No matter how hard I try, I can’t get away from the fact that I just LOVE painting wolves. They are perfect subjects: mysterious, expressive, beautiful, fierce. They embody all of the characteristics I love in art.
My vision for the Shelter Me series is to capture the faces and emotions of the animals who wait in shelters for their new homes. This is my first attempt. It’s not quite there yet, but I can almost see where it is going. I took the photo that I am using for reference years ago at a local kill shelter. The dog in the photo, being part pit bull, likely never made it out of the shelter (although I hope I am wrong about that!) It makes me so sad to think about all of the animals that spend weeks in shelters, scared, alone, only to be euthanized. I hope painting these pictures will honor them in some way.
Quite a few years ago, I bought a stack of book-matched pieced of wood from a luthier who was going out of business. I’m not exactly sure what I planned to do with them all, but they have been sitting in the basement waiting for me ever since. So, I decided to see what would happen if I tried painting on them. Well, I quite like the results! In areas where I thinned the paint with water, it absorbed nicely into the would, giving it a stained effect. Where I applied the paint heavily, it sat nicely on the surface.
This piece was a gift for friends who have a beautiful dog named Henrik. He was a shelter dog and has begun to thrive with their love. This may be the style that I adopt for my “Rescue Me/Shelter Me” series. I still haven’t decided. I am excited to get started working on it. I know exactly who my first subject will be! His name is Luke and he is a guest of MaPaw Siberian Husky Rescue. He and his friend, Dora, came into MaPaw from a local shelter. Soon after arrival, they were both found to have Canine Influenza. Sadly, Dora did not make it. Luke spent several days in critical condition, but is now improving. Their vet bills are quite high and my hope is that the sale of Rescue Me: Luke will help offset them just a bit.
I started building a “portfolio” on Fickr and it has been interesting looking back at some of my old work. In some ways, I’m very sentimental for the easy way I could put paint on canvas. But, I can also see that I have grown as a painter and I almost think I like where my work is going. Does every painter endlessly question their ability? Hopefully insecurity makes us better. That’s it, right?
This is one of my favorite paintings! It started out very rigid and just wasn’t working until the cow just found her way out of the paint.
Yesterday, I completed a painting that I have been “thinking about” for months. “Three Little Cows” has been painting itself in my mind forever, I just couldn’t seem to get it onto the canvas.
For 2009 I made the resolution that I would do a lot more painting. I have two more paintings that I want to complete before I go back to work on Monday. Both are watercolors, so I should be able to do it. And if I have time, I want to try painting on some of the home-made, recycled paper that my husband made from all of the junk-mail that gets shredded up around here.
This year, I decided to give things that I make rather than buy a bunch of over-priced nic-nacs that nobody actually wants anyway. This is the first painting that I completed. It is my friend’s grandchildren. She is going to give it to her daughter for Christmas. I still have to complete one for her, but I won’t be seeing her again until after the holiday break, so I have time.
I also completed an acrylic portrait of my neighbor’s dog who recently passed and a watercolor of another friend’s new dog.
So far, I have given both watercolors and they have been very well received. I need to wrap uo the acrylic for a Christmas visit…hopefully it will also be liked.
It’s particularly gratifying to give a gift of yourself and have people love it! I am inspired to do a lot of painting over the holidays! My daughter and I set up and paint side-by-side. Sometimes we help each other. Sometimes we just enjoy each other’s company. Either way, it’s always great fun!
I started this painting months before I finished it. It sat in the corner of my room next to my bureau waiting to be finished. I really didn’t even like it. The nose was wrong and the tail wasn’t placed properly. I wasn’t even sure that I was going to finish it. Then one day, I saw what it should look like. I got out my paints and literally picked the wolves out of the mess of paint on the canvas. After months of staring at it, the painting was finished in two hours. I still haven’t figured out my process. It just seems to happen when it happens. Wish I could learn to force it or focus it or what ever you want to call it…