Santa's Sangria

12 x 12 oil on canvas panel- sold
This is the painting I started on Tuesday during the session. I spent another hour on it last night repainting the hand and adding some details elsewhere. I sure like this guy's twinkle.
The painting below is the palette knife portrait I did on last week's session. I spent another hour on this one last night, too. I think the color is a little off true on both these photos, but close enough to show you what I've been up to.
I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgivings. I'm thankful for this community of vital, happy supportive artists I'm a part of here. Thank you all for caring to come by and visit!

Saint Tavy

It's either a halo or a moon. I keep thinking of Lady and the Tramp when I look at this little dog. All he'd need is some spaghetti hanging from his mouth. And, of course, no collar.

Second post in one day... A doggie start.

Start of an 11 x 14 oil on stretched canvas.
I'm not sure the "halo" is going to stay. I've sent the image to the commissioner to see what she thinks. The dreamcatcher in the background of the photo suggested the idea. The way I understand it, this dog is MOST precious to the mother of the siblings commissioning the painting for her. But I'm not sure the dog has attained sainthood. We'll see.
I often set my computer monitor up on the top of the counter in the gallery and turn it around so I can see the reference photo at its largest. Below is at the sketch stage. Great ear, right?

8x10 oil commission finished

Isn't this face sweet as heck? So enjoyable to paint!
Next up is a cute little dog for a wonderful blogger's mom for Christmas....

A finish and a start

8x10 oil on canvas panel, a commission due for Christmas. This is a portrait I started a week ago Tuesday online, with several members of her family (and the little girl herself) watching. No pressure there! I'd only gotten to paint for two hours that day and wasn't able to get back to it until today. I spent several hours at the gallery working on it today and like it quite a lot now. I used a dry brush technique that felt very much like the way I sometimes use pastels.

This is a start I made on an 8x10 oil on canvas panel, a commission due for Christmas. The photo reference was taken with a flash, but after my initial worry about its quality, I think the portrait is going to work out just fine. I'll post progress images as I go.

It's a sign of how kind my artist friends are that no one's called me on the fact that posting my goals update is WAY over due. Let's just say that for now I'm just going to focus on getting my Christmas commissions completed. The revamped website will have to wait.

La Villita has a big holiday event on the weekend following Thanksgiving and I'll participate in the "open house" atmosphere on Friday and Saturday by holiday decorating and having refreshments for the revellers. The lighting of the Riverwalk on Friday is a huge event each year and many thousands attend. Here's what the official Riverwalk website says about it:

At 7:00 p.m. on the Friday following Thanksgiving, the switch is thrown and approximately 122,000 twinkling lights form a magical canopy over San Antonio's River Walk. The lighting ceremony is the official kickoff to the Paseo del Rio Holiday Festivities. The spectacular one-hour parade features decorated, illuminated floats with celebrities, bands and lavishly-costumed participants. The theme for this year’s parade is a Theatrical Christmas.

Thanksgiving is just a week away, can you believe it??? I guess I'd better start decorating and figuring out what to feed the visitors to the gallery!

Painting from online session Tuesday

11 x 14 oil on stretched canvas painted with palette knife

A lot went wrong on the way to broadcasting this week's painting, but we all prevailed and this painting was begun. I have more to go on this one, but thought you might want to see the "so far." to see most of the painting of this portrait.

Two finishes

12x16 oil on stretched canvas

8x10 oil on canvas panel

Usually I'm giddy with joy at being here at the gallery and painting. Today's been hard. The changes in my life at home had me explaining "allergies" when visitors came in to find me sniffling. This afternoon a fellow came in saying he was on a scavenger hunt and needed to find someone to "paint his picture". (Meaning, 'free'.) Huh? I said I'd like to help but I was under lots of deadlines to get portraits done by Christmas. He persisted. He wheedled. I kept declining. He insisted. I finally said, quietly, "I said no." He turned on me then , leaving the gallery, half-shouting, "I'm telling everyone about you!" Huh?
Then an artist from another gallery came in and started critiquing the portrait I was working on. I didn't agree with her suggestion, but was polite and kept doing what I was doing. Then a visitor walked in and she asked, "Can I tell you another thing you should do?" I said, "No." Not taking no, she said, "It'd be a quick fix..." At that point, I told her not to do that in front of my customers and that I'd talk to her later, but "bah-bye now." It's wise that she left at that point.
Two people in a row who felt they could force me to do something I didn't want to do? What is it, my hair? Do curls indicate malleablity? My 60's African dashiki shirt? My initial politeness?
Who knows.
But then, soon afterward, two artists from the gallery next door came in and made me laugh and shared art stories and left me reassured that the world hadn't gone completely rude or hostile. Shortly following, someone bought one of my paintings to give as a gift. Nice.

Life is good. I've got lots of work, a home, family. A promising president elect. And most days aren't so hard.

Join me as I paint online today at 6 CST

I'll be starting a new commission of an 8 x 10 oil portrait of an adorable little girl later today. I hope you'll come by and keep me company and enjoy the company of the other artists who drop by. 6 p.m. CST

A finish, some progress and keeping on....

12x16 oil on stretched canvas
Both of these paintings have a lot of shine from the wet paint, but I think you'll be able to tell enough anyway. I believe I'm finished with the one above and pretty far along on the one below.

8x10 oil on Raymar canvas panel

My apologies to you sweet people who regularly check on me. I know I've been somewhat remote this last month or so. My parents just moved to San Antonio and I've been spending time with them and trying to keep up with my commissions and the bookkeeping that goes along with having the gallery. My daughter has started at a new dayhab and figuring out the transportation has been challenging. I've also been to lots of art receptions and am happy to report that I've won 6 awards in the last few weeks. Thrilling stuff, I know you know. Nothing says, "Keep going" like ribbons and checks!

In amongst all that thrill, though, my relationship unraveled and has ended. It didn't feel right to just not mention it here. Whether you know it or not, you folks are a huge part of my support system. Of course, I hope that it feels mutual to you. I'm sorry I haven't been more present on your own blogs lately, making comments and cheering you on. My life has been wacko, as you now know. In the future I hope to live up to the due dates on my portrait (and one landscape) commissions and find a way to have sanity and balance in all the facets of my life. Has anyone figured out the key to this? Care to share?

I'm old enough to have come to rely on this one fact: Every sadness, every disappointment, every loss, every devastation.... comes with a gift. Something good comes as a result. Every time. No exceptions. So I'm keeping an eye out for the gift. For now, I'm just staying watchful.

Nov 4 online painting - Yellow Lab

Today I started this 11 x 14 oil from this photo reference, and I continued work on it tonight on this evening. It was fun hanging out with the usual suspects and a couple of surprise visitors. But I completely forgot to push "Start Recording" so there's no record of the session. Ah well. I'll try to remember next time. Thanks, Ya'll!