Awakening Sometimes Means Remembering

Awakening Sometimes Means Remembering

Awakening to My History

Sometimes, I discover a photo or some other record of something I have created in the past, awakening curiousity. I’ve happened upon these things and then wondered, “Who did that? I’d like to see more,” or “Oh, there it is!!” Other times I simply experience chagrin, “Oh yuck! I thought I destroyed all record of that!”

Right now I am in the process of cleaning up this site, as it is going to be merged with several other of sites into a single site which presents a more complete picture of what I have to offer. I stumbled across this post: What words describe this painting?
I wondered where I got the image, so I went in search of… It turns out it was from a two-sided 3D piece called Awakening which I made for the Outside the Box Show at Placer Arts.


I completed the piece, photographed it, and delivered it to the show in a short period of time. I really enjoyed doing it as much as any of the pieces I’ve done for that show, because of the incorporation of sculptural problems to be solved. Awakening represents a pleasing marriage of techniques used in my early sculpture work in graduate school and my current painting.

I don’t know where this piece ended up. The way that show worked at the time, I never found out who bought it. Here is the other side of it, which hasn’t been shared before:

Having found more bamboo out on my walks, I just might play with this idea some more. I am working at awakening my sculptural urges again, as well as the 2D work.

Image Capture

Image Capture

So, here is the final version of the Spirit Portrait I was working on. I added a few more layers of both transparent watercolor and then also of prismacolor pencil. Then I played a few moments with the new acrylic pen (black paint, as well as another with white paint).

I tried to tone down the hair, however, there was no way that it would have it. Calls um like I sees um, I suppose. It’s not always what I see with the physical eye though. Sometimes energy’s brilliance wins out.

After completing this one, I still had quite a bit of wet yellow paint because the tip exploded when I attempted to quietly un-clog it. I couldn’t figure out how to get it back in the bottle, so I grabbed a blank canvas and spread the rest of the yellow paint on it.

Next I took out the new black paint pen, because I wanted to play with it a bit more. I LOVE this pen. It really is exactly what I imagined it would be. This resultant painting is not particularly pleasant or good or anything, but it sure felt good and fun creating it.





There will be much more to come created using this new instrument. UH-huh. It sparked all kinds of ideas.

As Things Percolate – Pen and Ink

As Things Percolate – Pen and Ink

While my next big move is percolating, I fell back to my go to – pen and ink. . .

So the big idea about doing Spirit Portraits is in the works. Actually, I’ve fully realized that I have all that I need to do them at hand already, and that I myself am ready.

First off, I was making things far too complicated. I don’t need to re-invent the wheel. A good friend of mine pointed that out in a very kind way.

The least expensive Spirit Portraits will be done on 8.5″x11″ Watercolor paper. I will do the first few layers of background before someone comes to me, as that is the most time consuming part. Since I will have several done before a session, I can choose the background start that matches the aura/colors that I perceive. In this way, I should be able to complete the quickest portrait within 1/2 hour.

I’ll be next looking for a public venue to do portraits (like on a second Saturday). Any ideas?



The Joy of Experimenting – a Portrait Layer by Layer

The Joy of Experimenting – a Portrait Layer by Layer

One portrait layer by layer

 It’s so way past my bedtime. Still, I couldn’t make myself stop and go to bed. Although I had a reluctant model (she loves being her age, but does not like to look like it), my brush and pencils did not wish to quit.  This Spirit Portrait still has quite a ways to go. However, Prudence insists on having her way.

 I’m going to show you the process of painting this Inner Spirit portrait layer by layer.

Step 1a – Sketch in watercolor pencil. Sometimes I use prismacolor pencil, or Utrecht/Blick colored pencils. However, the watercolor pencil seems to prove the most flexible and quick on canvas for the portrait work.

Layer 1b – Wet watercolor pencil on face. The time benefit of this pencil is apparent in this layer. I can wash around laying in the basic skin tone at the same time that I start defining the shapes and shadow very quickly.

Layer 2 – Watercolor Pencil. Here, with both pencil and brush in hand, I lay out the basic portrait composition, quickly.

Layer 3 – I lay on broad areas of  transparent liquid acrylic, then cover those areas with plastic wrap, while they are still wet.

Layer 4. At this point, I enter a deeper engagement with spirit. There is a lot of joy in the process of finding what/who appears with my colored pencils. Sometimes they are readily visible, other times a bit more reluctant. Always there are surprises, and those who appear for others to discover, not me. I started my art journey drawing. It is my natural go to. It feeds that part of me  that loves to do detail and define surfaces.

I also use more very thin washes of the liquid acrylics for defining large shapes and shadowed areas, as well as even more plastic wrap to reveal any additional lurkers willing to be discovered with the pencil.

At this point tonight, it is far too late to continue. Suffice it to say, that I will keep building up the portrait layer by layer until the painting says it is complete.

Note: For the final image, reference the day I finished it.