Painting in Winter

Beach Running

Running Beach Dogs

All the snowy weather has given me the time (and no chance of an excuse) to paint more. I’ve been working on a new canvas and thought I’d share the evolution of my work. My paintings on paper evolve much faster than these canvas works…not sure why, but it’s true. Perhaps it’s just the time it takes for a canvas to dry enough to allow more painting makes the process more tedious and maybe more finished. don’t know…but here goes! If you enjoy the process, look for more updates as I work on this canvas!

Morning Walk

Walking a dog in winter takes some planning. I’ve left the house without really realizing how cold it is. There is no going back….
This latest painting is a work on canvas and is about the idea of a walk and an actual walk. It could be called, “winter’s hesitation”…..acrylic on canvas 29×39”
ps. this is my first post on my new Blog look! hopefully it’s easier to see and enjoymorning_walk

Head Shots and beyond!

marioblog

My new venture is called “head shots”…featured on our website, http://www.bellacompany.com. I have received some great dog pictures to work with. As it turns out, this particular project I dreamed up is deceptively difficult…but, when the painting is finally finished, folks who purchase these canvas paintings are happy with the results. I sometimes think I want to get back to painting the landscape (as in my “looking down” paintings) and, I have some great camera shots taken while I’m walking Lola, (our new now a year old) dog.
This is the time of year I spend dreaming up the new year. What new designs or popular past designs will be on a new t-shirt? What kind of painting would I like to explore? Should I open some new paint colors and wander down some unexplored subject? I began painting by painting landscapes and seascapes…should I go there again? It’s nice and disturbing too when ideas are up in the air!


Jazz was an untrusting and aggressive dog when he was rescued.The rescuer wondered at her own sanity for giving him a second change, but she continued to work with him. The Journey was a long one, but Jazz finally learned the ropes so well, that he now works as a therapy dog! Patience sometimes rules the day! (By the way, I’m very close to completing paintings and stories for a 2nd “Give Me That Dog” book.)

the rescue of an aging dog
I received this great story from a couple who only adopt older dogs they find in shelters. Our 2nd “give Me that Dog” book will be published this fall. Many of the stories sent to me were a little more difficult to paint for one reason or another. As in any great dog story, many of these 2nd edition stories have brought sadness and joy into my studio. People who work to make a dogs life better, are an inspiration and have some amazing stories to tell. It is an honor to share their stories.

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.

Good Intentions

Fall seems like a good time to take a breath. It’s not hot, and it’s not cold.  The sun comes in at a slant and lights up all the summer dust in every room of the house. Papers and drawings are just lying around waiting to be organized.  It’s a mess!

As a small business owner, I’m pulled in many directions.  There is management of Bellacompany and the t-shirts and caps and on-line customers, and then there is also working on paintings!  Today I reviewed all of the stories and photos I received last fall for our “Give Me That Dog” project.  I did manage to complete 10 stories and paintings and we did publish a small book,  called “A Chair for Helen”.  We also auctioned off some of the paintings on our facebook after giving the story teller first dibs!  In my imagination, these projects are never as complicated as they turn out, but I think the end result was worth the work!

I always imagine that I can accomplish a lot more in a little bit of time than is even realistic.  That’s where my imagination hits the wall of time available (sometimes called reality)! There are quite a few great stories and pictures in a folder waiting for my attention.  It feels good to get the files all straightened up and review the future work to do. I hope to get back to this in January of 2012! Winter is a much better time to do studio work.

Meanwhile, my original goal in creating this blog was to talk about some of my favorite artists!. Call this my reminder blog!…or, my nag blog.  I know if I write it down, it will happen sooner or later!  If I don’t write it down,  whatever project I have in mind will just probably not get done anytime soon.

Some Enchanted Evening…or day

I wrote a note to myself the day after Helen was gone…it was kind of a list about what dog you might rescue if you went to a shelter.  People sometimes say to me, “oh, I could never go to a rescue place because I’d want to take all of the dogs home”….and I always say, “no, you won’t, but then again, you might see a dog that just calls out to you! “It’s that some enchanted evening thing!

The dog might be a crazy dog like Luna or Helen…..or even closer to some unknown edge or territory that you will be exploring. You’ll know that’s the one!  Be brave and strong and go on an adventure with that dog!

Go to a shelter. Sit with that mystery crazy dog at the shelter…and walk around a little and go back for a few follow up visits. Know you can handle the dog!  Luna was always distant and crazy at the shelter, and so was Helen. So, I had to take them home to really discover who they were!  Expectations are a waste of time. An open mind is good.  The amazing part was that when I brought Luna home, she slept in the backyard for three days. After she was rested, we discovered she had separation issues, so that was the challenge we dealt with. Ultimately, she learned that we were coming back, and she could just chill while we were gone.

Helen continued her hyper active performance for about 4 months.  We simply had to kennel her  to get any work done.  It took about a month before she knew she was really home and accepted our routine.  She learned the rules of the house, and she knew what time it was.  She had a regular schedule that we agreed to and could easily abide by! She loved to take walks.  Her nose didn’t work either so there was never any stopping to sniff and, of course, she didn’t care a whit about other dogs !  Her hearing was marvelous, she could hear a pin drop!