At least I’ve been drawing.

This was supposed to be Film, Part 2 so I could show you the photos I took on our trip to FL. But then I hit a hitch: Ritz Cameras mangled my 2nd roll. Yup, you heard that right…the first 10 or 12 are okay, and then they get progressively grainier and grainier before screeching to a halt somewhere in Texas (a quick look at the negatives reveals that this is because all of the photos after that are completely black). And I never really liked the way the ‘good’ ones turned out either because the grain is all weird. So anyhow, I’m spreading the word: don’t trust Ritz with your film! Especially not film from a can’t-afford-to-repeat-it experience. Because you will feel very, very angry at the poor guy at the counter, even though it’s not his fault that some moron at the Development Lab cannot even load a machine properly.

But hey, at least they don’t charge you and will ruin your stuff for free.

End rant.

(I will scan the better photos, but only after I can look at the ruined ones with forgiveness in my heart.)

My backup plan was to post pics I took last week of our mostly-finished living room, but then I got the urge to rearrange everything on the wall so it doesn’t really look like the photos anymore. Sigh. I really need to just find an art arrangement I like and then stick with it. I have spackled a lot of nail holes this week.

Fortunately I also have a backup-backup plan: I just finished a double portrait yesterday and remembered to take a photo while the sun was shining. This piece was commissioned by a very lovely lady who asked me to do a pastel portrait of her daughter a few years ago. Aren’t her kids gorgeous??


This was the photo she sent me. The setting is nice and the composition (when cropped) isn’t bad at all, but the flash has completely whited out their faces. In case you are ever taking a photo to use for a portrait, please don’t use a flash! Shining a light at the front of a person’s face eliminates all of the side shadows that tell an artist what the person’s bone structure is like. When this information is gone, he/she has to make it up or just make do.

Pastel portrait.

This is the final piece. The style is not my favorite, but it was really, really fun to play with the pastels. To be honest, I procrastinated a bit on this because I haven’t used pastels in ages and wasn’t dying to get back into the medium. But as soon as I sat down in front of the paper and drew the first line, it became the most enjoyable experience — they slide along so nicely, and you can mix SO many colors together.

Portrait detail.

Another great thing about pastel is how vibrant the light pigments are, especially on dark paper. The yellows especially can be so, so bright (these photos seem to be a bit dark, unfortunately).

Portrait detail.

Anyhow, I have kept my pastels out because I want to finish another 4-6 small pieces in the next two weeks. Pensacola has something called Gallery Night on October 3 (sort of like the Moscow Artwalk, only there’s a trolley going to a bunch of stops since it’s not all within walking distance). Thanks to Lauren, I was introduced to the owner of a small children’s boutique called Ty & KC and KC asked if I’d be the featured artist at her shop. I’m going to take all of my Etsy prints and try to have a few new originals and the painting from the Ren Fair poster. My big problem now is figuring out how the heck to afford to get all of this framed. [Well, that and how to get people to a) come to the shop and b) buy my stuff. Ty & KC is only a couple of months old, so I am crossing my fingers that the trolley will bring some new folks to the store.] If you think that an artist is making a lot of money off of art that you buy in a store or gallery, think again. The breakdown on the sale of a $300 framed painting will be something like: $150 to the gallery, $30-$100 for framing (depending on whether the piece has a custom or a regular frame, paid for up front by the artist), $20 for supplies (paid for by artist), up to but probably less than $100 in profit for the artist. And if the piece took longer than 10 hours to paint, he/she is not making a particularly good wage and had to shell out a lot of cash up front for something that may sell now or in November.

So that’s the economics of art, people. And it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.


5 thoughts on “At least I’ve been drawing.

  1. Hi,
    They are cute kids (and I know them), and I love the pastel. Suddenly I want you to do all my kids. One thing though, I hope you asked Mom if it was OK to put pics on the web. Some people are very particular. It is probably OK as they are not related to you (no one can find them through your blog info), but I still wouldn’t put my kids on the web, though alot of people do.
    Diane Mc

  2. Hi Paula, Brittany from TTas… your work is amazing! I just spent some time down at Ty and Kc and think that would be a great place! My husband does business with the Global Grill, a tapas restaurant downtown, and they love to display local artists work– I will ask him to fish around, if you would like! I found this blog through my insomnia blog reading, and glad I did! Hope you are adjusting well to FL.

  3. Diane,
    Thank you for your (very legitimate) concern — I’ve checked with the mom, and she says the picture is okay to post. I am definitely not using names, though.

    Thank you! I would love to find out more about what the Pensacola art scene has to offer. I am really looking forward to Gallery Night, and I hope I get to spend a little time poking around the other galleries, restaurants, etc. with art on display.

  4. Nice work. I think Global Grill is a good place to be hanging. Our landlady knows the owner, so earlier this summer I had been trying to work up a group of paintings to submit to the Grill. So far I have been destracted by other things.

    You should definitely go try their calamari. Its delicious.

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