Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tightening my act a bit...

Working on the last two paintings that are not completed, for show the show that starts Friday, and revisited some that I felt were complete, and added bits, changes backgrounds I wasn't quite happy with etc.

Here are two that are now as done as they are ever going to be... Added at least two more subtle shades to each, and on Macro Zoot, the orange Tiger, I also changed/intensified the background a bit.

A hearty thank you to all my friends and family who support me... and many hugs to Mom, Darby and My sweetheart for all the support and for listening to my melt downs and insecurities this past week (or two or ten, or in Mom's case 44 years).

I promise to have more content filled blogs after this week and the show is hung.


Sunday, April 26, 2009


One of my favorite quotes, from out of the ether is....

"Art is never complete, merely abandoned".... not sure who said it but I am working on this body of paintings all hanging around the perimeter of my studio at the moment, and I just revisited the painting from my last post.  I changed the color of the background a bit (and used a yellow ochre metalic pastel).  I also touched up the feet a bit... could hear my college art professor, Pam Johnson, in the back of my head saying, "Make it sit DOW-ON! on the paper.

Bailey can't sit any more DOW-ON, in this composition..... And I think I'm happy with it, for today any way.  

You can see a gallery of my work, and also see the "set" for the show at http://www.flickr.com/photos/patricedeavila/ (if you only wish to see the paintings in the show, click on the sets link at the top left of the page)


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A look back-Medusa...

A painful lesson in painting life... always document your work visually.  Sadly, due to a variety of poor choices, bad luck and timing... this is the best image I have of this work.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Step one and two and three...

I really love and appreciate the negative space and foreshortened view of HRH Bailey in this pose.  

As you can see after I have the perfect study pose, I print it out in b/w so that I'm working with the most fundamental information possible.  I want to try to nail the pose and perspective right.  The paint is where the details will come in.

For my show, I'm laying pastel over watercolor on stretched canvas.... so, after the basic placement sketch on the canvas, I wash in boldly with watercolor paint in the basic colors I want.  His eyes were still wet, so I haven't gotten to his coat today.  That will be for tomorrow.

See you again soon, I'm getting very energized for the show and in addition to finalizing work, I'm also doing several things in the office/business end of things, such as press releases etc... 


the other part of your art career.... You know, the non-art stuff....

So I finally got enough confidence in my own work and ability, to actually pursue art on a professional basis... but wait!!!  School never prepared me for, writing a press release, keeping inventory, writing a contract, maintaining a mailing list or building clientele.

I toyed with the idea of getting a rep, but the idea of paying a percent to a rep and a percent to a gallery and after art supplies, I was running in the red, made my stomach turn.  Thanks to the internet, I stumbled upon http://www.artbizcoach.com/ and her book ... "I'd rather be in the Studio".

I think the few dollars I spent on this book were the best monies I've ever invested in my art career.  Its all there, every single thing that was lacking in my college training.  

I'm not getting any kickbacks, and as you can see, I've not linked to Amazon to sell this.  It's just a great wealth of information and support from the business end of building your art career and I wanted to share Alyson's amazing wealth of information with you as well.

My show starts on May 1st, so I have many works in progress.  I will be making short sweet blogs of in-progress works over the next two weeks.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Study for Center Piece of the show... Kahplah!!!

So I've decided that I'm doing a version of this image of "HRH Bailey" as the whimsical center-piece of my show starting May 1.

On stretched canvas, with a formidable 36x24inches of image space and with bold strokes of my pastel, he should command a first look and hopefully his frivolous yawn will cheer the viewer up (or at least snort milk out their nose). I'm really looking forward to finishing all the works in progress and hearing back from my viewers and critics.

HRH (His Royal Highness) Bailey, was a rescue cat and was only a year old when I made his snarky aquaintance. Persian cats are the "Tribbles" of the cat world, and Bailey is living proof that Siamese are the "Klingons". Kaplah!!

Keep an I on my flickr gallery for new work as I finish it. http://www.flickr.com/photos/patricedeavila/

(Please share with all your animal loving friends and art enthusiasts).

Photography provided by C. Baron


At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. ~Jean Houston

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

As sunny on the inside as on the outside....

Here is the painting of our elder statesman of the house, Zoot. He posed for me the other day, and I am off to finish more before my show in May and June. This post is brief, but it's only because I'm back to the easel..... see you soon.

This is a pastel painting over stretched canvas, and measures 16x20".

You can see a easily viewable gallery of my work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/patricedeavila/ and if you scroll down 4 postings, you can see what this looked like when it was started.


Cat Haiku from Loki and Pet at www.Orangecatblues.com

i iz an oranj cat
az sunny on the inside
az on teh outside

(they do great, funny, creative stuff, and they do lots to help anipals in need, check them out when you can).

.... working in the studio and immersed in a great book...

My "Queequeg" in art and animal rescue, is also an English Professor at the University of California, Davis. One day a few years ago, I asked her, "if you were to recommend only one book to read, what would it be?". To my surprise (and honestly dread, as I'd pledged to read whatever it was she mentioned), she said without any hesitation, "Moby Dick".

So keeping the small vow to myself, I picked it up, and fell in love with it by the first paragraph of chapter one. Such gorgeous language is rare in any prose. Now the only way that Moby is savoured more deeply (for me at least), is to listen to Fred Muller's rendition in audio book unabridged (abridged audio books are abominations).... so this is the one I'm enjoying, while working in the studio on paintings, and here is a link to a sample...


enjoy with me. I will be posting new work this week and my show starts May 1st, so working furiously.


Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.--Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"

Friday, April 3, 2009

HRH Bailey...

There are certain very unpleasant things that one should experience in the youngest years possible, i.e., Mumps, Chicken Pox, and having one's Wisdom Teeth removed.

I made it to the middle of middle age thinking that 2 outta three ain't bad, and the third one caught up with me last week.... Having my wisdom teeth out... to make a long and pathetic whiny story short... I've spent more time in my jammies and in bed, rather than on art.

However, that does NOT mean that I was not plotting and planning art. My feline only show is May first and I still need a few more canvases completed.

So the one that hits the canvas today, is Mr. Bailey. Who in person, is the most off the chart intelligent cat I have ever had the pleasure to meet. And truly if he had thumbs, he would rule the world.

I will see you all in a couple days.... be well and be creative, and for all that is sacred, if you haven't done so already, get your wisdom teeth out, no good can come from them or putting off the extractions!!!


Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond. ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605