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The Story behind “Serenity”

Is there always a story behind a painting?  Well, no.  Sometimes paintings come just from my soul eyes.  Sometimes they are a direct commision piece, such as a pet portrait, or even a full on portrait, which I do sparingly.  Dogs don’t complain if they are old in the painting.  Rest assured no person wants to see what they actually look like!  (At least most).

But in this case, there is definitely a story.  I think it is an interesting one, so I’ll share it today.  Several years ago I went a garage sale and found a pack of 3  twelve by 36 canvases.  I bought it.  Once I got it home I began to wonder if I could paint watercolor on the canvas, as I had not yet ventured down that road.  Sitting on my couch, gazing out my window I noticed the color of the lake.  The color of the sky. and the colors in the mountains.  I thought, “I’ll just paint one of those canvases, sort of like an experiment, to see what watercolor would do on the canvas.  I painted what is now the center panel of the finished painting.  Once I finished that canvas I set it on an easel in the living room so I could look at it.  Once there I realized I really needed more. I wanted more of the lake.  So I pulled out the second canvas and working with the first one at the top of my table I was able to merge the colors and textures into a single image.  When I was happy, I screwed those to together and put them on the easel to consider.  Once there, it took only about 10 minutes to decide that I really needed to expand the sky.  The sky I was looking at at that moment was building in a rather stormy sunset.  I went back to the studion immediately and repeated the merge process so colors moved together in the sky.  Once dry, I screwed that one on top of the other two and put it on the easel.  Voila!  I had a finished piece…out of three!  I added more stability to the backs, ensuring they were now ONE, and ordered a frame.

And there you have it. The story behind “Serenity”.  Missing your view of Eagle Nest Lake? Missing the mountains that surround it?  Missing the spectacular New Mexico sky? It will hang like a window on your wall.  Need a payment plan or want to make an offer?  Just reach out and contact me.

Stay up to date with my offers and sign up for my email below.



 

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Thank you for your feedback and some reply to your comments

Hello!  First of all, thank you to all of you who completed my survey.  Please note that I intentionally left off your information so I don’t really know who said what.  There was a large consensus among many of you who completed the surveys and I’ll go over that in a minute.

First, many of you requested works (mostly florals) less than $500 in price.  I do want to remind you that there are actually some available right now. Second, I have confirmed I have about 6 unpainted panels that will fit that price range so I’ll be working on those first.  I’m very focused on reaching the widest market I can and while some work (already done, and few large panels left) are on the over $1500 range, I will continue to expand with both affordable ($500 and less) while meeting the needs of those of you that expressed that price was not a consideration.

Next in the process of the posts and the related email newsletters sent, there are many new subscribers to this blog.  To you who have subscribed to the blog, please consider signing up for the email.  You can find a link to do that on the home page.

I really very much appreciate the feedback.  I’ll do my best to keep all those comments in mind as I pull out the next few panels to paint!

Cheers!

Katherine

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So, what the heck is Scratchbord(TM)????

Some of my quickest selling works were done on Scratchbord(TM).  Say Whaaaat?  Scratchbord (TM)  Scratchbord(TM) is manufactured by Ampersand.  Ampersand manufactures multiple art surfaces, most common are claybord, aquabord, pastelbord and more.  The panels I paint on most often are Ampersand products.  Scratchbord is a clay coated hardboard panel for scratchboard that is coated with India ink. It is infinitely more durable and easier to use than traditional “Scratch” papers and similar surfaces that some of you may have used in school. The clay coated hardboard makes a rigid surface to work on, and when you use the custom tools like a tiny knife, steel wool and wire brushes you can take your time scratching through the ink down to the white clay methodically, allowing for highly realist images with depths of shadow.  The most well known of my scratchbord works is the pet portrait “Little Bear” which I posted in the December 4th issue on Pet Portraits.  I have, however done many others.  I love working with it.  It takes me back to my “drawing” roots which I began as a child, using pencils and charcoal sticks.  I can sit for hours scratching detail into the board. It is “zen” for me. Here are some images of the process:

First, a drawing on paper
Then, transfer drawing to board (outside lines only at first) then begin directional scratching
Adding in some color (inks)
The finished piece

I don’t always add in full color.  Sometimes just a touch is the right approach:

Daisies Daisies (sold)

Tools used in this piece were simple.  Everything but the centers was done with the knife (rightmost tool in the kit).  The centers, used the stiff brush (left most red handled tool) which creates multiple lines at once.  I hope this has given you a basic understanding of exactly what scratchbord(TM) is and what beautiful works can be created with this wonderful product!

 

 

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At a Crossroads

Standing at a crossroads.  It’s not unlike writers block except that I’m hoping I can ask you to help me decide which path to take.  My goal is to take my work forward, kick it up a notch or ten, reach higher, so to speak.  My challenge is that I am not sure which road to take.  I work in multiple media and differing styles.  Really just two styles, but radically different.  What I’ve sold over the years is predominantly what I call “interpreted realism”. In other words, there is no doubt what you’re looking at, but it is exaggerated in some way, such as in value contrasts, color, intensity and boldness.  On the other hand is the highly realistic work, which I tend to do in pastel or watercolor.  Some samples are below.  I’d love to know what you think.  Pursue more detailed realism or focus on how I interpret realism.  The first four are more traditional realism, the last four are more interpreted realism, but you can see, there is a difference.  It’s not that I would never do one or the other again, but that I want to focus on  developing one style or the other. I’d love your feedback, and thank you.

 

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New Work Added

It was a startling discovery.  I had been painting alot since I closed the physical gallery (Angel Fire ArtSpace), but until I made the decision to make this site my “studio” plus Music From Angel Fire, and the occasional estate art sale, I really didn’t realize that I spent all my time updating the pages of every other artist…and not my own!  So, after the monster task of taking off most of what I spent a year putting on, I spent much of today adding in what I’ve been up to, and there is more to go!  It’s funny, I didn’t really realize that I’ve been on a tear with pastel!  I do love doing pastel, there is something that links back to the charcoal stick in my hand when I was 10.  I only posted one pastel, but there will be more..it’s a matter of getting them framed.  It’s very dicey to sell and or ship unframed soft pastel, so I prefer to frame them before I put them here.  As  I look around my studio, I see at least 6 that are awaiting frames!  Egad!  All the more reason to get all the other works in acrylic online now, since they mostly don’t need framing since most of them are on cradled panel with painted edges.  Good to go, hung on the wall or set on a shelf, to brighten your room and and your smile!

Anyhoo…that’s it for today.  Eyes are tired and so am I.  More soon, so check back!

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SALE! Studio/Gallery Clearance!

Time to Clear it out and make room for new.  Ask me.  Ask Deborah.  It’s Spring Cleaning time for us, which means GREAT deals for you.  Some discounts a full 50%.  I don’t know how long it will last, but it’s here now and the deals are hot.  If you don’t want to use the PayPal link with the add to cart, it’s still easy.  Just contact me and we’ll work it out otherwise.  Seriously…look for the SALE stickers and note the original price…yowzers.  Time to redecorate!

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We’re here and growing daily! :)

You may have stopped by and seen the “This site is under construction” sign.  Well, it is, but it is finally “presentable” and that said, a great big “THANK YOU” is due my sweet husband.  I’m an artist.  I know how I wanted it to look and function but how on earth to get there in a complete re-do of the website.  Answer….pass the laptop to John.  🙂

So, for now, we have the following artists online here, with work available for sale:  Me (Katherine McDermott, Artist), L. Martin Pavletich, Deborah Flood and new to the Gallery…let me introduce Cathy McAnally Lubke.  Cathy was actually one of the most influential people in my artist past.  I took her watercolor class in 1996, in Eagle Nest, NM and essentially never stopped painting.  I’d been drawing all my life, but Cathy introduced me to watercolor and I fell in love!

Also on board right now is Roy Brown (ceramics/pottery), though his page is not quite ready to publish.  And coming soon, will be some fantastic unique and beautiful jewelry by Barbara Shewnack (Catspaw Jewelry).  Then there will be more, like Jennifer Cavan (Oil Pastel and Oils) and Pamela Kirk (Jewelry) and Nancy Angulo (sculpture and paintings).  Whew!

In the meantime, check for sale items because those will end soon.  So will the Free Shipping offers.  And if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to get news and specials advertised only in your inbox.

For now, it’s back to the studio.  In the midst of all this technical work, I must paint! 🙂

 

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