Tag Archives: portraits

Weekly Art Challenge: DETERMINATION

Hey Folks!!

This week’s theme is DETERMINATION and it appears that we all were feeling determined to complete something of importance.

RJ – CowAcrylic on Canvas

RJ is determined to create a large-scale acrylic painting of this sweet jovial cow! He is in the beginning stages and doesn’t want to rush the process – slow painting is part of the goal – but will keep us informed as he goes! and THAT FACE! Who doesn’t want to be nuzzled by such a face? The bold choice of colors compliment the cheerful persona of this cow and the perspective creates an intimate connection between the viewer and subject. Can’t wait to see it finished!

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Karri – Prayer

“I posted this sculpture in a previous post when it was in its beginning stages. It has taken months to get to this point and is still not complete. There have been days when I look at it and think, “it’s made of paper, and I could just set it on fire!” Lol. Having said that I am determined to make it work.”

Wow, this piece has come along since the first time we saw it! She still so intense and focused internally, that I almost want to tip toe around her so as not to disturb her. I imagine that the intensity and focus felt by myself and other viewers is a reflection of the determination Karri is feeling while creating her. Don’t burn her, Karri! She is just as determined as you! Another piece that I can’t wait to see finished! 🙂

karri determined

 

Bethany – Determination – Pencil on Paper

“There are many things I’m determined to have, to complete or keep up in my life. Things like getting the dishes done, keeping the toilets clean, homeschooling my son and being a wife. But there is one thing WE have been determined to have….another baby. So this is my baby in the womb, holding my heart cause it’s my greatest determination.” 
There is a lot of love and longing in Bethany’s piece and statement. I like how her determination for her family to grow is expressed with a clear drawing of the child holding a meticulously shaded whole heart and surrounded by undetermined scribbled lines. The scribbled lines representing in once sense the womb and internal spark of her desire and determination, but in another sense the scribbled lines also express that little else is as important to her than both present and future members of her family. Lots of luck with your determination! Any child born into a creative loving family is a lucky soul! 🙂

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EmilyMan, Acrylic on Canvas Board

“A while back I started a painting to practice painting skin because I was awful at it, today and thanks to this challenge, I FINALLY finished it like I had wanted to. This challenge was me being determined, and thank you whoever chose this theme because I really don’t think I wouldn’t have finished it without feeling determined to do so for this challenge! aha”

Painting skin can be one of the most stressful accomplishments for an artist! Emily’s work since joining our group has continually and happily surprised me.  Just when I think I have a grasp on her evolving style she presents us with a piece that exhibits her growing talent in a different direction. I love the man’s facial expression. You see an elderly man with wrinkles, thinned hair and aging spots; but his eyes and countenance express an observant and youthful mind. Great Job!

Emily determined

 

Amber –  Nadia (Mix media on paper) and National Parks (Photographs)

This week was particularly hectic for me. I was making my final work-trip to Southern Utah and I was working nonstop on the final piece (Nadia) for a portfolio I needed for a residency application. My determination to complete the piece in time for the deadline was a success by three days! Yay me!!

Nearby our job-site are a few national parks and I was determined to see as much as I could before work took me away from this magnificent landscape – its not often that I am in this area of the country. I didn’t get to go on the long day hikes as I hoped, but I did succeed in seeing a clear view of the La Sal Mountains from where I stood at Balancing Rock – the first time I was there the mountains were hidden by clouds. I also drove through the CanyonLands and got a small taste of the adventures that I could have, since I am determined to visit again. AND I finally saw Newspaper Rock. I have seen photos of it for years, and saw the sign every time I passed the entrance to Canyonlands. I am fascinated by petroglyphs and the nameless artists who created them thousands of years ago.

 

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Nadia

 

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La Sal Mountains from Balancing Rock in Arches.

 

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Driving into Canyonlands

 

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Newspaper Rock

 

Next theme: VAN GOGH!!

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Weekly Art Challenge: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE!

Hey there folks!!

This week the artists and I tackled the theme: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE! 

 

Tony: Wilderness Woman, Color pencil on paper –

“my drawing is about the wild things hidden in humans. Especially women: There’s a singer I have listened to for many years, every time he sings about women, He describes them as wild, impossible to tame, mysterious, and free. So I wanted to integrate all of the wilderness in a woman’s personality in my drawing. Animals, oceans, the moon (and natural long hair). They all represent the wild in women.”

I love Tony’s imagination and bold colorful style; and, I love how he perfectly captured all the things I (and several girlfriends) love about being a woman!

In Tony’s image the woman sits confidently in the nude, exposed as if to say that there is nothing more to show; but in reality she still has plenty of herself hidden in the layers of hair or her inner thoughts peeking through the smoke as it gravitates toward the moon. Tony’s piece is a reminder that no matter how well you may know a woman, there will always be more to know.

 

Dylan The Ticket Booth – water color sketch on paper.

“The portal to “where the wild things are”, for me, is a ticket booth. The threshold where the viewer is leaving one world and entering another that exists only in the mind of the artist, director, set designer, etc.  The viewer leaves one world behind and crosses into another to experience or perceive events that normally don’t occur in the daily routine; a place where you can experience the fanciful, outrageous, and the”wild things” of the fantasy world.”

I agree with Dylan, that there is a portal to where wild things exist – in her case the creation and mastermind of an artistic director – and we all eagerly buy our ticket to romp and roam with wild things. Like many folks I buy my ticket for a brief escape from reality – whether it be a carnival, concert, museum or plane – and save those tickets so that years later I can look at them and in my mind return to that wild adventure.

What makes Dylan’s piece so interesting to me are the notes for an art recipe above the ticket booth. It makes a viewer that much more eager to buy that ticket and see what is cooking behind the gates!!

Ticket Booth

 

Karri – Queen of all wild things and her domain,  Watercolor on Paper –

“This week I wanted to create an environment where I thought wild things might live. As I look into the oddly colored trees and shrubs I can see wild things running through the woods and slithering out of the water. Our childlike need for exploration enables us to look into this jungle and imagine the unimaginable.

I’ve also added a self-portrait inspired by the book “Where the Wild Things are”.  As the creator of this jungle I am now “Queen of All the Wild Things

First of all, I am in love with Karri’s self portrait as the queen of all wild things! The smirk on her lips and the sassy glint in her eyes is perfectly wild and mischievous. I love it and I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it myself! haha 🙂

Karri did an amazing job creating not one, but two pieces that complete her wild story. Her landscape has a prehistoric element mixed with early 80’s Hanna-Barbera animation and dash of Frida Kahlo’s jungle essence. Its the perfect recipe for landscapes loaded with wild things and of course there must be a queen!

 

Karri - wild things 1

 

karri - wild queen

 

Amber: The Tree House, Pen and Pencil on paper – ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ was one of my favorite childhood books. I still love to look through the beautiful drawings and get lost in Maurice Sendak’s wild imagination! He was a genius!

For this week’s theme I wanted to create an image that signified the strength of an imagination and how it can sometimes cross from nowhere(s) into reality, something that I took from Sendak’s classic story.

The tree house is a place where imaginations run wild. The wild things, or kids, are in their element of their own joyous creation. Everyone has had that one special spot as a kid that was their space free from adult rules on how to act. For a kid, and sometimes adults, these rules can be daunting and a creative drain. A tree house – or, in my case, an old camper or clearing between some bushes – is an escape and a space where nothing exists but what you want to exist.

 

The Treehouse

 

 

Next week’s theme: THE FAIR


Weekly Art Challenge 2.0!!!

Hey folks!

We haven’t worked on our weekly art challenge since the beginning of the year. Some of us were genuinely busy, the rest of us (myself included) were total slackers! haha, but here we are again, ready to get back into the swing of things.

The first theme for Weekly Art Challenge 2.0 is FEELINGS! 

 

RJ: Frustration, Acrylic on paper. – RJ was originally trying to convey the feeling of happiness through abstraction, but it wasn’t working out as he planned and instead of capturing happiness, he accurately expressed his frustration. RJ’s experience is common amongst artists. Our moods affect our work and our work can affect our moods. The choice of colors, the bold brush strokes and the way the darkness smears itself across the image, preventing the viewer from moving past the feeling frustration to the possibilities beyond the dark smear.

frustration

 

 

Tony: Happiness, marker on paper. – Tony set out to illustrate happiness and I think it would be impossible to look at his image and think it conveyed anything else but happiness. I like that his illustration literally oozes happiness. From the body posture to the choice of colors and supportive imagery, AND of course – in case you are not sure about the theme of the piece – the word ‘Happiness’ is written across the top in a bouncy la-la-la font. I can see this character in a children’s book or featured on a children’s television show. Young kids would definitely respond positively to this happy lil guy!

 happiness

 

 

Dylan: Loud Silence, found object – Dylan wanted to express the exhaustion of her feelings.

“I feel like I am only genuine in my emotions when I am working. Everyday life and most people drain me til there is nothing left. The energy is “turned on” only when I am working.”

Another relatable feeling. Those days when you must be “on” but in fact your feeling is more accurately described as “off”.  Its a struggle to effortlessly switch from one feeling to another and I think that struggle increases for those who are naturally empathic to other’s feelings.

Loud Silence

 

Amber: Invisible, mix media on paper (graphite, acrylic, watercolor, gesso, ink,  paper) –  I picked INVISIBLE as my feeling because I think it is a feeling that everyone can relate to, especially in an era where we are obsessed with putting our best face forward for the sake of the perfect [enter preferred social media] profile. I don’t want to criticize social media itself or point fingers and judge folks for spending too much time online, I am equally guilty of overindulging in social media as the next person. I am more interested in illustrating the desire to be seen, to stand out and still feeling invisible with the attention we receive. I wanted to illustrate the feeling of invisibility as a young girl awkwardly holding a bold and matured mask. The mask’s face reflects nothing of her real self, but instead reflects the performance of the visible her or the her that others prefer to see when they “see” her.

Perhaps we are so self involved that we all fail to see each other, thus forcing those around us to try harder to gain visibility? Or, we are incapable of seeing the real person before us because what we see reflects us more then them? These are some of the thoughts that were running through my head as I worked on my piece.

 

Invisible

Hope you all enjoyed this week’s art challenge. Next week the theme is: Repetition!!


Weekly Art Challenge: Artist Choice

Hey Folks!!

This week’s challenge was a two week challenge and the theme was ARTIST’S CHOICE.

 

Amber: Mother and Child, graphite on paper – This is not complete. I had to start over when I realize that my original composition was all wrong and not nearly as intimate as I wanted the piece to be. I am making this for a very dear friend of mine to give as a holiday gift to her younger brother and his wife. There is still a lot of work to be done. Her face is still a bit weird and I need to fix the problem areas, but so far I am happy with it. Color will be added and I am playing with some ideas on how I want to apply the color. I am leaning towards shades of cool charcoal and Japanese Maple for the background and subtle color added to the figures.

mother and child


Weekly Art Challenge: KLIMT

Hello Folks!!

The theme for this week’s friendly art challenge is Klimt! One of the world’s greatest artists!

 

RJ’sFireflies in Forest,  Digital –  RJ’s artwork was inspired by Klimt’s use of patterns and how he would engulf his subjects with interesting fabrics or nature. He started with a previous sketch he created of a young girl, added some color and envelope her within a firefly pattern. I love how the pattern of fireflies echo drawings of star constellations along the pensive expression of the young girl lost in her thoughts. The longer I view this piece the more I find myself questioning if she is actually in the forrest or is imagining a forrest filled with fireflies around her. The hazy glow of RJ’s color palette emits a dreamy vibe and only connects further with Klimt’s symbolist perspective.

 

 

Fireflies in the forest

 

 

Mine: The Innocent Kiss, reused materials, graphite, ink, acrylic – I love Klimt! His compositions, use of pattern and texture have always been an influence for my own personal work and I was very excited to take on this challenge. For my piece I wanted to play with the various characteristics that are attributed to Klimt, but still maintain my own voice and style. I began by white washing one of the abstract mandalas pieces from the previous challenge, knowing that the patterns would seep through the gesso, and referencing a photo of my cousin for the image of the young girl blowing a kiss. I used various materials to enhance the muted mandala pattern and added additional Klimt inspired patterns. Klimt is well known for his use of gold leaf and warm tones – I prefer silver and cooler tones, it works better with my mark-making.

I’m looking at this piece as being a pre-sketch for a possible larger piece. working on it allowed me a chance to experiment with some material and ideas that I was mentally toying with for awhile. The young girl will need some additional work to look more like my young cousin. Her mouth and hand is a bit awkward. I wish I had placed her a little closer to the center, but I wanted to use the patterns from the mandala and had to work around them. Over all, I am happy. It was a good challenge and gave me some ideas for the future 🙂

 

The innocent kiss

 

And for comparison, the blue Mandala piece from last week that was reused for this challenge. 🙂

Blue Mandala I

 

Next week’s Challenge: Hearts


Etsy November Sale!

Hey Folks!

For the month of November I am offering a 10% discount on all purchases from my Etsy shop. PLUS free shipping on custom drawings and paintings until the end of the year!

Portraits of loved ones make great holiday gifts!

Click here for my Palechick Studios Etsy shop and enter the code NOVEMBER2013SPECIAL to redeem your discount at checkout!

 

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Self Portrait (2011) Mix media on paper

Ginger (2012) Acrylic on Canvas

Ginger (2012) Acrylic on Canvas

Sammy (2012)

Sammy (2013) Acrylic on canvas

 

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RJ (2013) mix media on paper


PaleChick Studios Holiday Special

Hello friends, fans, followers, and friendly strangers.

My Etsy shop is up and running and I am currently having a special from now until New Years Eve. Free Shipping and Handling on ALL custom painting and drawing orders.

The holidays are just around the corner and a work of art depicting a beloved child or pet companion would be the perfect and most thoughtful gift for anyone. I offer payment plans and am not limited to the sizes listed. Any questions can be sent to me, Amber, at Palechickstudios@gmail.com.

If you would like your custom portrait before the start of Chanukah (11/27) please have your orders in by November 10th. All orders for Christmas should be in by December 10th.

Thanks and enjoy this wonderful autumn season!

Amber

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PalechickStudios

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Ginger (2012) Acrylic on Canvas

Ginger (2012) Acrylic on Canvas

Sammy (2012)

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Currently Untitled

I started this drawing in 2010 and two years later I still feel that it is unfinished. What I still need to do is to push the darks further toward a more darker velvety texture and bring in some additional mid-tones in the face so that it’s not too pale and washed out. From past experience of painting with Tea, I know I need to compare how the tea staining has changed since I first began the piece and then make some corrective decisions so that it won’t look awkward and unintended. The combination of  paper, type of tea and possibly even the brew strength and temperature of the tea itself will determine how well the tea holds up over time after application. Some staining will fade away while others lose the warm brilliant undertones that is immediately noticed and become a duller shade of amber.

Currently the drawing is sitting in my bedroom behind my dresser waiting for me to return from work. I am sure it would have been finished long time ago if it wasn’t for my job keeping me away from home for months at a time. At the moment there is no permanent title. I know I had a few ideas, I wrote some notes on the back and in a few sketchbooks and random pieces of paper, but still nothing concrete.

The idea behind the piece is the loss of youthful innocence and hard kept ideals through harrowing adult experiences and the desperate attempt to hold onto the withering stems of that former identity.

I choose to represent the youthful ideals through childlike drawings of flowers, the very same that I myself remember drawing in art class as a young child, their wilting embodies the loss of innocence. The figure – based on a photograph I took of myself years earlier when I was crying and feeling at my most distraught – will not look at the viewer or at the flowers instead she casts her eyes to the side and downward, feeling alone in her struggles and sense of loss. The colors are muted to reiterate her sense of loss. I left the figure herself black and white. It’s a bit of a preference of mine to appreciate the graphite marks, both subtle and dramatic, in a drawing and not cover them up with another medium. The figure itself is, in my opinion, the best subject to appreciate those drawing qualities that I love so much.

Most of my more serious work, the pieces on paper, tends to be strongly autobiographical. Like many other artists I use my own experiences as a well from which I draw inspiration from. This piece in particular reflected an emotional turning point in my life when I felt that I was no longer the same person and could never go back to who I was before. A moment that I am fairly certain every adult has experienced, its apart of life. I think the key is to not lose all of your previous self, to be able to still tap into that piece of you that  is still curious and wanting to see the possibilities of what stands before you, but balance our ideals and innocence with experience and wisdom.

Materials are Paper from a cheap roll that I bought in NYC, not sure of the makers, Tea bags, Teas, graphite and some graphite washes.