Silly enjoys sitting on top of her owner’s goldfish tank, as she fishes & teases her fish friends! She also loves to give love pats to anyone who passes her- just as a reminder that she would like to be petted please!!!!
So good to read that you like painting black cats!!!
I chose this green-eyed kitty for St Patrick's Day~ she's also a redhead! Puuuuurfect! And here's what her owner Kelly says~
Princess Peach was adopted from the AHS at 6 years old. When Kelly first got her, she had a super short lion cut, but now her beautiful orange hair is grown out. Even though she is an adult, she is very petite and looks a lot younger! My boyfriends’ mom Mina Leierwood calls her Princess Pipsqueek :)
She often has a grumpy-looking facial expression, which makes for some amusing photos. She loves chasing her toys around, sneaking into the basement, and EATING!!
This is a special cat~ and this is a piece Michaela wrote about Kitaro~
The house has been so lonely without Kitaro. Sure, there is lots of activity, what with Anna, Uryuu and Opal, but there is a giant void.
He would always come running when I kicked the leg support out on the couch. He couldn't wait to nap on my lap while I was napping. He would sometimes decide he was done with my lap and force me out of my spot so that he could sleep there. Of course I usually let him.
He was wicked smart. He loved to play fetch and when the mouse landed somewhere unexpected, he would search and search until he found it. It could be as long as five minutes.
He was always calm when Uryuu scruffed him. He would relax and twist out of it. He almost always won the tussles that they had.
He he was the best big brother a kitten could have. He was so excited when Opal moved in. He played with her very gently from the start. He also made sure the Uryuu didn't hurt her. Opal misses him something fearce.
He very rarely meowed. We expected a Siamese to be talking all the time. When he did speak up, you knew he had something important to say.
It also felt very much that he was here for a purpose. In hind sight, I think that purpose was my transition. Almost immediately after I admitted that I was transgender, he started kneading my belly. He NEVER did that before. He continued doing it through his illness. I seemed to have been happy that I was now his mommy. Once he was confident that I was solidly on my path, it was time for him to move on. He was only with us for 8 years.
It is Robin's birthday today! And these are her kitties, and here's what she says about them~
Tigger (orange) and Trixie (grey) are a very affectionate brother and sister from the same litter. They are usually found curled up together in various positions throughout the house. It is often hard to tell where one cat begins and the other ends!
...and I had another adjustment to make! Do please let me know if you were planning on nabbing your painting, because if you haven't told me you are going to buy it, and I haven't painted it yet, you may get bumped for another cat! And I also made a date mistake- today I had Tigger and Trixie scheduled, but their owner had requested the 15th, so I'm doing them on Friday, so today we are honored to have yet another Siamese looker, this one being Smokey!
And on another note, if you are in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, or anywhere else in this crazy winter storm, do take care, be kind, go slow. You are more important than a roof or a late appointment or just about anything. It is slick as you know what around here, and I left my yak trax at home! Be careful and once you get home, stay as put as you can!
Oh and if you want to come paint with me on Saturday, it's 10-1:30, Paint Your Pet! $75 all materials covered! Click here to sign up!
This is Naldo, whom I've painted before but I just can't get enough of him! I mean, LOOK at this face! Here's the link from last year's painting of him~ I really love this angle. It shows off that elegant siamese nose~ what a profile!
Isn't she lovely? I really loved the light on this one, and though I was a bit worried about the downward looking eyes, thinking they wouldn't read well, I'm actually pleased with how this turned out. And here is what Angel's owner says about her~
She had several owners before we got her when she was 6. She came with the owner's name of "Pancake" and our downstairs neighber calls her "Sugar" because she is so sweet. But the most synchronistic story is when my grandaughter came over to see her, and I said, "What should we call her?" and she said "Angel." Later that day I took off her collar and tag which we hadn't even looked at and the tag said "Angel."
I do love how Angels show up everywhere!
This is today's kitty~ another fluff ball, with a lovely elegance in those eyes~ Felix is basically a warm pillow cat, except at breakfast and dinner time. He was adopted as a kitten in 2009, has been with me through tons of ups and downs. After food his preference is to be stretched out on my legs, as long as he can go. He’s a bigish guy, at about 15 pounds and quite possibly has some Maine Coon in his system (though his mom was a tiny black shorthair, so who knows?). When he’s not getting things exactly his way he wanders the house letting us know with his “crabby tabby” meow, just a hint of gravel in his voice. Really, though, he’s just a hungry love machine.
Now, here is a cat that has gorgeous eyes, and whose eyes led to my choice of background color. I have to say I am pretty pleased with it! Some of these faces just beg for a story. Something kinda dark and dangerous, with a hint of humor for this guy- like an Indiana Jones tale...
Ella is one of those cats who loves her owner but wants everyone else to just back off. I had a tricky time getting her eyes in the right place, though I am pretty happy with all those different shades of white in her fur~
Another slight schedule change~ I didn't yet have the photo for the kitty scheduled for today, so instead I am pulling a kitty that was submitted but that hadn't made the list! So you never know what will happen in this world of Kat! I have updated the list on the first post too, here, in case you are confused about where we are... if you cat is affected by changes, I've attempted to contact you so you'll know~
At any rate, you can probably see why I chose this one, though now I'm seeing a trend in fluffy, beige cats... hmmm....
And Leo's owner has this to say~
"We got him from the AHS 4 years ago when he was about a year old. He is an American longhair with most of the characteristics of a main coon. He is tall and lean. He loves company, is very playful, but not a lapcat. He is my favorite cat of all because he, unlike my other cat, uses the scratching posts that I have strategically placed in my house instead of the furniture."
Yes, I had Gideon the African Grey set for today, but I revised that to accommodate this fella, Oswald~ and this is the first one I've struggled with this month. Hmmm. What does that mean? It's only the 6th! This is one of those lighter colored cats that sometimes causes problems with my value judgement. As in I have some trouble really seeing where areas are darker than others- I originally had the background as green, because of his green eyes, but I think it works better now- I've included the original at the bottom of the Revised List for you!
6x6 acrylic on wood
1- Waldo for Kate R
2- Blue for Sonya J
3- Basil for Alexis
4- Chimney Sweep for Cat
5- MiaoMiao for Bette J
6- Oswald for Barb
7- Smokey for Jimmy
8- Ella for Lindy
9- Pilar for Constance
10- Felix for Solveig
11- Angel for Judith Rae
12- Naldo for Joe L
13- Tigger and Trixie for Robin N
14- Buddy for Kathy P
15- Zuko the Yak for Lois, and maybe Gideon the African Grey
Another example of a cat photo that caught my eye immediately~
And here's what Cat, Chimney Sweep's one, told me~
"I found her at the Hollywood Farmers market, my first weekend in my new Hollywood home, 8 years ago. Was not planning on adopting so soon, but when I picked her up, she wrapped her arms around me and... that motor - Purrrrrrrrrr! Her first two week trial with me she was a total asshole - peeing in plants, destroying things, biting and scratching people, and trying to escape up the chimney. Hence, her name.
At the end of the two week trial, I called the rescue, telling her what a jerk this cat was, and perhaps it wasn't a good match. She assured me that Rainbow (her given name) was probably just testing me/settling in, and would I be willing to give her another two weeks? By the end of the second two weeks, you couldn't pry that snuggle bug out of my arms! And she never went up the chimney again."
Again, here's a photo of a beautiful cat that is darn near irresistible, along with the fact that Basil lives in Nashville with my cousin Alexis who is also an artist in silver jewelry (I think I attached her instagram link there...) and her hubby who is a musician in the band Halestorm~ and she hasn't sent me a note about this gorgeous cat, though I know she is planning her spring garden, which seems much closer to someone in Tennessee than someone in Minnesota, I imagine...
This is the first cat of my 30 Cats in 30 Days Daily Painting Challenge! Thanks for joining me! I'm super excited about this because it really makes me accountable for getting in some painting every day (which I usually do anyway, but this makes it more official) and also by having you out there following along and making sure I do get this done every day.
I chose this photo because Waldo's eyes are just so huge! And plus I love painting black animals. Have I mentioned that before?
The Official List for "30 Cats in 30 Days" March 2019
I've been working on this list for days, and the first thing I'll say is that it is a FLEXIBLE list.
Because I am human and I have a life and I'm being more gentle to myself, I reserve the right to squeeze two cats into one day or swap creatures around or substitute someone for someone else. Of course, I will not do that if you have already asked to buy your painting or if you've told me a special date for your painting. I really really really will do my absolute best to not miss any days, because that is the point of this entire process, and I very much appreciate your acting as a cheerleading squad/dominatrix by making me responsible for my word. So please follow along here on my blog and yell at me!
And if you expected to see your name and pet on this list but it isn't there, please email me immediately and we'll get that straightened out. Also, if you are planning on purchasing your painting, do let me know so I can mark it SOLD so someone else doesn't buy it out from under you.
This has happened before.
I'm just saying...
Oh and I've left a couple days open near the end so I can do some juggling if needed.
1- Waldo for Kate R
2- Blue for Sonya
3- Basil for Alexis
4- Chimney Sweep for
5- MiaoMiao for Bette J
6- Oswald for Barb
7- Leo for Jenneke
8- Ella for Lindy
9- Pilar for Constance
10- Felix for Solveig M
11- Bear AND George for Harper
12- Winnie for Harper
13- Tigger and Trixie for Robin N
14- Buddy for Kathy P
15- Zuko the Yak and Gideon the African Grey for Lois
This is from a Valentine's Day "Secret Cupid" thing we did at school, and I knew my secret person loves her dog and I didn't have a lot of time to go shopping so I snuck onto her facebook page and found this photo of her newest family member of a puppy and painted it and she loved it!
Okay, I just posted a bunch of new painting sessions on my Mailchimp, which you probably already get, so I'll just pop a copy of it at the end here- and I'd also love to remind you that I am working on that list for my "30 Cats in 30 Days" project which is starting THIS FRIDAY! Holy cow! It's already MARCH almost...
Here's a kitty to be getting on with~
I know, this was supposed to be posted yesterday but I ran out of energy. I know, that sounds crazy because I have endless energy! Not really~
This was a fun demo mug painting I did in my class yesterday morning, and I was so tired and my brain was a bit off, if you know what I mean, but my lovely students were incredibly supportive and amusing and possibly even amused...
We were working wit the idea of value and a change in color/gradients though I don't think I said that word. And I also realized how important it is to really pay attention to your background shapes too! Negative space is really truly important~
Another lovely wolf!
I am loving those feet- those paws- shaped like trapezoids, and the angles and bumps on those long, long legs... it would be fun to try an abstraction of this too~
I am realizing how being a creative person often means being your own curator, photographer, writer, advertiser, cataloguer, hawker, and all that... and I'm also realizing I may be needing some help with some of it. Not that I don't have helpful people and friends, and all that, but I think I may be in the market for a Virtual Assistant...
I'm starting my Pilot On-line Painting Class tomorrow, to see how that goes, and I've been having a great time learning something new. I highly recommend it!
My son just got back from Cub Scouts and is filling me in on the exciting obstacle course race they did at the meeting tonight, where they timed each other going through a course made by putting folding chairs into a maze-like formation... creativity is key here!
And here is a wolf, who lives at the Mn Zoo, in his own kind of Obstacle Course~ I'm really happy with this one- it's a different material, canvas, and a different shape too~ and I'm liking the abstraction of the background, and that lifted front foot...
We walked over to Max's friend's house this morning, after the snow day was called and we'd already been up (me because I wasn't sure that my school had called a snow day, until 5am when it was announced) shoveling and playing, and so we all walked over, less than a mile, but wow! it is so much harder walking through snow than you'd think. Max popped under a couple different pine trees, and we talked about how animals need to have spaces like this, and how it is hard for everyone to get through deep snow, critters included, and so we need to be nice to them too.
And here's another holiday present painting!
I'm really looking forward to getting in gear with this year's 30 Cats Project! I'm getting a seriously beautiful pile of pussy cats to get my teeth into, and there's still time to send in yours if you want!
And I also have openings in the Paint Your Pet Class at the Phipps this coming Sunday, the 24th! From 1-4pm, we'll be painting your favorite pet, just send me your photo ahead of time and $85 covers all materials! More info and sign up here!
Sorry for my absence yesterday! I'm working the last few bugs out of the on-line class, and also getting the list updated of some up-coming one-day classes, if you're interested in that kind of thing~ and of course, I'm also wanting to get that list together for my 30 Cats in 30 Days project! Thank you everyone for all the photos I've gotten so far! I am happy to have more! Wahoo!
I'm working towards some more rectangular panels... which means I'm talking Duane into cutting some for me~ I do love painting on squares, but those do seem best for portraits, and there's not a lot of drama you can fit into a square. Something a little longer seems more able to suggest movement. And this is an otter, who was standing on his haunches fiercely listening to something above his enclosure. I don't know what it was that had his attention, but he was so focussed it was amazing!
I need a bit of that sometimes. Focus, I mean. Often, I sit down at my laptop to work and I can't remember what it was I was going to do. I've taken to putting post-its onto the keyboard so I can make notes of what it was that I intended to work on. Otherwise, I find myself floating around the net, shopping or art-searching, or cabin-drooling....
Which reminds me! I just locked in camping at the Grand Marais Municipal Campground for the Summer Solstice Pageant, which is June 22 this year, and for the weekend of the 4th of July, because I'll be teaching a class at the Art Colony THAT weekend! ACK! I don't know HOW that's gonna go, because I don't know where people are going to stay if I had such a hard time finding a spot! But if you're interested, I'll be posting that on my website soon! Along with other closer classes and my on-line class too!
I meant to post this yesterday! Darn it- We had a GREAT class in my studio yesterday! I'll post a couple demo paintings later- and really DO try painting fabric for a challenge! It's tricky and abstract, and an exercise in paying attention.
Which is also what painting people is for me! This is my friend's daughter, for my friend's birthday which was celebrated yesterday and was such a great time for all of us! We are so lucky to have friendships with loving creative people who have kids of similar ages, and who are so in touch with their inner kid too! We all had a great time- and I gave my friend a painting of her son several years ago and intended to get one done of her daughter someday...
Yup, another otter... just can't stay away from these guys! And I don't know what they were doing, but the two of them were up and curious about something, looking way up above their enclosure for something. And I painted a few versions of this until I was finally simplified it to just the head, because there is something about the slant and that nose and that muscular neck that I love!
A sweet double commission! Those fun fluffy dogs- how to suggest curly hair with acrylic brush strokes... good question! I think it is all about looking for the shade and color changes, and trying to use the brush stroke to suggest the texture. I'm pretty happy with the eyes, above all else!
A few glitches with the on-line class- working them out- should be ready to post by this weekend! Wahoo!
So I'm trying to get more of this On-line painting class figured out, and I'm not having as much time to paint- that's the bummer about this kinda thing... not having time to learn a whole pile of new stuff about technology that I don't know!
So here is a lovely kitty from a commission in December, for your viewing pleasure! He's just got one good eye~ i was so drawn to the composition of this photo, and yes, to that shiny black coat he's sporting!
And I'll post a note as soon as I figure more of this out- I'm about ready to just invite some people to be guinea pigs and we'll run a session on-line and see what happens...
This one was a demo for a catch-up painting class at my studio yesterday, and is on a 5x5 wood panel~ it was a quickie but I have to say I am really pleased with it! Those oranges are just the greatest~ I mean the colors of orange! And it was a delight to pop those little specks of white on the top for some bling!
And i've been a bit busy trying to figure out how to create an on-line painting class for people who don't live near me, and it's taking a bit of figuring out- I'll put something out soon on my newsletter to let you know how it's going. It's a big learning curve, trying to figure this stuff out! And i'm not sure it's going to look at professional as I'd like it just yet, so this may be just the first iteration of it~
But I'm super excited about being able to try this for you!
And I'll just be pricing this one at $45 for the whole thing! So no auction, just a reasonable price- how's that?
Yeah, that just sounded good as a title when I said it in my head...
So of the three lovely snow days I just experienced, I'd say two of them were spent dealing with a pretty ferocious cold, that I now feel I am somewhat on top of... thank goodness. And now the air is a bit more fun to breathe too!
SO here is an otter for the first of February!
I love their shapes- those feet, that head, that sturdy strong muscle of a body!
I love how the trees bend over the road, and that far distant space becomes a whole into another dimension... or just the farther bit along the road there. The mystery of distance, of what lies just around the corner... that's one reason painting is so fun. You get to make your own worlds~
I'm having some fun playing with thinner layers of paint...
I'm also working on a larger piece that's taking a bit more futzing, cuz it's people...
and they is HARD!
Yes, it is very cold here- yes I am wearing a number of layers, and relaxing in front of our fireplace watching "A Fish Called Wanda" because I can. And yes, I am still painting sunsets from this weekend! Just incredible!
And hey! Its a First Friday Painting Party this weekend at the studio! 6:30-9!
And I have a couple spots left in Saturday's class if you were wondering!
Max took this photo from a pull-over spot just before Brighton Beach as we headed home from the GLA on Saturday evening- he was looking in the side mirror a lot, commenting on how beautiful it was~ "Holy COW!" kinda thing...
It is rather chilly here- and so we have no school for the next two days. We're still loving our gas fireplace but I'm feeling a little worried and think we should turn on the good old reliable furnace. I'm also thinking we do need to have some kind of furnace in the house, and that this beautiful fireplace won't work be as all-encompassing as I'd hoped...
This one is a 9x12- I'm rather pleased with it, though I still consider it a "study", so I'm making this one an auction as well~
We had a super day yesterday! Got the dogs in the car and headed up to Gooseberry Falls, where we traipsed around in the snow all the way to the great lake and Max and Duane poked at the ice and the rocks and I went a bit mommy on them ("get away from there! You'll fall in!!!" kinda thing...) and then we popped the frosty dogs back in the car and went to the visitor center (GIFT SHOP) where I cleaned the snow out of Teddy's toes and left the dogs in the car so we could trot to the top of the falls. JUST gorgeous!!! But I don't have a finished painting of those photos yet...
Then we stopped by David Gilsvik's studio to pick up a painting and were delighted with his space and his root cellar, and then Max and I went to the Great Lakes Aquarium where I took even MORE photos (and we hit the GIFT SHOP) and then we came home and made dinner and were in bed by 10~ and today we head home!
This painting is another indoor plein air painting out my dorm window at Wolf Ridge! So yes, I didn't actually paint it this morning...
And I have a NEW Painting Lessons Session starting NEXT SATURDAY MORNING! Click here for more info on that! Just a few spaces left~
Ahhhh~ snow, light, shade, branches making shapes... what more could I ask for?
If you paint something while looking at it through a window because it was minus 40 below wind-chill, does that still count as plein air?
Okay, yes it is actually Saturday now, and I didn't get this posted last night- forgive me- I will post another today! This is a wolf from our zoo again, but the color of the snow is approximately the colors of what I'm seeing where I am right now! This morning it is -6 degrees, cold enough that the dogs can only be out for a short time before their tender feet start freezing... what do wolves do?
More later! Lots of stuff I'm working on painting at the mo...
Good morning! I'm a bit further up north, enjoying some actual sub-zero temps and getting dressed to go out and play in them. I'm at Wolf Ridge in Finland, MN this weekend with our 7th graders, for a winter adventure camp- we had a bit of an adventure on the drive up, with our first bus losing a belt, requiring an hour and a half wait for the second, which didn't have a working defrost for the windshield, which meant we took it in turns to clear it for the driver, who is close to retirement and who felt terrible for all the trouble with the busses- the kids were actually really great about it!
SO this is a wolf from the MN zoo, not one that I saw up here- but I'm really enjoying these!
And a photo of me in my son's super warm hat, and the view from the ridge, and the moon through the trees last night!