Saturday, December 27, 2008

Portrait of Jim & Lisa

I was commissioned by a young couple, Adrienne & Tom, to paint this as a thank you gift for Tom's father Jim and his wife Lisa. I was honored to be chosen because I know this was a very special gift for them. Their excitement and enthusiasm was catching and I wanted to make sure that I delivered in every way possible. I have to admit that I made a couple of changes after taking this picture--just can't help myself.


Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays and Baby Mallory

This is my unofficial shadow shot for Sunday (LOL). We were riding in the Great Smokey Mountains last Fall when I snapped this picture. I hope everyone enjoys the Holidays with family and friends!
This painting is little Mallory, what a cutie. The challenge on this painting was, of course, getting a likeness but also using a magnifying glass and tiny brush to get the detail. I think I need to paint BIGGER!!

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Portrait of Susan


Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This is a small but prescious portrait commission that I've been working on. I spent several hours on her arm, trying to capture those cute rolls. I hope that her parents will cherish this for years to come.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

TAGGED & Yellowstone National Park

Since I have been working like Santa's Elf on Christmas Commissions, I haven't been a very good blogger. Hopefully I'll be back on track soon but you know how busy the Holidays are. Meanwhile,


Deborah of Pictures Pots & Pens tagged me right after I started my blog, also, Artist Joan Breckwoldt has tagged me to reveal 7 little known things about myself. Please visit their sites if you get a chance. I have to say that there really isn't a lot that is exciting about me but here goes--in no certain order:

1) I absolutely LOVE Yellowstone National Park. my first visit was several years ago and I've been back every other year since then. I can't see enough of Old Faithful, buffalos, eagles, love all of it (see pictures below), 2) I'm afraid of needles, 3) I married the boy next door, 4) I love to collect stuff, 5) I'm a motorcycle enthusiast--we travel all over the United States with our friends. We've had lots of fun on it--from coast to coast, north to south, beach to mountain--last year we went to--you know where--Yellowstone. 6) I love to visit museums--art, history, nature, etc. 7) Did I mention that I love to travel?

I'm tagging all of my blog followers to reveal 7 unusual things about themselves if you choose to participate.

Rules:1. Put a link to the person who tagged you in your post.2. List 7 little known facts about yourself.3. Tag 7 other bloggers and let them know.

My first trip to Yellowstone was in the mid 80's. I was on a trip for work, staying in Laramie, Wyoming and stayed a few days extra to visit the park--after that I was hooked! I can honestly say that Bowling Green, Kentucky is no where near Wyoming so I must love it to travel so far. Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 and here are some of pictures of my last trip in July 07. This was a motorcycle trip and we stayed in Idaho around the West Entrance.

Old Faithful is the most famous and consistent geyser which erupts every 45-90 minutes and is located in the Upper Geyser Basin. There is a webcam that you can see on their website.

These beautiful mountains are the Grand Tetons a little south of Yellowstone. Jackson Hole Wyoming has a great view of the Tetons. The Tetons have their own national park (love this one too).

Back to Yellowstone now with a lovely scene within the park--breathtaking actually.

A waterfall in the park.

Here is the eagle we passed quite often.

You can't visit Yellowstone without seeing the Buffalo.

This is just a little playful bear we saw in the park. I was just a little nervous since I was sitting on the back of a motorcycle with no protection. Fortunately, he ignored us.

This is a beautiful steaming pool (hot pools). The intense colors come from two sources--water temperature and chemistry (pigments with microorganisms). There are over 10,000 thermal features in Yellowstone of which only 3% are geysers.

More hot steaming pools, we had to see every one of them (as a matter of fact all thermal 10,000 features--LOL) on our first trip there together.

Thanks for joining me on a trip to my favorite place and I'm thinking about 2009. . .

For all you basketball fans. . .

12 x 16
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This is my first official "sports" painting and everyone loves college basketball! The couple that commissioned this painting are BIG North Carolina Tar Heels fans and wanted a painting to go in their room devoted to -- you've got it, The Tar Heels. So they gave me several items and I came up with this still life. My favorite part of the painting is the basketball, it was in a plastic box and there were lots of neat reflections. I'm not crazy about painting the lettering and had to work really hard on them. This is my contribution to basketball season!