Sunday, December 1, 2013

So the art doesn't have to be hidden away until April.

Today I hung a display of 19 original pieces at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich, IL. There is a display wall intended for artwork, and I am artist of the month for December. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Keeping It Simple

In an attempt to offer a more more broad selection of original art sizes and price points, I've decided to produce smaller, simpler works. My thinking is to create original art for smaller spaces, and smaller budgets. This being the case, I have to still maintain a high standard of detail and accuracy, but with less going on in the composition. I also must work quickly without compromising attention to detail.
When working with an iris, speed is essential. This plant blooms and withers in no time. In less than one hour, I painted this iris bloom. It looked noticeably different at the beginning of the hour than it did at the end.
Small Iris, watercolor by Anne Gilna
I'm not thrilled with the color produced by my scanner. I'll go outside to take a photo of the piece when I can which will be more accurate.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Art Fair Season Ends.

Yes, it's over. And it was a mixed bag, too. Sales ranged from excellent to dud-like, but all in all, I'll have a lot of paintings to work on over the off season. I also have decided to branch out slightly from my usual format, and will experiment with that idea over the long non-art fair season. That is all I have to offer on that subject until there is something to show for it in this space.

Speaking of goldfinches

While in my recent goldfinch groove, this painting was done over the summer. It was commissioned, which explains the unlikely scenario pictured here.
Four Yellow Birds, Watercolor and Colored Pencil.

This is the last goldfinch painting for a while...

...Unless someone MUST commission me to paint a goldfinch.
Until then, though, I'm through painting them until this one is sold.
At first I imagined this couple to be visiting the overly tall sunflowers in my garden. (Seriously, these plants, borrowed from a nearby unattended field a year ago, have turned into the monsters of the garden.) Then, after finishing the painting, I did actually see them on these sunflowers, for a moment, and then they took off.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Goldfinch, Revisited

I finished this painting two years ago. At the time, the male goldfinch was alone amongst the black-eyed susans. I was never completely satisfied with the design of this painting. There was too much white space in the composition, and his pose was not as dynamic as I would have liked. A few days ago, after much research, I added another goldfinch, presumably his previously unknown mate. The challenge was to have her fit within the existing design. She had to be placed behind the foliage, and had to be focused on something in the picture, and had to have a pose that was complementary to his as well as the stems, leaves, and blooms. So, here it is:
Eastern Goldfinches & Black-eyed Susans, Watercolor by Anne Gilna

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Little Noisemaker

Just finished, in time for the Deer Path Art League show on Labor Day: the vocal little Carolina Wren, which I had been hearing around the neighborhood last year (but not this year for some reason) and wasn't able to see but I could identify it by its voice. Why do wrens have the ability to make so much noise, anyway? I have it perched on a Yellow Coneflower, which grows in my garden.
Carolina Wren & Yellow Coneflower, watercolor by Anne Gilna

Monday, July 29, 2013

By the Way...

I almost forgot to post a recently completed watercolor of a Robin and a just-about-to-bloom magnolia. People have told me that I have captured the Robin's "attitude" in this painting. That's a good compliment, as far as I'm concerned. This was completed in April but I fell behind in posting it until now.
Original Watercolor by Anne Gilna

Fleece and Scarf in July

I had to keep rubbing my hands together and my feet actually felt a little cold last weekend (the end of  July, according to the calendar) at the Glenview art show. After several years participating, I felt emboldened to ask for one of the coveted shady spots, and got it. Who needs a shady spot when the sky looks like metal and the temperature never rises above the 60s? Answer: no one.
It's better than dragging myself through a weekend of withering heat, humidity, and sogginess, though. And, it's good to come home Sunday night without being exhausted and dehydrated. A few more sales would have been nice, but the crowds were down,and that's how it goes sometimes.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Buy/Sell Uproar

     At the Hinsdale Art Festival this weekend, there was a major issue regarding the legitimacy of "buy/sell" art. This usually is seen with jewelry vendors, and often with silk embroidery "artists". It seems to be happening more often lately. Apparently, the applicant to this show applied using the same process as any other artist, but the jury was not able to discern from the photos that the goods were mass produced and pre-manufactured, and not created by the person (in this case, a group of people) that were selling them. It is always clearly stated in the rules of all show applications that the artists must not use premade materials and must be the creator of their work.
     Their double booth was next to mine, but as a watercolorist, I'm not as attuned to this type of scheme as are jewelers and people that possibly are just more observant than I am. To these more observant people, it was an offense to their hard work and creativity. One of them complained to the show organizers about it, and apparently they were confronted, and admitted that the jewelry was made by others. At that point, the vendors were forced to display 4 neon green signs declaring that their merchandise was made of pre-manufactured components. They were not expelled from the show, however, and there are those that feel that is the only way to clamp down on this behavior.
     It is important to not let these fraudsters have a place in fine art shows. All of us that conceive, create, and lovingly offer our fine work for sale deserve better. It cheapens our efforts, and we should not be hesitant to point out these offenders to show organizers. If there is a market for such merchandise, and I'm sure there will always be, they should find a place at flea markets or other venues.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A moment in time

The hummer was watching me water the garden and appeared to be attracted to the spray from the hose. The time was early evening, and the low light was highlighting the bird, while leaving the tree in shadow.
"A Quick Look", watercolor and colored pencil

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Still Winter-y

I began this painting in December, finished it in January, and finally photographed it today. The White Breasted Nuthatch is often seen clinging to branches like a woodpecker, but head down. Since there is barely, if at all, any sign of spring at this time, it still looks seasonal. The red twig dogwood branches are one of the few colorful features in the landscape right now.
White Breasted Nuthatch, Original Watercolor by Anne Gilna

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oh, Why Not?

I'm posing with one of my entries at the "Drawn to Nature II" exhibit:
I'm most proud of the huge name tag.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Grand Opening

The Reed-Turner Artists
Sunday, March 3 was the opening reception of Drawn to Nature II, an exhibition of the botanical works of the Reed-Turner Woodlands Botanical Artists' Circle, of which I'm a member. The show is currently on display at the Brushwood gallery at Ryerson Woods until April 30. A large crowd enjoyed viewing about 60 pieces, all with a botanical theme. Of the three watercolor paintings that I contributed to the exhibit, 2 of them just happened to have a bird within.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

It Wouldn't Be January without a Downy

Nothing says "January" like a painting of a downy woodpecker on a bare tree. I love the texture of a birch tree. While the bark seems at a glance to be simply black & white, at a closer look it's a combination of many subtle shades of brown, green, and even pink. Still, it's much more contrasted than most tree bark. I usually paint a downy scene with a minimum of color variation, except for the male's red patch.