A surprise pet portrait makes a great gift

Happy New Year everyone!

Here is a recent pet portrait commissioned by a friend for her significant other. She was going to be away over Christmas and arranged the painting commission as a surprise gift.

Willa, the lovely pooch on the left, really does have only one eye – ’tis not a mistake people.

New Mexico Dogs, Oil on Canvas, 18 x 18"
Willa and Pudu, Oil on Canvas, 18 x 18″

I tried to capture the initial reactions and expressions of the recipient at the “unveiling” in my studio. He was pleased. Surprise paintings make great gifts!

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Pooches

There is no commission I like better than a good purr or pooch face. Here is my work from this past week. Thank you to the client and all who advertise my art – I appreciate you!

For other finished pet portraits and commissions visit my website.

dawgs

Weekend Work…

My new job has been keeping me very busy but this Labor Day holiday gave me some time in the studio.

I’m going to make an effort to draw this week, whether it’s on my lunch break or just after school. This statement here will hopefully hold me to it despite the fatigue I will undoubtedly feel. Don’t get me wrong, I’m LOVING the job… it’s just that hanging out with ten year olds all day tuckers me out, as I’m sure you can imagine. hee hee. I’m hoping I’ll get more used to this energy demand as time goes on. I’m feeling very inspired from this new change in my life and I know it will show through in my artwork this autumn.

studio set-up today... lots of beverages
on the desk… lots of beverages

 

cat cartoons
cat cartoons

New Academic Space

I finally got around to cleaning, lowering, and changing the angle of my drafting table in the studio. The result is a large space to pile my books and notes, sketching, reading light, beverage, computer and cats. I also imagine this will be a better place to work on watercolor painting – safe from oil paint residue.

I expect much mind expansion as a result.

ps. Can you see one of the reasons I named my cat Dragon?

pps. Please excuse my ill-fitting old t-shirt and zebra-print chair-fur-control-system

Dragon inspects new studio "thinking" space
Dragon inspects new studio “thinking” space

Winter Walk: a revamp

My new painting Winter Walk is complete:

Winter Walk, Oil/Canvas, 16 x 20"
Winter Walk, Oil/Canvas, 16 x 20″

If you recall, last week I decided to re-work a painting I made earlier this year. I tried to document the change so I could show you on the blog… but half-way through I became too immersed to take photographs. Oops. Hopefully you can still see how the old painting acted as a foundation for the new one:

Winter Desert (title before piece was entirely re-worked)
Winter Desert (before piece was entirely re-worked, and re-named)
in progress 01
in progress 01
in progress, 02
in progress, 02
in progress, 03
in progress, 03
in progress, 04
in progress, 04
in progress, 05
in progress, 05

Just add a dog

Advice for artists:

I’ve been testing a theory that if you don’t like a painting you’re creating, simply add a dog to the image. Now, I’ve only tried it out a few times but so far I’ve been quite happy with the results.

I’m not done working on this painting but thought I’d show you the pooch I painted in today. I was out on the town this Spring making my watercolor portraits of Portales when this guy scampered by, shaggy fur blowing in the breezes, sunlight catching his chinny chin chin. I snapped a photo for future use and am so glad I did. It made me deliriously happy to paint him.

Just ignore the chaos currently surrounding him… it will all be worked out soon 😉

Desert Dog (in progress detail), oil/canvas
Desert Dog (in progress detail), oil/canvas

 

Painting winter in the summer

There is something very satisfying about painting snow, blankets and a stormy sky when it’s actually hot, dry, painfully sunny and… hot outside. Don’t get me wrong, I love the heat… but I love wherever my imagination takes me more.

Here is the latest Quilted Landscape painting featuring a dear friend’s polydactyl cat:

Cosy Desert, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Desert Shelter, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″ $200

 

New knitting pattern released: Fat Baby Dino

Hello hello!

I’m excited to announce the test-knitting phase of my latest pattern is complete and the stuffed-toy pattern, (complete with video tutorials) is now available on ravelry.com and the Multicraftual etsy shop! For more information on this pattern and to see pictures of completed projects, visit the multicrafual blog.

This brings my total number of published knitting designs up to 5 with two more shawls in the test-knitting phase. Stay tuned for more pattern releases!

My designer page on ravelry.com
My designer page on ravelry.com
Chaz one of the four feline co-hosts of the Multicraftual video podcast meets his new friend
Chaz one of the four feline co-hosts of the Multicraftual video podcast meets his new friend

An update letter to my dear readers

Dear readers,

Has it really been four months since I opened the virtual door to my studio and shared what was going within it? Wowzahs.

Let me tell you, I knew this year would be busy but I really miss sharing my day to day – or at least week to week – progress with you. I don’t think there is an easy way to catch you up on all my work but I will try my best to give you a taste. I apologize for the poor quality of the photographs : I’m using my phone camera to maximize efficiency!

1. Illustration for the biology textbook has been an ongoing project since the Christmas/holiday season. This consists of researching, traditional sketching and working with digital illustration programs. I usually spend my mornings on this project. Below is a drawing in progress from the past week.

biology textbook illustration in progress
biology textbook illustration in progress

2. Next, I give you three 8 x 10″ oil paintings in progress that are being worked en plein air in my town, Portales, New Mexico. (They’re just sitting on my easel to dry between painting sessions… it’s the only place my cats don’t seem to mess with them!) They belong to a series of paintings of the Southwest I have been developing sporadically for the last few years . Working on them has been a nice complement to my “Portraits of Portales” project which I focussed on all autumn, and have tried to make a bit of time for in 2014.

en plein air paintings from Southwest series - in progress
en plein air paintings from Southwest series – in progress

I believe I have mentioned the “Portraits of Portales” project before and will certainly mention it again. My intention is to publish them in book form, rather than display them in a gallery. This will heighten the intimacy of the pieces and embrace my intention of creating a “keepsake” of this small town. But I will share more on that project at a later date. This week it has not been worked on so no progress pics here for you!

3. Also still in the works is my Crafty Coloring Book. I only decided this week that it needed to be pulled to the top of my priority list after the biology textbook illustrations. It’s delightfully fun to work on and provides a break from the technical illustration while still keeping me “in shape” drawing-wise.

portion of a coloring book drawing in progress
portion of a coloring book drawing in progress

4. Lastly, I have been spending my evenings finalizing three new knitted shawl designs. Two are in the test-knitting phase and the third is close behind. The motivation behind this project? A fast-approaching deadline!

Detail of the Happy Happy Shawl in progress
Detail of the Happy Happy Shawl in progress

On April 1st the Multicraftual Podcast Ravelry group will be casting on any of my knitted designs. For two months participants will post their progress and finished object pictures in the corresponding group discussion threads to win prizes. There will be coupon codes for discounted pattern prices and other random goodness distributed via the video podcast I host with my long-distance bestie Liby Ball. If you are interested in watching our podcast while sitting down with your own knitting or crocheting, go check out the Multicraftual blog or subscribe on iTunes!

As you can see, if you’ve read this far… I’m keeping busy! In fact… a little too busy. I’m the kind of person who can sprout in every direction and need intense pruning to look at all respectable. I’m currently reading “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. Perhaps I will give a review on that when I finish it… hahahahahaha… first I will have to learn how to reign in my many projects, harness my creativity and GET THINGS DONE.

Wish me luck!!

If you’d like, tell me about what projects you’re working on and what creative activities you’re most excited about in the comments section below. Are you a see-one-project-through-to-the-finish-line kind of person, or a wildly-sprouting-crazy-face like myself? It’s time I get to know YOU more and try to enhance the online creative community.

Thanks so much for reading!

Jessie