Art Related

Sapphire

Hello, dear reader.

I’m realizing how quickly the weeks have turned into months, and now spring will soon be here!  I’ve been a busy bee in my personal and business life and have been working away for my upcoming show on April 10th at Chapterhouse Coffee House in Philadelphia. I did take a little break from the show pieces to fit in a commission for some very special people.

Here is Sapphire, a beautiful little blonde horse. I’ve been drawing horses since I could hold a pencil and if I could, I’d spend my days drawing them.  This portrait was my first horse commission and I think she turned out quite nicely.

SapphireWEB

Here’s just a little glimpse of one of the little pieces I’ve been working on. There’s going to be a lot of fun animals at the show, so I hope y’all can make it.

run rabbit preview

Winter is Coming.

Bonjour!

It’s been awhile, friends.

Before I get into my ramblings about my personal life, I’d like to announce that April 10th, 2015 I’ll be having a show at Chapterhouse Coffee House!  I’ve been plugging away painting, and here’s what I’ve got so far.

Holly

photo 2 copy photo 1 copyphoto 3 photo 4 photo 5

Oak

photophoto 2 photo 1

I’m figuring out a new way to work, I don’t have the same perspective I did five years ago and the same images and styles don’t appeal so much to me any more. I’m really feeling Medieval tapestries and Renaissance era paintings. Let’s see how things go.

A long note on my personal life.

So, this year’s been…interesting. Today marks exactly one year since Tim and I became homeowners and these twelve months have been full of ups and downs, for sure.  Looking back, I wouldn’t really change anything. This is one of the biggest gambles I’ve ever taken and I did it with my best friend. Even though we’ve been living like hobos squatting in an abandoned hovel, we haven’t even tried to kill each other. I think that bodes well for our relationship.

In case you happen to not be one of our friends I’ve been incessantly complaining to about the condition of our house, this is a recap of what’s happened this past year.

November 2013 – move in, rip up cat hair covered carpets to reveal unusable floors beneath. Leave floors unfinished due to lack of immediate funds.  Also notice cockroaches turning up dead in basement. Cry softly inside.

-December 2013 – Leaky pipe in basement, find excellent plumber who fixes it/informs us that kitchen pipes are freezing because they are in the ground running to the extension that is the kitchen.  Pull up false bottoms in kitchen cabinets run space heater/hair dryer 24/7 into open ground under kitchen in what is the COLDEST FREAKIN’ WINTER in decades. Put all reno plans on hold and divert funds to kitchen. Cry audibly.

January 2014 – Happy New Year. Come home to find that a pipe has burst and there is 5 inches of water at one end of basement.  Water has created a cocktail of ancient dust and hundreds of dead cockroaches.  Put on pink rain boots and rage shopvac the mess. Develop theory that the house is cursed and that the Devil himself has engineered this specific Hell just for me. No crying, lots of inner screaming.

February-March 2014- Endure the worst winter in recent record with an ungodly number of substantial snow storms and subzero temperatures. Continue saving our pennies for renovation.

Spring 2014- Numerous random leaky pipes that need repairing.  Also, more cockroaches in the basement and creeping upstairs. Get exterminator. Feel slightly less icky but even more poor.

June 2014- A rat made its way into our house by getting under the kitchen and hopping up through crappy kitchen cabinets.  Suffer mental break after rat continues squeaking from inside cabinet hours later. Fortify house with chicken wire, rat poison, snaptraps and dark magic. Strongly consider napalm, flamethrower and pulse rifle, but decide against it after rat is killed on snap trap baited with Nutella. Laugh manically.

-July 2014-Present- Continue saving best we can and try to find a contractor to fix up the house before Winteracalpyse 2014.

So, that’s more or less it.  Like I said, it’s been a bumpy ride and Winter is coming, but we’ll make it. I hope.

I buy my own diamonds

EDIT:  I wanted to post progress on this sketch.

Sormborn-bwprogress

Bonjour, good friends.

I’ve been so fortunate over the past few months because I consistently had at least one project in the hopper and it felt so good just to paint while having smallish gorilla on my back to keep me motivated. A really nice gorilla, who would say encouraging things and feed me candy and watch endless episodes of Law&Order over my shoulder.  Wait, what?

Anyway, I don’t have anyone banging down my door for a painting at the moment (ha…ha…) so I’m trying to keep busy on personal projects, and my darling boyfriend has taken over the gorilla’s job of motivating me.  He, too, feeds me candy.  Actually, writing this I think he was the gorilla all along.

 

Sormborn-bw copy

Now that I’m done writing stream of consciousness, this is just a little preview of the value sketch for a personal piece/fanart (oh, gawd, did I just say fanart?).  The title is “Stormborn” and happens to be of one of my favorite Game a’ Thrones characters, Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. Or Dany. Whatever.

This is still very much a work in progress, but I like putting pictures up, being the visual person that I am. The final will be in oils I think. Yes, yes I think oils.

So while I plug away on this painting, I’m also pounding the pavement distributing promo postcards for my dog portraits.  Didn’t you know about those?  GO HERE!  Not having a project makes me itchy and a little bit scared, so I’m going to get back to work.  My ambition is feeling viscous.

Until next time, dear reader.

-April

 

Do you Kudzu?

Hello everyone,

Thanks for visiting, it’s good to be back.  I recently wrapped up a commission of a kudzu plant, which my research tells me actually landed in the U.S. at the time of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.  Being a Philly girl, I found this to be quite neat.

KudzuKudzu-detail

I was really inspired by vintage botanical illustrations for this project, especially the very old ones that seemed to be pulled from illuminated manuscripts. Usually my pieces are very tight and finished, which there are some elements of here, but in the surface prep I left a lot of texture, including brush bristles, in the gesso.  This painting was a bit of a challenge, I didn’t realize how out of practice I am!  Also, it’s been forever since I’ve painted flowers and I didn’t want this to simply be a still life, it needed to have as much energy as a portrait of a person.  There’s always room for improvement, but I’m glad that the good folks who commissioned the piece as well as the recipient are pleased with the result.

Kudzu-Wrapped

Oh, yes, I even framed and wrapped it, because why not?  Also, here is a sketch I’ll be continuing to work on, my goal is to submit it to Spectrum this year.  And then just a warm up doodle next to it.

10372189_753184291047_471292795954297202_n doodle copy

Alright, til next time!

-April

 

Progress

Well, hi!

I’m trying to stay on top of the blogging and art aspects of my life, while simultaneously trying to get everything else in my life together as well.  Ambitious, I know.

Here is the first one week assignment I’ve given myself.  I’ve really taken a liking to pretty designs involving circles and I have a deep love of nature which I’ve never really expressed. This is simply a post card featuring an oak leaf and acorns (obviously).  Figuring out my process in oils is getting easier, which made this piece a lot more fun to work on.

Tomorrow a new sketch is due, I’ve made up a list for the next two months, some assignments are pieces I already have in the works, others are new ideas.  I still have to decide which concept I want to do, so we’ll just have to wait and see what I post tomorrow.

Other art nonsense.  I’ve decided that I want to have a show, most likely in a year (since I just decided on this and I’m no where near ready) and I think I’ve successfully roped my friend Millie and possibly my roomie Jeremy into it as well.  This is actually what spurred me into starting my intense regime of weekly assignments (though in comparison to college and I expect some aspects of the real world this is not so intense).  Well, off to bed, will be updating tomorrow with a sketch.

Much love.

all artwork copyright April Kuhn 2010

This piece of poetry was meant to do harm

Started school this week.  I’m feeling pretty good about it, a lot of the fears have subsided (perhaps prematurely).  Earl has already helped set me in a good direction of self discovery and I love his first assignment, a self portrait poem and piece.

I suck at poetry.  Well, I can write some well enough, but as far as reading and interpreting…not so much.  As far as I’m concerned, to be good at it you should be able to read it and write it well.  In conclusion I do suck at poetry.  I wrote my self portrait poem yesterday in a diner after a decent amount of research (self reflection and reading of short poems, most about death <3).

I had a weird dream last night about my father and found a poem in my head.  Here it is.

I dreamt I fought
to save my father from wolves
In a forest in autumn.
His limp body
Like a giant infant in the leaves
Helpless.
Logic said to leave him
What father was he anyway?
Still I pulled in vain
Knowing
The wolves would come anyway.

Now to do sketches.  I’ll be posting once things get underway.

Close your eyes and shoot

I’m trying very hard to get my life back on track, my financial situation is unbelievably bad, and now I’m waiting for my bartending resume to get approved before I’m able to go out and job hunt.

Speaking of getting things back on track, this applies to my art life, too.  I’m finally getting to those “Thank You” cards (OMFG I’M A HORRIBLE PERSON FOR TAKING SO LONG).  Hopefully this project won’t have to be stalled again, I’m running out of key oil colors (like WHITE) and as stated previously, I’m kinda screwed money-wise.  However, here’s a little glimpse of a work in progress of one of the cards. My apologies for the shotty image, I have to use the camera on my laptop to post photos, I find it rather comical.

Enough of this negative hoobabagoo, life is full of blessings.  My landlord finally OKed the replacement of the kitchen cabinets in my house, thanks to some very nice maintenance men advocating on Jeremy and my behalf <3.  My friends make me laugh to the point of hysteria on a daily basis, and I’m finally living life close to the way I want to.  And listening to “Day-O” by Harry Belafonte can make everything bad go away.

Apparently there was a holiday

I spent most of yesterday drawing, and in no way shape or form did I formally celebrate the holiday, other than making burgers with Jeremy (my darling roommate). It felt really good to hemmoriage art, so to speak, I just felt so exhausted from the day before (by the way, I passed my bartending exam, whoot for being a certified mixologist/enabler of my alcoholic friends). It was the most stressful 20 minutes ever, sort of.

Milie is doing a super cute comic about my whole bartending experience, but she needs me to describe what my exam was like. Yesterday I decided to do one better and draw it for her. So that occupied a hunk of my time, though it is still far from finished.

Last night I got itching to start designing my next tattoo, and in the process I came up with a doodle that I inked with my nibs (I love my pens and nibs), took a SUPER horrible photo of using photobooth on my mac, and cleaned up in Photoshop.

That’s it for now, I need to do serious art…NOW.