Here we are… President Obama’s last day as president. It does feel momentous.
I am writing here today to share page 3 of the book I am illustrating. If I seem cryptic about the book, it is because it is mostly top secret. So far, we have Baby, Momma, and Pop. I will be starting Tía soon.
I relaxed slightly while painting Pop. I am about as nervous as if I was creating a commissioned painting now.
Pop is watching a New Orleans Pelicans game. I wanted to give him cigarettes or a beer, but this is a children’s book.
Framed on the wall is Gator Girl’s painting of Swamp Girl. Swamp Girl is also the first page in the book Maggie Pokorn and I are co-writing.
Next to Swamp Girl are Silent Chimes, by the local artist Kat Ryalls. I received, by request, Silent Chimes for Christmas. They look amazing on my bedroom wall. I don’t do them justice here.
This house looks so much like my house.
Stay tuned. There are 19 pages. Pretty soon I imagine my non-painting life will slow down enough to paint maybe 3 pages a month.
I wanted a garden like this. It seems like you need a lot of money in the city to buy a house with a big garden area. I fudged on this because this is a family with an average income.
Here is a photo of momma in progress.
I didn’t mess around too much with the composition this time. The neckline of her shirt was an accident. I wanted to tell myself when I came back to paint that I wanted the neckline smaller, so I used a paint pen to mark the new neckline. It reminded me of a burnout shirt, so I left it.
I am going to put a little more of her hair on her right cheek (left cheek to you) because it looks too big. The danger in that is that it is hard for me to put the brush down. I am usually changing another thing an hour later.
The challenge for me is that it takes me so long to paint. I think the author might get tired of waiting. Each page is a full on painting, so it does take a while. I hope I reconcile with this soon.
2016 has been a hard year for a lot of people. I hope you are doing alright.
This is new for me. My next 16 paintings are planned. I am illustrating a children’s book. Even though I get a lot of leeway from the author, it is still different from painting whatever for however long it takes me. There are definitely pros and cons to this gig.
Somethings are just different. The easiest thing for me to paint is a woman’s face or an animal’s face. I have avoided painting babies. Babies and toddlers have really different proportions from adults. Their features are on the bottom half of their face and their pupils are very large. Their bodies are pretty square. Fingers are squat. I watched other people draw babies on youtube. I downloaded baby proportion charts.
I usually don’t paint a lot in the background, so I also watched many videos on perspective. I watched them over and over as I am a slow learner. Slow and determined.
I feel like my style lends itself to children’s books. I think I will be happy if this leads to career.
This is page one. I am going to paint something on each page to represent New Orleans. Sometimes it will be obvious to everyone and sometimes it will probably only be obvious to locals and people who visit often. I will always point it out to you.
Maggie showed me what a toddler would draw. It is the picture taped to the wall in the background.
I want to tell you how long I painted this page. I am pretty sure it was a month. I repainted parts of it every day. I started completely over after about two weeks. After a while when people called me, they didn’t even have to ask what I was doing. Then one day, when asked if I was painting the baby today, I said, “No, I am painting the mama.” 🙂
Next up… the mama.
With gratitude for anyone who wants to take this literary adventure with me,
This is the first painting I made for myself in probably 7 years. It is going to hang in the cabin at our camp in Mississippi.
Remember? I showed you photos of the camp last week.
I put all of my painting ideas on hold.
I think there might be a big project in my future. I am giving it all of my painting time.
Someone (who will remain nameless for now) asked me if I wanted to illustrate a children’s book that she has written. I am painting the first two pages and if she thinks my art works well with her words, it’s a go.
I will keep y’all in the loop.
Maggie and I are writing and illustrating a book, too. We have 3 pages so far. It is about a girl who lives in a swamp and has an alligator friend. We will finish this later. We like a long-term project. I figure the older she gets, the more help she will be.
Maggie’s Swamp Girl
I think the stories about why people buy my art are what keep me going in such a solitary job. A man messaged me on Etsy. He wanted to buy two prints of Accepting New Members because his daughter’s synchronized swim team is called Synchrogators. Cool.
What ever you are doing for Thanksgiving, I hope it is wonderful.
Happy Fall! Just about a month late, but I will take it!
I had an urge to paint over an existing painting. I have never done that before. I was thinking that I would paint something to hang on the cabin walls.
What I thought was a random act was more.
As I was prying off a saints card of the Virgin Mary, a brass cowgirl boot, a paper skirt… I realized I didn’t need Painting My Dream any more.
I painted my way to New Orleans with this painting. That was only half of the plan. The other half of the plan was owning a camp. In the painting I have an airstream. In reality it is a little cabin. Either way, the dream is complete.
You might notice the bigger cabin is about to fall into the river. 🙂
The best part is the river.
I started a painting for the cabin. There is really such a thing as small owls with long legs. Burrowing Owlsare less than a foot tall, have bright eyes, and nest in the ground. They fly and run.
I am planning on painting over another painting. I want to paint a family of Burrowing Owls. They are so cute.
I am feeling a little over-whelmed with what is going on in the world. I would probably be unaware of some of the underreported news if it weren’t for my Facebook friends. Like the pipeline protest in North Dakota, the pipeline spill in Georgia and Alabama, or photos of children killed in Syria. There are so many things happening at once that it’s hard to chose one thing to focus on… child sex trafficking, global warming, Hurricane Matthew, the election…
Here is an angel of peace in my attempt to bring love into the world. (After I see the painting online, I will probably add some shading here and there, a silver lining on the clouds, more green on the olive branch, but it is pretty done.)
I collaged the background in random paper to give myself time to think. I like the texture.
I wanted flowers somewhere in the painting, so I added them in the paper I used for her wings.
My favorite part is the transparent rainbow. I also like the abstract olive tree.
This is half way through. I was thinking of a woman looking up, but the angel adds more power. I woman might feel overwhelmed like me.
This is the sketching out. I had a shotgun house and a woman in mind for the painting. I needed more sky and less house. Sometimes the words under the paint are as important as the painting.
I hope your psyche is feeling balanced. I hope you will chose to do something good for our ailing world however small. It’s the only one we have.
I wanted to wait until this painting was finished before I wrote to y’all. I didn’t want to miss another week of blogging.
I saw a photo on Facebook of my friend who works in a Laundromat on Sundays. I loved her Rosie the Riveter bad ass look. She was also wearing the same shirt that I own from Target.
I am going to go in backwards order here. This is my almost finished painting.
Half way through, I think her eyes are too large. The counter came to the bottom of the washing machines, so it looked like a floor. I like the blue behind the chandelier, but the wall seemed too fragmented and I thought wallpaper behind the chandelier would be cool.
I tried gold leaf on the chandelier. first I used the gold leaf that you press on and rub. It has a paper back. I think you must need hard surface for that. The canvas has too much give. Next, I bought ten tiny sheets of gold leaf advertised for use in Buddhist worship. I like the look.
I watched You Tube videos about making a faux granite counter top. It is basically dabbing wet on wet paint with a sea sponge. I made small sponges from a kitchen sponge and cut some larger holes to resemble a sea sponge. It was funny to make a tiny granite counter.
I love the painting except for the counter and the chandelier. They are just not quite right yet.
Thank you for walking through the last 2 weeks with me.