Ah, sunshine on the snow- and ice, I suppose I must add. We've hit that interesting part of the winter where there's ice under some snow now, so you have to pay attention when you are walking because your footing could suddenly become rather treacherous. So I took Teddy running the other morning with my Yak Trax on, clickety clacking all the way down the street and back again but I didn't slip at all! We've had colds at our house the last few days, and I've not run every morning, though I do think just getting up and getting dressed and getting out of the house, even just for twenty minutes or so, does a lot for your mental well-being.
And this is another completed and delivered commission- really happy with this face! How could you not be? Having someone like this in your life can ease an awful lot of other mental disturbances, you know what I mean....
This was what we did this morning- drove out to Lakeville to deliver and hang a pair of commissions! What a great way to start the day!
And it is slushy and wet and near 40 degrees now... hmm... not very Christmas-y...
But I will still wish you a Happy Holidays, and say a sincere THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart~ I am living a dream I has as a kid, of painting people's pets for a living~ you are a part of making that possible!
I just delivered this one today! I so appreciate a client who is interested in something new, and this was for a patron who is familiar with my work and already owns several pieces. He knew what he was getting into, and I think we both enjoyed the results! When he sent me the photos to take a look at for this commission, I knew immediately that this would be the one. That often happens with a photo- I can tell instantly whether it will be a great piece for me to play with or not! The light coming through the cabin's porch is just stunning, and I am very pleased!
I think I'm finished with this one- pretty close anyway! Winding down on those commissions, and I suppose it's about time! I mean, really- this IS Solstice, isn't it? The Holidays are right on top of us! I am so terrible at waiting, though- I've been wrapping presents this afternoon and I just want to GIVE them to everyone right NOW! I am SO bad... I know it's good to wait- anticipation can build up that desire, that appreciation even more, right? But I just like to give things to people. It's fun!
Hmm.. what can I give YOU?!
I know! I'll give you 25% off anything in my Dailypaintworks gallery! Ha! From now til Dec 30th, let's say. And this is the only time I'm mentioning it! Maybe I should make it even more then- sure, how about 30% off! Yeah, I think I can handle that!
Happy Holidays, and thank you SO much for helping me make my dream of being a real artist come true!
And this is Maggie, a sweet beagle mix, and I chose this one because it was just so... so... I don't know, indicative of a certain kind of loving-dog-looking-over-its-shoulder-at-you personality...
And I loved using all these wonderful colors to get this dog reading as a whole, rounded form~
Yes~ life is good!
Another commission! This one is a quick one, for a friend's rush- I actually did some touch ups on Bomber's face so his fur would pop out more, and I didn't get a good photo of that! I'll have to see if I can get my friend to take a photo of it for me before she hands it off...
I still have some space in the Painting Classes next week! If you are in Minnesota, I hope you are enjoying the snow!
I have been having a tough week, just because everything is so wonderfully crazy around kids this time of year, and then I thought it would be a great idea to watch a video while painting tonight, and "Across the Universe" caught my eye, because we are waiting till TOMORROW to watch "Mary Poppins" (Max promised!) and so I've been painting a couple dogs while watching all sorts of lovely people sing Beatles tunes to a movie... which has been kinda fun, with Julia Taymor's direction and lots of big giant puppets like Bread and Puppet and Heart of the Beast....
Though also kinda troubling with the political atmosphere of today...
I really liked this one~
Here's another commission! I've been pretty darn busy with these, loving that sense of getting something done, and then that lovely pat-on-the-back "great job, girlie!" sense of completion, especially when the patron is pleased~ THAT'S probably the best part...
This is Loki who is sitting in a box in the photo, and I had a great time painting him! What a presence- it just never ceases to amaze me how HERE animals can be. Maybe we humans are losing some of that sense of NOW, with all our devices and electronics and the sense of being in immediate connection, so that we get muddled with too much. Animals really are always just NOW. These days, it is good for me to remember that. I can be here now- that's what I can do~
Oh and if you are interested in my one day painting classes next week, sign up NOW! And you can do that HERE! Yay!
Dang! It's been BUSY around here! SO sorry! Here is another commission I've been working on! Lucky me, to get to paint what I love- wow~ and I'm so humble about it too!
I also wanted to mention that Duane (my talented hubby) and I will be at Heart of the Beast Theater tomorrow from 11 to 4 for their First Annual Art Market! 1500 Lake Street! We'd love to see you if you can make it! We'll be there with a lovely pile of stuff and other local creatives!
Keeping creativity going at busy times is always a challenge, isn't it!
Just because there can never be too much sweetness in this world, here is another really cute, squishy faced pup. Not sure I got the proportions as true as I'd wanted them, but this works for me! I also think I may suggest that it hand diagonally, and I can't figure out quite how to get it to look that way in the photo, know what I mean?
We went and got our Christmas tree last night, at the "Y's Men's Tree Sale" on 42nd and Hiawatha- I love that pun in the name. Say it out loud to yourself and you'll get it! We got a table-top one, a long-needled white pine. We usually get the shorter ones but they are so prickly, we thought we'd go for a furrier one this year. It's so sweet, going through the ornaments every year, and remembering where each came from, who gave it to us, what events that year brought us. I even put masking tape on some of Max's handmade ones- he's got a barnacle-looking white snowflake that he made at Breck in preschool with his 5th grade Bio-Buddies~
I LOVE that stuff!
Back to attempting a 6x6 a day- this is Val, from the Edina Art Center, who is always really hard to get a photo of but I happened to have a piece of cheese in my hand and so was a bit more focussed on me than usual. I love the shadow, and the intense wrinkled thought on her face...
And here is another wolf I'm working on~ from photos taken at the Minnesota Zoo in the fall. This is one of the group of pups rescued up in Alaska from a wildfire, and then sent here to our zoo. Really sweet, half tamed wolves- they are all neutered and fairly comfortable with humans and so come up to the glass quite often, making for really great photos.
I'm having fun with all these greys, and that wonderful solid stance. SO great!
It has been a really sweet day~ we had a brunch at our house and at one point had skads of kids running and shouting and laughing through, chasing Bow, our friend who is a total kid magnet. It was such a joy~ we have to remember how much we love one another and how good it is to get out and talk to other people sometimes.
Wolves know that, I think.
This is a painting in progress. Not quite done just yet, but I'm ready to have people see it.
I have painted this moose a couple times now, and just love it! I thought about changing the background color to blue this time, but that red just has to be. Though I DID make it a bit more energetic, with pinks and oranges flushing in there too...
I just love how you can see the structure of this animal, even lying down. There's weight and strength in the shoulders and that back end... and those massive antlers!
Yes, I am working my little tail off at the moment, painting up a storm in all my painting time AND free time! I have bits of acrylic paint all over my clothes- this is why I purchase most of my wardrobe at thrift stores- why pay full price for something that will end up decorated by me anyway? And believe me, I AM careful with things I love, but there's always that little last minute brushstroke that I MUST apply, inevitably while I am wearing silk or cashmere, and of course I end up flicking the tiniest bit of pink onto my smokey grey silk camisole...
It is the mark of an artist, yes?
This is the lovely grizzly at the Minnesota Zoo- I'm needing my photographers (my husband and son!) to get over there and get me some more bear photos. I'm wanting to paint them a lot lately. For me, they represent a number of complicated emotions- I collect (and make) stuffed jointed Teddy Bears, and especially love the old ones I've found who show evidence of their previous lives in rubbed fur and lost parts. Something about the totemic sense of having a silent partner calms me when I'm feeling frantic and alone, and I spent a great part of my childhood with a quiet, fuzzy friend in my pocket. It always made me feel someone was with me, understood what my perspective on this life entailed. I still love bears~
And there's the other side of bears, when I dream about them. Sometimes they appear in my dreams as dark, threatening hulks with tiny red eyes, scary and silent, but these are not Teddies at all. These are symbolic representations of that part of my world over which I have no control.
Which makes me realize (especially after reading through the TALK section of the "Teddy-Bear"Wiki page) how nice it is to have a blog where I can write what I'm thinking, and for the most part, feel that whoever is reading this would tend to agree with me.
That's so nice~
SO here is a bear~ and I like this one. It is a friendly bear, who sometimes likes to sit in its pond and splash at the visitors.
If you're thinking this moose looks familiar, it's because I keep painting it! I love those darn hooves on the sidewalk and I can't get away from it!
Though I will say I particularly like the freshness of these brushstrokes...
Just been getting a bit busier than I'd expected, and expecting to get a bit busier before January! That said, do please get your photos to me soon if you'd like me to paint something for you for the holidays! It's getting closer and closer! We put up mom's Christmas Village yesterday!
In 2013, I was lucky enough to get to go to Ireland with my mom and dad, and we met my sisters, Beaner and Kelli, in Dublin, and spent a week traveling and taking photos and dad was so incredibly happy and excited and he was our even keel, keeping everyone happy and talking to anyone he met. A year ago today, he left us, incredibly fast and with no warning. It's taken a long time to get to this point, where I am not weeping constantly at the huge hole he left behind. Though of course, sometimes his absence screams louder than I can handle, but I've learned that if I let myself experience it and let the tears come, it will stop soon. I've held myself back at times, afraid that if I let myself sit with it, it won't cease. I've learned it's better to let it be, let it flow through me, and then later I can smile again.
I painted this today, thinking of those Irish eyes~
I like painting these bears from inside their cave. Being behind them and seeing the light out there, it can be scary to think about stepping out of the safety of what is known. But sometimes you just gotta do it!
I'll be auctioning this one off too, with the funds going to the World Wildlife Fund because I want my grandchildren to still be able to see tigers in the wild.
And I hope you can make it over to 5012 12th Ave S for our Holiday Art Boutique! Sat Nov 12 from 10 to 5!
6x6 acrylic on wood, AUCTION bids start at $30! click here to start!
I didn't like the painting I did for yesterday, and then I ran out of energy and time for posting it. SO here is another bear head for today, a little different from Wed's bear, because THIS one has a hint of a grin going on. I am so fortunate to have both children and dogs (and I'll admit, our cats too are wonderful comedians!) who are always (or almost always) in the NOW time zone, and who are also so full of joy you can't help but laugh with them. And having a trampoline to bounce on next door helps a lot too.
I suggest you do whatever you can to help yourself smile, because the world needs more joy in it for dadgum sure!
6x6 acrylic on wood, $75 click here to purchase! You deserve a grin!
This is Brooklyn, a commission finished up for a present this weekend, and I hope it was received well! It was such a great one to do, and got me to thinking about all-American things like labradors and retrievers and the flag and pick-up trucks and all that, and how easy it is to just lump things together and stamp a label on them, like "Patriotic" or "Redneck" or "Liberal"... though when you happen to own a pick-up or a labrador or a flag, you don't necessarily look at it as a sign of belonging to a specific mindset. It's just a part of your life.
Not sure where I'm going here- just kinda thinking and trying not to think at the same time, though I will say that I will be at Brigid Clark's house for our Fine Art Holiday Sale this weekend, 10 to 5, one day only! (5012 12th Ave S, SW corner of 12th Ave and Minnehah Parkway!) And I will have fresh new paintings and I just got my newest "30 in 30" Days Projects books and I'll have some of the Dogs from July and the Cats & Pals from March!
I really really meant to be posting every day of November, kinda as a personal challenge, but wow, it's been tougher than I thought!
I'm building up some work for my upcoming Holiday Sales, next week at Brigid's House and on the 19th at Edina Art Center, and in December at Artistry!
So this is a painting from a pic of the black bears at the MN zoo~ I need my boys to go take more photos of the Minnesota wildlife for me~ I had a great time with that shiny black coat! I need more black animals to paint!
This moose brings with it November. Cooler, darker weather, thinking inner thoughts, brooding, maybe cleaning out that closet and reorganizing those boots...
Oh yeah, that's MY November... I suppose the moose are wandering around, eating all the last tender bits of any green still poking up above ground.
I like this one- it IS a bit darker, something more moody about this one...
Can you believe it?! It is NATIONAL CAT DAY! Well, for another 2 hours anyway- and I just finished (I think) painting this lovely kitty named Maisy! Cuz I just HAD to paint a cat today! I love black cats, and dogs...
And my opening at Track29 went SO GREAT on Thursday! THANK YOU everyone who managed to make it there! I am currently working on the Book Of Track29 Paws and Portraits, because that has to happen, and I am just finishing up my "30 Dogs in 30 Days; July 2016" book too! That will be available on my Blurb Bookstore SOON-
AND we went to Regina's Candy's in St Paul today for their Factory Tour! I brought Max and Lucas, two seven year old boys, to a candy store for a tour.... how do you think THAT went? My girlfriend Cindy's family runs the business- we were super buds in High School and have recently been reconnecting which has been awesome and warm and sweet! And she gave the tour, and the boys loved it! Of course, the pound of candy each of them had helped too...
Get over there for candy! They make their own candycanes the traditional way!
This is another version of one of my "30 Dogs in 30 Days" from this past July's project! I had done the first Buddha the wrong size, and I am so much happier with this version! It's terrible that its taken me this long to get it finished, but I have to admit that there are times when its just some tiny little part of the piece that isn't QUITE right yet... and it can take a while to figure out which bit it is! And with this version of Buddha, I couldn't quite finish his eyes. They are the part that took a while to finally click- it is a bit crazy, because everything else might look fabulous and finished but there may be just one little area that still bugs me, and sometimes I have to just step over those bits and hand the painting off or it might never be considered FINISHED. That ever happen to you?
I've been absent again! Dang- sorry about that! It hasn't been because I haven't been painting, because I have! I've been working on a few commissions, trying to catch up before the holiday rush, which should be a subtle reminder (or perhaps not so subtle) that if you are hoping to have an original painting of a specific companion animal (or house!) then now is the time to be thinking about it and get in touch with me ASAP!
That said, I do hope you can make it on Thursday to Track29 (2841 Bryant Ave S!) for the "Paws and Portraits" Opening Reception! I am super excited about this one!!! It is a lovely catered event (great food and drink!) in a pet friendly facility, with live music and super fun people!
And back to this coffee cup~ it was a sweet demo for my Saturday morning class, and everyone went on to paint more delightful mugs, so it must've been an okay demonstration! I'm particularly happy with the shadow and the rim! Funny what things stick out in my eye...
And I'll make this one an auction too~ because those are so much fun!
6x6 acrylic on wood, $25 auction, click here to start bidding!
This is my demo from yesterday, talking about value and seeing the changes of value across a surface... and I chose a super saturated tangerine and a dusky grey-brown bartlett pear... like opposites in terms of color, and a bit fun in terms of texture~ I have to say I'm pleased with the shadows, especially that stem and its shadow~ too fun!
And I brought all 30 paintings over to Track29 for the show! Wahoo! it's always such a treat to see the paintings placed in a gallery~ love it! Please come to the opening on October 27th! It will be GREAT!!!
And I brought a Tapir and a black Poodle Painting up to Wyoming, MN for the "Black and White" Show at the Hallberg Creative Arts Center!
Yes, way too much going on!
And the Barebones Halloween Extravaganza is on THIS WEEKEND!!!
Sometimes you come across something you want to paint over and over again, and sometimes that something is a view, or a mug, and sometimes it's your beloved black mutt named Bingo whose sleek black coat teaches you to see color in the dark, and sometimes it is an incredibly whimsical corgi named Cecil, whom you just can NOT seem to stop painting! Really!
And I LOVED painting this!
That slight tilt to his head, those gigantic ears! That ruff around his neck, like a ruffled collar in a Vemeer painting, and that reflected light on his shaded side... dang! It was so fun trying to make the right grey!
I am SO LUCKY!!!!
10x10 acrylic on cradled wood, $275 click HERE for purchase info!
I wanted to paint another dog for the Track29 show (Opening Reception is Thursday Oct 27, 5-9! DO come!) because I think I said I would paint 30 dogs/cats/pets and this will make it 30, plus I just couldn't resist this face when my friend Kat posted it! Seriously, can YOU resist it? Dang!
And it's another one of those paintings that really painted itself- this is why I truly believe in painting every day, even if you don't like a few days here and there- keeping that painting muscle moving allows you to flow when the creative river hits you! You never know what will come next, but you have to trust that something is going to come! That's how it works~ life is good!
10x10 acrylic on cradled wood, $275 and this one won't be able to be claimed until after the Track29 Show comes down in January, but you CAN let me know if you are interested!
And here is another moose! Send me those photos if you have any! And do take a look at my auction for THIS moose!!! It's from earlier this week and the auction is ending very soon and it's only at $25 bucks and I was hoping for a bit more because its a GOOD one! Not that this is a BAD one....
But this one isn't for auction- but you can have it NOW!
6x6 acrylic on wood, $75 click HERE to make this yours!
Hmm, so yes, I am busy, and I'm trying to get a painting done every day, and yes it is difficult! Yesterday was spent with a lot of driving, but it sure was a glorious day for it! And I DID get this guy painted today, and I am really pleased with the negative space behind those massive antlers. This is from a photo my friend Kelly took up in Anchorage a couple years ago when she was living there and saw this beast walking down the street. I love it! There may be a few bears and wolves showing up... maybe some deer.... got any photos of any of the above you want to send to me? I may paint them!
10x10 acrylic on cradled wood, $225 click here to purchase~
Ha! I'm going off in another direction! Bet ya didn't expect THAT, did ya?!
Yes, it is October and I'm painting animals OTHER than pets for a bit- got a few Holiday Sales I need to get some paintings going for, though I thought I'd cast this one out into the Auction World! So if you like it, bid on it! And it could be YOURS!
Meanwhile, I'm busy getting all those paintings that you can see from September ready to bring over to Track29 for the Paws and Portraits Show! Opening is Thursday Oct 27th! 5-9! Come and say HEY!
6x6 acrylic on panel, $25 click HERE to join in the bidding!
I've been the usual busy, with a good dash of crazy thrown in there... Max was great about taking photos of Gus near the end of his life, last Wednesday, and this is painted from one of them. I actually took this one, and Gus was leaning into Max's embrace while Max watched PBS over his head. I think they both enjoyed this position~
This one will be at Track29 for the Paws and Portraits Exhibition as well- Opening reception is Thursday October 27th! Come if you can!
I meant to post this one yesterday, but of course I ended up way too busy... I'm in Beaver Bay with my mom tonight- we hung a gorgeous show of her work at the Tettegouche State Park Visitor's center today- her Opening Reception is NEXT Friday, October 7th from 7-8:30! If you can make it, take a look- the work will be up through November and if you haven't stopped at that Visitor Center, do! It's all new and beautiful!
and this is Emma! I will be going back into her a bit to straighten out her eyes- something's funny there and I can't quiet figure it out~ but I do think I've gotten her soft, subtle greys pretty well...
I really like this one! It is essentially the last of my Track29 paintings- I'm finishing them all up and getting them ready to get over to the gallery next week~
It's been a bit rough around here, and I'm sorry for my absence yesterday. We had to put our Gus down. He's been slowly failing for a couple weeks, and yesterday morning he had a hard time just standing up. So we took him in last evening, around 6, and it was really hard, as these things can be. Max came along, we all cried into his fur, and we had a bit of a difficult night.
I haven't yet had the honor of meeting His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, but I am delighted to be allowed to paint HRH's likeness! There was just no way this one could be painted in a 10x10 inch square. THIS face calls for stature, dignity, largesse~ I'm pretty happy with it!
SO last Saturday was a very busy one- and I didn't have a chance to post anything about it until now! My fellow art teacher, Carol, and I, along with a lovely and talented crew of our former art students, gathered under a tent to do 10 minute sketches of the pets and loved stuffed animals that Breck's community brought to be blessed. We are so lucky to have this incredible community of chaplins and loved animals and the people who love them~
And these are a few of the portraits I painted that day! I had mostly dogs, with a couple guinea pigs and a sweet stuffed bunny~