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Friday, May 29, 2009

Painting, painting, painting!

Today I'd like to show you what I was working on earlier this month for a friend of my brother's. She wanted me to do a painting of her mother as a toddler sitting on her mother's lap (this friend's Grandma's lap). I haven't done any portraits for ages, aside from the occasional random sketch of a stranger while waiting for pizza or something. I decided though to take on this challenge and after agreeing on a price, size, and medium I went to work. We also agreed since it'd been a while, she wasn't obligated to purchase the finished piece unless she loved it! I was okay with that, since I knew I could salvage the canvas & either try to sell it as is or remove the portrait & use it for something else. This way, no pressure for either of us.

The biggest challenge was using the photo she gave me! This is something I swore off ages ago---unless I was able to collect my own image by drawing from life, or shooting my own photo, I'd refuse to do any painting commissions. That's usually part of my inspiration---the composition of light, shadow, color, all directed by me to create the final image. I was open to something new to push my creativity though, and decided to work with what I was given to see if I could succeed with something that made the both of us happy.

First off, here's what the original 3 x 3 1/2" photo looked like:

This is the initial sketch on the 12x12" canvas:

A close-up of the faces with the first layer of pastel:

This is about 3/4 finished---if not almost finished:

Here's the finished painting, after it was checked out & approved by the new owner:

With this painting I've learned to not obsess over exactness & to be satisfied with "close enough". Knowing that my buyer is thrilled and very excited with the finished product makes me happy too!

Next up: a poppy painting marathon...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Inn at Northrup Station

Recently we enjoyed an overnighter at a fun & funky hotel in NW Portland---the Inn at Northrup Station. We were wanting to celebrate Brad's birthday out and about like we did mine at Cannon Beach, but wanted some place unique & different, so it'd be memorable. We started by googling hotels in Portland, and although we found some nice places, nothing stood out. As Brad left to go get ready for bed, I tried one more attempt & googled funky hotels in Portland---that's when I discovered Northrup Station! It was exactly what we were looking for, and after Brad gave his approval we made our reservation.

We arrived an hour earlier than our check in time, but since we found parking right in front and we wanted to explore the neighborhood anyway we parked, then figured we'd see if we could check in already. The kind front desk fella totally accommodated & soon we were moving our things into our 3rd floor room! The place more than lived up to our expectations! We loved the colors and patterns everywhere, the mod decor, the atypical hotel feel. Of course we had the camera working overtime, capturing everything that caught our eyes!

This is actually a model of the Inn at Northrup Station. It's displayed in the lobby and shows how the place is located right on the trolley line.

Below are some photos of our room:

One of the many cool lights---this one in the stairwell. Can you see us?

Across from the lobby was the breakfast room where they served a complimentary continental breakfast each morning.

The check-in desk with the model display next to it:

Brad down the hall to our room:

My shadow and looking west from our little balcony:

The painting in our room---there were quite a few by this same artist throughout the hotel:

This shows the kitchen and office area in our room & Brad.

This is one of the 3 different light globes hanging over the kitchen island - & Brad again! Fused glass was used throughout the hotel, lighting the hallways, the rooms, and in the breakfast sun room too.

Lastly, our door into our room with the Inn's logo.

Truly a memorable mini-vacation for a couple of people that LOVE color & visual stimulation!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cargo Textures

A week ago, Brad and I were finishing up our overnight escape in Portland by wandering around the NW 23rd area, then the Pearl district where we stumbled upon Cargo. The flying paper banners, lanterns, and streamers blowing outside their front porch in the wind were hard to miss. Stepping inside the giant warehouse store was mind boggling, especially after we discovered the amazing textures on the furniture for sale inside! At first our eyes were assaulted by lots of little odd imported gifty items, but the further into the depths of this color filled store we went, the more amazed we became! Being the texture lover I am, I couldn't resist taking as many close-up photos as I could while we wandered this place. Then we discovered there was an upstairs too!! More texture love to collect! Here are some of my favorite texture pics:

Loved all that peeling paint revealing colors from times past.

This photo shows one of the areas downstairs where the light shining through the colored glass caught my eye.

Will write next about where we stayed in Portland---talk about fun & funky! Stay tuned!
P.S. visit my website to see some more artsy goodness---especially the jewelry page, soon to be updated with more treats!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

New Website + more spring close-ups

Well, if I've been absent, it's only 'cause I was painstakingly remaking all the template pages for my website which hasn't been updated for almost 2 years! That was when my hard drive died, eating everything including my website templates. Once they were all ready to save & upload, it became another week long chore to find a compatible ftp server. Eventually I did, and am so thrilled I'm back in biz with my art website once more! Check it out & let me know what you think. Any suggestions? More changes still to come, but at least now I can change it if I want!!

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a few more favorite spring photos I took a couple of weeks ago---before this week of non-stop rain...

p.s. These are all straight-out-of-camera images, no photoshop or other enhancements---yet ;)!