I Just Can’t Contain Myself

If ever there were a flower bursting with joy it would be the peonies growing behind my deck. When I first moved into this house they were growing on the side of the house. Who could see them there? I moved them right outside my back deck where I can see them from my desk and they have flourished.

I have invited other artists over to paint them, as I just had to share their beauty. I feel like there is a garden party the whole time they are in bloom. I cannot paint them enough.

I present to you “Bursting Peony” available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/685548

Bursting Peony
Bursting Peony, 6×6″ oil on panel

Who Doesn’t Love Their Dog Raise Your Hand

I thought so. If you have a dog you love him or her to death. He’s a good boy; she’s a good girl. (So don’t ask them that anymore; just tell them already!)

My last post, the dog portrait, got a lot of attention AND a commission to paint another dog portrait, Lucy. What a beauty she is.

I love to paint; it is a joy. It’s like when you “throw the ball for the dog” kind of joy.

Painting a commissioned piece is a bit more stressful I find. It’s more like “sitting there with the biscuit on your nose waiting to be told, ‘Ok'”, kind of fine line between pain and pleasure.

So in the end I do my best see what happens.

Here is “Lucy”.

Lucy
“Lucy” 8×10″ oil on canvas

Don’t Tell My Cats I Painted A Dog

I’ve painted five pictures of cats—not all mine—and two with people walking their dogs but they are pretty small. This is my first portrait of a dog.

My cat, Buster, was rescued from a parking lot when a stray cat had a litter there. When I thought he needed a friend (he told me later he didn’t). I went to the Capitol Area Humane Society to find LeeLuu. She is a sweetheart.

The CAHS is having their annual fundraiser, the Fur Ball Gala, “Casabarka”. I am donating this painting for their auction. My photographer friend, John Diephouse, provided me with a photograph of his dog Cooper, to use as a reference from which to paint. I hope it brings in a good bid.

Casabarka

Surveying Her Subjects

She came in as the younger, smaller cat in the house, but soon took over as the one in charge. The back of the couch is the highest point in the room that is comfortable. She can see the whole room, the other cat, me, and the backyard out the window across the room. She has great color, sort of black and brown, some rust and white, a pink nose and “odd socks” as I call them, meaning each paw is different.

Quite a demanding little kitty, she yells at me when she wants something, but if I whisper at her, she will whisper back. She is a great model and I could paint her all day long. Now that the springtime sun is making its way into our home, and sunbeam naps are on the schedule, a new painting is inevitable.

Surveying Her Subjects
“Surveying Her Subjects”, 6×6″ oil on panel

Available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/664015

Patience

When we are quiet, when we observe, when we are still, we let it in. We let in nature, as it will begin to trust us. We let in beauty as we see more. We let in peace as we connect with the heartbeat of the universe.

Or, like this little kitty, well, he is trying to let in his next meal I suppose.

watching
“Watching”, 6×8″ oil on panel

Available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/660292

It’s A Big Job

by Guest Blogger, Fred the Cat

It’s a big enough job patrolling the garden, but when a dozen artists invade the place and I have to check out each one with all those shoes, and bags, and sticks in the ground, it’s a wonder I get to all my usual checkpoints. Good thing I have bench, with its raised vantage point and luxury sunbeams, to take a well deserved rest.

my-garden-spot
My Garden Spot, oil on panel, 6×8″

Available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/657133

Bluebird

bluebird
“Bluebird” 6×6″ oil on panel

Late at night when the wind is still

I’ll come flying through your door

And you’ll know what love is for

I’m a bluebird

“Bluebird” is a song credited to Paul and Linda McCartney that was originally released on the Wings’ album Band on the Run.

These cute little guys don’t visit my yard. My sister is lucky. They even nest in her yard from time to time.

They’ve been used as symbols in songs by Paul McCartney, by David Bowie, by the Moody Blues, and Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow”. I remember a childhood rhyme that was something…”Bluebird, bluebird, in and out the window…”

Quite a popular little fellow.

Available at Daily Paintworks: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/651926

“Untitled”

Creating a piece of art is not enough if you put it out into the world. A titled is required. Some artists think the art should speak for itself and “Untitled” is sufficient. Most viewers would like more. They would like to gain a little insight from the title. What was the artist thinking when they created this piece?

More likely, what was the artist thinking when they created this title?

Obvious titles such as “Apples in a Bowl” at least allow a way to inventory the work. I am guilty all too often of taking this easy way out. Other options are to pick a small, bright spot in the work, or the focal point.

Some artists look to poetry, songs, quotes, religion, books, or humor to find their titles. If you paint a lake you might avoid the name of the lake or you may turn off potential buyers because it’s not their lake.

Every once in awhile when I come up with my concept for the piece, I come up with the title at the same time. That’s the best. I feel like I’m on a first name basis with my art before I’ve even painted it. How can that not turn out good?

After much soul searching and staring at my new painting I came up with “Ethereal Glow” for the title. I didn’t want to be obvious—”Fish in Pond”, Koi and Goldfish”, or “Sunlit something”. They certainly did glow in the sun, and looked somewhat heavenly as they swam in and out of the green and blue depths. What do you think?

etheral-glow
“Ethereal Glow” 6×8″ oil on panel

Available at http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/643073

Thank You for Patronizing Me…Wait…What?

Webster defines patron as “a person who gives money and support to and artist, organization, etc.” and patronize as “to give money or support to (someone or something)” OR “to talk to (someone) in a way that shows you believe you are more intelligent or better than other people.”

My niece came over to buy a painting of mine (what higher compliment is there than a relative parting with their hard earned money to buy my art?) she saw on Facebook and as she was leaving I said, “Thank you for patronizing me.” Y e a h…somehow it didn’t sound quite right. We just laughed.

Now the holidays are over, that rush of relatives is warm memory, Michigan grayness settles back in and its time for a cup of tea. Maybe today a bit of honey and lemon will be just fine.

honey-lemon
Honey & Lemon, oil on panel, 6×8″

Available at Dailypaintworks on auction: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/637275

The UNDO Command – Oh Technology

Long ago when I learned to use a computer I quickly got used to the UNDO command. My thumb and middle finger became ingrained in this keyboard motion and I found my fingers repeating this motion in spite of myself whenever I make a mistake whether I was on a computer or not!

There is no such command in painting. I think I’m done with a painting but…maybe…that one area might look better if it were a bit lighter…noooooo. It doesn’t. UNDO. UNDO. UNDO. Sigh…

If the paint underneath was dry I might be able to wipe it off, but that is not the case. So I scrape it off and repaint, telling myself how stupid I am. But, frustrating as it may be, it always turns out better than it was to begin with. Wow. And I’m happy again.

A friend of mine confessed that her thumb and finger try to expand pictures in magazines to make them bigger. Ha!

Oh, technology.

kayak-the-river
“Kayak the River” 6×8″ oil available at MICA Gallery