played the part well as he stood in charge of the ships upper deck.  So I knew I needed to capture his relaxed but confident nature.

I had worked on Graphix - Duralar (Brand name) before, in a long forgotten workshop given by Robert Guthrie at a CPSA convention, several years ago.  But it was Suzanne Vigil, a portrait artist in northern VA who inspired my completion of this portrait.  The double frosted surface (frosted on both sides of this graphic film) created smooth skin tones so easily.  But and I repeat but, your layers are limited to about 4 on each side of the surface.  Like any new surface it takes a little getting used to.  Lifting color is as easy as a vinyl eraser, used gently as to not make a slick area on the surface.  It is acid free and archival so it meets my requirements of a surface suitable for creating lasting art.  Click here for a link to  the Dick Blick   page to see more about the surface.

Working on both sides of the acetate was a little confusing, as when working on the under side you are working the mirror opposite of your image.  And while that might not be confusing on a floral or still life, on a portrait I found it tricky. (To keep facial proportions correct for a likeness.)  Until I realized I could flip my photo in Photoshop and work on it in reverse.  Unfortunately, it took me a while and some cursing to figure this out!!!  Transferring onto the surface is easy because you can see your image thru the surface and should be done with a slightly lighter than a mid-grey pencil, graphite works also.  All in all I may try this again for CP portraits but it requires matting and framing behind glass, which I'm trying to get away from.  But skin tones are so smooth and hair and beard stubble is fun to create.  So who knows.

Photographing the image was a challenge as it is shiny after the layers of pencil are added.  Thank you to my son Chris and his great photography skills in helping me to finally get a good image.

I will tell you, that working on this surface prepared me for the next new one I will be featuring in my next post later in the week.  So tune in for my update............. along with my CPSA convention notes.

Hope your catching up to your summer plans...........


Monday, July 22, 2013

Sanded Surfaces Workshop

                                                           Reflections Of Sea Life SOLD
                                                                      8.5 X 12
                                                   Colored Pencil on Uart Sanded Paper

My summer workshop for sanded surfaces ended on Saturday and a good time was had by all.  I love when students are so eager to learn and do so well on the new surface.  The class worked on the above seashell piece to gain experience on the Uart paper as their first sanded surface.  Uart is a pastel paper that comes in many grits from 400-800 and we worked on the 800 grit for this piece.  They learned how layering is different from normal CP papers and how to blend on this surface.  I start them out on Uart as it is a tough surface and takes CP very well with layers and layers to be added to make the rich colors and textures of these shells.  I hope to add a photo demo to my website soon on this piece.

They then made the change to Ampersand Pastelboard, a hard board primed with marble dust in the primer.  Using their own references for the 5 X 7 piece of white board.  Ampersand acts similar to other sanded surfaces but the hard board gives a different feel.  It enables one, upon completion to spray with fixative and then to preserve with several layers of sprayed Archival varnish to be framed without matting or glazing.  Just like an oil or acrylic painting!  This is my favorite surface to work on.

It was a lot to cover in 3 full days but they were troopers and I enjoyed having them in my home studio.

I hope you try a sanded surface and let me know what you think.  I'll be getting ready for the CPSA convention next week in Brea, CA, where my Harley piece was accepted.  While in CA there are workshops to be enjoyed, new techniques learned and a whole lot of great art and friends to catch up with.  While the hubby and my trusty canine hold down the fort here at home.

I just posted on my website the new classes for Fall so have a look and maybe you too can learn this wonderful medium.  Rest assured I'll be checking email if you want info or have a comment.

Stay cool and enjoy some color this week.


Monday, July 15, 2013

40th World Sketch Day - Sketches

                                    Colored Pencil on Mixed Media Strathmore Visual Journal
                                                                          5.5 X 8

Some of you may not have heard of a "Sketch Craw"  or World Sketch Day but it's kind of like an Internationally observed day to sketch everywhere around the world.  Oh no, now I have the Martha and The Vandellas song "Dancing In The Street" playing in my head.  Anyway, it's also kind of like a college bar crawl, going from place to place sketching for the day.  Wine or alcohol optional, but sketching your lunch is encouraged.  I however only had a few hours in the morning to spare so I invited lots of friends, students and other known sketchers to participate.  For more information see link:  or the Facebook Sketch Crawl site at:

The crazy weather we have had here in VA had me searching for an indoor/outdoor location close to home (due to a busy schedule), and of course a bathroom since there will be coffee involved ;-).  It seems the more I try to plan anything outdoors the rains come and ruin it.  So with coffee in hand, my small sketch kit and a folding chair I headed off to a local nursery to get started.

It is advisable if your inviting friends to a business location to call in advance to get permission.  In this case Richmond's "Great Big Greenhouse" was gracious enough to let us come in early at 8 AM.  A really nice nursery with wonderful plants inside and out.  It was really hard to NOT shop for plants and great garden and home accessories but get down to the business of sketching.

So I placed myself near the front entrance in the greenhouse so I could be aware of the few who said they might join me.  Near the collection of indoor ferns on sale.  After getting started on a small vignette at the edge of the plant table I greeted a previous student of mine, Cheryl who was happy for an excuse to get out sketch, shop and catch up.  You know this is also a great social event, if others hadn't been on summer vacation several others said they would have come.  Here's a photo of the ferns from my iphone:

I actually sat a little lower than this view when I did the above sketch.  The day went from threatening clouds to sunny skies so I opted to stay in the greenhouse.   I next moved on the Bonsai plant area which I love, and found a really neat asian garden lantern.  Since I'm on a quest to learn pen and ink sketching, I'm currently leaching myself this thru a 75 Day Sketch Challenge.  Only Ink is allowed, no pencil underneath  just ink.  I started this on June the 28th and will end it on Sept. 10th.  Each day you have to sketch something in your journal for 75 days.  I figure this would make me practice a more sure line, since it can't be erased or camouflaged by adding color.  Brenda Swenson started this challenge on her blog at:    She's a water color and ink sketcher and does some really great work.  So as I bungle thru sketching with a micron pen in a Dick Blick ink sketchbook I received as a promotion, I'm learning to shade, hatch and double hatch my way thru the challenge.  I hope by day 75 it gets easier and faster and maybe a tiny bit better.  (By the way I'm going to have to check out this sketchbook more as it does not show bleed thru, is smooth for the pen and it's soft grey sheets would take some white pencil for highlights. After the challenge that is. )

I actually love journaling, travel journaling and working my way thru new challenges.  Sketchbooks need only be for you, not shared or publicized but enjoyed.  Getting out my first sketches always makes me feel better about how far I have come on my art journey.  Danny Gregory, author of "An Illustrated Life" and "An Illustrated Journey" encourages folks to journal, and document, but most of all enjoy the process.   Although many do so in watercolor and pen, I choose to mainly work in my beloved colored pencil, but still I can see the use of ink when called for and definitely for the script part of the page.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend, whether on not you observed World Sketch Day or not.  The next one should be in October this year as they seem to do 4 per year.  Grab your sketchbook and whatever your favorite media or just a regular pencil and try it.  I know next time I'm planning on making it past lunchtime before I cave in and shop!  ;-) Keep it colorful!

And her new plant adoptees spent the rest of the day in her garden and conservatory getting acquainted....... 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Plein Air Colored Pencil Painting - On The James River

A week ago Richmond had it's second Plein Air Event sponsored by Brazier's Gallery 
on West Main Street.  Nationally known artists from around the country and locally competed in an week of plein air painting with the beneficiary our local Richmond Symphony.  Having participated in a past Richmond Symphony fundraiser and as an ex flute and piccolo player, it's a great group to support.  Two of my friends and I went down for the Fast and Fresh painting on Sat. morning where artists where set up on Monument Ave. in various locations to paint from 9am to 11am, with a judging and sale afterwards.  I have to tell you I met some plein air painters I had only read about in Plein Air Magazine, I was a groupie for sure.  Oil, watercolor, pastel and acrylic all media represented except my beloved CP.  But what this morning out had accomplished was just what I had hoped it to, inspire and motivate my two friends to try plein air working for the first time.  Resulting our plan to do so this last Thursday.  

 On June the 20th my two art friends and I,  plein air painted at James River Park in Chesterfield County, VA.  I of course worked in Colored Pencil while the other two worked in oil and acrylic.   Working with other painters is not new to me as I am often the only one working in colored pencil.  My usual goal when working outdoors with painters is to accomplish as much as possible in the same amount of time as they are willing to work onsite.  My slower to develop media means I'm usually the last to leave with less accomplished.  I accept that fact and by now I have learned to set a few goals for myself for each outing.  This time the goals were to get as much done faster than I have ever done in the past and to get a good feeling of atmospheric perspective.  I worked on an 8 X 10 hardboard that I had primed a while ago, a pale greyblue color with Colorfix's Blue Haze Primer, creating a sanded surface.  It seemed the perfect color to work fast and fresh on my own (see reference to the plein air event above). 
Above is the cropped view of my photo taken before I started. 

After scouting out a location at the park with a view of the James (which was very muddy after some thunderstorms the night before). We set out to work, my friends for the first time ever working plein air.  I thought to myself, "if it's their first time then I just may be able to accomplish a lot this time".  I usually work on white Ampersand Pastelboard (my favorite because of the ability to get truly light - lights) colored pencil being a translucent media.  This meaning the blue under-color of my primed board will show thru and change my hues and brightness.  On this bright and relatively cool June day I would be able to work more quickly not starting with a white surface.  Here is what I was able to    

accomplished in a 3 hour period of time (above).  Now this photo turned out a little more warm in tone than the second one to the right, not sure why.  The right one is also a bit bluer than the original due to my great photography skills, not sure why either.  ARGGG.  After arriving home and a quick bite to eat a late lunch, I took the above photo and sat down to work less than 30 more minutes on tweaks and missing info like: the ripples in the water and deepening the tones a little.   Really, I only worked a short time on this.  You will notice I added a smaller version of a tree on the on site photo to the lower left foreground, to point your eye into the painting a bit more.  Not sure if I like it but it's there to stay.   

What I learned this outing:
 #1 You cannot use watercolor pencils for an underpainting on the Colorfix primed surface, it will lay down well but when hit with water the color beads up on the surface and does not sink in like it does on the Ampersand Pastelboard I usually use.  When I have worked on the pastelboard I work 5 X 7 but this blue primed sanded surface allowed me to work 8 X 10 and get a lot done.  However it would have been faster if I could have underpainted with the WC CP's.  With this subject matter the blue hue of the board did not impact the overall tone much.
#2 Working with inexperienced plein air friends allows me time to get more done, thanks Kathy and Suzanne for trying this with me.  Next we are off to Suzanne's.

#3  There's nothing like getting out to see other professional artists plein air paint to get the inspiration juices flowing.

#4  I have great friends who will accompany me to paint plein air and to go out of their comfort zone and try new things.   

So everyone get out there and do some sketching, painting, observing.  Whether it's fast and fresh,  or as slow as CP we all can benefit from working outdoors.  First time or not we all have something to learn.  I'm already contemplating my next plein air goal in colored pencil.  Have a colorful day!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

CPSA Acceptance for the third time = Signature Status and Trademark information

                         "Harley's Davidson" 18 X 18 Colored Pencil on Ampersand Pastelboard

This has been a crazy year for me and I apologize for not having made more entries.  You see I have been nursing my left shoulder since forever it seems.  After rotator cuff surgery on March 4th I was finally able to finish the last details on my CPSA entry for this year the day before the deadline.  Having to work in my immobilizer sling was not easy.  With my submission complete, I began teaching my classes for the spring session.  Which brings me to the day I found out about my acceptance......

A friend and I had just returned home from a great museum trip to the National Gallery in DC, to view Albrecht Durer's pen and inks sketches for his paintings and for a jaunt around our favorite places to visit at the National.  Durer's work was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit.  I also had a chance to show my favorite Dutch master still life's to my friend, who had never seen them.

When I returned home, I checked my email from my phone and found a puzzling email from Paula Parks from the CPSA.  She was informing me of a possible hitch in showing my piece at the International show this summer.  Had I gotten in? Had they posted the entries early?  I quickly checked the website and found they had and I had!  After a very goofy happy dance, I returned to my senses and now re-read the email.  She was asking if I still planned on showing my piece at the convention and if I had permission from Harley Davidson Motorcycles to show the work.  She explained that they were very protective over their trademark and if I chanced showing it there might be fines or penalties.  Well, I have to tell you I never thought of this!  I thought the trademark logo was the wings image you see on leather jackets driving down the road very fast.  I spent the next 2.5 hours on Harley Davidson's website trying to find out how to reach them to get permission to show this work and gain my signature status.  You see this is my third acceptance within the prerequisite 10 year period of time, so it gives me my signature status in the CPSA and the right to place those letters after my name.  If I couldn't show it, I would not get the status!  I was a wreck and had to find a way to get a real person on the phone or by email.

You see I started this piece, not as my entry but as an example for one of my students, who had until this winter only worked on still life and botanical pieces.  He drove his motorcycle to class one day, and after I had razed him about being on a death machine, I told him he should do a piece with it as the subject.  Something for himself, not his wife.  We all know that when you work on something you love you do your best work.  This started my winter class for 2013 as "Shiny Subjects and Reflections".  I demonstrated and coached him thru his piece and I also worked on mine, in my free time.  I wanted to show in the class how to capture reflections in metal, glass, and other materials.  It was only when I realized I needed surgery that I came to the fact this Harley had to be my entry into the show.  It was from a photo reference I took on vacation on St. George's Island, FL.  I cropped it to be a square image, zeroing in on the workings of the bike.  I tried to finish it before surgery but this was one tricky and detailed piece.

Anyway I wrote emails, called and left messages at the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Co., in WI.  After two weeks of waiting and trying, I received an email stating I could show and sell my original.  They wanted to be clear that I was not to make reproductions of the work, no giclee's or digitals without a license to do so from them.  And I was to respond back that I understood their position.  And I did.  Now the above piece will be exhibited in the 21st International CPSA Exhibit in Brea, CA at the City of Brea Art Gallery July 31-Sept. 13, 2013.

I have to tell you I have seen many many pieces of motorcycle art in galleries, shows and competitions over time.  I never thought this might be a concern if you were not using the logo.  What I have learned from this:

1.  If your going to use a product in todays world that may have a trade name/trademark, do your homework.  Get permission before you put hundreds of hours into it.
2.  Plan out your piece so that the name/trademark is not on the image in it's full state.
3.  And count your luck stars when a big conglomerate gives you permission "Thank You Harley Davidson Motorcycles"!

I did ask about how to go about the licensing of prints and the cost, for curiosity's sake, and it's been 2 weeks and I haven't heard a word.  But at least I can go ahead and show my work.

I've waited to post this until I had word so you'll be seeing a few more completed pieces in the days to come.  Have a colorful day!


Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 First New Piece

                  Backlit Teapot and Grapes 12 X 16 Colored Pencil on Ampersand Pastelboard SOLD

Another new piece finished and ready to be framed, but it seems to have me stumped as to which or how to frame it.  My normal go to frame (wide black with a strip of antique gold) just doesn't say wow!  So I'm looking at my options so the piece looks great and it still goes with my collection.  This seems to be an on going issue every several months.  My series of Backlit usually go with the above mentioned black framing but the warmth of this one just doesn't sing when given that option.  I usually am struck by the framing dilemma when my "go to" frame is no longer available, which usually happens when I have just settled on a great new one, reframing or framing a number of a new series that way.

Keeping your collection uniform looks great in your booth at the Art Center Gallery or your tent when showing outdoors, but sometimes it's just not the right frame for the piece.  I don't like to pigeon whole my design or color choices by the "norm" framing options, it stifles my evolving creative juices so to speak.   So if I settle on one this one may make it to Crossroads for tonight's opening, but don't count on it.

Pardon my being absent for a few weeks after a sprained ankle and shoulder problems seem to have gotten in the way with my art.  Attending PT for the should has me thankful that it's my left and not my right.  Realizing my art is so important to me that I'd be lost without it.  I hope your New Year has you thankful about something great in your life and your day is as colorful as my snow covered but sunny day here.

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