Friday, September 08, 2006

New Web Site Column

In recent weeks, I have spent countless hours redesigning my web site. Adding new features. Improving existing features.

One of the things I have re-introduced is the Studio News column.

When I decided to follow my desires to create more original artwork, I also realized I needed a place to tell about those new ventures. A blog about portrait work did not seem like the best place to tell about the trials and errors of painting.

I did not want to change this blog, though. I will continue to do portrait work on a limited basis, especially when those portraits also fit my goals to expand my artistic horizons and to deepen painting skills. It was necessary to maintain this web log.

It soon became clear that the best thing to do was re-introduce the Studio News column. That page was still indexed, after all, and it would be very simple to bring it up to date to match the new web site design.

Studio News contains stories and articles about some of the shows, events and travels that affect my life as a painter of horses.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that a new and improved Studio News is now available on my web site. It is easier to read and loads faster than previous studio news columns. It also provides links to other sites that I think you will find interesting.

Articles and stories are arranged in two categories. Current stories are shown in their entirety and can be read on the Studio News page.

Older articles are available in the archive section, which can be accessed by links at the bottom of the page.

I invite you to stop by Studio News to see what's going on in the studio and what things are being planned or contemplated.

Expanding Horizons

For over 30 years, I have been drawing and painting horses, mostly portraits of horses. I have a passion for watching and painting horses that was born within me and will remain with me until I can paint on the other side. It is part of who and what I am; almost as necessary as eating, sleeping...breathing.

I also enjoy doing portrait work. There is something very special about working with a horse owner to bring their beloved companion to life on canvas or paper for which there is no substitute.

But things are changing.

For the last year or so, it has taken months to produce portraits that should have taken weeks. It is inexcusable, but also unavoidable. Even having accepted fewer portraits this year than in the past has not helped the situation.

I am also experiencing a growth spurt in my art. I find I am looking more and more toward the types of paintings that tell stories. Paintings with settings, with subjects, with action, with motivation and inspiration.

There is a challenging and exciting shift somewhere within forcing me to look at my artwork and my studio time differently these days. This shift makes it necessary for me to reconsider the allocation of resources; most notably the resource of time.

After much prayer and consideration, I have decided that I need to change artistic gears. I will be focusing more on the type of artwork that stretches my skills and knowledge. Compositions that tell stories in the settings around me.

For those who have portraits in progress, there will be no outward changes. Portraits will be finished in as timely a manner as possible. Until those portraits are finished, they will remain my primary focus.

For those who have won or purchased custom portraits, but have not yet begun the process, rest assured my commitments to you will be honored. Whenever you are ready to get started on your project, we will work together to schedule the portrait and get it completed in as timely a manner as possible.

In the meantime, I have started a couple of new projects for myself. One of them is a painting of the mustangs of the Flint Hills. The Flint Hills have fascinated me since my first introduction to them. This painting, which is now in the planning stages, is the perfect way to combine a subject I have long loved, horses, with a landscape I have grown to love.

The other painting is a harness racing-related painting and is being developed from a series of photographs taken while I still lived in Michigan.

Even though painting is yet to begin on either of these projects, I have had a great deal of fun gathering reference, going on research trips and working out the details of each one.

I am greatly looking forward to continuing on this course. It is like a breath of fresh air!

Friday, July 28, 2006

New Portraits Completed

July has been a very productive month, probably the most productive of the year when it comes to portrait work. Three miniature portraits were completed in the first half of July.

The first two portraits are a pair of ACEO (art trading card) portraits in colored pencil. The subject of these two portraits is a Quarter horse named Gunner. This project began with a single portrait, but Gunner's owner sent so many wonderful reference photographs that two drawings resulted.

Those two drawings resulted in two portraits, which I completed as a pair. Each area was worked simultaneously: Both backgrounds, both underpaintngs, both horses.

Of course, even working both portraits at once, one took the lead and was completed first. The second took a little bit more tweaking to bring to a finish. It was an interesting and fun project.

The third portrait is also a miniature, but is a little bit larger and was completed in oils.

Rujan was a Thoroughbred stallion living in Texas. He lived into his third decade. He made such an impact on his owner that she purchased this posthumous portrait over a decade later.

"Rujan" is a 6 inch by 4 inch oil portrait on canvas panel.

All three of these portraits were created using an adaptation of Johannes Vermeer's technique. With this technique, a full value underpainting is created in a single color, at most two colors. For colored pencil work, the underpainting is completed in Light Umber and Dark Umber. Oil paintings feature an underpainting of violet or brown, depending on the overall color scheme of the final painting. "Rujan" features an underpainting of Dioxazine Purple to complement his chestnut coloring.

This technique provides for a high degree of detail and glowing colors.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

New Limited Edition Horse Prints

I am very happy to announce that limited edition horse prints are now available at Carrie-Lewis.com.

What's new about that, you ask. Haven't reproductions been featured on the website since it's launch?

Yes, they have, but purchase opportunities have either been non-existant or clumsy as I explored various types of point-of-sale systems.

Thanks to my web host, FatCow.com, I have finally found the best doorway into the world of e-commerce.

A shopping cart system that allows visitors to make purchases directly from the web site has been added to the Horse Prints page and will eventually be site-wide. Powered by ShopSite8, this system includes secure socket links (SSL), order confirmation, shipping information and everything else visitors need to make secure purchases.

Payment options include all major credit cards through PayPal.

Products currently equipped with shopping carts include one thoroughbred racing image, two Quarter Horse racing images, two harness racing images and one image featuring a winsome Icelandic horse. For your shopping convenience, all six are in one location: a brand new Horse Prints page.

The Horse Prints page has been launched with all Standard Edition Reproductions. Standard Edition reproductions are 8 x 10 giclee reproductions on Somerset Paper. They are available in a limited edition of 275 for $49.95 plus tax (where applicable) and shipping. Standard editions are signed and numbered.

The reproductions offered by Carrie L. Lewis ~ Horse Painter are all produced as giclees from high resolution digital scans. You can learn more about this process and find other information about reproductions on my website.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Summer Portrait Special

Beginning in June...

...portraits will be offered framed and ready to hang. You chose the size, the medium and the horse you want a portrait of and I will design and paint the portrait, then get it framed for you. Your finished portrait will arrive at your door framed and ready to hang!

A minimum deposit of one-third the price of the portrait is required to get your project on my work calendar.

Basic framing* is available on basic portraits** until September 30, 2006.

Portraits are available in oils or colored pencil for the same prices and in a variety of sizes.

For example, a framed 8x10 portrait in either colored pencil or oils will cost $450. A deposit of $150 is all you need to get your portrait scheduled.

If you would like something larger, try a 16x20 portrait for $900, with an order deposit of $300.

*These prices are for basic framing only. Framing for oil paintings will be with standard wood frames with linen liners. Framing for colored pencils will include a basic double mat with a complementary frame. Frames will be chosen to complement the finished portrait. Custom framing available is available. Add 50% of the overall cost of the framed portrait.

**These prices are for Basic Horse Portraits with one subject. A second subject may be added to the portrait for 50% of the overall cost of the framed portrait. The second subject may be a second horse, a second animal or a second image of the same horse.

Order deposits must be made by September 30, 2006 to be eligible for the Framed Portrait package. The portrait itself may be scheduled for up to one full year from the time of deposit payment. This can be especially important if you want to reserve a portrait, but cannot get started right away.

Payments to suit your budget may be made on the balance on a monthly basis.

If you would like a quote on your specific project or if you would like more information on this limited time offer, all you need to do is email me

*Photography services are not included.

More information on the Summer Portrait Special is available on my website.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Portrait Drawings & Sketches

For the last year or so, I have been doing 'quick draws' and 'quick sketches' for customers at horse shows. It started innocently enough several shows back when someone asked if I would 'just do a drawing' of their horse. They were there. The horse was there. I was there at my art booth, so I said, "Sure! Why not?"

That single drawing was seen by others at the show and turned into four or five others by the end of the show. It was the best selling item of the day!

So I have been doing drawings and sketches by order at the horse shows ever since. I have also been doing drawings and sketches for myself between the orders and many of those also sold.

This week, these unique portrait drawings and sketches become part of my regular portrait categories. Portrait sketches start at $40 for an 8x10; portrait drawings start at $75 for an 8x10.

Portrait drawings and sketches are a unique and inexpensive way to combine your horse with custom original art.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Special Offers

Upon occasion, I offer special discounts or incentives to portrait clients. Offers may include discounts on photography, shipping or the price of the portrait.

Incentives may include donations to special organizations. Some of my favorite organizations are therapeutic riding facilities and organizations that assist in the adoption of former race horses and other equine athletes. There are many organizations worthy of support and this is the best way for me to use the talent God has loaned to me to help others.

Beginning this month, I will be offering discounts or incentives to portrait customers on a monthly or semi-monthly basis.

If you are part of an organization you would like to have me consider for partnership, please let me know. I have some basic guidelines that I would be happy to share with you.

In the meantime, I would like to announce my first discount, this one directly to you!

May Special Offer
10% Off All New Portrait Orders* Until May 31, 2006


During the month of May, all new portrait orders will be eligible for a 10% discount. This is for the actual cost of the portrait only. No photography, shipping or framing is included in this discount.

For example, you could get a $500 portrait for only $450 or a $2,000 portrait for only $1,800. The amount of your discount will be based on the price of the portrait package you choose.

General Portrait Information is available on my website.

If you are not sure what types of portraits I do, information about Basic Portraits, Full Portraits, Performance Portraits, Specialty Portraits and Miniature Portraits is also available. These links include descriptions of each category, as well as samples of past horse portraits and beginning prices.

If your ideal portrait does not fit into any of these categories, never fear! Those special portraits are always a great favorite and I will work with you to produce your ideal portrait.

If you would like a quote on your specific project, all you need to do is email me with your portrait ideas and I will be able to tell you the amount of your discount.

Because this is a limited time offer, order deposits must be made by May 31, 2006 to be eligible for the discount. The portrait itself may be scheduled for up to one full year, until May 31, 2007.

Payments to suit your budget may be made on the balance on a monthly basis.

*Photography and framing services are not included.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Web Site Updates Complete

The updates to my website, which were started in December, have now been completed. Several new sections have been added to the website, including special galleries for portraits and artworks for many different breeds, specialty artwork and portraits and artwork by medium.

Breed Categories Include:
Arabians
Draft horses
Icelandics
Michigan Standardbreds
Morgans
Pintos & Paints
Quarter Horses
Thoroughbreds

Specialty Categories Include:
ACEO Portraits & Artwork
ACEO Portraits & Artwork
Miniature Portraits & Artwork

Medium Categories Include:
oil paintings
colored pencil paintings

Whether or not you are interested in purchasing artwork for yourself or in having a portrait created of your favorite horse or other animal, I invite you visit my website to see the many types, sizes and samples of portraits and other artwork that are currently available.