Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another Stray Finds Western View Studio

If you live in the country at a crossroads, you are most likely going to end up with unscrupulous petowners dropping off their unwanted pets at that crossroads.  And if your name is Lawler, they always find their way to your back porch.  This is our latest arrival.  He showed up at my back door about a week and a half ago, half starved and filthy.  He wandered about our yard and porch, just mewing and crying out in desperation and bewilderment.  He was definitely missing his home and food dish. 
He is a loveable kitty.  Wants to have his belly rubbed or sit in your lap constantly.  Ferals don't behave that way, pets DO!  I have put up posters and called the SPCA.  No one is looking for him.  SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic will neuter him and give him a free Rabies shot if he is feral, but they also require I let them clip off a corner from his ear, to mark him as feral.  We did this with Conan, but I knew that Conan would always be feral and although he tolerates me petting him occasionally, he will not allow us to hold him or bring him indoors.  I just can't bring myself to allow this PET to have his ear clipped.  I know he will make someone a wonderful pet.  SO, HERE IS MY OFFER.  If you adopt him, I will pay for the neutering and rabies vaccine.  Please spread the word.......Cats can NOT survive on their own in the wild.  They WILL starve.  If you know of anyone who wants a really sweet cat, give me a call or e-mail me at  I now have one cat of my own and 8 strays who have wandered in.  I am at my limit. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tarzan Nears Completion

I almost have Tarzan finished.  It always helps me to see mistakes, by photographing the piece I am working on and then to view it on my computer.  I can see today, I need to strengthen my contrast of values on Tarzan himself.  This is something Donato showed me on the Lion while I was working on it at the Illustration Master Class.  Notice how strong the darks are on the lion's armpit and under his chin and jaw.  Tarzan is still pretty much the same value.  The same with Jane.  I will do this tomorrow, I hope!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

IMC Lion

Here is the Lion!  This is as far as I got on him while at the IMC.  I have been working on the Tarzan figure and foreground, since returning home.  I am still doing battle with the chest cold I got while in Amherst.  This is a hard one to shake.  I will post another picture as soon as I get it at a presentable stage of development. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


As Promised, Gorillas

Artist At Work on The Gorillas

Some photos from the Illustration Master Class as promised

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

IMC Update

Just a quick update before turning in for the night.  I had a fantastic day today.  The cold is finally getting better.  I actually started getting some paint on the panel.  My background sky and three gorillas.  This is a Tarzan painting!  Well,  I was really pleased with the gorillas I drew back home when preparing for the IMC.  Remember how I gloated, but just knew they would require changes.  Well, first thing this morning Marc Scheff, an illustrator I admire, came around and told me the apes were great, even from across the room.  OK, so a  little bit later, Boris Vallejo (superstar artist) came around and commented on how good the painting was looking, especially the apes.  So now I am on a real high.  OK,  later in the day, Julie Bell (another superstar artist I admire) comes around and said my gorillas were looking great and she loved the colors in my background sky.  Well, by now I am needing oxygen, because I have left the atmosphere and am floating in space.  I am thinking that this day just could not get any better.  But wait, it did!  Irene Gallo, Art Director at Tor Books, came around and just smiled and smiled and said my gorilla was fantastic.  I can't believe all the complements I got on the apes today.  I will photograph them tomorrow and post them when I get back.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

James Gurney Demo

I just watched James Gurney do a portrait demo in watercolor.  The little portrait was approximately 4 1/2 x 4.  All my miniatures friends would love this demo.  He used a few, maybe four or five basic colors, watercolor pencils and something called waterpens.  The pens hold water and have a brush tip.  I was amazed at how accurate the likeness was and the detail and refined finish of the painting.  I must get these waterpens and give this a try.  I follow his blog, Gurney's Journey, and I bet he will post this little painting tonight or tomorrow.  I am now turning in, the head cold has beat me back down.

Master Class Update

I did not post yesterday, I was sick.  I caught a head cold on Monday, which became a chest cold.  On Sunday, I also discovered that my brand new Dell laptop, will not download photos off of my camera card.  Fortunately, we have an abundance of digital artists here and although they could not fix my computer, one did loan me a cord so I could hook my camera straight into the computer and I got my reference photos transfered.  Don't expect any photos on the blog until I can return home and use the studio computer.  OK, so I got up this morning and headed for my car at the campus parking lot, gonna go get some major drugs and not let this cold ruin my trip.  Got into my car and discovered my windshield had a crack 25inches across from the drivers side to almost the passenger side.  Looks like a chip from a rock started it.  I am beginning to think I have an evil spirit following me around.
Well, I took some SudaFed and Robitussin and took a nap at lunchtime.  I am now back on my feet and continuing to enjoy the IMC.  Its amazing, all the talented artists that have come together here in Amherst.  If you don't recognize the following names, you really should look them up on Google.  You will see why I am in Art Rockstar Heaven......Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Rebecca Guay, Ian McCaig, Greg Manchess, James Gurney, Scott Fischer, Brom, Dan Dosantos, Donato Giancola.  OH, wait til you see the painting I  am creating.  James Gurney complemented my design, and Julie Bell complemented my color combinations and style.  WAY COOL!  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tarzan is not Lefthanded

Yesterday was long, 6 am til 9 pm nonstop learning and I went to bed exhausted.  The critique went as expected and I learned more in one day about composition than you could ever imagine.  Did you know that Tarzan is not lefthanded?  My original concept sketch has Tarzan holding his knife in his left hand and ready to plunge the knife into a lion.  Before leaving home, dear sweet hubby, posed for some reference photos, holding the knife in his left hand as I asked.  Hubby protested bitterly that it was awkward and needed to be changed.  Naturally being female and smarter than he, I did not change the pose.  So during the critique yesterday, Master Artist, Boris Vallejo advised me that Tarzan needed to be flipped so that he would be right handed.  Boris explained that the majority of the world's population is righthanded and we should paint for the majority norm, when doing illustration.  Otherwise, most folks will perceive it as off or not quite right looking.  OK Hubby, I am only saying this once, you are right and I am wrong.  I am turning in now, it was another long day, filled with exciting demonstrations and art making. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Trip to Illustration Master Class

I left home at 3:00am yesterday and drove to Amherst Massachusetts.  It took me 9 and a half hours to reach the Campus.  So at around 1pm, I unloaded  my car, set everything in my room and then hopped back into the car and drove another hour and 15 minutes west to Stockbridge and the Norman Rockwell Museum.  A museum guard was kind enough to snap the photo of me next to my favorite Rockwell painting.  This painting always reminds me of my grandmother's house and meals at her dinning room table.  The other photo is Rockwell's  studio, which actually sat in town.  It was moved to the site of the museum which is a few miles outside of town.    The entire town is pristine and looks as though it was still 1946 or thereabouts. 
Oh GEEZ, get a load of that outfit I am wearing.  I really need a fashionista to help me dress.  Oh well, it was a wonderful day, although extremely exhausting.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Packing for IMC trip

I am super excited today.  Packing this morning for the IMC trip.  I hope to leave tomorrow morning at 3:00 am so as to avoid all the major rush hours and reach Amherst early enough to check in and then hop back into my car and drive another hour and a half over to Stockbridge Massachusetts and see the Norman Rockwell Museum.  I have had some minor setbacks this week, but have managed to overcome.  Lupus flaired up on Saturday, I am better and YIPPEE, I have lost another 2 pounds.  Thanks and Kisses to my husband for staying up last night until 11:30 and printing out 100 business cards with Medusa on them.  I had ordered some, they arrived and were not up to my standards.  I have now given up trying to find an online business card printer.  Just when I think I have found one, the next order turns out to be awful.  I had my car washed last Friday and interior cleaned for the trip.  My antenna was broken off.  But, the car wash manager came through and replaced it for me yesterday.  I will continue to be a car wash customer.  I love it when people do the honorable thing.  I ordered some clothing for the trip three weeks ago.  Order got lost, but showed up yesterday.  Is it me or are all the stars in heavens in alignment this week?  Oh, must be the Venus crossing the sun thing!

My next post will be from the dorms at Amherst College. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Awakening Underpainting

The underpainting is almost finished.  Blocked in the figure and almost got the reflection in the water.  My model is Alexis, daughter of my friend Jennifer, aka Medusa, Amazon Warrior and Venus. The photo reference is strickly for her face and the position of the reflection.   A very good day except for the Lupus flair up I am currently dealing with this evening.