Tuesday, August 12, 2014

News from the Studio 8/12/14

Hi art lovers,

So I just finished a crazy awesome week with my favorite little brothers and sisters from the youth group at my church.  It was our 2nd annual Youth Week, in which we had an entire 7 days of activities that involved kickball, a service project, an amazing race, a Royals game, and a whole lot of pudding.  So I was busy for the past week doing that, and it was great!

On one particular night, we went over to IHOP for a late breakfast for dinner.  And I had a lot of coffee.  So I decided to do a whole painting from start to finish as soon as I got home.  I was up until around 2am working on it, and here is the result:

I am also happy to announce that I will be heading back to the Raytown Artists Association Invitational next week.  The show will take place at St. Paul's Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City on August 22-23.  Last year, I managed to take the Best of Show award for "Autorretrato", and hopefully something good will come out of this year's show as well.  I'll be showing 3 paintings, including my Best of Show winner from this year's Blue Springs show, "Give Me a Sign."

Well, getting back to my youth group at church.  I've been volunteering with this group for 5 years, and I simply can't get enough of them.  In my last post, I signed off by mentioning a new project, and how I am putting the highest of expectations on myself for it.  There is a sweet young woman named Abbey in this youth group, who has grown up before my very eyes, and I affectionately call my little sister.  I've been involved in youth ministry as a professional and a volunteer for 10 years, and Abbey is one of maybe 2 or 3 that I have seen go all the way from a 7th grade Confirmation student to now a senior in high school without missing a single beat, and remaining a faithful and loyal participant in her youth group.  As you can imagine, such dedication and commitment to a church family is a rare thing for a lot of young people these days. 
So I decided I wanted to do a portrait of Abbey.  I've done 2 drawings and a color study in oil as preparation for the final piece.  Here are a few glimpses of those:

The last one is a first look at the underpainting of the final piece.  I worked for about 8 hours yesterday getting it just right so I can move on to the first layer of color soon.  Hopefully now that the really hard part of it is done, the rest will go really well.  Lord, bless this painting.

As it turns out, this may not be the only instance that I'll be doing a portrait for someone in our youth group.  In the case of Abbey's portrait, no one has commissioned me or is paying me to do it.  It's simply a project out of my own heart.  But over the weekend, a parent of another youth group member inquired about a special project for one of her sons.  And it sounded pretty awesome to me! 

More to come later!

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