Remembering

Coffee cup in hand,
Don’t Make Me Call The Flying Monkeys!
Classic Jazz on the player,
Thump, thump, ping, swoosh…

Puppy dog by my side,
Eyes half-open…
Sound of the rain outside my window,
Pitter pat, boom boom, roar…

Pictures of my babies,
Sleeping, playing, smiling, laughing…
How the time goes so fast,
Remembering the small moments…
These are the ones,
That make life worth living. 

Ethan

Ethan
12″ X 14″ Pen & Ink on Bristol Board Adapted from Personal Photograph

Before I left Kathy’s class, I had one more piece to complete: a stippling of baby Ethan. My idea was to draw Ethan at the same age as Dylan so that I could frame them together: my two boys at 8 months old.

(Side Note: this photo was taken post framing).

The Beach

In May of 2006 I found out that we were expecting baby boy number two. Dylan would be three in December and it was a good time to add to our family. Before baby’s arrival, I wanted to do a large pastel painting of Dylan. We took this photo of him playing by the ocean in Florida. He loved the sand – mesmerized by the feel and texture, he played for hours! What better way to capture our first-born son at such a special moment in time.

I was determined to finish the painting before baby boy two arrived. I had to rework the sand and ocean many times before they looked right. Surprisingly, painting Dylan was the easy part! I was so pleased with the end result and completed it just in time – about 1 week before Ethan was born!

Playing in the Sand
24″x36″ Pastel on Canson Pastel Paper adapted from Personal Photograph

Dylan

In 2005 I began art classes with Kathy through the Warren Fine Arts Center (WFAC). It was really more of a workshop where a group of people met once a week to chat and work on their art. Kathy was our mentor, guiding us through our own personal journey. Some worked in pen and ink while others worked with pastels. I had no experience with the latter, so I stuck with something familiar.

As a new mom, I wanted to do a portrait of my baby. I fished out one of my very favorite photos of Dylan at 8 months. It was taken when we were on a mini vacation up north with my mom. Dylan was playing in his saucer and smiling for the camera.

12″x14″ Pen & Ink on Bristol Board Adapted from Personal Photograph

The first step was to blow-up the image to the desired size and lightly transfer it to the bristol board with graphite. Next, I carefully outlined the shadows and highlights. I started by stippling the eyes. As Kathy taught us, the eyes are the most important part in a portrait. If you get those right, then you’ve captured the person’s essence. And if you don’t, you haven’t wasted hours of work. From there it was a matter of focusing on the shapes formed by the shadows and highlights rather than thinking about the actual part of the body. After the dots were all applied, I used very straight thin lines to convey his hair.

Dot…dot…dot…

Doorway

During 1993 and 2005 was busy! I graduated from MSU and Graduate School. I worked a few temporary jobs until I found a great full-time one as an Instructional Designer where I stayed for six years until Dylan was born. I met and married my husband, had my first joint replacement, traveled to India, and gave birth to my first beautiful baby boy. It was a very complicated pregnancy and difficult first years of life as he was born with severe complications. But we all made it through, stronger than ever, and today he is a healthy, loving, smart, young boy.

Lexington, Michigan_1995

My parle back into art was actually quite by accident, but as I believe, all things happen for a reason.  I had seen an article in our local paper about an artist, Kathy Krupa, who did pastel pet portraits.  One of our dogs had recently passed and I commissioned her to do a portrait for my husband.

When we met in person, it was very comfortable, as though we had been long time friends.  I mentioned that art was also my passion and one day I wanted to pick up where I had left off.

Serendipitously, she taught classes in a neighboring city. I had found my doorway back into the art world. A few weeks later I signed up for her class and the rest is history…