Friday, September 16, 2011

Eddie the Aviator

Sometimes I decide to make a bear, creating it's persona, and sometimes the bear tells me who it is going to be.

I made a parade themed bear I called Franklin for the Teddy Bear's on Parade Show back in July. I was quite pleased with the bear--he was made from one of my favorite big bear designs with a fur color I hadn't used before. In keeping with the parade theme, I made him into a drummer with a band uniform. He was the only bear who didn't find a home during the show. No matter, I thought. I'll just save him for my next show. He waited patiently in my studio.

On a trip to Hobby Lobby, I found an sweet little wooden airplane in the decor section. A few years ago, I had made a bear with a sailor collar and gave him a little sailboat to hold, so I thought I'd make an aviator bear to hold this little airplane. When I got home, I set the plane next to Franklin and immediately decided he needed a change of attire! I bought a child's bomber jacket on ebay, and not only was the color a perfect complement to Franklin's beige and taupe tones, it was a perfect fit.

This was the point when "Franklin" spoke up. "My name is not Franklin," he said, "I am Eddie the Aviator!"

Not only did he let me know who he was, but he also told me very clearly (although not by using actual words-Teddy Bears rarely do) whose bear he is! Every time I looked at him, I just knew he was my Dad's bear. ( My Dad was in the Air Force) So I called up my Dad, and described Eddie to him, and he was very excited. He came over for dinner tonight, and I gave him his bear. I am happy to say, Dad loves Eddie.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Portrait Techniques of the Masters

I am so exited! My mom and I have enrolled in an oil painting class through the Art Academy of Cincinnati (their community college program). The class, called "Portrait Techniques of the Masters" is taught by Carin Hebenstreit at Essex Studios.

I haven't painted with oils since high school, but I love the technique we are learning and by the end of the first class, I was feeling more confident with the medium as well as somewhat pleased with the results of my efforts and Carin's instruction. We started with a canvas covered with burnt umber mixed evenly with white, and then used those two colors to paint the face values in. Fun stuff!

I thought the photos I took looked a bit lighter and more muted than my actual painting, so I clicked "auto levels" in photoshop and this (below) is what I it's darker than it is in reality, but it looks good--maybe I should intensify the values in my painting? Learning from the old masters and new technology!

I am still working on bear orders, as well as a couple of Hallween bears for my website, then the Hunt Valley Teddy Bear Show and Christmas Treasures online shows are right around the corner, and school has started for myself and my sons, so I'm busy, busy, busy! But it's a happy kind of busy not a stressful kind, and that fall smell is in the air and life is GOOD! Oh, yeah!