Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Pronghorns"....Plus a little road trip.

"Pronghorns" is my entry today into the Daily Paintworks auction. This original pen & ink rendering was completed with black and brown inks, using a combination of stroke work with the stippling, or pointillism technique.  I thought that the sepia tone, like in the old tintype photos, which I use on some of my Native American portraits, would be a nice look here.  

Fans of the TV show "South Park", are probably aware of the fact that there actually is an area of Colorado that this cartoon is based upon.  If you are not a fan, and have never seen the TV program, this little tidbit has more than likely escaped you.  But, having lived in Colorado on and off for about 20 years, I am very familiar with both this fact and this area.  Most of my time in Colorado was spent in the Colorado Springs area, but I did spend five years in Summit County (ski country), home to the towns of Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne, Keystone and Copper Mountain.

Traveling west from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge would take you through the town of Fairplay, and the area known as South Park.  It was one of my favorite drives through the state.  You did not see the splendor of the Rockies as much as you did on a trip from Denver to Summit County and beyond, say to Vail or Glenwood Springs, but you did get a little taste of everything Colorado has to offer.  As you start off from Colorado Springs on Hwy. 24 you would pass little mountain towns like Green Mountain Falls, Chipita Park and Cascade, which is the gateway to the top of Pike's Peak. Next would be Woodland Park, Divide, and Lake George, plus a turn off (Hwy. 67) that would take you into Cripple Creek.  You would also pass the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, where you could check out some of the prehistoric fossils unearthed in the area.  Once you reached the little town of Hartsel, and turned off onto Hwy. 9, the trip really got interesting.  This stretch of land is like a high mountain dessert stuck in between two mountain ranges.  If you take this trip in the winter, when the area is blanketed by snow, it reminds you of some sort of moonscape or alien terrain.  If you take the trip in the summer, you are more than likely to see herds of Pronghorn Antelope grazing on either side of the highway.  Every time I look at this rendering, I think about all of the times I made that trip over the years spent in Colorado.  This also happens to lead you to the area of South Park and the town of Fairplay.  From there, you start your climb back into the mountains, and your last stop before heading over Hoosier Pass, is the little town of Alma, which I believe is the highest unincorporated town in the United States.  I think that Leadville holds that honor for actual townships.  Next is Hoosier Pass, and the twisty, winding, beautiful drive down into Breckenridge along the Blue River.  Before Breckenridge exploded into the massive ski resort that it is today, it used to be a quaint little village, with a sign on either side of town that said quite simply, "Welcome to the Kingdom of Breckenridge". 

The link beneath the image will take you over to the auction page at Daily Paintworks, and from there you can check out all of the originals currently at auction.  If you are interested in notecards or prints, please visit my website or storefront/galleries at Etsy and FineArtAmerica.  Links are provided in the side panel of the blog for easy access.

Friday, March 29, 2013

"No Peeking", or Here's Looking at You!...Plus Blue Gator Jewelry.

No Peeking
"No Peeking" is today's entry in my Daily Paintworks Gallery.  I've always thought that an alternate title could be "Here's Looking at You", but decided to go with the shorter moniker.  If you are searching for it on my website, or FineArtAmerica, you will find it in the Other Faces Gallery.  While, strictly speaking, it may not actually be a face, it is, however, a part of a face, and therefore, belongs in this category.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!  Besides, I can't really think of any other category or gallery where it would be a better fit, so here we are. As relatively small and simple as this rendering seems to be, at least when compared to some of my other pieces, I was amazed at the amount of detail required to effectively show the texture of the skin and contours of  the eye.  It was actually one of the most fun pieces I've ever completed.  The grammar is probably not quite right in that last sentence, but you get the idea.  Anyway, the original was completed using Micron pens, in the stippling or pointillism technique, and measures 9" x 12".  The link beneath the image takes you over to the auction page.  From there, you can check out all of the other originals I have posted so far to Daily Paintworks. If you are interested in prints or note card packages, please visit my website.  Other print and note card options are also available at my Etsy Shop and FineArtAmerica Gallery.  

Blue Gator Jewelry

Cherry Cluster Earrings
I've been publishing this blog on and off since 2006, although 2009 doesn't really count, since I only had one entry for the entire year! (what happened there?).  I have been incorporating the Artist of the Month feature from my newsletter on these pages for about the past two years or so, and as I continue to introduce new artists here, I think it's important to periodically re-visit some of my previous featured artists.  With that in mind, today's shout out goes to SallyAnn Rogers and Blue Gator Jewelry.  SallyAnn is a fellow shop owner at Etsy, and the link here and under the image will take you over to her Etsy Shop.  She also happens to be a college classmate of mine from many moons ago, so it is only fitting that she should be the recipient of my first Artist Spotlight Rerun. Anyway, here are a few examples of what you will find at Blue Gator Jewelry.  Click through to their respective pages to see larger versions or to continue shopping.  Enjoy!
Maine Wire Wrapped Beach Stone Pendant
Copper Leaves Earrings

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Alaskan Malamute" plus a little yardwork!

Well, I must say one thing for Daily Paintworks, it sure has helped me to become much more disciplined regarding my blog posts!  I used to post one every once in awhile, sometimes once a week, sometimes once a month. I think I made it to two or three posts in a week maybe once or twice over the past three years. And then there would be lapses of weeks at a time without posting.  Sometimes even months would go by between my posts.  It's been a little over a week since I joined Daily Paintworks, and believe it or not, I've made a blog posting everyday since joining.  I think I can make it to two weeks running, which would bring me to Tuesday of next week, without any problems.  I mention this now because I know my streak will soon be ending.  Oh well.  I'll be on vacation in Florida next week, visiting my family, so I may not be making any posts until I return.  I may be able to sneak a few in during our visit, but more than likely, I'll be busy with other things, like visiting with the family, maybe going to the beach, taking a side trip up to Cocoa Beach to visit with some of Fran's family, and hopefully, getting in a round of golf.  But fear not, once I return, I plan to start a new streak.

Alaskan Malamute
For now, let's keep the current streak going with today's entry in my Daily Paintworks auction, "Alaskan Malamute".  This is an original pen & ink portrait found, naturally enough, in my Pets Gallery, at least on my website and at FineArtAmericaEtsy and Daily Paintworks do not have specific categories that I can plug in, so you just need to do a little scrolling to find it.  That is, of course, if you are interested in prints or note card packages.  The posting at Daily Paintworks is for original art only, and as usual, I'm starting this off at auction, before posting a Buy It Now through PayPal price to it. The link beneath the image will take you over to the auction page, and there are links in the side panel for my website and other online storefronts and galleries. 

Now, since the weather seems to be cooperating a little today, the yard is calling!  There is a lot to catch up on before our trip next week, and I think I'm even getting into a rhythm about balancing yardwork with the rest of the daily necessities of keeping up all of these online shops and galleries, blog posts, Facebook, website, and on and on.  The initial clean up after the Winter is the biggest thing.  Yesterday was burn day for all of the accumulated yard debris over the past few months - fallen tree limbs, Christmas trees, leaves, etc. Today, I'll be prepping the garden beds for planting next month, and cleaning out the weeds from the other flower beds, etc.  I should post some before and after photos, but we'll see.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Hangin' Around" plus Artist of the Day!

Hangin' Around
Today's addition to my Daily Paintworks Gallery is my original pen & ink rendering, "Hangin' Around".  Although they can be somewhat bothersome and a nuisance when it comes to your garbage cans, you will have to admit, raccoons sure make cute subjects for wildlife portraits.  This original rendering was done on Bristol Board paper, using mostly line work and stroke work.  This image has been quite popular as note cards and as a laser-engraved image on various fine wood gift items in my product line.  If you are interested in any of these items, as well 11 x 14 matted prints, please visit my website or storefronts at Etsy and FineArtAmerica.  At FineArtAmerica as well my website, you will find "Hangin' Around" in the Wildlife Gallery.  My Etsy Shop has no specific categories, so you'll just need to scroll through the listings.  Links are provided here for convenience, and also in the side panel. The link beneath the image will take you over to the auction page at Daily Paintworks.  From there, you will also be able to view and navigate to all of the other original pieces that are currently listed at auction, and how many days remain in their respective auctions. 

As I've been mentioning all week, I plan to use and expand a regular feature of my monthly newsletter, which is now on hiatus - the Artist of the Month spotlight.  So let's kick it off with today's edition of the blog.  Still not sure if it will be Artist of the Week or Day, and since I'll be on vacation in FL next week, I may not be able to figure that out until I return.  So for now, let's just call it Artist for Today.  

Ringtail Lemurs
My first official Artist for Today is one of my FineArtAmerica colleagues, Heather Ward.  Heather is from Los Alamos, New Mexico, and has been working in a number of different media, to include Scratchboard, Pyrography, Charcoal, Graphite and Pastel.  She has always attempted to be as realistic as possible in her renderings, and places a high value on accuracy and detail, something which I am very familiar with through my artwork.  Here are a few examples of her work, in different media.  Ringtail Lemurs is one from her Scratchboard Gallery.  The link beneath the image will take you over to that page, where you can see a larger version.  

Eyes on You is an example of one of her Pyrography pieces, which is another name for Woodburning.  Here, she used one of her favorite reference photos on a piece of Italian Poplar.  A Pair of Penguins is an example of one of her Charcoal and Graphite pieces, this one done on Smooth Bristol Paper.  Click through to their respective pages, or use the link here or in her name to get over to her Profile Page at FineArtAmerica.  And here is a link to her website:  Heather Ward - Wildlife Art
Eyes on You

A Pair of Penguins

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Soulful in Ink" plus Newsletter update

Soulful in Ink
Joining my gallery at Daily Paintworks today is my original pen & ink portrait, "Soulful in Ink".  Just prior to working on this piece, I had completed an earlier version titled just "Soulful", which was a scratchboard rendering.  As soon as I completed the scratchboard version, I knew that I wanted to try it in ink as well. I did, however, approach this from a different angle.  Rather than work in  the stippling, or pointillism technique that I often use, I worked most of this portrait with an ink brush, using a pen only at the end of the process, to add some layers of depth using cross-hatch strokes.  The scratchboard version was done on a small, 5" x 7" piece of scratchboard, while this Pen & Ink version measures out at 8" x 10", and was completed on an 11" x 14" sheet of Bristol Board paper.  Once I had the outline in place, the heavy areas of black were brushed in first.  Then I worked the face from the eyes out, trying to capture the "soulful" essence of the image, hence the title.  As usual, the link beneath the image will take you over to the auction at Daily Paintworks if you would like to participate in the auction.  Once there, you can navigate through to any of the other original renderings listed at auction. Each page will have information about the current bids, if any, and the duration of the auction.  Once I take a piece out of auction, it will be listed with a Buy It Now from PayPal option at a fixed price. Anyone interested in purchasing prints or note card packages should visit my website or my Etsy Shop or FineArtAmerica Gallery.  The links for all provided in the side panel. 

In other news, I've been mentioning all week that the Art from the Inkwell Monthly Newsletter will be going on hiatus for awhile, possibly to be retired permanently.  I've been finding that through the various Social Media outlets available, like Facebook and Twitter, as well as all of the online storefronts and galleries that I participate in, plus this blog, an email service for newsletters, etc. is not really necessary.  Everything that I was posting on a monthly basis in the newsletter, I can accomplish on a daily basis through the blog, and hopefully keep it fresher and possibly even more engaging to my friends and readers.  My Artist of the Month feature will likely expand to Artist of the Week, and quite possibly Artist of the Day.  I really enjoy searching for new artists to shine the spotlight on and introducing them to a new audience, while at the same time, providing my fans and readers, etc. artists' work that they may otherwise never know is out there.  And with all of these sites that I participate in, there is an unending supply of artists and artwork to feature.  So, I hope you'll continue to follow along, enjoying my artwork as well as that of the other artists that I feature here.  Any "Likes" and recommendations are greatly appreciated, and please feel free to forward the blog to friends and family and even folks you don't particularly care that much for.  You never know when someone may stumble upon that one piece of artwork that they just can't live without.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Buffalo Bill Cody"....FB pick of the day!

Buffalo Bill Cody
This will be a relatively short post today, as yard work is beckoning! Ah, Spring is here, I know where I'll be for most of the next 6 months.  Anyway, today's entry in my Daily Paintworks auction is my original pen & ink portrait of "Buffalo Bill Cody". This rendering was done in black ink using the stippling, or pointillism technique.  The link beneath the image will take you over the auction page.

Hunter, Scout, Indian Fighter, Showman; Buffalo Bill romanticized the West in his Wild West Show that toured through the Eastern U.S. and Europe.  William Frederick Cody got his nickname when he was contracted by the Kansas Pacific Railroad after the Civil War to supply the workers with buffalo meat. He proceeded to kill 4,280 American bison in an eighteen month period during 1867-68.  Still, another buffalo hunter, named Bill Comstock, claimed the name as well, so they competed in a buffalo-shooting match to determine who would have exclusive rights to use the name.  Cody won by killing 69 to Comstock's 48. 

Anyone who has been following my blog posts or my Art from the Inkwell Monthly Newsletter for the past few years is familiar with my "Artist of the Month" feature that shines the spotlight on one of my artist colleagues from my various online storefronts and galleries, like Etsy and FineArtAmerica. Well, Daily Paintworks has a similar feature on their Facebook Page - Daily Paintworks Picks of the Day.  I am very pleased to mention here that "Buffalo Bill Cody" has been selected as one of Daily Paintworks Picks of the Day for today.  Here is a link to the Daily Paintworks Facebook Page if you'd like to check it out and perhaps give me a "Like" while you're at it.  Of course, check out all of the other artists as well.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Geronimo" March's Artist of the Month

Today's entry in my Daily Paintworks auction is "Geronimo", an original pen & ink portrait from my Faces West Gallery.  This rendering was completed  using the stippling, or pointillism technique, with black and brown inks, which gives the portrait a sepia-like look, sort of like the old tintype photographs.

Geronimo was born in 1829 in what is today western New Mexico, but was then still Mexican Territory.  Embittered by the murder of his family by Mexican troops in 1858, Geronimo and his band of guerrilla warriors ferociously fought and terrorized intruders entering Apache lands of the Southwest.  In 1875, all Apaches west of the Rio Grande were ordered to the San Carlos Reservation.  Geronimo escaped from the reservation, and for more than a decade, managed to elude the troops who gave chase.  When Geronimo finally surrendered in 1886, he was the leader of the last American Indian fighting force to finally capitulate to the United States. 

The link beneath the image will take you over to the Daily Paintworks auction page.  Once again, Daily Paintworks is strictly for the sale of original artwork.  If you are interested in ordering prints or note card packages of any of the work you see there, please visit my website, or any of my other online storefronts or galleries.  The links to these sites are located in side panel.  In particular, you may want to check out my Etsy Shop or FineArtAmerica Gallery to take advantage of the specials I am running on these sites through the end of the month.

Flower Girl
Yesterday's featured Artist of the Month (for February) listing was Dirk Dzimirsky, from Germany, and continuing my International theme again for March, allow me to introduce you to Natasha (Natalia) Denger, originally from Ekaterinburg City, in the Ural region of Russia. Natasha has been living in the US for the past 12 years, and has been a member of FineArtAmerica since July of 2012.  Art is Natasha's passion, and she has been drawing/painting ever since she was 8 years old.  She has many small sized original drawings and paintings, which make great gifts for any occasion, and as you can see, the work is realistic, finely detailed and carefully finished.  

Pictured here are some examples of her work.  Flower Girl was completed in Graphite, while Cold Stare was done in Charcoal Pencils on Canson paper and Owl Drawing was done in Colored Pencils.  Click on the images to view the larger versions of the artwork.  The link in the title above will take you over to her Profile page at FineArtAmerica.  Many of Natasha's original drawings/paintings are for sale, and you can contact her directly through FineArtAmerica if something strikes your fancy.  She also accepts commissions for original pet/people portraits.  Here are links to some of Natasha's other galleries/storefronts.

Cold Stare
Owl Drawing

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Chin Shu" and more.......

Chin Shu
Well, this is a first.  I've now reached the plateau of 3 consecutive days of blog posting.  So let's keep the streak going! Today's entry into my Daily Paintworks auction is "Chin Shu", a Siamese Cat that adopted me many, many years ago, and this portrait was done in her memory. I completed this portrait using black and brown ink pens, utilizing stroke work in combination with stippling, or pointillism.  I used Rapidograph pens for the black portions, and Micron pens for the brown portions.  Please contact me if you'd like a portrait of your pet.  I work from photos, so you can either send me your favorite pictures by email or regular mail.  The link beneath the image will take you over to the auction page for "Chin Shu", and once there, you will be able to see the other originals up for auction, and navigate to their respective pages. Right now, each auction runs for 5 days, but since they rotate and overlap starting days, they will all be ending on different days.  You will be able to see how many days are left in each auction if you would like to get in on the fun.  If a piece does not sell at auction, it can either be re-listed, or I'll assign a Buy It Now through PayPal fixed price to it.  So, if a particular piece really grabs you, and you have some upcoming gifts to give, or are just looking for wall decorations for your walls, jumping in to the auction might be the way to go, as my fixed prices and commission rates are generally higher than what they might sell for at auction.

Black Sun
As I mentioned yesterday, I'll be retiring the Art from the Inkwell Monthly Newsletter for awhile (perhaps permanently).  This month's edition (March) will be the last issue while I figure things out.  However, I still have some catching up to do. Today's listing of one of my recent Artist of the Month selections is a real treat:  Dirk Dzimirsky

 All I can say about February's featured Artist of the Month is WOW!!!  I was actually going to look for an artist from my colleagues, and aim for that international flare again, when I received this notification about a new member to FineArtAmerica, and wouldn't you know it, he hails from Bocholt, Germany. So, my search was a rather abreviated one, and as you look over his examples here, I'm sure you can see why.

Dirk has mastered the art of photorealism with his larger than life drawings.   His works have been shown in worldwide exhibitions, featured in art magazines, and recently published in the Huffington Post.  All images can be viewed and purchased directly from Dirk's Profile Page.

Dirk tries to capture a person's presence and inner self.   He portrays not only the physical attributes but, more importantly, the subject's inner presence of life.   His approach is both representational and lyrical - using marks like words and textured areas like paragraphs.   All parts of a whole, telling a story about a human being. He chooses drawing over painting because it allows him to create layers upon layers of lines and dots which react to each other in order to create a vibrant texture with directions and movement.   This approach enables the finished work to be viewed more by the "senses" as opposed to the standard visual observation of a photo.

Here are a few examples of Dirk's work, and you really need to click through to their respective pages on FineArtAmerica to fully appreciate the power of his work.  Again, these are NOT photographs, but drawings in graphite!  Enjoy!

Deja Vu
Drawn Face VI  



Friday, March 22, 2013

"Eyes of War" and more.....

Eyes of War
Today's entry in my Daily Paintworks auction is the original graphite portrait, "Eyes of War".  The link under the image will click through to the auction page over at Daily Paintworks.  You can check on the other current auctions from this page as well.  I'm running each auction for 5 days (at least for now), and each auction page will let you know how many days are left in that particular auction.  At the end of each auction period, if the piece hasn't sold, I'll have the option to re-list it again, or post a "Buy It Now" button through PayPal.  Some originals that I post will go directly to the "Buy It Now" status with a fixed price, while others will start off as auction items.  I'm just getting the hang of this site, so I'll be experimenting a little as I go along.  Anyway, since I have a lot of originals in my portfolio, it will be an ongoing work in progress getting them all listed here.  Plus, I'm always working on new pieces.  I now have three new pieces that I need to get scanned so I can start posting them to my various online storefronts and galleries.  So stay tuned!

As part of my catch-up mode from yesterday, I'll take the next few days to also play catch-up with my recent "Artist of the Month" selections from the Art from the Inkwell Monthly Newsletter.  In December, I posted a Year in Review blog, featuring all twelve of the selected artists from 2012.  You can always check out previous blog postings through any current blog that you happen to be reading. I should mention here that I will putting the Art from the Inkwell Monthly Newsletter into "sleep" mode for awhile, which means that this month's issue (March) will actually be the last one for awhile.  Since I will be much more diligent regarding the blog, it just seems that there is quite a bit of overlap and duplication of efforts, so I will be streamlining.  Since I really enjoy introducing my friends and readers to the work of other artists, look for "Artist of the Month" to be a regular feature of this blog.  In fact, with so many other sites that I participate in, I may adapt that concept into "Artist of the Week".  Plus, any specials that I am running through my Etsy Shop or FineArtAmerica Gallery, can just as easily be posted here as in the newsletter, and since everything goes directly to my Facebook and Twitter pages, it just seems that a little consolidation is a good idea.  So, without any further ado, let's get to the previously featured Artist of the Month for January:  Beth Wold.

Cheetah Wildlife Art
Beth is a fellow Etsy Shop owner, and I noticed her stunning wildlife photography portraits as I prepared for the January newsletter.  I immediately added her to my Circle and Favorites list.  Although Beth currently calls Grand Forks, North Dakota home, she grew up in South Africa, and her love of wildlife and nature was inspired by family vacations at Kruger National Park.  

Beth spotted her first Leopard when she was 5 years old, and has been obsessed with big cats ever since. Beth is mostly self-taught with photography - through obsessive reading and research, but she also has attended the University of North Dakota to obtain her photography degree and graduated in December, 2012. Click on the images below to view the full-size versions in her Etsy Shop, or click on the title above to go to the main page of the Etsy Shop.  Beth has a second Etsy shop:  Photography Source  and you can also see more of her work on her website:  Wold Photography 

Wolf Wall Art
Leopard Wall Art

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Catch up time again!

Charles Bronson
Seems like I'm always playing catch-up with this blog, so here we go again.  First of all, you'll notice the new gadget in the right-hand panel.  This will introduce you to the latest addition to my online galleries - Daily Paintworks. As I post artwork there, they will be added to the flash video, giving the blog a good teaser to the artwork.  The big difference with this site is that it is devoted to Original Artwork Only.  No prints or note cards.  This opens up quite a few options for marketing my artwork.  I can set up a "PayPal Buy It Now" URL, and list the asking price for the piece.  I can also list it in the Daily Paintworks auction, which I can run for anywhere from 3 - 7 days.  I can even cross-post over to the eBay auction. Once the auction is over, if it hasn't sold, I can re-list it at auction again, or move it over to the Buy It Now status, and rotate it back and forth as much as I want until it sells.  The first piece listed at auction is pictured here:  "Charles Bronson".  The link below the image will take you over to the auction page where you can get in on the fun.  Teaser Alert:  typically, these auctions start at much lower prices than what the usual asking price or commission rate is for original art.  So, if there is something you've had your eye on for awhile, now is a great time to check out the auction. "Charles Bronson" has about two more days left in the initial auction.  As you can probably guess, I'm already behind in posting the pieces listed in the auction, so I'll continue my catch-up mode here and post thumbnails (to save space) of the other originals already listed in the auction, with links to their auction pages.

Eagles in Ink
Castle Hill Lighthouse

So, there you have it, at least for now.  You'll notice some additional images in the Daily Paintworks flash video.  These are images I've posted to my Daily Paintworks Gallery, but they haven't been listed for auction yet.  Fear not!  Over the coming days, as they rotate into the field, I'll post them here with links to their auction pages.  I guess this is one way for me to finally keep up with this blog on a much more consistent basis. 

Finally, as I stated earlier, Daily Paintworks is for Original Artwork Only!  So if you don't see one of your favorites posted here, that means it was probably a commissioned piece or one that I've already sold.  Prints and note card packages will still be available on my website, Etsy Shop, or FineArtAmerica Gallery.