Monday, December 31, 2012

Carl the Kangaroo

Christmas has come and gone. It was wonderful, spirited, loud, happy and sad. I loved every minute of time spent with five of our grand kids and their parents. We are blessed.
Remember when I posted about the movie "Parental Guidance" ? ( it was the "Movie Star" post) I went to see it the day after Christmas. My sweet daughters-in-law and the beautiful Mackenzie all came with me to see if my work actually made it into the film.
The good news that it's a sweet, funny movie. We all teared up at the end. The message it carries about family is true and heartfelt. The bad news is that only one of my paintings was actually used. If you watch carefully, you can see "Peace, Love, Dog" hanging over the stove, on the brick arch. It was three small paintings framed in an old window frame. My big deal commission piece of Carl the Kangaroo wasn't used on the mantle in the closing shot. I think a photo of Billy Crystal and his movie grandson beat me out.
So here's the painting. Carl is an imaginary friend; never seen on screen. This is my interpretation of Carl. I like to think that I captured his mischievous spirit and sweet soul.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Anatomy of a New Painting

Painting for a living is an unusual career choice. To say the least.
It took me many years to get here. Happiest and most content
I've ever been. I cannot imagine graduating from college and
choosing to be a painter. My path to this place has been long
and winding; full of ups and downs. I was and still am security
 bound - always keeping a sturdy safety net underneath..
Somehow, I have been able to make a living and pay the bills
with my pencils and paintbrush. It's not a lifestyle for the faint
of heart. Every show - gallery or out in a park - is a crap shoot.
You never know until the last hour if it's been profitable.
Anyway. I love love love that I get to do this every day. The
painting process is a constant surprise. Some weeks it's the
same old tried and true stuff. Comfy and safe. Once in a while,
new ideas show up and you have to follow them.
This week has been full of new paths. I can't leave the studio
or the work kind of week. Here's what's happening:
all my favorite components -
vintage paper on black tar paper or illustration board
loooose graphite sketches
caran d'ache ( I love you)
stabilo smushy pencils
some paint
some colored pencils
lots of loose marks and movement - so out of my comfort zone.
The first step:

Illustration board, vintage pattern pieces, map, book pages
Then I drew:
Then I added more color and shapes:
I am so pumped over this new process. I need more caran d'ache colors to finish.
Can't wait to see where this goes. Loving the ride.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Movie Star

"Parental Guidance" opens on Christmas Day. Billy Crystal. Bette Midler.
 Marisa Tomei. Awesome cast, right? 
 I will be in the audience on opening day.
 See, there's a chance that 3 of my paintings
will be featured in this movie. Cool, huh?
Atlanta is a hot spot for Hollywood. We have a great Film Commission
and tax breaks if you make your movie in Georgia. This one filmed last
fall in the 'burbs and in and around the city. The set designer visited
my wonderful gallery in Decatur, , and bought a
ton of stuff for the set. Two of my small paintings were included. I was
beyond excited to find out that I might get to see my work on a big screen.
A month later I got a call from the gallery asking if I would paint a commission
piece for the movie. I was so excited! I got the specs and knocked out the art.
It was a small and easy image to execute. I wish I could post a picture of it here
but that seems like a breach of trust before the movie comes out. Right?
The day I delivered the art to Wild Oats, the set designer came in to get the art for the following week's shooting. I was thrilled to meet him - he was so nice. He told me the
story behind the painting which made it much more special. One of the kids in the
movie has an imaginary friend who plays a major role. It was the
designer's idea to use a painting of the imaginary friend as
the closing shot of the movie. The director agreed.

Mr. Set Designer was very excited to have his idea accepted
 and I was over the moon just thinking about it.
There is no guarantee that any of my art will make it on screen.
 I will be sitting in the theater with my fingers crossed, hoping that
at least one of my paintings is visible in it. If the commission is the closing
shot it will be hard to be quiet. Very hard. I'm not known for silence.

 I'll keep you posted.