Saturday, February 23, 2013

Entry for Nibblefest's February Theme 'Domestic Animals'

I did it....!

My February 2013 Nibblefest Art Contest Entry (8 x 6)

I got my Nibblefest Art Contest entry finished in time yesterday, and was able to upload and enter it into the contest last night as a 5 Day listing.  So glad the rules allow for some wiggle room, because sometimes you just need it....

Speaking of 'wiggle', I think it's pretty clear the subject matter of my entry this time around -- not a lot of need for lengthy descriptions!  Though I will say, as usual, when this month's theme "Domestic Animals" didn't conjure up a lot of promising ideas for me otherwise, I went looking to my usual 'musical influences' default fall-back.  "Domestic Animals" made me naturally think of 'dogs'...... -- so, just how many 'dog' references can you think of in popular music?    Probably a good many, but the very first one to come to my mind was the classic early rock ditty, "Hound Dog".   Besides, I've been fishing for an excuse to paint Elvis -- always fun to tackle those much beloved, iconic historical faces.  And ayway I figure one just can't go wrong with The King.....

The following is my auction description:

"Ain't Nothin' But...."

My entry for this month's Nibblefest Art Contest (NFAC) (~the theme for February being 'Domestic Animals') is a 5-Day auction for an original acrylic painting on an 8 x 6 found, flat wooden plaque.  "Aint Nothin' But...." is signed and ready to hang.

Regular bidders will know I love looking toward musical influences for inspiration when casting about for monthly Nibblefest theme ideas.  Reflecting upon "Domestic Animals" this month made me think of 'dogs'.  'Dogs' made me think of 'hounds'.  And 'hounds' naturally made me think of.... ELVIS!   (Really, how could I resist...???)


Note that this also officially constitutes my Faces #13 and #14 of the '29 Faces' Challenge  -- never mind that I have fallen so hopelessly behind by now, I'm still aiming to catch up.  Or try to at least......!

Friday, February 22, 2013

EBSQ's 'Art of the Day'

Another lovely surprise this morning -- again a piece of mine is being featured as EBSQ's 'Art of the Day'!  The theme this week for their 'Art of the Day' series is "Let's Eat" -- as such I'm thrilled that my painting, "Tom's Diner", with its coffee-swilling, people-watching cafe customer, apparently fits the bill.  Like I always say (and I do mean always) being chosen 'Art of the Day' always feels a little bit like being 'Queen of the Day' -- thanks so much, EBSQ....! 

A screenshot of today's EBSQ's front page, with my 'Tom's Diner' in the upper left corner

"Tom's Diner" was my Nibblefest Art Contest entry,  way back in August, when the monthly theme was 'Coffee': 

Side View of "Tom's Diner"

Now all these months later, we've arrived at yet another Nibblefest, but without me in it.  As I mentioned in my previous post, thanks to being recently sick I missed the the official start two days ago, on the 20th.  With everything going I on, I initially figured I could just sit this month out.  After all, it's been a long time since a month has gone by without me participating -- no harm in a break every now and then.   However, typical me, when I tuned in and saw all the  lovely 'Domestic Animals' art entries (to see them all click here), it felt like I was missing out on all the fun.   So, not one to be left out, I'm working madly this afternoon on a 'Domestic Animals'-themed painting I can enter into the Contest tonight for a 5 Day auction.  Hopefully I can get complete it in time -- stay tuned....!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


.....and how.   

I've been waylaid by The Flu since last week, and ay carumba, has it ever been a doozy.  Fevers, chills, aches/pains, dizzy spells, congestion, the works....!  Fortunately though I see light at the end of the tunnel (and without too many spots before my eyes now, thank goodness) in that I can actually sit upright today for extended periods of time, so I guess that's progress.  Unfortunately it does however now mean I have fallen crazy behind in pretty much all areas of life.  It's amazing how just a few consecutive days of unplanned (and unwanted) 'rest' can throw everything out of whack!  I'm so woefully backlogged with the '29 Faces' Challenge by this point I'm wondering how I can ever catch up -- not to mention my beloved Nibblefest Art Contest starting tomorrow, the 20th (February's theme: 'Domestic Animals').  I haven't missed a month of the Contest in a very long time, but sadly this is one I might have to sit out.   Oh well, whatever the case, it's very good to be back among the land of the living again -- very grateful for that and for my good health in general!  Something I never want to take for granted.

Thanks so much everyone for all the comments and positive feedback that I've been receiving, I really and truly appreciate it!  Good luck with all your Faces, everyone -- hopefully I'll be returning soon to my regularly-scheduled 'same old, same old' routine, including more Faces of my own.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 12 of the '29 Faces' February Art Blog Challenge

As of today we find ourselves on Day 12 of the '29 Faces' Challenge.  After an especially busy weekend Chez Patience, with the last few days since little better, I found myself getting a bit behind in my Challenge Faces (not to mention my Challenge blogging.  And comment replies!).  Happily however I'm officially catching back up again today with some funny little homemade anthropomorphic heart valentines cards I whipped up this afternoon.  I do enjoy making handmade Valentines for my family, and do so every year.  So while these may not be the most exciting of specimens perhaps, nevertheless with two 'faces' per card, these officially represent my #9, #10,  #11 and #12 Faces of the '29 Faces' February 2013 Art Blog Challenge:

'Happy Hearts' Valentine's Card

More Happy Hearts :-)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nibblefest Blog Post: February's theme 'Domestic Animals'

Oops, it appears I've fallen behind in my Faces (in addition to my replies to comments -- so sorry!) for the '29 Faces' Challenge....!   But no worries, I'm aiming to catch up with all of that by tonight.  In the meantime, check out the entry I just composed and curated for the Nibblefest Art Contest Blog (click to see my post HERE),  introducing February's theme, 'Domestic Animals', and featuring lots of fine Nibblefest Artist artwork (including this one of mine):


Friday, February 8, 2013

Day 8 of the '29 Faces' Art Challenge: More Student Work

It's the 8th Day of the '29 Faces' February 2013 Art Blog Challenge, with the first week officially behind us (and let me tell you, if the next few weeks cruise as crazy quickly as this past one did, this month will FLY by).....

If you've been following my Challenge progress, you will know I started my 29 Faces exactly a week ago with a 'face' that wasn't actually my own, but was a self portrait by my private art student's.   As of this afternoon another student finished HER self portrait that she'd been working on under my instruction for the past number of weeks, which I am very pleased and proud to share today as 'my' #8 Face:

Another beautiful self-portrait by my art student, as completed today.

As with my student's portrait from last week, this student has been patiently painting her self portrait under my guidance for the past number of weeks, taking direction/suggestions thoughtfully, and approaching her project with consideration and care.....,

Self Portraits in Progress -- laying down color

.....resulting in another really lovely and expressive work of art.....!   

Very proud of my talented and capable young students....

Another lovely 11 x 14 Student Self Portrait....!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day 7 of the '29 Faces' February Challenge: "Frida"

My Face for Day 7 of the '29 Faces' February 2013 Art Blog Challenge:

"Frida" on a 3" x 4" wood plaque

Guess it was a 'Frida' sort of day today.  Using another one of those funny little, 2nd-hand wooden plaques that I've amassed over the years, I realized I really didn't feel like thinking too terribly much this afternoon.   Plus I figure you can never go wrong with Friday Kahlo (in fact I think it's safe to say you'll likely see more of lovely visage in here before the month is through).....

For size reference:

Photographed (in really bad lighting) with a quarter for size reference

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

'The Bronte Sisters': Day 6 of the '29 Faces' Feb 2013 Challenge

So it's been a couple of days since I last posted, but no worries -- with this post I'm all up to date with my Faces for the "29 Faces Challenge".  Since Monday I've been working on this piece with three figures for my Faces #4, #5, and #6.   And so we have here my own little tribute to the ever talented, but ever tragic, Bronte Sisters....:

Anne, Emily and Charlotte:  'The Bronte Sisters',  a 3.5 x 4 original painting

A little backstory..... years ago I picked up this funny wee wooden plaque at a charity sale.  As I've written before, I like to reuse the old frames, plaques, found wood and such like that cross my path from time to time.  This shapely little piece of wood, with its tantalizingly curvy contours, was actually originally painted in such a way as to suggest a rudimentary 'slice of bread'.  Can you see that in those indented sides...?  If I recall there was possibly even a quote on it -- maybe 'Give us this day our Daily Bread', or something like that.  In any event, I brought it home with me with the intention of recycling it for my own purposes.  But, the diminutive proportions.  And that odd shape...!   I was stumped for ideas.  And so I did what I always do when I'm stumped for ideas.  I set the funny little plaque aside.  Outta sight/outta mind....,

Photographed with a quarter, for size reference....

....that is, until I was assembling potential painting supports for this '29 Faces' Challenge.  Digging around, I pulled out the long-forgotten, oddly-shaped plaque, and was trying to figure how I might ever make use of it, when it occurred to me that I was actually seeing potential "necks" and "heads" in those curvy contours.  Why hadn't I realized that before?  Thinking on it further, I decided there was actually room on the plaque for THREE faces in all -- but..., of whom?  Just three random faces....?   Not terribly interesting.   Until it popped into my head:  3 faces.... 3 sisters.... but of course!  The Bronte girls: Anne, Emily and Charlotte -- sisters, poets and novelists, all.....

Left Side, with the painting continued onto the sides, as you can see.....

Anne Bronte:  (17 January, 1820 – 28 May, 1849), author of
'Agnes Grey' and 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall'

Emily Bronte:  (30 July, 1818 – 19 December, 1848), author of
'Wuthering Heights'

Charlotte Bronte:  (21 April, 1816 – 31 March, 1855), author of
'Jane Eyre'

Right Side

The Brontes were a talented lot, but it wasn't an easy life.  Losing their mother at a very young age to disease, losing two elder sisters to disease, dealing with a troubled alcoholic brother, and enduring sexism galore (cultural norm at the time) in regards to their publishing, they then each went on to get sick in their 20's and 30's and enter early graves themselves.  But happily not before leaving behind a body of work that remains much beloved and classic reading to this day....

View from the Top

View from the Bottom

(My usual little blurbie about using recycled materials in my art:

I have recently begun painting almost exclusively on supports I create myself utilizing the old, salvaged wooden picture frames, found wood and plaques that cross my path from time to time (often for free). I feel good about giving these unwanted homeless items a second life, not only because trees were cut down at some point to produce them, but also because by the time I get my hands on them they are usually destined for the landfill.)

Rest in Peace, Anne, Emily and Charlotte

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Faces #2 and #3 of the '29 Faces' February Art Challenge

A guest art journal entry I painted in the 9 x 13 art journal of one of my students,
featuring Faces #2 and #3 of the Challenge

Celestial Art in general, and anthropomorphic celestial bodies in particular, has long been among my favorite subject matter.   In winter time especially, when we here in the Midwest are subjected to endless days of cold and gray, there is little I find more stimulating and optimistic than painting a cheerful and bright Sunny face.  And so when I sat down last night to create a one-page guest entry in the personal art journal of one of my art students (a project I've blogged about before), while hearing the icy wind whipping around the corners of the house and blowing the powdery snow around, I couldn't resist 'whipping' up a warm and happy sun of my own.  Plus it appears a Moon sneaked in there as well (being as that it was night time I couldn't very well leave him out) -- fun times!  Such a hoot in fact that you will likely be seeing more Celestial faces from me before this month-long Challenge is through.  In any event, in addition to catching myself up with Faces, here's hoping I managed to create a memorable piece of art as a keepsake for my young student to always remember me by....

Friday, February 1, 2013

First Face of the '29 Faces' Challenge......

........and ok, it actually turns out to be my student's project.  But I say it counts.  Because for one thing, this day ended up being so jam-packed I never did manage to find a long string of consecutive minutes in order to settle down for a little painting for myself as originally planned (oops).  I did however teach, with one of my students finishing up this lovely portrait of herself today to take home....:

A beautiful self portrait by one of my art students, completed just today.

The self portrait was many sessions in the making, as we've been working on these over the course of a number of weeks.  Under my guidance and supervision, my students followed my direction to work on their projects slowly and with care, while using a light touch and really thinking things through....:

Self Portraits in Progress -- Building Up Layers

And I think the results are just wonderful -- so proud of and pleased with my young students for the patience and perseverance they displayed throughout this project....

An 11 x 14 Student Self Portrait -- Well Done....!

29 Faces Art Challenge -- The February 2013 Edition

Who remembers when I participated in this internet-wide art blog Challenge last year....?

I actually did so twice.  The first was exactly a year ago, in February.  Being a Leap Year, Ayala, of Ayala's Art, proposed marking the event with a Challenge to the art blogging create a Face for every day of the month.   It was an appealing concept -- and so I did it: 29 Faces, in 29 days (whew!).  The schedule was tight at times, and I do recall a lot of late nights.  But it was a great exercise for me, not to mention how pleasant it was to cruise the Challenge blogs and meet new and interesting folks.  So much so in fact, I even managed to talk myself into participating a 2nd time, when, by popular demand, thanks to the the success of the first Challenge, Ayala instigated a repeat of the 29 Faces Challenge for the month of May -- and I couldn't resist signing on (again). 

For last February's Challenge, I blogged extensively about the personal focus of mine at the time -- the intention to properly finish up a whole gaggle of partially completed art projects that were piled up around here collecting dust (goal met!).  For last May's Challenge, my time was primarily focused on a large art journal project I was working on, whereby I painted guest entries into the homemade art journals of my private art students (goal met!). Despite all the time it took to paint/photograph/upload/blog every single day (and it was indeed VERY time consuming), both February and May were productive months, and the effort well spent.

This time around....?   No particular plans.  Instead, I intend to keep my approach and participation for this round decidedly more casual.  The whole point of this exercise is supposed to be light-hearted and fun, so I'll try to keep it so -- doing my best to keep up of course (but also knowing that falling behind here and there wont spell the end of the world), and with no over-thinking (as my friends know I am wont to do), and no pressure.... 

So stay tuned -- and let the 29 Faces begin....!