Here's another acrylic sketch of a pet from Satuday- none of these took longer than 10 minutes. It is seriously great practice to try this kind of work. You get the quickest eye when you are trying to capture enough info to give the impression of what you are looking at!
Oh and I DO take a quick photo on my phone to work from- that in itself can be quite a trick, but at an event like ours where there are so many animals and people around, you can't expect a critter to sit still for you!
So we spent yesterday morning at Breck for the Blessing of the Animals event before the Homecoming celebration~ and I was so lucky to be joined by my friend and colleague, Carol Grams, as well as a talented and eager group of four upper school students and one of my elementary students who all sat and drew people's pets for them. Duane and Max and Lucas, our intrepid neighbor, came with Duane's dragon and performed with it for anyone who wanted to interact with it.
I was SO happy so many students came to help us draw!
And it was really chilly, so I was pleased to be able to stop by 11:30! Last year, I had such a line at the end that I didn't leave til after noon. It was really cold as well, and I had one family who'd been waiting and so I brought them inside to do the last painting.
This year wasn't quite that hard!
so, dang! I am trying to get this blog posted every day, and I am really having a hard time with it! I can't believe I haven't posted since last Wed! Because I had such a great time on Thursday when I went down to hand out awards at the Watercolor Society Show at the Ames Center! The celebration was from 6 to 8 with presentations at 7, and I drove mom's Cabrio Convertible down because I've been driving that a lot lately. Our van is deteriorating rapidly and I wanted Duane to have the safer CRV for driving the boy around, so I was using mom's 2000 Cabrio, which is certainly fun but also a bit quirky...
Anyway, there were a lot of people there for the presentation, and I had sat down earlier in the day, looking through the photos I'd taken on my phone at the ones I'd chosen for the awards because I wanted to make sure I had something to say about each one. I felt I wanted to take this job seriously and make it clear that I was a professional as well as an artist. I can be goofy and fun, but I also want to be respected. There's a difference between being seen as Phoebe on "Friends" and being seen at Kat Corrigan, artist and educator.
At 7, Theresa, the organizer and hanger of the show, got on the microphone to quiet every one down and get started, and that took a minute or two, then I got on and thanked everyone for coming and talked about how I paint on black, and so to see a show like this with so much light in it is quite wonderful. I wanted to make sure everyone who had a piece new that this was a great thing to do, and I had a list of several quotes from Robert Genn that I read off- this was one of them, because it was a crowd of people my age or older mostly...
"As we grow older, we realize just how limiting were our earlier conceptions. Art is something else. Art is fluid, transmutable, open-ended, never complete, and never perfect. Art is an event."
And I closed my general remarks with this one... "Keep busy while you are waiting for something to happen."
I wanted everyone there to also understand how brave it is to out your work out into the world, to let other people see that part of you of which you are so proud. And I also said that I would be sticking around after the awards if anyone wanted to talk to me about their own piece, oh and I also said I'd had a really hard time settling on the final 10 pieces, and that there were 20 pink post-it notes around the room under the first go around...
And it was really fun!
I had many people come up to me afterwards to tell me I had done a really great job, and that they learned something from my explanation of what I'd seen in each artist's work. I felt really great about that. I knew I couldn't make everyone happy, but I wanted to keep the "my work is terrible" mindset out of there.
So I had a great time, and drove the little Cabrio home cautiously. The ABS light was on the whole way, and I drove as slowly as I dared up Cedar Ave. We have since found that there's a great pile of rust under the hood, and that the poor little car will probably not survive any kind of a hit or jolt. Poop. I love driving that little sparkle car! I'll get a photo of it and put it in here tomorrow.
So here's a cat commission for you to look at!
This is the time to get your pets in if you're hoping for a Christmas present of a pet portrait!
SO... this is actually from yesterday...
I juried a beautiful show yesterday afternoon, at the Ames Center in Burnsville, MN. I have been asked to act as a juror before, but that time, there were three of us and we looked at all the images on a computer. This show was for the MN Watercolor Society, and I was honored and excited to be invited. I was also a bit nervous, and wanted to make sure I was taking this situation as seriously as possible, while also keeping myself open for the intuitive call of art. I made a list of what I'd be considering as I perused the work and here it is...
1- What calls to me visually~ Beauty/ Emotional Response
2- Composition/ movement/ flow
4- Technical Skill
And even as I write my list, I find myself second-guessing myself. I am a person who has worked for most of my life to listen to myself. When I was younger, I found it easier to let other people tell me what I should think, and I've worked darn hard to get to a point where I know my opinion counts, so being asked to act as a juror means I've got to be confident of what I'm saying and presenting. And I also am aware of the overconfidence of bullies, who simply push their opinion onto other people with no remorse, and I do not want to be that.
As it stands, I am sure I've done a good job, and I am as sure that people will find fault with my decisions. So, that's what it means to actually make a decision, isn't it?
Here's a bigger one I'm working on- I've painted this wolf a number of times, and this photo at least twice before. There's something I love about the body gesture, there's a vulnerability there, the tail tucked low, the hindquarters dropping into a defensive crouch. But the eyes are open and the nose is leading forward, as that front paw delicately reaches out, paused and waiting to see if the way is safe...
I've used a new brush for this one, and I'm not sure I like it. I was really excited to get some larger brushes but they aren't being quite as fun as I'd hoped...
And here is the little partner fawn to yesterday's sweetie....
I have said this before, and it still stands true- I love painting animal butts! It's those angles and curves of the haunches more than anything- I'm not sure why that draws me in so much, but it sure does!
I'll have this little guy at my studio next weekend for the LOLA Art Crawl! Come on by! 10-5 Sat and Sun, I'm at the Ivy Building, 2637 27th Ave S, studio #210!
I'm a little anxious today- I've experienced a few terrible Friday the 13ths, and am keeping my eyes open and my heart wide today...
I also just saw this article from the Washington Post about a photographer, Vincent J Musi, who retired from Natl Geo to take dog portraits... pretty awesome. Take a look if you get a chance!
And this is a commission I completed this summer- I don't think I posted it yet- I love the ones I get to paint of friends. It's tricky to get a good photo of two dogs at the same time- one is always looking away or something. These two have a connection. And the ears were so fun to paint!
Really, I honestly am trying to post every day.
Wow, it is way harder when I am not doing a daily painting project! I've got a pile of commissions I'm painting, which is a total joy, but which doesn't leave me to time to post about them. I do need to look into a personal assistant, or an intern or something...