Monday, December 30, 2013

New Painting: "Kellie Girl" -- A Gift for a Very Special Person

"Kellie Girl" 10 x 10 oil on canvas, Copyright Margaurita Spear, Dec. 2013
I am lucky to know a very wonderful, spiritual person who loves animals. She had a cherished dog-baby named Kellie who has crossed the rainbow bridge.

While visiting one day a few months ago I saw a small snapshot that I thought would make a nice portrait painting and asked her for the photo to use as a reference. Then I put the photo aside literally and figuratively along with the many other painting ideas I have accumulated but not started or finished this past year.

But I wanted to make this painting for her as a gift this Christmas, so finally around mid-November I began the process. It took about a month of working on the painting on and off to finish it. The under painting came into being easy enough and the first few layers of light and shadow were fine. Then I began blocking in color, which was a lot more difficult than I planned because the contrast from background to subject was actually quite stark (no subtle transition areas). And painting a white-blonde dog was actually harder than I expected because if I went too dark on the shadow areas the color was all wrong, but too light and the painting was too flat and the subject not fluffy at all.

I painted and painted right up until December 23rd when I finally forced myself to stop re-working for fear that I would ultimately ruin the painting all together. "Kellie Girl" was gifted still wet (oil paint takes forever to dry, especially when worked up in glazed layers) on Christmas day... and the recipient loved this gift to the point of tears. I guess that means I captured the likeness enough to touch her heart... whew!

New Felted Friend: One Of A Kind Owl

Felted Friend: Owl, Copyright Margaurita Spear, Dec. 2013
This little felted fellow was created as a Christmas gift for a very dear friend of mine. A little birdie told me she has a fondness for owls, so I decided an owl themed gift was in order this year. She lives a few states away, so we exchange gifts in the mail and the handmade owl was one component.

You may remember the felted bunnies from last winter, which I made during the snowy blizzard season. This little owl was more complicated, especially because of his feet (which are wire wrapped in embroidery floss) and his teensy details (like his beak and ears). I also wanted him to not be too fluffy in some areas, but also fluffy in others making things a bit more challenging.

But this is a one time only owl because I want it to be special. So even if I make another owl it won't be quite like this one; just like my best friend this owl is unique and irreplaceable.