Monday, February 13, 2012

Collaboration with Stephanie Allison

Stephanie Allison and I have decided to do a fun little collaboration.  We each are going to paint half a canvas and then mail it to the other one to finish the other half.  I started on an 11x14 canvas panel and thought I would give you all a step by step look at how it evolves.  After I send it off to Stephanie she is going to do the same at her blog, so be sure to follow the whole progression over there.
I often post a few wips of my work over on my Facebook page, but rarely do I remember to take photos at every step.  Since this one was a small quick piece I tried to stop myself and take some photos.  I wanted to especially show you how much I often struggle to get the perfect skin tone and hair color on my girls.  Unfortunately with me, it is often just guesss work and not really an exact science.  So here we go:
The beginning sketch above.  With a quick wash of ultramarine blue below (after I sprayed it with a light layer of workable fixative).
When I first start adding skin tones they can look a mess for awhile.  Adding fixative over the canvas makes the first layers of paint not stick so well too.  I have to lay down a lot of thin layers early on and let them each dry.  At first they can look a mess for awhile, but I try my best to add the shadows and dark areas first.
Below I am adding in the darks of her hair.  I am trying to figure out where to go with her skin tone.  She is a little too pink and pasty at this point.
I think I want to go blonde, but it does not look good with her skin tone.
So I added some orangey tones to her skin and decided to go dark with the hair.  Had to add a mask too.
Getting close to done now.  Just got to add the peacock details.

And here is she is all done...well at least my side.  I kind of hogged a little more than half, I hope Stephanie doesn't get annoyed with me!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spirit Totem Drawings

I think I have mentioned in this blog before that I got my start doing art by drawing spirit guides for people.  This is basically how I learned to draw people.  About 2 years ago I decided to focus more on doing fine art, and let the guide work go.  Of course the guide work did not fully let me go.  I have struggled a little the last 2 years wondering how to bring the work back in.  A few times I thought I was ready to do it again, and then pulled it back.
Working with spirit in that way is no easy task.  I am looking into people's "stuff" and their energy and trying to make sense of it, and then drawing and painting on top of that.  With a family to raise, a house to clean, and other creations to paint, it just seemed like too much. Recently the tug to do the work has returned.  I suddenly sat down with my own name (that is the tool I use to connect with people's energies) and did a different kind of drawing.  It is a symbolic drawing more than anything, and different than just drawing the spirit guides.  Here is a little write up on my website that explains them:

These drawings contain a combination of animal and plant spirit guides, archetypal symbols, and higher dimensional energies.  Somewhat like a tarot card, these drawings trigger our subconscious mind and our deeper knowing. 
I spent many years giving tarot readings both professionally and personally and feel a deep connection to symbolism.  I feel that artists often understand the language of archetypal symbols.  With these drawings I want to create a sort of road map of your soul, almost like your own personal tarot card.
I work with your full name to uncover many of the symbols and archetypes you work with.  I use a process called Lexigramming your name to connect me with your Akashic Record, the record of your soul.  There will be a combination of about 7 animals, archetypes and/or angels in the drawing done in my unique style.  You are welcome to tell me any totems you would really like in the drawing, or you can just let me uncover them for you; or better yet, the drawing can be a combo of both.
The drawing is 8x10 inches and comes already matted in an 11x14 inch black or cream mat.  The media is graphite pencil, watercolor, and ink on cold-pressed watercolor paper.  It will also come with a note letting you know all of the symbols and their meanings.

Here are a few examples of what the drawings look like:

The faces in the drawings are more symbolic of the people's energies, a sort of combination of the goddess or god energy that they carry.  Although, the last drawing was a guide that came in and was adamant that he be drawn.
I am really feeling back in my element with this work.  I feel like a fog has lifted that I have been stuck in for the last 2 years.  I also now realize (hindsight is 20/20) that Saturn has been in Libra the last 2 years (I am a Libra) it is now starting to leave Libra and go into Scorpio.  This has really effected my life in areas of business and relationships.  I can see it as clear as day now, and it has been part of the fog that has clouded my vision when it comes to areas of my "career".
Another beautiful thing that these drawings are doing for me is helping me realize how much I really do love to draw men.  Seriously, I have only drawn women for years now.  Suddenly I am being forced to draw men again with these and I am enjoying it.  It is helping me feel more balanced actually.  I am currently working on a drawing for a man and a lot of powerful, heroic energy is coming in.  I just did his drawing but haven't added any paint yet.  I thought I would show you what it looks like in it's raw unpainted version.  I am wondering if I should just leave it like this.  I am not adding a lot of color to these, just a little watercolor, but this one almost seems perfect with no color.  We will see..... 

He reminds me of Aragorn...swoon.... ;)

If you would like to commission yourself a Totem Spirit drawing please go to my website.

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