Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A portrait commission and a New Goal for a New Year

"Bible Study" (16x12, conte and pastel pencils, from client photo) sold

Well, another year is gone and a new year begins again.

I was thrown off my usual rhythm in November when my schedule had me in Montreal for a workshop and various other things kept me away from doing my annual 30-in-30 November challenge. Then I was largely offline most of December, immersed in portrait commissions at a Holiday craft show that I've been doing for decades.

It's strange and powerful this hold that the creative urge has over an artist. It's too easy to let it all slide and get caught up in other daily routines, errands, paperwork, dinner chores, and then another day is gone and nothing new has been created. But the urge is still there, like a craving.

Commission work is wonderful and is awesome for paying the bills, but when 99% of it is from client photos, it's not creation, it's copywork. It takes skill, yes, and occasionally one gets to copy a lovely image with exciting light and a decent composition, like the one above, but what the client still wants in the end is an accurate copy of their photo.

After a month of commissions (and more yet on my schedule) I'm dying to dive back into my own ideas. The distractions and excuses are still loud: my database broke, the paperwork is overflowing, one of my hard drives is glitching, and the master closet is scary. But I have decided that the only way I'll be able to really get back to work is to tell someone I'm going to do it! (Because I'm a woman of my word.)

So here it is: I'm going to jump start my 2020 with a 31-in-31 month of posts!

Fine print: I will be using the Leslie Saeta set of rules for my 31-in-31, so if I don't paint a new painting every day, I'll be able to fill in with some of the portraits I did last month (starting with this one.) But I will be posting something that has not been posted before, every day this month!

Thanks for following along with my journey, stay tuned for more, and let me know what you think!


PS: see more Detailed Pencil Portraits on my drawings site RitaKirkmanDrawings.com.


Saturday, December 28, 2019

X O Award of Excellence in Chicago

"X O" (pastel, 12x6 inches) $1250

I haven't had time to post much in December, but now that my local craft show (where I've done portrait sketches for the last several years) is over for the Holidays, I'll be back to posting more frequently again I hope!

I noticed that I had bragged about this award on Facebook but didn't blog it, so here it is! I'm thrilled to say that "X O", an offshoot of my Renaissance Portrait series, won the Award of Excellence (equivalent of Second in Show!) at the Chicago Pastel Painters 7th Biennial National Juried Exhibition, Pastels Chicago 2019.

Since my own personal subtitle for this one is "Biker Santa", I thought it made an appropriate post for this time of year... Santa's headed toward his leisure days after all his hard work last week. ;)

See some progress pics of X O on an earlier blog post here: http://ritakirkman.blogspot.com/2017/10/x-o-wins-award.html

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

"Transience of Innocence" in Southwest Art Mag

"Transience of Innocence" (pastel, 26x19 inches)

I'm proud to announce that my painting "Transience of Innocence" has won an Honorable Mention in the 2019 Southwest Art Artistic Excellence Competition, and is published in the Dec 2019/Jan 2020 issue (page 70.)