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  • The best things in life are Beautiful.
  • My Art, my Life, and a little Geek Speak.

    Senior Portrait Photography – Fun with Bubbles!


    Senior portrait photography Miranda with bubbles by Leanne Wildermuth
    I had a portrait session with Miranda on Saturday and got some really great shots that I’ll share in the next couple of weeks (after proofing, editing, etc.) but I just HAD to share this one right away!

    We had a lot of fun blowing bubbles in the studio Saturday night. I had Owl City playing on the stereo, and with bubbles in hand (Miranda had her own and my amazing daughter/assistant blew bubbles in from the left side back for more bubbly goodness) – they blew and blew until I got the perfect shot!

    Several more beautiful portraits of Miranda to come, so stay tuned – I have a lot of irons in the fire and am working through my to-do list bit by bit.


    My Catharsis


    So, here I am. Sitting in front of a blank screen for the first time in nearly a month, trying to put together the words that will convey what’s going on inside my head and heart.

    I’ve known that I needed to write, I’ve known how cathartic it is for me, but I’ve put it off. I’m almost ashamed of the thoughts and feelings I have, because the older I get, the more bitter and critical I seem to become. I would almost prefer to put a roll of duct tape in my purse and around my hands, some days.

    Then, the more I think about that, the more I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. The older we get, the more we realize how seriously messed up we are, each in our own way, and how much more magnified those faults seem to be when we’re older and are so much more in tune with people. Personally, I think it’s because it’s not until later in life that we really realize how important people are in our lives. But, just like acne, the more it’s magnified, the uglier it is.

    Needless to say, I’m feeling pretty ugly.

    I have tried to avoid one certain truth in my life – that I would turn into my parents. I denied it, I tried to mask it – I do my damndest not to let it invade my mind – but here it is. It’s here, and I have to deal with it. It’s called cynicism. I am my own worst critic, and I am also everyone elses worst critic. In my head, at least. I am a danger to society should I be let loose and free to speak my opinion, and so I am very grateful that my place, behind this monitor – inside this house, in my corner of the world, is safely tucked away from real human interaction.

    Except for the loved ones who are subject to my presence, whom I offer my condolences – you’ve lost a once bright, cheerful, happy, energetic and outgoing person and she’s left this icky person in her place.

    So now, my task – what do I do with this? How can I be the person I was – given the exact same surroundings, with all of the exact same things that have driven me to this mindset?

    How does someone really initiate the change they desperately need, without allowing their immediate circle of influence to affect it? I would love the answer to that one. And I’m sure a million others would, too.

    I know that I am fortunate. I have been blessed. Not just with the gift of creativity, but with the circumstances to be able to put them to maximum use and a support system to encourage me. But there’s this nagging inside of me that is completely displeased. Displeased with how everything is going, unhappy with the relationships I have, feeling broken and distant from the people I know, deep down, that I truly love.

    I could go paint. I could write. I guess I am writing. I hope you don’t mind. Though not the story that I could and should write, but just the abbreviated, vague version that is as safe as I can possibly be, because at the heart of it all, the last thing I want to do is negatively impact the things that are negatively impacting me. Strange, how that works. Or in this case, doesn’t. I’m not really sure.

    I could grab my camera and go for a drive – but none of these things stop the swarm of words that surround my head and beg to be dealt with. None of those things will draw me closer to an answer or a new revelation about how to change my life right. this. very. second.

    My life right now is a mass of sticky notes and appointments, of code and design and of seeking approval from other people from just about every single thing I do. I guess after a long period of time, maybe I feel tied down in my creativity and my insides are begging to break free. The terrifying thing about that, however, is the breaking free part. The “to hell with it all” part that I think every few years, every human being needs a little of.

    The deeper I look inside myself, the more confused I become, and the more I want to just be one of those people who doesn’t think so deeply. Who doesn’t give any consideration to how my actions or words might affect someone else. Who doesn’t analyze. Who doesn’t attach everything to feelings and emotions and issues that need to be handled or discussed.

    The deeper I look inside myself, the more I realize that I’m not really disappointed with the world, I am disappointed in myself, and my own failures. I expect too much, from others as well as myself. I still, after all these years, depend on others for my own happiness. I am reactionary, I am over-sensitive, and honest to God, I think I am over-thoughtful, if that is possible. Not so much in that I am always thinking about other people, but that I am always thinking about how my actions might affect other people. Trying to stay out of everyone’s way, and feeling run over in the process.

    In all of this, I can only pray that I am normal. That this is normal. This is just a phase, this is just a day, these are just thoughts that will vanish and tomorrow I’ll wake up without a headache ready to tackle the world and really, truly love the people that I love. Tomorrow, perhaps will be the turning point. Tomorrow, I’ll have an epiphany and all will be right with the world once again.

    Tonight, however, someone magical might have to wave a wand over my head or sprinkle some fairy dust on me while I’m sleeping in order to make that happen.

    Max, A Golden Retriever Puppy Portrait : Completed Painting


    Custom dog portrait of Max golden retriever puppy painting by Leanne Wildermuth

    I’ve completed Max’s portrait and just await the final blessing from my client before I ship this beautiful little puppy painting across the Atlantic. I snapped some photos as I was working on him and thought I’d share that progress with you as well, you can see all of the photos behind the fold!

    Keep reading »

    Max, A Golden Retriever Puppy Portrait : WIP #4


    I’ve just completed the under painting on Max, a sweet little golden retriever portrait that I’ve been working on. It’s pretty dark considering the coat is so, so creamy – but the layers of cream fur that I’ll paint on top of this will have a beautiful dimension to them because I’ve started with this lovely golden base coat. The warm shadow tones will carry the patio brick color through to his coat (they appear to be cool, but actually are a combination of magenta, yellow ochre, naples yellow light, raw umber and a touch of indigo.)

    Whew that was a mouthful!

    I’m looking to finish Max’s portrait on Monday, so stay tuned for that update.

    Have a great weekend!!

    Gingie the Beagle : Completed Dog Portrait


    She’s finished! I completed Gingie’s portrait yesterday – it took a bit longer than I had anticipated because of the size of the piece, the very fine fur detail and the length of time that I can paint fur each day. I spent nearly 3 hours on her ear alone!

    It was well worth it though, the completed portrait is absolutely stunning. I am so pleased with how it turned out.

    I’ll be sending the proof along to my client and will post the final scan once the painting is dry and varnished.


    Squirrel on a Post


    For my birthday, I acquired a new lens for my Nikon D90. This new 70-300mm lens will aid my birdwatching-slash-nature obsessing habits. It arrived the day before my birthday, and as you can imagine, I unpacked that thing faster than a speeding bullet and it didn’t take any time at all for me to throw my boots on and tromp around the backyard taking photos of random stuff.

    This particular squirrel is obstinate. She will not be scared off of my feeders or threatened by my pounding on the windows when she’s running my suet feeders empty. Most of the time, she thinks I’m calling her over and will approach me as close as just a foot away. Crazy squirrel.

    Anyway, she was sitting on one of my fence posts and with the large maple in the background it made such a pretty picture, for a sometimes very irritating creature, she’s very beautiful. I slid my back patio door open just enough to brace my new massive lens up against the frame to hold it steady, and she posed nicely for me.

    Good squirrel.

    Enjoy! Painting progress coming soon.

    I’m 39!


    birthday muffin cake blog party invite photo by leanne wildermuth

    I have been celebrating my birthday each year on my blog, with my long time readers and friends, for many years. I Looked back at my first birthday here on my blog (back in 2005!), and thought I’d share an excerpt from that post:

    I’m one year older.
    One year further away from my birth.
    One year closer to my death.
    One year less afraid of that occurrence.
    One year less worried about how people feel about me.
    One year more worried about how I feel about myself.
    One year closer to attaining my goals.
    One year stronger in character and set in my ways.
    One more year to look back with very few regrets.

    One year closer to driving like a complete lunatic and making everyone else on the road angry.

    Funny – all of those things apply this year, too! I feel more and more blessed with each passing year, and though I woke up in a bit of a panic this morning that I’m reaching “old”, I am so grateful for that. I am so glad that I’ve made it another year on this planet, that I’ve had a little bit more time to somehow make a difference to at least a handful of people. I’m grateful for the friends who have stayed with me, I am grateful for the friends I’ve yet to make.

    Days like today are special, they are days to wake up and realize that you MATTER. You matter. What you do is significant, even if only to one person. And that’s a big deal.

    Have a birthday muffin, on me!! (it’s a couple of years old, but I’ve brushed off the mold. Promise.)

    Max, A Golden Retriever Puppy Portrait : WIP #3


    I’ve completed the brick patio background on Max’s portrait today, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out! The stone is wrapped around to the sides, as well as his tail! The drop shadows are already in place for Max to come alive on canvas. His soft, creamy golden fur will stand out so well against this stone backdrop. I’m really excited to get his under painting going!

    This is still quite wet and will be for a few days, so I’ll pick back up on this portrait the beginning of next week.

    Stay tuned for more progress on this painting!

    If you’d like to inquire about a custom portrait, you can do that through either my contact or quote request forms. You can also shop direct (check out through Paypal) through my shop, I have a variety of single subject custom portrait packages already set up!

    Max, A Golden Retriever Puppy Portrait : WIP #2


    I’ve completed the under painting of the background bricks for this adorable little puppy portrait today, and thought you might like to take a peek!

    The bricks have a base color of Payne’s gray, indigo and white. I’ll be adding more natural colors tomorrow for the rock detail, as well as including some bits of moss , to really give them a lot of texture and depth.

    This painting will take just a bit longer to complete as the indigo has a 2-3 day dry time even using a rapid-dry medium.

    Stay tuned … more to come!

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