New Year, New Painting!

Beach Baby

I spent four weeks working on this painting. It is my first piece of art, for the new year. The title is, Beach Baby, which I got from the 1970s song of the same name, by the band, First Class. I’m often inspired to create art from song titles or song lyrics. The inspiration for this painting actually comes from a photograph, in one of my school yearbooks. It’s towards the back, where the graduates have their ads containing their baby/childhood photographs, along with congratulatory messages. I’ve always thought it was a cute photograph, so, I decided to paint my own version.

The little girl in the photograph looks younger than the one I painted, although some children have mature features at a young age. I think she still looks like a young girl. The hair is piled high and spilling everywhere and her swimsuit top is twisted more to one side. It captures childhood, since children aren’t concerned with looking their best, when they’re at play. At least, I don’t think so. It’s fairly obvious that she’s more interested in exploring the beach.

I had difficulty with the skin tone. It took some time to correct the shading and to get a somewhat, tan appearance. It’s still not that great, but I felt I could only go so far. Her facial features are much better than what they were before. She doesn’t appear to look as if she’s wearing makeup. Now, the “big eyes” may look a bit enhanced. However, young children often have longer eyelashes and rosy cheeks, which seem to last for only a short period of time. It’s rather difficult to capture this, but the “big eye” style, somehow helps me to do so. Her head and lower body are a bit off, I think. It was not my intention to paint her exactly like the photograph, so, that meant I made some changes and did some guessing, along the way. Her arms in the painting are positioned differently, from those in the original photograph. I worked on this for a little while, but I just decided to leave it. Again, you can only go so far. The background is very similar to the one in my “Dime Store Doll” painting- somewhat abstract and simple. It wasn’t too difficult. The sea foam color suits both the title and subject matter.

I’m slowly, but surely developing a “big eye” style. There are a few things in this particular painting, which I’m happy about. The swimsuit top has the fluorescent color that most swimsuits have and the little decorative details- ruffles and polka dots are a nice touch. In other words, I think it looks like a swimsuit should look. Also, her hair has nice detail in it. It looks like a hairstyle a little girl would wear, to a beach. Maybe a little mature, but still cute.

This painting was done on a canvas that I purchased at an estate sale. It was brand new- unopened and all. What’s unusual about it, is that the size 8 x 10 is stamped across the top of it and it doesn’t look like the standard 8 x 10 size. I did add gesso to it because the texture was pretty rough. Plus, it didn’t say whether or not the canvas is pre-primed, on the wrapper.

It is done in acrylic and measures, 8 x 10 inches (or so, it says).

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It’s Valentine’s Day!

A lovely Art-Deco, pin-up print!

It’s that time of the year again, to treat yourself or your significant other to something special!

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Mardi Gras!

It’s the last day of the carnival! Don’t forget to indulge in it and don’t be sad. It all starts again, next year!

A beautiful, vintage harlequin print, by the artist, Maio

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Modelling My Necklaces!


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It’s been a really long time, since I’ve posted a slideshow. It’s been on my mind, for awhile. So, I felt that this was an appropriate post to do just that.

Remember my necklaces? Well, I decided to show what they look like in three-dimensional style. It’s one thing to show the finished products, but another to actually show them off! I think I had as much fun wearing them, as I did making them! These are some photos of myself, modelling some of my creations, from the past two years. Enjoy!




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Icee Bear #2!

Lee’s illustration of a big eyed polar bear- So cute!

My “Icee Bear” illustration

I actually meant to post this illustration, back in October of last year. Unfortunately, I let time run out, so, now I’m posting. This is an illustration I intended to have airbrushed onto a hooded sweatshirt or t-shirt, at the State Fair.

You may have read or seen my post on this blog, entitled, “Iconic Icee Bear!,” where I discuss my “fascination” with the Icee Bear illustration. It is from quite a few years back. Well, this time I decided to illustrate an Icee Bear in an almost identical style, to the artist Lee’s big eyed polar bear illustration. It’s what you might call, “creepy-cute” or “creepy-charming.” Either way, I like it. It’s obviously from the late 1960s or early 1970s. The artist not only illustrated big eyed animals, but also big eyed children, capitalizing on the popularity of this particular style, during that time.

The polar bear’s eyes remind me of the large plastic/resin eyes, used on the Ty company’s plush animals. As I mentioned, I pretty much copied the artist’s illustration. However, I added the notorious “red sweater,” which the Icee Bear wears, plus, I had to add the Icee cup because let’s be honest, it’s not the “Icee Bear,” without the product it’s trying to sell. The bear is slightly “fluffier” than both the artist’s illustration and the original Icee Bear. Also, the right paw is covered by the Icee cup.

I’ve discussed how taking another artist’s work and making it my own style can be challenging, in past posts. The only difficulty I had with this, was adding the sweater onto the bear’s body, since the bear in the original illustration isn’t wearing any clothing. I had to guess where the collar should be and how the sleeve should look. I don’t think it’s quite right, but I felt I could get away with it, regardless. The eclipse on the Icee cup, I know, isn’t right, but I left it alone. It is disappointing that the letter “I,” on the front of the sweater isn’t showing, but it wouldn’t have been right to illustrate it, onto the back. It’s still a cute illustration and the bear looks like he’s been caught enjoying a treat, all by himself.

As it turns out, the airbrush artist who I had airbrush both my t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt from the past two years, wasn’t working at this year’s State Fair. So, I checked with other airbrush artists, but I decided against it. I had even put my illustration, as well as a print-out of Lee’s illustration, into a clear, plastic page protector, to make it easier for the airbrush artist, to refer back to it. Sigh. It is just a chance I took. I don’t feel that I did all of this work for nothing, though. It’s still an illustration I can put into my portfolio.

I used fine point Sharpie markers and thicker ones, too, to color this illustration. It measures, 8 x 10 inches.


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“Newest” Painting from Last Year!

St. Bernard of the Sunflowers

This is officially my “last” and “newest” painting, from last year. I took time away from it, for more than several weeks. I think almost two months, to be exact. Honestly, I was stuck on what to do next, since I knew the “grass” and “greenery” needed more lights than darks. Also, the “mountains” and “sky” needed to be painted and definition needed to be added, to each. Well, I finally got the energy to work on it this past week, and I finished it. I know it’s not the best, but I feel it will do, for now.

I chose a St. Bernard, because I’ve developed a fondness for them, over the years. Plus, I’ve never really concentrated on an animal for subject matter, in an art piece, except for a few drawings, from awhile back. As most of you know, I enjoy painting/illustrating “doll-like” girls as subject matter, so this is a good change. I think St. Bernards have great, expressive faces and are exactly what we call, “gentle giants.” The funny thing is, is that when I was very young, I was afraid of any large dog. Now, that’s not the case. Like many people in my age group, I saw the movies, “Beethoven” and “Beethoven’s 2nd.,” about the beloved St. Bernard family dog, who wreaks havoc in certain situations, but grows on you. I also saw, “Cujo,” the horror film, based on Stephen King’s novel, of the same title. Even though the dog is evil, I felt for him, regardless. So, I guess it’s easy to see where my love of St. Bernards, comes from.

I decided not to paint the stereotypical St. Bernard with a barrel around his neck, in the snow. I was more interested in a spring/summer scene, with the dog surrounded by flowers and a few mountains in the background. I selected sunflowers because I felt they would be a nice contrast in relation to the St. Bernard’s coloring. This type of scene has been painted and illustrated many times, as well. However, it’s hard to get away from it. If you’re not as familiar with painting or illustrating animals, it’s not necessarily a bad way to go, though.

This time, I painted on a burlap canvas which I purchased “brand new,” at a Goodwill store. I wanted to make sure and save it, for an appropriate illustration. That’s when I realized that I should paint a St. Bernard. They do have a rather rugged appearance, being rescue dogs and treading through the snow. So, to me, it only made sense to use the burlap canvas, with its coarse texture and neutral brown color. I had to research a tad bit, to see if I would need to use gesso on this type of canvas. I’m still fairly new with painting, so you’ll have to pardon my ignorance. I had never painted on a burlap canvas before, so I wanted to make sure to prep it, properly. Sure enough, I found that it is necessary.

I spent a lot of time on the St. Bernard, making sure the coloring and markings were accurate. I would say, I did a decent job. I found a couple of reference images on the internet, to use for the dog’s pose. Like humans, animals can be difficult to illustrate or paint, and when you don’t have a model, sometimes you just have to use a photograph or image, of some sort. I had quite a bit of difficulty, with the St. Bernard’s nose. I couldn’t get the shading quite right, on the very tip. It did take awhile, but I reached a point, where I figured it out. I’m not so sure every feature is exactly right, but I felt it was time to move on.

The sunflowers were actually not as difficult, as I thought they would be. As we all know, each sunflower or any other type of flower, is different. I think I was able to show that, in this painting. The seedlings are more prominent in some and not so much, in others. The petals are bent or pointed, in different directions. Again, I’m not sure about the light source or the shading. A lot of this, was done purely by intuition. The leaves and stems, as well as the greenery, around the St. Bernard, could still be lighter. However, I feel that if I keep working on it, I could ruin what I already have. It’s hard to know, when to stop, at times.

Now, the mountains and the sky were more simple. I’m concerned that the mountains may not be placed correctly, into the background, though. The canvas is “square,” and hopefully, they don’t look too forced into the whole painting/illustration. It’s hard to explain, but maybe looking at the painting closely, you’ll see what I mean. Obviously, it was fairly easy to paint both and shade them, accordingly.  I followed my intuition on these, as well.

The painting as a whole, is quite saturated and maybe the colors used, look as if they’re straight out-of-the-tube, but I can say, I’m satisfied. It’s certainly a painting, that could brighten up a room. I worked hard on it. Enough said.

This painting is done in acrylic and measures, 12 x 12 inches.

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Happy New Year!

Well, 2018 will be here, soon! Expect some “new” art/illustrations to be posted this week, at some point. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year!

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