Showing Off At The Library

Last year, I had the honor of showcasing some of my artwork for public display for the first time ever. That’s right, my very first Art Show!

From November to the end of December 2016, I displayed 5 pieces of original traditional art pieces. Having never done this before, this was quite a learning experience. But a fun one. Having an art show to prepare for forced me to finally find an affordable cost saving way to frame my artwork. Because of this, I discovered a way to frame something not just for artwork for future art shows (hopefully!), but also for those who commission artwork from me in the future. I now use a frame less sort of framing design that has a foam backing, acrylic sheet, and something to hold it all together. Acrylic sheets are not as fragile as glass sheets. They have a far less likely of a chance to crack when being shipped to its’ destination, or if it were to fall. It is also lighter and easier to cut. And of course has UV protection. I personally love the frame-less look. The appearance of floating on a wall. It’s simple, but beautiful. And the person could hang it up right away without waiting to have it framed.

Also upon my research into framing, I have learned that big art shows prefer the acrylic sheets over glass because of how fragile glass can be. I imagine it can be quite stressful if an artwork were to fall and crack the glass!

If someone in the future prefers a different frame they could always easily take the frame a part and put it in something more fancier. The clips hold everything together very tightly so there is no need to glue the artwork onto the foam board.

Here is what it looked like hanging on the walls at the Library:

When I went to go pick up my artwork at the end of my Show, the ladies who worked there were quite happy to meet me. I was told that people who came to the library loved my artwork. It was a big hit with everyone. Most of them adored the fox and the kitten paintings the best. I had left a stack of business cards (in a homemade box to hold them in) and… maybe more than half were gone? It was nice to hear what people thought, because I hadn’t really heard of any sort of reaction, except for the person in charge of the Show. Of course, I left whatever remaining business cards at the library jusssttt in case. Some others, who were at the library doing different things, were pretty excited to meet the artist behind the pieces hung on the walls. It was fun, even if I was a little shy (It’s a work in progress).

I want to thank my friend Amy for  encouraging me to sign up and for the person in charge of the Local Artist Show, Eric, for letting me showcase my artwork 🙂

I hope to do it again someday!

Two Years Of Change

The last time I wrote a blog, or really did anything productive on my website, was on August 22, 2014. A lot has changed since then.

The first change was the loss of my best fur buddy cat, Micah. He passed away just three weeks after my last blog post. It was an extremely difficult time and life was no longer the same without him. We had a very tight bond. Not having another cat around at all never felt right. It felt lonely. Having a pet in your life does so much and to suddenly be without that feels more devastating and lonely.

Year 2015 was spent researching the different kinds of cats out there and then waiting until I could pick the kitten up. Waiting was soooooo hard. But so worth it. July 31rst, 2015, I met a stunning miniature puma, a ruddy Abyssinian boy kitten, who was quite scared and unsure of the car ride. The whole way home, the only way he would stop meowing was when I had a comforting hand on him, or near him, in his cat carrier that I used to use for Micah. Having an Abyssinian is so fun. I cannot believe how smart he is. They don’t have the nickname *Abyssilians* for nothing!

Meet Rain, on our ride home, when he & I first met

I spent the next few months enjoying my new kitty and getting to know him, and vice versus. Savoring his kittenhood, because I knew it would be gone in a flash.

I would love to incorporate Rain into my blog posts, I feel he could teach us a lot about pet health and behavior (and adventures). Should I mix it in my blog posts with my artwork posts? Have a separate Blog Site for Rain? Or just create Rain Centered Blog Postings on my website here? There’s so many options! I would love to hear your thoughts about doing this, and what way you believe would be preferable.

Most of  year 2016 was spent figuring out what to do with my artwork. I didn’t really want to focus mainly on greeting cards. Sure, I’ll do them when I create something card-worthy. But it’s so much pressure trying to create something specifically for a greeting card. I get overwhelmed and then it makes me not want to do anything. It doesn’t bode well when I try to work like that. In the end, I taught myself how to paint in watercolor with mixed media. I studied various YouTube artists, their techniques, advice and tools that they used. I was able to try it out for myself last summer in small studies and I fell in love with how detailed I could get. Pastel paintings are fun, but there are some aspects of it that makes me…. Kind of lag on working on an art piece in pastels, which isn’t a good thing especially if it is a commission! Some things I find difficult and trying are applying pressure to the sanded paper board when I transfer a drawing. Or when I rub my fingers to death on the sanded pastel board. And how dusty the air gets around me as I use the pastel chalks. So, it’s a beautiful medium, but I needed to find an alternative. And I did. And I love it. I love that the amount of details I can get in a painting seems far more effective than with using straight up pastels. And it is so fun to mix different art mediums in one art piece. I can still use pastels in the paintings, but mostly to make it pop out a bit more. It’s mainly touch ups near the end. For those who have been following my artwork over the years, I hope you notice a difference in my traditional artwork.

So far, I have completed two paintings in watercolor mixed media and one illustration in color pencil mixed media. I will be posting separate blogs that will go into a bit more detail about them, but you can watch the videos of them here. Each video has a song in it (in case you are at work, need to turn the volume up or down, or need to use headphones or something). They are all fairly short in time length. Posted in the order of creation. Be sure to watch in HD!

“Baby Rain”

“Dancing Snowflakes”

 “Hazel Puppy”

Let me know what you guys think!

I am open to doing artwork for people, commissions. If you know someone who would be interested, or maybe if you yourself are interested, send them my way by email or let me know!

~Sarah

The Worth Of A Life

First, if you have not read this, do so now. It is what this blog post is about: Richard Dawkins says fetuses with Down’s Syndrome should be aborted Okay, you read all that? All set? Here we go: I get that this is a personal choice and that people will ultimately read more

You Should Really Read This

And not just this! Oh noooooooo-!

If you’ve been following along, last time I showed you pictures of two torn up teddy bears, with scarcest of information about them. (see previous blog post for more info)

So here we go:

Back in mid-May I was confronted with the opportunity to design something for someone. Something I never thought I’d ever get the chance to do. At least not anytime soon. It was also an opportunity for me to really flex my artistic muscles with Manga Studio 5.0. And man did it ever!
Ok so I’ll just stop torturing you now and tell you what it was:

It was a cover design foorrrrr…. A book! And not paper type book, but an e-book.

And here I present to you the creation:

 (click to view larger image, then larger on bottom right of the image)

My Soul To Keep

“My Soul To Keep”
Photoshop CS4 & Manga Studio 5.0

This is a memoir about a woman who went through a great deal of things in her life time, starting from when she was only a child. As you can tell from this cover picture, it was not always a happy childhood….

First, I worked on it in Manga Studio. Then I did the rest of the drawing part (most of it) in Photoshop. After I finished the drawing, I colored the entire thing in Manga Studio 5.0.

The most challenging part of drawing this, for me, was the wheelchair. Aside from the fact that I don’t normally do mechanical subjects in my artwork, I had to be sure I used the right sort of wheelchair Gracie Lea Silverwood used when she was a child (Ah! There it is! That’s what GLS stood for!). I had to get the right perspective, the right angle, the tiny little details of what made the wheelchair, the wheelchair. And the sizing differences, between the chair, the child, and the teddy bear, taking into consideration what her body type was at the time, going through what she went through. I admit the wheelchair was a bit intimidating to work on. There were so many details to pay attention too!

I also used references of her from when she was younger to how she looks today, taking note of the features that made her who she was and is. Gracie has informed me, since the publishing of this e-book, that people who have known her the best, say that this depiction of the little girl looks just like her. Even the scenario she is depicted in resembles familiar memories.

I also had to get a feel for the emotion behind the overall story. Gracie told me a number of stories from her childhood and even some from her young adult life. I got a sense of what she had to deal with. Gracie already had a general idea of what she wanted as a cover, she just needed someone to make it come to life. I wanted to really capture the emotion felt during her childhood years. The teddy bear is also very significant. But I won’t tell you how. You must read the book in order to find out for yourself!

I truly hope I was able to capture the strong emotions and messaging of the story of Gracie’s childhood. It’s not always something that can be so easily done! Let me know what you think! And while you’re at it….

You can buy the e-book directly from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca. Click on either of these icon images to go directly to the e-book.

Amazon USAAmazon Canada As you can see from the USA and Canada sites, it’s already gotten rave reviews! Yyyayyy!

Note: Even if you do not have a Kindle, but you have either an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet you can still read it via the Kindle App (Google Play has a free Kindle App) or you can read it directly on the computer through the Amazon website. So you’ve got options!

This book cover was a tremendous challenge. But a welcomed challenge. I feel like I learned a great deal. I’m so glad I had this opportunity! :}

Here is a synopsis of the story:
Most little girls dream of tea parties and playing with dolls. Their biggest worry is making sure Mommy or Daddy chase the monsters out of their closets and out from under their bed. However what happens when your own Mother is the monster, instead of the arms of love and safety? “My Soul to Keep” is the story of Gracie, a disabled little girl who, from day one, knew she was an unwanted child, just trying to survive and avoid her mother’s daily abuse. All the while, she struggled to hide her pain from the outside world.

I hope you all get a chance to read this inspiring story! And feel absolutely free to share this around! 😀

~Sarah

A Preview of the Big First

Hello Everyone,
How was your summer? Hopefully it was a great summer! Today marks the official start (via calendar) of Fall! And as much as I do like being warm, I lovvvvveee fall. And if you live around New England I think you’ll understand why. :}
My summer was pretty busy…
For the past several months, I have been hard at work to create something very important, something pretty big, I think. It will be one of those “firsts” in accomplishing something one could only dream of, as an artist. For that project, I have created three drawings & paintings. Well, one drawing, two paintings, to be exact. The drawing is, as one can see, a logo of a somewhat torn Teddy and toy blocks.

(click  to view larger image)

STK Logo“STK Logo”

Photoshop CS4

The next image is of a digital painting I did in Photoshop. This is a bit out of the box of what I normally tend to do so I personally find this portrait of the teddy bear eerily cute and disturbing. And for good reasons, aside from the appearance.

(click to view larger image)

Innocence Left To Keep

“Innocence Left To Keep”

Photoshop CS4 & Manga Studio 5.0

So why the torn up teddy bears? What does STK stand for? What does GLS stand for? Well, I guess you’ll have to wait and see the next time you hear from me! ;D
Also, I will have some other news to share with you. But I will save that for next time.
I hope you enjoy these pictures and have had a great summer!

~Sarah

Tyler & Other Things

I recently finished a new art piece, simply titled “Tyler”. It was first commissioned to me late last year after someone saw a drawing portrait I did, in charcoal, of my brother and my now sister-in-law, on Facebook. She knew, in general, that she wanted a portrait done of her fiancee’s dog. It was just a matter of choosing the right photo that would make the great painting. There was one with Tyler’s owner, sitting next to him near the water one day at their favorite beach. It was his favorite photo. The problem was the subjects were too far away from the camera for me to feel comfortable about using it as a painting piece. Then I saw a close up of Tyler that showed, I thought, his personality very well. Sure, there was a person right next to the dog, but I could take her out in the painting. So after we agreed to use that photo and what size it would be and such, I started the picture.
Believe it or not, the toughest part about painting this one was the water.. Maybe I did not have the right amount of various colors to choose from, or something.. But I seemed to have difficulty getting the right color. It was blue green, brownish, blue, grey… A mix! AAAHH! In the end, I think it turned out quite well. After working on the sky, the water, the sand (in that order), I worked on the main subject – Tyler! It was fun watching him come to life right before my eyes. One of the last things I painted before doing the finishing touch ups was his tongue. It literally started out as a purple tongue. It tickles me to think that. Maybe it’s the art geek inside me haha. I just love how it stands out from all the yellow, brown, and blue colors.

(Click to view larger image)

Tyler

“Tyler”
28 hours
Soft Pastel Chalk on pastel board size
18 x 24 inches
Completed 02/28/13

(Click to view larger image)

Tyler Vs Tyler fb

Tyler Vs Tyler

Also I completely forgot to share this outside of Facebook but I did two other paintings last year. One was a homemade gift exchange with my sister for Christmas. She made me an afghan of my choice of colors, while I did a painting (of her choice in subject and size).
Sister wanted a willow tree in autumn, with certain favorite colors and certain favorite flowers (I chose to portray hydrangeas, which is perfect for fall/autumn). Time of day was up to me. And she liked streams. The rest was up to me to figure out on how to portray her “simple” criterias.

(Click to view larger image)

The Willow Tree

The Willow Tree

About 20 hours in soft pastel chalk on board size 24 x 36 inches

Completed on the morning of Christmas Day 2012 (it was a challenging picture………).

The other piece was a personal painting that I needed to express myself with:

(Click to view larger image)

Fall-Fairy-Sketch For Web

Morning Dance For Web

“Morning Dance”
Soft Pastel Chalk on paper board about 15 by 12 inches

Completed 11/20/12

When I drew the fairy and came up with the concept, I was feeling down about stuff. I just felt like I just wanted to be free and dance… Dancing can be freeing.
So, she is dancing from the dark, into the light. Light as a feather (well, maybe almost hehe).
Arms stretched out behind her, wind blowing her away. It must be a freeing peaceful experience, full of color and life.

Sorry to all those who don’t follow me on Facebook! It just completely passed my mind heh. Well so now you can see two others I have done last year.

So I know I don’t exactly have a Portfolio spot on my website. You would have to sift through my blog in order to see the artwork I have done so far and I don’t think that makes it very enjoyable (unless you like doing a lot of reading…). One of these days I will redo my website (yesssss I want to redo again haha…) and have a straight up spot to showcase the art. I’ll probably still use the Blog, but it will be nice to have the artwork in one organized place, you know?

 

If you notice, on the right side of the website, there is a website called DeviantArt.com. Some of you may already know about it, but others, not so much. It’s mainly a place for artists, beginner or professional, to share, and sometimes sell, their artwork. If you want to comment on a picture you need an account (it’s free to sign up). It’s not quite necessary to sign up if you already follow me on Facebook, since I post the same things on there anyways. Just, for now, it’s more convenient to have a portfolio on there for my website. You can even see some very old pictures I’ve done when I was first dabbling in the world of digital art (uh, yeah, I’ve come a lonnnggg way haha). Just click on “Gallery” next to “Profile” to see my artwork (next to PetraRaain). And click on each picture for a bigger view and info, if I wrote anything on them.

Of course, you can still comment directly on here if you wanted to. Just to give you some options that’s all.

 

I don’t plan on updating or changing my website again, though, until I figure some things out in my life. I might be going through some major changes. But, I won’t know if it will actually happen until I take the big step in really finding out if it’s the right thing to do or not. I’m not quite sure if I am ready to share it with the entire world just yet…. I think I should wait until I have some solid answers first. Why bring it up if I don’t actually do anything about it? That’s what I think. It’s kinda a scary thought, but it will bug me for the rest of my life if I don’t try. Just so I can never say to myself “What if I tried?” as I get older. Some of you already know what I am talking about, as I’ve only shared it with a few close friends and family.

As far as future artwork is concerned: I am opened to do a commissioned piece. It does not have to be strictly animal. It can be people, or people and animals, or something fantasy or… Anything…. Until I get another commission, I will be working on other personal projects that I have in mind to paint.  A lot of it is redoing old pieces (to make them better) or finishing concepts that have come from inside, whatever the reasons they are, or things or people who have inspired me to express myself in a certain way.

I hope the start of 2013 is going well for you all.

Til next time….

A Warm Snowy Christmas

Quick thing: I have created an Official Artist Page on Facebook if you would like to Follow my Art^^ It’s called: Art Of Sarah Leone

Years ago I took a quick snapshot photo of my cat with my first digital camera. I loved it and always wanted to do something fun with the photo. I found his pose rather striking, despite the poor photo quality.  He just looked so completely happy and content at that very moment. And so, Thanksgiving weekend I got the inspiration to paint a picture version of the photo, with a bit of alterations as you’ll see at the end.

I will be selling this as Christmas cards at Lucy’s Art Emporium and on my online stores via Etsy. Link to the store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Raain/

Oh! By the way, Credits to the music are in the YouTube Description underneath the video on  the YouTube site. Just in case you wanted to know who they were.

Let me know what you think!

Be sure to watch it in High Def (under Change Quality)! You’ll be able to see colors and details better.

Video is about 4 minutes, 20 seconds; so not too terribly long.

Merry Christmas!!

A New Way of Photoshopping

First off, I finally added the Share and Like features on my site. So if you like something like you would on Facebook, click Like at the bottom of each blog post. Or, if you want to Share one of my blog posts anywhere, where you might have an account at, click one of the Share Icons, also at the bottom of each blog post (right above Like and Send). Same goes for my YouTube videos. There is a Share button at the bottom of every video, where there is a Twitter, Facebook and More icon.

I know most of you know this already, but for those who don’t…..

…Now that that is settled…

Earlier this year I embarked on a journey to draw something different. At first, it was mainly for the fun of it, to relax my art brain. But after I finished the initial drawing part of it, I decided I would use it to try something different with Photoshop. I’ve always felt my painting skills in Photoshop (or most art computer programs) were quite lacking. So I spent about a week just finding and watching video tutorials from different artists, with different styles of going about things. After that, I felt ready to try things out…. Well, I don’t know about you but, so far, I have seen a big difference!
Now, I could explain further as to how this helped me and what I was doing before this but, I think I will save that for when I really finish this. Plus there’s the whole *I’ve got to watch this!* feeling you get when you find out I have a new art video! ;D
This is the first time I have made a video that shows me drawing/coloring/painting a picture. So, it’s a mixture of photos and video (mostly video though). But don’t worry, this time it goes by really fast. A three hours video recording time dwindled down to 6-7 minutes worth!
Oh yeah, and this is inspired by a friend that I know online. I took note of his interests in mind and came up with this. I hope you like it! And let me know what you think!^^

The Agency & The Eastern Rising

As before in the last post, much has changed. This time, it is not really with this website (though I did change it a little bit here and there), but mainly with me personally. I started working on a painting a while ago. And then I needed to pause on it so I could also work on a logo that had to be completed as soon as possible. Some time after finishing the logo, I felt I needed to just take care of myself, inside. I’d been avoiding it for a very long time, because it involved terrible memories for me, and I wished to avoid, accept and move on from it. But it was most always in the back of my mind. I grew tired of fighting back and so I felt I was finally ready to just sit and confront the situation head on, without anyone around for me to wonder “what do they think?” I needed to know how exactly I felt, without influence from others’  thoughts and perceptions. I’ve had a nasty habit in the past of forming how I felt through how others felt, but deep down inside feeling differently. And now, I know. Well, I’m certain at least, how I feel about it all… I am not ready to tell the whole world about it quite yet, though my family and some friends know. But when the time comes,  I may share some personal news and stories with you.

Until then, I share with you some art news. As I mentioned earlier, I was requested to create a logo within about a week. It was for my older brothers’ new insurance company. A lion is the crest symbol for Leone, thus why the lion was chosen. I did the logo entirely in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Click to view larger image

Leone Lion ReEdit 2

You can find more information about this awesome new

and thriving insurance company at: Leone Insurance Agency

Lastly, I have recently completed the biggest commissioned painting I’ve ever done so far. It is framed, but I do not yet have a photo of it in the frame. But as soon as I do, I will post it for all to see.  In the meantime, here is the final result without the frame:

Click to view larger image

Eastern_Rising

The Eastern Rising

Pastel Chalk with some pastel pencils on pastel grey board

24 by 36 inches

27 hours of painting

This painting was a great challenge because I do not usually do seascapes. I’m not certain I have really actively and seriously ever done seascapes before. But I enjoyed it, because it was another challenge for me to puzzle out and learn from. It went through a great many changes. I plan on making a video progress of it some time so be on the lookout for that!

I will be selling prints of this. It can be in pretty much any size you want, so just let me know what size prints you would like and I will let you know the prices some time next week.

I am also open to doing more paintings, so feel free to look around my site and email me for more info.

Let me know what you guys think!

Spring Has Sprung…

…Among other things… Such as my web site! Yes I have finally made drastic changes to it at last! I’ve been wanting to change it since last year, but was still figuring out what to use, and, mostly, wanting to build up my portfolio and experience a bit more before redoing my site. I hope I succeeded!

Allow me to show you around a little bit 😀

Beforehand, when clicking on a picture to zoom into, it brought you to a separate plain window or tab. Then you would need to exit out of it or click return to previous page to get back to my site. Now you don’t need to leave my site at all in order to zoom in! Just click on a picture when you see a Magnifier and watch it load to a bigger size. You can even click and drag the zoomed picture/photo around the screen if you’d like.

I have officially put my online store back on cyberspace! Previously, I felt my store was rather clunky and disorganized. Now, you can see a 3D image of the product with my design on it and preview your customized greeting card up front right on my store. Now… There’s not much on it right nowwww. But when creating the product, it takes much customizing and configuring out before publishing to sell. So I will continue to add more products to my store. You will be able to see the recent products added directly on my site as well, so you can easily tell when I’ve added something new to the store.

I also have an official Subscription sign-up form which will make it easier for everyone to receive updates and emails from me about my website and art life. So if you would like to keep up to date, feel free to sign up!

Oh yes and I’ve also added more security features when sending an email in any of my web pages or comments on my blog. Getting too many Spammers is no fun! So I had to take action and fight back at them! They have since scaled back their attacks…. Hmm….. Seems to be working quite well! Ü

I  think the rest is pretty self-explanatory.

If you have any questions, let me know. Or if you have a design you would like, or painting you would like done, check out the links above or on the Homepage for more information.

So let me know what you think of my new layout and design! I will probably start posting more artsy stuff soon to share with you so be on the lookout! For now…. Enjoy the new website!