Today I once again drew something I can’t show you because it’s a commission that’s a Christmas surprise for a collector’s loved ones. What I can show you instead is this layered selfie I made with the Procreate app on my iPad. I think it’s pretty amazing! I’ve always wanted to layer images like that. Also, can you find the dogs? There are two of them in there, I promise!
Of course, I had to make something similar for my upcoming novel as well. It occurred to me while layering images of art I’ve made inspired by the story, that I have lots of drawings of Betty and Suzanne, but none at all of Katie, the more contemporary character. Is it perhaps because ghosts are more real than so-called real people? Or maybe they’re just more interesting?
John painted an abstract rendition of Alexander Ross, and it’s so beautiful, totally capturing his essence, that today I just had to try my hand at it as well. It was a beautiful day too, the leaves of the trees shining red against the sunny blue sky. I almost didn’t want to go to the gym because it was too pretty outside. I compromised and went, but parked far enough away so that I could get a good walk. At home I made turkey sandwiches and an assembly line of abstract carousel horses on small wooden panels. I might actually make more of these.
Today it was so beautiful outside I just had to be in nature. I took myself for a long walk at the Arboretum. I saw turtles sunning themselves on rocks. They looked so happy. I think I must be part turtle too because warm weather and sunshine means everything to me.
Today, after coffee and some great conversation, my friend left, the portrait of Lucy the cow in tow. I prepared for my first large birthday painting party. This ended up being so much fun! Nine ladies came over, enjoyed food and drinks and a tour of the gallery, played with Holly, and had a fabulous time painting! Some of them even tried acrylic on wood, my favorite medium! One made a delicate watercolor, tracing details and accents in ink and gelly roll pens. One made a golden Eiffel Tower on a pink background. The birthday girl painted a forest. There was a lot of laughter, and good time was had by all.
After the guests left I felt inspired to create an abstract acrylic painting with lots of gold of course. I’ve called it After the Party because one of my favorite happy feelings is that high you get after having hosted a really fun get together. It’s been one of my favorite things for as long as I can remember. My parents used to host quite fabulous parties, and I used to love talking to my mom about the event after everyone went home, while we were putting stuff away. I used to love bringing all the plates and glasses to the kitchen, which my mom always washed that night, no matter how late it was. But my favorite was knowing there would be leftovers to enjoy the next day. I still like leftovers better than freshly cooked food – something about the flavors marinating.
After the Party. 24×30 inches, acrylic and gold watercolor ground on wood panel. $600
My friends and I had a lot of fun today. There was good food and sunshine and even a little bit of shopping. I think we all needed it. We all needed a break from our routine and a day of leisure. It was good to catch up. All of our lives have changed dramatically in the past few years and we are all much happier now. One of my friends even has a cow called Lucy who’s beautiful beyond words and whom I got to paint today. I think it would be pretty amazing to have a cow. Y’all know how I feel about these lovely creatures!
Holly and I have houseguests tonight. Two friends who have known us for a very long time, who were there actually when I got drunk at a gala nine years ago and ended up bidding on a Boston Terrier puppy.
Sully Bush, the amazing service dog who took care of President H.W. Bush through his final days, is in New York, and staying at the Plaza. I learned this from Instagram, where I saw a picture of Sully lounging in his lovely room at the iconic hotel. Of course, I couldn’t resist painting that image! And I was totally excited when Sully liked my painting on Instagram.
“You know the actual dog didn’t like your post, Elena,” John said when I saw him later this evening. John painted Sully too, by the way, as a commission to President Bush. I think that’s pretty amazing!
Photo inspiration @lapresqueparisienne
This was inspired by a photo I found on Instagram – the view from a tiny but cute hotel I once stayed in on a winter trip to Paris. My room was very small but the view of rooftops made it a wonderful place to be. I remember not wanting to leave. Thinking back on that trip always makes me think of Alina, the protagonist of my second novel, Stray Dogs and Lonely Beaches, who takes a similar trip to Paris and stays in a similar room.
Today it was cold. And I mean really cold. Like bring your plants inside so they don’t freeze cold. My least favorite kind of weather. Still, I managed to have a great day. In the morning I met with Ryan to talk about how my business did this year and how I can grow next year. Lots of great ideas and inspiration came out of the meeting! I’m very excited about my future plans!
Also, I have found someone I can hire to help me so I can start doing First Saturday Arts Market again in the new year! Things are definitely going to be different if I actually have support.
For some reason today, on the coldest day, perhaps because I was in a great mood, I stopped for a brief moment at the Arboretum. It was so beautiful! I resolve to actually go back and walk when it’s not freezing out! And I made gingerbread house paintings. I will be making more!
This little guy looked very confused and awkward without his harness. I finally figured out what was wrong with him and added it. It changes the whole painting. Details matter so much, on carousel horses and otherwise.