Monday, December 31, 2012

Sneek Peak ~ New painting in the works

Preliminary sketch for new painting

Here's a sneek peek at my upcoming painting. This one will be larger than my little 6 x 6' 16" x 20".
As usual, I combine multiple references and lighting effects to come up with a composition that works for me.  I try to stick with the rule of thirds for my center of interest, in this case the beautiful highlight on the face and the horse's eye.
I also have some really exciting news today! I was the featured artist on ArtPromotivate, a popular art site. I'm so thrilled!
Check out my interview HERE
Happy New Years!
I hope you all have a fun night:)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Blue ~ or the otherwise white horse:)

Blue ~ 6" x 6" oil on panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks

Well, the horse obsession isn't going anywhere anytime soon! I'm happy to report that I've found a subject that I don't seem to get sick of painting, other than my kids!
I'm on a roll! I'm working on a few bigger horse paintings, too, so stay posted:)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thoughtful ~ White Horse Portrait

Thoughtful ~  6" x 6" oil on panel 
For sale on Daily Paintworks
bidding starts at $35

Happy Solstice, everyone! And happy new beginnings. According to the Mayan calendar, today doesn't mark the end of the world, but the end of a cycle. Today is the first day of the new cycle, which is supposed to be characterized by enlightenment, where great changes take place to thrust us into a new age of evolution as individuals and as mankind. I wish you all peace on your new journey.
Today also marks the shortest amount of daylight this year...Thank goodness as of tomorrow the days will be getting longer! I can't wait for the sun to come back. But really, isn't winter a time to settle in, slow down, ruminate, and recharge? Just like the plants do under the soil. They rest so that they can return, with more growth and beauty than before, when the sun returns. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Our Life's Work

"Life's Work" ~ 6" x 6" oil on panel
BID NOW on Daily Paintworks

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards, they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are then do what you need to do in order to have what you want. ” 
― Margaret Young

What do you really want to get out of life? Really. If money was no object. Well, do it. The purpose of your life is to to pursue productive, meaningful work. To spend most of your time doing something that you and others find meaningful.. Period. If you're doing it well, with all of your heart, with passion, then you will find a way to make a living. So many of us have it backwards, we put off life, trying to make a living doing work we hate, so that we can one day do the things we love and be happy.

The purpose of your life is not to become rich, or skinny, or beautiful, or find the perfect mate, or have twenty five children, or work in a cubicle. These may be things you want to do, but they are not your purpose. (Well, maybe they’re yours, but they’re sure not mine...two kids is enough, lol!)

When you find it you will know, because time disappears when you’re immersed in it. Your senses become heightened, you become completely absorbed. A mountain could come crashing down and you wouldn’t even notice. 

So if you are an artist, and you’ve decided that the purpose of your life is to paint, then paint. Paint between commercials. Paint when the kids are asleep. Paint after dinner. Or paint for your job, but just do it! (Easy enough to say, not so easy to do!)
Painters paint, gardeners garden, musicians play, bees’s what we do! Does it need a purpose other than it’s what makes you feel alive?

This is something that I’ve really been struggling with. I virtually quit for almost four months. I still painted, but there was no desire behind it. No passion. No thrill. I looked at the canvas as an obligation to fulfill. I had to have something to post to my blog. I had to have something to put in my newsletter. I had to finish what I started. It had to be my next masterpiece. It had to be perfect. It had to fit into some imagined “body of work”.
It had to be sellable, or how could I justify the cost of materials?  I couldn’t just paint and not get paid...could I? I couldn’t just paint because I love painting.  All that pressure. No wonder I couldn’t perform.

Who says our purpose has to be our job? And if it was, would it still be our passion? What do you think?

What’s your passion? Are you doing it? Are you making a living from it? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Shaggy Pony

The Shaggy Pony 18" x 18" gallery wrapped canvas

This pony reminds me of Ireland...they have lots of beautiful, shaggy ponies...It inspired me to write a poem, which I haven't done in a long time, but I've been longing for the place lately...

O beautiful misty land of my dreams
I want to unfurl you agains my skin and breathe in your scent like a lover
I want to tangle my hands in the manes of your shaggy ponies 
and ride through your hills of heather
I long to dive from your cliffs and dance like a child
to the music of my ancestors.

This has to be the pony I dreamed of when I was a little girl. All messy mane and liquid eyes, multicoloured and fluffy...I fell in love with him all over again when I saw the photo, and I had to ask permission to paint him. The great reference photo was from Rapscallion...which would actually be a great name for this little guy...He looks like a rapscallion :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sundance the Buckskin

"Sundance" ~ 12" x 16" oil on Raymar Panel
BID NOW on Daily Paintworks

My newest painting...I've always been particularly enamoured with the buckskin, ever since "Dances with Wolves". I wanted that horse so bad! I love the feeling of exuberance in his pose, like he's about to explode into flight. I tried hard to achieve that feeling of liquid gold, how the sun glistening off of a horse's coat can sometimes look metallic. The photo didn't turn out very good this time. I'll try to post new photos when the paint dries and the glare dies down.
Also, it snowed here, at least 6 inches over the last few days. It makes it much harder to get good photos. I usually take photos of my art outside, on an overcast day, which isn't usually hard to do here, because it's usually overcast! But the snow bounces light all over the place. I'll have to come up with another solution.
Well, Bye for now:)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rapscallion -- the shaggy pony

Rapscallion ~ 6" x 6" graphite on bristol
For sale on Daily Paintworks BID NOW

This is my newest little guy...I'm still on a horse kick. I don't think this one will end for a while. I'm having too much fun. I've named him after the website of the guy that took the picture. I fell in love with his photo, and emailed him for permission to use it. Have a look at his great work here.
I think I'll do a larger color version soon, too. I love the square format. 
While revisiting my past love of horses, I also had an urge to revisit my past love of graphite. 
For years I only drew. I was afraid of color. Afraid I'd be no good, and I spent hours and hours rendering dozens of pictures in pencil. I got quite a few commissions, and sold quite a few pieces, but then I tried painting...and it was so fast! It was like someone gave me wings! And I didn't suck, lol!
So for years, I haven't looked back. Why would I spend hours and hours labouring over something when I could be finished in a few days or hours? 
Well, as part of my artistic "healing" I guess you could call it, I've found solace in the simplicity of the pencil. Not much is needed for materials, you don't have to have a lot of room, and for me I don't have to think much. It's kind of like meditating.
So maybe I'll do some more. Mix it up a bit.
If you're at all curious about why I needed artistic "healing", I've written about it in my newsletter, along with a bit of a review on the book that helped me immensely. You can read it here.
That's it for now, folks. Have a lovely day!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Beautiful Blue ~ Overo paint mustang

Beautiful Blue ~ 12" x 16" oil on Raymar panel
For Sale on Daily Paintworks BID NOW

Isn't he gorgeous? I've always had a fascination with blue-eyed animals. They are so rare yet so striking. I designed this guy with dramatic light to accentuate that blue eye...
Like I've probably already mentioned at least a dozen times, I used to be completely infatuated with horses. I started drawing them when I was six, I owned one by the time I was twelve, and she was my best friend. A chestnut purebred Quarter Horse named Miss Peeti Poco...I just called her Peeti. I drew her so many times that by the time I was a teen I could draw an anatomically correct horse, muscles, veins and all, with my eyes closed. I think I drew horses so much, that by the time I left home, I actually got sick of it, and started drawing people.  My horse passed away 12 years ago, and I miss her still. It has been years since I really spent any time with horses, or any time drawing them but lately my love has been rekindled. I have the opportunity to take up riding again, and also to get some great photo references. So expect at least a few more horses on here!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dreams of Pegasus

12" x 16" oil on canvas covered wood panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks BID NOW

Lately I've returned to my first love...horses. I have to say, I was really inspired by this month's International Artist winner, B.K. Lawes and his beautiful horse painting...just stunning with the black background and dramatic lighting. 
This painting is from one of my ACEO's...revisited. I haven't painted horses larger than 11 x 14 in years. This one isn't much bigger, but as it was successful, I think I may try an even larger!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Equine Trio ~ three of my recent horse portraits

 Backlit Beauty 6" x 6" oil on panel (SOLD)

 Golden Boy ~ 6" x 6" oil on canvas panel

Black Charger~ 6" x 6" oil on canvas panel

Here's a few of my recent little horse portraits. The top one sold from my Daily Paintworks page last week, I'm happy to report that the middle one is taking part in the Christmas Art Show and sale at the Quesnel Art gallery, along with my "Sunset Cows", and the bottom one is still for sale through Daily Paintworks. Stop by there, it's a steal!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Andrew -- Pencil sketch in my Moleskin

Andrew in my moleskine

I'm taking a break from the grizzly bear painting for a few weeks. I need to not look at it for awhile, so I can see it with fresh eyes. Often putting a painting away for a while, and working on other things, allows me to get some distance from it and make better decisions once I go back. Things seem clearer, mistakes seem more obvious, and sometimes I think that the problems just work themselves out in my subconscious when I just give them some time.  The worst thing I've ever done to any painting is to keep on working when I'm beyond frustrated with it, and believe me, every painting goes through that stage! I've ruined a few paintings with my stubbornness and my dogged determination to finish at all costs. So not good! 
Going back to the plain old pencil, my first love, is like visiting an old friend. No surprises, just comfort. Knowing exactly what to's nice, and safe. I can work for hours, and my mind wanders and time disappears. It's easier for me than color, no huge decisions to make, nothing that will ruin the picture that can't be fixed without an eraser. 
The wonderful reference photo for this one is from JonathanR on Flickr. You can see it, and more of his beautiful photography, here.
I've also posted about it at my Facebook page, here. Don't forget to LIKE my page if you want to see more up to date work.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Grizzly Bear Wildlife Painting Demo - Day 2

Okay...on to day 2. It doesn't look like I've accomplished a heck of a lot yet...just my hubby snapping pics...Like my studio? Lol! It's my kitchen. It has the best light in the house. I do have a proper "studio" set up downstairs, but I never paint down there. It feels too much like a dungeon.

This is about 2 hours in on day 2. I've layed in a mid-tone color for the water, and added some highlights. I've also done more refining on the bear. Just darkening between the wet clumps and accentuating some of the lights, trying to get that feeling of form instead of flatness...

This is about 4 hours in. So that's about 8 hours of painting so far. I've switched to oils now. I confess...I lost patience with the acrylic paint. I looked at all of that water, and realized just how much work it would be in acrylic, and with a huge sigh of defeat,  I pulled my oil pallet out of the freezer. (Yeah, I store it in there to keep the paints from drying out!) Since my discovery of Liquin, a painting medium which helps flow, and speeds drying time, I've found that I can paint wildlife in oils just as effectively as in acrylics, and I love how easy oils are to blend, and that you have time to work with them while they're still wet. 
So here I've worked the water in the whole right side of the canvas. I started picking out individual waves and highlights, trying to achieve the transparency and movement.

Stay tuned for day 3!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

In Progress Wildlife Grizzly Bear Painting

The sketch--I use willow or vine charcoal to lay in the drawing...I fill in all the details because it helps me learn my way around the bear. Even though the drawing will be obliterated, my hand and brain still "remember" those little detail lines. When using reference photos and a large format, I grid the canvas and the photo to make sure I get the proportions right. This canvas is my largest so far, "30 x 40".  

This is about two hours in of painting. I'm blocking in the major lights, darks and mid-tones. I usually start with the darks, then the lights, and middle last. I follow the contours of the bear, imagining his muscle underneath and lay down the strokes in the direction that his fur would fall.

The end of Day 1. This is at about four hours painting, not including drawing the image. I've added the light on his nose and his eyes (my favorite part!) The eyes help me focus on the image and make it more interesting for the long haul. Understand that right now, this is all Block-In...every centimetre of what I've already painted will be painted over again and again...the joys of acrylic, and glazing! But it's necessary. That's what gives you the depth and realism. It's like constructing the bear, hair by hair!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My newest painting...done! Finally:) I've been dreaming a lot of grizzlies lately...I guess they're all people want to see in Bella Coola right now. 
11" x 14" oil on 1 1/2" profile cradled panel.
$600.00. Contact me to purchase.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Old Man Drawing

Old Man Drawing in my sketchbook with coffee, graphite and white chalk
about 4" x 6"

Realistic portraits are my default art. When I'm absentmindedly sketching, it's faces, always faces. Ever since I started drawing, as a child, I drew faces (and horses!)  And when I'm feeling directionless, I always go back to faces. It's what's familiar and meaningful to me. 
A human face...the first thing we see when we open ours eyes in this world. 
A roadmap of a life lived, a personality.  Anger, sadness, love, happiness, wisdom. A human being. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Doodle Gone Good ~ The Raven

~The Raven ~ pen and ink, and photoshop

I have to admit, I have been horribly remiss when it comes to painting...sigh...where did my discipline go!?  I've been making jewelry, and inventing recipes for gluten free, sugar free baked goods, and sewing for the local farmer's market, everything else but painting.  The business of summer has turned into the business of fall!  

Also something else is taking up a bit of my time...I confess, I got a job. One where you work for someone else, put in your hours and get a paycheck. It is only part time, because I do still consider myself a full time artist, but I needed the social fix, more so than the money. Being an artist is a lonely occupation. And the stress of depending solely on my art for finances really took away a lot of the pleasure that I used to get from painting. I'm happy to say that this year has actually been wonderful as far as my art goes. Sales every year are getting better and better, I just needed a break so that I could learn how to love it again:) I started a new grizzly bear yesterday, though, so I think I'm back on a roll. I'll post progress pics soon. And I'm hoping to get another "charity" portrait done by next week, too. 

Anyways, this painting came together pretty quickly the other day. I was actually just doodling on a random bit of paper, and my doodle looked pretty good, so I decided to add some ink washes. The kids brought home a raven or crow feather, too, and I had another bit of paper, so I sketched the feather on that piece and added some more ink. I spent the rest of the day scanning it into the computer and trying to come up with a cohesive design in photoshop since it was just two random bits. At first I thought it would look neat with just the feather and the raven, but it looked too empty and disconnected. So I added a verse from Edgar Allen Poe's poem, "The Raven" behind, and it tied it seems to have visually tied it all together.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I made the front page!

I made the front page!!
Tahirih Goffic Fine Art 

ArtsWells and ArtWalk

Well, summer has been a whirlwind for me! I wish I could say I that I've been painting like a madwoman, but that's not the case. I have been very much involved in the provincial art scene, though. I think that I may have forgot to mention before, but a painting of mine was juried into the Central Interior Regional Arts Council travelling show in April, and I just discovered yesterday, that they actually used the other one that I entered as the image for their poster! (It also received an honorable mention, but wasn't juried in)
I live in a very isolated place, and we're 450 km away from the next closest city, so news gets to me pretty slowly, lol!

July was spent for the most part at my parent's farm in Quesnel, (576 km from my where I live now), but I was involved with the Quesnel "Artists in the Market", a once yearly event where the local artists team up with the Farmer's Market for an exhibition. I had a wonderful time talking with the locals, and getting to know some of Quesnel's great artists.

August 3-6 was the highlight of my whole trip. ArtsWells, a yearly arts and music festival which takes place in the historic town of Wells, B.C. This cozy mining town is as friendly now as it was in its heyday in the 1930s and was once a company townsite for the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine. It is filled with many unique heritage buildings, painted in cheerful colors, and is populated with an eclectic mix of snowbirds,  miners, artists and musicians, and come August, it is filled to the brim with festival goers. I was thrilled to once again be invited to take part in the Mini Mural project. Over the four days of the festival we painted our hearts out to each create a 4 foot by 4 foot mural, which will later be auctioned off to raise money for next years' festival. The murals stay in the community and decorate the sides of houses and businesses all over town, adding to it's already colorful atmosphere.

And I'm also thrilled to report that six of my paintings will be residing at the Barking Spider bike shop in Williams Lake, B.C., for the month of August, as I am once again involved in ArtWalk 2012!

Now it's time to get back to real job!

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Copyright © 2012 Dragonfly Studios, All rights reserved. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Slowing Down

Wishing ~ 7" x 9" oil on canvas panel
75% of the proceeds of this painting go to the Hunger Project Charity. Help me help an African family build a sustainable life...and you get a painting!

Today I awoke to the sound of my computer powering up...I guess when you put your computer to sleep it lasts exactly 12 hours, and then the monitor wakes itself up again?! I didn't know that...I thought there was a ghost in my room:P, Lol! But that means I slept 12 hours! Crazy! (I only had four hours of sleep the night before, in my own defense:)
At any rate, what did I do? Rush over to check my emails, start surfing, before you know it I've got like, 12 tabs open and I'm switching back and forth, not even finishing one post before my attention is snagged by another, my brain full of images, factoids, quotes. All before my morning coffee! What!? 

And I realized, not for the first time, that I hate, and I love the internet. For it has created this fast paced society, where we're not satisfied with only one thing at a time, but we have to be speeding through, gleaning bits and pieces, and never fully absorbing anything. Looking for instant gratification, but never satisfaction, because something better or more interesting might be around the corner. It's become a necessary part of my business, but also a huge distraction and mode of procrastination.
So today instead of going for my morning run, I decided to walk. 
And what I saw, and smelled, and thought about, was truly amazing.
Did you know the forest in summer in Quesnel smells like cinammon?
I saw hundreds of deer tracks, and behind them, little mini deer tracks, telling me the story of a mama and baby following the same route as I...I wonder where they went. Are they hiding, watching me pass by? My thoughts wandered, about things important and unimportant, about things sad and happy, I acknowledged them all, and followed them around, asking what they meant to me, but allowing myself to just observe them.

I ate wild strawberries (didn't know they were still out), found a huge saskatoon bush (delicious and juicy), and peeking around the corner of a new path I saw a clearing and I found it filled with wild raspberries. So I had my breakfast, growing wild, a tasty gift from Mother Earth. 

I made a decision to try to do this every day. Acknowledge and absorb the beauty around me, get away from the computer. Be in the  moment.  Appreciate the abundance around me, because I have so much more than these people that I want to help.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paintings for Charity

7" x 9" oil on canvas covered panel


  Paintings for Charity

Ever since I was a young girl, I have been enthralled by images of Africa.  Even through photos, I felt their spirit shining through. I promised myself that one day I would go there and help those beautiful people with the shining faces. There seems to be power in poverty. Something in them so strong that has been tempered by suffering. Maybe this is naive, but I imagine that they must persevere by living for the spiritual gifts instead of the material ones, since their physical lack is so great.
At any rate, my dream hasn't happened yet. I got tied up in work, got married, had a family, and now the opportunity seems so distant. But now with the advent of MissionFish, I am easily able to donate right through my auctions. I will be doing a series of portraits from the photographs of amazing photographer, Steve Evans. His portraits capture the heart and soul of these beautiful people and cut to my heart as soon as I saw them.  I knew that I had to paint these shining faces, and he has graciously given me permission to use his photos for this worthy cause. 75% of the money I raise will go straight to the Hunger Project, the other 25% is just to pay for art supplies.  I hope you'll help me help these people by bidding on my paintings! Thanks in advance:)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Grace ~ Flamenco Dancer in Red

Grace ~ 6" x 6" oil on canvas SOLD

Today I have another Flamenco Dancer to share with you. I have it up for bid on DailyPaintworks, so if you'd like an opportunity to own a piece of my work for a very affordable price, click on the Bid Now button above.
I am captivated by dance, especially flamenco and ballet. I've always been hopeless at anything choreographed so I am left watching in awe at the passion and energy and pure worship that can be conveyed by these amazing women. I feel like, by painting them, I can capture some of that passion for myself.
I have always loved to dance, and have a good sense of the beat, but I have never been great at learning the steps. Now that I'm older, I'd love to take salsa or flamenco classes, but they don't offer anything like that here...hmmm, maybe a suggestion to bring up with the Art's Council!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dance Like No-one is Watching

Dance Like No-One is Watching ~ 6" x 6" oil on panel

 Being happy, healthy, fit...It's something that I work really hard at in my life
. But sometimes, things don't always click. It's hard to stay present and be in the moment.  There are so many distractions that we forget to have fun, and the whole staying healthy, happy and present thing just becomes one more thing to knock off on the ever growing list of things to do. I'm up at 6 for my morning run, then back home to make breakfast for the family, pack lunches, get the kids out the door, then do my weights, shower, answer emails and do all the internet stuff, start painting, paint until the kids get home from school, then try to switch my attention to house cleaning, dinner, bath and bedtime. But just like so many other parents out there, I forget to take a break and do something just for me. Something that fills me with joy. And its something that is not on the to-do list but really should be. 
I love to dance. When I was a young adult, I loved to go to clubs. It made my parents worry so much, because that environment was so not like me. I didn't drink, I didn't even have boyfriends. That's not why I went. I just wanted to dance. So the other day, one of my favorite songs, "The Mull River Shuffle" by the Rankin Family came on, and I just stopped what I was doing and danced. Like a lunatic, until I was breathless. At first my kids looked at me like I was nuts! What's mom on?! But pretty soon they starting dancing too! It's one of the last times I really remember just having fun, with no agenda...So do it, now. Click on that link and go "dance like no one is watching."
Have a lovely day, my friends.

"When we are too busy doing things for our children, we forget how important it is to simply be with them." ~ Daniel Siegel and Mry Hartzell : Parenting From the Inside Out

Check out my little lovelies:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Little Diva ~ portrait of my daughter

Little Diva ~  8" x 10" oil on panel

It's wonderful, and amazing, how your children so completely steal your heart forever. I am in love with them like nothing else! I could paint them every day, they're so incredibly beautiful and inspiring to me. I know that I see them through mommy goggles, and I'm afraid that others won't see them like I do, but that doesn't matter, does it? They're mine:)
This is a portait of my beautiful daughter, Rhiannon. I've been meaning to paint this one for a long time. It is from a photo shoot I did when she was only two. I can't believe she's six now!  And she's still obsessed with leopard print, lol! 
I am captivated by her grown up expression, her "diva" look...she seems to be the  embodiment of some glamorous fifties movie star in this pic. She was getting impatient with me, with the camera, and on the verge of getting tearful, and that shows a bit in the painting. Not so much in the photo. Strange how that works sometimes...
I realized when I painted this, that I am meant to paint people.  I know, I paint a lot of other things, because of market demand, but when I'm working on someone's face is almost the only time I'm so completely absorbed and involved in a painting that it is hard to stop for anything. I go without lunch, I get irritated with bathroom interruptions...I just want to keep going until it's finished! 
This painting will soon be on its way to the Federation Gallery in Vancouver. I was recently contacted by them and asked to send them half a dozen paintings because someone who bought my work last year was looking for more! Yay! Wish me luck...

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Belle" Portrait of a Cow

 "Belle"  10" x 10" oil on canvas  $350.00


This is a painting I did last week of a cow. It makes me smile when I look at it. That big dumb stare and the nose in your face, lol!
I love cows...their wet noses, their soulful eyes and the milk they give us. We get our milk from a farmer down the road. The kids love it, and I make my own yogurt and butter. It saves a load of money, plus you get the peace of mind knowing exactly where it comes from and what's in it. No antibiotics and preservatives, thank you very much! 
You can buy this painting directly from my website. If you have any questions please give me a call.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Memories Suite Giveaway

Today I am hosting a very very first.

I was always really attracted to the "idea" of scrapbooking, and I've even managed to put together a few, before I was a full time artist and a mom. The only problem....Time! A few years ago, I started to make a scrapbook for my mom for a birthday gift. It's still not done!! I always say, "when I have time"...with my kids growing up and being soooooo...busy, I just haven't managed to finish it off.  Deciding on paper, finding the right embellishments and then cutting and gluing everything takes forever. Well, I don't have to do that anymore, because now I've found My Memories.
My Memories Suite is rated #1 on Amazon and Top Ten Reviews. You can create so many different projects: photobooks, digital scrapbooks, cards, calendars, and printables for parties, and they're free templates are gorgeous. Look what I made today, in half an hour!

I couldn't resist sharing the whole was fun to put together, and super, super easy. Basically just drag and drop your photos into the squares and...voila! A beautiful layout. They have a lot of great pre-made templates, and new ones are very affordable from their site. Everything is customizable, too. The sizes of pictures, the embellishments, the page's really a great program.
Sooooo....I guess you're wondering what you have to do to Win this great software: just follow the instructions below...

First, Like my Facebook Page or if you don't do facebook, follow my blog...
Then, follow me on Twitter
Then, answer me this, in the comment section...What made you smile today? (and tell me if you've done the other things)

I'll announce the winners in a week...and if you just can't wait, or you don't want to follow my instructions, lol, you can get 10 bucks off of the software, any time, by clicking on the little icon below...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grizzly Dreams

Grizzly Dreams (Please click to see looks WAY better:)

This idea came to me in about 30 seconds while I was reading a book about blogging..???
I have no idea where it came from. I don't think that I was thinking about bears...It was more like, "A blog header should be 692 pix, by 190, that would be a cool painting!"  I did a lightning fast sketch so I wouldn't forget, and kept reading my book. I didn't actually get to the painting for a few days. 
This sort of depicts Bella Coola, where I live, but no particular scene. There's a Nuxalk village, with totem poles, really high, snow-capped mountains, salmon in the rivers, and lots of grizzly bears.
So...the urge to paint from my imagination has passed...there's no more imaginary scenes fighting to get out of my confusing little brain, so I'm back to my 100 paintings. Today I painted an interesting bottle/vase from life. It's square, with a flower shaped opening...hmmm...maybe it is a vase...
And, I also painted a go with the farming/back to the land/natural living series of gallery paintings I'm working on. They will all be posted within the next few days.
These last two fun little illustrations will be posted as prints for sale on Etsy soon, as well, as soon as I get some more paper...
Talk to ya' tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Once upon a time, there was a hungry bear...

So...I should have known better...really...I'm a Taurus, and I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it or not, but...Ever since I was little, every time someone has tried to make me do something, whether I may have possibly wanted to do it or not, I dig in my heels and resist. The more they push me, the more I definitely DO NOT want to do it. Even if I may have started out kind of wanting to...
Anyways, my point is, I told myself..."You are going to paint 100 paintings in 100 days", and myself, in typical Tahirih fashion (although, I might add, I kinda wanted to) dug in her heels and decided that anything else would be better than painting 100 paintings in 100 days!
The first week went fine, I was enjoying myself, squinting away quite happily, and then something happened. Inspiration.
But it had nothing to do with painting from life. In fact, it had nothing to do with painting from a photograph.
Like I said, I should have known! My grown-up me says "you're going to paint real things, from life!" and my child me says "No way...I want to paint...from my IMAGINATION!" Add a little foot stomp there for emphasis, lol! I don't really know why this is happening. I don't generally get inspired by my imagination...I'm usually moaning about my lack of it, and drooling over everyone elses beautiful, imaginary scenes. Anyways, here is the result. I put it on a black background so you could see the edge of the paper...BTW, I promise I'll get back to my 100 paintings soon!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Orange Crush - the sequel

Orange Crush ~ the Sequel
6" x 8" oil on canvas

This is the next in my vintage bottle series...It was really fun to do. I was a bit afraid of the texture on the bottle, but it turned out to be easier than it looked. 
This one is the eighth painting in my 100 paintings series and is  up for bid on ebay right now
Click below to try your chance at winning this one:


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pepsi Cola and New Wheels

Pepsi-Cola 6" x 8" oil on canvas

Hi Y'all...I'm having such a great day! I'm the proud owner of a new (to me) blue mountain bike! It's amazing what makes your day:) But seriously, I haven't had a bike in about fifteen years. What's up with that!? I rode so far!! It's nice to not have to just depend on my two feet anymore. It takes sooooooo...long to get anywhere by running. Now I can get to the store, the post office, friends' houses...I don't have to be just a lonely, house-bound painter...Yay! And to top it all off, as I was riding home, I looked into the clearing at a little creek where I like to sit for a break and a drink sometimes when I'm on a run, and there was a momma deer and her baby. The weren't afraid and I sat and watched them for about ten minutes until they decided I was boring and walked away into the forest. So Cool! It made me feel so blessed to live in a place where I can experience something like that at any random time. Who needs Starbucks?!
Oh yeah, I'm a painter...that's what this blog is about;)  My new ebay offering and practice pic is another old bottle we found in the dirt at the same old farmhouse as in the previous post. I guess they like Pepsi and Orange Crush. Lucky for I just need a Coca-Cola and a 7-up bottle to finish up the series. I do have one more pop bottle to paint tomorrow. It's really cool, and really old. I can't wait to share it with you. 
Anyways, this one's up on ebay right now...CHEAP...too cheap, but if you want it click below...Please! Lol!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Orange Crush, vintage bottle still life

Orange Crush - 6" x 8" oil on canvas

About a week ago, I decided that I was going to ditch the photo references for a while and paint from life. It's something I've never done consistently, and I know that it's an imperative skill to learn, as it helps fill in the blanks for you when you are painting from photos. Photos lack depth, their range of values is short, and the colors are never true. 
So, this is an excercise. I'm not going to stop painting what I usually paint, but I'm going to try to fit in one of these little guys every day, as well.  My goal is "100 paintings in 100 days". I'm going to try to post one every week day (I take weekends off to hang with my kids.) And they will be up for auction, starting at a very reasonable price.
A few years ago, we were living on an old farm from the fifties and my husband found this vintage bottle buried in the dirt. I thought it would make a great still life subject! And to make the play on words, I added the orange. I placed the bottle and orange on a piece of glass in my black covered shadow box to create the reflection...


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Self Portrait - "15.75 x "30.75 

I've really been wanting to paint figures lately, but I've had no good reference photos, and no models available, so my darling hubby and I did a photo shoot in my studio, and came up with some pretty good shots, with nice, dramatic light. 
This is one of those poses.