This is an example of one of the wonders the internet holds for the artist and for the art collector. I have never met this mom or baby. In fact, they live hundreds of miles away.
The mom stumbled upon my web site while surfing online late one night (all new moms can relate to this). She took a photo of her baby in his stroller with her cell phone and emailed it to me. We discussed the commission process by email, including that I leave out details of the stroller straps, etc.
I received payment for the commission via snail mail, but, there are many payment alternatives available to buying online. I used Canada Express Post to deliver the carefully packaged portrait. This insured service supplied a tracking number that I shared via email with the client. By the time I got home from the post office , only a short distance away, the online tracking info informed me the parcel was in the system, about to be on its way, and posted the estimated date and time of arrival.
Pretty amazing, I think.
If you would enjoy seeing more of my little 6" x 6" portraits please visit www.littleportraitpaintings.com
For larger oil paintings, please visit www.christinemontague.com
This 6" x 6" portrait oil painting was commissioned to celebrate this pretty little baby girl's first birthday. I love creating these 6" x 6" portraits, more of which can be seen at my website www.littleportraitpaintings.com Every portrait teaches me something! A first for me? Why baby's first teeth!
The sixth in the series of little polar bear portrait oil paintings now dries on my easel. The Toronto Zoo's male polar bear "Inukshuk" is once again the model, and as in the fifth portrait, he is lit by the moonlight. Two more of these little portraits are blocked in and waiting completion. Yup. Those big blank canvases are calling for attention now.
- New Portrait Painting: Polar Bear 5 (christinemontagueart.wordpress.com)
For those of you who don't know I am gradually filling one of my studio walls with my 100 Little Portrait Project a series of 6" x 6" portrait oil paintings on canvas portraits. Here are a few of the portraits commissioned before Christmas. I work from photos e-mailed to me, or from photos I take, if the subject comes to my studio on my "open to the public" days.
But so far, to my surprise, almost every painting commissioned is as a surprise gift for a loved one. Do you know that goes for my large portraits, too? They are almost always a gift!
- Alert! Mini Portrait of a Big Bear (christinemontagueart.wordpress.com)
- Pet Portrait is No. 14 of 100 Little Portrait Paintings (100littleportraits.wordpress.com)
- New Little Portrait Painting No. 12. Two Year Old Toddler. (100littleportraits.wordpress.com)
Just finished this new 6" x 6" portrait oil painting on canvas of a teen, "What Now." (said as a statement not a question) just long ago today for me to snap an iPhone photo of it and post it! Here it is http://wp.me/s1rNWY-68
Just a friendly note, the link above simply takes you to my other Wordpress art blog 100 Little Portraits Project. http://100littleportraits.wordpress.com
Since I am an artist who usually works 2D, I found myself hesitating for a second when I picked up the brush to paint the salmon cast. But I quickly realized I should use the same approach to this sculptural fish as I use with any portrait painting on canvas. Start with the eyes! The ol' the "eyes are the mirror of the soul thing". As soon as I did this, I found my "connection" to this pre-made form. I only had salmon photos off the internet to use as reference. Thus I realize, for any salmon aficionados out there, the salmon is probably not exactly like the Coho. Apparently, the cast itself is not quite correct, the fins are too small, etc. But that's not really the point. To create what I proposed, all I need to start with is a shape that is easily recognizable as a healthy salmon, no matter the breed or how exact its representation is.
My poor salmon. He only stayed "healthy" for one day. Stay tuned.
I didn't want to leave the studio today until I finished this painting - I was so anxious to see it completed. Although I adore painting in oils, drawing was my first love, and so, it was exciting for me to both draw (oil sticks) & paint (oils) in this art work. This piece also combines my love of portraits, my love of animals and my love of black (I am only painting in black until they invent something darker). Equally as fulfilling was my use, for the first time, of silver oil paint as my "white" - although its reflective values proved a little trickier to photograph. My iphone camera, couldn't quite do the trick.
Do you know that many artists give a lot of thought to the placement & appearance of their signature on their paintings? Well, I am one of those artists. This new work called for a different look to my signature. Traditionally, on my carefully rendered, realistic paintings, I carefully print my full name in block lettering. I don't like my signature to distract from the work, and even will use more than one colour to print it so that the signature flows with the work. This painting called for something more expressive. Artist Carmen Hickson of www.theredpigstudio.com lent me a nifty colour pushing brush* ( a rubber chisel tip instead of bristles). It was perfect for carving out a cursive signature with values that suited the painting.
By the way, "Big Cat Painting" is not the official title of the painting...
* I don't know the official name of these rubber tipped brushes, and tried unsuccessfully to google them for this post. My son, who used to work at Curry's Art Supplies, informed me they weren't big sellers, but I sure found it terrific to use. Do you know what this type of brush is called? I did however find this new neat little cleaning gadget while trying to find the rubber brush name https://www.currys.com/catalogpc.htm?Category=A021B006823&Source=Search. I could have used this when washing piles of black oil paint out of about 8 brushes this evening :D
Yesterday I mentioned I used Tri-Art's sludge as the preliminary step (the canvas was already gessoed in white) to starting this 60" x 48" cat painting. I was quite enamoured of the taupe, neutral colour of the sludge, and began the day by ensuring areas had the sludge show through. This was not my original vision for the painting. Sometimes it pays to go with one's instincts, but in this case it was keeping me from connecting with the portrait. If I don't fall in love with the face, I know something is wrong.
So back to the plan - Black and silver oil paint for this silver tabby. What appears white in this painting, or light gray is actually silver. The painting is not done yet. But the concept that one side of the cat disappears into the darkness, and the other side is awash in silver light - is becoming clearer.
This oil painting incorporates the use of oil sticks as well as oil paints.
I just finished a series of 8" x 8" paintings - Scotsdale Farm: Snow & Shadows. I needed to stretch my wings after painting so small.
A larger than life portrait painting of a Maine Coon cat in silver, black, and white oil stick and oils seemed the natural next step.
What I have done so far -
- It is the first time I have used Tri-Art "sludge". I used it to cover the white canvas and add some texture.
- After applying the sludge, I saw a large cat eye, ear & head looking right in the swirls of the paint.
- Decided to go with my instincts. Found a photo of my silver tabby Main Coon cat to use roughly as a reference.
- & voila ... the painting begins. The face emerges some more out of the darkness.
Just finished this painting today, and have another small one almost done. With my first art fair, Art 2009 , drawing near, the crunch is on! I am quite excited about this painting as I made a conscientious effort to apply more paint to the canvas. After looking at a detail of the brush work of Australian artist Wayne Haag on his blog, I had a Eureka! moment. I am too stingy (not deliberately) with my paint. Although I am a confident painter, and my past paintings have definitely met with success, perhaps I am still caught up in my watercolor roots. Although the painting above is not textured, the paint is quite loaded on, in comparison to most of my other paintings. I really enjoyed painting this piece - and it wasn't just because I got to paint a scene of my daughter reflecting in the summer sunshine by Lake Huron.
Note: this is third of a a series I am tempted to call "The Reluctant Tourist" . Any one out there who has "forced" their children or teens to vacation or day trip will relate. Although I am not without sympathy - I certainly remember teen age trips with my parents, where I spent my time ducked down in the back of the car . Who knows who might have seen me?!