It's a lonely life...that of the necromancer, er freelancer

A blog by a designer and illustrator, for designers and illustrators which may contain musings on art, movies and random weirdness.

Friday, March 27, 2015


What the gate looked like this winter.

Artspeak ( is an annual concert, artshow and auction, planned by our church, Highrock Northshore. This event is one way for those of us with an artistic bent, to take a stand against injustice and to use our creativity for good.  It is a meeting ground for artists and community members, a celebration of beauty, and a way we can be part of restoration and healing.  At ArtSpeak, local artists from within and beyond our church community come together to work, to give, and to serve. All profits from the event go to fight human trafficking here on the North Shore by supporting Amirah.  Amirah (a-meer-ah) is a Boston area non-profit dedicated to providing “transformative whole-person care for survivors of commercial exploitation.” Amirah does this by mobilizing the greater community to create safe spaces that provide opportunities for healing, restoration and reintegration and by utilizing individualized approaches to address physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and vocational needs of each survivor in their care, cultivating engagement with community.

This year’s theme, IMAGINE, came from the words of the Apostle Paul: “Now to God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever...”
(Eph. 3:20-21).

I had a lot of different ideas for what I was going to do for the show, (with Imagine as the theme you could literally do anything) but I eventually chose to do a painting of a dark gateway leading into a bright, green and gold landscape. This was based in part on wishful thinking, we had a very difficult and long winter in New England this year, and spring seemed like a very distant concept when I was working on the piece. It was also based partly on Song of Solomon 4:12. "You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain." And lastly, it was based on one of my favorite places to go for a hike: Bradley Palmer State Forest. There is a stone entry gate on the Hamilton side of the park. There is a beautiful little stone gatehouse that has been abandoned for years, and a large wrought iron gate. Over the years it has become very overgrown with vines.
Anyway, here is my progress on the painting by session. Sessions would be 2-4 hours long.

Session 1
Roughing in the volumes and basic values in burnt umber and gray.

Session 2
Adding in color to the sky and background. Refining color on the stones.

Session 3
More detail and color in the rocks and texture for the foreground.

 Session 4
Adding greenery and vines, refining values.

Refining the lighting, detail, adding signature.

 Popped it into a plain wooden frame painted metallic gold.

 On display at the event.