Today I would like to showcase to all you fabulous people, the wonderful talents of Matt Kaufenberg who runs the An Illustration-A-Day Blog. He did this delightful series of our favorite super heros on their day off. Love his style and his sense of humor! Check out Matt’s work today. Also check out his online store, buttons, prints and more! LOVE.
The endlessly talented Myron Sahlberg put out a book in 2011 of his portraits and other oil paintings from 1990-2011. It is an amazing record of his finished works and I have the honor of my portrait being featured inside. You can buy your very own copy on Blurb. As well as read my blog post about the process he went through painting my portrait.
In November of 2011 I started my first oil painting of a male. All my other portraits have been women, so I was excited to challenge myself with more dramatic/masculine facial features. I loved the dramatic lighting of this image. First I sketched the face out on canvas and layered on the first coat of paint, just finding edges and shapes. The nearly mono-chormatic coloring of the image was a new challenge for me as well. With only one eye visible, it put so much more emphasis on it. The need for that eye to pop off the canvas and draw the viewer in, was that much more amplified. After several sessions, over the past several months, of painting on this canvas I finally reached a point that I was happy with the outcome and I am delighted to add him to my collection.
This is my second finished oil painting in 2011, titled ‘Allure’. I have to say I’m quite smitten with her. I spent almost five hours with her on Sunday painting, tweaking, perfecting, gawking to a lovely mix of Celtic music. I love the allure of Celtic songs. This specific group of disks, is all instrumental, and quite lovely to paint to. I can’t even explain the amazing feeling of loosing yourself in creativity. All the sudden you find yourself hours later with a finished painting, and you can’t for the life of you, recall what you were thinking during it, but you’re so proud of the finished piece. My soul is properly cleansed.
Here are a few shots of the process it took to reach this beautiful painting.
In oils, you start with the darkest dark, so on my final session with her, I began reshaping her form and adding the shadows. I haven’t begun to blend yet, but it’s an important stage. She looks a little scary here I must say.
My final lady, Lady ‘Allure’ 2011.
As I said, I shamefully admit, I hadn’t painted in nine years. To had been taught by a master teacher like Myron Sahlberg, and learned so much, and then stopped painting is something I regret. But with all regret, comes the chance to change yourself and inspire another. So I begged my best friends to join me on my journey of self discovery, knowing that none of us would commit to something this self indulgent without the accountability of doing it together. So Jen, Heidi and I joined forces once week for six weeks for morning sessions of illustration at my house, attending as many they could.
The first day, I chose to do an oil painting, planning to paint on it over the full six weeks. While Jen chose pencil, Heidi watercolor, and eventually our friend Cory joined with colored pencil.
Half way through the first session, finally one of us said what we had all been thinking, “I suck”. Our own fear was creating self hate, but once we all admitted that we were feeling the same doubts in ourselves, and yet such love and support for each other, we realized the only thing we had to fight against was ourselves. After a nice cookie break, we all returned to our illustrations with renewed hope in ourselves.
And then it was just up to me to remember how to oil paint. The first session was a challenge. I wasn’t seeing the shapes and colors right, but I successfully covered the canvas. So each time I returned to it, I found the shapes that were wrong and continued to layer on the paint until it finally felt right. I can’t say this is perfect, nor the best piece I’ve ever done, but I’m so proud of it and I’ve only just begun the next one.
With all that is going on in the world and in my life personally. I realized I needed an outlet for my overwhelming emotions. With the passing of my beloved grandmother, who spent years of her life as an oil painter, I found myself missing her warmth and support. And my mom, who also went on to paint, has officially been taking chemotherapy treatments for over a year, and for anyone who has been through this or with someone who has done this, it is overwhelming, emotional, devastating, and inspiring. They are the two strongest women in my life, who inspired me to follow my passion for creativity, art and design and I realized I had not painted in nine years and that needed to change.
I spent some time reviewing my old paintings (show above) from 2000-2003, (Vixen 2002, Blue Moon 2002, Untamed 2001, Golden Glow 2003, Addict 2003) studying the colors, shapes, and edges. Two of which won me illustration awards in college. I love oil painting above all other forms and mediums of illustration, and vastly prefer portraits. There is nothing like capturing an emotion on canvas. The best part of painting, is loosing yourself inside it, becoming a part of the illustration.
Finally I selected what I would paint, and asked my best friends from college to join me on this journey of soul repair. Having them help me be accountable to the painting as well as helping support me as I supported them. And the journey began…
I am honored to announce that the amazing portrait painter, Myron Sahlberg has forever captured me on canvas. He was once an illustration instructor of mine and years later I was delighted to be a subject of one of his paintings and a study in edges. Leonardo da Vinci said if there is greatness in a work of art, it is found in the edge. I am always inspired and amazed by the beautiful work that Myron does, and once again he enlightened my artistic eye with this work of art and was gracious enough to share the process of creating the portrait.
On this sunny Minnesota Easter, I find myself daydreaming in my back yard, looking for bunnies to chase down a hole. Just to see what worlds may lie beneath. I have always dreamed of living inside Tim Burton’s head.
I am listening to The All-American Rejects “The Poison” and loving the illustrations on Igor + Andre. This illustration of Alice in Wonderland is positively delicious. She’s just the right amount of creepy and beautiful.