I started this painting near the end of 2012. It took a bit longer than usual for me, but it also has a great deal of detail to it. I spent 2012 really trying to learn how to paint digitally. I worked at it off an on, but the last 3 months, I really dedicated myself to learning this way of creating art. I missed the rich colors and smooth blending from my days working in oils, but I really didn't want to fill my home with the fumes again. And even if I no longer have a toddler running around to run her fingers over the wet canvases, I have 3 cats and a dog that want to rub against everything. Digital seemed the way to go.
And it paid off. I finally captured the look I have been trying for. In all honesty it took me so long because every time I paused I would spend an hour or so just staring at her thinking "Did I really do that?"
When I started this painting the sketch was very sad, mournful even, and my working title was Grief. But as I worked on her she evolved into something more thoughtful than sad. So I changed the title. And the little butterfly was an afterthought that just seemed to fit the more hopeful feeling of the painting that wasn't in the early sketch.
By the Ruins is my latest painting for this year.
It has been a rough year creatively. I have been focusing more on learning new skills than creating new artwork. But on the plus side I have developed some new skills.
I have began to actually learn a bit of digital art. Still not my strong suit as I am not real good at sitting down at a desk and painting for hours on end. I seem to like having lots of stuff going on around me. So moving from the livingroom to the spare room for my studio wasn't the best for me creatively. And then digital art is not as easy to take to a coffee shop when I am feeling stuck. Watercolors seem to be much easier to transport. I think I need to powerful laptop to handle some digital work.
I have also been perfecting my face painting skills and have joined the local guild. I have actually been painting faces for 2 years now, but began my creative obsessing around late December of last year. The plus side of this, is that I have gotten rather good at face painting, the down side is that I have become attached to a TV show called Face Off.
If you click on the image of By the Ruins, it will take you to the etsy listing for the original painting. Maybe later this week I will make myself focus on getting this image on cafepress.