The three artists below, featured in the June 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase, share their beautiful artwork and the inspiration behind it here in our blog.
Ross Castle by Ann Richman
10-1/2 x 7 inches
Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, Strathmore Colored Pencil Paper, series 400
(Photo by Adam Machowiak; used with permission)
I created “Ross Castle” as a gift for my mother to memorialize a family trip to Ireland in July of 2018 to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. After the journey, my father was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. We lost my dad as a result of the illness in 2019. We still miss him every day, but we are grateful to have many memories of him to cherish. My father was of Irish ancestry and a history buff, and during our trip, we were awed by the beautiful artifacts that cover Ireland's landscape. Ross Castle was one of the many locations we were blessed to have visited.
Ross Castle is a fortress built by O'Donoghues Mór in the 15th century. Legend has it that O’Donoghue is asleep under the water of the adjacent Lough Leane. He awakens once every seven years on the first day in May and rides his white horse around the lake. It is said that whoever sees him will have good fortune.
In searching for a reference for the piece, I was drawn to Adam Machowiak’s stunning photograph of the castle. I wanted to render the dramatic lighting that bathed the castle and landscape in orange and golden hues. I was able to capture the essence of the piece by using many layers of color which I blended by burnishing.
The sunset in the drawing for me symbolizes losing loved ones. And although it was sad to say goodbye to my father, this piece also conveys hope in the form of light, which symbolizes God. I can rest knowing that I will see my dad in heaven one day.
I would like to thank Adam Machowiak for permitting me to create a work from his photograph.
About Ann Richman:
Ann Richman is an artist living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She specializes in depicting animals and landscapes. Previously, she was a scientist and a teacher. Ann is now striving to become a full-time artist focusing on colored pencils and pastels. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking the mountains with her husband and her dogs.
See more at: www.annrichmanart.com
Percy by Leah Gardner
10 x 12 inches
Polychromos pencils on drafting film
(Photo by Tony Putman; used with permission)
Percy is a dear little dog that my friend rescued. He has an absolute zest for life and is one of the happiest dogs I know. It was my friend's birthday and I wanted to draw a picture of him for her.
When choosing from the many gorgeous photos there were of him, it could only be this one. It absolutely shows his personality. My Facebook art tag line is “oddly different art” and it’s exactly pictures like these that I adore, something a bit different from other portraits, whether it be an unusual pose, or funky bright background, or paint splashes, or a fun spin on it.
You put a little bit of your heart into every picture, but I think when you know the animal personally a little extra goes in and you can capture their true energy.
The ball was a new challenge for me, having never really attempted rubber and material. but it was a fun learning curve.
About Leah Gardner:
Leah grew up at an animal rescue which firmly cemented her passion for animals. Drawing a little here and there as she grew up only when COVID lockdown hit did she really pick up the pencils and start drawing more. In 2020, Leah started working in color which she is truly loving!
See more at: www.leahgardnerart.co.uk/
Self Portrait, by Nancy Honaker
9 x 14 inches
Colored pencil on Pastelmat
(Artist's own photo)
I’ve always admired the work of Norman Rockwell and one piece in particular always intrigued me. It was his work titled “Self Portrait” in which you, as the viewer, see him painting himself as he’s looking in the mirror. I played on this concept with the wooden mannequin, showing him in four different ways: He, himself, looking at his reference photo taped to the corner of his self-portrait drawing, and then I added the dramatic shadow on the wall just to show him in one more dimension.
I used two lights when setting up this still life which created the crazy shadows. There’s the bright light coming from the left shining on his back, and the front light which caused the dramatic shadow on the wall. I found all these shadow directions interesting and unique.
I truly enjoyed creating this whimsical piece!
About Nancy Honaker:
Nancy graduated with a fine arts degree from BGSU in Ohio, but life led her in different directions for years. After many years in CA working in the film industry, Nancy moved back to Ohio and began selling whimsical art with her sister. This rekindled her spirit for drawing and she discovered the joy of colored pencil in creating realistic works.
See more at: www.nehonakerart.com
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