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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Children's Portrait Commission

Anzalone Christmas Commissions, graphite, 11x14"each, 2009

These two portraits were Christmas commissions for a current patron of mine, John Anzalone of Anzalone Liszt Research. I have been working on a few portraits of U.S. Presidents for John in the last couple of weeks. Once he saw the preliminary sketches he decided to commission similar graphite sketches of his kids. Of course these portraits incorporate much more elaborate graphite supplies as compared to preliminary sketches which are generally always done using a single grade of graphite (2B for example). I really enjoy these graphite portraits and they make for great gifts, especially for the Christmas season. More portraits of John's family will follow. I hope that you enjoy. If you're interested in commissioning a work please feel free to contact me through this blog or by clicking here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lilies on the Rocks

Lilies on the Rocks, watercolor, 9x16", NFS
Private collection of Rep. Mac Gipson, Montgomery, AL

This is a piece that I recently finished amid a few additional commission works. The Charleston House Gallery will be displaying this piece in preparation for an exhibition of J. Sidney Kelly works tonight. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am fascinated with patterns and fabric design. I attribute this fixation partly to my wife who make awesome purses and purse accessories, using a large collection of patterned fabrics. I never know what she'll be putting together on any given day.
In doing this particular piece I drew the initial wall pattern on grid paper and used transfer paper to trace it to the watercolor paper. After doing all this, I realized that I had wasted all my time. The thought hit me that I could have transferred the original drawing to a linoleum block and carefully cut-out the design. Then I could have used masking fluid to stamp the design over the entire background, allowing me to apply a wash to the background without painting in the areas of the motifs. Once the wash had dried I could have gone back and removed the mask layer and added the darker sage green to the pattern. Of course this is classic for me; always learning after the fact.
Anyhow, I am really pleased with how this piece turned out and I have bigger ideas for the next few watercolors. Enjoy - Jared.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Watercolors

Little Boy, watercolor, 6x6", 2009 SOLD

The Ascent, watercolor, 6x8", $100 (scroll below to purchase)

Patterned Blooms, watercolor, 5x8", $100 (scroll below to purchase)

The Watchmaker Watches, watercolor, 8x6", $85 (scroll below to purchase)

Pet Portrait Commission, watercolor, 16x9", 2009

These are some of the pieces that I have been fortunate to work on as of late. My wife and I like to work a booth at the monthly Santuck Arts and Crafts Market where she sales her totally sweet purse organizers, checkbook covers, and handbags and where I sale my artwork. These watercolors were completed for this Art Market. If you are interested in purchasing one of these, contact me immediately so that someone else doesn't snatch up your favorite.

I will honestly be saddened greatly once The Little Boy watercolor sells. I am really fond of that painting. Though it is small, only six inches square, it is emotionally intriguing. I wonder what could have had this young boy so festered and pensive? I will truly miss it.

Let me know what you like. Keep up the creativity
- Jared

Choose which watercolor

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Remembering Ryan Otto

Ryan Otto, graphite, 9x12", 2009

I received this beautiful, priceless sketch of Ryan at the first Camp Smile A Mile program for families that have lost a 'camper' to cancer. Words cannot express my gratitude to Jared, a very talented and generous artist, who gave to me this gift that has captured Ryan so completely. He even managed to capture that mischievous gleam in his eye which is awesome because of the fact that Jared never got to meet Ryan! Ryan was a sweet child who was never any trouble. He loved everyone and he loved life! Even on the worst days of his life if you asked him how he was doing, he would always say "I"m good"! I have often told people that Ryan managed to accomplish more in his 14 years than I had in 41! That's how old we were when he went to live forever in heaven. I am now 43 but Ryan will be 14 Forever. What a testimony Ryan lived to life! He touched everyone who entered his life right up to the moment he left us! I miss him more than words can ever express, so you can imagine how grateful I am to have this portrait of my son, which I will cherish forever. Thank You again and God Bless you in all your future endeavors! - Michelle Huckabee

I would like to add that I truly enjoyed doing Ryan's portrait. It is important to me that each portrait comes as close to exactly matching the personality of the photo reference as possible. Sometimes I decide to make alterations for the portrait, like omitting background noise in the setting or simplifying clothing so as not to take away from the figure's portrait. Ryan's portrait is an example of what I did in many of the Camp SAM portraits because his shirt is white. Originally, Ryan had on a colorful and slightly distracting T-shirt. I chose to give him the appearance of wearing a white shirt, as I did for many of the children's portraits. I thought this was not only better for the focal point of Ryan's face but I thought that it was rightly symbolic of the purity of youth and the sacredness of each of these young kids. It was my honor to complete a portrait for Ryan. My prayers are with his family; may many more joys come into their lives and may their memories be filled with love. - Jared Kelley

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gone to the Dogs

Dog Commissions, 9x12" each, watercolor, 2009

I was able to do these pet portraits last week after the Charleston House called me and said they needed some breathtaking and amazing dog portraits for a client. I hadn't used watercolors in years before these commissions but it eventually came back to me. I have started working on more small scale watercolors just for fun. I am still very serious about my new graphite works and will hopefully have pics posted soon for that work.

Both of this paintings were done in one sitting from photographs that the owner provided me. I used Cotman watercolors and Strathmore 140 lb paper. I like to soak my watercolor paper for 15 - 30 minutes in a water bath before starting. To a 5/8" thick Birch board, I then staple the paper around all sides about a quarter inch in from the edges and spacing each staple roughly half an inch from the next. Once this dries I start drawing in my composition and painting. I find that soaking the paper beforehand reduces the amount of buckling that will happen from subsequent washes. Of course, I have a lot to learn but I thoroughly enjoy the process.

If you'd like to commission your own pet portrait, please contact me at or click on my profile pic for a link to my email. Thanks and ENJOY - Jared

New Commissions

Graphite Portrait Commissions, 11x14", 2009
I was privileged to fulfill the commission request for John R., a new acquaintance and parent of two strapping young lads. I met John at Camp Smile-A-Mile at the Remembering Their Smiles memorial night. He was so impressed with the portraits that were donated to the families of Camp SAM that he wanted to have a couple made of his two sons. I think that these relatively inexpensive graphite portraits are something that every family should look into. My hope is that these artworks will become respective heirlooms which go from generation to generation. I really wanted to take on the challenge of the wool sweater in the one portrait. Normally I try to neutralize the clothing to some degree so as to help it be impervious to fashion trends over the years (you don't want viewers 20 years from now looking at the portrait and laughing at the clothing) but I really thought the seasonal sweater will be something that hangs around as long as there are great-aunts and grandmothers to be found:) If you're interested in having a portrait commissioned, please contact me at or click on my blog profile for a link to my email. Enjoy - Jared

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Portrait of Cailin

Cailin, graphite 12x21" approx., 2009
While I was working on the Camp Smile-A-Mile children's portraits a few weeks back, I took a break to do a portrait of my beautiful wife. Most of the time she gets short-changed when it comes to art because I am usually fulfilling gallery requests or commission pieces. I normally try to keep commission works at standard sizes so that framing isn't too expensive later on. But for Cailin's portrait I really just went with what I thought looked like an interesting size. I really enjoyed this extremely vertical composition. This was taken before Cailin chopped off her beautiful long hair for Locks of Love. It hangs in my studio to give me company during my other obligations. Hope you enjoy - Jared

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Portrait Series Welcomes Jacko

Jacko, 24x24" acrylic on Masonite, 2009 $1200
(scroll below to purchase)

Recently I was contacted by a good friend of mine and artist, Mike "Jenk" Jenkins (you can see some of his artwork on this blog) who needed help filling up the empty wall space in a new restaurant in town. The Chop House (formerly the Vintage Year) is in Montgomery's historic Old Cloverdale district and will be a high end dining experience. Because the art market here in Montgomery, AL has not been red hot lately I pulled some of my artwork from the Charleston House Gallery to transfer them to the walls of the Chop House. When Jenk came by my studio to pic up the pieces he noticed my pop culture portrait series on the walls and said that he would like to take them to the restaurant as well. I enjoy these portraits, all part of The Entitled - The UnEntitled series, but never considered them an option for a high-end steakhouse. Oh was I wrong.... they have become the talk of all patrons since the Chop House doors opened. The only change that was made to the series was this addition of Michael Jackson. The owners of the restaurant wanted someone to replace Saddam Hussein who was originally one of the 12 portraits.

New celebrity and who's who names are popping up weekly so I am excited to be able to do more of these portraits. I hope to post more additions to the series soon. - Jared

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Remembering Andrew Long

Andrew Van Long
December 22, 1998 – September 20, 2007
Andrew was born on December 22 but we brought him home on Christmas day. What a wonderful reminder of the gift that was his life. He was kind hearted, sweet and stubborn. He loved to laugh and would talk with you at length on just about any subject. He had a mop of blonde hair and the most beautiful blue eyes. Andrew lived for just over 8 ½ years; valiantly battling cancer for more than 3 of them. We could not be more proud of him and we will never forget him. - Anne Long

Camp Smile-A-Mile Portraits

Back in July I had the blessing of sharing my artistic talents with ten very special families from Camp Smile-A-Mile. These families were part of a larger group which met during the Remembering Their Smiles night which is a new program of Camp SAM that aims to bring families together who have lost a child to cancer. Each family present that night had a child who had attended Camp SAM during his or her struggle with this horrible disease. Through close collaboration with Jennifer Queen, Camp SAM's Program Director, I was able to find a way to gift these families a portrait of their child being remembered that day. Each family who accepted this offer received a 9x12" graphite portrait. The Charleston House gallery in Montgomery, AL was nice enough to provide museum quality framing for each portrait at an unbelievably low cost which was covered by Camp SAM. The final products were sacred offerings and brought the spirit of each child before the viewer.

From this experience I was able to form a unique relationship with these ten children, each of whom I never had the opportunity to meet, yet I feel very much "close" to each child after staring at their visage for several hours during the creation of the portraits. I am positive that someday I will get to meet each child and I am sure that I will not be surprised to see that they now have more energy and good-health than I have ever known possible in my life here on Earth. I look forward to that day very much!

I have asked each family to decide whether or not they want to have their child's portrait posted on this blog. I hope that you will be able to see many, if not all of them soon. Each family will write a post to accompany the image of the portrait. Please be aware that there are many among us who are dealing with trials which we may never come close to fully understanding and it is therefore important that we do what we can to lighten the load of our neighbor; lend a hand or use your talents to bring happiness into their otherwise difficult reality. I hope that each of you may discover your own strengths as well as ways in which you may magnify those gifts. Thanks and God bless - Jared

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award!!!

What an honor - I got home from a long day at work with my eyes shriveled, ready to turn into dust thanks to my laptop monitor, and I find the Kreativ Blogger award waiting for me. I want to thank Julie Davis, one of my favorite blogging co-artists, for gifting me such a fun award. Of course, it's just an honor to be nominated :) I understand that I must do a couple of things:
1 - name 7 things for which you are grateful, and
2- link back to 7 artists of your choice to whom you would like to grant this same award.

Things for which I am grateful:
1. My God
2. My Health
3. My Wife
4. My Talents
5. My Country
6. My Education
7. My Two Cats

Seven Artists to whom I give this award

Youqing Wang
Alida Thorpe
Lisa Gloria
4. Michael Naples
5. Tommy Kane
6. Pierre Raby
7. Sara Winters

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Wife's New Blog!!

I am very excited to announce that my wife is now a blogger!!!! I write this post to entice you to visit her new budding blog. Cailin has always been an artist in her own right and she has always had a knack for crafting but recently she has taken the leap to blogging. I have been blogging for a few years now and I kept telling

her that it's easy as pie (like the kinda pie you just ask for at the fast food window, not the kind you have to actually put together and throw in the oven). Well, she's got her blog up and running. It's called Made by Cailin and it showcases her wonderful purse organizers. She made one of these in the recent past to be a simple help to herself. The frustration she had (and I suspect that 99.9% of women in the world have) is that she always had to spend more time than she wanted moving several (and by several I mean thousands) of individual items, essential items she assures me, from one purse to another when the occasion (or whim) requires her to change purses. To solve this frustration and to make her life much easier she threw together this convenient little organizer, as shown above. She just loads the pockets of the organizer with her essential items and she can then wrap, fold, or bundle her purse-inizer to any handbag she desires without wasting time looking for loose change and other items. She has dozens of patterns and is making dozens more. Check out her website by clicking on the logo or pictures. And while your there become one of her followers - it's looking a little measly at the moment. - Jared

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Charity Event

Rocking Chair for Charity
Here's another fun piece that I recently finished for a local charity which helps protect abused children. I knew right away when I received the unfinished wooden rocker that I wanted to do something that would impress all who view it. This meant that I would have to abandon the common "charity chair" color scheme which consists of every bold color on an artist's palette.
I have grown more enamored with patterns over the years and this was a great opportunity to put them to use. I selected several patterns with high contrast and placed them all over the chair. Since my chair was child sized, I used dimensional paints for the header board at the top of the chair. I posted a couple shots of this so that you can see the cool texture which it left. I thought this would be a fun additive, especially for children.
Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope that my chair pulls the highest bid at the auction. - Jared

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Caricature Commission

Super Dan, pen and ink on Bristol board, approx 8x12"

I received a phone call from a dear friend of the family and a great advocate for the arts, Cathy Wright, asking me if I would be interested in doing a caricature for a member of the Alabama Board of Education. Dan was often referred to "Super Dan" because of his amazing ability to get results when it came to his work at the Board. I dug up some Superman images to get started (note to reader: don't Google "Superman undressing"!) and superimposed Dan's face over the super body. It came out as good as expected and the reception was a hit.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

After a Long Sabbatical....

Made You Smile, painted sheet metal cut-out

Well it's been a terribly long break from posting! Since my last post (about 6 months ago) I have been involved with several side jobs, namely filling in as a long-term visual art substitute at a local arts middle school. Baldwin Magnet Middle School was actually the school that I attended when I was in Jr. High. The art teacher at Baldwin went on Maternity leave early due to complications with her pregnancy so I was able to teach art in a public school setting for the first time in my life. I was there from January 6th until April 13th. It was actually more awesome than I had anticipated. I will post several images of my time there in the near future.

This flower painting was a piece that I did for the American Red Cross here in Montgomery, AL. They hold a charity auction each year and invite local artists to paint garden accessories made of sheet metal. This year I was invited and I was given this large flower to decorate. I thought it came out fairly well. My inspiration for the piece was a mix between Anne Geddes and cabbage patch kids. The execution of this initial idea produced unexpected results. The child's face was a little too realistic, pushing the painting too close to a portrait - and who wants a portrait of a random child in their garden?! So I decorated the petals to the maximum in order to pull the viewer's attention from the face. I considered writing "I Have a Stamen!" in the petals but then decided that "Made You Smile" might be a little more safe. Overall I am pleased with the outcome and can't wait to see how well it does in the auction.