Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"The 'Mary' in Terry," and Terry's Prayer

"The 'Mary' in Terry", 25 1/2" x 19 1/2", pastel on La Carte pastel board

(detail view)  (click on the images to see them larger)

Terry's transition prayer for her mother, Mary Miller:

Dear God, 

Thank you for Mary and the beautiful life you have given her and us by being a part of this wonderful family.  Countless prayers have been sent on her behalf.  My prayer for her today is that she has the courage to let go and focus on that part of her that will never die.  That she see with her spiritual eyes that she is whole now.  That she remembers part of her is a part of You; that she is able to love and accept herself unconditionally right now exactly where and how she is - cancer and all.  Amen.

Over these past weeks my friend Terry has been taking care of her mother, Mary Miller, who has been very ill and will soon be making her transition.  So I am putting out a heartfelt request at this time to please surround her and her family in love and light with your thoughts and prayers.  It's fine if it's in your own words, but my suggestion is to use Terry's own words in the prayer above which she wrote for her mother.  It's inspiring and joyful in how Terry views this transition time in her family's life.

I'm also aware that a number of you who follow this blog have parents who are seriously ill, and two that I know of are Liz Holm's Mom and Deb Kierce's Dad, so let's keep all of them in our prayers.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"The 'Mary' in Terry" in-progress, Step 5

Just a bit more work remains to be done here on the skin tones and robe, and at this point in the portrait I will also add in the background color so that I can see any light and value adjustments that may be necessary on the figure.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Video Demo on Egg Tempera

Thanks so much to everyone for your supportive comments about my website improvements!  It's really helpful to receive some feedback on it.

I've mentioned it on my other blog, but will also be posting to both blogs in two weeks a brief 5 minute demo on how to mix the egg tempera medium I use for my panel painting.  I am also scoping out the possibility of creating a more in-depth DVD instructional video, or series of videos on how to paint with egg tempera which would sell from my blogs and website.  So, if anyone tuning in has an interest in additionally having a more in-depth DVD on painting with egg tempera, please let me know. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Passion Award

First, just a word about my progress......I had hoped to wrap up my pastel of Terry last weekend, but I also really felt the need, after working on it over the past weeks, to wrap up my website expansion.  It felt great to get my web work done, but as you might guess, I'm a bit tapped out, so have just been resting before resuming my progressive portrait posts.

Meanwhile, I want to thank Dean Grey for again honoring me with the Passion for Painting Award, and for recognizing my work on Grander Joy of Spirit with such kind words on his blog. I invite you to check out Dean's beautiful work.  There are some surprising and exciting views of Chicago to see through his photographs, a pet portrait I love called "Velvet", beautiful still-lives, sketches and paintings.  Apart from his technical skill as an artist, and passion for painting, Dean is also a very creative thinker, as even the name of his blog--Exploding Donut, and the story behind the name, reveals.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Website Expansion

"Nelson Mandela," 6" x 4 1/2", head study, egg tempera in progress on Strathmore board © Mona Diane Conner 2009

"Old Friend," 5 1/2" x 4 1/2", egg-oil emulsion over egg tempera on panel © Mona Diane Conner 2009

I'm posting an update on the pastel of Terry tomorrow in order to let you know first that behind the scenes over the past several weeks, website expansion has been my weekend project.  There are approximately 25 newly posted images, including several additional portraits, such as the two posted here, and a retrospective of my career as an illustrator in the "Illustrations" and "Nature, Animals and Flowers" categories.  Not even my family members have seen all of these images, so I hope it will be a source of enjoyment for friends, colleagues, and family as well as prospective clients, that the website is more rounded out now.

The topics I've been asked to paint as an illustrator in particular have been quite various, and if you've enjoyed my work as a portrait painter, you may also enjoy seeing this other side of my work when you have time to take another look at monadianeconner.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The 'Mary' in Terry, in-progress, step 4

Here you can see the area toward the bottom right and in the shadow area of the arm where I am blocking in the colors that will eventually blend a little more.  It's moving along, so I anticipate adding another post on my progress tomorrow.

*P.S. on Wed. post:  It turns out my modem is only functioning at 60% capacity, so the cable company is visiting me again tomorrow, plus am taking care of behind the scenes details.  Hopefully I can fit another post in either later tomorrow or on Friday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The 'Mary' in Terry, in-progress, step 3

(click on image for a larger view)

Just adding some information here on my pastels, at Liz Holm's request.  Although I started off with a small set of Rembrandts and Othello pastel pencils years ago, I avoid sets in general,
and favor building my palette gradually as I go.  I use Sennelier and Schmincke for their rich colors and application.  Senneliers get used up quickly because they are smaller sticks and very soft, but I feel they are worth it.  I also treasure Diane Townsend pastels, which cost more (hand-rolled), but are also worth it.  All of these brands can be purchased online. 

In pastel pencils I've experimented with various brands, and it also depends on the texture of the surface you are working on, but my favorites for the La Carte surface are Cretacolor and Generals, with a few Conte's thrown in.  (General's white charcoal pencil and black charcoal pencil are especially nice).  

Safety procedures are very important with pastel.  More about safety in another post.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The 'Mary' in Terry (pastel-in-progress)

(click on the image for a larger view)
25 1/2" x 19 1/2" pastel in progress on La Carte pastel paper