This was a fun project for a guy’s halloween decorations! It was done entirely in spray paint, which I’d never used before to make a painting, but I think it turned out rather well. Holding the spray paint nozzle down for that long made my finger tip go numb for several days though, ha! I don’t know how graffiti artists do it. The canvas is really large- 5 feet tall. I added a photo of it on the ground for reference.
I received a commission from a couple about a month ago for a copy of a mural they had seen during their travels to france. It was a wall painted like the window of a butcher shop painted on an outdoor cafe. Here is the picture they’d taken of the original mural.
They wanted the same mural painted on their pantry door, which was taller and wider, so I had to do a lot of rearranging, but it worked out great. They dropped off the door, a scrap of their kitchen wallpaper to match colors to, and a couple pictures of the original and I set to work. Here it is in all it’s glory!
The door is 2 feet wide and 7 feet tall and I used acrylic paints. Here are some detail shots.
The ironic smiling pig sitting on the bottom shelf was definitely my favorite part to paint. Hahaha!
And a photo of me, to show how tall it is. I think I did justice to the original!
Okay, so when I moved into my studio, it was pretty ugly. The walls were the color of card board, and the blinds were off white and yellowed and caked with years of dirt. The tile floor is a dark red and even though there are great big windows, the room just felt terribly dreary. I also only owned a bunch of rag tag pieces of furniture that didn’t match and were beat up- you know, the normal college student sort of furniture. But since I’m a professional now, I decided to upgrade my workspace…
Yellow! Technically, banana split yellow. Plus new white tables, blinds and curtains! The whole room feels so much lighter.
So thats it. Its pretty great. However, you may have noticed the fan at the door… Unfortunately, the AC is broken in the building, and it is preventing me from using my awesome new workspace. Sigh. Its been over 90 degrees out every day so I’ve been working from home. But when its fixed… I have plans and plans of things to do!
King’s birthday was May 1st! He turned 15. Yeah, I know, it was almost two months ago. But animals in party hats are timeless.
Tada!! I don’t think King likes it very much when I do this to him, but he doesn’t mind enough to do anything but stand there. Plus he had a mouth full of horse treats.
Sampson also came to the party!
So did Jenny the baby goat. The hat fit perfectly over her horn nubs and she wore the hat the rest of the day.
Gracie came as well, but she insisted on eating her hat. 😦
Party horns! King may or may not have eaten a few of them… Don’t worry, he spit them out though.
…And that is what I do in my free time.
Last year I painted two murals at Valley View Ranch where I grew up and later worked for several summers. I replaced some murals that had been there since the 50s and had begun peeling off the walls so badly that there was no chance of restoration. There was third mural that was in really bad shape that needed to be repaired and they asked me what I could do- I thought it would be easiest just for me to repaint it completely and because I loved the old mural so much I tried to keep it as similar as possible to the old one.
This is the old one. Its hard to tell from this photo, but its really big- its about 4 feet tall and really, really long. I traced the mural in the fall so that I could transfer it again later. Over the winter they covered up the old mural with plywood so that I could have fresh surface to paint on, and I went up a few weeks ago to redo it.
I hung my tracing from the fall back up and put transfer paper behind it and traced it again to transfer the drawing.
After that was done, I began painting the background. I’d taken tons of photos of the old mural and I hung them up around so I could try to copy it as accurately as possible.
I painted around the traced horses- in the old mural, the background didn’t always go under the horses, but rather faded out close to them, so I tried to copy this technique and paint right up to the horses but not under them.
Here it is, in all it’s glory!
I snuck my horse, King, into the mural. The horse in the old mural was a buckskin, so I turned him into a dun by turning the black points into brown, and then I painted King’s white markings on. I didn’t feel like it’d be right for me to leave him out, considering that he was born on the ranch and is a huge part of my life. I took him home, but a little bit of him will always stay up there on the mountain.
It feels really good to leave something meaningful behind at a place that really shaped me as a person far more than anything else in my youth! As the camp song says, “growing up and leaving you is my only regret.”
Oh my. I am so busy that I can hardly breathe, and what with the astronomically high pollen count here in Savannah, that might not be such a bad thing! Lots has happened in the last few months- I have four part time jobs. FOUR. Comic book coloring as always and my own personal art/design business, leading trail rides and mucking stalls where I keep my horse, teaching bellydance classes twice a week and now I have picked up tour guiding again! I am completely slammed since its high tourist season and the comic book work just started coming in like crazy… but I have always been most productive when I have an impossible amount of work, so I am doing well for myself.
I finally got my own art studio! Above is a picture of when I first moved my stuff in, and I’ve rearranged it a little bit since but you get the idea. Its really great to have a space away from my house so I can ‘go to work’ instead of feeling like I never leave my house. I have plans to paint it yellow! Its currently painted the color of cardboard. Yuck!
My most recent project was a sticker design for the talented performer, Riot, who is a hoop and aerial dancer! She does hula-hooping (but cooler) and aerial silks and aerial hoop as well. I’ve taken an aerial silks class from her and it is hard! I thought, being a dancer, that it’d come easily to me but I was surprised at how much more difficult it was to do the basic poses than I expected. It also takes a lot of upper body strength, too, which is a department that I am lacking in.
And here is a sneak peak of a painting in progress! It is acrylics painted on wood.
I began teaching bellydance early this year and it is so much fun! I have two classes and I’m learning a lot by teaching- its opened my eyes up to how difficult it is to dance. I started dancing when I was in middle school, so its almost second nature for me, and having to explain how to move to other people can be hilariously confusing at times. Its also really rewarding to see the ladies in my classes improve and be able to pick up moves they couldn’t do at first- I generally don’t like working with people but this has been a totally new experience. I definitely want to continue teaching and hopefully pick up more students… and maybe a real dance studio to teach in some day.
I’ve also begun doing ghost tours again, but this time for a walking tour company. As much as I loved Carriage Tours, I would like to keep horses as much as a hobby as possible even though I am doing work for the barn where I keep my big, goofy horse. I love telling stories, though, which is what brought me back to tour guiding. I used to do a lot of theatre and it is my own personal little show every night, and walking around downtown Savannah never gets boring. The best part? I get to dress like the Saint Pauli girl and scare children. Booyah.
I can’t wait for summer. I realize that yes, I live in Savannah, and yes, it was 72 degrees out last week, but I really can’t handle anything lower than 60 degrees and I miss the days being long. I can’t wait to wear shorts- yes, I’ve been wearing two pairs of pants all winter long. I can’t take it anymore.
Anyway, Savannah is often called Slowvannah. Nothing happens on time here, which is great in some respects (No stress) and not so great in other respects (dead tourist seasons means everyone here is collectively broke). Ha! So I’ve had a lull in my freelancing so I’ve had time to work on my own stuff. I spent a week trying different methods of transferring printed images to wood. The caulk method is weird and I don’t like it, so don’t do it. I lost a lot of detail. I didn’t try the xylene method, but.. Modge podge and elmers glue works great. It took me a couple tries to get it right, and I don’t have any pictures yet but I give it a thumbs up.
Also, I got to do a dinosaur logo. Who doesn’t live dinosaurs?