Art by Anastasia

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Holiday Season

Posted by artbyanastasia on December 1, 2015 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (1)

December is here! With it always come the flurry of the Holidays. I am, as always, open to commissions, but give me enough notice to get it made and shipped if you need it as a Christmas gift! Currently many of my pieces are on exhibit at the Tower Gallery at 636 S. main St. Grapevine, TX 760151. They will be up and on for sale through December 31st.


December 9 through the 31st two limited edition prints of my tarot deck artwork for 78 Tarot's Original Deck and Nautical Deck will be on exhibit and for ale at the Eight and Sand Gallery in Seattle. http://www.eightandsand.com


January 9th through the 31st two limited edition prints of my tarot deck artwork for 78 Tarot's Original Deck and Nautical Deck will be on exhibit and for ale at the Push Pull Gallery in Seattle. http://pushpullseattle.weebly.com

Art Show

Posted by artbyanastasia on February 26, 2015 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

You are invited to join me and other artists in the Eigth Annual New Vintage Arts Show in conjunction with the New Vintage Wine and Gallery Trail on April 11th, 2015. The art show and sale location is the Lancaster gallery in the Palace Arts Center in downtown Grapevine, TX. The official hours are 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m

 

I look forward to seeing everyone there! I will have several original works of art for sale as well matted and framed prints of some of my photography. Come for the art stay for the wine!!

 

Palace Arts Theater

 

300 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

Art Show!

Posted by artbyanastasia on March 26, 2014 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

You are invited to join me and other artists in the Seventh Annual New Vintage Arts Show in conjunction with the New Vintage Wine and Gallery Trail on April 12th, 2014. The art show and sale location is the Lancaster gallery in the Palace Arts Center in downtown Grapevine, TX. The official hours are 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m

I look forward to seeing everyone there! I will have several original works of art for sale as well matted and framed prints of some of my photography. Come for the art stay for the wine!!

Palace Arts Theater

300 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

Collaborative Art Project

Posted by artbyanastasia on March 26, 2014 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I have joined a new collaborative project called 78 Tarot. It is an exciting project of 78 different artists from around the world uniting to each create one card to form an eclectic tarot deck of unique works of art! I have the 8 of Wands and you can follow our progress at the following sites!

 

https://www.facebook.com/78TarotProject" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Facebook 

Pinterest

Tumblr

Instagram

https://twitter.com/78_Tarot" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Twitter

Monochromatic Series Update

Posted by artbyanastasia on February 1, 2014 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I have begun five new paintings in my monochromatic wildlife series! I have not yet decided how many paintings the series will contain. As long as I am inspired I will keep going. The monochromatic series are painted entirely using only one color plus black and white for shading and tinting.Please keep in mind these paintings are not complete. If you would like to follow the step by step completion of these, please like my Face Book page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-by-Anastasia/193714827325452



Here is the bear. He is being painted using burnt umber on a 36x48 canvas.



This is the turtle using cobalt turqoise on 30x30 canvas



the lion using yellow oxide on 24x30 canvas



the snake using bronze yellow on 8x24 canvas



the elephant using green gold on 40x60 canvas


Goodbye, Joe...

Posted by artbyanastasia on August 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Goodbye, Joe...

I found out by a random posting a fan put in my facebook page that Joe Kubert had died

 

I sat, stunned, on my couch for a minute staring blankly at my phone. I had to run upstairs and hide so that I could have a moment to shed some tears. It was such a shock. I know he was 85, but he always seemed so strong and lively. I guess I never imagined a world without him.

 

For those of you who do not recognize the name, I strongly urge you to research him. Joe was an amazing artistic talent and one of the founding fathers of modern comic book art. He was my teacher and mentor, and whether he knew it or not I admire and respect him greatly.

 

I was a comic book geek as a kid (still am) and I remember the exact moment it dawned on me that I wanted to be a comic book artist. People talk about those light bulb moments and that was mine. I now had a goal, but now I needed a path to get there. Enter The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, NJ. I found an add for the school in the pages of Wizard Magazine and after some research I discovered that this was THE place. I sent off my letters and portfolio and at the appointed time called in for my phone interview. After I hung up from my interview with a stern sounding Mike Chen, I was completely sure I didn't make it in and I dismally awaited for my rejection letter. Imagine my surprise when my mother called me on the phone while I was at my friends house to tell me that I had a huge fat envelope from the school. I was IN!!

 

I remember my first day. I felt small and scared. There were a 129 of us first years and I was only one of four girls. Joe was a name that was bantered around with a feeling of anticipation. He only taught a class for the third year students, and it was everyone's goal to make it there. We had a welcome assembly that first day where Joe stood up on stage and greeted everyone and laid out what was expected. He wasn't a man to mince words and he was up front about what kind of work load we were going up against. I remember being impressed with his no-nonsense phrase of  "Most of you won't make it, and some of you shouldn't." He was adamant about how the school was a tool and when you reached the point of not needing it, to leave it behind. "It makes no sense to keep yourself here if someone is offering you work. If you get hired as an artist, why would you turn it down to stay in art school? Go work!"

 

Those first two years I didn't see a whole lot of Joe. The occasional passing in  the hall, always with me a bit flustered about how to address him. Mr Kubert seemed to formal for a man in the habit of wearing ink spattered blue jeans and a comfortable cardigan over a flannel shirt, but the southern manners of my upbringing shuddered at the thought of calling such an important person Joe. But, Joe it was.

 

I finally trudged through 2 years of sleep deprivation and made it to the hallowed Third year hall on the second floor the building. Out of the original 129 of us, only 25 remained and I was the only girl left. I will never forget my very first class with Joe Kubert as my teacher...it happened to be Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. Yes, 9/11. We had finished our morning class and were starting to trickle back from lunch when we heard the news. At first no one believed it, we thought it was a bad joke, then Joe came walking in with a stony, solemn look on his face, his first words to us were the horrible truths about what was happening, at that moment, less than 30 miles away. He said we were free to go home or, if we felt safer here, to stay at the school, but classes were canceled. I won't relive all that happened that day here and now.

 

Joe was a great teacher. I know it may seem weird that I would be surprised, but knowing how to create art is a far, far different creature than knowing how to create art AND knowing how to explain to others how to do it as well. Joe wasn't the type of teacher to walk laps around the class room and adjust this line here or move that panel there. Nope. He would talk to us about fundamentals; how no matter what "style" we were trying to create for ourselves, it would all amount to nothing if we didn't know how to actually draw properly. "Once you master the basics, your own personal style will follow." was heard once or twice. After talking to us and setting us loose on our assignment with the obligatory "Go! Work!", he would sit at his desk in the front and follow his own advice and work on something of his own. I don't remember which brave soul it was that first shuffled to the front to ask Joe some questions, but the rest of us held our breath and watched. Joe was frowning over some pages he was inking and here, this person, was going to interrupt. Would Joe be mad? Would he raise that voice or get into a temper? The rumors of these occurrences had filtered down to us since first year and we all stood in a sense of watchful awe.  I remember that guy stood there in awkward silence for a minute, until Joe looked up and gruffed "Yes?" "I have a question." Said the bravest guy in class. For an answer, Joe leaned over and grabbed an empty chair and pulled it up to his desk. "Let's find an answer." he said. The guy sat down and the rest of us unclenched and heaved a collective sigh of relief. From then on, there was usually a competitive shuffle to get one on one time with him before class ended.

 

Never did I see Joe lose his temper at someone who was trying to learn, or who had a question. He always had time to look at your pages or to give some advice. He had been drawing comics since he was 12 years old and there was not a wasted line or movement left in his hand. I still have some of my pages that have his tracing paper over them with the suggestions and corrections that he drew. I will keep and treasure them forever. You could often find him in his office working on projects, but he would stop what he was doing to answer questions and take a look at something. He would always be back to drawing before you could make it out of the office. I never remember him just sitting still.

 

I had made it to the third year, but I didn't think that I had made any big impression on Joe. There were guys in my class that were simply amazing artists. I had moments of serious self doubt and I sometimes wondered if I really was good enough. Joe was always very encouraging to me, he had a way of taking something I had been agonizing over and in three pen strokes produce the exact look I was going for. He taught me how to sit back and see things simply when I was trying to make things more complicated than they needed to be.

 

 I remember sitting at his side while he graded my final pencils on an assignment; One of the panels had a burning house in it. It had given me all sorts of trouble and I was still not happy with it even though I had spent considerable time working on it. Joe pulled out some tracing paper and in 5 seconds made it look perfect. I heaved a sigh and felt utterly inadequate, he looked at me and asked what I was planning to do next. I was surprised, because the next part of the assignment was to take it to finished inks, everyone knew that. When I stated my intention of inking it, he just looked at me with a face that seemed to imply that I was stupid or crazy or maybe both. "Why would you even bother inking this?" He said in that gruff voice of his. My heart sank into my shoes. This was the longest one on one conversation I had had with Joe and he was telling me that my finished pencils weren't even good enough to waste time trying to ink. He continued to stare at me with that same look on his face. I had turned beet red and was squirming in my seat. His tone had made the rest of the class stop working and look up to where I was slowly dying on the spot. "I...but...that is the next part of the assignment." I stammered lamely. He leaned back in his chair, put his hands behind his head and stared at my pitiful pages on his desk for an agonizing minute. "No" he says. "I don't want you to do that. You need to skip inking and just color right over your pencils. You have a lot of very good, subtle details that if you tried to ink over them you would just lose them. See me after class." I was stunned. I sat there gaping at him while he picked up his pen and resumed work on some panels of his own. I quietly gathered my pages mumbled some thank yous and fled back to my desk.

 

After class I went to Joe's office where he had pulled some examples of comic art that had skipped the inking process and he pointed out the painterly effect it produced. He stated that my style was well suited to this process and he thought I would have some good success with it.

 

Then Joe offered me a job.

 

I became a penciler on an ashcan comic that Joe produced for the United States Army to illustrate on the job safety. Joe would lay out the panels and draw in the people, then a few of the third years were hired to pencil in the back grounds and supporting characters and add the lettering. I spent several evenings down in the basement of the school drawing humvees and tanks that sported faces and helped their drivers learn proper driving skills. I still can't look back on that day without a triumphant grin. I do have what it takes, and while my art career has not always centered around the comic book work it started with, it is still shored up by the lessons learned at Joe's school.

 

That was Joe all over. He would shake you up and make you see your own worth, whether you wanted to or not. He didn't pull any punches when they were deserved and he could make your day with just a smile and a nod.

 

This has rambled on far longer than I had intended, but I can't bring myself to delete any of these memories I have of man who made such a profound impact on my life, thank you, Joe. Rest in peace, and may you and Muriel be reunited on the other side.



 

Cerulean Shadows

Posted by artbyanastasia on August 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Two of the most common questions I get are "How long did it take you to paint that?" and "How do you do that?"

 

Well, on the 'how long' part I usually want to say "My whole life" seeing as how I have been creating art since before I could toddle around and all of my experience culminates in my current project. Seriously though, I was never sure. I don't time a painting because it is usually done in pieces here and there in between working a full time job and keeping my home from becoming a toxic waste area. With Cerulean Shadows (the painting above) I finally decided to keep track. It turns out that it took me 32 hours to complete. This is from original sketch to final coat of paint on a 36x48 canvas using acrylic paint. Mind you that 32 hours was spread across 4 months of working on it here and there when I could. I started December 5th and finished March 8th.

 

I also decided to keep track of the 'How' part. The pictures above show the progression of how this painting came about, and quite frankly, this is how I paint in general.

 

1. I sketch on the canvas and usually work on the eyes first. The eyes are what the rest of the face is hinged on for me, so they need to be placed first.

 

2. I then take a larger flat brush and scrub in the rough colors and shading. It kind of ends up looking like a paint by numbers, with the colors more blocked in than blended.

 

3. Now I start working out the details in the back ground and work my way "forward". I do that because the closer parts of the painting will have detail that overlaps the backgrounds. In this instance, fur from the head and face will be feathered out and over the chest, and background detail so it should be done last.

 

4. Now I work in the details of the foreground.

 

5. I paint in the final highlights and make sure that the background, mid ground and foreground are all cohesive in lighting and color. I put my signature in at the very end.

 

"Cerulean Shadows" is the first in a series of mono-chromatic paintings that I am currently working on. The entire piece was painted using only ONE color (Pthalo blue) and then black and white to tone and tint. My next one is of a flamingo using only Acra Crimson. You can follow the progress of that one at my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-by-Anastasia/193714827325452?ref=hl" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Art by Anastasia


Sketch Book Issues

Posted by artbyanastasia on May 29, 2012 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I have a reoccurring problem and I am curious if other artists have the same issue. I carry a sketch book with me, pretty much everywhere, as I am sure most other artists do. My problem is that many people ask to look at it. Now, while I enjoy showing my finished work or even final WIP, I am really reticent to let anyone see my sketch book. I don't know about other artists sketch books but mine is a mess. I have seen pictures of so called sketch books that are filled with pristine, smudge free, reproduction ready art and it just makes me roll my eyes. My sketch book is filled with half started, super sloppy sketches that you would need a Rosetta stone to figure out. It is all stick figures, gesture drawings and hastily scribbled ideas that I am trying to get out before my brain races too far forward and I lose the idea. It all makes perfect sense to me, but on the rare occasion I have handed over my book for others to peruse I am always met with the snarky little smiles and condescending looks as they hand it back. I can read the 'Wow, you think you are an artist? You suck." right in their eyes. I stopped letting people look, but I have had perfect strangers actually get offended that I won't hand over my book.

 

To be honest, if I didn't know me, and looked through my book, I would have thought it belonged to a below average 4 year old or an above average chimpanzee. I take the scribbles and later turn them into final drawings and or paintings. Some get half finished in the book if I am trying to work out a detail or light source, but mostly not. So, tell me, what does your sketch book look like? is it all scribbles and ideas for later or do you work out final pieces? Do you ever let people look at your sketch book?

Give Me a Hand?

Posted by artbyanastasia on April 30, 2012 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I have entered three of my photographs in a contest at Fine Art America. They have a chance to be selected for international exposure on the sites television commercial! I need to 250 votes to move on to the next level of the competition. Please follow the links below to each picture and vote for me!


Thank you!

-Anastasia


Pale Pink


Coyote 3


Gator 8

Just Hatched

Posted by artbyanastasia on April 23, 2012 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I plan on showcasing one of my artworks or photos every now and again with some back story and descriptions. There is a story behind almost every piece of art and a great many of my photographs that never really gets shared and I think that some people may find them interesting.

 

"Just Hatched" is an image I had bouncing around in my head for YEARS. I could never really pin it down or get it out on paper until a contest came about that forced me to finally sort it out. I was happy to learn that "Just Hatched" was picked to be in a 2009 calendar of fantasy baby animals published by Ellen Million Graphics.

 

I have a pestering feeling to find out what his siblings look like. One day I may hatch them out of their eggs as well.

 

Original size is 15.5"x12.5". I used a mixture of  india ink, watercolor, gouache and acrylic paints.




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