Sunday, June 21, 2009

and the winner is....

number 2:
Matouš Svěrák (Deviantart)

I received 15 entries, and it was hard to draw only one number!! thanks to each one of the participants for their interest and for all the sweet words. you are fabulous folks. I plan another giveway for the Autumn Equinox, not sure if I'll be able to draw another portrait, though, but we'll see.

let me know if there are interest in discounts on originals and portraits, so I can also include some good discounts in the giveaways.

congratulations, Matous! I'll be contacting you soon!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Solstice giveaway!!

as I promised a few days ago, to celebrate my birthday (today!) and the Summer Solstice I decided to present you, followers and friends, with a special gift. this is my way to say "thank you" for all the love and support I've been receiving, as both explicitly and silently.

I will be doing a giveaway of an 8.5 x 12 full color Astroportrait (a $200 value), which is a fine art customized portrait inspired on your astrological profile - for the ones who are not familiar with that, please check it out on my store. all you have to do is to send me an email with the subject Portrait giveaway, containing:
- your name and email
which one of the groups below you belong to
answer to the question: which one of my pieces is your favorite?

I'll write you back with a number. on this Jun 21st I'll be drawing a winner. sounds exciting?

and since I care about every person who watches and supports me, there are some rules for the participants:

1. participants must be part of one of the following groups:
- followers of Mesmerized by the Sirens blog (this one!)
- followers of Inspirais blog (my blog in Portuguese)
- my Twitter's followers
- my Facebook's friends list
- my RedBubble's watchers list
- my Deviantart's watchers list

2. gift is personal and nontransferable, i.e., you shall not give it to another person!

3. due to the shipping costs, unfortunately only US and Canada residents will receive the original artwork. an international winner will receive only the digital version, at least if willing to pay for the shipping. sorry! :(

I have to meet some deadlines at the present, then please notice that I'll just be able to start the job by late July. but you have only until June 20th to email me. so, run!

and Happy Solstice!

Friday, June 12, 2009

work in progress: The Calling

feeling a little handicapped since my laptop cable broke inside. no way to use it until the new cable arrives, what may happen next week. I can't access my softwares and reference pictures and other important stuff for a while. fortunately I have the family desktop available at least to read and answer emails. but as there are bad things that come for good (pretty much all of them, I'd say,) I can now catch up with my readings and give some deserved rest to my poor eyes, that have been suffered a lot on the screen exposure.

I keep on working on the non nude pieces that will be shown at the cafe next month (what, didn't I tell you that I'm going to display some works at the Common Grounds Coffee House, in Lexington- KY next month?) they don't want nudes, so I'll have to complete my set of paintings with some new ones.

work in progress: The Calling

work in progress: The Calling

work in progress: The Calling

work in progress: The Calling

feeling specially happy with this one, named The Calling, and pondering whether or not I should put it for sale. I've been putting a lot of emotional energy in this painting, that ended up becoming pretty much a type of self-portrait. yep, it's my face again. The Calling is about the freedom of being yourself and following your path in life, or responding to the call of your soul. it has a more organic aesthetic and also more naturalist. it seems that I definitely incorporated the heart in my personal iconography, along with the masks and butterflies...

Monday, June 8, 2009



Watercolor and pencil on illustration board,
10 x 8
s o l d

Model: Adhara Batul

In Greek mythology, Persephone was the goddess of the underwold and of the Spring growth. Daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, she was abducted by Hades and taken to the land of the dead. By a determination of the Fates, she was forced to stay for two seasons each year after eating pomegranates seeds, thus becoming consort of Hades and queen of the underworld. The painting depicts her sorrow after having the seeds.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

watercolors on sale and getting ready for the Solstice

the spirit of the Solstice and of my coming birthday descended over me and I decided to cut off on the prices of my watercolor on paper paintings and commissioned portraits. the paintings are now listed at $60 each (old price: $100 - 120.) I really want them to go. the comissioned astroportraits cost now $200, 9 x 12, full color (it was $230). but notice that I'll be accepting commissions of portraits just from mid July.

I'm also thinking what will be my Summer Solstice present to all the ones that watch my work, either here, on Facebook, Twitter, or on my mailing list. I intend to raffle a gift among my friends and watchers every season, and this first one will be something special, promise. ;)


I decided to discontinue the direct sales of open edition prints. all the process of hiring a printing service, picking up the job, bring it home for handling, then going to the post office for shipping, was not really paying off. from now on all my prints will be handled by RedBubble and Imagekind. if you want them signed, just send it to me with a prepaid envelope, so I can send it back to you with a little love! if in the future people get interested in limited editions, I'll be willing to do it depending on how many people manifest their interest.


as I predicted, my Ebay auctions were not successful. I'm thinking on trying again, although I still cannot start my prices at $9.99...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tree of Life - how a painting is born : bringing the painting to life

well, I must confess I am not being able to match the rhythm of the making of Tree of Life with my blogging. the painting is somewhat advanced now and on the blog it barely received the underpainting! so now let's try to catch up.

after the first underpainting I realize that the tree has no masculine elements, which is a very necessary thing to create life. first I think about drawing penises confounding with the branches, but I find that horns would be more symbolic and elegant. after all, they evoke the Horned God, which is very appropriate!

after spreading some long, curved horns around the branches, it's time to start filling them (branches) with pigment. I then start an underpainting with Payne's Grey.

underpainting done, it's time to have fun filling up the areas I had defined for my abstracts. however, most of the pencil is gone under the grey watercolor, and I create the abstracts intuitively with a second layer of Payne's Grey and drops of violet, yellow and pink in a wet on wet approach.

a very bad thing I use to do that I don't recommend anyone, at least you are very secure about what you are doing: experiments on your definitive support. here I use a small area of the background to test colors and shapes that will be used throughout the painting. I kind of like the general feel of it, although some shapes don't feel right, but that's easy to fix. I'm keeping true to my pallette of choice in order to keep things balanced. for the background I'm using Dioxazine Violet, Cadmium Orange Hue and a green I obtained mixing Viridian, Emerald Green and Alizarim Crimsom.

I apply a second wash of underpainting onto the background, using violet for the upper part, a mixture of blues for the middle and Cadmium yellow for the lower part. then I start doing the shadows in the branches, with different amounts of pigment and water - more pigment to the darker areas. I also enrich the abstracts this way.

and more inapropriate experimentation, this time in the middle part of the painting. I create quite a chaos buiding leaves, spirals and abstract leaves in the shape of triangles, and also enhancing the star points with outer shadows to enhance and "separate" them from the background. I don't like the result. some areas are too muddy and I hate the shape of the leaves, although the little triangle-leaves work well and do a nice contrast with the round shapes of the spirals. by the way, I must confess that I never got to make good leaves, or at least some I really find worthy. I definitely have to do some studies on leaves and find out a style I like.

I repeat the shapes I think that work on the other side (left). better to do some cleaning on the right side. at this point, here's how it looks like:

and after a little more layers of grey for shadow enhancement, the painting is finally coming to life. just recently I started to use Payne's Grey for the shades, and it works much better than black, for it's way more vivid and warm.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ebay - goldmine for artists?

and then I decided to give Ebay a try, after a dozen stories of artists that take part of their incomes out of Ebay sales and the such. picked 2 watercolors on paper, Flourish and Totem #1, normally priced at $100, and set the starting bid price at $50, plus $20 for shipping and handling.

my sincere opinion is that the auctions won't be succeeded. I'm not a well known artist, and I don't have how to compete with several other paintings being offered by shameful prices like $10, $6,99 and even $0,99 - with free shipping. yes, people will bid and those prices will raise, but if there's no many offers and you have to send your piece away for $1 ?? and pay for the shipping? and pay for the Ebay fees? frankly, it does not sound to me a very clever way to make money.

I understand the effort that many artists (myself included) have been doing in order to make art more affordable and accessible to the general public. but for selling themselves for that low they are not only undervaluing them, they are also doing a deservice to the art community in general, something that is very close to the Walmart business model. if you really want to sell your art for such low prices, you need to produce a lot of art in order to meet your needs. you have to be almost an art machine. almost one step of making souless, empty works in order to attend the demand.

I don't know, but something tells me that Ebay auctions are not for me. anyway, I don't lose much in trying, who knows how the story unfolds...


talking about sales, I'm seriously thinking about discontinuing the production of open edition prints. after my last sales I realized that it's a lot of work for not a very significant profit, what makes me think that letting RedBubble and Imagekind take care of all the dirty job might be a good decision.


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