I had quite a week trying to come up with a new idea for my next painting. I always kick myself when I finish a project without having another one waiting in the wings. It always takes me a lot longer to come up with something. I was spinning my wheels with a couple ideas, then somehow this new idea emerged. I’m not quite sure why or how. Something in my thought process like: What can I do with that 18th century lady I drew a ways back? Let’s see…she looks like an opera singer…opera singer at home, being a diva…no…opera singer up on sofa, scared by a little mouse…no…opera singer with large bear dressed as Liberace…no…opera singer performing on stage like in “Amadeus”…no…opera singer lying on Liberace bear’s piano…opera singer with Liberace bear like an 18th century Captain and Tenille…no…stage…maybe…outdoor old-timey stage coach shows…caravans…GYPSY caravans!… Then I ditched the opera lady entirely and went with bears dressed as gypsies. Haha. I’ve always wanted to be a gypsy. Mostly for the clothes and pretty things and less about the nomad-like ways, since I like a nail to hang my hat on. Although, if I had one of these to live in, you might convince me otherwise. Aren’t these awesome? Ladies, what is it about shiny beads and beautiful fabric, that captivates us? Is it just me?

Finally I have a working thumbnail now. Like I promised myself, I wanted it to be complicated, so I think I’ve managed to set that up. The other ideas I went through weren’t really bad…just couldn’t figure out how to make them super complicated without seeming really contrived or well, stupid. I’ll most likely revisit some of those other ideas at some point, but onward with this one. Hopefully I’ll work it all out and actually make a painting out of it. You know me. Sometimes I change my mind at the last minute. Tee hee. This will take a LOT of time and reference to work this sucker out. I can’t wait! The more trickery the better, I say! I’ve already collected some bear, fox, raccoon and caravan reference to start with. And…you can bet your life Gina has plenty of gypsy-like clothing in her closet to shoot reference photos with too!

I won’t bore you with the discarded thumbnails. Just the gypsy ones. So, below is the succession of my thumbnails/rough sketches.

As you can see below, there’s a fanciful detailed border around the whole scene now. There will be lots of rodents, birdies, bugs and things intertwined in there somehow.

No word about Phillustration entries yet. Accepted works were supposed to be announced yesterday, so I have to keep waiting now! But I am patient! As a patience story sidenote, I had been saddened by my knock out rose bushes and their state of being since I had planted them at the end of April. The roses all fell off and they weren’t growing at all…but they weren’t dying either! And now three out of four have new growth. One has a bunch of new buds budding too. I’m so happy! I bet they’ll be OK after all. Patience. Patience. Patience.

Have an awesome end of week and weekend. See you next time!