I find it pretty stressful to paint portraits of dogs, but in the long run, it’s very rewarding and worth the time spent. The problem always is that the dog owner knows and loves their dog(s) very much, but I only have a couple of photos to work with! The process is difficult but the end result is usually worth all the anxiety!
The end of summer and painting dog stories….There are many parts and pieces to the rescued dog stories, but we are working away to publish a 2nd book. Meanwhile, I found this half finished piece in my art files and decided to finish it. Ideas are great and fun and inspirational too…but actually resolving the painting is always a challenge! I’m working on large 31X41″ print paper which is very tough and takes a lot of abuse…good thing!
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.
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
Every day presents new content to my life. The garden is the mediator of the turmoil of every day. There’s nothing like removing a weed and planting a flower, or placing a big rock just where it should be to provide some balance. Some of life’s problems just have to exist!
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!
I’ve had this painting called “dog Cave” (see previous blog) hanging in my studio for it seems like an eternity, but in reality….only about a month. I wasn’t sure what I was trying to say…and whether memory caves were such a good idea anyway. Who needs to live in a cave? who needs to “remember” the past when the present offers some amazing beauty of it’s own. If I were always in the past, I might not be open to the present….to the sky!
So, even after some huge amount of work on the “dog Cave”, I took the large brush to this work and transformed it into a painting on the go. I was inspired by this incredible cloud formation I took a photo of last week. I’m finding clouds and sky formations very lovely and I’d like to do more of this kind of work…..really really. The sky seems to offer a surprise every day with really great ” one of a kind” paintings as a possible new direction. I have a camera full of these daily cloud/weather events. I feel the need to not only record them with my I-Phone,
but also to paint these amazing events. This may be one of the benefits living in a small town north of a big city. The sky seems to be a much bigger part of my life every day! I don’t know why I’ve been resisting the urge to do these clouds when I have an I-phone packed with many great sky images….