Art History lesson


I have wanted to share some artists who inspired me and set me on this art path…so, here goes!
My grandmother was very creative and the person who raised me when I was very young. She gardened, made her own hats, made movies of her travels to Mexico and Hawaii, and painted dishware. She also worked full time!
When I went to live with my mother I was in the 4th grade. There was a lot of adjusting to do. I was moved from a rural home to an apartment in downtown Seattle. I attended public school for the first time. My mom figured out that butcher paper on the wall was necessary or I was going to draw on the wall paper! So I had a place to create from the start. I also had a great 5th grade art teacher. One day she showed a movie about how to create a watercolor…I was mesmerized!
When I married, I seemed to have lost my art self. We lived in Corvallis Oregon and my husband was going to Graduate School. I worked in a small bank. There was this small book store close to work and I’d go there sometimes on my lunch time. One day I came across this book about Nicolas De Stael. I was mesmerized again! Even though we had little money, I had to go back and buy this small book. Nicolas woke up my buried desire to paint. I’ve never been the same!

Blue Dogs in Summer


It’s been pretty hot in the Kansas City area….and pretty much everywhere else too. The Blue Dogs painting was inspired by my attempt to feel cool…it does seem to help. Acrylic on canvas 40X30″.
Also needing to take a brake from the work on “Give Me That Dog” project. I did save the most complicated stories and photos for the 2nd book, so they just take more time. I’m about to paint an illustration of a chihuahua<a href="https://collectmariemason.files.wordpress.com/2012/07 guarding a pit bull …..

Process and Intuition

I’m working on a smaller canvas size…and it seems more difficult than larger canvas work. When I worked on larger canvas, 40X50″ plus, I would just start painting and something would happen….now I come up with a concept and even a drawing before I begin. Maybe the pre-structure limits my expression…kind of like coloring in the lines! In any case, usually what I plan doesn’t work anyway and the painting evolves into something I didn’t plan. That’s probably because painting isn’t really about thinking….it’s about finding what feels right.

repainting a painting

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Sometimes a visual idea, when transferred from the brain to the canvas, can go south! I’ve been gazing at this one “leaping” dog painting I did last year. Everyday when I come into my studio…there it is on the wall. And, every time I’d focus on it, I felt that it needed work but could never come up with a solution.  Sometimes, the only solution is just paint over an idea that doesn’t work… and sometimes there is just a small clue that spurs me on to make a change.  And, as in any change one makes,  all changes require faith, courage, disappointment and finally, a solution that works! so, here is “Dogs in Tall Grass” acrylic on canvas.  Enjoy

Spring Energy Ebb

If it weren’t for winter and summer, I wouldn’t get much painting done.  All of the outdoor garden work just takes up a lot of time….and who is in shape for this after sitting through a long cold winter? We had no snow this last winter, so even my arms and back are out of shape!  I’ve included a painting I did maybe 8 years ago.  It just seems like a late spring painting and thought it was worth passing along.  The painting is sold, but I might paint something similar as I enjoy seeing it whenever I surf through my painting images.

Garden with Pink Flamingo

Sometimes I just have to pick a subject at random and play. Playing can be difficult if you don’t practice this everyday…or at least often. Working is focused and targeted intentional in nature…ie, illustrations and Rescue dog paper pieces that sometimes are used as a new t-shirt design.

On the other hand, I’ve always loved my pink flamingo and that he or she deserved a painting and a chance to just see what might happen. enjoy

Blue Dog Yard Meditation

As spring makes it’s windy approach, I begin to think about the yard and what kinds of flowers we might have this summer. But, I resist for now because I know mother nature always has some weather tricks up her sleeve!  It’s a great and energetic time to paint and dream while waiting for planting time. “Blue Dog Yard Meditation”  might be an expression of that kind of patience.

leaping Dog

The more I paint, the more I paint.  I’m loving winter. It’s quiet. There is time to think and enjoy the quiet of leafless trees and no yard work to do.  The new pup and I can spend lots of time in my studio and we both can walk out into the seemingly lifeless back yard.  Before long, there will be all that comes with spring.  Meanwhile, here is a new canvas called  “leaping dog”.   I think it is an expression of joy.  The joy is not about anything or anybody….just that feeling that arrives out of nowhere for no particular reason!an act of joy!

Painting Small

I’ve created a couple of small (12X12) paintings of our dogs….just head shots. You’d think that painting small would be easier…or faster…but nothing really is easy or fast….I’ve placed two examples of this kind of painting on our website, http://www.bellacompany.com  ….great price and hopefully a kind of painting that will replace the “luna Toon” idea for a custom portrait.

small canvas portrait of Dot

Painting in Winter

What a great time to paint. It’s cold, we had some snow, tomorrow it will rain. There is no temptation to even wander in the yard and dream about spring. If it weren’t for the new dog, Lola, I would only get out to move from the house to my studio and back to the house again.
I’m working on some smaller canvas and enjoying the process. New painting, The Dog House, size 24X30″ acrylic on canvas.
I also got to thinking about my inspiration and who really taught me to paint in the first place. My grandmother was creative in the garden and she made her own lovely hats too. She also painted a great watercolor that I’ve kept in spite of all the moving I’ve done in my life. When I moved to Corvallis Oregon, I took some painting classes at OSU. The art department was terrific! Nelson Sandgren taught watercolor and he also painted in oils. His studio was an open place to visit and it was there I to learned how to make a painting. I was reminded of him today as I finished another small acrylic painting….I think he would have liked this work.