Monday, December 26, 2011

All Dressed Up, Pastel, 8" x 10", painted on Wallis Belgium Mist sanded paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Well, I pulled it off!  I was able to finish a painting for my Christmas card this year.  This happens to be an ornament on my tree, it is one of my favorites.  I thought I would use it this year as the subject for my card.  It is a bit altered, the ornament actually has 4 penguins.  I painted three to represent my family, as there are three of us.  Warm wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunflower, Color pencil with a watercolor underpainting, 4 1/2" x 6", done on Arches hot press paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is a small color pencil that I did quite some time ago.  I find that color pencil works nicely on Arches hot press watercolor paper, and a watercolor underpainting seems to speed up the process a bit.  Color pencil is labor intensive, so I rarely use it these days.  They take forever, and I was loosing patience.  Once I discovered pastel, I never looked back. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hibiscus in Sun, 4" x 6", Watercolor on Arches cold press paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is probably my favorite watercolor.  It was one of those few times when everything went my way, oh happy days!  I painted this from a photograph I took at a local farm.  This is teeny tiny, I wish I painted it larger (it probably would have been a disaster though, knowing my frustrations with watercolor).

Friday, December 9, 2011

Garden Impatiens, 4 1/2" x 6 1/2", Watercolor on Arches coldpress paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Watercolor is not my friend.  It is an elusive medium that I struggle with, yet I still play and attempt to come up with something acceptable.  These paintings started out as one, yet together they did not work.  So, the scissors came out, and voila! I now have two little paintings.  I liked the simplicity of design and the transparency of the layering in these, they aren't fussy which I find difficult to achieve with watercolor.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Teddies in Transit, Pastel, 7" x 9", painted on Wallis sanded paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

It's sometimes difficult to come up with an original idea for my Christmas Card.  Back in 2002 I thought I would paint some teddy bears that I've collected.  I have them sitting in this sleigh on a table during the Christmas season, and they inspired me enough to paint them for my card.  I find it funny how you can capture a personality from a stuffed animal. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Cardinal, Pastel, 8" x 8", painted on Colourfix sanded paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

In 2001 I decided to paint a cardinal for my Christmas card.  It is traditional I know, I guess I had to get it out of my system.  I haven't painted too many birds, but I did find this fun to do. The square format proved to be an expensive postage experience.  Because of the odd size, the US PO charges extra postage, not a good thing.  I did this format only one other time, again expensive to  mail.  I'll never do that again!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Allison 2000 12 1/2" x 16 1/2", Graphite pencil on three-ply vellum

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

After drawing Three Sisters, I was feeling the itch to draw my daughter.  So, even though I have only one daughter, I drew her three times!  This was my Christmas card for 2000, and it shows my daughter at three different stages during the year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Three Sisters, 16" x 16", Graphite pencil on three-ply vellum

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

I apologize for the bad photo; this was drawn back in 2000.  It was a commission for someone that wanted a special Christmas card to send out to her family.  I did this for the mother of a friend of my daughter's.  Our daughters were in dance class together, and she found out that I was an artist.  She asked if I would sketch a special photograph she had.  It was the most adorable photograph of her daughters, and she wanted me to do a graphite sketch, and get it printed up for her.  Even though this was done eleven years ago I remember sketching it and watching each face emerge from the page.  I was really pleased with the result, and the printed card turned out great.  I really wish I had taken a better photograph, but back then I didn't have a digital camera, and I had a lot to learn about taking photographs of my artwork.  I had to scan the photo of this onto my computer and try to crop it properly.  The top portion has some glare, probably due to some very poor lighting.  My client ended up framing the sketch, I'm so glad she did because I was so pleased with the result

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Family Day, 9" x 10", Pen and Ink, Graphite and water soluble graphite pencil on Arches cold press watercolor paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

My earlier Christmas cards were done in black and white.  This was my card for 1996.  It was the first time I tried water soluble graphite pencils, and I found them to be fun.  They played nicely with the pen and ink.  I don't work with them much now because I'm so addicted to color, but they are fun to use.  I've started some sketchbooks, so I think I will start using them again for quick sketches.  This card was a hit with my family and friends.  I remember I really enjoyed sketching this one

After the Ride, Pastel, 9" x 11 1/2", painted on Wallis sanded paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

I thought I would post another Christmas card painting.  This card was done back in 2008, and is one of my favorites.  I collect Santas, and I've always found this one puts a smile on my face.  I guess because it is not a traditional Santa, and I like the story he tells.  Painting the plaid on his hat was especially fun, as well as the pattern on his pillow.  His night shirt is plaid like his hat, but for the sake of time I ended up painting it red.  I'm still thinking about this year's card, I sure hope I have time to paint something.

One Nice Thing, Pastel, 7" x 7", painted on Wallis sanded paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Because the holidays are approaching, I thought I would post the painting I used for my Christmas card last year (2010).  I did this in somewhat of a rush, but I was pleased with the effort.  I paint something every year for my Christmas card, yet I always seem to wait until the last minute.  I always seem to be working on a commission, and everything else needs to wait until I finish it.  This year is no exception, I'm working on a commission right now, yet I'm worried about my Christmas card.  Will I have time this year to get one done?  I have an idea, now all I need is the time to paint it.  Keep your fingers crossed, I really hope I'm able to pull it off.....

And yes, your eyes do not deceive you; this is a much looser style than my older works.  This is the direction my work has been going in, a conscious effort on my part.  You will see with my more recent works that I've abandoned too many hard edges.  They are important, but like anything too much of a good thing is not good.  I like to incorporate lost and found edges, and paint more loosely.  Landscapes have helped me to achieve this I think. 

Christmas Cards from years past

Over the years I've developed a tradition with my family and friends of always sending a personal Christmas card that I either painted or sketched.  I thought I would share some of the more memorable ones here.  It always seems to be a last minute rush, to try and produce something worthy of a card.  This year is looking to be no exception as I'm in the middle of a few commissions, and this may be the first year that I might not be able to find the time to put something together.  I'm still optimistic though, it's still a bit early, and I just may pull it off.  Keeping my fingers crossed.....

I would like to share a few from years past that were favorites of my family and friends.