Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jan 31, Espresso Mug

Wowzers!  I'm already stacking up the kitty photos for this year's 30 Cats in 30 Days Project!  And today I spent playing with paints at the Dancing Goat Coffee House in St Paul up on Seventh Street East, and because I wanted to play with light and color on white I sat and painted a couple tiny espresso mugs.  And they ARE mugs, right?  Like a cup would be thinner, without that thick lip, right?  Just wanting to make sure I'm getting my lingo correct...

Espresso One, 6x6 acrylic on panel, click here to bid, starting at $35!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Jan 30, Boot Toe

Those things we keep close to us become a part of us.  Unfortunately these boots are just a little too high in the heel for me to wear comfortably anymore but they still are so appealing!  Dingos, size 7~ my students like to draw them too.  They have a great personality, kinda fun and sexy, yet low-key, not pushy...
I like them a lot!
6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to purchase at $75!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jan 29, Backlit Mug

Struggling with a couple larger otter paintings..  I'll post images this weekend and ask for you help!  In the meantime here is a mug, painted in the One Color Per Stroke mode~  try it yourself!

6x6 acrylic on panel, available HERE for $75, including shipping free in the US!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jan 28, Heel To Toe

Here's a little break in the tiger tedium... a boot.  One of the other pleasures in my life is my collection of boots...
I do have a lot of pleasures, I have to admit...
Like I really enjoyed painting the purple shadows around the boot!

6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to bid at $35!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jan 27, Tyger, Tyger

I keep thinking I'm finished and then see another angle I want to paint... I find this is the best way to keep painting- you find a subject that you want to explore and then you paint it continually for a while to see where you get to.  Not sure about the blue on the right side of the tiger's face, but that right ear was off and needed to recede... Though it seems to work now...

8x8 acrylic on panel, click HERE to purchase at $135!

This one is an 8x8 acrylic on panel, and I have the perfect frame for it!  I'll have it with me this weekend at the Dancing Goat Coffeehouse for the inaugural Artists and Coffee from noon to 2pm!
The Dancing Goat is at 699 7th Street East, St Paul, Mn~  it would be lovely to see you!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan 26, Shadows and Stripes

I was really thinking last night about why I am so drawn to these tigers, and I think it is related to my fears of death.  Several years ago the man I was dating was in a terrible accident and was in a coma for two weeks and then in recovery from a severe traumatic brain injury for the next year and a half, and I pulled a lot of my fears inside because I was helping him recover and he was alive so I should be grateful and not fearful right?  But I think the post traumatic stress from that incident is still with me today.  Back then I was having dreams of big black bears, and I painted them and painted them and it helped tremendously.

What I think I am experiencing now is a physical manifestation of some of my fears in the body of this tiger.  I am working through some of my anxiety about mortality by painting a creature that could kill and eat me.  It makes sense to me...

This one is bigger, and I love the darks coming through.  I think that's what is missing in yesterday's tiger...

16x20 acrylic on canvas, click HERE to purchase at $700~

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Jan 25, Squint

And here's another tiger!  Those oranges and blues and the contrasts... and that expression...
I felt the drawing of this one was off, the eyes too low, and repainted it a few times.   I do like the fresher brushstrokes of other pieces and feel like this one is too overworked, though I do think I've saved it in the end~ you can see the progress shot below~
  I'll put this one up for auction!

6x6 acrylic on panel, click here to bid! Starting at $35!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Jan 24, Doll Teacup

Well, hey!  So I painted a couple cups at my parents' house last night, with my sis and mom painting too, while we all watched "It's A Wonderful Life" together-  SUCH a great movie!  Man~
This is a tiny little cup and saucer that mom remembers buying somewhere in WI at an antique store some forty plus years ago...  it's got a crazy opalescent peach glaze on it, probably unsafe to drink out of for those dolls...
I do like the gleams on this one....

6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to bid starting at $35!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jan 23, River Road and 38th Street, Morning

I started on a BIG tiger last night-  not sure what the heck I'll be doing with them, but I can't help but paint them... maybe it's because I should be ramping up for my 30 Cats in 30 Days of March project...
This is a little break in that cat pile-  a nice little painting of the River Road just past 38th Street in Minneapolis... on an early Friday morning... last week was it?
I am quite happy with the yellows and golds in this one...
This one is another auction!
6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to bid starting at $25!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jan 22, Golden Glance

I can't stop painting tigers... but my images are limited.  Hmm...  so here is a larger rectangular format of one of the previous paintings.  Those golds and violets are so dang delicious!!!  and that weight, and that PRESENCE.  My sis sent me this article in National Geographic about the tigers in India and that their population is improving, but there's still lots of conservation work to do...

this one is 11x14 acrylic on panel, available HERE for $315~

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jan 21, Pacing Tiger

I very much love the strong shadows on this, and the reflected light on the far side of the face.  I also am quite happy with the strong placement of the foremost front paw, and love the sculpted light on it!

6x6 acrylic on panel, click here to purchase at $75~

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jan 20, On The Prowl

It is seriously amazing how big these cats are up close...
And I love that profile-  those whiskers, the stripes, the fluff and pomp...

6x6 acrylic on panel, click here to purchase at $75~

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19th, Winter Tiger

Martin Luther King day, and I spent it with my sister who is currently residing in Brisbane, AU, at the Minnesota Zoo along with a lovely pile of families.  Really, it was gorgeous out there, and we went out along the Northern Trail and saw the prairie dogs (wow- spell check was tough on that one!) and the bactrian camels and the prong horns and the dholes (who are now in what Beaner (my sis) knew as the wolf pens back when she used to work at the zoo) and around the corner to the magnificent, pacing, larger than life tiger... he/she (I don't know which, sorry) was walking back and forth in front of the huge glass viewing windows.  I think maybe the sun was reflecting heat to the concrete and the tiger was maybe enjoying it.  You just got the feeling that there was a lot of strength behind that glass, a wildness and energy and thinking brain... people came up with their babies in strollers and pushed them right up to the glass and all I could think was "snack"~  ack.
This was when she/he made the turning and came back 'round-
I imagine there will be a few more...
6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to purchase at $75~

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jan 17, Near Cedar Lake

So they were out of Titanium white and I bought Zinc, because it was all they had, and I can't quite come to terms with it.  It does not cover as well as Titanium, which means I have to go back multiple times to get the values I want, which leads to a different sort of surface color... I suppose change is good, but it always takes some getting used to.  Duane says I can give him all my zinc if I need to-

The whites in this are with that zinc...

6x6 acrylic on panel, this one's an auction too, click HERE to bid! $25 to start or $65 buy it now!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Jan 16, "January Clementine"

This is a clementine, full of good vitamin C, to make you feel better if you are experiencing any of that seasonal yuck that we've had sweeping through our house...
I painted this with my first Painting Lessons class of the year on Wednesday eve!  What a great crew! They did a fantastic job with their clementines as well!
Not sure about that shadow, now that I see if on my screen, though I do like the color...

6x6 acrylic on panel, this one's up for AUCTION!  Click here to bid!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jan 15, Searching Deeper

In keeping with my metaphoric search of self, my otters are gaining more poetic titles...  I think, anyway.
This one is a smaller version of the larger one I've been fighting with for a week now.  I finally figured that I've got the composition off and I need to rework the large piece, as in gesso over the darn thing and start again.  I was working from two photos of the same otter, and it just doesn't work for me to do that.  I couldn't get the anatomy to agree.  So in frustration I started out on a much smaller panel to see if I could sketch the otter better.  I love those long lines and curves and sweeping movements of the body flowing through the water and the big version was skewed in a way that it wasn't fun to look at. I printed out my photo and did a simple grid and gridded my panel as well, and was able to get the composition to feel much more rhythmic.  PLUS I didn't have any surface water appearing in the first version-  notice the top right area in the smaller piece...
Now I much prefer the smaller version over the larger, and will be redoing the big one.
11x14 acrylic on panel, click HERE for purchase info- $315 unframed

This is the larger version... terrible photo but you get the idea of the composition. Crazy, ay?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jan 13, "Approaching the Divide"

Otter again-  this one just below the surface, about to break that divide between air and water-  I'm having so much fun with the dapples and ripples and water effects-  I think I have to be braver and play with more reflections...
Darn-  it looks fuzzy to me!  I'll get another image today...

11x14 acrylic on panel, purchase by clicking HERE for $315

Monday, January 12, 2015

Jan 12, "36th to Lake Calhoun, Winter"

So I've included two versions of this one too, the first one seeming to read a little warmer to me.  What do you think?  I like that there's a warmer feel to the trees on the right side, and maybe a bit more pink in the clouds...
This is the view just as you come past Lakewood Cemetery in Uptown and you sweep down the hill to see Lake Calhoun.  I often wonder what it felt like to see this on horseback two hundred years ago, when Lake Street was a dirt path from the river to the lake, and the local natives came to spend summers on this lake... though their name for it in Dakota  was"Mde Maka Ska", which meant White Earth Lake.

Well, now that I see them together, I like them both!  Darn lighting changes everything...
This one is another auction!

6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to bid starting at $25!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Jan 11, Wolf Walk

I love that far back foot and the negative space around it!  Something about the posture and face of this one made me think of Cat Walks (just watched the BBC documentary about Freddie Mercury and Queen last night... maybe THAT made me think of Cat Walks too!)  which is where "Wolf Walk" comes from...
And I also lightened up the background a tiche~  it that a word?  Spell check doesn't like it...

6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to purchase at $75~

this is the pre-painting-  the background felt a lot darker.  These paintings really need to be seen in person!  The color is so hard to catch in a photo!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Jan 10, The Intercessor

There is something about the way otters live both in and out of the water that I so appreciate-  the grace and joy in which they inhabit their lives is continually inspiring to me~  I have an otter tattoo on my shoulder that I had done around 1990, after a few repeated dreams...  I love the water, I am afraid of the water- I love life, I am terrified of death~  is that the same thing?

I named this one The Intercessor because I love the intent expression on this face, and the purposeful posture of his body- that shoulder up, the other front paw stroking strongly down, just the hint of his hindquarters and that powerful down curve of the tail.  This is someone I want on my side fer darn sure!
30x30 inches, acrylic on canvas $1800

Friday, January 9, 2015

Jan 9, "Between"

So I've been working on a few otters, for the upcoming show at the Duluth Aquarium... and it is so crazy, the monochromatics and the few shots that work, and figuring out which view to paint- I spent well over two hours today trying to plan a painting, from two photos, and it just isn't jelling.  There's a part of me who wants these to be partially abstract, and there's a part of me who fights the idea of abstraction because I don't think that's valid painting.  There.  I've said it.  I don't understand it so I don't like it.  Though I have to admit there are abstractionists whose work knocks my socks off.  Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly.  But I don't know how to swing an otter into that league.  And I don't really trust people who paint abstractly unless I see that they have an understanding of actual drawing and composition and value and all that.  It seems too easy to throw some color down and have a great statement of what it means, and not have any depth. I know I trust people too easily.
Anyway, I am painting these otters who feel partially abstract.
Here's one of them.

16x20 acrylic on canvas, purchase HERE for $700

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jan 8, "Resident"

Thinking of names again,  this one struck me as so present in his space, looking out from his safety behind the screen of young trees, that Resident seemed perfect.
I am enjoying the blocky shapes of those young legs and paws, large and padded, especially against the white.  I sure do love negative spaces!

6x6 acrylic on panel, click here to purchase at $75~

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jan 7, "Winter Black"

The negative space of the snow behind the wolf helps so much in getting the shapes right.  And I love the contrast as well, and the gesture.  It never ceases to amaze me how much body language translates across species.  I have no problem identifying this wolf as a bit cautious but curious...

6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to purchase at $75~

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jan 6, "Stepping Softly"

Some mornings we just aren't sure what's gonna greet us as we step into the day.

6x6 acrylic on panel, available for purchase HERE at $75

Monday, January 5, 2015

Jan 5, "White Lake Back Yard"

Thought I'd paint a few more winter scenes... I do really love winter, when it is NOT so cold that your nose freezes before your car warms up.  And it felt like we waited so long for some decent snow too...
Ah well-  12 below this morning...

6x6 acrylic on panel, available for purchase HERE, $75

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Jan 3, 'Cautious"

This one was a bit nervous about the new chain link around the tree trunks to prevent the pups from killing the cedars in their exuberance...
I liked the posture and the negative space between his legs, with that hint of a tail...
8x10 acrylic on hardboard, click here to bid starting at $50!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Jan 2, "Repose"

I need some help with names.  I even googled things like "titles for otter paintings" and "things about wolves"...  so this one is REPOSE.  He looks like he's thinking, you know, kinda thoughtless thinking, chilling out even.  Hmm, maybe that would be a better name...
And today at the zoo I got to chatting with a gentleman who is the overseer of all the animals at the zoo, the head zookeeper, I imagine, though I was too distracted by the pups to introduce myself and ask his name (dang!) but he was a wealth of info about the pups, and I also looked up this article which explains their trip from their birthplace in Alaska to our zoo that is now their home!  It is obvious that they are still pups, as I stood and chatted with the head zookeeper, because they came bouncing to the window where we stood (maybe they recognized his uniform?) and were pouncing on one another.  There is new chain link around the tree trunks and he explained that they'd been pulling the bark off and chewing the branches off, since they are puppies and are in the chewing everything stage...  he couldn't remember their names (but they are in the article!) but explained they've been neutered and will be permanent members at the zoo, and I asked about the white wolf and her mate and he said they are in holding and may end up at the Detroit Zoo-  I had thought perhaps these were the off-spring of those wolves but he said it wouldn't work to have them all together-  they would fight for sure.  I do love the paintings I've been able to do of the white wolf... sorry I won't be able to get more photos of her~
6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to purchase at $75~

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Jan 1, "Black Wolf Standing"

Happy New Year, again!  I am posting this on New Year's morning, in that quiet cold darkness before dawn.  And yes, another black wolf-  I do promise I will paint a few grey ones as well!  It's just that I miss my black dog, and there are SO many colors in that dark coat!
6x6 acrylic on panel, click HERE to purchase at $75~