badlands

great faces, great places

For a hot minute I thought I should talk about the art festivals I've done so far this year or the gallery shows I've participated in their have had their ups and downs and take home positives and things I've learned, for me that is the logistical side of business and...logistics bore me! Hence why I haven't blogged since May. So I am just gonna talk about MY process which is A. My inspiration and B. How I make my stuff. Because I'm into it and could talk about it all day.

So I went to South Dakota, ya know that place you went with your family in 2nd grade and you'll probably never go back to until your kids are in 2nd grade. Its a lot cooler than you remember by the way. It is honestly kinda love everything about it, well minus the couple tourist trap aspects but I get it they gotta make that money.

The Badlands are where its at, well ok its tied with Custer State Park, they are equally awesome. The Badlands have the biggest bison I've ever seen, it was like a truck, tons of bighorn sheep, loads of black tail deer. I loved it I just flat out was in heaven.

I love this little guy!

I love this little guy!

and this huge guy, seriously built like a brick house 

and this huge guy, seriously built like a brick house 

I want to like draw and paint every nature moment I had there. Caught some beautiful fish, saw some gorgeous deer and pronghorns, and a billion beautiful sunsets. I utterly loved it. I recently started this landscape of the vista from the needles highway in Custer. You don't really think vastness or mountains really for South Dakota but it really was, the Black Hills are a lot more breathtaking than you think.

so rocks are hard but i love the sunset meeting the far back mountains

so rocks are hard but i love the sunset meeting the far back mountains

I kind of love doing this cartoon-esque landscapes. I don't know if other people like it but I find them so fun and I like the character of it. I want to do some from the badlands too. There was so much color and life at the badlands that really surprised me. 

I also went to northern Minnesota to some mining lakes and want to do a bunch of Minnesota paintings now too. I started by doing a drawing of a Minnesota mermaid with a nice freshwater trout scene.

I freakin' love it

I freakin' love it

So this is probably my best artwork to date. I have only dabbled in colored pencil in the past and this is my first completed colored pencil drawing. I still use copics for blending and "blurring" spots, I have to learn how to blend with mineral spirits still. I have started to try what I call effects, but essentially playing more with reflections and shadows than I normally do. I love the water ripple reflections on them both, I had no reference photo so its not perfect but I think it turned out cool. I think using tan paper helps give it the underwater murky feel. 

I want to make more of these, do a couple of different freshwater mermaids. I am really into fish lately, they are so fun and have so much texture and color that lends good to colored pencil. 

So maybe I will start a more frequent blog schedule and just talk about the things that interest me, probably what a blog is actually intended for. 

against the wind

I finally had a legit full weekend of working on canvases. The canvases were fighting back however. 

It is becoming increasingly clear I need to work on making the switch from career to artist; not that you can really call my day job a career but still, it gots to go. I don't hate my day job its neutral to me, I have no feelings about it one way or another however it eats up all my time and sucks the energy out of me. So when I do go in to working on what is currently my weekend craft, I have nothing left in me because weekday job used it all up.

I think my current reachable goal is to be able to go down to part time / 3 days a week. I would like to be able to do that within 6 months if not sooner. However that would mean making $400 $500 a month from artwork sales, which I've never done. So we'll see. [that saying should be my family's crest]

I'm still working on my bear painting comission. I am hoping it leads to more work. I really enjoy comissions because I think I try harder when making something for someone specifically. I really enjoyed doing the mural I recently completed. It is going to sound obvious but working with that much color brought me joy. There is of course doing what you love the actual painting act which is rewarding but being around the color was what I really enjoyed. I liked playing with the colors and I miss being able to "go to work" and be immersed in color. The color gave me life almost.

So long story short I need to quit work and be able to do art, it will be simple right?

Here is the one painting I finished this weekend. I like it but yet I feel like it is missing something. I like playing with silhouettes and color, but I am not sure what I feel is missing. I wanted to capture a dusty old bison in rut running against the wind, the smell of hot summer in the grasslands where the rocks just radiate heat like an oven, and the breeze is even warm and dry against your face, where the badlands just feel so vast and empty. So yeah, that rambling, that's what I wanted to paint.