Will you be Mine?

 Hello! I'm Sharon Montgomery and I'm super pleased to be the newest Finch here. I thought I would use this opportunity to introduce myself and describe my working process a bit. And since this is Valentine's Day, I'd like to show the creation of some Valentine's cards.

I'm not much of a Valentine's gal personally, but being in the art biz means I make an effort. Did you know that the Greeting Card Association estimates that 145 million Valentines Cards are sent out each year in the US? That does not include the classroom kind! And that Americans spend an average of $130 USD per person on Valentine's Day? Yikes! I find that hard to believe. It's time to admit that I'm Canadian and have never spent more than 10 bucks on Valentine's Day. My husband confirms this.

My process starts with sketches that the never look anything like the finished product. Just messing about with an idea.

I paint by hand, usually in acrylic. I will work on anything from wood to canvas to paper. Just depends on what's available. But I always start with the same vermillion ground colour. I find a ground colour unifies my art in a way that painting on white doesn't and you'll notice you can often see the ground colour show through in my work.

Then I start painting. I often paint icons and motifs individually and then assemble them in Photoshop so I can play around with placement and scale and change any colours I need to. 

Until I'm happy with the final results:

Occasionally I just make a traditional painting with no digital collage. I love to paint flowers.

This year, my son's class has 27 kids in it. Guess how many Valentines cards came in the box he wanted? 24. Drives me mad! So I printed out 3 copies of a card I just happened to be working on. Ta Da! Being an artist has its advantages. Happy Valentine's Day!