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Friday, November 30, 2007

Completed Series?


Red String, 5.5 x 4" Mixed media (Watercolor and Ink) on paper

I think the series is complete... but perhaps time will dictate otherwise! Its been fun to do these little cat pictures .... and they seem to have been very well liked by those of you who have commented. My next step is to develop these into a set of notecards. I'm exploring the best ways to do that and will keep you posted!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wind Blown



Wind Blown, 4 x 3" Watercolor

A quick watercolor study done last night ... with a little colored pencil added. The idea is to portray the blowing falling leaves as they float downward. I've been hit by a lot of blowing leaves this fall. Seemed like an interesting subject!

Please click here for information about availability or purchase.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Now available as greeting cards!

I am trying something new...

I am making this painting available for greeting cards. The cards measure 5" x 7" and can be printed on either a matte or glossy finish card weight paper. You may order as a single card or a box of 10 (envelopes are included, of course). To order or see an image of the card, please go to the following web address: http://www.cafepress.com/helencread

The individual card is marked at $3.24, while a box of 10 is $18.49, plus shipping.

The company that handles the printing and shipment of the cards is called CafePress, and they have a good reputation from my research. The good thing about this, as an artist, is that there are no upfront costs (which is difficult for artists). In fact, that fact makes this new idea possible! So, we'll see how it goes.

My suggestion, I think, is to go with the matte finish paper, which even so will have a very slight shine to it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

November's gift


November Gathering, 8x8" Oil on canvas (deep gallery wrap)

There is something compelling about the last vestiges of fall - a last blast of color, yet a bit of weariness ... a whithering that has its grip on the foliage. In this painting - I found a few sprigs of burgundy mums still flowering in my garden and placed them with the lovely, fading hosta leaves that are so intriguing. Working quickly is essential... the hostas in particular were on a steady march toward turning completely brown and shriveling more each hour. But they have a wonderful texture and color about them this time of year...a rather sculptural quality. All of this was quickly placed in a mason jar - of which, little shows, so that I could quickly paint. I also really liked the burgundy/purple of the mums positioned with the complementary colors of the hostas. In spite of the shots of color here, November has become quite dreary ... gray, cloudy, drizzly, with the promise of cold just around the corner.

Click here for more information on the availability or purchase of this painting.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cats again


Birds on the Brain, 5.5 x 4" Mixed Media on paper (Watercolor and Ink)

Another cat-themed watercolor ... quirky and whimsical. We are still missing our kitty - and remembering him by the funny things he liked. Birds were a favorite subject of observation!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

This week ......


Commissioned Bowl,
Hibiscus and Lily of the Valley - 12" Acrylic on wood

SOLD

I'm posting a commission I completed earlier in the fall... because this week has been filled with behind the scenes stuff, including technological repairs that had to be made. It was also the last week of school before Thanksgiving Break - and necessitated extra time spent with work.

However, this is what's been going on in my studio. I've been painting (and hope to have a painting ready to post in a few days), I've been designing... some basic informational materials, but also some items with some of my images to sell, and I've been busily comparing printing options and such for those items I'm hoping to produce. The week has sped by, and I've been frustrated at many points that I haven't been able to get more completed without the snags that always seem to occur.

I've also worked on one other bowl commission this fall, which is not yet completed. It has presented numerous difficulties. But, I hope to have it completed THIS week! I used to do quite a few bowls but am moving away from them mostly because of the escalating expense of working on that surface - and the nagging sense that the materials I'd been using successfully have had some sort of compositional change.... they simply do not apply in the same way as they used to.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday morning ~


Solitary Path, 40 x 30" Oil on Canvas

Awhile ago, I thought of creating a series of landscapes that are metaphors for my own personal journey in life. I completed this painting a couple years ago - and it is quite symbolic of where I found myself - and perhaps where I am still journeying. A bit mysterious. The way of the path ahead is obscured. It's beautiful, yet a rather solitary path.

What I also have found out - even more recently than this painting - is that I'm not alone, after all. Though, it isn't how I expected my journey to look - it is a path with purpose and it is leading somewhere... even if the landscape and pathway are as yet unseen ahead.

More importantly, I'm led - not abandoned... and I'm led here for a purpose. The purpose is to learn to walk by faith, not by sight. To trust the hand that leads me - I'm learning that I don't need to see it all in order to trust. I've come to know His hand - and His intent - is always good. I've come to know that I am loved deeply, personally, intimately by the God who created me, and rescued me from a life apart from Him. These are things of high value... not always easy to embrace in the moment, yet - in the end - worth every moment of learning.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Reflections in red and green


Red and Green, 5x7" Oil on canvas

What draws us in, as artists, to drawing or painting glass? It isn't easy... in fact, it is frustrating, and yet - it beckons and captivates, almost demands to be portrayed. For anyone who has ever painted - or drawn bottles or jars - you paint the actual bottle, of course.... but you also paint almost everything else in the room - you paint the reflections and the things you can see through the glass as well. Then, the cast shadows also cast a transparent color. The challenge is quite wide reaching!

In this painting - the 2 bottles, very intensely colored, are shown with all their reflections. I also included some small mums out of my garden for some unifying elements of color, and some handwoven cloth. The background was another challenging aspect - it needed to be quite subdued - and yet it needed to provide some sort of visual support for the main idea. There are things I like and things I'm still deciding about on this one.

I used several brands of oil paint, as well as fine detail liquin, which helped with transparency and drying time.

For information on the availability of purchase of this painting, click here.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Second installment of the crazy cat theme:


Mouse and Moonlight, 5.5 x 4" Mixed Media
(Water color, Pen and Ink on Paper)

Yet another small painting, done in a contemporary way, of our little kitty. He often brought us small gifts (sometimes not as small as a mouse) from his evening hunts in the neighborhood. If he could find one, a shoe was his favorite place to deposit the trophy for safe keeping!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Totally off the beaten path!


Tall Grass and Catnip, 5.5 x 4" Mixed Media (watercolor and ink on paper)

I know, this is completely different from my usual posts... something that is simply for fun. If you've been reading my posts for the past few weeks, you know that we had to put our beloved kitty down very unexpectedly due to an unsuspected but quick development of cancer. He's been noticeably absent and very missed from our house. I'm doing a few small paintings of him, in a contemporary and almost cartoonish way, doing the various 'cat things' he liked to do. This one depicts him stalking who knows what in the tall grass and rolling in the catnip. Though he was inside the house most of the time, he loved being outside the most!

I'm not sure what I will do with these small cat paintings (more to be posted soon!), but I'm thinking they might make fun greeting cards. More on that later too!
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