Friday, May 29, 2009

Squirrel, Squirrel, Squirrel, Squirrel

Another doosie of an art reproduction nightmare! This little box hangs from the rafters or sits on four little acorn feet. It's from my box series but another experiment (Ha HA my brother, there is secretly more than one mad scientist in the family). Theres a little antique key sealed up inside. One of those 'just for fun' kinda pieces. If I'm painting something less than serious does it mean I'm not a serious artist? get real. That's one voice anyway. There's other annoying little voices in my head that say silly things like "you'd never see THAT at MOMA". Of course, that in itself may be a reason to paint it. The four views, like my other pieces of this ilk represent different realities. One is the 'paper tiger' or Oragami reality, one realist, one carved, and one cartoon (my most lived in reality?). And of course, I have to wonder if I'm painting partly cartoon images because I've been influenced by living with little kids or if I would have gone that way anyway. Suffice to say, this is one of Benjamin's and Phineas's favorites currently still in my studio.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Children's Portraits

For the last 2 years or so I’ve been experimenting with painting children’s portraits on commission. When in Rome. Might as well tap into the community that I find myself hovering around the perifery of. Children's portraits are quite a challenge! I can paint a reasonably good likeness but the piece has to be affordable, which is why using oils wasn’t the best first choice. None the less, in usual fashion, I went that direction and regretted it after realizing I wasn’t making enough to justify the detail and hours I was putting in. In fact I misquoted an amount to a playdate friends mom, who although usually a seemingly easygoing lady, decided that telling her I couldn't paint her two children in oils for 300 dollars was grounds for never speaking to me again. Pricing is the ingrown toenail of being an artist.

Finally I switched to watercolor. My old friend!! Watercolors were my first love and I almost wish I’d never cheated on them with oils and printmaking (exept they are such lovely affairs). So light and optimistic watercolors are. So unpretentious! (Of course I still have three other bodies of work coming out- two of which are done in oil with all its buttery goodness).

This little guy was really into planets and was just calling out to be the little prince.

My client, a mom at my son's preschool, was thrilled with the finished piece. Always a nice feeling. I’d like to charge more but everyone is so destitute these days and Im happy just to paint with the light filled watercolor pigments. So Im thinking of creating a sliding scale. Somewhere between 150 and 400. Is that rediculous? Who would rather give me 400 than 150? But actually I'm happy with 150 so long as I don't have to make any 'alterations'. I even put an ad in the school newsletter. I'm advertising now? but no takers. 150 bucks?! Come ON thats such a DEAL. I need to tap into a wealthier community (do they still exist?) and charge 500. Hmph.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Inside-Out House

I want to create more of these house themed “night-light” paintings (theres a light inside that lights up just the bird at night-check out the second photo). They are rather challenging to reproduce two dimensionally though (art reproduction is my nemesis- so here I am, throwing everything onto a 2D blog surface-great-just great). It’s fun to paint this way but it takes more time-is it worth it-all the cutting and gluing to make an art piece that has multiple levels? And is this type of box art all that interesting? It is a good challenge making the inside work with the outside. Am I just trying to create something new and original when all art has already been explored? Do I really believe that there isn’t anything new? And does it really matter either way?

Well…better to just PAINT than to sit about smashing oneself in the head with a critical hammer. Bam bam bam. And better to paint than to blog. Blog blog blog. Actually I need to go pick up the boys from their once a week 3 hour daycare. Artist stepping down, Mom stepping up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When In Home

"When in Home", as in, "When in Rome"(my hubby didn't get it so I'm revealing the obvious for the sake of others who have come home punchy from a long day).
"When in Home", as in , for sanity sake and to create a better quality of life I am always on the lookout for ways to integrate my art into my home and family and my home and family into my art. So yes, it's true, I am using a pun to title my blog. Oh well. If you know my family you would know how appropriate a pun title is. In fact, one might say that I am thus integrating my family into all this, art, home, and blog, as well. And of course, it is near on impossible to escape ones roots.
And to be all stream-of-consciousness-y on you, a new painting popped into my head today of a tree floating in the sky with its roots intertwined below it into Celtic knots. A good challenge to make it seem real. And another pun title? "Painting My Roots" or something dumb like that. Maybe it is a bit schmaltzy but I think it could be beautiful.
But back to this blogging thing. I am slightly dismayed to find myself starting a blog. No, no- you bloggers- don't be offended. Its just I'm not a public person. Sure I don't know when to shut up once I start talking but to go as far as sharing my inner thoughts with the world at large? And yet, painting is necessarily public if one wants to get any feedback and to make a name for oneself or to earn a living. So I'm gettin' with the times. Forgive me if I do go on. Mostly I want to show you my new work, as it percolates, and all the wonderful (and perhaps not so wonderful) ways of dealing with being both Mommy, wife, neighbor, and artist.