Now that Christmas is over I can safely share some of the commissions I’ve been working on the past few months! I enjoy getting to create these pieces that are often made in memory of a special pet or given as a personalized, memorable, gift!
For the most part I start any commission from a clients photo, sometimes more than one photo – especially with multiple subjects or for correct coloration. The better quality photos I have to work from, the more details I am able to add in! However, I do like the occasional challenge of working from an old photo!
While pastels are one of my favorite mediums (you can read more about what pastels I like to use here), I’m always thankful for those commissions that bring a different medium to the table and break up the pastel work!
Once I begin a piece, I send in progress photos to the client for their approval of the work at different stages – I like to work with them to make any needed adjustments so the piece represents their subject and personal taste best! When the final drawing is complete and approved it’s signed and packaged before being delivered, shipped, or picked up!
Some pieces take longer than others (depending on subject, size, medium, & adjustments needed), accumulatively, the completed pieces this season took between 80 & 120 hours to complete.
I’m grateful to receive commission requests and be able to do what I love! Thank you for all your support this season (and all year long)!
Each month I will be spotlighting one of my students – past or present, and their artistic ventures! I work with students of all ages and abilities and you’ll get to learn a little bit about these amazing artists and their work! Check out all student spotlights here!
Our January spotlight is on:
I am Delaney. I am a freshman in high school and I am 14 years old. I enjoy art, playing the trumpet, and baking.
How long have you been taking art lessons? “I have been taking art lessons since 2017.”
Why did you begin to take art lessons/how did you become interested in art? “I began taking art lessons because I wanted to become better at what I loved to do. I became interested in art when I was little and I have been drawing for a very long time.”
What or who inspires you to create your artwork? “I create my artwork based off what I see around me. When I see something outside that I love like a pretty scene, I want to paint it.”
What are your favorite mediums and/or subjects for your artwork? “One of my favorite mediums is watercolor because it is easy to work with. When ever I make mistakes using watercolor, they can be easily hidden. Watercolor is also very beautiful and it blends so well together.”
Is there anything else about you that you’d like us to know? “One other thing I’d like you to know is that I don’t plan on stopping art lessons anytime soon.”
What is your favorite thing about art? “My favorite thing about art is when I make it for other people. I love to see people’s reactions when I give them something I made.”
How long does it take you to complete your artwork? “It takes me about 2 days to complete my artwork. It really depends on what I am working on. For example, something like an acrylic piece takes me longer than a watercolor piece.”
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become an artist or improve their skills? “One piece of advice I have for someone who wants to become an artist or improve their skills is that you need to have patience. You need to take your time when working on a piece. The longer it takes, the better it will come out in the end. If you rush to finish something, it’s not going to look as nice.”
Do you have a favorite color? “Yes, my favorite color is green.”
How has your artwork improved/what have you done to keep improving as an artist? “My artwork has gotten better overtime because I always look for ways to improve my artwork. I always want to look to see what I can do differently to make sure I create something even better than before.”
Delaney takes her time and puts her best effort into her pieces of art. She’s always working to improve her skills and continues on a piece until she’s happy with it. Her persistence and outlook on learning from her own art are two things, without a doubt, that will help her continue to grow as an artist!
Create some fun little ornaments with simple supplies! Find the instructions below each of the three pictured!
What you’ll need:
Mason Jar Lid (not the jar band)
Small piece of sandpaper
Piece of 1/4″ wired ribbon – approx. 12″
Two small pom-poms
Piece of ribbon/twine for hanging
Acrylic Craft Paint (White, red or pink, Orange)
Hot glue or craft glue
Step one: Scuff up the mason jar lid with your sandpaper to help the paint adhere better!
Step two: Paint your mason jar lid with white acrylic craft paint – let dry and apply a second layer if needed.
Step three: Once your white paint is dry, use the orange paint to make your snowman’s nose – I made a dot near the center of my lid and towards the edge, and then connected them to create the nose!
Step four: Use your pink paint or make pink by mixing a little red paint to white paint and give your snowman rosy cheeks!
Step five: Once your orange and pink are dry, apply a layer of mod podge sealer over the entire surface, let dry completely!
Step six: Use a sharpie pen to give your snowman eyes & a mouth – check out the pictures below for face ideas! Also outline your nose. Tip: leave a white spot in your snowman’s eye to give him a spark! Download some additional snowman face ideas and practice your own below!
Step seven: Hot glue a ribbon to the back of your lid for a hanger!
Step eight: Cut and glue a piece of your wired ribbon, from side to side of your lid, glue pom-poms on the ends to look like ear muffs! Use leftover ribbon to make a bow for your snowman if desired!
Tree Scene Ornament!
What you’ll need:
3” Embroidery Hoop
2 pieces of approx. 3”x3” decorative cardstock
Small pieces of decorative cardstock
Mini paper snowflakes
Piece of 8” burlap like ribbon
9 Small foam mounting squares
Additional items to decorate with, such as, stamps, glitter, ribbon, stickers, etc.
Step one: Cut a piece of cardstock large enough to glue to the back of your hoop – this will become the background to your tree scene, use craft glue to adhere it to your embroidery hoop.
Step two: Work on getting your trees ready while your hoop dries! Using smaller pieces of decorative papers, cut triangles for trees! Make different shapes and sizes for added interest!
Step three: Use colored pencils to shade the side/edges of your trees, giving them a border!
Step four: If your hoop glue is dry, cut the paper off around the edges, you can also use an x-acto knife.
Step five: Add your trees to the hoop! Glue some trees directly to the background paper and use the small mounting squares to adhere some trees, making them “pop” off of the surface – stack mounting squares to add more depth.
Step six: Add sequins as tree toppers and/or ornaments on your trees and add the paper snowflakes (I cut one of my snowflakes in half to use around the edge). Add any other desired decorations and glue the piece of burlap like ribbon to the back for hanging!
What you’ll need:
Mason Jar Lid Band
6 Pieces of green pipe cleaner
Piece of 12” ribbon/twine for hanging
Glue gun or craft glue
Items to decorate your wreath with – I used pieces of artificial greenery and berries. Some other ideas may include miniature ornaments, pom poms, ribbon, etc.
Step one: Wrap all 6 pieces of green pipe cleaner around your mason jar band!
Step two: Collect items to add to your wreath
Step three: Glue your items to your wreath!
Step four: Add a ribbon to hang your ornament!
Give as gifts, hang on your tree, or use as gift toppers! Have fun making your own!
Each month I will be spotlighting one of my students – past or present, and their artistic ventures! I work with students of all ages and abilities and you’ll get to learn a little bit about these amazing artists and their work!
Our May spotlight is on:
My name is Sonny St. Pierre and I am 15. I am going into 11th grade. I have been enthralled with all things paleontology and marine biology since I can remember. I love to write, and I am currently working on my second revision of my first novel. Art has been an outward form of expressing my inner self since I lost my first goldfish at 5 years old. When I’m not exploring Biology or writing, I enjoy bodysurfing, hunting and fossil collecting.
How long have you been taking art lessons and why did you begin taking art lessons or become interested in art? “I have been taking art lessons for 9-10 years. I love art and I’m glad my mom signed me up when I was so little.”
What or who inspires you to create your artwork? “I am inspired by Biology and my imagination. I often use my imagination to tweak what would typically be found in nature into something new.”
What are your favorite mediums and/ or subjects for your artwork? “My favorite medium is pen or pencil. I love to draw dinosaurs and beasts.”
Is there anything else about you that you’d like us to know? “I have a snowflake moray eel named Edgar. I enjoy keeping my saltwater tank and plan to get an octopus someday.”
When you’re making your art do like to listen to music or watch tv for inspiration (if so what)? “I enjoy listening to music when I draw. It helps me focus, but I can’t really say it’s for inspiration.”
What is your favorite color? “Blue- it’s been my favorite my whole life.”
How has your artwork improved/what have you done to keep improving as an artist? “My drawing has improved as I practice it in my downtime. I keep a notebook and draw in it often.”
Do you plan to have a career in the arts? “I do. I am interested in architecture and graphic design.”
Is there a certain style, or type, of art that you’d like to someday try? “I’d like to try 3-D modeling and sculpting.”
“This piece is my favorite I have ever made. I made it when I was much younger. It is an aquatic reptilian tetrapod of Phylum Chordata, Class Reptila, Order Squmata, Family Mosasauridea, Tribe Mosasaurini, and Genus Mosasaurus. In short, it was a prehistoric marine reptile. I entered it into an art show and won second. I brought it home and hung it in my room. Three years ago, we had a house fire and I feared this piece was ruined by the smoke. After a lot of care, treatment and fresh air, it hangs, once again in my room.”
Sonny is always creative in his artwork and brings a bit of science to his pieces! He has a lot of passion for the elements & subjects of his work – it’s inspiring! He’s not afraid to try new mediums, techniques, or add his own twist, making his work unique and one of a kind. Keep on creating and bringing those ideas to life!
Check out some of our current projects happening in the art room and how they’re made!
Painted Panels! Students work on collaboratively painting panels which will be displayed at the Tyaskin Wharf. Finished panels that have been displayed are donated/auctioned off to raise money for the wharf! Over the past few years students have created more than 20 painted panels!
Alcohol Ink & Line Drawing! Students used alcohol inks on polypropylene to create the colorful & beautiful abstract “blooms” and used white chalk markers to create line drawings on top!
Ceramic Letters & Numbers! Students are in the process of creating a wall hanging with ceramic lettering and numbers! Pieces are in the process of being glazed & fired before being attached to wooden boards for a finished hanging piece!
What’s in Your Cup? Students have been working on drawing and shading cylinders, turning them into a custom designed cup of their favorite drink! We used mixed media for these awesome pieces!
As a take home assignment this year, students were asked to create scrapbook/journal pages that reflect on the year so far. They were given packets that contained some supplies and instructions to create 3 different pages, with different themes of; “Staying Home”, “Day Trippin’ Treasures”, & “Serendipitous”. Check out all their awesome pages below and download the instructions to complete your own pages at home!