Walking through the door

May 4, 2015

A doorway beckons, a promise of adventure just beyond…

Are you brave enough to walk through it or will you turn and leave? Is this your doorway or someone else’s?

Every day we are faced with opportunities. Some doors are meant to stay closed. Some should be opened. Sometimes we need to open them just enough to see what’s inside, then we can change our minds. But nothing will happen until first you reach out for the handle.


Carrying on – until we reach paradise

May 3, 2015

 

Every day is a new day to look inside ourselves and find strength. Some days, that’s really hard. At least until you remember to hold you head high and walk just a little faster than normal. When you feel confidence in your step, it’s hard not to feel confidence in your world. Rock your world today.


The Three Books – revised

May 1, 2015
The Three Books (Legend #1 of the Sacred Knight series) Book & painting by Dawn Blair ©2011

The Three Books
(Legend #1 of the Sacred Knight series)
Book & painting by Dawn Blair
©2011

A few weeks ago I updated and re-released The Three Books. Both print and Kindle editions now come with a map and character list. If you already have the third book in the series, To Birth a Destiny, you’ll find the format similar.

If you already own the Kindle version, you can contact Amazon’s customer service and ask them to update you to the newest version. The reason they don’t do this automatically is because they don’t want to delete anyone’s annotations or notes — a reason I can understand because I quite frequently make notes in my Kindle.

You can also get the maps by clicking the Sacred Knight tab above this post.

I hope you enjoy the updates!


Unbroken – progression of a painting #3

April 30, 2015

Kill your darlings!

That is advice writers are often told. Many people take this to mean that a writer should kill their characters. In some cases, that might be true and just what is needed to be done to help a story along. However, the advice goes deeper than that. Writers often find that they have a favorite line in the story and this line needs to be deleted. It’s a hard thing to do, but it does improve the story. It’s hard though, because we love that line so much! It could also mean to watch for crutches — words and phrases that are used frequently. A photographer recently put up a display in the mall and every time I walk by it, I can see his crutch; he likes to pose his women with a certain tilt to her head and with it turned the same direction. It’s a habit for this photographer — his go-to pose. So, when his pictures are all displayed like they are, every photo looks the same. It’s a darling he needs to kill. (My opinion)

I realized that I didn’t want to touch the bottom shore where the view is “standing” but I realized that I needed to lower the waterline. But I had darlings! I loved the little rocks in the piece. They were my reasons for loving the piece before I started redoing it. To me, they were just perfect.

They had to go. They distracted and no longer belonged in the piece. Agony!

I had to kill my darlings.

Before I did though, I took pictures of them. I share them with you now. They are forever gone from the canvas, but saved in pictures. Here they are:

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

In the end, my waterline got lowered and my darlings destroyed.

I kept the viewer area dark as I didn’t want to distract from the painting. I filled in the trees and repainted where clouds threatened to take over the branches. Here’s the “final” painting.

Unbroken 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Now I do use “final” in quotes because this is it’s current state. I knew something was missing though. I asked one of the local art teachers to look at it and he kindly suggested a couple changes. After the show, I will be making these changes because he was spot on. That’s why it’s always good to have an extra set of eyes on your work! So, after Art & Soul of Magic Valley, I will make the changes and post the final, final picture for you to see. It’ll be a bit though since the show is going on through Saturday.

Yes, you only have until Saturday at 2 p.m. to get your vote in for this piece. Do it now!


Unbroken – progression of a painting #2

April 29, 2015

At this point, I have the sky and clouds done with the glow radiating. Also, just to note, the glare you see in the pictures is from my light shining off the wet oil paints. The water especially is very thick at this point and will take awhile to dry.

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

If you noticed in earlier picture, I used electrical tape to cover up the shoreline. I’ve now removed the tape and you can see the shoreline on the opposite bank needs work. Time to get started.

As I worked, I noticed that my rock was no longer centered at the base of the waterfall beneath the glow. When I was standing up close, it didn’t really bother me, but when I stepped back to look it, then I got really disturbed. It just didn’t look right.

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

To move the rock or not to move the rock, that is the question. I did debate. At last, I made the move and painted in a second rock.

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Here’s what the whole thing looked like with the two rocks at the base of the waterfall.

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Don’t forget that Art & Soul of Magic Valley is still going on until May 2nd. If you’re near Twin Falls, Idaho, and want to see it now, stop by Ataraxis Accounting, 864 Filer Avenue, Twin Falls, to see it. Don’t forget to get out and vote for your favorite pieces in Art & Soul of Magic Valley by 2 p.m. on May 2, 2015. Winners are determined by votes, so it’s very important!


Unbroken – progression of a painting #1

April 27, 2015

Just because I knew it was time to rework this painting and I had a deadline on it didn’t mean that it was easy to put it back on the easel. It wasn’t perfect, but what if I messed it up when I was revising it? Oil paint is more forgiving than other paint mediums because it takes so long to dry, but that didn’t mean I was not going to be successful with it.

At last, I had to take the plunge. Fortune favors the brave, right?

I started with the water since I knew it was what really needed to be fixed. Really, at this beginning stage, I figured I’d be redoing the water and touching up the falls.

Unbroken (progression) 48x30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Now the water is much darker, but it’s so much better than it was. It does need light coming across it from the glow behind the mountains and that’s what I work on next.

Unbroken (progression) 48x30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

In putting the light in, I saw that I needed to revise the glow a bit, so I added more yellow to it. I also add more highlights to the clouds.

Unbroken (progression) 48x30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Here’s a closeup of the glow and the falls.

Unbroken (progression) 48x30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Art & Soul of Magic Valley is still going on. If you’re near Twin Falls, Idaho, and want to see it now, stop by Ataraxis Accounting, 864 Filer Avenue, Twin Falls, to see it. Don’t forget to get out and vote for your favorite pieces in Art & Soul of Magic Valley by 2 p.m. on May 2, 2015. Winners are determined by votes, so it’s very important!


Unbroken

April 26, 2015

It’s really not uncommon for me to hear “the voice of inspiration” talking to me. Often I think I’ll be doing one thing but I am guided to do something else. For example, right now I really want to be working on illustrating my children’s book, but here I am writing a long overdue blog post! :) That’s my life.

So, when I woke one Sunday morning in January with the voice saying, “You are ready to finish the painting now,” I not only knew what project I’d unexpectedly be working on but what painting the voice was talking about.

Coincidence then that the next week one of my bosses walks into my office and asks me if I’m going to be participating in Art & Soul of Magic Valley? No! It was the little voice’s way of also giving me a deadline on my project.

I knew the painting wasn’t perfect and I’d had a lot of people looking at it over the years in which I had it displayed at art shows. But at the time, I really didn’t know what to do with it.

So here’s the original:

Unbroken - Original painting (pre-2015)

Unbroken – Original painting (pre-2015)

It’s a huge painting, well 4 feet across and almost 3 feet high. Putting this back on the easel was not a task I desired. I knew it was going to take some work. But fortune favors the brave.

Over the next few days, I’ll be releasing photos of the progression of this painting. If you’re near Twin Falls, Idaho, and want to see it now, stop by Ataraxis Accounting, 864 Filer Avenue, Twin Falls, to see it. Don’t forget to get out and vote for your favorite pieces in Art & Soul of Magic Valley by 2 p.m. on May 2, 2015. Winners are determined by votes, so it’s very important!


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