Over the past month, I finished up Autumn and Winter personified, which was my series of 4 paintings to play with oil paints for the first time. And I also finally finished my little rodent acrylic painting. It felt good to be painting again!
I need to update the gallery page here and my Fine Art America site. Hopefully that will come in the next couple of weeks.
I finished my ballerina bunnies! I am so enamored with their cuteness. I left them fairly undetailed because they are going to be shrunk to about two inches each for the fabric design I have them planned for, but I think they are kind of charming in their sketchiness, and I hope that you agree with me!
The black and white one is inspired (but not an exact copy) by the rabbit we adopted this summer. She is named Spotticus, or Spotty for short, and she is quite a love.
You can see some of my other fabric designs at Spoonflower. I’m trying to do one or two new releases per month, which will hopefully mean more art coming this way.
Working on some fun new art this week, the first time in a while. I’m hoping to use these as a new fabric design over at my Originals By Katharine Tracy and Spoonflower shop next month, but even if they turn out unusable, it’s been fun designing and drawing them out. Tonight I will start to color them.
I’ve honestly had a very difficult time tapping into my creativity lately. Having an idea that is super cute and literal fluff has been a relief. I don’t know what the future brings, but I can’t shoulder the collective burden as much as I have been this past year.
My husband gave me my first ever set of oil paints for Christmas this year, and we finally took them out and played with them this weekend. This is what I started.
It is maybe not the easiest choice to start in on a human with zero reference photos, but I had the image of Spring as a goddess in my head and this is what came out. Hopefully as I add details, it will be less garish.
Overall, lots of fun! I love the way the paints layer. It will be good to experiment. I get a little nervous about the kids or the cat accessing the painting since it takes so long to dry but we shall see how it goes.
I want to remind all of you that I am open for art commissions. I finally went through all of my gallery yesterday, updating my title and alt text to make my images more search engine friendly, because I was bad and never did that, and I was reminded how much fun I have making art. And unfortunately, as I always have to prioritize paid work over spare time work, I don’t get to spend as much time on it as I would like. But if you hire me to make you something, then I’ll HAVE to art!
Let’s say a single figure fairly detailed pencil drawing of one figure (human, animal, or fantasy creature) would start at about $35 plus shipping on medium size paper (8.5″x11″ up to 15″x20″) and would go up depending on size, number of figures or addition of background, etc. Watercolors and charcoals/pastels would be significantly more but anything over $100 will include free shipping. Here are some samples!
Email me at katmicari(at)gmail.com if you want to set anything up!
I’ve finally updated my gallery page with the 3 paintings I finished for the art show last month, and I put two of them up on my Fine Art America page too.
This abstract is entitled Breaking Through, and I painted it with the thought of people finally breaking free of their programming.
The last two are watercolors that started out as experiments with my son from about a year ago, using salt crystals on the page to create interesting texture. After letting the textured pages sit for a long time, I built on top of them in ways that seemed interesting to me, without any set plan in mind. The first was more successful than the second and may have become a personal favorite. I titled it Outer Space 1 because I assume I’ll be painting more on the theme at a later date. I loved playing with my new set of metallic watercolors that I got over the holidays on this one.
The second is a generic landscape that seems a little garish to me, but it is an interesting effort so I am sharing it. Because I wasn’t as satisfied with this one, it is not getting a name nor did I upload it for merchandising purposes, but I do have the original available if anybody is interested.
I have been meaning to share these for over a month now, but work and life has been insane. Still working on coming up with some solutions to give me more time to create, but I am taking things as they come. It felt so good to work on these.
I found a couple of old sketches that I never shared here, probably because when I drew them, I was less than happy with how they came out. But I like them now, so I’m sharing them! I had to brighten the pics and darken the pencil lines to get them clear because I was lazy and didn’t want to hook up my scanner.
There is still a disconnect between my sketches and my finished works. My pencils are loose, almost aggressive at times, and I’m able to get that feeling still in my pastels and charcoal drawings as well, but when I switch to paints, I get a little tense and try to be “perfect” still. It was something I struggled with in my costume renderings. So it will be a balance I will continue striving toward as I move forward in my art.
I’ve started working on a couple new songs and that theatrical piece in odd moments, so new work is coming, and I’m still happily making future plans for projects. We’ll see what I manage to accomplish.
This week, I was so excited to be doing one of my many projects for work. I actually was getting to draw and watercolor and thoroughly think a project through instead of flying by the seat of my pants as is what inevitably happens much of the time. Literally, I had been giddy last week leading into this one, so excited to sit down and do the creative work.
Then it came time to move from the rough sketch to prepping the watercolor paper with a background wash, to penciling the final images, and I immediately started getting frustrated at myself with the way I was drawing hands and feet. I wanted to throw the project down and go sulk, and I almost started berating myself over the imperfections. I took a brief break, and I realized that I was in the process of ruining something that I had so been looking forward to due to being overly hard on myself. It doesn’t matter if the feet and hands aren’t up to my high standards. It has literally been six years since I’ve done this detailed of work for this type of project, and I’m rusty, but I’m never going to get un-rusty if I don’t take on projects like this. I was able to take what would in the past been a downward “beat myself up” spiral and find joy again in the creation process.
This is really important to remember as creatives and as human beings trying to go about our daily lives. Anything can be a chore, even the work that you love to do the most. And anything can be bliss, even the dishes (I like to put music on and sing while I do the dishes, when I do them. Though usually my husband does them while I’m putting our son to bed.) You can get satisfaction or annoyance from almost any task that you set yourself to do. I actively choose bliss and satisfaction whenever I can. And I’m getting better at catching myself when I do tends toward the self-degradation and negativity that would make everything seem like a major drag on my life.
Which do you choose? Can you find small ways to bring yourself more joy into your daily and creative life?