Saturday, July 31, 2010
So this is Frank, who is the sibling of Grey Girl (7-2-10) who came to the top of my waiting list. Don't worry if you are on it- I will get there now. I have a show at the Birchwood from the end of August to October, and then another show with my mom from September thru October at the Women's Building in St. Paul. I have a few paintings I want to get done.
We're watching "Moonstruck"- I'm signing and wrapping cards, and Duane is attaching rafia wigs to four giant heads for the Specs window display he always does~
Max is crashed out-- he had an incredible time at our great family dinner- get-together in Rosemount at our Aunt Bobby and Mark's~
See you later~
Friday, July 30, 2010
And here is a shot of my studio space as it looks right now- I am preparing all the dogs and getting them ready for their outings to the public this weekend, with hanging wires and signatures and dates and all that official stuff.
And I also included a Max from Grand Marais that I finally finished and like~
AND I don't know who I will paint tomorrow, so if you asked to be on the waiting list, stay tuned because it could be YOU!!!!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
"Rupert Fritillary Cathcart is the larger one with the bigger ears.
Che Comma Cathcart is the smaller one with the less fancy ears.
Fritillary and Comma are types of butterflies (a lot of butterflies have been named after punctuation marks).
Papillon, of course, means butterfly in French."
And for a punctuation mark, you couldn't ask for a better exclamation point than these dogs! We had a really fun photo shoot in Mel's front yard, with Max running after the dogs and Mel lifting their ears up to show how they SHOULD look- Dogs are SO great! I'm going to try to paint Che now... we'll see~
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
So good to be able to paint in the morning! A lot more relaxed this way. And don't think I'm just sitting around with nothing to do, either! Already this morning we went over to the Birchwood to rehang the two pieces I had to take down so they could put up their big screen tv for the Tour De France, and the big ol' metal rack that the tv sat on would NOT come off the wall, so Duane helped Jason man-handle the monster off. I had been wondering why there were such huge holes on the wall there, and THAT was why. So we'll see what I can find to cover those holes with when I get to hang MORE stuff there next month!
And now I am thinking about sweeping the floor and doing some yoga... and then maybe painting some more...
...if Max will let me...
Monday, July 26, 2010
Penny Beer Night (b. 1996 - ?), known to many by simply “Penny”-
Penny entered my life – unwillingly at first – in 1997 at the Vanderburgh Co. Humane Society in Indiana. She has been an amazing influence in my life every day since. While she was untrusting and scared at first, flinching at the slightest movements, I finally earned her willing and unbreakable loyalty. She loved learning new things in those early years, even hand signs for basic commands from 50 yards away, and enjoyed a long life free from the restraints (and fashion hazards) of a collar or a leash. Her long-time partner, “your-boyfriend-Riley,” moved to Chicago a few years back, and has since passed away. Her love for him was grounded in one of their first encounters – when he taught her how much fun a mud puddle could be! (Riley’s mom and I are still good friends.) She was supportive of my move to Minnesota – especially when she discovered that every fall would promise a fresh season of endless beautiful white stuff on the front lawn available for snacking on all winter!
Good life for a dog~
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This is Max, the sweet yellow lab~ owned by Pastor Jim, a friend of my uncles', they dropped by one afternoon with Max along and he posed very regally in our backyard by the gate and I hope Nick doesn't mind that I chose this photo despite the wide selection he offered me!
It really is the darks and the lights that interest me the most in painting, finding the edges between the contrasts and outlining them, and looking for the actual color, not the color I think is there but the REAL TRUE color that my eyes see. My brain often has to be coerced into letting someone else do the driving.
And yes! I will be showing the dogs twice this next week, first on Sunday August 1st at Wet Paint during the "Paws On Grand" Event from noon to 3, and then on Monday August 2nd at the North Loop Dog Grounds from 5 to 7! If you have commissioned a piece, you can come and pick your dog up there! But just come to see all of them together and to celebrate with me!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
So Nikka is a black lab and this is a photo from her puppyhood, I think- I do love painting black dogs with all the refracted light from their pelts!
And below is my first encaustic piece! We'll see what happens tomorrow!
Oh and there's an art opening tonight at Frameworks in Highland Park from 7 to 9 and they just hung a pile of my stuff up too, so I may swing by there for a minute after the Art Car Parade which is starting at the Rose Garden over by Lake Harriet at 6:30 and we need to leave very soon for that- the car is full already and Duane is planning on walking around the lake with Max since he may not sit still for the full parade....
Friday, July 23, 2010
So fun to get that fuzzy, wrinkly, schnuffly muzzle in there!
And today I feel like painting so here is another version of Sara Belleau's beautiful Borzoi, Calypso. I just couldn't resist that profile! Man, what a face~
And make sure to come see me at Wet Paint on Sunday Aug 1st during "Paws On Grand"- I'll be there with four other artists doing FREE pet sketches from noon to 3, and I will also have as many of the 30 Dogs as I can bring!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Doncha just love universal righteousnessiness...?
And I may try another one of another view of their basset, but not tonight...
And I am FOR SURE having a one-night-show at the North Loop Off Leash Dog Grounds on August 2 from 5 to 7-ish of ALL THE DOGS! Possibly the only chance I'll have to display them all together since some are going away~ so mark that on your calendar!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This was just incredibly satisfying to do, maybe because it is morning and I am not wiped out and exhausted. I did a video of me painting this too which I will attempt to post if I can figure it out.
I also worked on a couple more previous dogs- here is a redo of "Henri and Friend" from July 14th-
The shape of Henri (the darker dog)'s head is better, and the position of his eye, as well as the background colors are toned down a notch. See how different the time of day is? It really affects my work. I mean, back in the day I wouldn't start painting until after 10pm, with the fortification of three to six beers, and then I would continue as late into the night (or early morning) as I wanted. Of course at that time I was also going out most nights, and sleeping late, and just generally being a little ol' fun-lovin' gal.
I am so much more serious now.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
And again it is late, and it has been a rather long hot day, full of potatoe flings and skyping my sister in England and showing her Max in his element. This time he was digging into the bin of wax candles, trying them out for taste. I DID accomplish much in the way of paperwork things that MUST be done in the absence of a chair-climbing, bright-object grabbing, pen-chewing toddler. Of course, he is also a sneezing, projectile-boogering baby on the move... it is amazing how viscous flem actually is. I wonder if there is any research being done on the possible benefits of flem to society.
Okay, I am going to BED. Maybe.
Monday, July 19, 2010
This is Cami's friend's collie, I don't know the name, and I just finished it so again I am taking the photo at night under artificial lighting and I included both of the "good" shots so you can have an idea of the actual painting... man. It is just really hard to get the real image across in a photo. And I am tired. Still. I know. Other people can handle marathon weeks of working with other people's children all day and coming home to a toddler and preparing for a weekend art show and then actually DOING the art show and having a parental anniversary in the mix... yup. Just life, in the big city.
But it is a good life. Maxie has a bit of a cold and I was tired all day so I napped when he did but he woke before I was ready, so you know, mac-n-cheese distraction, junk drawer fall-out, pull all the boxes out from below my desk and excavate the materials (mostly old printmaking stuff, mostly non-toxic so don't worry), but STILL he has energy so dad comes home and sneaks up on us as I am trying distraction-tactic-# 35-"GO OUTSIDE" and Duane pitches green walnuts and carries Max around the block and Max loves the ramp at a neighbor's house on the opposite side of our block and walks/runs up and down it six times while Duane is inviting the neighbors over for the National Night Out (August 3rd! Come on OVER! 6-9!)-
Anyway, that is my glorious doggified life~
stay tuned for more~
Sunday, July 18, 2010
His owner doesn't know I have this photo of him, and I didn't tell her I was going to do him either, since the person I had scheduled for today didn't send me any images. So if you THINK you know who this dog is, and who his owner is, let her know and tell her to e-mail me. If I hear from her within the week, she gets this painting FREE!
How about that for a challenge?
And here's a hint- the photo was taken last summer while this dog and his lovely owner were at our house to work with Duane on a project...
Hee! I LOVE challenges!
And the part of his face that concerns me at this point is the snout and shading on the left side (above his little paw...)
Tired now. Time for bed.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
And the day out at Woodbury went well~ it was hot as heck but the generous folks who put the event together actually put up tents for us, complete with covering sides and all, big giant water barrels tied to two sides for wind anchors. So all I had to do was show up with Duane's truck that HE loaded expertly for me this morning with all my stuff, plus whatever he thought I might have forgotten. He's really good at that.
And I had so many compliments about my work, people walking past on the mall getting sucked in by the dogs' eyes... it was great! And packs of young women jumping on the pile of FRANKEN-T-Skirts and trying them on! One young woman actually tried on a couple FRANKENSWEATERS! I mean, CASHEMERE in 100%.... wow~
And THEN my mom showed up to help me, so I got to paint Glacier out there, and THEN the storms started coming so they let us head out two hours early! Yay! I got to get home and watch Max trot all over the backyard sandboxes and swingsets in his diaper before I fed him and bathed him and read him stories and tucked him in~
I just gotta say, this LIFE I have somehow been blessed to live just keeps giving me more things to be grateful for. Like right now, Duane is sitting behind me in the chair, just back from playing guitar across the street with our neighbor, feeding me the occasional spoonfull of ice cream while we watch Katherine Hepburn and Carey Grant in "Bringing Up Baby" on TPT.
I love Minneapolis!
Friday, July 16, 2010
I do see a few spots I may go back into and play with, when I am a bit more calm next week and have actual time to do this. I do prefer painting in the morning and getting it accomplished and out of the way, and then if I have time to paint in the evening, I can do that too! But I really don't like to have to cram it in at the end of the day. Max is still teething, and although he will sometimes sleep in til 6:30, he usually wakes at 6 am for the day. My lifestyle has drastically changed. No more reading novels til 3am.
So I will be in Woodbury tomorrow at the Woodbury Lakes Art Faire and hope to get Glacier painted there... we will see. It is a HandmadeMN event, and I will have "Franken-T-Skirts" and some "Frankensweaters" but I really don't think many people will be in the mood to try on wool...
I am a bit pooped after this week and now have this weekend to get through yet before I can "rest" next week when I take over the childcare again so Duane can get back to working on his house. Whew! But if you are free, come on out and see me! Just check on highway closures first... I believe 94 from Chicago Ave to 280 is closed. I'm planning on taking Shepard Road to see how that does.
What a hoot!
Oh and sunday is another "Surprise Guest"! I am open to bribes if anyone is just dying for their dog to be done!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
This one has been a while in the making- I actually painted the FIRST Matilda a couple years ago, after meeting KelliRae, Matilda's owner, up at the Art Colony. She was the first one who saw my dogs and jumped on their potential~ thank YOU so much!!! So here is what I am told about Matilda~
"She is thick and bold like a glass of root beer. She has great power with her sense of humor. I DO LOVE her!"
And how could you not?!
And wow. One more day of this camp. The kids are FABULOUS! It always amazes me how people are so COOL when they are small! and so many great ideas! And even when they get older, they still have great ideas! They just really need the structure and arena to learn and express themselves within. You can't have great kids if you don't have great adults to model them on!
Anyway, here is the glorious MATILDA!!!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This is the SECOND one- it's still wet~and it IS the one I like- the other one is getting gessoed....
Okay- this was one of the trickiest yet, and I know it is because I am having a tough week. I am used to getting up at 6 and then working from 8 to 3, and then getting home and goofing around. This week I still get up at 6, get to Articulture by 9, and don't get home till 4:30. And teaching summer classes is often a lot more planning than regular teaching since I did it last year and just reframe the concepts to fit the students, plus I know where everything is and what I have available. I mean, we are having a gas there and all, but it is a LOT of work. And it is like 108 degrees today. I am SERIOUS those of you who aren't in this state!
So this was a hard one. And it is actually difficult to put two dogs into one 10x10 area. I need to charge extra for these. So the First one I really don't like and it will get gessoed over. The second one is a little better, but probably will need some more work when I am cooled down and not overly heated up and can actually think.
Oh and I apologize for getting the dates screwed up! Can't believe I did that...
see, and THEN I have this craft-fair thingie this weekend in Woodbury- I'll get a link and attach it when i HAVE TIME. Sheesh.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
In their own words-
"Panchan is a rescue dog from Manchester Dogs' Home. We chose him because he was lying on his back, relaxing, with his feet in the air, while all around him was a great cacophony of barking, frenzied dogs....he was so COOL. Since living with us, he's become a seasoned theatre dog. He comes with us to our workshop when we make shows and travels with us to all our performances; he's even been with us to France and Italy, where he was known by the locals as "cane piccolo".
"He's enjoying the new neighbourhood he's moved to, opposite the park, where he still loves to play with his rubber ring (you'll remember this, Kat, from our walk to Hardcastle Crags) but is also developing new interests such as meeting dozens of new dogs a day, and making sure the squirrels are kept tidily in their trees!
"He's about five years old, and his favourite treats are yoghurt, corn on the cob, and the end of the Indian take-away containers.
Just at the moment he's lying on the bed in familiar pose......on his back with his legs in the air."
Can't wait to get back there and see him again!
oh, and you guys too!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Honestly though, white dogs are REALLY hard to paint- you wouldn't believe how many times I had to redo this one... and I am STILL not sure it's finished... i'll wait to hear from Paul on that one~
and this is the crazy week I was warning you about, when I am working at Articulture teaching crazed small children about the joys of animals, especially our familiars the cats and dogs~ not that I've painted a cat series yet, but my loyalties were much different when I was a subdued and sulking adolescent. I mean, who better fits the loner ideal? Who shows attitude and snubs your every effort at play and connection? Hmmmm. That sounds really bad, especially when the two felines sharing our household aren't really like that. Well, Madison maybe for a while when she was being feral in the basement after just getting here from Virginia and all, but Jeebo has always been a big mushy pile of affection.
ANYWAY this is about dogs, so I'll let Gussie stand magnificently white and toddle off to bed and hopefully be able to be coherent and educational tomorrow~
Sunday, July 11, 2010
So this is Kenai, a gorgeous mix who lives in our 'hood, though I have yet to meet him, or his owner Peggy! Sorry that I didn't do the rye field, Peggy, that one may happen later but this one drew me in with his eyes. And that thick shiny coat of fur! Maybe that's just his winter coat and he's probably a shedding, panting monster right now, but this was just too beautiful to pass up. Thanks for sending him to me!
Enjoy the weather!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thank you Brenna!
Friday, July 9, 2010
The person I had put down for today never got back to me with any images, so I picked a photo from my waiting list and got to work. This is much later than I usually like to paint, but my mom's Birthday Party last night got to be way more involved than we'd expected, and a lot more fun, and I had handed my watch to Max in his car seat earlier in the day which meant it was buried under baby debris in the back seat somewhere and I didn't have it on last night to tell me the time... consequently, we had WAY too much fun and sat up talking too late and today was a day of running around trying to catch up.
So anyway, the brown dog is Homer and he's running on the ice with his pal, playing tug-o-war on a dishtowel, it looks like~ This is for my sweet dear best friend in Wisconsin! It was kinda fun painting ice on an 85 degree day...
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I may need to paint a cow tomorrow. We ran up to Duane's sis' place in Becker this morning to drop off some bolts from his brother in Brainerd and they have cows and sheeps and lovely shepherdy dogs, so there may be a couple extras soon~
Thanks for following! I am loving the e-mail comments I'm getting. It hasn't been too hard yet, but I have been more faithful to this than I have been to yoga lately. It is amazing~ I like painting every day... whodathunkit?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
His eyes were tricky, getting the proper amount of sag and the right color combo so they don't feel too droopy or red...
Karen is a former colleague of mine, and is a great spirit and a free thinker. I always loved her ability to speak her mind at staff meetings, to lead to the truth by her example. Of course she would own a dog who also leads by example.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Last night I was really tired when I got home- we had an incredible dinner at our friend's house and picked up my "Autobi DOG raphy" show, so now there is art leaking out of every possible crack in our house. But I was pooped, and trying to figure out how to get in touch with Elizabeth somehow, when my phone rings and guess who it is! Yes, and she came over with some fabulous photos and a great story of an amazing dog.
In her own words~
"Tony Dhurie Fire was a white standard poodle with pizazz. You should have seen him prance like a circus horse high stepping when we walked on a windy day (he loved this) or on a snowy day (he loved this more). He was also a hilarious dog, very acrobatic, and also had strong opinions, which involved eating anything really meant for humans. He ate a whole cake from the counter, once he ate a whole dish of butter, yech, he threw up bright yellow butter in the snowy backyard.
"When our first grandbaby came to visit, age 1 to 2 weeks, mama put her on a blanket and Tony carefully went over to sniff her. He snuffled her head. He carefully sat down next to her and became guard dog.
"Tony was a deeply gentle dog and quite meditative. He could bring quiet to a room, yet any intruder type would also receive his attention with big deep insistent barking, so LOUD.
"He had a friend who was a huge, giant black doberman. They would run together all around the parking lot of the Calhoun Greek Orthodox Church. Those dogs were the Royal Ballet, black and white, round and round; watching their playful leaps I thought (feared!) that the doberman would knock Tony down but he never did- they met noses sweetly, they were good friends.
"At 11, Tony was blind. At 12, he died. It was so so sad. Toward the end he became very quiet- not exactly quiet, more like solemn. I thought he was listening to God, probably. He was getting ready, maybe. He was definitely tuned in.
Yes, our internet was down last night and I was exhausted but I DID get Nala painted, I just wasn't able to post her until NOW~
SO I apologize for not being able to show her to you yesterday, since Tony is due today, and I am getting right on that as soon as our little imp is taking his nap.
Tini, thanks for sending the extra photo, but I really fell in love with her expression in this one.
This was a surprisingly fun one to paint. At first, I was frustrated and couldn't figure out how to really have Nala's beautiful grey fur and delicate spots show to their best advantage, and also be sure to include the darks and the lights from the door illuminating her chin. But I am really happy with this one! Especially her eyebrow and her gaze...
stay tuned for Elizabeth's Tony!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Something about a dog's eyebrows as well, seem indicative of their personality somewhat. Gurdy's are flexible and obvious...
Of course, she... wait, I am assuming she's a she... darn this not knowing~ but I think she's got a good sense of humor, from observing the smaller painting I did as a study.
I just thought the exaggerated facial expression on this wouldn't be as believeable as a painting. It works well as a photo, and shows the fun personality of the dog, but as a painting, I think it's a little goofy...
Alrighty! Happy Fourth of July! Wahoo~ This is Warren, what a great face! I love painting shadows as well, nice darks and lights in this one~
Really, I am having a total gas! Warren's owner asked me to do two of her dogs, and seeing as we aren't doing a whole heckuva lot today, I may try to toss in Gurdy as well... we will see~ somedays just painting one dog isn't enough. I get into the mood and the paint is glistening and the Pogues are singing (yes, i know, not very patriotic. I will listen to some Bruce Springsteen later...) and I just don't want to stop!
I have taken a video of me painting, altho I don't think it is very good. Duane has promised to help me later, since I don't know how to get it off the camera and onto this blog, but that's part of why I took this project on- to LEARN new skills~
...and it is working~
Stay tuned! You may get double-dogs today!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
it was a mite tricky traipsing everything (well, not that much, really, just some paint and panels and a laptop, oh AND a toddler and his accoutrements...) up to Brainderd where we stayed at Duane's brother Denny and his wife's home, but where we didn't realize about eight other people were staying as well, and ALSO celebrating a birthday...
and there is a bit of a glare off this, I will be taking a clearer photo for the webpage~
yay! All is going as planned, so far- mwahhahhahahh! World takeover SOON~
Friday, July 2, 2010
Now we are heading up to Brainerd so we'll see how it goes, painting on the fly!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Here is Cody, a sweet fluffy white Bichon who resides it the Longfellow 'hood~ white fluffy dogs are notorioudly tricky, what with the white and the fluff... and I have at least two more to do this month!
Max's napping was a little trickier this morning- He didn't want to go to sleep, of course, on the first day of my big project! Ack~
And I just got word that I will be granted a show at the Birchwood Cafe from the end of August through to Oct 3rd! So some of these pups will have a place to hang!