Sunday, November 23, 2014


Hey's that time of year again and you know what that means...?  It's time for the Annual Friends and Family Christmas Card Design.  Every year I come up with a new design to send out at Christmas time.  (You can read more about it on my licensing blog here).  The pressure is always on to create a design that is better then the previous year's before it.  I have done some pretty elaborate designs, such as mobiles, pop-up cards, tin snowmen, holiday house pop ups and even the one I did two years ago that was to be sent to Santa and said in the inside to' just send cash'!   One family member actually sent cash!!  Well,  every year I say I am not going to be able to get one done because in the winter I get down in my mood and the darkness overcomes me.  But in the end, I have managed to get the card designs completed and on time, if only a day or two before the deadline.   I hunker down for 2-3 days and cut, paste, glue and fold over 40 cards and the receivers are always waiting for the card to arrive.

Last year's 2013 Annual Christmas Card
'All Balled Up Snowman'
2013 Christmas Card Design hanging in a row

Last year's 2013 card was said to be the best I've created according to my family and especially my brother Ken(see in photo).  So, this year's has to be even better than that.  I think I have an idea to go with, but not certain yet if it is my final choice.  All of my family, saves the cards I send each year and it is neat to go back and look at how they evolved over the years.  Ken says that he knows it's time to celebrate Christmas when he receives the card, just like the windows being unvailed at the Macy's in New Youk City. The designs definitely have gotten more complicated and detailed.  The stress around the holidays for me is getting the design worked out and getting them finished in time to send out.  It's not just a project I take's a mission.  Yes, I am a woman creator on a mission!

2013 Annual Christmas Card
'All Balled Up Snowman"
This year's design will be posted after I complete it and after everyone has received it in the mail. Then I will discuss how and why I created it.  It's always fun to look into the how's and whys of an idea.  Possibly, one of my favorite things to do next to coming up with the idea itself.  So, stay tuned and be sure to check back to see the progress I am making on the design.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


'THE FIRE FLOWER'        24 x 30   oil on canvas        2011 (c) Loren Fidalgo
Hey guys...  a new 'on my easel' painting featured. This painting is from the archives and I thought it would be an interesting one to write about.

The title of this painting is 'THE FIRE FLOWER'.  It is 24 x 30 and oil on canvas.  I wanted to feature this painting since my last post was about the small scribble drawings that I have been doing lately in one of my painting classes.  This painting was created from a small drawing with graphite pencil on paper.
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 graphite on paper
2011 (c) Loren Fidalgo
 When I was sketching out this drawing on paper, I was letting my hand just scribble away.  I didn't know what I was going to create or see in the lines.  Eventually, I began to see a face that was coming out of a flower. I was thinking that I wanted there be no difference between the face and the petals as if the face was actually a living part of the flower. The features to the face are very minimal and some what human like and some what not. I chose them to be this way to not dominate the flower.  The face almost looks as if it is a lion or some kind of animal maybe a cat and I wanted them to be painted just as the drawing was done.

  When I began the painting from this drawing, it was a challenge to unify the petals and face so it was as if the flower petals and face had no separation.  I knew I had to do it with color and I love the colors of this painting. I started with this bright orange and yellow color for the background. I then decided to make the flower in orange and yellow to create this illusion of integration.  I didn't want too much contrast from the petals to the background. The painted edges are soft.  I placed the flower off to the left to have a more pleasing composition and show off the bright colored background.

I painted the stem of the flower in shades of greens, yellows and blues. The tips of the stem are accented in Cerealan Blue which is like a turquoise color.( I used a brush for this painting to blend the colors which is rare for me. I usually use a palette knife.)  I added the stem tips as if they are coming out of the bottom left corner to give some weight to the loosely painted flower and large stem.  It filled the space and gave the flower more mass because I didn't like looking through the empty orange space there. Since I wanted the flower painted as if it was emerging out of the background, the stems really worked. I didn't want to draw my eye in that direction.

Well, what does this painting mean?  What is it all about?  I think it might be about hiding in plain sight?  Possibly, it is about trying not to be seen or not wanting to make oneself more visible to others? It might be about concealing one's identity?  I think it is also about being able to see everyone else while at the same time not been seen by them.  When I did the drawing and painting, I was in a place where I was kind of feeling this way.  Part wanting to be open and out there and part not wanting to be obvious and noticeable. Now I think that I am glad those days have passed for the most part.  Every so often, I feel this thinking and emotion trying to emerge but thank goodness, I handle it better now. Have you ever felt this way? 

Well, that wraps up another 'on my EASEL'. This was a long 'on my EASEL' but I think a good one. I would love to hear back from you guys to see how you interpret this painting?  What do you see in it?  Have you ever felt this way?  Please feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


graphite on paper  2014  (c) Loren Fidalgo
Hey guys... something to share with you.
 Lately I have been drawing in my sketchbook alot and I have to say that I am really enjoying it so much.  There is something so meditative about sketching with a graphite pencil and kneaded eraser. Currently,  I am taking a class at Fleisher Art Memorial called Observation, Memory and Imagination.  The instructor is John and he is so fascinating to talk to and has an interesting technique to create drawings and paintings from small scribble drawings that grow out of the subconscious. Since I have taken this class before, I never really understood what I was doing in the class until this semester.  I have really found somewhat of my voice in these small scribble drawings.
'COMFORTING EACH OTHER'  4 1/4 x 5 1/2
graphite on paper
2014  (c) Loren Fidalgo 
Most of my sketches usually come out to be a face or head of some kind and they are filled with emotion and expression. I realize that for some reason I keep going back to this subject. Previously, I was creating faces that were mostly women that were happy, sad and also had lots of emotions in between.  Now I am creating more animated faces that are crying out or looking as if they are lost, vacant and scared.  Their eyes and mouths are revealing the distress and despair that they are experiencing.
graphite on paper
2014 (c) Loren Fidalgo
  I never really found a lot of passion from drawing in graphite. I found it to take too long to achieve the desired effect I wanted.  I felt overwhelmed by the pencil while I was trying to cover alot of surface area. I wanted to see my direction much more quickly.  But recently, I have fallen 'in love' with these little drawings.
'HOLDING ON'  4 1/4 x 51/2  graphite on paper
2014 (c) Loren Fidalgo
 The original image that is featured up top is titled, 'THE FRIGHTENED SOUL 'and is 14x17. It is inspired from a selection of small sketches.  I love the way it came out with the darks and lights all in shades of greys.  I think I will continue with these drawings and I want to eventually paint them out on canvas.  I am totally unsure what they will look like and if they will capture the graphite and paper feel however I will give it a go.  I am just lovin these drawings, I can't say enough about them and I probably won't in the near future.
graphite on paper
2014 (c) Loren Fidalgo
 Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment if you like.  I'd love to hear what others feel about drawing in graphite pencil on paper.