Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pete - Commissioned Oil Portrait

Recently I finished a commissioned oil portrait.  The man in the portrait is Pete, and his daughter commissioned the painting.  From what I understand, Pete is an amazing father, so of course one of his daughters thought it was appropriate to have an oil painting of him.  I really enjoyed working on this.  He has a lot of character in his face that was both a challenge, and a pleasure to capture.  When doing a commission, I give the client the option of: do I represent the person as is, or do you want me to rewind time? (i.e. wrinkles or no wrinkles or subtle wrinkles)  I prefer the former, largely because I enjoy painting realistically and painting wrinkles.  One of my earlier influences was (and still is) Chuck Close.  That man really knows how to capture a person, "flaws" and everything.  To me, that is truly beautiful.

Before I show you my recent portrait, let's travel back in time a bit.  I was a sophomore in high school and for art class we were to create a large charcoal portrait from a photograph.  I have always drawn people.  I fell in love with a photograph of B.B. King but doubted my abilities to draw him.  My art teacher was more confident in my abilities than I was, so she encouraged me to try.  This is what I drew:

"B.B. King" chalk and charcoal, 2000.  art by Heather Clements

I LOVED drawing this and was quite happy with the results.  This drawing not only got me minor fame among my high school (I was 'that girl who drew that portrait') but it was the first real artwork I sold.  Who bought it?  The very teacher who encouraged me to draw it.

From then on I have always loved drawing wrinkles, blemishes, hairs, and all the other details that make a person real and human.

So I was happy when the decision was for me to paint a father - wrinkles and all.

So, meet Pete:

"Pete" commissioned portrait . oil painting . 11"x14" . art by Heather Clements


Progress in the studio

Want to commission a portrait? Contact me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Studio Is Now Flat and Dry!

My studio is now one big step closer to completion.  If you have been following the blog for a while, you know I have been working on making this studio final.  You may have seen when we put in a ceiling with insulation.  My boyfriend/life partner, Mat, and his Dad, Xelle, helped with the ceiling, and yesterday helped me level the studio. 

We needed to raise and level the studio for two reasons.

Reason #1: The floor inside peaked so much, adding walls in the future would be too difficult.

As you will see in my amazingly complicated illustration below, the floor on the inside was wonky, to say the least.  It peaked in the center so much that if you put a marble on it it would rush to the side wall in quite a hurry.  We compared it to a skate ramp, hence the skateboard in the illustration.  I didn't mind this wonkiness too much, but it would make it very difficult to put walls in, so something had to be done.

Reason #2: The pitch of the porch.

As you will see in amazing and complicated illustration number 2, the pitch of the porch slid toward the studio, so rain water ran toward it.  This not only kept me from having a lovely welcome mat, but also would rot the wood in no time.  Raising the studio shifted the pitch so the water will now run onto the soil.

This was no easy task.  The studio was jacked up many times so that we could add blocks, subtract blocks, over and over playing with a 4' level to make it as good as possible.  Then, we had to cut into my floor to adjust the blocks under the center.  It took all day so thank you SO MUCH to Mat and Xelle for all the hard work!

Project Perfect Studio tasks accomplished so far:

  • roof insulation
  • ceiling
  • track lighting
  • painted studio floor
  • flat file added
  • shelves adjusted for vertical large storage (canvases, paintings, etc)
  • floor raised and leveled

Project Perfect Studio tasks still do do:

  • paint ceiling
  • take down all shelving and large 'L' table so we can...
  • add insulation and paneled walls
  • rebuild shelving and large 'L' table
  • paint walls
  • paint shelving
  • buy or make area rug

Woo!  I'm getting closer!  This building was built just as a storage shed, but we are slowly but surely making it into a beautiful art studio.  I do believe that creating a space that you love and makes you feel comfortable encourages creativity and productivity.  So if I'm already so productive now, just imagine what it will be like when my studio is complete!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Earth Does Not Belong To Us - Paper Cut

I created this little paper cut with an obvious, simple, yet large message.  This quote by Chief Seattle expresses exactly how I feel about the Earth: "The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth."  This piece is for anyone who agrees.  My first paper cut in black, but not the last.  I ordered some black silhouette paper that I can't wait to play with.  The writing aspect of the art is inspired by a great paper cut artist, Rob Ryan.

I will be submitting this piece, as well as a few others, to the 4th Annual Northstar Arts' Art Show.  This piece is just $175.  Please contact me if you would like to purchase it.

"The Earth does not belong to us" by Heather Clements.  7"x9" paper cut.

Update: *SOLD*

What are your feelings about this quote?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pièce de Résistance - Suspended Paper Cut

Big reveal time! (For those of you who haven't seen it)  This piece was by far my largest paper cut in the exhibit "I Cut Paper: Art by Heather Clements."  It is 30"x40" and took about 50 hours.  It was definitely difficult creating this paper cut, especially in creating the floating system and framing it.  It all paid off, because I really love this piece.  It was the Pièce de résistance of the exhibit.

"Suspended" by Heather Clements. 30"x40" paper cut.

Here it is in the exhibit, in its custom frame.

Here is the back of the piece on the cutting mat before I added the spacers (to create a slight floating effect so that there are shadows created.)

"Suspended" is currently still displaying at Studio b. and is for sale.  Please contact me if you are interested.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this piece.  Please feel free to share your comments!

Friday, February 3, 2012

"I Cut Paper" Had a Great Life

Well, my solo exhibit "I Cut Paper: Art by Heather Clements" at Studio b. has come to an end.  I would definitely call it a success.  The opening was packed, and the duration of the exhibit saw many more visitors.  I met a lot of new people, and even sold quite a bit of work.  The end of this exhibit only excites me to create more paper cuts.  Paper cutting is so endless, and I am still just as in love as I was at first cut.

I am still constantly looking for inspiration from other paper artists.  I have found so much inspiration from the following books:
And just today, I discovered Paper Runway Magazine.

I'm constantly finding more paper artists from around the world.  There is truly a paper renaissance right now, and I am thrilled to be a little part of that.

Here are some more images from my solo exhibit, "I Cut Paper: Art by Heather Clements" at Studio b.