May I introduce you to His Grace, the Duke of Welfurrd, and his wife, the Duchess of Welfurrd.
(Well-furred, get it??)
They are my entries this year for the 7th annual Art For the Animals, to raise money for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Last year, my AfriCat painting went for $40.00 at auction, with all the proceeds donated to the charity.
All entries must be 5″x7″. Howards’ Arts and Frames (the host of the fundraiser) professionally frames each piece, and all artwork will be on display from Saturday, October 6th through Thursday, October 25th.
Visitors to the store may bid on paintings (each piece has a sheet of paper attached for written bids) and vote on their favorites. The winning bidders will be determined on the 25th, where the artists receiving the most popular votes will also be awarded at their closing ceremony.
Last year, I entered the competition literally at the 11th hour… and spent 6 hours total on the project. (You can watch me painting Africat in this 2-part video)
Howards was kind enough to extend the deadline for a few late entries like mine.
I promised myself that I’d be on the ball this time… I even planned to do a few canvases. But again, I was distracted by other shiny things… and passed the billboard signage without a second glance.
Until last weekend.
Slapping my hand to my forehead, and turning the car around, I went back and picked up two canvases.
My week was already super-busy (a bakery dept. inventory scheduled, long hours, etc…) or I might’ve felt ambitious enough to grab several.
As it was, I worked on these two Baroque-style cat portraits off and on throughout the week, completing 80% of them before the 29th; i.e. their deadline.
I put the final stroke on the Duke’s fur at 4:00PM on Saturday, and let them dry for an hour.
The second coat of varnish was still drying, and tacky to the touch, when I rolled into Howards’ parking-lot at 5:55PM.
And yep, you guessed it. They close at 6:00PM.
The door was still open, the clerk was counting register receipts, and I casually strolled up and laid my two nearly-dry felines on the counter.
The framer, Andrew, looked them over carefully and pronounced them “Very cool”.
He also shared a secret ~ Quite a few paintings were arriving tacky with drying varnish.
I wasn’t the only procrastinator, eh?
In fact, out of the 194 entries they received ~ 20 more than last year ~ 58 of them were handed in that very afternoon! LOL!
At this point, I’m unsure if phone-in bids will be accepted this year… I’ve heard both yes and no. I will post the auction details as I learn more.
If you do not live locally, and are unable to bid on the paintings themselves, I will also be making prints available on Etsy soon. I’ve already printed up some greeting cards and bookmarks (and they’re really cute!)… and I’m waiting on a nice, sunny day when I have time to photograph them.
Perhaps I’ll sneak away from work on my lunch break tomorrow.
So now that the excitement of a last-minute deadline is past, it’s back to the studio to finish the two commissioned portraits whose owners are waiting very patiently.
Last week, I blogged about my “AfriCat” painting, which I’ve donated to the charity fundraiser “Art for the Animals”, hosted by Howards’ Arts and Frames.
The good news: Howards’ is accepting phone-in bids until close of business at 6:00PM on Wednesday. (They aren’t staffed to answer multiple calls after business hours)
You can call them to check on its status, and place your bid: 1-301-733-2722
Any phone-in bidder who wins must also pay for shipping the framed piece… I can’t quote you any shipping charges here, as it will vary depending on destination and carrier.
The quasi-bad news: Bidding ends on Wednesday, Oct. 26th. So hurry if you’re interested!
Monday afternoon, the highest bid on my painting was $26.00… and a Howards’ Arts employee expected some of the popular paintings (including mine) to see bidding increases in the next couple of days. All of the proceeds from art sales will be donated to their 2011 charity: Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
AfriCat was the first painting for which I videotaped my progress, rather than taking photos. I planned to upload the footage last weekend with my blog post, but my SD card mysteriously disappeared. I feared it had evolved itself into another dead battery or remote for a non-existent device…. which is our techie alternative to the “socks and coat-hangers” theory. Although transforming into a defunct item would be a regression in evolution, rather than progressive… but I digress.
This past weekend, the missing link (i.e. the SD card) turned up. And I managed to salvage my 3 hours worth of video.
The painting itself took about 10 hours in total, but I didn’t have enough space on the card to capture every single minute of the painting process.
I captured the basics, however, and edited the footage even further to total approximately 20 minutes (split between two videos) using high-speed effects in Windows Live Movie Maker.
Here is part 1:
And Part 2:
In my first video, Dominic and my 2-year-old son made guest appearances!
I decided not to edit them out of the video, because this is my reality. Even though Joe was home all afternoon, babysitting the kids, they still made a point to visit me for cuddle time (and a bit of whining, too).
My typical day in the studio – never completely alone, with hours of uninterrupted time to work. I won’t pretend that my afternoons are breezy, stress-free, and full of creative energy. Rather, it’s a constant struggle to get things done and not be distracted by the goings-on around me.
Although sometimes I envy my single childless friends for all their personal “me” time, I also realize that they envy me for this state of chaos I live with.
I’m fortunate to have my crazy family.
Paw prints on my wet canvas and all.