Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pam de Beaufort - ideas and references

I have a long list of fan-fiction art that I have been DYING to get out for many years. Now I can cross one of my favourite characters off of said list: Pam de Beaufort of HBO's True Blood. She is such an incredible character and has the BEST one-liners of the show! 

She's gorgeous, sultry, shallow, sexy, high-maintenance and absolutely BAD-ASS.

When I made this image, I didn't really know what I was going to do. I didn't sketch her out, I wanted to create her as I went along. I love to be free like that. I like to always make edits along the way, lighting, poses, costume...etc. Sometimes I will map out a painting in more detail, but with computers these days, it's not always necessary if you have the right shapes to work with. 

What you see next are all the references I used to create this picture. The background is a mess of different layers of textures and colour overlays. I can always change the background as well - She is completely a cut-out and can put her anywhere. I chose a seedy background that reminded me of the dim glow of Fangtasia lights. Pam however, she was a little more complicated. 

Everything you see below is what I used. It's about 20% of the references that I gathered that gave me great ideas of where I wanted to take her. These references came mostly from google except for the little goth beauty on the upper right - that came from Deviantart in a stock account "Mahafsoun". I really wanted her to have candy-red lips so the lips photo was PERFECT to understand how to create the look that I wanted. Pam's face was incredibly helpful although I did a LOT of work including changing the direction of her gaze. The choker image is what inspired me to create my own crochet choker with the Mystic Topaz in the middle of it. Everything else from the hair, the blood on Angelina's lips, the corset, damask pattern and even the cleavage were all instrumental in making Pam a really fun piece to do.

I will be attending FanExpo Vancouver 2014 as a Guest Artists and Pam will most surely be there alongside other works I intend to do get into! Right now, you can buy prints of Pam on various different mediums at on my Prints page

I plan on doing a few more characters from True Blood, but not necessarily around the same time, and probably not the ones who have been over-done. I am DYING to do an illustration of Lafayette! Another one of my personal faves who gets all the best one-liners. I love his character so much. Jessica is also on my list as she has strikingly beautiful eyes, gorgeous red hair and a certain innocence about her that I truly love and adore. There *may* be an Eric along the way but I make no promises. :D

Thanks so much for reading and supporting me friends. I always love to read from you so please feel free to leave any comments you may have. 

Love, Art and Light, Jaime xo

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Life as an Artist: Importance of self-care

So being an artist is a continuous balancing act, like every other job. Just like anyone else, we can get so involved in our work that we forget to stop and smell the flowers and relax and enjoy life. Taking some 'time out' relieves a lot of stress and helps us to enjoy the rewards of our triumphs and reminds us to appreciate the precious things in life like: Trees, Water, Earth, Oxygen, Family (pets included), Friends and Nature.

I decided to take a trip down to the little creek near the end of my street. It's beautiful and a great place to take dogs and relax. It's been 30 degrees with no breeze all week here, in Vancouver BC. So I grabbed lots of water, a small snack, my beautiful Pug Xena (Warrior Princess) and we ventured into a beautiful piece of Mother Nature together. 

Here Xena is chillin on a rock and balancing ever so beautifully. I have to keep her on a leash right now because it's bear season. Xena is pretty amazing on her feet. She was hopping from rock to rock with confidence of a mountain goat. See here: 

She stayed with her feet in the water like this (half in / half out) for a good two minutes. it was adorable. She likes water, just only up to her paws. Anything more and she's just not digging it. She's on guard, watching as other dog-walkers walk by on a path close to the right. 

Here, she found a nice rock on the other side of the creek and basically told me with that look, "No Way, Mom. You can bite it over there on YOUR rock. I have MINE.". I had to eventually bribe her with little bits of bread and she finally saw the light and that there's something in it for her in getting her paws wet. Food, there is no other driving force in a Pug's life. Thankfully, it can be wielded by the food-holder! Ha! 

Total rock selfie here. We both shared a rock together and she eventually slid down next to me and I kept her from falling off. We shared some fantastic snuggles! She was also my protector as she barked at anyone who came close. Two people did and she wouldn't have any of it! As you can see, it's so hot my hair is melting off of my face. My makeup however managed to hold together beautifully. Gotta love Urban Decay for it's staying power.

"That far off dog of the woods look". She totally posed for this. She kept turning away and holding every time I put my phone up to take a shot. Little bugger. What a great capture. I bought her that collar with the little silver bones on it. It's purple color is no accident. :)

Perfect opportunity to do some feet dipping. It was SOOO COLD at first. 
Then I kept them in there a good half hour. It was incredibly refreshing and grounding. 

Fungus step! I love fungus. I probably shouldn't but it's like a fairy's shelf to me (Thanks to brownies and girl guides). I really want to put things on it. Damn my domesticated upbringing. What a great reference photo that can be used in a later date for some artwork! 

Look! The fungus goes all the way up!! Sooo kewl. Fairies can dance all the way up the tree! Tree party!

So in the end, we walked back home feeling refreshed, rested, tired and thoroughly enjoyed our little hike, Xena and I. She is such a wonderful companion. Best little friend i've ever had for a pet. I've had other wonderful dogs in the past but this little darling and I bonded when we first picked her up. So thanks for reading and remember to enjoy your outer world surroundings if you feel cooped up due to projects and work piling high. Even a half-hour or hour walk is so great to get the blood moving, the lungs breathing and the mind resting. 

Viva la Nature! 

Love and Art - Jaime xo

Friday, July 4, 2014

Trompe l'oeil painting from the movie Where The Heart Is

In 1990, an amazing movie "Where the Heart Is" was made by a star-studded group of ridiculously talented and current actors who all partook in a series of Trompe l'oeil (Fool the eye - french) paintings as part of the story.  I love the story so I won't give any spoilers here but the movie really outlines the hardships and tireless amounts of works that an artists go through in order to get a project done on time so food can be bought, bills can be paid and rent can be secured. Christopher Plummer plays an old homeless guy who Uma Thurman brought home and he is delightful (see April painting)!!

These paintings are amazing. The process of how they are done are a part of the story so you can see what it takes to create such beautiful works of art where people are hidden with paint and made a direct and indirect part of the painting. The artist that created these works is named Timna Woollard. Little can be found of this artist and he hasn't done anything else in movies before or after this one and he doesn't have much of an online presence. This movie and its works speaks to my heart and my soul as an artist as the works are nothing but pure and absolute genius. 

You can rent this movie on iTunes for $5 or buy it for $20 with a full beautiful 1080p copy. It stars Dabney Coleman, Uma Thurman, Crispin Glover (George McFly!), Christopher Plummer, Suzy Amis, Joanna Cassidy and so many other actors who are still current and respected today. 

The paintings below are a calendar series who the artist in the storyline must complete in a very finite amount of time. She uses the walls of an incredibly old heritage building and her family and roommates as the people hidden within the paintings. All of the cast members had to have the paint applied directly to the skin for such brilliant pieces of trompe l'oeil to be successful. 

Note: the ones with the asterisks are my personal all-time favourites that speak to me the strongest. :) 

*January - with Uma Thurman

February - David Hewlett (Stargate)

*March - with Dabney Coleman, Suzy Amis

*April - with Christopher Plummer

May - with Sheila Kelley

June - with Uma Thurman (In back)

*July - with Crispin Glover

August - with Suzi Amis

September - with Sheila Kelley

October - With Suzi Amis

November - with Christopher Plummer?

*December - with Crispin Glover

I hope you enjoy this delicious movie as much as I did for so many years and that it inspires you to do good art in the world! 

Love, Jaime xo