A Brief History of My Relationship with Strawberries

So, I’m fighting a bit of a summer cold, and  working on the full-sized strawberry patch picture.  Rather than lay out the whole composition before I filled in the details, this time I decided to let it flow….and fill in the details as I went along.  I thought it would be less tedious that way.  At least I thought so.

These drawing are not the first I’ve done of strawberries.  A long time ago, I did this:

 

A very realistic drawing of strawberries.  I thought I’d found the solution to the problem of making money with my art…make small drawing that I could sell inexpensively.  It was another attempt that went down in a fiery flame.

Seems no one could relate to just strawberries on a plate.  Or apples with pearls for that matter. I found there had to sell, even that size, the viewer had to have an emotional connection to the subject matter.

Finding subject matter like that is pretty much a shot in the dark.  I’ve managed to sell two, on Ebay, and how my customer found them in the thousands of drawings there, I’ll never know.

The two were these:

 

So, one customer I’m sure had to be a motorcycle enthusiast, while another was someone who ❤ New York.

I feel I am getting closer to an art product people will buy.  Too bad it’s taken a few decades to get there.

I Should Know Better.

Sunday morning seems to be the worst time for publishing a blog post.  So, here I am, and raring to go.  Maybe my readers are still sleeping, or worshiping, or maybe going to a pleasant brunch! So…

I finished the strawberry note card last night.  I’m trying to decide whether it would make a good, full-size drawing or not.  Here it is:

Wow, that’s big…even bigger than the actual note card is!  Mentally shrink it folks.

It just hits me that my style has changed, and I’m not sure if I like it or not.  It seems more realistic than it was, but is missing the fun, design element that was a signature of mine.  Maybe I’m overthinking it, maybe it’s a natural progression.

I was going to go out, yet again, to draw the park.  It’s going to be 90 degrees plus, though.  I’m one who realizes that you may have to suffer for your art, but heat exhaustion is not in my plans.

So, I may work on the strawberry patch, full size.  I want to do it again, with the design element.  On the other hand, if I do that wrong, it will end up looking for a fabric design.  I love a challenge.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like….OH NO!!!

As Summer arrives with the ending days of June, we look forward to the end of the Fiscal Year.   That’s right folks, while you’re enjoying the Fourth of July, and trips to the beach, people in retail are getting ready for the December holidays. Even artists are starting to look for the venues for art/craft shows in November and December.  I am no different.

I’m thinking of doing what is named the Pumpkin Festival, which is a large fair at a local church.  I have a while to think about it.  I’m going to give whatever venue I plan to do, my best shot, with my best moneymaker, which I realize now is hand drawn note cards and holiday cards.  So, that’s that.

I’m working now on note cards, because the weather here went from way too cold and rainy to go out drawing, to too hot and sunny.  So, while taking the trash to the dumpster the other day, I found a sweet surprise in the condo complex.  Wild strawberries!  So, I’ve done one note card, and am working on another.  I may eventually do a large version, like I did this:

And tried to do, this:

  

Here’s the photo I’m working from, which I like as a photo almost as much as I do a reference for a drawing….

Happy Summer Solstice!

I think I’m getting moldy.

Oregon, no doubt, is a beautiful state.  I remember one day, arriving in Portland to visit my sister, only to be surprised at the sweet, perfumed air.  I looked to see bounties of roses growing by the sidewalk.

Only, I don’t know how I’d do in all that rain!  I asked my sister how she did it and she said (and I paraphrase), “It reminds me of the mists of Japanese paintings”.  From that perspective, I’ve tried to look at rainy days.

You don’t have to go to the Pacific Northwest to get rain all the time, any more!  We have had plenty here in the Northeast, and dampness abounds!  We were teased by a couple partial days of sun…but back to it.

So, I’ve finally gotten it!  What my sister said, the elegant and moody mists of a Japanese painting.  Did my best to express it, here:

“Rainy Day Rhododendrons”

An aside, also makes me think of the Beatles’ song “Rain”.  I interpret it as an idea that when life’s misfortunes come upon you, it’s more your attitude that matters.

Today, I embrace the rain.

Shabby Sheik? Or Chabby Cheek?

While I’ve been waiting for the grey, rainy weather to dissipate, I’ve been bored out of my mind, hell!  I’ve been wanting to draw plein aire outside, but it’s been too wet.  Sun is out today, but the grass I would sit in is wet.  So, sigh, I must find something else to occupy my time.

So, I’ve had this idea for a while, to integrate prints from my pictures, along with acrylic paint, on useful objects.  I started with this, which is actually a real drawing with paint, on a trivet.

If you recognize this kitten, which you might….it’s a sketch for this drawing:
So, I’ve found something useful to do on off days.  We’ll see where it takes me.

Paradise Regained

Er, Ump..sometimes I don’t know how to start.  All the coffee in the world doesn’t help.  Which reminds me, it’s time for another cup.

Anyway, between getting ready for the show, and doing my household chores (yes, I really do do some), I did some art.

Now talking about Paradise, you know the whole thing, I’ve talk, talk, talked about it.  I’ve realized anything that catches your eye and mind, is healing to the soul and mind.  However, there is one Paradise theme that I never got around to.

Whether it was a dream, my imagination, or something I actually saw, I don’t remember.  It was a small sapling on a hill, lit by spring sunlight and surrounded by dandelions.  I’ve thought about drawing that for a long time, and yet, somehow, I never came across the scene to draw in real life.  That is, with a sapling.

A springtime maple tree presented itself instead.  Surrounded by dandelions, like a starry constellation around the spiral’s center.

I must admit I cheated.  The actual tree I drew wasn’t on a hill in the countryside, it was in my condo complex, with a really boring brick wall behind it.  So, I fudged a hill, and a blue sky.  I also put in a horse for good measure.

 

Oops, I’m missing the horse.  I’ll take a better picture sometime later, but I’m getting hungry.  So, stay tuned!

A Good Time Was Had By All….

Thought I’d give you some updates and some pictures from the opening of my show.  The turnout was small, but I’ve come to expect that. It was a beautiful spring day, with a of other event going on, so I’m happy with support I did get. Plus the show will be up about three more weeks.

So, first picture by my friend, and helper to whom I owe a debt of gratitude, Cathy.  

One of the things that Cathy helped with, was setting up the refreshments.  We had quite a spread.  It also helped with traffic.  Some library goers, took the food, but felt obligated to at least look at my show.

Nearly had one sale, but my work was the wrong color for the area of the viewer’s home.  I don’t really expect much in the way of sales from local shows, getting my name out is the motive.  Sometimes, in the future, people who have seen the show contact me for commissions.

So, it turned out well..

I should mention, the show is a part of the Accessible Arts Program, by the Artisans’ Alliance of Northwest Connecticut.