During our Snowmageddon storm last weekend I decided to test the shoulder and painted this. The shoulder is feeling pretty good (in spite of a lot snow shoveling) so I'm hoping to get back on a more regular painting schedule after the holidays. I stayed pretty loose with this and I like it at this point - maybe a just a few more tweaks. I painted another little floral - just trying to saty loose and not over think it. I'll post that tomorrow. This is going to be my new mantra for painting. Allowing it to dictate how it wants to be painted instead of me trying to control it so much. Easier said than done for me.
You can tell what's important here - the collapse of the metrodome roof and the cancellation of the Vikings game last Sunday is what made national news with our storm. Never mind the 18 inches we got hit with. Travel is still a pain in the a** on many side streets - there's nowhere to put all this snow! and we have 4 more inches predicted for today and tonight. Whee! And it's not even officially winter yet.
I sure didn't mean to be away for so long. It's about time I checked in and said hello.
I have several half done paintings waiting to be finished. Unfinished in part due to frustration, I hadn't seemed to get them to work past a certain point in the painitng. And now in some ways I'm kind of liking the halfway state that they are in. So maybe a new style is evolving. We'll see how that progresses. As soon as I am able, I will revisit them and get them to a state of being finished. I've somehow sprained my shoulder and it is a bit painful to paint. So on doctors orders...I'm giving it a rest. In the meantime I've been contemplating the state of my art and sketching. Hopefully I'll be back at it again soon.
This image is the result of a bit of downtime at work. Just a little doodling and sketching in Photoshop. I think it has potential to evolve into an oil painting.
Now, if this darn shoulder will just get better...
...and my brushes will decide to cooperate.
maybe it's more about me cooperating with the painting and brushes.
I had mentioned earlier that I had been invited to participate in a group show with 10 other very accomplished and talented artists. Our opening reception was Saturday night and we had a fantastic turn out for the show.
A still life! Something a little different for me. It's been a while since I've painted one. I love the colors in the one and am pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Not much to say about these little fruits. I've only painted them, never tried them. What do you do with them? Make pie? Jelly? I just find them to be intriguing and mysterious... there's got to be some kind of story in the mysteries of this luscious little fruit.
To all you writers out there - the challenge is on!
I think if I were a flower I'd want to be like this - showy, lush and of course, red. A stand out in the crowd!
If this looks familiar, it is. I had done a small version of this earlier and decided I wanted to try it in a larger scale. As is the process (for me, anyway) in going from small scale to large scale my technique changes a bit. This has lots and lots of texture.
And here's a little picture of my little visitor from the other evening. After enjoying her time on the deck she headed out for a leisurely stroll. She was a bit annoyed that I called after her and took her picture - thus the stare she's giving me.
It may not be a lot of painting lately but I did finally finish my animated piece for Motion Poems.
I designed, illustrated and animated the entire piece.
The screening was on Friday night and a good time was had by all! Many wonderful entries this year and it was a great night hanging out with that big room of creative minds and talents. Of course we celebrated in style with Lienenkugle on tap and popcorn!
My poet Todd Boss is one of the co-founders of MotionPoems and his poem was a love poem to his wife. He, and most importantly, SHE, loved my interpretation. That's what I always love to hear!
So now you know a little of what I do by day when I'm not painting.
Long time no see, eh? I just returned from a great vacation in beautiful Asheville, NC. Went on a whim
not knowing what was in store, but I have to say it was a good choice. The area is gorgeous with the Blue Ridge Mountains all around, heavily forested. This is a little painting I did from the front porch of my cottage - you would think i was in the middle of nowhere - but I was only about a mile from everything I could ever need. I didn't paint as much as I would have hoped but I did lots of exploring - of nature and of the great culture of the city. I crashed an art reception, went to several galleries, watched street musicians, went hiking, met some great people and had some fabulous meals (wouldn't be a vacation without them).
I'm getting the urge to tackle some new paintings but I have some projects to wrap up first and I'm hoping after this week I can dive into it again. In the meantime I thought I'd at least post this little one to prove I am still alive and kickin' and do kind of remember how to push paint around the canvas.
I was gently reminded the other day that it was time to check in and post something. It's nice to be missed. :-)
I've been using my creative juices in other ways. I've been working on graphics for a new TV show for the 12-16 yr crowd called M@d*About. I think it airs next week. I have also been trying to meet the deadline for my animated Motion Poem, so I've been putting in some later hours. Slowly, but surely it is coming together. I'll post more on that another time.
And this, my giant Sunflower painting - well, it just took a long time due to my messing with it. This is one that looks more dynamic in person. I have decided I have to give up that notion of making these large paintings look like the smaller versions. Or get some giant brushes. And start lifting weights in order to wield them. I'm picturing myself as Zena, Warrior Princess with a giant brush in place of a sword. Hmmm...maybe that should be a self portrait!
It's been so long since I felt even the smallest urge to paint, that I wondered if I would ever return to the easel. So I started out small - really small - to see if the brushes still worked. The last time I tried, they didn't and I literally put everything in my studio away to ride out the Great Storm of Artistic Frustration of 2010 (so dramatic, aren't I?)
They worked this time and I started a much larger version of this little warm up painting. It will be interesting to see how it turns out, since 30 x 30 doesn't exactly translate into such an economic collection of brush strokes as a 5x5.
And in the news... two of my raven paintings recently found a home in Alaska. Which seems very fitting since a lot of Raven stories originate from that area. And my large Raven painting "You Talkin To Me" just got juried into the fine arts show at the MN Fair this year.
I was trying to think of what to name this one and my iTunes helped me out by playing I'll Fly Away by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch from Oh Brother Where Art Thou. The meaning of the song is much different than the painting, but the title fits.
Fly Away. I think I'd like to take flight! Just take off and soar. Seeing where the winds take me.
Somewhere with cooler temps and less humidity. I'm definitely ready for fall - maybe that's what's behind the golden trees in this painting.
I'll Fly Away framed
I came across this frame last weekend and actually painted most of the time with it on the painting.
First time I've done that and I found it gave me more focus on what I was painting. Actually framing before the painting is done.
I have a wren (probably more than one actually) that serenades me all the time. He sits on the wire just outside the porch. I love how big he sings for such a tiny little bird. We should all sing big songs!
I've been feeling a little like Austin Powers lately - looking for my lost (painting) mojo! Anybody out there seen it?? I'm trying, folks! It certainly has been elusive. It's not from a lack of wanting to, seems to be in the forgetting how! It seems to take me about 3x as long as I think it should. But I am working on a larger piece and that always takes longer. Ah yes, learning to go with the flow here - a lesson in patience.
Version 9 of my backyard tree. Someday I'll have a wall filled with these little plein air pieces. Right now they are side side by side along the upper ledge of my studio windows.
While waiting for my house guests to wake up one morning this past weekend I decided to set up the paints and take advantage of the somewhat cooler weather and managed to get it done in time to head out to the coffee shop.
The weekend was great fun and one of the treats was getting to meet fellow artist and blogger Doug Daniels. (You may have seen him around , he goes by Double D)
Yes, folks...he lives and breathes! It turns out that Doug and his wife were in Minnesota and our schedules worked out and we got together for a little visit.
BTW - The invitation is open for any of you who finds themselves in Minnesota.I'd love to meet all of you.
I bought these peonies at the Farmer's Market and set them up in my "summer studio" (my screen porch) to paint. I love being able to paint out there. Just like being outdoors with the sights and sounds but with an overhead fan and a roof. Kind of a faux plein aire situation.
This painting started life as an 11 x 14 but the composition went astray so I've cut it down into this version. Funny how I don't often see the problems until it gets up on the screen. The phrase "step away from the easel" keeps running in my mind. I sometimes forget that in the process.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase this piece.Thank you!
My Stella d'Oros are blooming like crazy right now and this is a little study from my garden. I painted this a couple nights ago from my deck.and while out there I met my new neighbor and his young daughter. He mentioned that he had some raccoons removed from around his house and that I should watch out for them on the move. I told him I have had several families living under my deck over the years. He said they had a family of four. And I told him more stories and then he told me about his family of four...his kids. whoops! I'm sure I've made a great first impression in my painting clothes, paint on my face and hands and unable to follow a conversation. Ah, well...
I must retract my unhappiness with my Gamblin paints - my mistake - it was a different brand. Sorry Gamblin!
Happy Solstice! I celebrated by painting outside until the sun started to fade and the mosquitoes threatened to carry me away. I will post those later.
After painting tonight, I've decided that it's not me...or the studio fairies...it's the paint! I recently replenished my paint supply and I don't know if it is the weather or just unusually slippery batch of paint. I like buttery paint but this it is acting more like melted butter.
I'm not sure why this title came to me, there's no magical story and it didn't come to me in a dream (in fact it was a bit of a nightmare to paint) but as I looked at it the colors and brushwork looked like it was in a dream.
One thing with being away from the easel for while is trying to get back into the swing of things. Mainly the paintbrush. It sometimes feels a little foreign. So I am trying to warm up with some small paintings. At times it feels like I've been scraping off as much paint as I put on.
But I have to say it's been a glorious weekend too. I finished up and delivered a commission piece for a friend's daughter to give to her husband as a wedding gift. They were both thrilled which in turn makes me happy. You always sort of hold your breath when they see it in person - well, I should say I do anyway.
And today I found out the results of the awards! "You Talkin' To Me" was awarded 1st place in the oil category. And "On Top of the World" was awarded Best in Show!
Wow! Needless to say I am thrilled! And one of the best things was to hear the judges process and hear him describe what he saw in the paintings. It really sounded like I knew what I was doing! All those elements of technique that I don't think of, and really don't know that I could point out. My process just doesn't include consciously thinking of those elements, so it's fun to know that they are there anyway.
The title seems to sum up the painting and me. Finally feeling the artistic juices starting to flow again. I was feeling pretty burned out and took a much needed break from it all. And while I haven't felt the inspiration at the easel, it's been flowing on the digital side. I am working on an animated project that is my visual of a local poet's work. Totally up to my own interpretation, and it will be shown at a screening with other pieces in the fall. It's really been fun working it all out.
So I have been painting, it's just been with pixels. Here's an earlier version of one of the scenes. It keeps evolving as I get further into it.
And even though I haven't been painting or posting, I have not been idle on the artistic front. I've been talking to an art rep and she's helping to get my work out there. And I just got word that I have won an award in a juried show I just entered! I'm not sure what that is or for which painting, but I will find out Sunday. But I have to say that it really gets me excited about painting again!
Thanks to those of you who have kept checking in here and rattling my chain via email -(that would be you, Doug) It's nice to know I'm missed and I appreciate it.
This is long overdue and I admit I've been taking a bit of a break. I participated in a show and a studio tour a couple weeks ago and other than wrapping up a couple commissions I haven't been painting much. The tour went really well but the best part was hearing from my new collector how happy she was that she stopped and how proud she was to have the painting hanging in her home.
I love her.
Mostly just taking it easy, with a little fun thrown in and catching up on all my lost sleep. But I'm starting to feel the itch to paint again (always!) and hoping to get some other projects and ideas in the works.
This is a little painting of the flowers from my daughter's wedding last year. For her mother-in-law.
Today will see the northern migration of thousands of determined Minnesota anglers in search of the elusive walleye... It's the Minnesota Fishing Opener, one the most beloved events in MN. The local news has just informed us that the Governer will be on the water at 7 AM and will be using a jig and minnow. I wonder if they Tweeted that? I should go paint a fish.
Today is my daughter's birthday. She is one who celebrates her birthday for at least a week - (a month if she can.) It's her favorite day of the year. So far the festivities are into day 4.5
so far there have been surprise visits from a college friend and her sister from out of state, dinners with friends out, the symphony, camping in Moab, UT (all organized by her boyfriend - you gotta love this guy!) and the best looking birthday breakfast I've ever seen... I really should be there right now!
This painting is of her from when she was three or so. Hard to believe this little one is a grown woman now. When did all that happen??
Happy Day Krista! Hugs all over the place! maybe next time you and I will have some drinks and sing karoake to celebrate...
As this painting evolved, I wondered at what I was actually saying here (I'm still not sure, but does it really matter?) The name Flora kept coming to mind. So I wondered if there was a goddess somewhere by that name.
And of course there was! In Roman mythology she was the goddess of flowers and the season of spring. Being one of the fertility goddesses, her association with spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime. Her festival , the Floralia, was held in April or early May and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking and flowers. How else do you celebrate such things?
Anybody care to join me in a celebration?
Did I tell you that I was this weeks featured artist on Empty Easel? I got a nice little review on my animal paintings. Check it out - both my review AND the site. It's a great resource for artists.
Today marks the opening of the Spring Art Salon at Anne and Friends in Wayzata, MN with new nature inspired art. I was asked to participate with a wonderful group of artists. And April 30 is their ARTY PARTY to celebrate (with dancing, drinking and flowers???) Should be fun! Stop by if you are in the area.
And next weekend is the Lake Minnetonka Arts Tour in which I am participating. I will be the guest (I evidently don't live close enough to the lake, I am up for moving though) of another artist, sculptor Patty Carmody Smith. I love her work and it seems we both have a fondness for ravens, nature and the feminine spirit. Check out her wonderful art. And come and see us! We're at location 16.
There are paintings that sit here and stare at me. They whine ("am i pretty? I don't feel pretty... why is she prettier than I am?") and complain. And the longer I look at them the more I want to try and improve on them. Quite often I realize I should have left them alone and have just sent them off on their merry way to the island of misfit paintings. (my daughters have declared themselves rulers of this island)
So, I kept looking at this one from last year and agreed she looked a little pale and washed out so I decided to give her a little makeover. I don't know that I improved on her, though she does have a lot more pizazz, I think. It gave me an opportunity to play and experiment with technique and it also ties in with another painting I've been working on lately, in theme and technique.
Obviously the summer Queen has no problem with hayfever. If this were a portrait of me, there would be a bottle of Zyrtec tucked in there. Spring has sprung with a vengeance here, pollen, pollen everywhere!
Another large painting - at least for me it is. I think I am still fond of smaller paintngs - I feel like I have more control for some reason. But one has to grow and stretch and try new things! Right? Lots of thick juicy paint on this one - I'm hoping it will be dry enough to drop of for a show in a few days.
I started watching the series The Impressionists last night. I highly recommend it. It's inspiring and it allows you to see these artists as human - just like the rest of us!
I thought I would try my hand at another "kitty". This is Sasha, a leopard that a friend of mine used to know. This was a bit of a challenge for several reasons. For one, I just haven't done many cats and am not all that familiar with their bone structure. But it was fun to do and I used both a pallette knife and brush for this one. I somehow feel compelled to use the knife when I pain larger. But I like the texture that it gives the painting.
This has been a challenging week with the loss of 3 family members in my close and extended families. Each unrelated, but very sad circumstances and it's been a rollercoaster of emotions with all being so close together. It's been a bit difficult concentrating on painting.
So I want to dedicate this in memory of Jill, Dave and Paul. Our hearts are heavy that you have left us but full of light because you graced our lives.
Here Kitty Kitty
12 x 12 oil on Canvas
$425 + 15 S/H
please contact me if you are interested in purchase.
Wild hares keep coming to mind lately. It is very symbolic of fertility and new life - appropriate for this time of year.
In the Chinese zodiac the rabbit is a most fortunate sign, giving those born under it the ability to possess considerable power. In many cultures, it is a lunar creature with feminine energies whose outline can be seen in the face of the moon. (Which may explain why I've been thinking of the moon along with the hare). More to come !
Not much new to report except that spring is in the air and that gives one hope that all this white will eventually go away! My street is getting wider and I can actually see the surface of my driveway now. And the best of all - the news report the other night was talking about boating season! hard to believe
it could be a matter of a few weeks (if all goes well)
Love this raven. He's got attitude. He's really much more dynamic in person with lots of texture and brushwork and contrasting colors. I can't wait to see this one in a frame.
Another long gap in the action. (and here I thought I was back on track!) I've actually had three paintings in the works but not had the time each night to work on them. But lots going on and coming up. I have an art tour coming up in May and have been invited to participate in a show in April. And I'm working on some marketing pieces and ideas. And I wonder where my time goes....
This curious one was a lot of fun to paint. A bit more playful in nature with it's colors and texture.
fun to paint too! Used a palette knife on most of it.
This is Sophie, a pretty little Bull Terrier. Her people asked me to paint her portrait and I have finally
come up with one I'm happy with. (I'll confess that it took me three times to get to this)
I'm hoping the posts will come more frequently. I think my winter resting period is coming to an end.
An update on the previous post for the entry for The Foot in the Door 4 exhibition. The painting Red Scarf was sold before the show so I entered the one below. It took two hours in line to drop off the painting and it turns out there were over 5000 entries. I skipped the opening reception (I had just gotten back into town from my vacation) A friend said there was not much parking and it was impossible to see everything due to the large crowd (probably all the artists) so he left. I will see it when the crowds are smaller. Most likely with my friend. It hangs until June. And in the meantime I have a piece hanging in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Museum!
This painting is my submission for a Minnesota artists exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts called Foot In The Door 4. Each piece is limited in size to a cubic foot. Even at this small size it was a close fit once it was framed. I painted and posted this some time ago and has always been one of my favorites.
I started a journal of doodles a while back. Just stream of conscious flowing from the pen. some of the results have been pretty interesting and on a double dog dare by a friend, I have posted one of them. So there you go, Jen. I did it.
I wish I could say I've been traveling the world and have not been able to post anything lately but I'm afraid it just isn't true. I've come down with a case of the artist's block. For some reason my brushes just haven't been working and my inspiration has not been showing up lately. It's out of sheer determination that I have made this little one come about. Hopefully I will figure it all out again soon and get back in the swing of things. Hope you're all finding your inspiration.