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"A Soft Kiss (16x20)" (pastel, 20x16 inches) $1280

Painting 17 of my 21-in-31 in March!

This one was so popular as an 8x10 that I decided I had to paint a larger one for the Bayou City Art Festival! Come find me in booth 519. The festival is March 29-31, 2019, in Memorial Park, Houston TX. 

My studio assistant will put this into one of these two frames on Tuesday...
(A Facebook poll has the black frame winning, but I'm still partial to the brown!)


Thanks for reading! Rita Kirkman RitaKirkman.com ritakirkman.blogspot.com facebook.com/ritakirkman
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"Ruairidh" (pastel, 24x12 inches) $1150

Painting 16 of my 21-in-31 in March!

OMG! I just found out how to stitch scans together using Photoshop! I can't believe it took me this long to learn it; I had been doing it manually for years. One quick Google search, and BAM! Hours of future labor saved! (*Happy dance*)

I named this one Ruairidh because I've already used "Rusty" twice, and "Rory" once, and "Ruairidh" is the root of Rory, which means Red-Haired King in Scottish Gaelic.

I began this painting years ago, while working an event, and it was failing miserably. At home later I wiped it all back down to the under-painting and put it aside. Today I was feeling confident, and decided it was time to finish it.

This young king will be with me at the Bayou City Art Festival, March 29-31, 2019. Find me in booth 519.



Thanks for reading! Rita Kirkman RitaKirkman.com ritakirkman.blogspot.com facebook.com/ritakirkman
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"Flora" (pastel, 6x6 inches) $265 framed

Painting 15 of my 21-in-31 in March!

I took artistic license with the background, which had another dark cow behind her in the photo. I realized that the brightness of her shadowed edge really stood out against the dark, and by leaving out the dark cow I had to find a different way to keep the side of her from becoming a lost edge (on the then mid-toned grasses.) So after brightening up the grasses to an extreme degree, it was suddenly calling to me to add flowers... Sometimes you have to listen to your inner voice while painting!

"Flora" will be with me at the Bayou City Art Festival, March 29-31, 2019 (unless she sells first...)








Thanks for reading! Rita Kirkman RitaKirkman.com ritakirkman.blogspot.com facebook.com/ritakirkman
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"Miss Bellabun" (pastel, 12x6 inches) $395 framed

Painting 14 of my 21-in-31 in March!

Miss Bellabun is also from a donated photo of a House Rabbit Society member, Christi Freiburger. For my last batch of under-paintings, I wanted to include a couple of bunnies and went back to my HRS folder since there are a lot of donated pics I still haven't used. The House Rabbit Society Facebook group was very generous in sharing their pics with me a couple of years ago! You want a quick, intense dose of daily cuteness, there's no better place!

"Miss Bellabun" will be with me at the Bayou City Art Festival, March 29-31, 2019 (unless she sells first...)

10% of sales of the paintings I do from HRS donated photos is donated back to the House Rabbit Society. 

A few pics of my progress:








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Thanks for reading! Rita Kirkman RitaKirkman.com ritakirkman.blogspot.com facebook.com/ritakirkman
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"Izzy" (pastel, 7x5 inches) $265 framed

Painting 13 of my 21-in-31 in March!

This one will be with me at the Bayou City Art Festival in Houston, March 29-31, 2019 (unless she sells first..)

Izzy is from a donated photo compliments of Beth Watson from the House Rabbit Society Facebook page. The HRS group members were very generous in donating their photos for painting references a couple years ago when I asked them. I still have a few really cute ones I hadn't painted yet!

10% of sales of the paintings I do from HRS donated photos is donated back to the House Rabbit Society.

Some progress shots:









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Thanks for reading! Rita Kirkman RitaKirkman.com ritakirkman.blogspot.com facebook.com/ritakirkman
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"Buttons" (pastel, 7x5 inches) sold

Painting 12 of my 21-in-31 in March!


This is a new version of the other bunny painting that was hijacked.. "Button" was painted years ago, and my client had to give him up to her daughters who adored him!

And actually this is the third use of the same photo. Before "Button" there was "Shadow Bubba", from the reversed photo...

"Button" from 2012

"Shadow Bubba" from 2012

I like repeating a popular image after a long interval. I purposely did not look at the 2012 versions when I painted the new Buttons. I only knew I wanted more contrast this time, because the photo didn't have much of a light source.

photo







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Thanks for reading! Rita Kirkman RitaKirkman.com ritakirkman.blogspot.com facebook.com/ritakirkman
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"Peacock Profile" (pastel, 7x5 inches)

Painting 11 of my 21-in-31 in March!

The second peacock choice for my friend. She's going to pick this or Wednesday's Peacock, and then the other will be available!

I got too distracted for progress shots, but there's the under-painting:


And how she will look framed...

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"Sweetie Again" (pastel, 8x6 inches)

Painting 10 of my 21-in-31 in March!

A client requested a repeat of this darling bunny. She bought a painting of it for me years ago and her daughters recently begged her for it. So she relented and ordered a new one from me to replace it!

Sweetie is a rescued rabbit belonging to a member of the House Rabbit Society Facebook group. A wonderful group of animal-lovers, they were generous in donating photos to me for painting subjects a couple years ago. 10% of all my sales of bunny paintings painted from HRS donated pics is donated back to the House Rabbit Society.

Here's Sweetie from 2017:

And some progress of the new Sweetie:








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"Peacock" (pastel, 7x5 inches)

Painting 9 of my 21-in-31 in March! (Read about my goal this month on Lady Coco's post!)

This is a commission for the daughter of a friend. She won't get to see it yet because as I write this Facebook is not quite recovered from their little downtime, and our conversation was on Messenger. Oh well, I'm still using this as today's post!

You, my blog subscriber, might get to see this first!

Here are some progress shots, and a little video closeup...












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"Orchard" (pastel, 8x10 inches) $375

Painting 8 of my 21-in-31 in March!

"Orchard" will be with me at the Bayou City Art Festival in Houston, March 29-31, 2019 (unless it sells first...)

This is my one self-defined "successful" result of the workshop I took earlier this month with Jen Evenhus. I almost didn't start this one; it was the last hour of the workshop on Sunday, and some of the participants had packed up already (as there are always a few who must hit the road early.) But Jen gave us one last assignment and (finally!) we were allowed to use our own pics! So, I took the lids off my pastels again and went to work.

I have to admit that Jen's workshop was one of the more challenging workshops I've taken. But in my experience, the more difficult they are, the more I learn. Frustration in effort can be a good thing in the long run. I mean, no-one but Jen Evenhus can paint like Jen Evenhus! Trying to brings on frustration, but in the trying are also included valuable things like discovery and exploration. Artwork cannot improve without occasionally moving into the unknown.

I took a roundabout route for this orchard landscape. When starting it in the 30 minutes or so of the end of Jen's workshop, I tried to apply her techniques for bold, large and loose areas of color, and I tried to keep my strokes fresh (not sure I succeeded in that, lol.)







Then, as I really did like the photo, I determined to "finish" this in my studio. My process then ran right back to my own habit of "copying the photo" (and using plenty of the small, impressionistic strokes that I picked up and incorporated from a workshop I took with Rae Smith in 2017.)


 (As an aside, I'm glad I was using U-Art or some other similar sanded paper for this, because it allowed for may layers and for washing in with alcohol in between!)






But instead of letting the image develop completely into a photocopy, I was able to put the photo aside in the final stretch and say "what does this painting need?" and then flattened out the values in some areas to simplify and give the eye a resting area in the dark tree on the left, and kept my detail markings mostly in the center and distant trees.



I can't say I learned all of this in Jen's workshop, but her idea of  the "beauty of imperfection," combined with really seeing the larger value patterns and simple shapes first, was sticking with me as I finished this painting.

The really nice thing about landscapes for me is that I feel I don't quite have "my own" ingrained style and technique yet for landscape painting, therefore landscapes are the perfect testing ground for trying out new things and with each workshop I take I'm able to add something to my landscapes that makes them better!

Check out the (upcoming) post on my Art Journal Blog showing Jen's demos (coming soon -- my son is putting together a slideshow video of her last demo "Gerber Gala", the painting she has put on her website home page!)

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Thanks for reading! Rita Kirkman RitaKirkman.com ritakirkman.blogspot.com facebook.com/ritakirkman
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