Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Precious" Birthday Gift

Stuffed 3: Zhēnguì, oil, 5" x 7"


Okay, it's my birthday and I decided I was going to do what gives me joy today. Since it's December and there's snow on the ground, gardening is out of the question, so I'm in my studio, painting. It's been a while since I've been in here actually painting. Some "frog" work kept me elsewhere in November, then came Thanksgiving and a mini-vacay to Toronto and then the Christmas Express started rolling through my days. It was all wonderful - don't get me wrong. I've had a great time the past six weeks! But my poor studio and artwork were kind of like the Little Match Girl... cold and alone over Christmas. I figured I needed to "get back to it" before my artist spirit "froze".

I really didn't want to start on the orchid painting first thing today because that would require some rearranging and cleaning up in that area of the studio and I just knew I'd end up doing that all day instead of painting! And I couldn't start anything else because Zhēnguì has never been finished... aaargh! So, I finished her.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Still Tiny Trouble


I know... She's still "under construction". I just couldn't stand looking at the "bad" face... I've finally gotten the face all blanked out so that I can start again.

Actually, in this state she reminds me of an art installation we saw years ago, in Toronto. It was a video installation. The room was dark and bare except for this one chair upon which a small, faceless rag doll was lying on the seat. When one walked into the room, the motion set off the projector which projected a human woman's face onto the blank doll's face and she would start talking to you. It was really cool! A little freaky... I remember our girls didn't like it much. Ha, ha! I wonder if they remember that?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tiny Trouble


I'm still working on "Stuffed 3: Zhēnguì". I'm still struggling with her face, it's so small - 5" x 7" - which makes her face about 2" wide, if that and my brushes seem SO big! (At least she doesn't look like a Campbell's Soup Kid anymore!) I'm getting there, slowly but surely. I hope I can finish her tomorrow so that I can move on to another painting - I've got some orchids I want to paint.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rosie


I finished "Rosie" today. I just have to frame her and deliver her. I hope her "mom" thinks I've done Rosie justice.

Addendum: I delivered "Rosie" tonight. I'd sent her "mom" an email with an attachment of the portrait. I said, "I think I'm done... Is this your Rosie?" To which she replied, "If you could see the tears, you would know. Yes. It is my Rosie. Thank you so much. It's beautiful." I was so happy I'd captured Rosie. It was an honor. Rest in peace, Rosie, rest in peace...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tough Times and Tears

Man, I've hit the wall (for the time being) with "Stuffed 3". Working on a 5" x 7" panel doesn't give you much room to move around when you start to get bored! I wiped her face off this morning so I've got to allow the new paint to dry enough to work on. Besides, I've got another project that's got to be moved to the front burner of my brain.

I have to do a portrait of a miniature schnauzer that's not doing so well these days, she's twelve and a half and in renal failure. When I went to her house to take photos of her, she was not feeling "perky" as she once was. It was evident in the way she was holding her ears, rather than being upright, she had them kind of flattened out. I took a bunch of photos, but I didn't want to stress her out under the circumstances, so I'll do what I can with what I have and then just "correct" the ear position in the drawing. The "mom" said Rosie hasn't eaten since Tuesday so things are not looking very good. Poor little thing. It's a heartbreak that every pet owner faces at some point - the loss of their beloved pet. I don't want to imagine the day my Bailey and I have to say good-bye... it will break my heart in a way that will never be repaired. Bailey is and will be my one and only.

Addendum: I just opened an email from Rosie's "mom"... Rosie passed away this afternoon. A little bit of my heart broke... R.I.P. Rosie.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stuffed One and Two, FINALLY!

Well, waddayaknow! Finally!! It took all day but I was finally able to add the images. Yay!










Stuffed One: U Talkin' To Me?, oil on panel, 5" x 7"




















Stuffed Two: Going Up?, oil on panel, 5" x 7"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stuffed

I was just finishing up a different post and was about to post it when I realized unless you are a Facebook friend/fan, you would have no idea what I was talking about when I referenced "Stuffed". (All this social networking can get confusing trying to remember and keep everything current on all sites!) So, here's the low down, if you've never heard of "Stuffed".

I have a small cigar box, it is 5" x 7" and about 4" deep. It's a great little box for keeping thing in. I had used it in a small painting - same size a 5" x 7", Ampersand panel - where I placed two small pots with frogs on them inside it. It was kind of a tongue in cheek sort of painting - two frogs... get it? Okay, okay... I know! Anyway, it turned out well and I wanted to do another something with the box, so I put a couple little vases I had in the box and painted that set-up. Then it got to be an idea for a series: what can I put in the box? What will fit within the box's 2-D, 5" x 7" image? It can protrude beyond the depth of the box, but it cannot break the "frame". And that is how the series got started. I have completed two pieces and started a third one - today, which is what the next post is about.

Well now, isn't that just jim-dandy... once again, Blogger isn't letting me download images. Did I miss a memo somewhere? Bear with me, I may not post the photos tonight, but I'll post photos of the first two "Stuffed" the next time. Sorry, 'bout that...

Zhēnguì


I started a new "Stuffed" piece today. It's my little Chinese doll that I got in Los Angeles' Chinatown, when I was thirteen. She's one of my few childhood possessions and is dear to me. She's so old that all her stringing has long since rotted limp and her head hangs down to her chest while her little arms flop, unattached inside her silk kimono and her little legs sit akimbo as they try to support her chubby torso. Her hair is an odd shade of red due to sitting too near a sunny window, but her sweet face is still the same with it's smooth almost white "skin" and little red lips slightly parted and her almond eyes that gaze downward. It just occurred to me - I never named her! For forty-four years she has been nameless... I guess I never gave it any thought that I should name her. Tonight I change that. Her name shall be 珍贵, Zhēnguì which mean "Precious".

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And So it Begins

Untitled, 8" X 10", oil on canvas
I've done a few paintings here and there since last spring. So, where shall I start? I guess I'll start with the latest, hot off the easel, painting. It was inspired by my brother's photography. Since it's a painting, I could make my own final composition. It's 8" x 10", oil on canvas. It doesn't have a title yet. One that has come to mind is, "Showoff...", but one needs to be able to have a little sneer in one's voice when saying it so I don't know how effective that works as a title. Any suggestions? I'm open...

Friday, October 15, 2010

MEtamorphosis in Progress

I've been (to use a phrase my father used to say) pussy-footin' around living the artist's life for way too long. I've finally reached a point in my life where I am able to focus completely on developing myself as a fine artist. WOO HOO! I'm no longer bound by being "the mom" or "the daughter/caretaker". I don't have to think about being "Two Frogs". I'm not restoring and painting the house's exterior. I can solely focus on "being an artist". I can focus on "me". Okay, yeah, I still have to take the dog out or face the consequences, but still...

It is weird to know that when I get up each morning all I have to do is work on becoming a fine artist and I can paint every day, if I so desire, without distractions. I've finally gotten all my "stuff" in one space - no separated studio from the office. One large space - okay, I wish it was larger, but this will do for now and it feels good. I still need to sort out lighting and a few minor details but, it's working! And speaking of work, I'm going to share a couple things I did during this transformation. If you are a Facebook friend, you may have seen these already - or maybe you didn't. Either way, I hope you enjoy seeing them now.

This was the first thing I did in my new studio space. I just couldn't stand it anymore. All the moving and organizing - I just had to DO something!! So why not try a new technique, gouache ink resist? This was something I'd learned from Lauren Everett Finn, a fantastic artist with more creative energy than anyone I've ever met!









I got such a big kick out of the first one turning out, I did another!

This is the other gouache ink resist piece I wanted to post the other day. Both pieces are of my wheaten, Bailey. He's such a good boy...






I'm enjoying this new life: All art, all the time! It's a foreign feeling, to say the least, for me and I'm still trying to get comfortable in my new role, but wait...!

Hark! Is that a butterfly wing I see?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Brody, Riba's buddy



I'm such a bad butterfly... I avoid posting to my blog. Please forgive me, but right now, at this point in time I feel like I don't have much to share. I'm certainly not doing enough of my artwork or should I say easel work (that's how I distinguish my mural/decorative painting from my other artwork)?

I was all ready to start a new painting today, had my happy pants on, got the canvas ready, had my subject matter at hand... and then I got started on the computer, on another project. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, I did want to share with you my portrait of Brody, who is Riba's buddy. He's a dear sweet, old boy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Riba!


I know... I just don't post as often as I probably should, but with all the "social networking", the Twitter, the Facebook, the Linked IN, email - it gets a bit daunting! I mean when does one find the time to post on their blog AND do laundry? (Okay, forget the laundry...) AND paint? I'm really trying to figure out my time management. It's tough! So many distractions... Wait. Was that a bunny? No... It's Riba!

"Riba" is my latest pastel dog portrait. She's a sweet, old girl. A Portuguese Water Dog. Her "mom" had the winning bid at a charity auction.