Trust the Process

Every May for the last 3ish years when I get my domain hosting renewal notice, I contemplate not renewing. $250 for something I rarely use seems a bit excessive yet the idea of closing this down and eliminating it from my history also feels too heart breaking, so I renewed for yet another year. Is there anyone who still reads here? Please say hi! Make me feel like that was money well spent…

Perhaps more people would read here if I actually posted something new from time to time (noted). The good news is, my crazy busy time of the year (Jan-end of March) is finally over, so I’ve had some time to paint lately. I’m currently working on two commissioned paintings, as well as one that will be a gift.

I guess this would be a good time to share a new painting. I can’t take too much credit for this one, as I literally saw it in a store when my boyfriend and I were couch shopping. Being the cheap person that I am, and Do-It-Yourself-er, I snapped a photo, and recreated it at home, literally in a couple of hours between Friday night and Saturday morning. Don’t worry – I am not trying to sell it and take credit for it. I couldn’t find the original artist online anywhere to give credit where it is due, although I did find a site that will reproduce this painting in Asia for very little money and ship it to you… Here is the progression of my version of it.

Miss Piggy – Acrylic on Canvas – 30″ x 30″

I actually love what it turned out as, even though the first few steps looked rough. They always do. If there is one thing experience has taught me, it is to trust the process and not give up early on when it looks awful. It somehow always turns out okay if you just carry on. I’d say that’s good overall life advice and not just for painting.

“New Year, New You” Nonsense

And just like that, another year of neglected New Year’s resolutions has come to an end. Last year, I made my painting goal to complete 3 paintings for myself. I even called this “a realistic goal” back when I set it, thinking that I will blow that number out of the water. NOPE. I actually completed an astounding ZERO. Yep, another forgotten year in my painting history. My house still only has paintings from 2013 and 2014 and thus none that I’ve done specifically for my house (since I bought it in 2016). Maybe this year will be different… I’m not holding my breath.

I did however, complete 3 commissioned paintings.  Then around September, decided to stop taking commissioned work so that I can do a few for people as gifts, and a few for myself. I completed 2 as gifts, and started a third one, but still none for myself. Here are two that I did for my mom for her birthday. She specifically told me what she wanted, since as my best customer, she knows I don’t like ambiguity.

 

18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas – Sunflowers 1

 

18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas – Sunflowers 2

A few years back (probably several years in a row actually) I made the resolution to learn a thing or two about photography, and by looking at these photographs of my paintings, it is obvious that that is another resolution that I never kept. Sigh. I also forgot to take photos as I was working on these paintings (which is likely because I crammed all the painting into a few days over the Christmas holidays so there were no obvious breaks when I could take pictures).

So this year, I’m going to take it even easier on my self with the whole New Year’s resolution stuff. My goal for the year is to continue painting whatever that entails. Between working full time, doing my Masters full time, keeping two dogs and a relationship alive, I am rather busy. There’s at least one painting that will be a gift that I want to finish then hopefully a couple for my house, although those would be a bonus. Setting the bar real low in terms of painting goals this year haha. Maybe there is a chance I will have a positive “Recap of 2017” post up next year.

Framed and hung in her living room

What are your goals for 2017 (painting or non-painting related)?

 

 

 

How to Ship a Giant Painting

I recently completed my largest painting to date, 6 feet wide by 4 feet tall. It was a commissioned piece for a customer in Florida (recall, I live in Ottawa, Ontario). It was actually a remake of one (this one) that I had done in the past. Here’s a quick overview of the progression of the (new) painting.

From start to finish
From start to finish

So how did I ship this beast?  We decided the best option to ship it was to take it off the stretchers and roll it up into a tube to ship. Not only is the painting better protected this way, but it is also much less expensive to ship. The client just has to have it re-stretched once he/she receives it (which most art stores will do).

Here are the step-by-step procedures:

1. Remove the Staples – Flip the painting over and remove all the staples holding the canvas to the stretcher bars. Be careful not to rip the canvas since it will need to be re-stretched once it arrives to the client. I used a flat-head screwdriver and pliers to get them out easily. There were probably 200 staples in this giant canvas. Not a small feat.

9b

 

2. Roll up the canvas – ensure the painting is facing to the outside. Keep it nice and loose to prevent the painting from cracking. Also make sure it is very dry before you do this since you don’t want it to stick and ruin the painting. 9c

 

3. Put it into a tube.  I used a 10 foot PVC pipe that I bought at the Home Depot and had it cut into a 6 foot and 4 foot section (that I discarded). I think the pipe cost about $30 and the cutting service was free. Typically, you could use cardboard tubes that are often used for posters, that you can buy at Staples or the like, but since this painting was so large that wasn’t an option. I wrapped the painting in paper wrapping paper first just in case the inside of the pipe was dirty (which it likely was).

10

 

4. Make end caps for the tube. To close off the tube, you will need end caps. I cut these out of cardboard and taped them on tightly on each end. I used painting tape, but I imagine electrical tape would be even better (I didn’t have any available). I also stuffed each end of the tube with paper towels to hold the canvas in place during transportation.

paint
Just me and the massive painting chilling in my backyard.

 

5. Label and Send. I wrapped a section of the pipe with paper wrapping paper so that I could write the shipping address there. Last step is to go ship this baby!

If you have any other tips and tricks for shipping large paintings, please let me know in the comments below. 

If you’re interested in a commissioned painting, find more information here

Dodge Viper

I sure have been neglecting this poor old blog of mine lately even though I have quite a few paintings that I’ve completed. So here we go!

For someone who knows and cares very little about cars, I sure do paint a lot of them. Here is the newest addition to the collection, which was done as a commissioned piece.

Some step-by-step progress pictures. collage1collage2

Something I often struggle with is knowing when a painting is done. It’s so easy to get carried away and end up overdoing it. This painting is a good example of that. If you look at the second last progress picture and the final one, you’ll notice I had to “undo” a lot of what I painted. Live and learn 🙂

And the finished product:

Dodge Viper - 36"x24" - Acrylic on Canvas

 

IMG_2453

And here I am with the finished painting. IMG_2465

This painting was a commissioned piece therefore it is already sold, however prints, up to 18″x12″ are available for sale here.

I recently started yet another commissioned car painting, and this one is huge!! 48″x36″!!! I can’t wait to finish this one and share it with you all. Like my Facebook page to see progress pictures.

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