October 21, 2008

Bird Pastel Painting, Mourning Doves

Early Snow, dry pastel
16 x 20
Pricing and availability can be found on my website.
Our mourning doves come to visit every year and they always bring a smile when they arrive. Sometimes I think I know which one is which from the previous year but then when there are twelve or thirteen on the birdbath it gets a bit difficult to tell who is who!

Cat Oil Painting, Perfect Perch

Perfect Perch
5 x 7, mixed media

Oh my, this was fun! This is a mixed media experiment on Richeson’s (relatively new) pastel paper. I am so excited about this new process I can barely contain myself! The paper has a bit of texture to it and the best I can describe it is “grainy” but it's not overwhelming - it adds just the perfect amount of texture. It’s just luscious and the colors are well-saturated. Though technically a "mixed media," the final stages of this piece were done in oils and then varnished.

The scene is of Biscuit, back on top of her favorite chair in “our” studio. I think she likes it on her perch because she is perfectly positioned for getting petted every time Larry and/or I walk past her to get to the studio sink or to the office. AND her chair is right next to the gas fireplace so she can stay nice and toasty during her long winter baths. So, the more I write, the more obvious it becomes that, indeed, Biscuit has discovered the perfect perch.

Cows and poetry

Most Magical
I'm quite
we heard
the same
laugh of the
same little
girl in the pasture.
I'm glad
we could share

October 17, 2008

about those gulls...

11 x 14 pastel
And Five Makes Happy Hour

Gull and Girls
where there are gulls
there will be girls
because they, too,
love the wind
and sea
and warm sand
on their toes.

I discovered that along the California Coast, just as along the Washington Coast, seagulls seem to gather on the sandy beaches just about the same time every day. Hmmmm.... just makes me wonder if they have their own kind of Happy Hour. I know these five seagulls certainly had a lot of catching up to do when they arrived.

This painting was selected for inclusion in a limited-edition hardcover, book published in 2007 by Richeson School of Art and Gallery.

October 06, 2008

So what's this about you being an artist?

Forever Yours
11 x 14
No, not everything is for sale, well, at least not my husband or cats :)

Just to answer a few questions I've been asked about my art...
When do you know when to stop?
How perfect does it have to be?
What difference does it make?
Are you obsessive about your art?

I can't "release it" if it's not right. I can let some parts of a painting remain “mooshed” and completely obsess over a strand of hair in another part. I can think I’m done, sign it and walk away from it. That sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

It's not, because the painting (or so it seems) will call me back to the easel, relentlessly at times. Time and time again. You might think I could choose to ignore it. The fact is, I can’t. It's the very thing that keeps me awake at night and what makes an eight hour drive seem like one. It’s that one thing in a painting that’s just not quite right...WHAT is IT? Is it the surface? Is it the value? the hue?...the message? chomp, chomp, chomp. It eats away until it gets what it wants; resolution on the canvas.

It's that inability to let it go that I hope, one day, will be what makes me a great artist in my own eyes and heart. Though I doubt I will ever know when (or if) that actually happens. I think there’s too much elusiveness in the creation of art to have a “there” moment. Art is ever-changing; it will never repeat itself and is never predictable. That’s the very reason art is so treasured and it is the essence of what makes it so valuable. After every piece, the artist stops doing that thing and starts doing another. Growing with one’s art, as in any relationship, is learning to understand and accept change and probably more than anything, embrace serendipity. It’s wonderful that as an artist I can have, and share, snapshots of that relationship in the form of paintings.

October 05, 2008

Cat Oil Painting, A Warm Welcome

A Warm Welcome 6 x 6 x 1.25
What a welcome sight she is when we walk in the door! Biscuit’s always got that look like she’s just so happy to see us. This painting captures the moment just before she bounces off the couch to tell us all about her day and what she did, and who she saw, and how many things she protected us from while we were out playing all day.

This is painted on one of those small 6 x 6 x 1 ¼ canvasses that doesn’t require a frame; it’s just so adorable! I love that it can sit on a table top, a shelf, a window sill…just about any place that needs an added smile and a purr.