Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Day 28 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days


7 1/4" x 5 1/2" (small)
pastel on plein air board

Rhinoceros is a symbol of gentleness and peace.
They are powerful, steady and agile.

This rhino was an interesting study in those creases and folds.
Didn't want to do ALL of em. I am into suggesting
these details lately, and I think it works.
Everyone knows that a rhino is wrinkly - right?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Day 27 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

(on hold)
8" x 12"
pastel and watercolor on Colourfix Plein Air Painting
Board (Multimedia) by Art Spectrum

I found a new surface, that I didn't even know was so wonderful.
Just before I took a big break from doing art, I ordered 
these boards as I was taking a class
and was tired of gluing the paper
to a foamcore board.

These are so wonderful!!  They accept the watercolor so well, and then putting 
pastel on TOP, is like painting on butter (or at least a 
really super pastel surface as far as I am 
concerned).  I love how this one turned out.
The photo does not show the color of the background like it
really is, must be the time of day I took the photo.

Raven - genus Corvus
(and there is no consistent distinction between a crow
and a raven, although I read somewhere about the tail feathers
being of different lengths)
brings messages from the divine to the mortal world.
In the order of Bards and Druids, raven is symbolic
of a Black Hole in Space which draws
energy toward itself and releases it in 
new forms. (I like that explanation!)

This is another one of my favorite animals.
So mystical and mesmerizing to watch.

  AR - Pixabay

Monday, February 26, 2018

Day 26 of Painting 30 Paintings in 3 Days

8" x 7"
pastel and pastel pencil on Canson Mi Tientes paper

Today, I revisited my OLD way of doing pastels of animals.
I used to silhouette the animal, vignetting it in a sort of way,
without background objects or color of the space around it.
I let the colored paper do that work.
(As I look at this photo, I see something I need to do, oh well,
that is for tomorrow.)

Canson used to ALWAYS be my 'go to' substrate.
So today was a very cushy time at the drawing table.
That had to be - because prior to that I was tackling 
a pastel that wasn't working at all.

The photo reference for this is used with permission
by photographer Riaan Human.

Here is the pastel with an 11" x 14" matboard around it.

Cheetahs are fighters and have strong survival instincts, although it's interesting
to note, most don't reach adulthood. Why? You ask?  
According to studies (in one article I read of one in captivity), 
female cheetahs are terrible mothers.  But upon 
connecting with the photographer in Africa
he wrote, 
"Do not agree with the studies that Cheetahs are bad mothers.
Have followed them in the wild many times and believe them to be wonderful mothers.
Unfortunately they have to compete with and contend with lions, leopards
and other carnivores who does not think twice about killing a cub if they get a chance."

They are a symbol of:

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Day 25 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Sea Turtle"
12" x 12"
acrylic on wrapped canvas

Sea turtles have a long life span.
Because of this, they symbolize

Not that I would have, I remember the locals WARNING you
not to bother them on the beach, several years ago 
at Kona Beach Resort in Hawaii.

They were a sight to see and watch.
Went snorkeling from the beach
and it was a treat to see them
underwater, as well as the beach!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Day 24 of 30 Paintings in 3 Days

Purchase info
9" x 5.25"
graphite/water on Yupo paper

(If you know me, you have probably been wondering, well, when is she going
to paint a WOLF?)

Wolf is my very, very favorite wild animal.
I built a grade 1-2 thematic unit on "Wolves" when I taught
at the elementary level.
I wanted to increase awareness and empathy for wild animals -
along with teaching about family/clan/pecking order and protection of 
wild animal groups.  Kids ALWAYS really enjoyed it! (Me too!)

Wolf is the ultimate positive symbol of guardianship, ritual, loyalty
and firm emotional attachments.  They trust their own intuition
and instincts.

They represent:

This piece IS a painting.  I used graphite aquarelle which are
graphite pencils that are water soluble.

I was searching for a substrate today, was going to paint in acrylic,
but needed a canvas and they are still in the moving trailer.
It is soooo windy here, I didn't even want to open the big back door
so found my Yupo, which I have never had much success with. Many people
use alcohol inks on it - not me.  It also mentioned pencil, acrylic, watercolor etc. etc. 
I thought I could paint on it with something other than inks. 
The aquarelle graphite worked - voila!
It is 100% polypropylene and my pad is heavyweight pages of 144 lb. weight.

The other art tool I used is a Molotow One4All acrylic pen in white 
(for the eye sparkle - gotta have that eye sparkle - otherwise, dead eyes!)

During my entire time in the studio there are two others who live there,
that really enjoy my company.  We have lots of brushing, petting, and play time.

Meeka - who is so big and round and fluffy and loves her new window view.
And Pyewacket who is also quite round..and is a Hemingway kitty, 6 toes.
She loves to sit on her cat tower and look over my shoulder as I work.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Day 23 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 6"
pastel on pumiced and underpainted gatorboard

Their armor alone, should tell us lots about them..
defense, protection and a guarded disposition.

7 more to go!

For some amazing art to see go to Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 blog.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Day 22 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

10" x 10"
oil paint on canvasboard

This one turned out really well, I think, I found this great brush in my
stash of art brushes that 
'flick fuzzy feathers fairly fast'!
How's that for alliteration?  I have been enjoying finding the more obscure
creatures that have meaning to us humans in this challenge.
Vulture was so fun to paint.
Dilemma on this one, where to sign my name, there are
such good feathers at the bottom, and I am not sure signing
on the top of the painting is going to look right.

AS a symbol, to the Mayan mind the vulture was observed as a death eater. As a consumer of death, the Mayan felt the vulture could also convert death to life. So, the vulture was considered a symbol of cleansing , renewal and transformation. It's also associated with water and the vulture controls the rain. (got that from googling 'vulture as a symbol')

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Day 21 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

8" x 10"
oil on wrapped canvas

Tiger is a powerful reminder of overcoming fears and obstacles by reclaiming your place of power.
Tiger imagery represents the ability to manage strong emotions more effectively (says Google).

Painting went much better today.  I like the way this one turned out.  As a daily painting it is OK by me.

Here are photo I thought to take as I worked today:
I started with a canvas that had been tinted Azo yellow gold acrylic.
I sketched the tiger with a raw sienna and smallish brush.

Usually I paint darks first, but sometimes I get anxious to see how bright I will
be able to get the lightest lights so darks and lights happening simultaneously.

I am pushing myself to see other colors in the animals that
I am painting this month.  Some underpainting needs to happen 
to have this be successful. Had to get the background going, running
it into the figure helps to make continuity to the line and brushwork.

At this point, I walked.  I needed to go to town to food shop
and go to the post office. It was definitely time to think.  The painting
is almost all cool color.

Good that I went for a Jeep ride and played
my LOUD house music.  I processed this painting
 on my journey to town, what I needed. 
Came back and worked on mixing some color to warm it up a bit.
I painted those white areas, many, many times to get it to read right and 
those whiskers were fun!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Day 20 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

5" x 7"
oil on canvasboard

Today I hit the wall - big time. My thumbs are so cracked and sore
from pastel (and no I can't wear gloves - can't hold the pastel like I want to)
so I switched to a brush.  I have spent years when all I painted in
was oil paint.  It is my old reliable friend...but wait, I haven't used them
in forever.  And today it was 'wipe it off' and restart twice before
I got something going and I still don't like it.  One thing
I will admit, you just can't get the pop of color from 
oil paint like you can pastel!

Anyway, lesson learned.  Cold turkey with an old friend doesn't
always work.

Bad photo to boot - because it is almost dark outside and paint shined - 
colors don't read right.

Anyway enough of my rant.
Rabbit symbolizes fertility, sentiment, desire and
procreation.  Boy - do they procreate.

Also represents SPRING - sometime it will come.
Here in the high country probably not as soon as the rest of the world.

But bring it on, with lots of spring showers! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Day 19 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 8"
pastel on pumiced and tinted gatorboard

A badger stops at nothing to get what it wants
and is a reminder to us to be persistent in our pursuits.

It is fiercely independent and can be aggressive
which is a lesson to us to stand our ground
and make our presence known.

This painting is of a European badger, as a kin to
the American badger.

Although, I have known a badger
to be quite a sleuth and play dead
when you come upon it quickly and note, that a
badger is a badger.

They dig great holes in the earth to tunnel 
for a den wherever they want - usually
in the side of a hill on a roadside or right IN the road. 
We had two holes right below our mailbox 
on the road
about the time we were moving out of our farmstead home
in the countryside of north central Kansas.
One had to step carefully when you were around that area so
as not to fall or twist your ankle in the holes. 
The holes are truly larger than your foot.

You can bury the hole that a badger has dug, 
but I found it will eventually come
back and dig the hole again in almost the same spot.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

DAY 18 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Purchase info
8" x 11"
watercolor and pastel on Art Spectrum

Giraffe is your symbol for expanding your psychic awareness
and getting your ready to take on all tasks.
I feel like that could be me today, but so much to do outside and the
wind is crazy strong.

Giraffe is also noted to be gentle of spirit 
but strong on kick!  I would imagine in the wild
a giraffe has not much else to defend itself with.  

This one went together very quickly and I purposely
left some spaces unworked to let the
underpaint show through.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Day 17 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

pastel on azo gold tinted and pumiced gatorboard

King of the Jungle - right?  The Lion King!
Perhaps the top wild animal who has
symbolic meaning to
so many cultures.

Powerful, courageous, noble, supreme strength, leader,
fearless and brave - these all tell the story of LION.

I don't know if it's because I am really pushing hard to try solidify a few things
in what I am doing and the colors I am using or ??  But these
are getting more difficult.  When I think of the decisions that I make
when I do a painting right now- WOW!  By the end of it, my mind is whirling
and I really have to force myself to say, "That's enough."

Friday, February 16, 2018

DAY 16 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 8"
pastel on gatorboard

Bear - a symbol of courage, physical strength and leadership.
Mother Bear - the ultimate protector.

Sort of hit the wall today.  Not happy with the background.
Had it going, then 'noodled' it too much
and lost my chance of freshness.
Wiping it off, usually ruins it when I do it -
wiped it two or three times.
But, have to move on!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

AT THE HALFWAY POINT - DAY 15 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

11" x 9"
pastel on gatorfoam board, pumiced and underpainted

Squirrel - - - ask anyone, most will state they see them as a real pain in the ass.
They dig up bulbs, they tease the pets, they eat from the bird feeder - but as a
symbol (think about it) they are planners, observers and entertainers.
They are true treasure hunters and carry their fair amount of charm.
I love their little paws and digits.

SEE more 30 in 30 paintings 
from other artists at 

Today is the halfway point - YAY!  Although I prepped 
my reference material, so I wouldn't waste time
each day pondering what to paint.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Day 14 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 8"
pastel on pumiced and underpainted gatorboard

When you ride them, you can get that feeling of
freedom.  They also are a symbol of travel, movement and desire.

I have always been completely head over heels about horses.
Never owned one, but have always wanted to.
Used to go riding at the horseback riding stables every weekend
I could when I was young.

Love visiting other peoples stables and barns where there are horses.
I envy those that are horse owners.

Painted from my own reference from Litchfield Wild Burro and Horse
facility in California.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Day 13 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Purchase info
6" x 6"
pastel on gatorboard (again)

Otters are symbolic of 

Right up my alley!  Due to their affinity to water
the are said to symbolize HEALING (pure and cleansing water).

The power of the otter in a spirit animal sense,
is in knowing that you have to take care of yourself FIRST
in order to BE of use to someone else.

I never knew this until I researched it this morning.
I have new respect for the OTTER, don't you?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Day 12 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Cardinals Appear When Angels are Near" so the saying goes. 

purchase info
5" x 7"
pastel and pencil on pumiced and underpainted Gatorboard

This little portrait of a red cardinal is a reminder
that we're never far apart from our departed loved ones.
They show up when we are remembering them the most 
and their spirit will help the person live on in your heart.

As a symbol, I have experienced this one 
a bunch.  There was JUST a pair at my farmstead in Kansas.
JUST two, male and female.  Always there, always calling one another,
never far apart.  My mom passed about 6 years ago, and my dad just over a year.  
I always believed these birds were there to remind me 
of how much my parents were loved and vice versa.

Just in time for Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

DAY 11 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

4" x 6" (small)
mixed media on Art Spectrum mounted on foamcore

What good is a pigeon?  If you live in or have visited a large
city, you know they are considered by many
as a menace.  Just like many domesticated
animals, they will stay where the food is.

The Pigeon is the world's oldest domesticated bird.  They
live all over the planet.  They have excellent
navigation, are trainable and are smart messengers.

As a symbol, they represent HOME.

When visiting NYC several years ago, I couldn't help but
be fascinated with the amount of pet homing pigeon
huts and cages on rooftops.  It is a big sport there.  
Pigeons in the parks?  Not such a fan. I can see
where people get irritated with them. However,
I see beauty in them, their coloration and
their physique/stockiness are interesting, plus the 
fact that they are smart and can be trained.  This one 
was fun to paint.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

DAY 10 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

11" x 8 1/4"
mixed media on Art Spectrum

When life changed and we decided to move from KS back to CO, I was in the midst
of an online workshop "Merging Watercolor with Pastels" with Tonja Sell.  
They were wonderful lessons - and I loved the technique, it was a perfect
jumping off spot for me...always looking for something new to try
and different.

Again, I have to emphasize, an artist is always working -   in     their     mind,
if not at the drawing table or the easel.
I had a couple of surfaces prepared to use in my lessons and decided today
I would push some of what my mind was thinking about over time to one 
of these surfaces,
 some of the DOING I just mentioned.

Lizards - you either love them or you don't.  FOR ME - I am always drawn to 
them because they remind me of dinosaurs. The series of Jurassic Park books and movies are 
some of my very favorites.  This lizard sort of reminds me of a Raptor from JP.
It is stylized, I did not paint it PC...for that reason.  I was going for more fantasy.

But as symbols 
Lizards represent solitude,

My mix of media was colored pencils, watercolor, hot glue stencils and other
stencil materials, watercolor in pan and pencil, paint pens and pastels.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Day 9 of Painting 3- Paintings in 30 Days

5" x 7"
pastel on tinted and pumiced Gatorfoam Board

This one was finished after dark, I don't paint well when I no longer
have natural light.  Not an excuse, but definitely prove it
to myself, over and over.
Does that happen to you?

Today, my cats (who have always lived in a studio and have been 
living in a spare bedroom since we arrived here, til the studio was ready for them)
have finally moved into THEIR new digs.  It was hard,
one of them is extremely OK with change, the other, not 
so much so.  It took her all day
to warm up out of a hiding place.  But I 
had my little 'six toes' back with
me by end of my time in there for the day.

Bison is my subject.  If you want to see cool bison, just
travel I-70 among the Genessee area above Denver or go to Yellowstone
National Park.  There is even a herd down the highway from here
on a ranch recently acquired by the Navajo Nation.

The Bison is the symbol of gentleness and moderation, 
but it may also symbolize abundance and determination.

They are mighty and powerful mammals, and it amazes me when  people
get too close to them in Yellowstone..duh...did I say powerful??

I chose this reference photo due to it's almost complete obliteration of 
details on the animal.  I had to really try to bring it into the light a little more.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Day 8 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Forgot the underpainting today. OH well, wanted to get going on a bigger one
and was so excited to get going that I forgot that step.
I really noticed it on the long stretch.  It didn't have that
great golden glow to assist on the highlights.

Moose is a symbol of being headstrong, longevity, wisdom, confidence, self-esteem, primal feminine energy and steadfastness.  I never saw a real moose in the wild until we started RVing in the high country in Colorado between Kremmling and Dillon at Sugarloaf, there were ALWAYS moose.  
I have sooo many photos of them.  

Started this yesterday after I finished Day 7, as I knew being bigger it would take more time.
Here are steps, although I often forget to keep up the photos with the 
levels as I go, went to lunch in town, so between #3 and #4, there is a big jump.

Even though I absolutely got into the ref photo and the rendition of it,
 this was a tougher one - had FUN with the antlers.

At this point I thought maybe I was done, but I always need some 
time to look at bigger ones, my personal critiqueing usually sees more
wrong or needing to be done -
but the problem can be I DO TOO MUCH and should leave it alone.
If it wasn't a daily painting, I would step back and observe it
for several days before calling it good, but that isn't the case
right now.
 So after about another hour, here is the final.

10" x 12"
pastel on pumiced gatorboard

I invite you to view MORE of the 30 in 30 artists submissions. 
Scroll down to the bottom of the latest
post - for the day and the artist.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Day 7 of Painting 30 Paintings in 3 Days

6" x 6"
pastel on pumiced and underpainted gatorfoam board
(OK have to admit, at first I thought I was painting a hawk but after
much scrutiny, I see I have a Falcon.)

I should know this as I once painted an Egyptian scene with a falcon in it but falcons are
the symbol of the rising sun in Egypt, known as Ra.
He is a solar symbol meaning success, victory and a winning situation.
Not knowing the physical difference  - just like the bobcat and lynx, who has time to catch all the details to tell which one it is - 
they are quick and one doesn't get too close to humans.
The following I found online because I wanted to know the difference between a falcon and a hawk.  Seems that when people post photos of them - even they don't know there is a difference.
"1. Falcons belong to the same genus while hawks fall into several genera.
2. Falcons have a notch on their beaks while hawks have a simple curve on the beak.
3. Falcons grab their prey with the beaks while hawks use talons on the feet to kill prey.
4. Hawks are generally larger birds than falcons."
Read more: Difference Between a Hawk and a Falcon | Difference Between

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Day 6 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 8"
pastel on pumiced and underpainted
gatorfoam board

Deer is the spirit of kindness, softness and gentleness.  Just
think back to Bambi and his momma in the movie, right?

Native Americans see the DEER as messenger.

Interesting that deer antlers are like a crown.  The fact that antlers
fall off and the grow again is said to be
a symbol of regeneration.

One thing I notice, when I turn on the outside light
before sun up to let the dogs out
there are sometimes 'bucks' bedding
down behind a small hill out the backdoor.
Their speed and agility to get the heck out of there
amazes me.  And then on the other hand
there are local deer in town, that brazenly
graze the day away in yards and gardens there without
a care of who watches or gets too close.

To me, it's always a treat to photograph a deer.
That's the only way I could ever shoot one.
In recent years, there are areas in the U.S. that are overpopulated
with deer.  As many of you may know of or perhaps it has
happened to you, that a deer met with your car on the road.
My dad had a pretty good one, almost totalled his car.
Glad he was OK.  But
with that, one can see and understand the
thought behind culling the herd.

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 ...