My Blog

My Adventures and Insights into my Life as an Artist

artist, blog, pet portraits, portraits, pets

In The Beginning

September 19, 2018

At Home With Art: I grew up in an artistic and unconventional family of introverts in a small town in southeastern Pennsylvania. My father was a book illustrator for most of my childhood and worked from home. His art studio was set up in what was a barber shop for the previous owner of our house, so there was already a sink and lots of cabinets. It was the ideal setting.

As kids, my brother and I would spend time in that studio equipt with our own easels and art supplies. (see photo) Most of what I remember drawing from those days was what I wanted my life to look like when I grew up. They always included a nice house, a family, gardens, trees, doing artwork and always lots of animals.

I've had all of these things, not always at the same time, and lost some too. That is how life goes, but the support of my small unconventional family and never having a day without fur babies, is a blessing.

Attempts at Being Conventional: I have dabbled in many "occupations" and studied many of my interests, but art has always been what I consistently go back to. I think we are all made to do many things in our lives, but there is always a singular thread that grows with you in your life, is always a part of you, and it was there with you in the beginning. When you ask yourself, what would I spend time doing if money were not a concern, the answer is usually effortless to say and can be traced back to your childhood.

Unfortunately, we are taught as children that anything is possible and to follow your dreams and think outside box. Then, by the time we are teenagers, we begin being molded for a career, are shown the "safe" occupations to pursue, or at best are shown the best alternative to your passion. I understand, we all need money to survive, but being true to yourself and your God given purpose should not be considered a pursuit of lesser value.

Going For It Anyway: During times of struggle, and there's been a lot, my thoughts always get weak and I back away from that God given purpose and start seeking conventional avenues instead. That fear response never gets me anywhere, and I am soon back on my road of adventure. The road is bumpy and risky, it can wear you out, but it can also lift you up. I do not believe we were intended for easy street. Passion is s force that takes gumption to keep alive.

To me art is a risky and adventurous pursuit, but I cannot say for sure that I am the one pursuing it. Our true purpose will keep chasing us until we stop running in circles, until we let go of our tight grip, until the dizziness stops and we see that it was always there waiting for us since the beginning.

artist, blog, pet portraits, portraits, pets

Why I stopped "Painting": Oils and Acrylics

November 11, 2018

In my art school days, charcoal was the most used medium for the practice of drawing. I've done hundreds, if not thousands, of charcoal drawings/sketches throughout my life. It is versatile and forgiving. It is also inexpensive, so when I started doing pet portraits about ten years ago, I offered charcoal drawings to start. Later, I merged the charcoal with pastels to add some color and the portraits took on a more painterly look.

When I went back to art school again in 2006 to pick up where I had left off many years before, I learned to paint with oils, and loved it! Once I started selling pet portraits, I began practicing painting portraits in oil and some in acrylic. Though I loved the mediums and did very well with them creatively, I soon had to give them up. My lifelong migraines I inherited would no longer tolerate the fumes, and even though many are "odorless", they still have fumes.

So, over the past few years I have taken what I learned about painting and began offering portraits in mostly dry mediums, i.e. graphite, pastel, and my favorite colored pencils. I also began practicing with watercolor, a medium I grew up watching my father use after he too had to give up oil painting, but I never really used myself. I was surprised how comfortable I was with it despite the "order of operations" used with watercolor being very different from acrylic or oil painting. There is also a wide variety of forms you can try for watercolor other than the traditional pan paints or tubes. I love using Caran D' Ache water soluble crayons, especially for my small card illustrations.

Now, I enjoy following/watching other artists use these mediums as well and pick up tips and methods on using them. I've also learned of the many fun papers out there, how to mix the mediums, and care methods. Portrait art, especially the "high end art", is traditionally done as oil paintings, but more and more I am seeing portrait artists making popular these dry mediums, especially colored pencil. Art, like many things in life, can tend to get boxed in to a certain way of doing things, but creativity has no boundaries. I was "called to be creative", so art serves my purpose and like life, no matter what obstacles may change the tools I use, my art, my purpose finds a way to continue and thrive. 

(Thank you for reading and supporting the arts!)

Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty