Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Working Away

At work in my studio
Well, another month has slipped by and I haven't posted much. It's not that there hasn't been anything to post, I just haven't taken the time. Shame on me. In my defense I have been very focused on my art these last several weeks.

Most of the month of January I spent painting ten small works for the Valley Art Center show for the month of February. This was a fund-raising event for the gallery and it was a wonderful success for both the gallery and the artists. Over thirty artists were represented each contributing between five and ten small pieces of art. We had over two hundred pieces to choose from. When the show opened folks in attendance literally ran for the walls to grab their favorites as this was truly a "grab and go" show. Sixteen paintings sold in the first ten minutes! It was crazy fun!
I used this event as a chance to try out some different subject matter and airbrushed backgrounds. I painted two butterflies using the airbrush and thought they turned out rather nice. The soft focused background really made the butterflies pop.
I was excited when they were both chosen to go home with a new collector. 
This red fox was very popular and I probably could have sold more just like him had I painted more than one. 
I had also rented wall space in another part of the gallery to showcase some of my larger pieces that I had left from my October show. I was ecstatic when someone walked through the gallery carrying one of my favorite paintings, Dawn Patrol, and took it home for their own.
Dawn Patrol - Prairie Falcon
 By the time the opening reception ended nine of my ten paintings had sold and dozens of other artists works went as well. As I said, it was crazy fun!
Once that show was past I then turned my focus to creating my next duck stamp entry. I decided to enter Delaware's contest again this year as they are still featuring a dog and a duck on their stamp. This year it will feature a black Labrador retriever and long-tailed ducks. This species of duck was a little more challenging for me as I have only had the opportunity to see one only once in my life. I took photos at that time, but the birds were rather far away. I spent several hours studying others photos of these birds and even spent time watching hunting videos to get a better idea of the habitat they're found in and how they interact in it. Eventually, I put together a sketch and started painting. Unfortunately, I can't show you anything until after the judging in April, but you can be sure I will post the results and my entry either way.
So, what's up next? Well, if I wanted there are enough duck stamp contests to enter one every few months and I do have plans to enter more. However, I think the next painting may be for me personally. I still haven't painted my dog, Balin's official portrait. The Delaware duck stamp doesn't count as that. My idea for his official portrait will be more of a montage including his puppy stage, adult stage and maybe an aspect or two of his true personality. I can't wait to get started on that!