04 December 2006

Portraits R Us

I know I should be writing more often but I had a miserable weekend. One of my typical up and down rollercoaster rides.

It all started when hubby had a window shot out of his truck while driving thru Alabama. Other than having to try to get it replaced for less than $800, I thought it was more of an annoyance than anything major. (Okay, he'd be cold and if it rained, his bed would get wet, but nothing life-threatening.) Wrong! On Saturday, he calls up somewhat panicked because he can hardly breath and he had a hard time climbing in and out of his truck. Now, hubby had smoked for years and then quit. We know he's got some lung damage as he can't walk terribly quickly for long stretches. But this sudden development wasn't good as he really couldn't continue driving the truck and maybe not even living. And being the selfish person that I am, I figured my comfortable life was over as there's no way I can make $2400/month from my art as it now stands. I'd have to bite the bullet, quit the art, and go get a teaching certificate in math. I was depressed and upset. Then it dawned on me since he was also complaining of a headache and slight fever -- carbon monoxide poisoning! I finally got him to thoroughly tarp and tape the opening. The next morning, he was fine.

Needless to say this how episode really shook me up. The bottom line is that I'm going to continue with the art for the foreseeable future, but I'm also going to explore freelance illustration and I'm going to work on the math teaching certificate (including doing some substitute teaching). I now know how much I want to do this and I will do it to my fullest ability. I have some ideas on what to do, but first I do need to get all these portraits done.

To that end, here are 2 of the latest:

This is Hayley. I've done her brother and her dog, plus I'm working on another of the family's dogs right now. It was a fun portrait to do, but I do admit that blonde hair and fair complexion is a real challenge -- the details are so delicate.

This is Larry and Ericka. I really enjoyed working on this portrait as the contrasts between the dark skin and clothes and the light skin and clothes was a challenge to balance. This is also a composite portrait -- I created it from two separate photos of the two youngsters. The trick with combining two photos is to adjust the lighting and getting the faces the right sizes. Just for the record, both are adults now and this is Larry's Christmas present.

I also have another portrait done, but I'm waiting for the client to approve of it before I post it here. So, there's only 2 more pencil portraits to finish by 15 Dec. With some luck, they will be done by the end of the week. Then I can finish up 2 oils and 2 soft pastels, and start on another two oils. Maybe I'll get these done by 1 Jan, which is what I'm shooting for. In any case, after the two pencil portraits are done, I can go back to splitting my time between portraits and stuff for eBay.

So much to do!

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