Check out where my someday art studio will be at The B Farm

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Goodbye

I am not doing a good job blogging about what goes on in my art process. As a matter of fact, I find it hard to do. How does one capture the creative process on paper (um, screen)? I find it hard enough to verbalize it much less write it down. I admit, I'm just not good at it. I'd rather be painting and creating instead of trying to tell the world how or why. 

So I apologize to the few who follow this blog. I don't know if I'll continue with it. Perhaps an occasional post about the painting I'm working on; perhaps it's time to just concentrate on my B Farm blog. Maybe someday when my studio is there and I'm in that beautiful setting, I'll have more to say about this artist's doorstep but for now, I'm calling it over. I'll still be painting and entering art shows and enjoying the creative process but not on here.

Thank you to all who've read and commented. You can still find me on my website or over at the B Farm. 

Cecilia

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fog painting done!

Long ago when my son was 2, we went to visit my husband's grandparents in Arkansas. They lived out in a very pretty rural area close to Hope, AR. My husband spent his summers there as a boy and loved it.

Jay liked being there too. He liked being outside and exploring. One morning he and my husband went out to check the mail. Jay decided to take off down the road - he "ran away". My husband chose to snap a picture before taking off after him. :o) I have loved that photo ever since. My sweet little boy exploring his limits; in the fog; at his great-grandparents' home; in the Fall.

Fast forward 23 years later. I have often looked at the photo and wanted to paint it. Thought about it when I tried watercolor. Never felt confident enough to try it. (I wanted it to be a good painting after all!) Pondered it when I did a short stint with acrylic but it dried too fast and I wanted the fog to be just so.

Finally, with oils I have painted it. And I love it. It holds such sweet memories of a cute little 2 yr. old, my husband's grandparents whom I loved as my own, and a beautiful foggy morning. Presenting "Exploring His Limits":

"Exploring His Limits"
by Cecilia Bramhall
*All rights reserved


Monday, November 12, 2012

Celebrating my brother

My oldest brother likes my art. Told me he could stare at "Twins" all day long. Likes the fantasy aspect a lot. And so I offered to paint him a picture. One that celebrated his life...

You see, we just found out he has cancer. And so I will try to capture something about him on canvas. Put a mystic feel to it. Give him something of myself in the process.

And we will hold fast to the time he has left.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

HIndered by chaos

I have a confession to make - My desk and project table are messes. They need to be cleaned and organized. That said, I often make a mess in the process of creating. I mean, who wants to stop and clean in the middle of painting or creating something fabulous? Not me! That would interrupt the creative process!

BUT I have to admit, I am hindered by that chaos when I want to start something new or even come back to a painting the next day. I feel the clutter pressing in on me. Choking the creativity. I really want my space to look pulled together yet the reality is Creative Chaos - stuff pulled out, tools on the tabletop, paint and brushes ready at hand...And now my space has become messy. Too messy.

I need order  so I'm not distracted.. that's how I'm wired. And then I see other people's beautiful, organized studios and feel, well - challenged. Jealous. Lacking. So, today as I type this, I'm seeing the mess, not the creative part. I cringe and know it's time to start straightening things up, placing items back where they belong. Then I can jump back in to painting, being creative, and making new messes. And when that gets out of control, clean all over again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How I decide what to paint

Have you ever wondered how an artist chooses their subject? Me too. I mean, I struggle with it sometimes and I've wondered how other artists keep creating, keep finding inspiration. For me, I usually find inspiration in places I've traveled to; fresh scenery that sparks my imagination. Or, perhaps it's in something that recalls a happy/meaningful/contented time in my life. Something with an emotional response.

But what about the times I get stuck? When nothing excites the creative process? Then what? That's when I need to step back and get away from the canvas for awhile; get out into nature with my camera , take a bike ride, or just go hiking in the woods. Sometimes, it means doing a different type of art, like crafting. Still creative just different. And when all else fails, I look at art created by some of my favorite artists. I pour over their paintings and details and just absorb.

Then hopefully, one of those activities will spark something, strike a chord somewhere deep inside and I can pick up the paintbrush again and lose myself in my art.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Off to the printers

The painting is over, the design work done, so now it's off to the printer's to pick paper type and place the order for the initial printing of cards and art prints. This is fairly new territory for me and it's a little stressful but I know it will become easier with practice.

I'm getting excited about ChalkWalk in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing artists in action and meeting people as they come by the booth. I have a list of things to do before then so this week will be busy checking those off. Next week, I'm meeting with a friend who launched her business a couple of years ago and is becoming very successful. I know she will be a huge encouragement to me.

So wish me luck as I venture into this new phase of being an artist. It's just plain exciting (and nerve-racking! :-) )

Friday, September 21, 2012

Done!

Yesterday was a frantic/panic day for me. I needed to finish my Christmas card design paintings and well, I still had a way to go on "Waiting For Santa". Needless to say, I spent the entire day painting. I didn't stop to fix supper for everyone (sorry, leftovers guys!) and had to remind myself to stop and eat. To say I was focused and determined to finish was an understatement. Ran into issues (oh perspective, you eat my lunch when I forget your rules!), solved them, felt overwhelmed (stopped, ate, and felt better), and triumphed at last!
Yes, I finished. Finally. Today is photograph day and get the files to the printers. Just 2 more weeks to get all done and ready for ChalkWalk. But, the cards will be there. Whew.

So without further fanfare - Presenting the 2012 Christmas cards!
"Waiting for Santa"

"Bringing Home Christmas"
I will also be offering "Merry Christmas Y'all" and "Snow Angel" from the calendar as cards also. (to see them go to my website at www.CeciliaBramhall.com )
If you're interested in ordering these, send me a message or email at ceciliabramhall@gmail.com OR if you're in the area, come to The ChalkWalk in Round Rock, TX on Oct. 5-6th and look for my booth.

all rights reserved. No images may be reproduced without permission.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rejected!

I received my first rejection letter this week - woohoo! I know, weird reaction, right? But let me tell you, I am somewhat thrilled. I mean, I was brave enough to enter an unknown show and let total strangers decide on whether or not they wanted to use my paintings in their upcoming show. That was a huge step for me.
I'm not devastated I didn't get in; disappointed sure, but not crushed. I've grown; gotten thicker skin; I know my paintings are good - I am more confident in my talent! So while it would have been great to be accepted, I feel good about stepping out and trying. And I'll keep entering and eventually, one painting will be a good fit and get accepted. Because nothing ventured, nothing gained. As I tell my friends - "You can't win if you don't enter!"

Friday, September 7, 2012

Christmas cards in the making

I've been promising a look at the Christmas cards - one is finished and the other underway.  There are 2 very cute designs, both with children anticipating the joy of Christmas. Here they are in progress:


"Waiting on Santa"

"Bringing Home Christmas"

There's just something about a child's joy and anticipation in Christmas that I find endearing. Don't you? If you're interested in ordering these cards, you can email me or check out my website for my phone # - www.ceciliabramhall.com.

In the meantime, I'm still working on organizing the studio since moving everything. It seems like my projects keep piling up. I needed a way to corral the ones in progress. I found this great basket at Good Will - ugly pinky color  but a nice size:

Photo doesn't do the color justice. Trust me, it's ugly.
So out comes my trusty spray paint in "Fig Leaf", a color I've used before on the chair I use at my sewing table. A few good coats and it now looks like this:


Much better!
The tag says "Pending Projects". It's where I'm going to place the projects I intend to work on next - these are usually craft projects or sewing ones. Hopefully, it will remind me of what's in the queue and will help me keep up and be more organized. A daunting task since I'm constantly adding to the pile! ha.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to hear from you!

Cecilia

*COPYRIGHT 2012, CECILIA BRAMHALL. NO IMAGINES ON THIS SITE MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Friday, August 31, 2012

Art Studio moved

I got to move my art studio -but not to my place at the farm. sigh. Actually, it's not too bad -  I've moved into the dining room which has better light. Not really the ideal spot though as it's open to the living room. So why did I move? The light not withstanding, my son needed to move home to save up some money and hopefully find a better job so I got booted  moved so he could have the bedroom. I had some friends help me move everything (Thank you! I love you. You're the best!!) and they actually had me pull out more of my artwork and hang it/ display it. I like it. It looks pretty cool like a gallery or something. (I even have some of my kids' work displayed. They are so talented!) I'm trying to get everything squared away - I just have quite a bit of stuff to go through. ( Oh dear, might be time to get rid of some of it!) Anyway, what do you think? Not bad, huh? Almost have everything squared away...almost. :o)





I used the same fabric I used on the chair to cover the back of the bookshelf...cute, huh? That big, green ball is what I actually sit on at my desk. Balance, core work, etc...you know, whatever works! Look at all that light pouring in - the bedroom didn't have that so this is a big plus to moving.

Now to finish up so I can get back to painting!
Thanks for standing on the artist's doorstep and peeking in!
Cecilia

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Studio cleaning

I haven't been posting much here on "The Doorstep". I've been really busy with working on getting the farmhouse in order and working on farmhouse projects and pretty much just working on my art about once a week to sharpen my technique. I did start on my Christmas card designs and with one just about finished and another started, I'm getting excited to reveal them. I think this is one of the things I love the most in painting - creating illustrations. It's fun to tell a story through the painting.

On a side note, I am cleaning the studio. The hubs commented last week on how messy it had become. It has to be bad before he will say anything! I had projects strewn everywhere - a painting on the easel (with a canvas below), sewing projects stacking up at the machine, and craft projects taking over pretty much the rest of the space - floor, project table, computer desk, chair...yikes. Ok, Mr. B had a point. It was a downright disaster area, so here I am cleaning. You can actually see the top of the table now and everything is neatly (mostly) put away in the cubbies,  the bookshelf is de-cluttered, the desk is almost organized- but the sewing area and surrounding floor still looks like a hoarder's crafter's room. This may take a few more days as I am going to go help a friend paint her furniture tomorrow and hopefully going to the farm for the weekend. In reality, it will never look like a magazine layout but at least it won't cause any comments. So no pictures this time. I'll share before and after when it's all done.

Thanks for visiting this artist's doorstep!
Cecilia

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ready to submit paintings

I'm entering in a new phase of my art - I'm submitting the two mask paintings to the art show "Masquerade" in San Francisco. Kind of nerve racking and exciting all at once. Wish me luck!
Here they are once more:



PS
I've started on the Christmas card designs - cute children in Christmas settings! I plan on having them for sale soon. More on those latter.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Flame-kissed

I've been busy working on the man in the mask. He's about to get - FLAME-KISSED! After all, if he's going to hang out with the Lady in the Dragon Mask, he's bound to end up in the fire. ha. So yes, he will have flames running up and around his mask and in the background. It's a nice tie-in to the previous Mask painting. Here he is pre-flames:



Here he is done. He danced a little too close to the dragon, perhaps. Here is "Flame-kissed":

I'm kind of digging this whole masked theme. One more to do, I think. It's been going around in my head for awhile - actually, long before I started the Dragon-mask Lady. Kind of more of the unmasked variety - which I might add can be scarier than the masks we wear. Revealing, even. Do you dare to look under the mask?

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I finished the horse picture. Love the lost edges and sense of movement:



Jumper
It's delivered and on the wall. She likes it. That always feels good to know you've pleased the person you painted for. It was a really different style for me. I enjoyed it.

Now it's on to the next painting. I'm doing a companion piece to the "Lady in a Dragon Mask". This one will be a man in a complementary mask. He's already taking on a personality. When he's done, I'm entering both of them into an art show coming up in San Francisco. It's all very exciting! I'll post the pair together as soon as I finish Mask 2.



Friday, June 15, 2012

A redo or more like a complete overhaul

Some time ago, I did a watercolor painting for a friend's office. It wasn't great. She liked it but every time I saw it, I cringed. There was something off about it. Needless to say, I finally took it off her wall and gessoed over it. I gave her the option to pick what she wanted me to paint...another landscape or since she likes horses, a horse picture. Of course she wanted a hunter jumper. (She used to ride) Ok. I was up to that challenge. Since she couldn't find her photos of herself and horse, I searched and found one for reference. And so I started. I've gotten braver and now draw (with paint) straight on the canvas. No more sketching it out and transferring it. It's a little scary but it works better. Plus I have my teacher to fall back on when necessary. I'm having to figure out certain aspects of the painting as I go, but it's coming along nicely. It has a nice feel of movement to it. And when it's done, I won't be cringing when I go into her office.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New website for my art!

I now have a website for my artwork: ceciliabramhall.com! Some have commented they'd like to see prints and cards made from some of the paintings so let me know if there's anything you'd like to see in that format and I will see about getting prints made. I'm really excited to be entering this new phase as an artist.

I also finished the Mask painting. It's still untitled.
Mask
She was interesting to paint. I think want to do another one. hmmm.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Winning paintings

Cordovan Art School had their student show last Friday evening. It was great to see what all the other classes had been creating. The kids always amaze me with their talent. I mean, there are some wonderful little artists out there! It's fantastic to see little 6 -9 year olds creating some really good art. wow. They're so cute!
I like seeing what the other adult classes are doing too in the other classes. The pastel, watercolor, and other classes had some beautiful pieces. Just love it!
One of the newer students in my class won 1st place. I'm so excited for Max. I wish you could have seen his piece - he had painted a pioneer woman at a spinning wheel in front of the fire. It was fantastic! Ardelle  got a 3rd for her forest painting - her handling of the sunlight streaming through the trees was beautiful. And Nancy got a 3rd for her first ever person - a little girl reading. Congratulations to all of you!
My "Secret Place" won 2nd:
The Secret Place
And "Midnight's Journey" won Viewer's Choice!

Midnight's Journey
All in all, a good night for this artist! I'm very pleased everyone liked my paintings. Thank you to all.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A finished painting and a new one started

"The Secret Place" is finished! I really enjoyed painting this one.


"The Secret Place"

 I love the challenge of painting a horse and the mushrooms were a blast to paint. The fairies, because of their small size, had their own challenges ( trying to get their faces painted ) but they are done and look pretty cool.

My next painting is more realistic - one of a woman wearing a mask. I'm considering making it a dragon mask - it is the Year of the Dragon, after all. Here's the beginning of it:

This one is small: 14" x 11". Looking forward to developing it.

Next week Cordovan Art School is having their student show. "The Secret Place" and "Midnight's Journey" will be in it. I would love to win a ribbon! :o)


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Almost done

I am getting close to finishing "The Secret Place". I've been painting lots of leaves - lots. Then there's the mushrooms and fairies - those have been fun but still have a few left to do.
The pretty white colt is almost done:
















I will reveal the finished painting soon. Just a few more tweaks....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

White isn't white

When is white not white? When you're painting a white object, of course! In my case, a white foal. Interestingly, only the highlights are pure white, the shadows and contours are shades of the surrounding colors. I think I knew that only I'd never tried to paint a white object in oil before. With watercolor, you save the white of the paper for your white areas and shade with a watered down color. When I painted with acrylic, I would paint the white first, then add the shadings. I find myself wanting to paint that way with oil. Only I don't get it dark enough that way. My teacher has to take my color and darken it then show me the difference. It's been interesting. Dark to light. Not light to dark. There is still so much I have to learn. Fortunately, I have a great teacher!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A new painting

I'm in a fantasy phase. Why fantasy? I like the freedom it gives my imagination. Then again, I can use it symbolically. Is "Midnight's Journey" only about the black unicorn's midnight wanderings? Or is it symbolic of something more? And why unicorns? To me they are symbols  of purity, of perhaps a better us, of restoration. The dream-state is symbolic of our life's dreams and hopes and fears.

After "Midnight's Journey", I wanted to do a piece that was in the daytime so after gathering my reference photos, I started on "The Secret Place". It's in the secret places we're made whole; where God works on us, polishing off the rough stuff, so we can mirror Him. This one has a white foal ( will it become a unicorn? Time will tell! ) in a glade.

As I was putting in the tree trunks one suggested a face in it so I put it in. At first, I thought it was a good idea but the more I looked at it, the more I realized it was taking away from the main subject of the painting. Needless to say, the face is gone. It might make a reappearance if I can make it more subtle. But for now, no tree face. :o) The rest is coming along - the background is in, the foal blocked in, and the foreground well on its way. This week, I'll be painting the foal. I'll let you know how that goes.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Perseverance

Hurray!! I have an art piece in a community show! My "Twins - As Different As The Sun and Moon" is in the Round Rock Arts Council "Imagine" show. Wow! I'm so excited. One more step into becoming the artist God designed me to be.

Which reminds me to say, "Never give up on your dreams!" I cannot tell you how many times I was discouraged by various, some well-meaning, others not so much so, people telling me how very few people get to be artists. Some downright told me I was not good enough. Plus, just comparing my ability with other  people's ability, was discouraging. Well, look at me now, I say! I kept at it and kept looking until I found a really good teacher and through his help and many paintings later, I've improved and grown. Do I still have a lot to learn? Absolutely! We should never stop striving to become better. I'm still learning to see what is really there and then put it on canvas. I'm still learning to tap into my artist self. I'm still learning. But oh, how far I've come. I have more confidence in my abilities and more confidence in my vision. I am finding my God-dream for my life - and I am happy to be here in this point He has me in.

So hang in there. Persevere. Don't let the doubters and naysayers keep you from your dreams. Reach out and grab hold. You can do it!! I believe in you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

This Journey is Over

"Midnight's Journey"
Oil on canvas
"Midnight's Journey" is complete. Done. Finished. I've wandered enough in my midnight hour. It's time to move on. Midnight, I've enjoyed where you've taken me.

May all your midnight journeys be filled with pleasant dreams.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not Weird

I am not weird. I promise. I have no tattoos, the only piercing I have is a single hole in each ear, and my clothes tend toward regular. I don't like being the center of attention...most of the time. I'm uncomfortable in crowds. I like solitude. I can be intense. I tend to look at things differently when in my artist mode - which can happen when the light hits something in a particular way or something grabs my attention for whatever reason. I have an active imagination. I daydream. I procrastinate. I like science. I believe in God. 

My point is this: people don't have to look strange, act strange, or be strange to be artists.  We don't fit into a particular stereotype. We are all different with one exception - we express ourselves with art. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dancing with God

I'm excited about the possibilities that lie before me. In creating art, in being an artist. Ok, so I'm still wrapping my head around the being an artist thing. I mean I've done artsy things (and they did not make me less of an artist ) but to really draw or paint and know what I'm doing? wow. I'm humbled by it. Astonished when I look at what I'm working on and see it taking form. I hope I never lose the wonder of it and the joy it brings. I love the focus, the peace, and getting lost to time while painting. It's my zone where I feel so in tune with God. We dance together through my paintbrushes. And it is amazing and wonderful.

Friday, January 27, 2012

More Aware

I am painting a landscape type painting right now. The part of the painting I'm on is two trees. Not horribly detailed but enough that I really have to think about it. It makes me see trees in the real world differently. I notice details of the bark, how the leaves either look like clumps or individuals, the play of shadows on the canopy, the way the light wraps around the trunk. Painting something makes me more aware in the real world - gives me what one artist called "owl vision" - that ability to expand what I see around me by focusing as wide as I can while staring at a certain point. And I find creation is astounding. Or more specifically, my Creator. And I thank Him for allowing me to see and paint a tiny portion of it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I say I'm an artist...

I feel funny telling people I don't know I'm an artist. Sometimes even people I do know. I mean, I've been a crafter, a wife, a mom, a student, but an artist? That's reserved for someone who creates and sells their artwork. Then I realize I create and sell my artwork. Oh, ok. Maybe then it's  reserved for someone who shows their art...I've started doing that. hmmm. ok. I don't know - maybe it's something else I feel I haven't achieved yet but art is a lifelong process of learning, so I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I create...art. And I love it. Therefore, I'm an artist.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Glimpse of an artist

Thought for the day: Art is a baring of the artist's soul. It shows the world what lies within and gives the viewer a glimpse of who the artist is or wants the world to think she is at that point in time. At least, that is how I see it. Each piece of art gives someone a peek of who I am...I am wrapped up in each painting. Does that thought keep my art too safe, limit what I paint, or make it into something I think others want it to be?  I don't know. Maybe. Then again, perhaps I am just learning to express what lies within - to stretch and reveal my inner self. So this year I will strive to paint with no expectations of my own or anyone else's. Just maybe I'll give myself permission to fly.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Starting back up

Ok, it's been awhile. December was a crazy month! Full of crafting, family and friends, and celebration but not much painting. I missed oil painting! So now I'm back in the swing of things. I've started a new painting and am trying out a new technique. The first step was uncomfortable (brought out some insecurities I have about drawing haha) but the results are amazing. I now have a wonderful underpainting and I'm really excited about adding the next layer. The painting is a night scene. I'm thinking of naming it "Midnight's Journey". I'm really looking forward to stretching and expanding. Here's to the new year!