“Can You Make it Rain More?”

Last summer, after the passing of Rock Star Prince, a conversation began.

When Prince was to perform at the Super Bowl in Miami the skies opened up with pouring rain. He was asked what should be done about his show.

He said, ”Can you make it rain more?”

This was an illustration of his work ethic, his understanding of “the show must go on” and the meaning of being a professional.

A man in Orlando heard I was interested in illustrating this event for his art collection. He also wanted a print made of it to present to an employee who was willing to go the “extra mile”.

Our communication was through email and phone calls. I began with a series of rough ideas on lined notebook paper.

I worked on more finished sketches for him. Pastels and watercolors.

We talked about what resonated with him.

The posture of the figure.

The shadow behind the figure.

The difficult road to be traveled through the mountains.

 

Is it possible to include the phrase, “Can you make it rain more?”

Is it necessary?

A decision was made. We agreed wholeheartedly on which image felt right. #7. So the process of putting oil on  a 30″ x 30″ canvas began.

More depth, more color and the addition of cold wax in the oil paint.

fullsizerender-37

A few details.

Both my client and I were looking at similar challenges in our futures. Some we didn’t even know were ahead. Discussing the meaning of the Prince quotation was heartfelt. We both were sharing our beliefs. The beliefs we have are strong and reinforced daily by our life experiences.

The painting is on its way to a life in New York City and the print is living with an employee who was awarded it for special care and effort.

It was an honor for me to be part of this exchange of ideas.

Watch the Birdie

This morning I was going through small artwork from the last year and found these drawings. They are each about 5.5″ x 5.5″, on card stock created with brown ink.

bird-9
Bird 9. Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-8
Bird 8, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-7
Bird 7, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-5
Bird 5, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-3
Bird 3, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-1
Bird 1, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-4
Birds 4, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″

Take care all!

 

 

#PBPitch

As many of you know I have written several manuscripts for children’s picture books. Illustrating is also one of my passions so they go hand in hand.

Having ridden horses for a large part of my life I have learned about the benefits they offer people with disabilities. As a young rider I watched a friend with Cerebral Palsy  become the state champion. She and her big red horse were a perfect team with lots of blue ribbons and trophies.

More recently I volunteered at an equine therapy facility in Decatur, GA. I watched many people delight in the movement and connection with these big hairy beasts.

I have been working for several years on a picture book about the experience.

You may remember this illustration that won a first place in our local SCBWI competition.

pj tried and tried
P.J. Tried and Tried

This is exactly the way I would feel going into the field to catch a horse on the weekend mornings. A little love, a little treat, and a whole of lot of equine energy running around me. It was pure delight and a little terror.

My manuscript is mixing those feelings and some extra sensations to share the experience of being with these big hairy things.

 

 

Flower Power

I have completed the big flowers.

still life, flowers, lily, tulip, painting, art,
Flower Power, 24″ x 48″, mixed media, $750.

I have tried to think of something pithy to say, but with Hurricane Matthew lurking southeast of here, I have few words. I have so many very dear friends in harm’s way.

Please say a prayer for those in need of protection. This is a big bad bully. xoxo

 

Series 2

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been taking a class from Carla Sonheim. This is with a cadre of international students and an enthusiastic, multi talented instructor. I am as happy as can be…and learning so much.

This year’s curriculum is about creating in a series.

Any serious artist can tell you that coming up with a meaningful subject and thoughtful series is difficult.

What am I trying to communicate?

This is a step forward from learning technique and developing a style.

It reminds me of learning French. You know the vocabulary and the verb tenses but can you have a conversation?

My second series is based on the outdoors, the freedom, the colors, and freshness of the idealized farm life. I used latex paint and acrylics with charcoal and ink for materials.

chicken, farm life, painting, art, folk life
Why Did the Chicken? Acrylic and Mixed Media. 16″ x 20″. $295.
chicken, still life, tropical flowers, free range chicken, art
On Vacation. Acrylic and Mixed Media. 16″ x 20″. $295.
chicken, starry night, farmyard, free range chicken, art, painting
Starry Night. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″, $295.

…and the chickens that look as though they are plucked and ready for the frying pan….

chickens, free range chickens, horse, starry night, pasture, art, painting, folk art
What’s for Dinner? Acrylic and Mixed Media, 20″ x 16″, $295.

The colors of the outdoors and the imagined cutting garden of magazine photographs are so inviting.

still life and purring machine wm

Master of all He Surveys. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″, $295.

 

Bird, flowers, still life, painting, art, bird watcher
Hide and Seek. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″ stretched canvas, $295.
cat, flowers. still life, folk art, painting, art
Biding His Time. Acrylic and Mixed Media. 20″ x 30″. $750.
fullsizerender-27
Spring Forth. Acrylic and mixed media, 18″ x 24″, $495.

Options for the third series are on my mind. Am I ready to have a conversation?

 

Phew. A Website Update.

I had all intentions of painting this morning, however something caught my eye. Change of plans. The morning has been devoted to updating my website.

To see my website (https://bethrommel.com/) you may click on this link or even glance at the menu on the left side of this page and see where everything is. There are:

New paintings in the Fine Art Gallery.

cat, flowers. still life, folk art, painting, art
Biding His Time

Some of my favorite ink blot creations in Ink Works.

IMG_1615
Surprise

and

Cities showcases cities!

d-c
Washington, D.C.

I have added some portraits to all categories.

img_0316
Cats in D.C.

Commissions are already underway for gift giving.  If you are thinking of artwork for a holiday surprise, please contact me at beth@bethrommel.com for more information.