Object of my Affection

Dear beautiful Le Creuset pan,
I have stalked your kind from afar, but now we can finally be together.  Yes, you were a little beaten up on first look, but your chipped edges only give you character.  I know we'll make great food together, and we'll never be apart.
031 - Le Creuset
What a beauty!  From what I can tell this is from the 70's or so, and it is a lovely light teal color that I haven't seen before in Le Creuset cookware.
030 - Le Creuset
This is what it looked like before I took the time to soak it, clean it, and lightly sand/oil the handle.
033 - Le Creuset
Not bad for under $3!
In other news, I visited my good friend Ann's  new house that she just moved into, and it is really cute! 
I am stealing some shots from her studio to show you:
New Studio
We had a long lunch today and ate outside relaxing in the sunshine and talking about houses and boys.  I am so torn lately, because while I am excited to be moving, I am still really bummed out to be moving away from my good friends here.  I've been doing this my whole life, and I'm really looking forward to the day that I won't have leave where I am every few years.  That being said, I am still really excited about our South Dakota adventure!
I shot these photos after a big thunderstorm came through two nights ago.  The sun was setting, and it was both eerie and beautiful at the same time.
I also started a new drawing.
I found these bears at the thrift store, and couldn't resist sharing their creepy/cuteness.
002 - bears
And lastly, here is a sneak peak of something big coming up!
001 - house

Finished painting and a Revamped Mirror

I finished my little ceramic deer painting yesterday:
 deer painting
Oil on Canvas - 8x10"
And I'm finally feeling like I'm getting back into the oil painting groove.
Deer and Bunny Paintings
I also revamped a mirror that was given to me by my G-Ma C, here it is before:
 Mirror Before

I used a dark grey flat primer to paint it.  I really like it with just the primer, so that is how it is going to stay!
Fancy Mirror -- After

Fancy Mirror --  After

I love how it turned out!  If I ever get sick of the color I'll just spray on a new one!
Lastly, a vase I picked up when I picked up my awesome tin last week at the thrift store.
It is a simple yellow handblown bud vase.  MMmmmm.
Bud Vase (Thrifted)

More to come later this week!

Painting Painting Painting

I am getting in as much painting time as I can lately.  At the end of the month I've got to move out of my studio, and I won't be able to paint until we are in South Dakota which should be mid-August.  Well, I could paint in my apartment, but I prefer not to inhale paint thinner in small enclosed places.  Not good for the noggin...
This is the painting I just started:
Underpainting of Ceramic Deer
It is 8x10" oil on canvas.
I also may or may not have gone to the thrift store yesterday.  I may have bought this pretty little tin.
024 - Tin
023 - Tin
All that patterning, who could have resisted. 
Lastly, I am thinking about listing some sketches/small drawings on Etsy.  Stay tuned for further details....

Simple Necklaces

I went out for coffee with my good friend Ann yesterday, and while there whipped up these necklaces from my stash of yarn and beads.  I really like how they turned out!
They have an open end which lets you tie them to the length you prefer instead of being stuck with a single length. 
I've really been trying to make things with what I already have this last year.  Sometimes I get things and then don't use them because I think they are too nice - which is a stupid mindset if you ask me.  So, no more!  I'm using up my nice stuff!  
And, lucky you, I made a few extra for my Etsy Shop.  If you want one and they've sold, just shoot me a quick e-mail or drop me a comment, and I'll make one up especially for you!
Hope you are all having a great day. 

Ceramic Bunny Study

034 - Bunny Painting2
As I recuperate from the craziness of last semester, I've been doing these little paintings as a way of keeping up my oil painting techniques.  I thought I'd share the process of this little painting that I spent two seperate sessions making.  This is how I usually start.  I like to have a thin layer of color (usually greenish/brown) down as a base, sketch out my composition in thinned paint, and then I start to build up the highlight areas in big chunks.  This helps me lay out the composition and value areas really quickly.
039 - Bunny Painting2
I love working from life.  As someone who has worked from photos through much of undergrad, working from life for the last few years has really helped me improve my skills.  As you can see, my setup is pretty basic, but for these little studies I just wanted something simple and straightforward to work from. 
035 - Bunny Painting2
Once I get the light areas in, I start with the shadow areas as well.  Usually I am using straight up oil paint with a little thinner mixed in for this base layer.  You don't want to add too much walnut or linseed oil into your paint with the base layer or you risk your next layers cracking over time because of uneven drying rates.  Also, I usually do the detail areas first, and then fill in the background, this is just personal preference as sometimes I accidentally smear my hand across the background if I add it in too soon.
036 - Bunny Painting2
And then it is just a matter of refining and moving paint around.
038 - Bunny Painting2
At this point I let the painting dry for a few days.  This will allow me to really get into the detail areas later, and smooth out some of the brushstrokes.  A lot of times, I like the way the brushstrokes look, and don't go to great lengths to smooth them out.  But since this bunny is ceramic, I felt like it didn't really hold up visually unless I took it to a glossy smooth level of finish.
So, in the second second session I went in and solidified the background and the foreground with another layer of paint, and then went back in to the bunny with tiny little brushes to smooth out the brushstrokes and really blend the light and shadow areas together smoothly.  The pure white highlights and the black nose and eyes were the last step of this painting.
And then it was finished:
041 - Bunny Painting2
Ceramic Bunny Study #2 - Oil on Canvas - 6x6"


Last week we had some friends over for a barbecue,
071 - summertime
We had DIY shish kebabs with chicken, pineapple, red and green peppers, onions, and mushrooms with corn.  I was really proud of myself for saving the pineapple top to use as decoration.  I am usually not so fancy.  haha...
070 - summertime
Nate and Courtney putting together their kebabs.  Surprisingly, no injuries resulted from this meal.
069 - summertime
072 - summertime
Nate and our sad excuse for a grill.  Notice the flower pot holding up the leg, it rusted off over the summer...  Instead of standing around the grill shooting the shit, you've got to crouch down by it, trying not to fall into it.  Note to self: we are getting a bigger grill when we move. 
But it did the job!
And after our gluttonous feast, Courtney and I had a chance to bring out our projects.  I love having knitting/crocheting friends. 
068 - summertime
And Darren with his 'too much food' face. :)
073 - summertime
It was a wonderful night!