Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On a wire

I love it when the crows hold conventions on the wires stretched across the streets. They are so active and social and so interested in all things.
This is my attempt to capture their congregation.
Barbara liked the composition of the Oppossum and the crows. She wasn't thrilled with the raccoons. I of course liked the raccoons.
I'd love to hear your comments.

Another concept sketch

Of the concepts I created as part of an application to be considered to be a public artist, I drew three sketches, all having to do with animals. But instead of cats and dogs, here are some pictures of wildlife.

Is it a cat (Remember that email that went around that described a "cat" that had been found with long teeth and sharp claws?)? A rat? Or, what? The northwest's version of a kangaroo?

In this urban creatures theme, I would also include coyotes, people and their pets (the homeless youth with the pit bull pup, the guy who shops with his snake wrapped around his shoulders, the woman who takes her parrot for a walk.....) pigeons, crows, starlings, and even bats.

I will include the last rough sketch I did for the application next.

When I'm not doing pet portraits......

I am usually wasting time. I really have been working to be more structured with my time and having set hours in the studio.
But this past week, I was not wasting time - or maybe I was. Instead, I was creating rough sketches of ideas that could be used on a public art project.
My friend Barb had told me about the opportunity months ago... She reminded me again on Thursday. Said all they wanted was a letter. So in my copious spare time -- actually while I was avoiding doing other things -- I wrote the letter of intent and worked on a resume.
Then she offered to help, so over the weekend, we worked on a proposal. I did three quick sketches on copy of paper and scanned them.
Here is my favorite -- and Barb's least favorite. If I ever use this, I will change the composition.......... but, like I said, it's a concept sketch more than anything else.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


I have been talking a lot about my travails in painting. I've been making excuses about not good enough photos, not having enough time, being undisciplined.

Yesterday, after a particular trying coaching session, I went to Daniel Smith and did some retail therapy. I got a tube of Indian Red (look at the nose) and yellow ochre. Then, I dropped my dog off at Ideal Pet Stop and painted.

I went to get my dog a couple of hours later and came back into my studio and painted.

Around 11, I got a beer and banana, literally and figuratively stepping back from the canvas. I saw something very similar to this. I put a little highlights here and there, but other than that, I was done.

I am happy. We'll see if the client is happy.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Dog or Fox?

Is this a dog or fox? Or simply a failure?

In my effort to uncover my creative process, I feel I must show this painting.

I love pitbulls but with their wrinkles and heavy jowls, they are hard to paint. Some of them have less massive jowls than others but have the same wide head.

I was too close to finish when I realized that rather than making the jowls less heavy on this one, I made them non-existent.

I do like the color though, half way between yellow and red. I will strive for that in the redo.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Rascal with different colors

Last time I posted Rascal, I talked about a green smudge under his eye that was a mistake. It's gone. All other smudges that you see are not mistakes! Ha!

Really, I generally like to have smudges on my paintings. Look at a few of my past paintings and you'll see.

The smudge disappeared and more turquoise/green appeared.

This was mailed off on Tuesday.

Sketching Penny

As I was leaving the pet store the other day, a woman asked me why I hadn't painted my own dog. I stuttered and hmmmed, but the truth is she's very hard to paint. She's got floppy jowls and an expressive face that's pretty hard to capture.
But, I've realized lately that I've not been spending enough time sketching things that aren't commissions, so I decided I'd try a few rough sketches every day.
And that is what this is.
You can of course become her friend on Facebook. Search for Penny the BRD. BRD stands for Big Red Dog. Like Clifford. I don't call her PBRd because I don't want her confused for an alcoholic beverage.

Different eyes

I posted Minnie earlier this month asking whether she looked mean.

One of my critics, and fan, suggested that her eyes were a bit too stark and contributed to her mean look.

I toned down the eyes and I believe she looks like a gentler soul, which is what her owner said she was.

She was sent to the woman who commissioned her earlier this week.