Friday, August 4, 2017

What goes into a custom piece like a mermaid

The Black Pearl 

I am working on a custom piece for a couple.  This is the painting that they referenced.  I thought today's post could be about what is involved in making a "Custom" painting.  

The first step is to find a frame.  In this situation, the couple is looking for a 'beachy' frame.  What is a beachy frame?  It's a frame that would go well with beach decor!  They are usually white, black, or natural.  

We immediately thought of black.  We have  at  (Spicher and Co.) a simple black moulding that we often will frame nautical pieces in. I have framed original art in this moulding and it looks fab.    In the photo below, it is featuring a folk landscape but imagine a mermaid... 

We also could go white.  In this next picture, you will see a beautiful chipped up white frame that screams beach. 

The scale is wrong on this, but we could have it cut to fit. 


This leads me to my next step, choosing a size.  

My suggestion  for mermaids would be to go with something that is 18x24, and this would be painted on paper.  The frame would add even more size to this piece.  The frame is a big part of the art! 

Here are the colors! 

Correct color pallet

The actual black pearl painting is below.  The room is dark that this was photographed in so the colors are sort of muted and dull in the reference piece.  

Colors not accurate

I love this ocean.  Oceans can really reflect many different colors.  We can go dark sea or light.  Check this out! 

Beginning stages of seascape with whales (top)

This is what we start with!  I go bright and each layer subdues and enriches the next.  Till I am done with this, the colors will be wonderfully muted like this mermaid! 

Really, that is the process.  Frame first, which determines the size, and then subject matter, and finally color.  
All you have to do is message me!  


Thanks for looking. 

Kolene E. Spicher 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Folky Black Lab portrait

Watching over me! 

Everyone loves a sweet dog portrait.  While this is just a non-specific dog, it was actually stylized after a dog named Patriot.  Years ago, I saw an antique painting at a friend's house 
of a  big dog with a house in the background and a tiny little fence 
going around the pup (as if it could ever hold the dog in!). 

Upper left side in Green letters is the title
This painting is reminiscent of some of my landscapes.  If you know my work, you'll recognize the technique and coloration.

On the right side, above his left leg reads
A DOG NAMED PATRIOT, and above that
ANYONE who owns a dog will tell you that you just LOVE them so much.  They truly are extensions of our families.

LOOK at that face.  
Here's a shot from a distance.  Being from PA, I happen to love primitive.  The graining on this is just fun.  It is sort of crazy looking, and I love it.

Vintage VINYL on the floor by Spicher and Co! 
I placed the painting around the house at different lighting so that I could get the very best pictures!

The little dog on the left was an antique that was restored.  This poor puppy is missing some feet! 
I love the colors of this painting.  I love the brightness of the grass contrasted with the blackness of the dog.  In real life, this dog is getting up there in years.  The owner of Patriot wants to preserve its memory, so maybe they'll be another dog portrait coming!  Stay tuned.

The flag was sort of tongue in cheek because the Dog's name is PATRIOT!  I am a true patriot!  
Thanks for looking.  I am going to be mailing out some cards (see below) for my customers as a form of SAVE THE DATE.  I have a show that I have begun to paint for that is located in Wilton, CT.  It's a long way off but not for someone who does one-of-a-kind work.  Each painting is truly unique and different from the next, down to the framing!  If you want to be added to my mailing list, please message me!  You can find me on FB, why not LIKE my page??  That way you'll see all the new stuff that I post!  

My Mailer!  
Here's some more info on the show coming up in November 2-3, 2017.

Sorry this is a little blurry!!  

Thanks for taking time out of your day to look at my blog!  

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Ship Scene

The Star 
Today, I thought I'd talk a little about ships.  Over the years, I have painted many of them, too numerous to number!  

I really loved all the blue on this piece.  Blue is really a strong color right now, and I love to incorporate it into artwork.  This painting really shows off a number of the 'blues.' 

As I was painting this, I added some stars across the top of the sky,  It seemed like that time of the day when light and dark are parting, one will take over the other.  Is it almost night or is it nearly morning?  You can decide. 
In this above shot, you can see how I added some additional ships.  There can be only one STAR, though, and my big ship is that Star that shines in this piece. 
This would be a nice piece for over a sofa or mantle.  It is what I'd call a large painting.  The sailboat over the buffet is really huge.  I seldom paint that BIG unless I have a customer in mind. 
In this shot, you can see that we sometimes at Spicher and Co, print seascapes on our Vintage Vinyl.  They make a great doormat or dog mat!  Message me if you want to buy one.  Here's another... 
The ship at the top has not been scanned or printed yet.  It is not for sale yet, either.  There is still some work to be done on it and it is being painted for the Wilton Show which takes place in November, 2017, Wilton, CT.  Here's a link for that show.  Let me know if you want tickets!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Whaling Scene

The Tale of Two Whales 
The water is clear and the whales are free 
Have you ever gone on a whale watch?  I have and for some reason, the guide didn't go up and close!  Maybe the old whale is a little forbidding and needs to be viewed at a distance! 

Peaking thru the water! 
I love the red boat!  These six guys are brave!  I wanted them to be front and center and the water crystal clear!  

The flying whale! 

The tale of two whales!  
Trying to figure out the title was just as much as a challenge as ever.  After a while I came up with The Tale of Two whales!  (A take off from The tale of two cities).  

I like it next to my mermaid!  (NFS). 

Kolene Spicher 

PS, This is going to Nantucket Country! 

But I think it's sold! 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mermaid with Seaglass in Repurposed Antique Frame

Looking for Seaglass

After the shells and 'pickling' of the frame
I had a friend give me one of those Antique Criss Cross frames.  At the time, both of us were unsure what we would do with it.  I forgot to take a BEFORE picture so I had a base for comparison.  This is the best that I could come up with as far as showing to you the color of the frame at the beginning of my project.  

This is the closest thing that I could find.  The first thing that I did was remove the gold liner.  I will save that for another painting for now.  Then I regaled the leaves on because they needed to be absolutely secure before adding the seashells.  

This is what the frame finish looked like after it was treated with my special pickling sauce, lol.  

Before the pickling, this is what I came up with as far as composition for the painting.  
One of my new hobbies is seaglass.  Why do I like seaglass.  I am sure that I don't know.  I just as fascinated with the idea of something tragic like a wreck or littering (in the bay) could somehow produce something as beautiful as seaglass.  

You can very subtly see the glass at the bottom of the painting.  I have painted it to blend into the sand because that is exactly like what it is like trying to find it.  Often times you will walk over a piece and not ever see it.  There seems to be an abundance of white glass...sigh.  I like the colored glass.  
Add caption
This is one of the many paintings that I will bring to the American Artisan's show in the fall at Wilton Historical society, 2017.  I am sorry but it is not for sale at this time.  

There will be over 50 artists present at this show.  It is in November.  Here is the link!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Building a Shadow-Box frame for Seashell Captain

Shadow-Box Frame for Seashell Captain 

Getting ready for the Show!  But before I do that, I miss finish this lovely... 

Here you can sort of see the shadow box effect in the photograph above.  It is about 1 1/4" deep to accommodate the shells comfortably.  

I made a duplicate frame and attached it.  The top frame is the original 1820 lemon gold frame.  The sides are not finished because some Joe tore it apart and this was originally a liner inside of another larger frame.  
While my solid black frame is not a perfect match for the top, it is very close and your eye is really fooled into thinking
that you are looking at a "double" old antique frame in all its glorious imperfections.  
As you can see, these old frames are not perfect.  Even in its imperfection, it was considerably expensive.  Add on all the modifications, and it gets laborious, too. 
I do love these shells!  
There is a self lining extender that also has to be custom fitted and then careful slipped inside the "double."  
When finished, this is what you see.  It turned out quite lovely, if I do say so myself.  This will be the last painting I sell for a while as I am going to paint for a show in the fall up in New England.  It is the Wilton Historical Society's original show now being held at the Society.  This building is amazing and chock full of antiques and wonderful reproductions.  It will be held the weekend of Nov. 4, 2017.  Here is the link:

Thanks for looking
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mermaid seashell creation

Taking My Rainy Day Mermaids to the next level

The other day I was looking at this mermaid painting.  I have been 
experimenting with seashells and how to incorporate 
them into artwork.  I decided that I would practice on this 
painting.  It had been for sale on my ETSY store KOLENESPICHER but I deleted
the listing so that I could have some more fun with it.  

A few weeks ago I finished this project.  I really liked it and decided to "UP" my shell count a little with the mermaids.  This was mostly because I ran out of shells that were dark and perfect like the shells above. 

The frame will need worked on for certain.  I will have another frame made that will go directly behind this one and will create a shadow box effect.  It will turn out neat once I get some paint and putty out!  I will also add a nice piece of wavy glass to this.  

My next project.  
I have not fully decided what I will do with this painting.  I am loving the water and am pleased with the overall effect of the colors and layering of paint.  I will be doing something similar with this painting and adding shells.  I am going to do something a little unexpected! 

In this shot you can see that the shells have been laid out, but they have not been cemented to the paper as of yet.  I love the purple-lee looking shells!  

Thanks for looking today.