I’m starting my 18th year of painting. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been painting my entire life and sometimes it feels like I just started. In a lot of areas, I’m still a beginner.
For instance, I’ve never painted a series – a group or collection of paintings. I’ve known for some time this is important for reproduction purposes but I’ve never really reproduced any of my art. At least, not seriously.
Most of my paintings have been commissioned. That is, when I was painting walls & ceilings. Someone would see my work, call me, ask me to work up a sketch (and a price), and I’d paint it.
That’s all fine and good when your body is in good shape. Well, your body and the economy. Yeah, about the time the economy went in the tank so did my back. Fine. No problem. I’ll just sit and paint and reproduce my paintings. ahem.
Newsflash. There’s a little bit more to it than I first thought. But I’m pretty used to that at my age. I’ve always jumped into things with both feet and figured it out along the way with a lot of OTJ (on-the-job) training.
Anyway, today is a milestone of sorts for me personally. I finished the last of my three pink rose topiaries.
The paintings that I thought I’d whip out in ‘nothing flat’. The paintings that have been sitting around in a stack with other unfinished pieces for . . . I don’t know how long.
Today I finally decided to take my work, and myself, seriously and finish the series.
Along with painting collections I also want to paint murals on canvas for video courses so I needed something that would allow me to easily hang canvases.
Ta-da! DIY at it’s finest. Ok, well, it’s functional. It’s just a shower rod in a couple of dollar store hook thingies and some clippies. Now I can hang a large canvas or some smaller ones.
The topiary paintings had been set aside for so long I needed to look at them again. Really look at them. From this distance I thought, not too bad.
Then I looked closer.
The birdies had no feetsies. Or claws. Whatevs. There was no way for them to hold the ribbon.
One thing I’m pretty diligent about is keeping the paints for a project grouped together. Since I use craft paints instead of artist tubes, for the most part, this comes in handy when you have creative ADD like I do and there might be weeks, or months, in between work on a particular piece. This way I don’t have to mix colors or paint a bunch of test samples to see which dang grey I used on those birds.
So a quick little leg and claw in light grey with some white mixed in and then off to finish the ribbon banner.
Whoops. Not so fast.
I’d laid this topiary on my work table and hadn’t noticed the overpainting at first. Then I saw it and tried to talk myself out of fixing it. I mean, if I didn’t notice it, maybe no one else would either.
And then I remembered I painted these guys for reproduction. Prints for all the world to see.
So I quickly fixed it and moved back to the ribbon on the other piece.
First, a little shading. We’ll paint more fabric paintings next year, I promise. It’s so much fun to see it ‘come to life’. It’s kinda like the 3D star but a little different because, when done right, the fabric will look both dimensional and fluid.
Here’s a close up of the shading.
Then highlighting with white, right next to the shading.
And then the soft pink over the top of the shading and highlighting.
So I took some high resolution photos and figured I’d “throw” them into my Zazzle shop.
Not so fast. Turns out, I have a lot to learn. Still.
Oh well. That’s a good thing, right? Keeps the old brain-muscle exercised, learning new stuff.
I did manage to get a couple of poster prints in the store.
I need to reshoot the heart topiary. And then I need to create borders or something to fit the greeting card dimensions for all three.
Oh well. Today I finished my first ever series. AND I got two up for sale.
After 18 years, that’s progress.