I will be working hard for about the next 4 to 6 months. I wasn’t going to share this until I believed it myself. The people buying art for the new wing of the Children’s Hospital commissioned 30 paintings. They are giving me 10 months to finish them, but I think I will be done in 6. We’ll see.
The paintings are all 18 x 24 gallery wrapped canvas. I am painting happy paintings that tell a story and that I think the children will like. They gave me few restrictions. No flying birds, no angels, no blood or menacing teeth. I made a few of my own restrictions. I am doing only acrylic paint and not adding paper or glitter so they will be easy to clean. I am giving them an extra coat of varnish.
The first 10 are complete. I think the last 10 will be the hardest, if I run out of ideas. I painted a version of a few paintings that I have already done because the people commissioning the paintings liked them and I liked them.
Let me know what yourfavorite is so far and also if you have painting suggestions. Excuse the photography. Some of the colors are a little off. I don’t have professional photos yet.
It is kind of fun to paint prolifically and not wonder when and where the paintings are going. I made a bulk order of 30 canvases and bought a bunch of paint, brushes and varnish.
Accepting New Members 2 (She is not really that yellow.)
We’ve had a lot of rain here. Even after living in New Orleans for 6 years, I expect the rain to be cold. In California most of the rain happens in the winter. Sometimes, in New Orleans, I make hot chocolate in my air-conditioned house and don’t realize it is 90 degrees outside.
This is “Tropical Storm”.
I like a tropical storm if I can stay inside. A tropical storm can mean a lot of wind and rain. We bring things inside that might blow around the yard.
The unsettling thing about a tropical storm is that it can turn into a hurricane. I live near a lot of people with Hurricane Katrina PTSD, with good reason.
This makes the tension rise.
I painted this during Tropical Storm Cindy. She did not develop further.
Here is some storm information…
In a tropical depression the winds start to circulate. When the winds exceed 38 mph, it turns into a Tropical Storm. The maximum wind speed in a tropical storm is 73 mph. A hurricane has wind rotation with speeds of 74 mph and above.
Hurricanes are rated 1 through 5.
1 is 74-95 mph
2 is 96-110 mph
3 is 111-129 mph
4 is 130-156 mph
5 is greater than 156 mph
Almost all hurricanes happen during hurricane season. Where I live, the season is from June 1 through November 30. Most hurricanes happen in August and September and rarely in November.
I changed the starry sky in the most recent Swamp Girl painting. Looking at the painting close-up, the sky looked ragged. I smoothed it out and added some tiny dots for stars. Painting some stars blue and leaving some stars silver made some stars look farther away.
It has been 2 months since I have blogged or done much of anything. I have had this monster brace on my right hand for that long. I can take it off for a short time now to do something easy like typing. I still have to wear it for almost everything else. It has been hard not to paint much or very well.
I had a cooking mishap. It was a big iron skillet full of zucchini. I was dumping the zucchini into a bowl with one hand because I felt invincible. I twisted my wrist and hurt the tendon.
I have been able to work on Maggie’s and my book for short stretches of time. It is pretty painful to hold the brush.
We don’t have the whole story yet. That will be our next step. We are thinking that I will paint the swamp girl and the alligator for continuity. Maggie will paint the manatee, turtle, nutria, etc. We are not sure who all will be in the book.
He offered to stretch his tail as high as he could to help her down out of the Cypress tree.
The idea so far is that Swamp Girl will wander into the swamp, become lost, and find a new friend.
I am ready to paint something to hang on the wall and sell. I like the idea of my paintings in people’s houses. It is a little isolating to paint pages in a future book.
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.
Hi all y’all! My mini muse came through for me. I saw a drawing Maggie did in her notebook. I fell in love. The alligator was subtle. I noticed the girl first. She had no color or background, so I asked Maggie to tell me a story about the girl. She said the girl is in a long green dress. The dress is old and her hair is messy. She lives in a swamp. I asked if there were flowers in the background. She said I could paint flowers, but if I did, make it mostly green with both light and dark greens.
Maggie and I generally copy each other if we like what we see. I painted a more realistic swamp background, but it made me unhappy. So I painted over-sized leaves and flowers. The painting reminds me of a page in a children’s book.
I added the eyelashes on the alligator and the freckles on the girl just like Maggie. I made her dress just a little shorter to show her toes. A friend wrote to me and said I seemed so happy on Facebook and in my blog. She was wondering if life here is really that wonderful. Well, yes. And also, I don’t want my blog to be a downer. I do struggle with waking up in the morning. I am slow to start. It takes at least 2 cups of coffee. I still have to take care of me. I have chores and responsibilities. I eat too many carbs. I need a certain amount of happiness to paint. So some days I don’t paint. I have to try not to compare my art to anyone else’s. While I was looking at realistic swamps, I ran across Adrian Deckbar. Adrian is a local artist that paints more beautiful than a photograph. My heart sinks just a little when I compare myself to others. But then I move on. Even with the ever-present road work on nearly every road, New Orleans rocks. The people are nice. My friends are interesting. I hope, if you are not there already, you find your happy place. I suggest writing down what you want, painting it, dancing it, speaking it every chance you get. There is a vehicle to get you there. lovingly,