I love quirky still life paintings, and had so much fun painting this Star Wars Lego dude! Look for more toy paintings from me in the future.
If anyone is interested in owning this little guy, he comes framed and is available in my etsy shop.
It's been a busy month, with two shows and finishing my big horse commission. I used google's task timer to keep track of the time the horse painting took and logged about 60 hours! I can't wait to post photos of it after the holidays.
I'm working on a large commissioned piece right now of two horses. Unfortunately, no photos until after Christmas. You never know who's going to see what you post, and I would hate to ruin the surprise for my client.
But I can show you a couple of cows I painted recently. I found this cow in Oklahoma on a very windy day. (Aren't they all windy in Oklahoma??) I loved the way the wind blew the hair on the top of her head straight up. It makes her look like she has an attitude.
And the next one is a different sort of cow. I painted a still life of the Fisher Price Cow. It brings up so many good memories for me; the Fisher Price Farm was one of my all time favorite toys as a kid.
This is actually one of my favorite paintings I've done to date.
I'm not sure what happened to my blogging frequency compared to previous years. Somewhere along the way I had days where it felt more like work than fun and I needed a break. And of course, when you get out of the habit of something, the longer you wait, the harder it is to start back up.
Facebook may be another culprit... it's so quick and easy to post pics and updates there. Question: Is facebook is making blogging obsolete? People seem to want quick info these days, and it can be hard to find time to read (and write!) long blog posts.
But in the end, blogs and facebook are two different animals. There's a lot I miss about the blogging world, and feel it's time to reenter.
Due to my lack of posts this year, it may look like I haven't been up to much, but in truth I've been pretty busy with my art. One of the things I've been having fun painting is still life's. Here's a still life I painted of some of my husband's pottery. Shino is a type of glaze.
I'm finding that still life paintings are a great exercise to really learn to see colors and form, and is a lot different than working from photos. I'm painting a couple small still life's a week as a way to keep improving my work. We'll see where it takes me.
Cloud is doing great. I can't believe he's 10 years old now. Here's a photo from this morning.
My largest studio painting to date. I got some good photos of this bull standing in a field when I was in Oklahoma earlier this year. I was in complete awe of not only his massive size and strength, but also of the equal measure of dignity that went along with it. This painting represents more to me than just a painting of a beautiful animal. I titled it, Beyond Measure, after the opening line from Marianne Williamson's Our Deepest Fear:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
I love the way animals never question their own existence the way humans do, and I love the way they're always true to themselves. I love the way animals exemplify qualities I admire, such as courage, strength, and living in the now. As this bull looked over the fence at me, he seemed to be saying, "I am worthy simply because I am here, on this Earth, in this moment. And so are you..."
If you're interested in watching this painting come together, I put together a video of the process. I hope you enjoy it!
In other news, I'm having an opening reception tomorrow, Saturday the 13th, from 1 - 5 pm at the Corning Fine Arts Center. If you're anywhere in the area, I hope you can stop by! http://www.corningfinearts.com/
I started a large (30 x 30") painting of a Brahma (or Brahman) bull, but took some time out to paint this black bear - I wanted to experiment with some thicker, looser paint applications before I tried them on the big bull, and thought this small (10 x 8") would be good practice. I'm happy to say this painting has already sold.
I wish there was a great story behind this painting. I really do. Something that involves adventure, excitement, and trusting my life to a surefooted mule on a winding, dizzying, death-defying canyon trail. Traveling to paint on location at a remote site only accessible by said trusty, surefooted mules. Wouldn't that be great?
The real story behind this painting is far less adventurous:
Friend: Hey Kat, I went to the Grand Canyon and you know those mules that you can ride down to the bottom?
Friend: We didn't get to ride them down. They're booked up a year in advance. But I took a good photo of some of the mules in the corrals. Do you want to paint it?
This is the first still life I've painted in a very, very long time. In all of my animal paintings, I work from photos out of necessity. Over the last year, I've become more interested in painting from life. I enjoyed painting this still life so much, that it will NOT be a very, very long time before I paint another one.
This painting is being displayed at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, during the month of March as part of the Nebraska Women's Caucus for Art's group show.
Here is a photo of the set up. My mother found the antler during a walk in the woods last year. I'm sure most of you know that male deer lose their antlers every winter and regrow them in the late spring and summer. The sagebrush in the vase is from Montana, and was given to me by a friend. The antler and the sage lend enough of a "nature" feeling, that even though this is far from my usual subject matter, this painting feels like me.
I couldn't resist painting this pose of my Rat Terrier, Cloud. He has the most expressive face I've ever seen. This is the sixth painting I've done of him (he is my little muse), and it is my favorite one to date.
Here are a few work in progress photos. In this one, I've laid down some background color and started painting his face.
Now I'm blocking in the main colors, trying not to get too detailed, but paying attention to the way the light falls on his fur. Oh those ears, how I love them!
Most of his face is blocked in now. The next step is to go back and refine everything.
And the finished painting. Not much in the way of a background because I wanted all the focus to be on Cloud. His head and neck have a nice solid sense of form to them, more so than some of my older pieces I think.
I hope you've enjoyed the painting and this series of photos.
This is a studio piece based on a plein air (on location) study I did last June. Murray Hill is part of the Loess Hills, which run along the western border of Iowa. The study helped me capture the mood of that summer day in my studio during January - the threatening storm clouds, the humidity, the wind. It never did end up raining that day, oddly enough.
There's only a few days left to vote for your favorite dog painting in the Canine Art Guilds "Helping Paws" online exhibit. The prize money for People's Choice awards go to the artists dog rescue of choice. I'm supporting Greyhounds Unlimited, and we would appreciate your vote!
This painting means a lot to me. A few of you may recognize this dog as my Brittany Benny who passed away in 2009 at the age of 14.
Senior dogs, and Benny in particular, have such a dignity and gentleness about them. They aren't burdened with our hang-ups and worries about aging. They don't notice or care about their graying faces.
I don't have many work-in-progress photos of this piece, but here is the beginning stage with the thin underpainting.