Thursday, January 23, 2014

Recapping 2013....a year of art and eggs

a lot has happened this past year of 2013 and I'm just getting back to writing my blog. I was lucky enough to be asked to paint an exclusive version of one of my original paintings of a peacock entwined with a snake for the International catalog company Uno Alla Volta (which means literally one at a time). This happened about the same time as I was heading into the Easter season of 2013. I was a little nervous as to how it was going to play out. Would I have enough time to fill not only this company's orders, framed and shipped, but also supply my galleries with fresh batches of Ukrainian eggs before the Easter holiday season hit- AND also give demonstrations of how these lovely eggs are made? The answer was yes! I've always been the kind of person who works well with deadlines and problem solving. It doesn't hurt to be a self-motivating person with a strong work ethic as well! Not to mention, super organized! Not to toot my own horn, but I was pretty happy with myself when it all boiled down. Which is good, considering I just sent another painting sample at the request of Uno Alla'll have to stay tuned to see the painting, and in which catalog it will be in...wish me luck!

I had good luck this year at the Champlain Valley Art Exposition in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion. I had done some watercolor experiments with absorbent grounds. I turned out two award winning pieces, both done on full watercolor sheets, 22 x 30. The first was a Jackson Pollock-like abstract watercolor piece done with a string-like substance called "Clear Tar Gel" by Golden acrylics. A bright series of washes were done over this, and won Third place in the Watercolor category. The second piece was an abstract textural watercolor collage. I won first place in the Mixed Media category, and the piece also won Best in Show! No one was more surprised than I was! I guess it pays to try things out of your comfort zone. 

 While the art was on track for this year, there was a sad note, also. This year was filled with challenges and loss. My husband lost his Grandmother this year, and a month later, sadly, his mother. She was a grand lady and a patron of the Arts, and one of my biggest fans. She was always interested in whatever I was doing, and my favorite cheerleader. I will miss her dearly. I was grateful to have my work as a distraction.

 I had
been busy getting orders in before Fall Foliage, and tried out    some new designs. The above photo is a rhea egg. This shows  the initial waxing of an overall paisley design. I did a dozen     goose eggs that can be seen in the background with alternate     paisley designs as well. What fun! And there is really a nice     change of pace when you can do some free form designs, and   not worry too much about being perfect, although if you look   at the egg closely, I did divide it into eight sections and had 8   large paisleys wrap around the egg in opposing directions. The rest of the small "filler" paisleys were more about filling the space in a pleasant random design.                                              

As you can see on the right, I picked fall foliage colors, or a combination that I call Bittersweet. It made for a beautiful presentation. This beauty went to Frog Hollow in Burlington.

As you can see, I loved the color combination and paisley arrangement so much, that I tried it out on an Ostrich egg. The results were pleasing! This beauty can also be found at Frog Hollow.

Here are some more fall eggs, same colors of Bittersweet, but done on brown chicken eggs from my sister's farm in Montgomery, Vermont. What lovely dark, hard shells, and a pleasure to work on!

And my favorites for this year had to be the fish motif done on Aurucana eggs- with a light green cast. I did a little hand-painting and shading with the dyes to give them a more watercolor-like look. What a nice patina and glow they had! These eggs were brought to Art on Main in Bristol, and Frog Hollow in Burlington.

I was very busy taking commissions this year, several of which had to do with football teams, which included the Denver Broncos, shown above, front and back, the Raiders and the Bears. The colorful guy on the right was an elephant egg done with bright Indian colors. Fun!

Last but not least, I made several Ukrainian egg ornaments for the holidays. My favorites were the blue and white ornaments, especially the deer standing regally atop a snowbank with snow falling. I had a great number of admirers for these! I'm thinking I need to repeat this, but with a spring and fall motif and colors. Thanks for letting me catch up with all of you. I hope it won't be a long wait for the next installment, as I will put the word out when I have the Ukrainian Egg Demonstration Schedule for 2014.

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