Friday, November 27, 2009

An Oil Painting for Today

"Give a Dog a Bone"
6" x 8"
oil painting on canvas board
This is a new friend's dog, Jak.  I had many photos to choose from, but this one says alot about Jak - and a lot about dogs and their bones. You can see in his face, how much he loves his bone and how proud he is of it.  Don't forget your furry friends this holiday season!  They love the smallest of gifts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

As Thanksgiving arrives in the U.S., it reminds me of how close it is to the end of another year.  Hope you are like me and find many things to be thankful for today (and everyday). 


“Wild  Turkeys  on  the  Loose”

9” x 12”

oil on canvas board

Purchase info at my Etsy store.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Painting for Today

bengal  “Bengal Kitten”
6” x 6”
oil on canvas board
Hope you are at home in the U.S., relaxing with a little time off, getting ready for Turkey Day!
For purchase info - please visit my post on The Art of Rescue blog. A portion of the sale of this painting will be donated to the ASPCA.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pastel Trio on Velour

bear1 bear2
bear3Three BIG bears in one frame form a divided triptych.  Each bear image measures 3 5/8” x 6” and are done in pastel on velour paper.  The bears at Cheyenne Mtn. Zoo were up to performing the day I had my camera ready as I rounded the hill approaching their enclosure. 
They were ready for me and not at all shy!
They are matted in black with a 8” X 16” frame with glass. 
bearsall“A Variation on Bears” 
8” x 16”
pastel on velour

Where I Stand Sunday

Just about every year, when the rains are heavy, our lower property gets flooded. We know what causes a lot of the problem.  We also have a ‘well’ located in the area that gets flooded…so to alleviate some of our concerns, we have been working on clearing the log and limb jams from the unkempt creek area as it winds it’s way through our wooded property.  With (can't believe I had the word "out" right here - glad I have a proofreader!) use of tractor, chain, chainsaw, and lugging big pieces out of the way – we are making headway against the elements.  Below are some of the way it is and the way it was…we still have many to unjam…but while it’s still not too cold and not snowing or raining we will chop away at it, little by little.
creekjam creekjam2
creekjam3 creekjam4
Interesting what you find in the creek.  Old tires, aluminum drums…there is more littering in this area today, as well as yesterday, there doesn’t seem to be an ordinance against it.  That big pointed log, is one that we drug out with the tractor.  Part of the problem is the trees growing right in the creek…they are slowly being taken down, also.  Painting?  I’m doing some. On my way to the studio right now!
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on this post telling me where I can find you/your photo and I'll add a link to my sidebar so others can find you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Studying Van Gogh

On her blog "Following the Masters", Michelle Burnett creates a monthly internet challenge for artists.  This month's challenge is to copy or paint in a style like Vincent Van Gogh.  There are many romantic myths about Van Gogh, however, I mostly think about his ability to use dynamic color and his creation of an 'unforgettable style' in his paintings.  He was a true master of his craft.  Most of his success was gained due to the amount of sketching that he accomplished.  It reminds me of how important sketching is to improving and to 'seeing' what you want to communicate in your art.  To assist him at his easel, he kept a 'perspective frame' made from a small wooden frame with strings stretched across it - a visual grid.

The National Gallery of London found these nine colors in an 1889 Van Gogh landscape:
zinc white, cobalt blue, ultramarine, emerald green, viridian green, lead white, chrome yellow, chrome orange and vermilion.  I attempted to create my painting using these colors on my pallette. His stable of colors were even less numbered in his earlier years.  Actually, I am sure they didn't have a color named "chrome" anything in 1889 since chrome plating was first used on the Model A in the 1920's.  But I imagine the color they are looking at on his 1889 landscape, LOOKS like chrome yellow and chrome orange.  One can appreciate how far modern chemistry has improved color brilliance and viscosity in oil paint, although I imagine paint of those days were much more organic than now.

To me, one of his biggest contributions to the Impressionists Movement was his use of 'broken color'.  This is where he laid two (often complementary) colors next to one another - unblended.  The viewers eye would then, mix the colors - from afar.  Look closely at some of his tree paintings, and you will see the placement of these dabs of side by side complementary colors.  (OK, so my colorwheel was spinning and spinning on this one.)

Perhaps the saddest part about his life is he only sold one painting during his lifetime.  One of my favorite reads is "Lust for Life" (about Vincent) by Irving Stone.  A movie was made with Kirk Douglas which follows the book, but like many movies, the book is 'way' better.  Yes, he lead a tragic and painful life, but the beauty he must have seen to paint as he did, indicates there was something more to him than is written.

"PatRice's Chair"
6" x 6"
oil on wrapped canvas
In painting this one, I looked at two of his "chair" paintings, "VanGogh's Chair" and "Gauguin's Chair", taking the elements I liked in each and used my own chair for the prop.  After looking at the photo, there are some things I didn't do quite "VanGogh-ish" enough.  His outline of his subject was a thinner/darker line.  I think perhaps the small size of my canvas compromised that bold outline from happening.  This one was a fun challenge. I think I could paint like him - alot...because I like that outlining and the more limited palette.  His perspective is interesting to study, also.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Where I Stood...

Been to the Dane Hansen Museum in Logan, Kansas, probably four times. Passed by this interesting bit of history all 4, but this time, noticed it.  I have been nearby for several plantings of time capsules - especially working in schools. Makes me think of the capsule my daughter and I created back in the late 70's by adding items, photos, names to a jar and placing it in the wall of the unfinished basement we were beginning to finish.  I wonder if it's still there?  I wonder if anyone remodeled and found it?

I won't be around for the opening of this one. You neither, huh? Just thinking of how fast our world changes as we bound forward into the future it will, for sure, be a treat for someone.

A 4 day workshop with Kaye Franklin was just perfect - got a lot of painting done and watched some incredible demos!  I seem to take one from Kaye, each year for the last 3 (that doesn't count going to Guatemala with her).  The other big 'plus' to workshops - whatever genre the workshop pertains to,  you come away with more wondering and knowing than when you went into it.  I come away with some new thinking each time. Touching base with old friends and meeting new ones is also a plus, especially for where I am living. 

Stacy, who lives in Logan has spent the last several months, cleaning out, fixing/refurbishing the upstairs over the City Offices to make a gallery/studio. We visited it, it's almost ready for her to begin really enjoying the hard work she has put into it.

I love the high ceilings, and the new track lighting. She also has new heat, AC and fresh plumbing.  The other nice thing was seeing her storage closet.  I want one like that...but I will take what I see and maybe we can tweak mine - please.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Landscape Oil Painting for Today

"Williams Fork Bend"
9" x 12"
oil painting on canvasboard
DH and I did some RVin near here in September.  This has been on my "to do" list.
Started it yesterday, finished it today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Oil Painting for Today

"All in a Day's Graze"
9" x 12"
oil on canvasboard
This is one of the Belgian's that live close by.  They are unbelievably beautiful!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Portrait in Pastel

millerman “The High Life
16” x 20'” pastel on Strathmore paper
I have many portfolios, filled with attempts at portraits in particular.  Got this one out the other day, as I happened across it’s source photo while preparing for the class I taught a few weeks ago.  I remember I had at one time, really “messed it up” and put it away, chalking (tongue in cheek)it up to helpless…but one grows and thinks differently about these things as time goes by.  Got going on it again these last few days and voila – it may need just a little more…but right now it is FULL of pastel pigment so I need to stop, or use fixative, which I really don’t like to use.  This is my dad and such a likeness.  The photo I used was taken at our Gray Family Reunion many years ago.
P.S. - Where I Stand Sunday will be here in the studio - if "harvest" continues tomorrow, otherwise, working on the house in town...getting it ready for ????   So no 'Where I Stand' post...sorry.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Acrylic Painting

octoberstrees“October Trees”
6” x 8” acrylic on canvas board
Email me if interested in purchasing this one.

Done from my own photo of trees in my woods.
Possibly painting with acrylics again, soon!
Working on some new ideas. 
Opened my “Artists” magazine today and read…”I placed less value on submissions that didn’t show much variance from what you’d get if you placed a photo on a photocopier, pressed the ‘copy’ button and then added a signature.”  Animal/Wildlife juror David N. Kitler
What are your thoughts on that quote?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


There has been a doe and twins - White Tailed Deer hanging around, but like the turkeys, we haven’t seen them in awhile.  Yesterday, this visitor happened through the yard.  I think it may be one of the twins.
deer1 deer2deer3
deer5These are taken from the window…Notice that flying white tail. When they go bounding and bouncing across the landscape these bright white tails are like a pointing finger.  HERE….WE…ARE!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Where I Stand Sunday (or where I stood yesterday)

When the weather is as nice as yesterday, one could not resist scouting out around the 7 + acres where we live to see what has been going on during the wet and dark days/weeks we have had lately.  Stopping off at the edge of the wheat field, I noticed this on the ground – not the big rock, but what look like little rocks right near the pole.  If you are squeamish about mushy and gushy kinds of things (that some would consider gross), then look no further.  I must warn you, some may find it not fun to look at or think about. 
From Wikipedia: "A pellet, in ornithology, is the mass of undigested parts of a bird's food that some bird species occasionally regurgitate. The contents of a bird's pellet depend on its diet, but can include the exoskeletons of insects, indigestible plant matter, bones, fur, feathers, bills, claws, and teeth. In falconry, the pellet is called a casting.
The passing of pellets allows a bird to remove indigestible material from its proventriculus, or glandular stomach. In birds of prey, the regurgitation of pellets serves the bird's health in another way, by "scouring" parts of the digestive tract, including the gullet. Pellets are formed within six to ten hours of a meal in the bird's gizzard (muscular stomach)."
As a teacher, we sometimes allowed kids the task of dissecting owl pellets, scientifically – which were ordered from a source that collected them.   I had found my OWN pellet, right here on our land!
DSC_0533There’s the evidence.  You can see the tiny mouse bones. This pellet had just been deposited, it was still wet..because of the time of day I discovered it, it was most likely left by a hawk, which we have plenty of in the area.  Owls are around too, but mostly after sunset.DSC_0529This is very interesting to me.  I like living where I do, it is like a Science Closet. 
DSC_0570Like lichen growing on the trees…
DSC_0580Or researching weird looking weeds…
DSC_0566Or imagining who lives here and wanting to just sit and watch…
DSC_0577Many a Halloween I walked neighborhood streets with my friends Trick or Treating and later, really enjoyed seeing the delight on my daughter’s face as she went door to door as a little one…but I think I liked this Halloween ‘walk’ the best.
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on this post telling me where I can find you/your photo and I'll add a link to my sidebar so others can find you.

Happy 17th Blogiversary to ME

 I would like to admit, it's still here, I'm still here and it's still worthy of my attention - although sporadic.   Here are a ...