And here's another one- love those moose!
This ones a bit bigger~ acrylic on canvas~ one of my all-time-favs from a photo the artist Kelly Dupre took when she was living up in Anchorage, and this moose came walking down the sidewalk~ I LOVE the shadows and the feet!!!
18x24 acrylic on canvas
click here to purchase this one! Reduced shipping!
I received a survey in the mail the other day, this one about the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and whether I think they are doing well, and questions about whether I think moose are more valuable than white deer and/or wolves kinda things~ filling it out, I was trying to figure out what the angle is, what the RIGHT answer would be, you know what I mean? I want the moose to survive of course! And if they are getting diseases because of the white deer population, then yes, I'd like strategies to be developed for the moose to survive, but I'm not wanting a mass slaughter of deer either....
SO many sides to any question.
Here's a baby moose~ from the Mn zoo~ I think he's a bit bigger now...
Yup~ another bear~ I'm thinking about the 30 Cats and Friends of March, so you should be getting your pet pics together now! And it may end up being a month of me painting basically what I want anyway~ I'm maybe gonna re-think the whole thing- hmmm
Anyway, here is another version of the lovely black bear at the Mn Zoo, whom I love just so much! Those ears! That schnoz! Such joy to paint the scruffy blacks and shiny blues!
We had a lovely, unexpected snow day yesterday, here in Minnesota, and I got a lot of painting done! As well as shoveling, and sliding and playing and just generally having a really relaxing day with little stress and commitments! It was one heck of a gift, I can say that for sure!
And this is a sweet, blue-eyed husky who is no longer with us. I don't trust all blue-eyed dogs, but this one seems to have a huge soul~
Yup, this one's being a bit of a booger- funny how sometimes a painting can fly off my brush, and other times it feels more like it sputters- and sometimes the best thing to do is to start over.
Though I like it better now...
A bit better- maybe still too dark on the left side of her face~
There's something about the darkness and density of a black bear's fur- it is a delight to depict it in color, trying to just suggest the sheen and the negative space of the background. Bears are such massive animals. They are nearly human size, sometimes larger than us, and there is something so familiar in them.
SO here's another auction for you! Thought I'd go through my 6x6s and offer some for auction~ for the new year!
For class today, I had everyone do a One-Stroke-Per-Color painting, using a viewfinder of a basic still-life. This is a group of dedicated people, and I can't think of a better way to spend my Saturday mornings than with them exploring our visual world through pigments and brushes...
And this is one of their favorite lessons! No, really it isn't. But I think everyone understands why it is helpful- the idea is to mix one color and paint ONE stroke of it, then mix another color and paint ONE stroke of that. This really makes you pay attention both to your color mixing and your placement of your strokes and I love how they turn out!
My demo was of a favorite rock from Lake Superior and a beautiful feather that Max found for me, on a red cloth. Tricky stuff! One stroke, so fun!
Oh I had SO much fun painting this one! This one was a commission for a Christmas present, and when the clients sent the initial images to me, this was the one I really wanted to paint~ it is so delightful when I get a photo that really speaks to me! I mean, really- how could you NOT want to paint this?
And I offered the usual sizes, 9x12, 11x14, but I really wanted to paint it BIG! And they wrote back saying after talking about it, they decided they wanted to go with the 16x20! YAY!
That made my December!
And really really really, what a great face~ who couldn't love that?
Another lovely image from a little while ago! I love these bears~ and I'm a little busy painting a groundhog car or two for the Art Shanties opening Tiny Art Car Parade this Sunday, so it's nice to pull up some back inventory~ bears! And by the way, it would have been a 3rd Sunday, but we'll be out on the ice! Come on out and join us!
And this is another one, I'm pulling up from the archives and shaking off~ painted a few years ago, from a photo taken of a puppy in England~ I like the strokes of fur fanning out from the forehead~ I think we'll make this one an auction too~ just because!
I shoulda named him "The Princely One" with all that purple in the background~
Well, aside from commissions, we've also been playing with mini-cars for the Art Shantie's Mini-Art Car Parade, the first of which is THIS Sunday, January 21, at Lake Harriet for the Art Shany Project 2018!! It should be AWESOME!!
If you didn't know, Duane and I were married at the Art Shanties on Medicine Lake in 2008 on Groundhog's day, and we will be there celebrating again this year for our 10 year Anniversary! Ain't that AWESOMEST! So Duane has been creating our tiny art cars for the Tiny Art Car Parade, and we'll be there on Sunday with them for their unveiling along with all the other fantastic Art Car Artists in town!
SO to commemorate that momentous occasion, I've brought back up this lovely painting of a beloved and slightly beleaguered looking whistle pig~
Usually priced at $135 I'm dropping that just for you, for now, because that face needs to go somewhere out in the world! Everyone has to recognize the special-ness of Groundhog's Day, and this can be YOUR way!
Hmmmm... something is still not right about the muzzle and face here. The actual dog looks younger and more puppy-ish than this one. And I still have to do something to make the front paws look like they are touching the floor more- not so splayed, I think.
I do like the floor itself so far- and that stuffed soccer ball...
I had my violin lesson tonight, and had a substitute instructor, which I found really helpful. I've been taking lessons since September, and Maxie has piano at the same time as my violin, which is nice, and I think I'm doing well, but my usual instructor sometimes seems distracted or more concerned about things other than how I'm doing, and I liked how this substitute helped me with basic things like how to stand and play, and that it is good to go back and keep playing the past lessons as well as the newest ones, and she lent me her shoulder rest because I've been meaning to get one, and it made a big difference. So, I think it is always a good thing to take a lesson or two from other instructors, just to see the key points from another perspective.
Here's one of the commissions I'm tackling this weekend... and it helps so much to take photos and look at the image from that distance, because I am now realizing I don't quite have the head shape right, and I think one eye is a bit lower than the other and I need to fix that.
It's a challenge painting such a light colored dog too, because I love leaving some of the black showing through and to get that light colored, fawn colored fur, I have to layer and layer on the lighter tones- it is fun though, when I can see that glow of life shining through!
Today was the first day of my first class of this new year, and we had a great time~ I am so grateful to have had as many amazing teachers in my life, because they taught me how reciprocal teaching is- you get back at least as much as you give, if not more! You wouldn't think that from much of people's perspective on teaching, but to me, it is an incredibly valuable career.
And here is my demo from today~ your basic honey crisp.
All yours if you'd like it!
This painting is from a photo taken while sitting at the Riverview Cafe, in August a couple summers ago during the LOLA art crawl~ I still like it! And I'm working on a few commissions, so I thought I'd go back and pull up a couple pieces that could use a bit more attention~
It is a big reminder to myself how much I really do appreciate the black effect~ to have the dark there is a lovely thing. There's some power in that black!
It is a veritable blizzard out there right now! Wow~ gotta love winter storm warnings in Minnesota when they are right!
And this is little Bella, my model from Sunday's demo at Wet Paint- I painted this one on an unprimed basswood panel, and really had to push the colors to get them to do what I wanted them to do, and they are still not quite where I think they should be, without black~ it is really hard to get the darkest darks... but the struggle is quite fun! I do like the light coming through, though it does make the values harder to calculate. We'll see how far I go with this-
Hello! hey, if you've been wanting to take a painting class but weren't sure about it, and you thought maybe you'd like to check out the one I have starting this Saturday at 9:30 am, then come on over to the Ivy and see what you think! I'd love to have you join us!
And oh by the way, this is another otter I've painted onto raw basswood~ it's a cradled 8x8 panel, completely stable, lovely wood tone, and so for me to paint all those dark colors is a crazy stretch! I love painting on black but I've been wanting a bit of a switch~ hmmm~
It has been a lovely day here, in Central Minnesota, where the temperatures have risen from below zero to a more comfortable teens and twenties... and I had a really fun Artist Demo at one of my favorite art supply stores, Wet Paint in St Paul, where lovely little Bella was brought in by her owners so I could use her as my subject. She is a year old Chiweeny, a Chihuahua- Dachshund mix, and she was absolutely delightful! She was friendly to everyone, wriggly and licky, and I took a million photos~ and this is the one I chose to paint~
It is always an education to paint with an audience, and especially this one because I had two former students in it who were very good and comfortable with asking me questions, which were great because they made me really think about what I am doing which is a great thing for a painter to do in the middle of their process because then you really DO think about what you're doing and so become more aware of what it is that you ARE actually doing! Which can also leave you unable to talk for a period of time because your brain is processing what you just suddenly understood about your work...
Humbling would be the word~
SO this is Bella!
Though I do have to add that initially I painted the background in blue-green, but it was WAY too intense, and this grey-green is much better! I am so pleased!
And here is another lovely walrus painting, same size as yesterdays~ they look pretty good together! As a matter of fact, if you are interested in buying both of them, I'd be happy to cut you a deal, like "2 for $120" or something, because they are so good together!
I'm really loving the lucid purples and the whiskers on these~
And if you are in Minnesota, I have an Artist Painting Demo tomorrow from 2-4 at Wet Paint! Come watch me paint tomorrow! I'll have a live model!
My older brother sent me a lovely batch of walrus photos he took out west at his local zoo, and here is my first one! Ain't she a beaut?! Those purple tones and her whiskers as well as that lovely blue water and the fun of painting IT!!!
Yay for walruses!
Or is it walrus?
I may be painting this one bigger, because I just love that sweetly closed eye and her tightly squeezed nostrils...
Here's another version of that sea otter from the other day! I do usually love painting river otters more than sea otters, maybe because they are a bit sleeker and less whiskery, and local too~ though I do love both varieties!
The colors are different in these too~ I'm painting on raw wood~ so that pale brown is some of the wood surface coming through, and I need to create my darkest colors rather than just let my familiar black show through. Still using my limited pallet of quinacridone magenta, primary yellow, phthalo blue/green shade, phthalo blue/red shade and titanium white~ and there's just that wonderful abstraction of the water, the darks and lights in there- I'm wanting to play more with water again~
Making an effort to seriously paint EVERY DAY can be, indeed, an EFFORT. It does help to paint small, I will say that- and it also helps to let other people know what you are doing, and I think it also helps to have a time frame- I'm casually aiming for 365 days in a row, and we'll see how that goes- it also really helps me to have a series in mind because then I know what I'm painting from one day to the next, and also how big it is and so some of that worrying is figured out. My brother just sent me a lovely pile of photos he took of critters at the Seattle Zoo (correct me if I'm wrong, Patrick! Maybe it was a smaller zoo?) and I am so excited to get rolling on them! THese will be probably 6x6 or 6x8 or thereabouts- I'm debating the merit of auctioning them, because YOU can get some of them for cheaper! And I can get them out of my studio...
So here is today's small-ish painting of a MOOSE! Yay MOOSE!
This is the first real painting of this new year~ a sea otter swimming on the surface, from a photo Duane took for me at the Minnesota Zoo out on the Russian trail. They are trickier to photograph than the river otters on the Minnesota Trail, swimming in their pool. I think the light comes into the sea otters' swimming area differently, and it is harder to get a shot that isn't overly lit. But I like this one~ there's that little wink in his eye, that spark of understanding...
I liked the light in this one- and I decided to try something new, or newish anyway, and I painted this one on a 6x12 cradled unprimed basswood panel. I'm wanting to varnish it up and see what happens too!
Good morning! Yesterday I was thinking about reviewing my past year, going through my posts and commissions and seeing what I did and then thinking about applying that understanding to gain some new insights... but it was just so SUNNY and COLD and the boys wanted to go SLEDDING so we bundled up and I stood at the top of the snow hill and watched them slide down and come back up and slide down and come back up, over and over again- as my thighs slowly crystalized and my cheeks burned, until they'd nearly had enough and I insisted we go back and have grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup...
And if you need to make a resolution, I've just announced this Winter's Painting Lessons that start on Saturday, January 13th from 9:30 to noon, for six weeks! Click here to sign up- class size is limited!
SO my main resolution this year is to post everyday, and to really find out whether this blog has any depth to it, or if it is simply a vehicle for me to be consistent with my art~ or another entity entirely~
Here is a commission I was rather pleased with! Zoe on the dock~ I actually painted it the wrong way first (ask me later) and Maxie noticed the head shape was off, so I gessoed the entire piece black again and started over, and I am so happy with this version~ the dock looks like wood, her fur looks fluffy and English Setter-ish, and that tongue which looked so huge in the photo, now fits her lovely face~