Finishing a Large Painting, a Juried Show, and Some Fun

Finished a large painting I’ve been working on since September, Got a painting into a juried show at Artworks, and some fun with selfies in front of my paintings
Natalie Colleen Gates

Finishing a Large Painting

View of Original Oil Painting: "China Panda, Devil's Triangle" On the Artist's Easel
View of “China Panda, Devil’s Triangle” On the Artist’s Easel

This past week I finally finished a painting that I have been working on since September. It’s larger than most of my recent paintings. Actually it is the largest canvas that fits inside my car: 30×40 inches.

Finishing large paintings is much more satisfying than finishing the smaller paintings I usually do. Large paintings take considerably more time, but having more room to work really makes a better painting in my opinion. I can add more detail, and I have more room for brush-play. My paintings are as much about brushstrokes and expression as they are about representation.

Also, I have to say that with paintings this large it is really fun to take a selfie in front of them.

Selfie of the Artist taken in front of the original oil painting: "China Panda, Devil's Triangle"
Selfie in Front of “China Panda, Devil’s Triangle”

Painting in a Juried Show

Original Oil Painting: "Old City Hall and Reflection" Oil on Canvas, 30" x 24"
“Old City Hall and Reflection” Oil on Canvas, 30″ x 24″

Speaking of galleries, I just found out that I have another painting (Old City Hall and Reflection) in a juried show at Artworks Richmond. This makes three months in a row!

At this point in my career one of my biggest goals is to get my works seen. Not just by a lot of people but also by the right people; people who either buy or sell art.

I’m not naive enough to expect a juror to offer me a solo show somewhere, but I do expect that gallery owners and agents will be a little more open-minded to taking a look at my work if I consistently participate in juried shows.

Plus it’s a great way to network.

About “Old City Hall and Reflection”

I finished “Old City Hall and Reflection” a couple of weeks ago, however I haven’t really talked much about what inspired it. I will attempt to do that now.

It is incredibly difficult to say what inspires any one painting of mine. Honestly, I see something and think: “that would be interesting to paint.”

For “Old City Hall and Reflection” I was walking around the Virginia State Capitol grounds. I looked up and saw a gigantic reflection on a skyscraper and saw my painting. The architecture  of old city hall was particularly interesting to me. It is some sort of Neo-gothic almost-church-like building and looked like it would a nice challenge.

Also I have a soft spot in my heart for Old City Hall. Years ago, I read an article about its rat problem. The article quoted an office worker complaining about the rats; they chewed through a five gallon jug of pork rinds she kept under her desk.

I always wanted to meet this woman. Who eats pork rinds that much?

Now that I have painted it, I have a horrible fear that the building I think is Old City Hall is something else entirely. I hope I didn’t misname the painting.

“Three Fancy Ladies” T-Shirt

This past week I also got a free sample of one of the shirts I sell in my Threadless Shop.  I am quite satisfied with the quality, but the best part was making my best friend jealous with my shirt. She’s the bio-queen in the center of the painting.

The artist wearing her "Three Fancy Ladies" t-shirt in front of the original oil painting: three "Three Fancy Ladies"
Me wearing my “Three Fancy Ladies” Threadless T-shirt

I painted “Three Fancy Ladies” over the course of several months for my best friend’s Christmas present last year. It was also an excuse for me to experiment with painting techniques used in the renaissance. You can read more about that in one of my blog posts here. It’s a technique I am still learning, but I think it is really important to keep working on new techniques.

 

 

 

 

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