Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Prayer of St. Francis - An addition to my 'religious' series.


Penned in my FANCY Writing! 

This is one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever read

To read about the Celtic Cross refer to February 12, 2014 Entry 
I was surfing the web the other day and came across some beautifully written prayers.  This one really stood out to me.  The pictures here are not the greatest quality but I wanted to show you an idea that I came up with for an old antique frame that I inherited from my Grandfather's estate.  I found the frame in his attic and thought it was beautiful, complete with all the original dust!!  
I do not know what these little 'white' things are, maybe sea shells?? 
The frame is only about 6 or 7" and it's a complete square.  I have it hanging upstairs (currently without any glass) beside  my bedside table.  I really like this.  I love the message.  

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
where there is injury, pardon; 
where there is doubt, faith
where there is despair, hope; 
where there is darkness, light; 
and where there is sadness, joy. 
O Divine Master, 
grant that I may not so much seek 
to be consoled as to console; 
to be understood, as to understand; 
to be loved as to love; 
For it is in giving that we receive; 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

A closeup that is actually CLEAR 

I hope that you enjoy this post.  I am going to add another picture to this series very soon.  I want to do some additional prayers.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!! 


Friday, April 25, 2014

Wedding Guest Book Painting - Part 3 - Painting an Addendum

GUEST BOOK PAINTING ~ Well, guess what?  I didn't have enough lines on the previous painting!
This meant that I had to stay up very late LAST night to paint another picture, an addition.  Because I hate to put so much time into something only to have to file it in that special place that we call the trash-can, I needed to come up with an idea and fast.  I didn't have the time allocated in my schedule to paint another day away, so I felt I should push through and 'Getter done!' 

Yes, It was easy enough to turn it into something different, but I was not ready to give up on it.  In my mind, I thought 75 lines, 75 families.  However, the bride felt each person should have their own line.  As we talked a little, bouncing ideas off each other, another idea began to form, I would paint an addendum. 

This was what I came up with.  She wanted the birds white instead of black.  I felt the area painted needed to reflect in size the other companion piece, so that meant I would have to add something to tie the birds together and to the other piece. 

Here is what the top looks like! This clearly connects painting two to painting ONE!

I really like the top.  haha. That was the easy part!  Thanks for looking!  


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wedding Guest Book Painting - Finally finished! (Refer to April 16,2014 for the whole story) Part 2

Her invitation is laying on top 

A WEDDING Guest Book Painting~Silhouette Style! 

**This is now available as a print.  I have two different styles if you want one for your wedding! 
You can have the house style like above or the bird style (see post April 24, 2014)!  

This was one of those painting that I really didn't lay out first.  I sort of knew what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.  Because the bride gave me a lot of freedom to do my own thing and because I am sort of hung up right now on silhouettes, I decided to go in the shadows with black and white silhouettes.  Silhouettes have been around for as long as people~I mean this.  I think cavemen drew them in their homes on the walls.

If you refer to April 16, you will see that the bride's invitation was sort of fun with computer generated graphics (artwork), but what I wanted to achieve was a more painterly feel, more timeless.  After all, a wedding is forever, right??

I started the top portion with some clouds. 
I wanted the background to be WATERY LOOKING and I believe that I achieved this.  After the background was good and dry, I went right in there with the left tree, the bride and groom, the house, the fence, and lastly, the little trees.  Actually, the writing was last.
In an ideal world, we would find an antique frame for this piece.  I don't think that this is going to happen.  But 'ideally' it would look like this:
I love the warmth of the frame against the aged background. 
These old frames are getting increasingly hard to find.  A lot of times there is real damage; and to repair them is both costly and time consuming.

Because of this, we will frame this in a burl-type frame that also has the same warm under tones that are pictured in this frame - MINUS THE GOLD LEAF INSERT.  I know, I like it, too, but we have limitations in life and it isn't realistic to expect that we will find an antique frame, given I painted it first.  

Laying on my Crazy Floorcloth
Thanks for being so patient with this painting.  It took a while for me to finish it, but I am glad that I had the privilege to both create and paint it!  Life is good and I wish this couple the best! 

As usual, if you would like a similar painting, don't hesitate to fill in the information at the right of my blog.  I promise not to annoy you with endless emails and I definitely do not share the addresses.  Also, I have had some requests about availability of certain paintings, I think that I am going to go in on the comment portion and simply write SOLD if it is not available for purchase any longer.  


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

This Little Pig (Cochon) went to Market ~ Another set of Silhouettes!

This little Pig went to Market, and this little pig stayed home…. 

Pigs for your Kitchen! 
I am running out of ideas for these chairs!  I think that I may be done.  Well, there may be 2 more silhouettes that I paint, I am not sure if I will feel like more or not.  Anyways, here are my last two.  These bring back memories of my Mom and Dad playing with my little toes when I was a girl.  They would wiggle them and say this nursery rhyme.
This Little Piggy went to Market (English and penciled on the background) 
In French below it says A cochon est pour le Marche, which hopefully translates into A PIG FOR THE MARKET.  Again, I said in the last post, my French is not good and neither is my English at times.  I love the drape and the interest that it brings to the painting.  The simple pen and ink execution of the chair is brought up to a different level by the wrap.  It sort of makes the pig more important, I think.
The frame is old and the glass wavy, just the way I like it.  
Obviously, this is the Little Piggy that stayed home.  Again, Antique frame with old wavy glass.

Finally, here are all the silhouettes that I have completed so far!  Each one has its own special chair.  Do you have a special chair?  Would you like a painting done of yourself on your special chair?  JUST KIDDING.

BTW, when these were painted I had "cochon" spelled "cochen."  I have fixed this.  I hope that there are not more mistakes in this pile below! 

These will be made available thru Spicher and Co., Like us on Facebook!  If you would be interested in any of the paintings that I have shown here, please feel free to contact me! 


More Chair Silhouettes in English / French ~ BIRDS

Anything that has a Bird in gets my Attention!! 
Well, it's official…spring is here!
  But, it sure doesn't feel much like it today.  Here I am in the North East, thinking to myself, I should go outside and exercise (fallen New Year's Resolution), and here I am sitting on my pa'toot typing like there's no tomorrow.   Nothing would be worse, though, if I was eating a lot, too!  (I am not eating like a pig, just not exercising~ha). Speaking of pigs, my next group of pictures that I am posting will be PIG silhouettes.  

These bird pictures are so much fun, I am sure that you would agree, if you could see them up and close.  There is so much that is lost in the transition between the real thing and the photo.  Try as I might, I just can't seem to get the shot without some silly white spot.  I do my best.  
I really like birds but not in my house unless they are…carved or painted. 

The red chair really stands out on this one.  The English part of this picture says, "A bird on a chair is worth two in a bush."  I thought this was clever!  The French across the bottom says Sens d'oiseau, which translates to BIRD SENSE.  You know, it occurred to me that I may be incorrect with this French to English thing (and vice versa).  I am not good at French AT ALL and sometimes not very good at English, either.  To me, it just meant that this was the Bird's logic, his SENSE, about the meaning of the painting.  
Birds of a feather!

I really liked this one.   I love the wonderful randomness of the placement of each bird.  If I had these birds in my house on a chair, I would literally have a stroke.  Again, this was just meant to be fun.  I think the French and English work on this painting.

Again, these are executed in watercolor and featured in wonderful Antique Frames with Wavy glass!  Yes, I love it when I find the good glass!


Canard (Duck) Silhouettes!

My English / French Silhouettes 

A Little fun with some DUCK
Sometimes, I just like to mix things up a bit.  I think that when I am willing to paint outside of the "box," I start to create some of my best stuff.  Today, I present to you my chairs but with a new twist.  If you had the chance to read my Rooster blog last week, titled, "Good Morning" (4-11-14), you will recall that I had a set of chair pictures that I wanted to 'update.'  Here are a couple more birds to add to the set.
Roast Duck
These pictures were painted in my watercolor technique and are on paper.  I have them in antique frames, and I wish that you could see the glass~it is so wavy and wonderful!  The one titled in French, Canard Roti, is called 'My First French Meal.'  Is the duck eaten?  Or is the duck having its first French meal!  You decide!  I think that I remember reading that Julia Child's first French meal was DUCK.  How appropriate.
House Duck
This picture Canard Maison or House Duck has another cute saying on the background, "Today, I feel like a duck out of water!"  Have you ever felt that way?  Me neither.  Ha, I think we have all felt that way from time to time~just out of our element! These are meant to make you smile.  I hope they do!

As usual, if you see something that you like, let me know! They are for sale.  My house is getting full.

Speaking of which, Here is a shot of the silhouettes framed (in my spare bedroom).


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wedding Guest Book Painting -Part 1

 Special One-of-a-kind Wedding Guest Book Painting

Designed to compliment this invitation (Below) 
The Lemon was placed here to honor the Bride's privacy! Also, I had to
trim off the bottom of the card for the same reason! 
It's not every day that I receive a request for a wedding guest book painting, but this one has been on my list now for several months.  I am running out of time~it's a MAY wedding!

So today, I put a call into the lovely bride and asked a few additional questions. She wants the painting to be created 'around' the invitation, which I will gladly do for her.  The questions I needed answered will determine the path I travel to achieve the finished product.   Maybe you are wondering what exactly I mean by a  'Guest Book Painting (GBP).'

A GBP is a painting that will be at the entrance of a church (or other building) where a wedding is going to take place.  People will sign this (that are invited) who have been able to attend the wedding.  It needs to go with the theme of the wedding.  Having the invitation will greatly help me with this.

Firstly, how many people are invited?  This is an important question because if there are only 10 people invited, then obviously, we will not need a large painting.   In this case it is 200. I think that it needs to have a little size because we need to be able to squish 150-200 signatures comfortably and in a manner that does not look chaotic.  After all, we want this to be pleasant to look at when all the signatures are on the painting.   Secondly, does she want the colors to match her invitation?  The answer was yes, but not exactly.  She wants the painting to be something that she will be able to actually hang in her home somewhere and something that will blend in with her furniture, etc.   It was decided it needed to be a little more timeless than the invitation, which means that it will be less trendy than the example.   She loves the fun trendiness of the invitaion (which is why she choose it)  but wants it to be something that is traditional enough to keep for 50 years.  

We decided that we love the color of the teal/blue sky and the tree but that I should plan on using my imagination for the rest of it.  I will be including the tree and the birds but adding additional things besides.   

I placed the lemon over half of the card to preserve the privacy of the bride but also to show you that the leaves are not all the same color.  Some of the leaves (although subtle) are more on the yellow scale, while others have some red.  I will be including the bride and groom in this painting along with a house.  It will be shocking for her when she sees it because, she has pretty much given me creative license.  This makes me happy because I dislike following someone else's ideas directly.  I did NOT design this card, as cute as it is! 

I will be updating this post in a few days with the finished product.  Depending on how long it takes, there may be a post in between this and the final version.  

Keep this idea in mind should you ever want me to design something similar for YOUR wedding! 

Check back! Enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Good Morning !!



A while back I painted some illustrations of French chairs.  I tried to sell them a few times but didn't.  "WHAT IS WRONG with these darn chairs??"
 This is what I put myself through when something doesn't move.  How can I improve upon these?  Well, I was thinking about them (a lot) and decided that they needed an animal sitting on them.
"Why not?"  I paint animals in clothes ALL THE TIME (www.spicherandco.com), so why not paint animals sitting on French Chairs!?? I wanted the animal to stand out, but then I also wanted the chair to be seen, as well.  I decided that it needed to be a silhouette.  So I present to you my metamorphous from this to this!
From this! 
See this is just too…boring.  That is the simple truth about these chairs.  You may say, "Why would you bother changing these?" Because I don't like them the way they are, ok?? Yes, I like the way I painted them but I believe that they can be improved.  I am driven to improve.  I think that they will make a fine print and have scanned them to be sold as a print.  But now you can have them with a rooster (and some other animal as I paint more).  Any suggestions are appreciated!  What makes this funny is what I wrote a saying on the bottom of each of the paintings.

Here are a few examples of some of the closer images!
The original seat was decapauged so sorry, Folks, there is a line.  I don't mind it, though!  On the painting it looks like an old antique~which was my goal! 

The caption on the bottom of each painting is a little dialog between the two birds!  It is as if they are talking to each other!  "Good Morning (Bonjour) Mam and Sir!" I went to France one time.  I found the people very friendly.  That was the only sentence that I could say, and I said it proudly! 


Thanks for looking!


...A Chair

Some interesting quotes about chairs

**UPDATE - See April 11, 2014 because I totally changed these chairs! 

"A chair is a very difficult object.  A skyscraper is almost easier.  That is why Chippendale is famous!"     Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

"The cure for crime is not the electric chair, but the high chair."  J. EDGAR HOOVER

"If it is the right chair, it doesn't take too long to get comfortable in it." By Robert De Niro

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?" 
Albert Einstein. 

I think chairs are interesting.  There are so many to choose from.  In my house, everyone goes for the comfortable chairs.  When you are tired or have pain, an uncomfortable pretty chair does not cut it!!  

These paintings were made for Spicher and Co and added to our print line.  They were carefully drawn in ink and then filled in with watercolor and featured in one-of-a-kind antique black frames.   You can check them out in my Etsy shop called Kolenespicher.  This shop is brand new for me.  I intend to update it regularly. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Painting a Little Girl Portrait

FINISHING a Little Girl Portrait - Part 2 

Well, here she is!  I love the overall color tones of this painting and am pleased.  I painted it using watered down acrylic paints and then softly aged it using my 'old techniques.' Coincidently, the technique helps to preserve the painting, too!

At first glance, I see that the flower  on the floor connects the doll and then the furniture.  My eye goes to the doll, flower, chair, and then table -  each piece in that order.

I have included this picture to show you the scale. It is a little blurry but it helps.   I simply set it on a book case and left the stone fruit reveal the size.  As I said yesterday, it's not all that large ~ 8x11in??  I cannot recall.  Look at yesterday's post if you need or want to know.   

Look at the vibrant color of this flower.  That is something that is important to me when I paint reproduction artwork--COLOR.  I think that it's easy to get carried away and have something too antiqued.  

Look at these dear little shoes! I bet her toes hurt. 

Love this frame and the mottledness of it! (I know that's not a word).

Finally, I bring you her sweet little face with big blue eyes.  I think she is dear! 


PS - If there is ever anything that you might be interested in purchasing, please ask!  You can look at other artwork that I have done on www.spicherandco.com.  Like us on Facebook!  Spicher and Co's artwork is a more diverse, but there is something for everyone!  

Happy Spring. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Developing a Little Girl Portrait, Part 1

Remember This? 
Developing Another Little Girl Portrait 
19th Century Style 

This was from an Oct. 29, 2013 Post
I am posting this to simply refresh your memory of the Style 

Recently, while out shopping in an Antiques and Collectibles store, I picked up this little black frame pictured below.  It was 8"x11 1/2" and had the antique glass to go with it.  I thought about painting a ship for it but have done a good bit of NAUTICAL lately and so I thought due to the orientation of the frame (up and down), it would make a nice portrait.  Honestly, I like the gnarly old wire, too.  Don't be surprised if I figure out a way to use it!   You know, one thing that is nice about repurposing things is that it doesn't end up in some landfill…smile.
Perfect for a portrait! 
I went ahead and started to sketch the portrait on paper.  Remember now, I LOVE FOLK ART.  One of my very favorite places to visit is the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City.  It is located uptown at Columbus Circle and 66th Streets.  Keep in mind, they are closed Mondays.  I have made the mistake of showing up on said day while in the city at least two separate times and left disappointed.  It's frustrating because then I can't see the store.  They have a lot of handcrafted things from artists like me.  In fact, I have sold to them on a number of occasions.  One time, I even did their window! It was a fond memory.   I should look for that picture and post it!

Here is a closeup of the frame.  It's sweet and in good condition and just primitive enough to pull off my portrait.  She will have a very colorful floorcloth beneath her feet with colorful doll furniture.

The exaggeratedly small chair with table is what Folk Art is all about!
It will be what makes this piece 'folky'
Here is a closeup of the face!
Notice that I didn't take the time to draw in the fingers.  I will need to do this before I proceed.
Check back either tomorrow or the next for the finished product! Thanks for looking.  Many of the antique-like pieces are not available thru Spicher and Co., which primarily sells prints.  This is an example of such a piece.  It is a one-of-a-kind original and will either be available if I am contacted or made available at the Bedminster Art Show in September!


#MuseumofAmericanfolkart, #Kolenespicher, #19thcenturystyle, #girlportrait, #spicherandco., #Doll,