The best part of winter is the great collection of continuous long cold dark days (sans snow this year) when much of life (ie gardening) slows to a snails pace and I have more time to focus on painting!
The frenzy will soon be overtaken by spring, but in the meantime…..More paintings. This painting “Cat in Winter” is inspired by our cats who have endless fun with anything they can find in our home while we are working hard in our office on Bellacompany designs and a spring craft show in Weston.
this painting is 30X24 acrylic on canvas.
It’s great to have the time to experiment with a new idea. One thing that winter allows more of is time to think about where we might be headed and what new paths we might explore. When I say “we”, I mean a blend of my art and Bellacompany.com which features my art on t-shirts. I’ve been growing this business for about 14 years and it certainly has expanded and evolved. We have lots of faithful followers who enjoy the t-shirts and also my art. I’ve just been thinking that I would like to reduce the t-shirt sales and increase the art sales. I’m not sure if folks would like a small “head shot” of their dog or not, but it’s certainly worth a try! The small portraits would be more expensive than a “Luna Toon”, but less expensive than a full scale portrait! Doing only head shots also will relieve me from the concern about the “landscape” around a full dog as well. The examples posted are of our two dogs, Noodle and Dot. I will also do at least one cat portrait as well so that my style will be apparent to all. Enjoy and comment if you would!
painted on Martin Luther King's day of celebration
“Let freedom ring”
I’ve been working on a small canvas trying to lose the illustrator painter in my brain. Painting and creating images for Bellacompany t-shirts are really two different creative pursuits. Even though “Rescued” was originally a custom portrait that has since become the most popular t-shirt in our Bellacompany line, not all my paintings are created for t-shirts! Had I been working on a Bellacompany design, the Rescued painting would probably not have had such great appeal. It’s a mystery…The line between illustration and painting is a fine one, but this year I hope to define my purpose before I pick up a brush! a painting is a painting. At least when I’m in my studio I should have in mind which it is I’m working on! If I’m really painting, then, I’m simply painting what comes to mind with no particular audience or goal, or purpose in mind.
Painting is an exploration of an idea or feeling. An expression of the day. A trip to nowhere in particular. The conversation with a canvas, subtle and intuitive..an evolution. Setting some kind of goal as to the end product or even the subject limits the outcome. Painting really is an exploration into new territory. The tools (brushes,canvas and paint) might be familiar, the rest of the painting is best when it begins as a mystery with only a white canvas to start.
After all of the events in December, January is a welcome relief and also a time to think about what’s been done and what kinds of new work could be done! I can endlessly put off starting a new painting even though I’ve bought some canvas and primed a few….so that when the idea strikes, I’ll be ready.
We’ve made some business decisions about new t-shirt designs for Bellacompany.com. I know we should be adding and subtracting more designs to keep ourselves fresh. Some shirts such as “Rescued” have been in our line for 10 years!! and that design is still very popular along with “Ready”, Lucky Dog, and Save them All. My process is to create lots of paintings on large paper and then sit back and let the paintings speak! So, that’s the process I’m in. It’s like exploring with no particular destination or goal in mind. We are also going to restart our postcard mailing. We’ll be sending out 500 postcards per season so everyone will get one card and there will be 4 different designs. We haven’t done a mailing in a long time…lots of work and expense, but I’ve spent about a month getting the mailing lists sorted and purged. We re almost ready to go!!
Gladstone Community Center Art Exhibit Dec. 2011- early Feb. 2012
Finally the time arrives to put the paintings I’ve been working on in the van and take them to the Gladstone Community Center in Gladstone, Mo, for a show! Working on paintings over the summer and fall for this show has seemed to go slowly. Many interruptions in the day and probably my multi-task skills are worn thin….but, it’s always great to work toward an event where I can share my work with the public. I’m sure I’m not alone in the feeling of working in a bubble. Bubble’s are good for getting things done, but shows are great for sharing my work with others!
Time has flown by since I started this post which I never published. November and December are the months of distraction. Our home was on the Weston Christmas Homes tour in early December. It was fun to fill the house with two trees and lots of bling everywhere. We started all of that in early November! It was great to have visitors to our home and my studio. We had about 1300 visitors!
The show in Gladstone is still up and looking good. The Gladstone Community Center has a great area to display art . I imagine that visitors are pretty impressed as they walk into the center and are greeted by art!