Sunday, December 31, 2006

The John Singer Sargent Project

Well, I’m beginning 2007 with an invitation to all my fellow artists out there to join me in an artistic challenge. Being a self-taught artist, I’ve recently begun exploring the many ways that formal art education pushes students to develop. One of them is the imitation of Old Masters, or in other words, copying people who are too dead to have copyright. Well, more importantly, copying good artists who are dead. No point imitating those strange purple cat paintings my great grandmother did on the sides of barns . . . just kidding.

Anyway, in collaboration with several of my friends from Fine Line Artists, we decided to devote the month of January to John Singer Sargent. He was an extremely talented portrait and landscape painter with enough versatility to satisfy both those who appreciate Monet’s cheerier pieces and Whistler’s gloomier ones (both artists influenced him).

So the challenge is this. During the month of January, I will be gathering up as much information as I can on Sargent, his working methods, and what makes a Sargent a Sargent. And then I will be working with his methods and color palette in a series of preliminary sketches before finishing with a work done as much in his style as I can manage. Oh, and I should mention that fellow blogger and Fine Line Artist Katherine Tyrrell will also be sketching her way through this on her blog Making a Mark, as well as providing more information and background on him.

Let me emphasize that this is a bit of a twist on the traditional exercise because I am not directly copying any of his works. Rather I’m trying to take away from his body of work a feeling of how Sargent thought, and then painting a subject of my choosing as if I were him.

And I’d love for all of my artist readers out there to join me and send me either links to their blogs where their work is posted, or email their works to me at portraitswithcharacter @ (notice that I only want pictures of your Sargent works. Not pics of nekkie girl on girl action, advertisements for cheap medications, or stock deals. For heaven’s sake don’t spam me) so I can post them here. It would be great to really support each other throughout this project and cheer each other on!

Tomorrow I’m going to post some examples of his works, a long and possibly tedious description of what I’ve found out about Sargent so far, and also a few preliminary sketches that I’ve been working on. Until then, I invite you to check out his works at:

And don’t quit looking until you’ve taken a look at a bunch of them; you really have to see a few before you really appreciate the subtlety. And no, “subtlety” does not mean “boring,” you smart alecs back there.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Romeo & Juliet

"Romeo & Juliet" - 5 x 7" colored pencil on gallery wrap canvas.
Click here to bid.

I felt a little silly today in the grocery store, as I always do when I'm in the produce section. Why? Because people watch me pick out my fruit. It takes me a very long time. It doesn't matter if it's ripe, of course, it matters that it's beautiful or streaked with gold, or whimsically twisted in an artistic way. I bought three pears today, because their stems were so nice and twisty.

I hate eating pears.

But it's a compulsion. Must - buy - pretty - produce. Must - paint - quickly! And then of course there's the whole thing where you get home and the rest of the groceries sit on the floor getting room temperature while I hurry my fruit over to the window while the light is still ideal.

My husband is very tolerant.

See what I sacrifice for my art? My sanity.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Cat in a Rug

"Cat in a Rug" - 2.5 x 3.5"
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I don't think people realize how difficult it is to get an appropriately catty pose without it bordering upon the ridiculous. Today, for instance, Moose (my cat) got his head stuck in my tennis shoe, chasing a dog kibble that he'd put in there. Engaging, yes. Memorable, yes. But fine art? Hardly.

Likewise, a few days ago I found him sitting placidly in the bowl of my toilet, studying the drain as if waiting for it to flush him away. Interesting, yes. Cattish, yes. The stuff of art cards? I think not.

So having Moose as a muse has its distinct trials. Though he does run eagerly to me if he sees the camera ("time to work! my public awaits!"), some days he would rather climb the blinds and thumb his feline nostril parts at my attempts to catch him in an endearing position.

Anyway, today you can see that he was rolling around in our entryway rug, oblivious to how idiotic he looked. Wait . . . how is that different from his normal behavior?

So today is Saturday. End of a week. Woof. I need a day off. Throughout the course of the week, my desk slowly gets covered with more and more art materials until finally:

By this point, it takes me about five minutes to locate the remote phone when it rings. Oh, how silly of me. It was nestled beneath my cadmium orange paint jug. What's worse is when my husband Ed sets an important piece of paper somewhere on the desk at the beginning of the week. And then expects to come back and get it at the end of the week. Ha! Double ha! What's he think this desk is for anyway? Not paperwork, surely.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Augustine -- Warmblood Finished

"Augustine" - 11 x 14" colored pencil on paper.
Click here to buy.

I have finally finished this guy. I came back to him after a weekend of doing other art projects and found that all of the darks on it had completely disappeared. What? What? Where'd they go? Where lovely black should have been was nothing but a hazy blue. I quickly consulted Nicole Caulfield, the colorfix paper queen and my dear friend, and she informed me that I needed to brush off the wax that had risen to the surface and apply fixative. Well, I'd seen wax bloom before but this was like a blinkin' wax factory. However, I attacked it with a bristle brush and some fixative and sure enough it has remained the proper color. Phew!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Greeness of Orange

Cunningly, to distract you, my gentle blog readers, from the fact that I didn't finish my Boston streetscape today, I'm going to describe the process behind my Fountain Bookstore painting from my last blog post. Don't be mad! I'll have it done tomorrow, promise!

Okay, here goes.

Step One: Choose the location to paint, then figure out how to fit it attractively in the shape of the selected canvas.
This may sound obvious, but it's not. For instance, with Fountain Bookstore, I knew I wanted to paint the bookstore, and I knew I wanted to paint the street, but there were plenty of other variables. Up the street or down it? Straight on or at an angle? Camera tilted up, down, or straight on? Then I took a look at my canvas: I chose a long, skinny one, four times as long as it was tall. This poses unique challenges; in particular, keeping the viewer's eye engaged with the image. I opted for a crop that eliminated the sidewalk and incorporated a dark building at the far left to act as a buffer to the world outside the painting and a row of cars at the right to guide the eye down the street.

Step Two: What Are the Essential Colors and how can you pump them up?
This is sort of the Crayola Crayon test. If you had one color to color each general part of the painting, which one would you choose? In my case, my main color blocks were three buildings, the street, and the tree branches.

Beneath each of these colors will go an underpainting of a complementary color, or something close. Complementaries are colors across from each other on a color wheel. (Never thought you'd be thinking about those things again, did you?) This underpainting is a really important step -- though it will get covered up entirely, the eye will still see that layer in a subconscious way. I find my paintings that I do quickly, without an underpainting, look shallow and 2D.

Oh, a last important thing. Remember that warm colors (yellow, red, orange) tend to draw the eye and look like they are closer to the viewer and cool colors (blue, purple) tend to recede. Underpainting your subject in warm colors can bring it the front very quickly. In the case of my Fountain Bookstore painting, I want to make my focal point (the area next to the van) jump out, so I underpainted that building in a warm color.

So this is what I decide -- as you can see from the first step of my painting in the last post.
Building One = essentially black. Underpaint with dark purple.
Building Two = essentially red/ orange. Underpaint with brilliant green.
Building Three = essentially white, but also my focal point. Underpaint with orange.
Trees = green, duh. Underpaint with orange, but think about tweaking that later depending on how outrageous they turn out.
Street = essentially blue-grey. I want it to be transparent and bright to indicate sunlight, so I don't underpaint it -- in effect, I'm underpainting with white, as the canvas' natural white will glow through my layer of paint.

Step Three: Block in the major shapes
I keep it very, very simple at this stage, as you can see.

I just want to remind myself where the buildings are supposed to be. I can make corrections to any grievous errors later. Then I let it dry COMPLETELY! Woe and pain to the artist who paints over complimentaries without letting the first layer dry. We have a name for the result of hasty painting: mud. Don't do it. Well, sure, do it, so that you know how bad it is. Then don't do it again.

Step Four: Am I on Step Four? Begin putting in real colors.

Yep, cover up all those uglies. Red-brown for the bookstore -- a layer of black and blue for the window on the bookstore. Naples Yellow and cadmium orange and white for the building behind the van. Black and blue and brown for the first antiques building on the left. I find that the trees are coming way too far forward with just green and yellow, so I paint some ultramarine shadows on them to put those things back where they belong.

Step Five: The fun part.
Part of my style is my distinct black lines, reminiscent of stained glass. This works for me, but it's my style. Getcher own. Seriously, good art is unique. If you paint often enough, you'll find your style emerges: first you struggle to paint realistically, then, once you've begun to master that, you begin to find ways to express your version of reality. Be it cool colors, cool paint strokes, cool linework . . . make it your own and make this step your own too.

Anyway, rant over. In this step, I begin putting in the details and my black lines. I also add touches of pure bright color out of the tube for interest. My focal point, the van and the tree branches there, get the most attention and the most broken paint splotches, shouting out for attention. A bit of orange goes on the street too, to remind the viewer that they should start out the process staring at the van and end it going down the street. More of my process cyan goes in everywhere and this baby's done!

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Gaggle of Paintings

"Whoa" - 2.5 x 3.5" colored pencil on drafting film.
Click here to bid.

I have lots of fun stuff to show you guys today, because I went and took photos of my work hanging at the Uniquely Fredericksburg exhibit. I have to say that I was in general kind of bemused by the judge's decision (though not, of course, by her decision to pick two of my works as prize winners -- obviously that showed wonderful taste) because there were quite a few pieces that I said "WOW!" next to and went prizeless, and then a few of the prizewinners you almost walked by until you saw the little red ribbon next to the frame. Ah, well, right?

Well, here we go: my painting (this thing is a monstrous four feet long, which means that if I had gotten mugged on the way into the exhibition I could've defended myself with it quite nicely).

And my two drawings with their awards next to them. Yes, I know it's dark. Pretend you can see them. And if you're that curious, for crying out loud, go over to my website and look at them under their names "Christmas Lights" and "Coffee After Dark."

Today is also an exciting day because I did the underpainting on two paintings, one of which is a composition which is very interesting to me, and the other is the beginning of my Richmond series (destined to hang in Chasen Galleries -- see previous posts). They are very ugly and technicolor at the moment. Wanna see? Oh, sure you do.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Start of Mini Scotland Series

"Promise of Rain" & "Sterling -Bird's Eye View" - 6 x 6 acrylic on canvas.
Click here and here to bid.

Because I'm still throttling myself on that painting for the Fredericksburg exhibition (no, I will not show it to you until it's done, so stop asking!), I only had time to do these two little ones today. They mark the beginning of a new small format Scotland series. I had a lot of fun with my last little Carytown series, so I'm looking forward to adding to this one as well. I kinda wish I could paint a bunch for myself. I just have this image of about 12 of these guys all in a very artsy shape on the wall . . .

Okay, back to work! The sooner I start painting the sooner you can see my gigantic Fredericksburg entry.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Unfinished Painting & Unfinished Commission

Unfinished Painting on 14 x 18" Canvas.
Click here to buy or make best offer.

This is a fun thing that I do every so often; offer an unfinished painting for sale in my store the day before I send it to auction. This particular piece is a nice twisty road in Bath, England, and I fully expect to have it finished by tomorrow evening. Lately I've been drawn to windy roads and inclines, and this particular street has both. Must be a bugger if you've got a stick shift. Which I do. (REAL girls drive stick shifts.) Anyway, click on the link above to buy it or make an offer on it before it goes to auction tomorrow, and be rewarded with free shipping and all that good stuff.

Unfinished Commission of Quarter Horse
Click here to see entire Work in Progress

This has been occupying most of my time today, hence the unfinished painting. As it's a portrait commission, it's not for sale, but because I'm doing it as a very detailed work in progress on the artist's site WetCanvas, I thought I would show it here so that everyone could get an idea of how one of these pieces is put together. Hope you follow the link and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Down to Bowmore

"Down to Bowmore" - 18 x 24" acrylic on canvas
Click here to bid.

Here's my offering for today! I really like this one -- evening is my favorite time of day and I really tried hard to convey that golden half light that comes when the sun sets. I have to complain just a small bit, though. My wisdom teeth are killing me and I've just been to the dentist. The little buggers have to come out. Maybe I should dedicate the proceeds of this painting (created while in pain) to my dental co-pay (payment for even more pain -- 4 extractions). That sounds terribly dreary though, doesn't it? Please tell me, everyone, that having your wisdom teeth out is actually quite painless.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Last of the Quarter Horses

"Guest Parking" 12 x 24" acrylic on canvas
Click here or on image to bid.

"The Gauntlet" - 24 x 30" acrylic on canvas
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Okay, okay, more horses. Tomorrow the equestrian streak will momentarily halt, I promise. I just had so many good reference photos from this Quarter Horse specialty I went to that I had to paint a bunch of them. I'm pleased with both of these two, but particularly with "Guest Parking." It's a real slap you in the face painting, even from across the room, and was done in a different style than usual for me. I consider it a very successful experiment. "The Gauntlet," from a photo taken in the stable area, was started at the show itself and turned out well, though I'm frustrated by my inability to get good photos of it. Moreover, I'm having problems taking photos that show the sheer size of it. 24 x30" is a BIG painting!

I've begun putting reserves on my eBay pieces; I love selling on eBay and I love my eBay buyers dearly, but I just can't sell pieces for less than I could get for them at my horse shows. Doesn't make good business sense! And it's not fair to my horse show collectors. What do you guys think? Does a reserve on an eBay auction turn you off?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Western Riders & Quarter Horses

"Guest Parking" - work in progress on canvas
Click here or on image to buy before it goes to auction tomorrow night.

Today was another day of horse paintings, I'm afraid. Hey, when I have that many great reference photos, they just beg me to paint them. So I actually have two paintings that I worked on today and both of them will get finished tomorrow and put on eBay. The one that you see displayed here, "Guest Parking," is one of my latest favorites. I'm really enjoying the strong shapes and patterns of the horses and riders silhouetted against the sky, and I really am digging the slouches. These three young ladies were exceptionally self-conscious about the idea of being photographed in such a casual pose, so I told them that I was photographing their horses and they left me alone! Was that unethical? Yeah, I thought not, either. Anyway. This piece, which is 75% done will go on auction tomorrow with a reserve unless it is purchased beforehand. You can do so by clicking the link above or on the image itself.

Even more exciting stuff tomorrow, I promise, including a cougar art card for charity! Whoo hoo! Hold onto your seats, folks.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


"Just Jump" - 24 x 48" acrylic on canvas
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"Bella" - 12 x 12" acrylic on canvas
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"Antioch" - 16 x 16" acrylic on canvas
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I think you can probably tell by my offerings that I was at a horse show all weekend. Two of these pieces were completed at the horse show and the other (Bella) was being held until after the horse show as a portfolio piece.

All of these represent a different direction for me, which is exciting because I love to experiment, especially when it goes well. With these pieces I worked with wild colors and vivid underpaintings; in many places you can see bright green poking through or blue dominating a shadow. The effect is dynamic, active, and contemporary. I wish I could tell you exactly how many people came over to my booth and exclaimed over "Just Jump" as I was painting it. At four feet long, this painting really has presence, and the contrast between the white background and the colorful horse is rather staggering in real life. I'm just an eensy weensy bit pleased with myself over all three of these. Can you tell?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Friesian Horse and Another in the Carytown Series

"July Colors" - 6 x 6" acrylic on canvas, fourth of Carytown series
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"Niall" - 11 x 14" colored pencil on colorfix paper
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Well, today was another day at the horse show, and I put the sizzling day to good use. In between watching western pleasure and trail classes (very peculiar things to a girl who has ridden English her entire life!) from my booth, I put the finishing touches on Niall, a colored pencil piece on black paper that I've been working on for awhile off and on, and on July Colors, the fourth in the Carytown series. I actually did another little 6 x 6" commission piece of a one of the horses at the show as well, but as the thing was handed off to its eager owner with barely dry paint, I didn't take a photo. Moral of the story: you can get a lot of work done when you're stuck in a 10 x 10' space with nothing better to do.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Summer Spectacular Horse Show

Well, today was an interesting day in the world of Maggie. Today was the first day of the Fireworks Summer Spectacular Horse Show at Rose Mount Farm, and I had my booth of horse portraits set up there. As you can see above. I spent the day sweating (it was 98 degrees), painting (see that big horse there at the bottom -- that's what I did!), and sweating some more. Oh, and securing commissions. I also got some other paintings in the works to add to the Carytown series, but I don't imagine that I'll be listing anything on eBay until tomorrow at the earliest and Monday at the latest (it's a 3 day horse show).

But I didn't want anyone to think that I'd been snoozin' on the job! And if anyone out there is looking for a horse commission, better ask me fast as I'm about to have a lengthy backlog! Stay tuned . . .

Thursday, June 29, 2006

"Under a Golden Sun" - 16 x 20" acrylic on canvas
Click here or on image to bid.

This painting of a German street was a lot of fun, because I got to use obscene amounts of my favorite color: yellow. I got to use it in the building on the right and again on the golden sun sign. After that, it was just a matter of throwing it around liberally to make the entire painting glow with gold-orange goodness. Anyway. It was fun.

Tomorrow I have to drop off 11 works to the Salem Church Library for a solo exhibit there; I won't even begin to describe to you the frantic framing frenzy that I am engaged in this evening. Oh Lord, give me patience . . . and an extra hand or two to stretch framing wire.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Carytown Series Underway!

The first half of the Carytown Series is finished and on eBay! Each of these little pieces is a lot of fun and presents a unique set of challenges -- it's a small space to paint on effectively. I really felt like I was channeling Carytown, though (is that how channeling is spelled?); it was so easy to remember standing right on that spot and taking that photograph. Not so much with the first one, which is in Carytown proper, but with second two, I definitely had a pile of memories that came back.

"Carytown- The Bicycle" - 6 x 6" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas
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I liked the image of the lone bicycle in this one, sitting in front of an attractively cluttered antiques store.

"Carytown - Richbrau Brewery" - 6 x 6" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas
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This image is full of memories for me. Right down there on the corner, where you see the black sign, is a restaurant called La Grotta. It's a beautiful little Italian restaurant, not for the faint of wallet, located beneath Richbrau. It's dark and intimate and the food is wonderful. Save room for dessert. Believe me.

"Carytown - Sine" - 6 x 6" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas
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This image holds perhaps the most memories of all for me. When I was in college just four or five years ago, I started an Irish band called Ballynoola (our most loyal of fans may still remember us and play our CD) and we toured all around Virginia and Maryland. One of our gigs was in front of this Irish restaurant, Sine, in honor of their grand opening. It was Halloween and everyone walking by us was in costume. I remember in particular Princess Leah (is that even how you spell her name? I know some Star Wars fan is going to be irritated with me) walking by holding her baby Yoda in her arms. Good times!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Carytown Series & a Lot of Rain

"Carytown - The Bicycle" - 6 x 6" on canvas

I'm almost ashamed to post this photograph of my latest little work because it's such a bad quality photo. I'm located in Virginia, and if any of you have been following the weather for our area for the past few days, you'll know that we haven't seen the sun for quite awhile. My camera (a Sony Cybershot if you're interested) does very poorly without sunlight, so even when I ventured out into the gloom between rain showers, I was unable to get a clear, vibrant photograph.

But I didn't want you to think that I wasn't being productive. Indeed, this little work is the first in a series of 6 that should be appearing on eBay either tomorrow or Thursday. They will all be of Carytown, on gallery wrapped canvas with black painted sides. The first two are already complete and they look very neat hanging together on the wall; it's the first time I've painted on such a little proper canvas and I really like the effect! I'm thinking of all sorts of things to do with small canvas groupings now, especially now that I've found a good supplier. I like to keep my Fedex man busy, you know.

Anyway, rumor has it that we might see the sun tomorrow so hopefully I will be able to get better photographs then. Certainly I hope for sun by the weekend, when I'll be in my booth at the Rose Mount Farm Fireworks Horse Show. Cross your fingers for me!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Door Number 3 - Carytown Series

"Door Number 3" - 16 x 20" acrylic on canvas
Click here or on image to make offer or bid.

This is the first of my Carytown paintings, and I have to say that I'm rather pleased with my efforts. It's difficult to capture the smack-you-from-across-the-room effect of a painting with a photograph, and this is one of those paintings. The simple but dynamic shapes really make an impact and to me, it captures the colorful and whimsical nature of Carytown.

I often watch movies while I'm painting (well, it's often more like "listening" to movies) and the result is that every time I look at the painting in years to come, I'm reminded of the movie that I watched while painting. Well, this one is no exception, and looking at the photo right now, I am weirdly put in mind of "National Treasure," the movie I watched while painting the final touches. And cookies, of course. It took at least 8 cookies to complete the final stages of this painting.

This painting is going to my month-long solo exhibition -- it's being delivered on the 30th of June. As the works need to be marked either "for sale" or "not for sale", I have this painting in my store but I will list the ending at 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 29th. If it's not sold by then, it will wear a price tag of $200 at the exhibition (which is the price that it is listed at in my store -- remember your "make offer" option!). If it does sell, it will be shipped to the winning buyer at the end of July when the exhibition ends.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Salem Church Library Exhibition

"Want Company?" - 9 x 12" on colorfix paper
Click here or on image to buy or make offer.

Weather was indeed peculiar yesterday, but it held enough for me to get some good shots of Richmond's Carytown & Shockoe Slip areas. I have plenty of painting fodder to hold me through at least a few weeks! A quick glance at the calendar, however, reminded me that the deadline for my July exhibition at the Salem Church Library's gallery space ( is just around the corner. So I'll try and put a few small works on eBay for sale this week, but any big paintings that I do are going to the exhibition.

What was I going to say? Oh, right -- I will post images of these works as I finish them this week, so anyone interesting in purchasing one at the end of July can drop me a line to let me know. They will be listed for sale at the exhibition with a price tag of $200 each, but I can make arrangements for a painting to be listed "not for sale" if you fall in love with one of them.

A little work may appear on this blog later today. Keep your eyes peeled!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Spot of Tea

"Spot of Tea" - 5 x 7" on canvas board
Click here on the image to bid.

Here's today's effort -- my second acrylic version of my clear glass tea-cups (I have done them with colored pencils before: "Want Company?" is currently in my store on eBay). I never, never get tired of doing version of my tea cups. The way that the sun comes through tea and turns it a lovely rainbow of oranges and reds and browns is just too tempting to pass up. This piece was done with a surprising amount of green to underpaint the oranges and reds, and also rather a lot of blue to make it "pop." I'm pretty pleased with it, especially considering I've never painting on such a small surface before. It was quite a challenge.

As my landscape that I finished this evening has already sold, I find myself in need of some new material. Tomorrow has been deemed "field trip" day and I will be trekking an hour south to Carytown and Shockoe Slip in Richmond for some good street scene shots. Watch this space . . . as long as weather lets me take some good photos, you'll be seeing pieces of Richmond here in the days to come.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Snow White & a Sneak Peek

"Snow White" - 5 x 7" colored pencil on colorfix paper
Click here or on image to bid.

Believe it or not, I finally figured out that each blog post begins with the date so I was wasting my time titling each day's post with the date. This is the only finished piece for today, a small, relatively quick study of an apple -- taking great care with the little details like pencil stroke and unusual color. The evening was spent on the painting that will be tomorrow's offering. Below you can see the progress shots on my latest painting, and you can click HERE to buy it before it goes on auction tomorrow night when it's completed.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

June 20th

"Company Tea" - 11 x 14" on canvas
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"The Student" - 16 x 20" on canvas
Click here or on the image to bid.

Because I had my camera handy today while I worked, I took two progress shots as well for the curious -- from the first "ugly stage" in blue and green, the middling ugly stage with the base colors laid down, and finally the finished result up above.

Monday, June 19, 2006

June 19th

"The Cathedral" -- 11 x 14" acrylic on canvas
Click here or on image to bid.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Current Offerings - June 18th

"Milo" - art card (2.5" x 3.5" on drafting film)
Click here or on the image to bid.

Hello, Folks!

Hi everyone! I'll keep this short and painless. My name's Maggie Stiefvater, I'm an artist specializing in equine art and landscapes/ cityscapes, and this blog will be a place for my admirers, stalkers, or friends to keep track of my daily art offerings. Just about every day I create a piece of art for eBay, and you guys will see it first here. Feel free to comment on what you thinking I'm doing wrong or right or how a piece makes you feel.

You can also look at my online portfolio at, my writing blog at, and at my eBay store at This is my living and my passion, and I'm here to make you guys happy. So keep in touch!