Monday, December 28, 2009

Master Monday: Movement with Vincent

I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Van Gogh Museum some time ago. When viewing so many of this talented and troubled man's work in chronological order, you can't miss his strong use of line, and brush stroke. He invokes such energy and visual movement throughout his paintings so effortlessly.

(I confess he isn't one of my favorites, this Master Monday is brought to you in honor of @chancetrouble, who loves Master Vincent).


Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
Vincent Van Gogh

Monday, December 21, 2009

A quick look at Lucian...

I have been entranced with Lucian Freud's work since I first saw his paintings a few (ahem) decades ago. The power of his brush strokes, the energy of his brush work, and the honesty of his vision. Somehow his work pushes away the superfluous "gloss" and unflinchingly shows the model in harsh honest light.

I strive to work with the honesty and energy of this master painter. What are you striving for in your work? Who is are the masters that inspire you?

The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.-Lucian Freud

Monday, December 14, 2009

Texture with Hans the Younger...

Hans Holbein the Younger is probably best know for his portrait work in the court of Henry the VIII, however he is undoubtedly one of the most powerful artists of the 16th century. I prefer his early work, when he not only focused on the sitter in a portrait, but also dealt with pattern, texture and color just as lovingly.
From the wood, the satin and the peeling paint in the portrait shown here, Holbein had an exacting eye and hand. If you are interested in a very interesting bio and views of his other works and periods has a very interesting article and further websites to explore.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

SQUEEEEE (validation feels soooo good)!

I have blogged before about how much I love Daniel Smith Art Materials ( and periodically they have customer art contests and I have entered them a very few times over the years. This year they had a holiday card contest at the same time I was making my holiday cards by hand and I sent them a copy and entered.

Well, today I received a wonderful comment on my blog from them, that I was a runner-up winner. (here is their official announcement/blog post)

Its amazing what a small "nod" can do to put the wind back in your sails.

My wish for everyone this year, no matter what your specialty is, I hope that you get all kinds of unexpected and sincere "nods" too.


The biggest place I look for validation is from my mother. That's the little girl in me that will never grow up.-Naomi Watts

Thursday, December 3, 2009, Etsy and ACEO's oh my...

make custom gifts at Zazzle

I haven't forgotten this lovely blog. The holidays are happening with or without me, and I've been hunkered down making an Etsy store, developing ACEO's of my work (I will do a post about these baseball sized art reproductions of my work later), and building a store. Bear with me please.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Getting my (new) Etsy mojo going....

I have started building an Etsy store and I spend my day yesterday making Yule greeting cards from the carving of the snow leopard I made last week. Please stop by and share with folks who might love animals or love art.


"The Lord of Misrule - December 17th. This is the first day of the Roman festival Saturnalia. It was a period of great feasting and festivity, with a lot of drinking and eating. Slaves would become masters for the festival, and everything was turned upside down. This part of the Roman festival survived into the 17th Century."- Customs and Folktales for December

Monday, November 9, 2009

Caravaggio upskirts the Gods....

Sometimes in art its a new look at the classics to make a composition interesting again. This work is painted by Caravaggio on the ceiling, thus the ancient Gods are looking at us from on high. Caravaggio was also a master of lighting and uncomfortable story telling, but those topics are for another day. If you are interested in the history of Caravaggio then as always there is a wonderful wiki here
What classic are you thinking of looking at from another direction?
All works, no matter what or by whom painted, are nothing but bagatelles and childish trifles... unless they are made and painted from life, and there can be nothing... better than to follow nature.-Caravaggio

Friday, November 6, 2009

Getting my mojo going... New Etsy store and a website....

I have been away a bit from blogging because I've been using my free time to a. create new work and b. build a website and start an Etsy store. The above images are all in stock and available to ship today, with more on the way. You can visit my flickr page and let me know if there is a specific print you would like to see next in my store at and I will announce the url for my website very soon.

PLEASE remember that a portion of every sell from my etsy shop goes to help rescue and animals in need.


Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth.
Tom Barrett

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just pulled this proof. This is going to be my holiday card on dark paper with silver ink and says "Cool Yule" on the inside. Going paper hunting tomorrow.

Who is your favorite paper supplier?


Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
-- Hamilton Wright Mabie

Monday, October 26, 2009

The power of $1 and "Furpower"... plus the chance to win custom art.

From @romeothecat:

As a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been donating (we’re well over $2K now plus our $1K match from Nutrish!) Patrice DeAvila is upgrading her lovely gift to a free 24×36 custom portrait. We’ll be doing a drawing from donors at the end of the month. Thank you Patrice and everyone who has given their time, money, support and energy to helping animals! xoxo.

From Patrice:

Donate $1 to romeothecat's donation page and be entered to win a custom fine art portrait AND help save a life. Thanks for taking a minute to stop by my blog and for helping animals in need. I try to limit promotion, unless it's truly important. The work Romeo does every month is essential to non-profit rescues.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Prints of my work for sale...

I am really excited to announce that I've got giclee prints available of my work. They run $28 and free shipping for approximately 8x10 inch on archival paper. I'm really delighted with the quality of the print and you can truly see the pigment strokes so clearly that it looks like the pastel would come off on your fingers! Please email me at patrice.deavila@gmail for questions comments or orders and if you look at my flickr gallery you can see other images that are available as prints (same size same price).

Wait! There's more, when I hit 100 followers to my blog, the 100th follower and 4 other followers randomly drawn from the previous 99 followers get a giclee of my work.


Main Entry: giclée
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a printmaking method using an ink-jet printer for photographic images of paintings to produce high-quality reproductions; also written giclee
Example: In giclee, the ink is sprayed on to your choice of media in millions of colors utilizing continuous tone technology, retaining all the fine detail of the original.
Etymology: French 'sprayed ink'

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sublime Hiroshige...

I turned recently from pastel painting, to a relief printing project. Naturally, great print masters from various times and places are attracting me at this time. And no master exemplified the Japanese art of Ukiyo-e better than Hiroshige.

To me there is no other word for his work than sublime... so delicate and perfectly composed.

Composition, craftsmanship, and color can all be learned from looking at this artists work. He did several prints of winters snow scenes and his greatest strength may actually be his use of negative space and lack of color.

Please take time to Google his work.... who is your master of negative space?


"I leave my brush in the East
And set forth on my journey.
I shall see the famous places in the Western Land."-Hiroshige
(The Western Land in this context refers to the strip of land by the Tōkaidō between Kyoto and Edo, but it does double duty as a reference to the Paradise of the Buddha)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Whistler, not just a Momma's boy....

The following excerpt is from the wiki page for Whistler:

"...After West Point, Whistler worked as draftsman mapping the entire U.S. coast for military and maritime purposes. He found the work boring and he was frequently late or absent. He spent much of his free time playing billiards and idling about, was always broke, and though a charmer, had little acquaintance with women. After it was discovered that he was drawing sea serpents, mermaids, and whales on the margins of the maps, he was transferred to the etching division of the U. S. Coast Survey. Though he lasted there only two months, he learned etching technique which later proved valuable to his career..."

Sadly, as with most artists that are accomplished etchers and engravers (Durer is another example), Whistler actually made more monies from his print work than from his painting.

I have been focusing more on painters, or wood carvers who are also master printers, because of my relief print project that I'm immersed in at the moment and am taking so much inspiration from these masters.

Who is your inspiration for your current work?


It takes a long time for a man to look like his portrait.”
James Whistler quote

Friday, October 2, 2009

Buck's Portrait

This is being delivered to the client tonight and is 36x24" soft pastel on stretched watercolor canvas. (all I can say is Unison pastels are the BEST).


"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Color theory 101 with Jan (Van Eyck)

Jan is considered the father of oil painting for perfecting the medium, yet I wish to examine his use of bold and contrasting color to manipulate the viewer and compose a painting.

With the use of colors Jan can tricked the veiwer's eye into moving throughout the painting. The eye wants to travel from primary color to primary color and is fooled into following the lines of the browns, yet he uses darks as anchors that always bring you back to the start or center of the composition.

The greatest art school we have is the legacy left by those who came before. As always a great jumping off point to learn more is

What artist do you admire for their use of color?


Painting is a form of profound creative release. - Jan Van Eyck

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First relief print done... (thanks @Orangecatblues for modeling)

Here are two versions of the first proof. One is just the print itself and the colored one was colored with pencils and this print is 5x5 inches. Only 11 more to go. Thanks to Loki at for being such a marvelous model!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

They Wear it Well... (beginning)

I was recently invited back by the gallery that hosted my last show. (they do stipulate that it revolves around cats, which is fine). I coincidentally, heard the same week a very thought provoking podcast from and lastly, I've been down with pnemonia and anemia, so I've been a wee lethargic.

All of these factors and bumping into a large block of carving material that I've been schlepping around my travels and moves for the past 15 years, sparked the idea of doing block prints for this next show. (I can carve anywhere including bed).

At the same time these factors were happening, there was an inside joke circulating about my cat Pinkerton and hoop skirts and Marie Antoinette wigs.

So I am embarking on carving twelve 5x5 inch different pet portraits with the caveat of them in some type of clothing that expresses their particular personality.


Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop”. -Michelangelo

Monday, September 21, 2009

Master Monday with Barry Moser...

Another one of my favorite living artists, is Master Illustrator, Barry Moser. I first discovered his work thru my love of the book Moby Dick.
A lot of his engraving work is published thru Pennyroyal Press and here is the link to his gallery of work there. Please take a few moments to be stunned, amazed and awed.
What is your amazing adventure with block printing, engraving or lino carving?
I've been revisiting Mr. Moser's work as I am embarking on a year long project that involves creating one 5x5" detailed block print per month, and

Thursday, September 3, 2009

No animals were humiliated in the creation of this concept.

Inspired by both my daughter's great costume and a little girl in a magical sparkly princess dress, I decided that this would be a great look for Pinkerton and am going to make a graphite drawing of it just for fun.


“I have seen all, I have heard all, I have forgotten all.” santiz Marie Antoinette

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wyeth Cubed, or 3 masters & one family...




Three generations of talent in one family. And the impact of their geography and climate similarly on each painter's art. There is a book of Jaimie's work called "Wonderous Strange" that I strongly encourage anyone who loves art to check out from their library.
I learn much about atmospherics from all three Wyeths'. Their time and place weighs so heavily in all of their work.
When I look at the work of all three together, it is really amazing to see the almagamation of fantasy and bleak painterly skill in the grandson.
Who is your Favorite Wyeth? And which painting touches you most?

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.” -Andrew Wyeth
“I think one's art goes as far and as deep as one's love goes.”- Andrew Wyeth

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Buck looked in process....

I have still not had the opportunity to deliver this work, so I can't show it to you in it's completed state, here it is in process.

Have an inspired day.


The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do you know David Roberts? No, the other David Roberts...

David Roberts is probably more of an illustrator, rather than a "master" but his evocative paintings from Egypt and the Holy Land spark the imagination from an era that has slipped through our fingers. Just a 150 or so years ago, he painted these places as they had been for centuries and caught their histories and grandeur in the flicker before they were changed forever.

Please look him up at

And if you missed the news check my prior posts to see that I've modified the 100th follower contest so that there are actually 5 winners instead of one!

A gallery of my work available in giclee prints at flikr


Each man thinks his own horizon is the limit of the world.-Egyptian Proverb

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Expanding my 100th follower contest...

I have such great followers that I am expanding my 100th follower contest... Yes, my 100th follower gets a signed giclee print of my work AND 4 other people from the 1st ninety-nine followers will be entered to also win a giclee from a random drawing.

I really wanted to also show my appreciation the everyone who's been with me since the beginning while celebrating hitting the 100th follower mark. Thank you... and tell your art loving, blog following friends.

Here is a link to my flickr gallery to see current and past works available...


May good luck be your friend in whatever you do and may trouble be always a stranger to you. Irish Blessings

Friday, August 21, 2009

A look back: An experiment with Impressionism...

This was my second experiment with soft pastel painting and impressionism and was created 5 years ago. I love the light in this photo, however at that time in my artistic endeavors, I thought that planning a painting or gridding was "cheating" and I did everything ONLY by free hand.

As my commissions picked up I was forced to plan better and I broke down and experimented with "gridding" off my paper or canvas. I've grown to appreciate this practice and now as I understand it, "gridding" is merely another tool at my disposal, and all the tools enhance my work.

What is a technique that you avoided or are avoiding? Maybe you should revisit it/them just for fun.


Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. Andre Gide

Monday, August 17, 2009

Master Monday : Ferdinand Hodler

Hodler had several periods of painting in his life (such as traditional landscapes), but what I want to highlight today are both his symbolist work and his use of non-localized color both for emotional impact and at the same time to manipulate value and color harmony. (see the green shadows above with the primary blue strip in the sky and the primary red drape at the lover's feet).

Who among us can't relate to the terror and "weight" of a nightmare in the middle of the night? Hodler's painting captures that moment when we jerk awake, yet at the instant of wakefulness still feeling the heavy chest constricting fear.

If you want to explore a short biographical history Wikipedia is a nice place to start


To be simple is not always as easy as it seems.-Ferdinand Hodler