Monday, August 31, 2009

Wildflowers in spice jar

Back to alla prima, light-and-shadow style for this one. Trying to paint loose, hoping that some of Quang Ho's magic has rubbed off on me from watching his DVDs.

Soulful Jazzy.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rothko style, Golden kisses, and a small preachy section


Boy, whoever photographed all those Rothkos sure had their work cut out for them.

I love Rothko's abstracts and wanted to explore what it's like to try to do something similar. I'll definitely do more of this type. This had two layers of transparent and/or semi-transparent oil paint. The top rectangle is an extremely dark blue-green, almost black, and the lower rectangle is a (slightly less dark) magenta. The painting is very dark and very luminous and there are subtle variations throughout that are wonderfully interesting in person but probably not possible to see on screen.

What's better than a Golden kiss? Two Golden kisses! The youngster on the left is Mojito, age 3, and on the right is Jazz, age 12 1/2. They are both rescued Goldens. I trained Jazz to be a therapy dog, because his nature has always been just that, calm and therapeutic, so he and I used to go as volunteers to the hospital and let him visit people in the waiting rooms who needed some canine love, warm caramel eyes, and calming energy.

They and all of our animals would like to get onto a soapbox for just a moment, and ask you to "please always consider adopting an already homeless animal, either from an animal shelter or a rescue organization, rather than purchasing a bred-to-order one. Especially, please don't buy a pet store one, thereby contributing to the awfulness of puppy mills and/or backyard breeders). Remember that every pet that is purchased (rather than adopted) means one more homeless pet that will be euthanized. Spay and neuter, and support your local animal shelter. Thank you!"

That's what they wanted to say for now. I don't intend to do too much preaching on my blog here, but this is so important to me that I feel I must.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

More experimenting

I've only just become aware of the concept of "local tone painting" (tone = value). It's such a strange concept for me, because the only way I learned to paint was by modeling forms according to light and shadow--that is, how recording the passage of light over a form makes a realistic 3-D effect.

As far as I understand it so far, local tone painting involves remaining consistent as to value within any given shape, regardless of the size of the shape. And having at least three different value areas in a painting. Some very small amount of modeling is "allowed." Cast shadows are mostly ignored. This is all very strange for me.

I tried this one last night as an attempt at a local tone painting (and still with some O'Keeffe ideas on the brain). I think that in theory, local tone paintings can look realistic, but usually don't. That's my take on the concept thus far anyway. So in a way I like it insofar as it possibly functions as a bridge between realism and abstraction. I'm very intrigued and burning up a lot of brain cells learning lately. One of the sources of my learning is an instructional DVD called Nuts and Bolts, by Denver artist Quang Ho. Very, very good DVD. (I haven't yet watched the other two DVDs he is making/has made, but I plan to.)

Criss-cross paw nap.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

O'Keeffe style

I was looking at an O'Keeffe book yesterday and trying to analyze some elements of her style, what makes an O'Keeffe look like one. Then I set out to do something in her style last night. I'm no expert on her, but the things I noticed and tried to follow were: cropping; asymmetry; boldness; curves; negative space; lack of detail on big color areas; and that each shape and even each little part of a shape, including shadow shapes, have an interesting "arabesque" (line that's never boring, repeated, or symmetrical).

One thing I didn't do, of course, that she did, was blow it up to an exaggerated size. Working alla prima, I had to stick to a manageable size.

It was a really interesting experiment--so different than the way I usually paint--and I plan on trying at least one more in this style.


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Monday, August 24, 2009

Chondrorhyncha amazonica

I've raised orchids for ten years or so, and when we remodeled our house three years ago, we added my dream: a little greenhouse as part of our upstairs. We've had nothing but (expensive) problems with it, though, in terms of water damage and such, so finally made the sad decision to part with (almost) all the orchids. I figure at least it will free up some more time for me.

This is one of the last ones that hasn't yet been sold or given away. This is a species from Brazil called Chondrorhyncha amazonica, painted last night from life. The flower is about 3 or 4 inches across. I love how it looks like it has wings. It will soon use those wings to take off to a new household. It's okay. I will always be an "orchid person" whether I have two plants or a hundred.

Trying out a few new linen surfaces. I ordered one yard of each of three different kinds of pre-primed linen from the Fine Arts Store in Rochester, NY. This one was great, allowed for very juicy paint. I'm not exactly sure which is which, though, of the three samples! :O

I really don't know why this video of Lynx loaded sideways. Oh well.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wyndham's people

Artist-neighbor-friend Sam sure does have some fun little things to paint over at her house across the street. I don't really even like knicknacks, but when I saw the skateboard dog (a recent post) and these guys, I just had to paint them. I asked for the story on these and she told me these little carved wooden guys (they're about 1.5 inches tall in person) come from her husband's family heritage. Hence, these must be "Wyndham's people."


Oh so sleeeeepy...

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Thursday, August 20, 2009


These remind me a lot of the innumerable koi I saw while living in Japan for six months, about two decades ago.

Lynx looks so sad and lonely here. This is one of his younger shots.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Busted on bathroom security camera

The Lynxmuffin, caught on tape this evening in flagrante looroll:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Light leaks from all things

Large abstract (36" x 36"). It's pretty dramatic in person.

Miss Lemon thinks Lynx has been hogging the limelight.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Skateboard dog / Wet noodle

What do you do when you've run out of interesting little things to paint? Yes!, you go across the street to neighbor-artist-friend Sam's house and poach some things from there.

I love the little guy's shadow--it reminds me of a Lascaux cave painting. Can't you just picture all those grimy, hirsute cavepeople out stalking the fearsome wooden skateboard dog?

Remember: don't be a wet noodle. Play with one instead!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Couch inhabitant

I have been painting--furiously, even (unlike this small furry couch-corner inhabitant). But it's all been "putting on layers" onto abstracts, so nothing to show yet. I also just started (i.e., put my first layer onto) the largest piece I've ever attempted (40" x 60"); the blank canvas stared at me and intimidated me for a month. It's better once you actually get going on it.

I changed my blog subtitle to reflect the fact that I enjoy posting pics of my "animolecules" as much as I enjoy posting my art. Well, animals are art, too.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Heirloom twins

Why can't we all sleep the sleep of the innocent?

My neighbor-artist-friend Sam gave me these heirloom tomatoes to paint. I tried to do them justice. She was also kind enough to let me eat them when I was done.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Giant's Causeway

A long time ago, I saw the famous basalt site on the northeast coast of Ireland called Giant's Causeway. Hence the title of this most recent abstract painting. (The Wikipedia photo doesn't give much idea of the outrageous scale of this natural rock formation, so when you look at the photo, keep in mind that the tallest of the columns is about 36 feet high.)

Feisty little CheeseMonster.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Virtual Lynx caressing

Temporarily out of commission due to migraines and hayfever.

In the meantime, here's a little virtual Lynx caressing for you. This is from his first few baby days with us.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Small harvest / Lynx-in-a-box

This is what came out of our little vegetable garden yesterday.

...And this is what came out of a box.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Colored sphere studies in pastel

I did one of these as a little demo for a student last night, about using color as well as value to create a 3-D form. (She was using watercolor.) It was really fun, so after my student left, I just had to do a few more! Each sheet is 9" x 12", and yes, I know they're not perfectly round. :) Working on these made me want to try some more realism in pastels; I've done very little of that.

Sometimes you feel like a nut...

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sunflowers 2

Cut these from our yard and painted them last night. These are the mini-kind of sunflower, each bloom only perhaps five inches across. Sunflowers are so nice to paint, I'll probably do some more before their season is over.


That sunlight is a bit bright for naptime... (I love his plump white belly here.)

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Forgotten oldie but goodie

Whoops! I'd forgotten about this one! This one was the last one I did in art school. I promise. :)

Little dude has become really naughty lately...

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Miniature jam pot and spoon

Finally had a nice loose painting night yesterday. This is a little jam pot that came with our breakfast on the plane from London, and which I pocketed (how embarrassing) in order to paint sometime...

People, it's very hot outside. Make sure you keep drinking lots of water...

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Untitled 8

I really appreciate all your support, insightful comments, and awesomely relevant quotes from famous artists (some of which I'm going to have to pin up on the walls of my studio).

I finally created something I liked last night. Also my biggest piece yet. My opinion may change again tomorrow, but today I like it. And that's something...yes?


Lynx's favorite toy...
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