Darn it! I meant to post this yesterday, but I'm still on vacation mode and my timing is kinda off- plus it's gotten more chilly this week, and the sidewalks are all icy and slick, and my morning routine includes taking the dogs out for a jog/trot/stumble right after I get up, which means bundling up and pulling those Yak Tracks on, which is so fun...
Anyway this otter photo is from Sharon V, who snapped all the photos down at the Mississippi River by Fort Snelling! I met her at my studio for the Winter Frolic earlier in December~ thank you so much Sharon!
Yes, I have been painting and yes, I have also been relaxing! I seem to have temporarily thrown my back out, so today has mostly been spent on the couch watching the Star Wars trilogy (though we are taking a short break before continuing with "The Return of the Jedi") with a hot pad or an ice pad. Better now...
And this is from earlier in the week- I've been painting more on the same theme.... otters, you know!
Wow! It is a busy time for everyone, I imagine! We had a great (and LATE) night last night, went and saw "Elf the Musical" at the Ordway with my sis and Duane and Maxie- Max and I had gone to see "Annie" at the Ordway last year with our friends and Max was bouncing in his seat most of the show, so thinking ahead, I'd gotten 4 tickets, two in front of the others, thinking that way we could control the annoyance factor of 9 year old excitement... but the seats were more staggered and then the tallest man in the area had to sit right in front of Max!
We were able to shift seats a bit, and Max LOVED it! It is so fun to take a kid to see shows! Well, when the kid wants to see the shows, I mean!
This is Hina, whom I got to meet when she came to pick up her painting with her owner!
Well, I've just hung the show at Diamond's, and am now tackling the lovely line-up of commissions people want before Christmas! SUCH fun! I seriously have the greatest job~
So here is one~ this is Dickens! I think I'm safe posting him because he was a present for the client to herself, so no surprises here!
And I also want to thank everyone who came out last weekend for the Winter Frolic at the Ivy! It was an absolute delight to see everyone! I think I hugged everyone who bought anything on Sunday, and I was so pleased to also give so many bags away!
I do still have some lovely paintings in my on-line gallery here, and for the rest of December, if you ask, I'll cover shipping for you! See, I wanna see who reads the fine print...
This is a painting from a series of four, from my winter drives home around the lakes. That whole notion of snow just tickles me! I mean, the color is incredible! Especially at sunset!
Come pick this one up at my Open Studio Sale at the Seward Winter Frolic this weekend! I'll be in my studio at the Ivy BUilding, 2637 27th Ave S, from 10-5 Sat and Noon-5 Sunday, and this is one of the pieces that will be discounted for walk-ins only! Wahoo!
Usually $275, but for you, this weekend only, $195!
Be the first one in to snag it!
I spent a character-building semester in Ireland from September of 1987 to January of 1988, living in a cottage in the small town of Spiddal, outside of Galway, and within biking distance of several fishing docks and fishermen who regularly went out to fish around the Aran Islands. My classmates and I were taken across the bay to the islands and spent two or three days wandering around. I remember the stone walls and the mules, the thatched roofs and dirt floors. We had some good sunshine while we were there, went and walked all over the islands. There was a very old fortress, Dun Aonghasa, that I remember we were able to walk through. It is on the edge of a cliff, and there was some suggestion that part of the land had fallen away at some point in the past. I loved it in Ireland! We took my dad in 2013, since he's the one with the Irish roots.
This cottage is where my friend Anita White lived on her Irish adventure, many years ago. She's working on a graphic novel of her story. Can't wait to see that either!
Okay, so I really really love the North shore... this is another view of Artist's point, from the lake side of Grand Marais near the beaver lodge...
And tomorrow will be the last day of this HOMEvember project- I am glad I dropped it to 20 paintings from 30, and I will be hanging a selection of these paintings at Diamond's next week with our Holiday Sparkle Show, and a few will be being mailed to their new owners!
I'm needing to spend some time on some Holiday commissions and I'm also super excited about some fantastic otter pics we took last Friday at the zoo! Stay tuned for those!
This is another one I've been wanting to paint for a long time- I mean, look at this tree! It is so beautifully expressive and absolutely wicked! I love it! Limbs going every which way like a crazy dance, bark twisting along the trunk~ too much!
It happens to be near the daughter and son-in-law of a dear friend and mentor of mine, and I think I may have painted their house back there... I think that's theirs anyway...
I'm at home, watching "Kids in the Hall" with Duane, dogs and cats asleep on various pillows and bits of furniture around our living room, while I try to post today's blog. I'm a little tired and will be making it unto bed soon...
This is of the clouds seen from Psychoe Suzies' a summer or two ago, across the river. Another one I've always wanted to paint...
Also a good night to watch "Nobody's Fool", one of my fav movies ever, starring Paul Newman, who always makes me think of my dad... totally awesome movie, I highly recommend it! This review explains it better than I can~ watch it!
I'm at mom's, where we've been having intermittent issues with the internet for the past month... so I was unable to post a painting last night (perhaps the wine helped with the inability...) but my IT brother was over today for the turkey dinner and we think he's figured it out. At least, this seems to maybe be working~ and really, he's an engineer, not an IT guy... I'm posting that in case he reads this, which I don't this he will...
Anyway, this is a painting of the front door of the house in Key West where our puppet/artist friends Molly and her family live, and we house-swapped with them a couple years ago and I took this then. I'm loving the dappled sunlight! THAT'S the word I wanted when I wrote "speckled"!
Hope you are having fun and relaxing with friends and/or family~
It's been a long day, and this is another painting I've wanted to paint for a while. Maybe the real title of this series is "Places Kat Likes" or something like that...
We stayed at an airbnb right next door to my cousin's house last March in Seattle, up off of Fauntleroy Way (I always think of the made-for-TV-movie that came out in 1980, "Little Lord Fauntleroy" starring Ricky Schroeder and Alec Guiness!) and this little house was around the block up the hill on the next street and I loved walking by it every morning- isn't it sweet?
We really love walking by the Mississippi River, on either side, in the dog park on the Minneapolis side, or down at Hidden Falls where Barebones Halloween show happens every year, and so it has that feeling of a place like home to us.
Last summer, we were walking along through the woods and happened upon a mama deer with a baby, and because we didn't want to startle them, we veered off a bit and went another direction, where we happened upon this chair. Since it didn't seem to mind us being there, and it didn't seem to be about to run off, I took a couple photos of it. Rather a handsome specimen, in the partial sunlight, spackled by the leaves... is that the right word?
This is my friend Maggie and her husband Nico's house in Ghana. Nico passed away earlier this month, and was buried on the 17th in Ghana. That's him walking into the house~ so open and airy. I've never seen an African sky, so I hope I've gotten some of it. It seems it might be whiter and hotter~
If you've been a lover of the North Shore of Lake Superior as long as we have, you'll recognize this iconic lighthouse, and you've probably also been out to that point to look out across the lake and the Sawtooth Mountains~
This one is for dad, who taught us all how to skip rocks up on the shore, picking the best, flattest rocks and throwing skippers of 15 pops! Max has learned from the best~ he's got that down!
I have never noticed the decorative cut to the little supporting buttresses just under that highest platform! That's one of the magical things about drawing and painting- it makes you really look closely at your subject to the point where you are directing all your attention to it and you notice amazing things you wouldn't have seen normally.
Like that blue on the left side of this lighthouse- I think it's from the light reflected off the water~ but what a crazy beautiful blue!
This one has a great story attached! From Deborah, slightly edited by me~
Kat dear, here is my favorite place that I go back to in my mind when I need to remember a true 'home' - the front porch of The Cottage on Superior, on Sverre Lane which ends at Sverre Bay in Lutsen atop a rocky outcrop, named for the historic fishing family that lived there for over a century. The original fish-house was restored and sets below on a rocky shelf at the shoreline. Someday I will build a small house just like this one in the outer metro area on a lake and recreate what I loved so much: honey-worn wood floors gleaming in sunlight from windows on all sides on white walls and built-in bookcases, and a walk-out deck on both sides.
This is such a sweet house- I love the sky through those oak trees! At least I think they are oak trees... and that subtle little mailbox... and just the changes between the blues of the house and the sky! So fun!
And something not so fun- we got flu shots today- Maxie had a really hard time with it, due to his past rabies shot experience of two years ago, and so he got the nasal thing instead which seemed to make it work. Thank goodness nurses know how to be kind to kids~
Ahh! Doesn't this look nice? Like the green scene I posted yesterday...
I do love snow, I have to admit. Especially in November when the dark feels a bit more oppressive. It is nice to have that white glow on the ground...
BUT this is Arlene's summer garden, her front walk and those honeysuckles~ makes you want to go on up and tap on the screendoor and see if she'll have you in for a cup o tea~
This is from a photo I took this summer of Max looking for crayfish at Jill and Rick's cabin in northern Wisconsin, right near Michigan. He thought it was Florida at first, when I was working on it this morning. So I tried to make the greens a bit more midwestern rather than tropical...
I really like it.
It was a bit mediative, painting it- I'm finding that's true of these paintings- more meditative than a portrait~
There are a lot of really cute cottages with amazing thatched roofs, all cut and laid in patterns. This isn't one of those...
I picked this one to paint because of the rocks and the stream running through- I'm not sure this cottage is actually habitable...
And those rocks are so cubistic! I didn't get enough lichen on them either...
Here's the house that I meant to paint yesterday, but we really had an incredibly full day and it just wasn't possible!
That said, THANK YOU to everyone who made my day yesterday in any part of it! My Painting Lessons Crew in the morning was fantastic and intelligent and daring, as usual, and Duane and Max and I had the biggest crowd yet for our afternoon presentation of "Otterways and Waterways" at MWMO! There's just one more Community Event, January 12th 11-2!
And thank you everyone who made it to Lisa and Jay's house for our 12th Annual "Boutique By The Creek"! We think weather and cold may have kept a few people home but you can always check these artisan's websites out for more info on their work!
Duane and I were even able to go out for a date dinner last night, to the Town Hall Brewery where our waitress recognized Duane as the local Patrol Guy at Northrop and we found out we have friends in common, of course!
Whew! So today has been a lovely catching up day~ and a catching my breath day~
So this is where my friend Jim is living, which impressed me greatly because I am used to thinking of him as the crazy person who lives on an unfinished sailboat, and here he is living in an actual house, and a rather cute one at that on Orcas Island off of Seattle...
And it is actually a camp!
Sounds pretty fun... maybe we'll send Max next summer!
Here's where Jim's boat is docked... a live cam!
I have to admit, this one took longer than I'd like- that's the problem with buildings- they are a bit fizzier... I meant FUTZIER.
This is today's HOMEvember subject, Gerry and Toni's favorite place to stay up in Ely, MN, and I loved the contrast of the dark and lights in this~ it's been a busy day, plus snow as I was heading over to my friend Lisa's to set up my work for Saturday's Show~ so I just got home, and Max is showing me his favorite parts of "Godzilla vs Megalon"...
Life is good!
SO... still wanting to paint houses/homes/ places we love to be for the next 20 days, and it's looking like it may be a lot of my own pics~ though I DO have a bit of a list for the project below~
SO if you've sent me a house and I'm not showing it here, please remind me! I've just been a bit of a basket case with too many things going on, and now that elections are OVER and it (maybe) feels like things have settled a bit, I can focus more on my art again.
I've made a page here with more info~
and dropped the price! Because I CAN!
DO come to the wonderful creative Boutique By The Creek at Lisa's House this Saturday, 10-5! Info HERE! And/or come see us perform at the MWMO for our last performance of this year! 1-4 Info HERE!
TODAY- 11/7- Our House!
11/8- Gerry and Toni's Pilot House
11/9- Captain Kruse' Pad
11/10- MJ's Place in the Woods
11/12- Marcy's Cottage with Stream
11/13- Up North
11/17- Maggie and Nico's Home
At a time when we aren't sure what the next day will bring, it is important to really remember what is truly important- experience, memory, feelings we've had at those beautiful times in our lives~ connection with one another, the hope of finding more connection, not less-
If you haven't read this article yet, about the nurse who treated the killer at the Tree of Life, it helped me- especially the nurse's quote at the end, which is “If my actions mean anything, love means everything.”
I painted this one last Friday at our First Friday Painting Party at my studio! THANK YOU Bobbi and Michelle and Brian and Chuck and Bridget!!! I always love painting WITH people!
You'll notice that is it blue...
And I wanted to say, I love people. One of my favorite lines is from "Harold and Maude" when Harold says to Maude something along the lines of 'you are so good with people!" and she says something along the lines of "Why wouldn't I be? They're my species!"
And a quote I remember from the artist Kieth Haring, who was also a great humanitarian, and who said if something isn't FOR people, then it really is against them.
I'm not sure I left enough black showing in this one... I may go back in, or more likely just paint another version... I have no problem with painting more than one black creature!
It is always good to look at something from a distance. In this photo, the bird's beak looks really close to the edge of the frame and it isn't actually that close...
I'm a bit tired today- can you tell?
And I'm still collecting photos for HOMEvember, but it isn't starting til next Wednesday. I'm realizing I'm needing a brain break badly...
I also will be sending out a note tomorrow about postponing the "HOME-vember" Painting Challenge- I'm a little crazier than I'd expected to be this weekend and it is just going to be too hard to get it rolling. PLUS I'd prefer to put my energy into keeping Minnesota BLUE so I'll be painting what I like for the next few days, and will start this HOMEvember project on November 7th! Though I still would love you to send me more images!!! I'd like to paint about 20!
Yes, another commission! Always painting, that's me! Pretty darn lucky, if you ask me too~
I do have to say, I'm thinking of postponing HOME-vember until after next Tuesday... I'm just a bit wrung out and haggard at the moment, and need a little breathing room- so I'll start the paintings on the 7th, and go until the 27th of November! how's that? Any thoughts?
Lena and her owner Sarah came to my studio a month or so ago, which was fantastic because I LOVE meeting the critters I paint, if possible! Lena had just recently been rescued and was a bit shy, though certainly better behaved than my two dogs. I'm hoping I caught her shyness and courage in this one...
One of my favorite places on the planet, where I always feel at home...
Think of YOUR place like this! And send me a photo! I need more for the HOME-vember project! Starting on THursday!
I love audience participation!
ANd thank you those of you who have already sent me yours! Wahoo!
So, I couldn't not paint the crow again...
there's something about those black creatures, and the negative space, and the gleam of feather...
This is another version of the first crow,,,
and there's a raven I'm working on too!
So here is another painting demo, this one intended to demonstrate the tricky ellipse, I believe... I kinda like it! and I'm marking it it way down because I'm liking the feeling of shipping things off to people!
And DO send me your pics of fav places! SOON!
The Sentinel is a painting of a crow that I painted for a show at the Phipps last spring, and it sold this summer, and the show it was in at the Phipps (which was a poetry/art show, in which the poets chose a piece of art, and the artists chose a poem, and we created our new piece based on the other media). I was asked to include my paintings in a revisit of the original show, so I painted this guy from the original photo, which is of that lovely crow at the Great Lakes Aquarium. Pretty darn fun!
I took a bunch of photos out of my car window as I was driving along the river road last Saturday, and this is from one of those shots! It was just such a gorgeous day
Hope you are enjoy fall wherever you may be!
I had a request to repaint Lulu for a client, and am still working on it but I thought I'd share it with you! And don't forget to send me your fav architectural pics! I may end up scavenging through FB to find some... or I'll take random photos around my hood and post them and see if you recognize them...
This guy was spinning his way through the water past me as I snapped as many pics as possible~ I am not sure I got his eye right and may go back in to play with that...
And I will be making a larger call for homes for this year's HOMEvember project~ I'd really like to kick that in again, and I may just start trolling though the internet for interesting places. I'm working on an Architecture unit with my 4th graders, talking about how houses are built for humans, and how different environments require different structures too. Pretty fun!
Yes. An orange.
A clementine, actually, I think. The label calls them "cuties"~
This is from a couple demos ago, now that I think of it...
And I am GIVING THIS ONE AWAY again! Well, actually selling it for $1 because DPW needs a price in there~ First come, first serve! Just pay shipping (and $1) and it is YOURS!
I haven't had painting time in the past couple days- Max is in the Barebones Halloween Extravaganza this year, which is turning out to be a much bigger time commitment than I was thinking... though if I'd paused to think about it, I woulda known that this is why I have been waiting til he was older...
But you should come see it! Here's the LINK! This weekend, 7pm, next weekend, and Halloween night!
Slick and determined- it's those eyebrows an the intensity of that gaze~ you know this fella is set and ready to get to that goal, whatever it may be- stick, fish, leaf that just fell to the surface, whatever it is, he is ready to deal with it!
In following my trend of naming these otters with cute descriptive names, I've created a new one for today! Not any part of the actual current language, but I couldn't think of a better name for this one- isn't he peeking at you? Would "Glimpse-y" be better? Or "Glancy"?
Actually, I kinda like "Glancy"...
I am thinking I will be taking a break after the 20th Otter for this month of "Otter-tober"~ I'm getting a bit of a back-log on my commissions~
And I also wanted to mention that I do believe I'd like to give a go at another version of "HOMEvember" this November. It's a difficult month for me (maybe for you too) and having a distracting project (not that I don't have enough other things going on, but you know...) always helps keep my mind off things.
SO if you have a house or a place where you've always felt completely at HOME, then find a good pic and send it to me. Think "that old family place" or the cabin you spent two weeks in out west, or your grama's house, or that tree-house you built when you were 10...
I'll send out a general invite soon, but thought I'd let you know first here! Ha!
Maybe not the best name, but this one seemed to paint itself, and those toes were difficult to paint until I just went with the values ~ there is a bit brighter pink in there somewhere too~
This is also a larger version of "Diving Left" which has not such awesome toes!
Sorry I missed yesterday! Busy day! New painting class in the morning at my studio (fabo class! One of my biggest and very enthusiastic!) and then we had the "Waterways and Otterways" Happening at MWMO, which was not as well attended, but also very enthusiastic! And then we went to the gallery opening at 801 to see friends and art, and then we were called away by a bit of a family emergency, (everything is fine now) which kept me occupied until this morning, and then we had a lovely bit of an early snow (exactly 6 months after our last snow in April!) and I had my lovely painting class at the Phipps, where my brave students painted clementines and fall leaves!
It's been BUSY!
Hee! I liked naming this one! He's just such a cuddly looking little booger, even though he's probably bigger and stronger than me, especially in the water... but just look at that sweet little face! You can go see this guy in person at the Minnesota Zoo, in the Russian part outside~ near the grizzlys...
And do come see us tomorrow at the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization! The Otterways and Waterways event is 1-4, and there's activities and snacks and two showings of our puppet show! 2pm and 3:30!
Hmmm... this one I decided to paint on an ungessoed panel, so the brown could come through, but you don't really see it. Except maybe by her tail. I like it, though I'm not sure I got the face to the point I wanted it. It's really hard when they are facing away from you, because you have to suggest the eyebrow ridge, and the nose indentation, and where the fur changes color on her throat.
And darn it! The photo has some glare where her head is- it's actually darker there- on her fur I mean. I am very happy with the shiny color of her coat, and that back webbed foot, and the fun color of the snow to the top left...
It is just so much fun to PAINT!!
I wish I had more time in the day to do it! This is the only thing I was able to paint today~
Seems a pretty apt title for this one, yes? Another one I had to try- how many toes DOES an otter have, anyway? It seems there's an awful lot of them back there... it was tricky to get them all in to such a small space!
And in case you got my postcard (or not!), here's a reminder that this weekend's Second "WATERWAYS and OTTERWAYS" Party is on Saturday, Oct 13th from 1-4 at the MWMO, 2522 Marshall Ave NE, across the street from Betty Danger's!
We'd love to see you there! Puppets, paint, coloring books, OTTERS!
Those feet are just too much! Can you see how many toes otters have? Lovely big, many toed feet, with webbing in between~ perfect for swimming fast underwater! with those front feet tucked up under the belly, and bubbles streaming from that lush, thick fur coat~