I've painted a larger version of this one, and still love it! This one is 8x10 on hardboard panel, and can be yours!
Darn it- Max fell on top of my head earlier today, getting out of a weeping willow by the lake, and my glasses got bent and now I'm having trouble with my vision... ack. Lovely~
It is a bit tricky painting white onto a black gessoed ground, because you have to soften it and build up the gentle shading required~ and when the dog is also an elegant grey, black and white beauty like Frida, it adds to the challenge.
I do often prefer head shots to full body paintings, especially on a small scale like this because I don't always feel enough detail reads true, but I'm pretty pleased with this.
It was another amazingly busy and also frustrating weekend! Still having a hard time learning all the tech stuff I need to know, though I've been starting to forgive myself a bit, as I start to remember that I agreed to take on an extra class last fall, my Upper School Draw/Paint class, without knowing I'd need to turn it into an on-line course 3/4 of the way through the year... so that on top of my usual classes, plus all the new systems makes a little more sense as I flounder through this.
SO on Friday I had a lovely bit of grace, tuning into a Zoom meeting for the 19th Annual Poet Artist Collaboration through Red Wing Arts starting at 7pm. I jumped in when I was able and I just screen shot this part with poet Florence Dacey reading her poem, Prarie Smoke, on which I based this painting of three boys, wild and loving~
So I spent part of yesterday (or was it the day before?) attempting to film some bits for an online lesson in plein air painting, and this is the painting I painted. I haven't put the video together yet, and I'm losing track of days, obviously...
Wow. Some things just don't get easier, do they?
This one is 12x12 and I like it~
Usually, I spend this time of year getting ready to head north for what has become a traditional weekend retreat/worktime/ start of my visual year. My mom and I have been going up to the Grand Marais Art Colony for about thirty years, long ago for a week long session in the summer, and then since around 2000 for a spring extended weekend. Elizabeth Erickson has been the star in our firmament, our gide in these mentored weekends for many many years and last year was her first year NOT in attendance, and so me and two other participants recommended by Elizabeth led the class. We were looking forward to doing this again this year, and of course as with so many people's plans, things are changed.
SO this painting represents for me that space, that atmosphere, that giant breathing presence of the lake. I am really sad.
Oh and it was very hard to get a good photo of this! I may try again, because the right side is a little too dark. I love the translucent green of the short little waves and I think the color doesn't read as true.
This is a sweet little otter, one of the ones I love fvrom the MN zoo~ I painted it as a demo of how to use a grid to create a painting and I'll pop the video link in too in case you want to have a laugh at our home life- guest visits by Bunny and Max~
And here's another squirrel for today~ they seem to come in pairs.
I thought I'd really be able to get to work on painting people this month, but I am floundering a bit. I'm just more engulfed in figuring out how to teach art and collect homework and give comments online with my students than I thought I'd be, and I'm finding myself most mornings having a tearful half hour or so before I can wrestle my optimism back up and be ready for a Zoom or Google.Meet with my students. This is a steep learning curve. Sometimes I am so frustrated, I can't keep the tears from coming. I hate not knowing the best way to connect with my students, or how to use Google Classroom to create assignments, and then getting notes from my kids that something isn't working or that they can't get their photo to upload just crushes me. I want this to be a beautiful and fun experience for them, like it is in my art room! Ah well. We're all learning a lot right now.
And it will be all right, one day again~
I'm also honestly having a hard time painting too- I didn't like today's squirrel so I'm reposting a painting from last spring of Cedar Lake~
Free shipping on this one! And a lower price too!
I think Duane or mom took this photo last December as they were running mom's paintings up north to the Tettegouche Visitor Center for her solo show there, or maybe on the run up to the Johnson Heritage Center in Grand Marais for her show there-
In Two Harbors, the deer live close to the humans.
This is today's painting, and I'm liking it~ it's from one of my favorite photos of Max, I think this was for his passport~
I love how he's trying to not quite smile!
I don't know if that comes off in the painting or not...
Went for a really long walk yesterday, after a long one in the morning, and took some photos of Lake Hiawatha on the south side, just after crawling through the fence and wandering across the golf course with 2 11 year olds and their scooters and a pug...
Max loves Bunny. Bunny loves racing around after Max but I'm not sure she always trusts him to treat her gently... he IS eleven years old. I am really happy that he has her as a pal and a buddy and a playmate right now, since he can't goof around with his friends who happen to be people. That's possibly the toughest part of this. He can't play legos or have a cardboard sword fight or play tag or hide and seek with anyone except his dad and me. And I don't think we quite have the stamina of his friends. Zoom has been helping.
I hope you are figuring out ways to stay connected!
This one is Max's to hang in his room with the other painting I've done of his beloved pets.
This is a photo of Max from a couple years ago, out at the Minnesota River Valley. Today is just about as blustery and we just got back from a reluctantly short walk because of how cold it suddenly is! I had a busy day with my on-line students and setting up more classwork for them, and learning more about google docs and google slides and all that. Whew.
We are on a shelter-in-place order right now, and I was just reading about New Zealand and how well they've been doing, and I hope we can keep this order going. I don't mind walking around with a mask on, though I've learned that I need to pull my hair up first, and tie it so it sits under my glasses so I don't blind myself with steam. I'm sure you are all learning new things too.
One thing I do know about humans is that we are amazingly adaptive.
This is Comet, and his owners won this painting through the Whisker Whirl Fundraiser at the Golden Valley Humane Society, and I went over to meet them and took several photos of Comet, who was NOT happy with me being there, but I liked this one! So now I have to figure out the best way to deliver this painting to them, since they live in an older people's apartment complex, and I don't want to introduce any viruses to them...
SO maybe I wait for a month or two...
Though I AM always ready and willing to paint a commission for YOU! And I can wrap them in plastic and mail them to you, and you can leave the painting sit in your garage or porch for a week, which should take care of any suspect particles...
Hope you are maintaining a sense of humor!
I'm repainting this one, from the April 3 post, closer up to his face so I can work on the detail more. I'm appreciating this time to do this work, and am experiencing massive amounts of frustration from just the number of hours I'm having to spend on the screens these days- I tried to take the weekend off, sort of, but that really doesn't work when the only way to see people is ON the screen. SO. I'm taking screenshots, and I may start painting from those...
I also wasn't intending on selling these, but I've had some questions about them, so I'll be offering them as an auction, starting at $25 and including tax and shipping-
Today I had another Paint Love online class, and we've decided to use Zoom instead of Jitsi for now. It's just so different online. I actually don't like seeing myself the entire time... ack.
And so this week is One-Stroke-Per-Color week, and I painted this painting of Max using that method.
And I'm probably going to go back in and adjust some things, like the darkness of his eyes... something is off there...
Here's the person painting from yesterday- I'm tripping over my sense of time here! Getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and then getting up when the dogs need to go out at 6:30am, keeps me on my toes!
Max and I were doing an Easter project where we were marbling paper eggs using shaving cream and paint... that's what he's doing in this one...
And I'm still having issues with the delicate facial features, so I may stick with just heads for a few days, to see if I can get that better resolved....
He's wearing his favorite tiedyed t shirt we made last summer.
Okay, this is actually what I painted yesterday, but wowzers~ it's been a much steeper learning curve around here than I realized it would be, to get my Breck kids art classes up and running online... still tripping and stumbling over myself to figure it out, but here is a video and my first person of the month, which is Max, who turned 11 on Tuesday and who is in a tree near Lake Nokomis when I took this photo, a big collection of trees with some fun hollows in them big enough for people to fit into.
I took this photo last winter at our holiday sale at my friend Bridget's house and I love her kitty! This was a demo painting for my 8th graders as we worked through our acrylic painting unit, and I finally finished it yesterday. I was a bit too crazy yesterday to post though, as it was a workshop day for my school and also my only son's 11th birthday, and we wanted it to be as special as possible.
SO I'll be doing another painting today, April 1st, and posting it a little later- I want to paint a person a day for the month of April, and that's something I'm working on getting better at too, so I'll maybe make a video of it as well... so you can watch me struggle!