Sunday, July 24, 2016

Curious Grey Horse, Blue Sky Background

This is a horse painting I just finished, an acrylic painting on a 24x30x2" gallery-wrapped canvas.  Prints and the original are for sale.

As I've probably stated before, I'm doing more and more farm animal paintings and am loving learning new animal anatomy.  Hope you like it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Checkers the Rooster!

This is one of my daughter's chickens, an adorable rooster that my granddaughter named "Checkers" for some unknown reason.  But Checkers it is!  I spent around an hour with him last week, taking photos and making sketches, and here's the painting that resulted from our little visit.  It's an acrylic painting on a stretched 16x20x3/4" canvas and is for sale on Etsy, along with prints of the painting.

I just love how feisty he is, and I think I may have to do at least one more painting of him.

I also redid the sunflower painting again, and I really like it better now.   It's much happier looking!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A couple more recent paintings I've done: A small rooster portrait and a fun sunflowers painting

 This little rooster painting is on an 8x10" canvas board and is one of several rooster paintings I'm doing at this time (the others are larger).  As usual, I'm selling both the original and prints of it.

This painting I did for myself because I love growing sunflowers -- and seeing them so much.  I become happier just looking at them, whether they're in my garden or on a wall in my house.  This one is currently hanging on my own kitchen wall.  However, if someone really wants the painting and buys it, I can, of course, do another sunflower painting for myself  : ) .  The original acrylic painting is a 24x36x1.5"  stretched canvas.  Prints are available as well.

I'm Taking a Few Orders for Commissioned Paintings this Summer

I've decided to take just a few orders this summer for commissioned paintings.  If you're interested, you can click on my page at the top right of my blog to get all the information you should need to get the process started.  Here's a commissioned painting I just finished:

This painting (16x20 on stretched canvas, acrylic) of a sweet pit bull was done for a long-time customer, and I enjoyed painting her so much that that's what helped me decide to take a few commissions.  I probably won't take any after the month of September because I don't want to get backed up with orders around the end-of-year holiday rush.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Guernsey girl on soft, light blue background

This is a beautiful Guernsey cow painting I just finished.  I really like it and have it hanging in my kitchen until it sells.  I have the original, an acrylic painting on 16x20x3/4" stretched canvas for sale (as well as prints of it) in my Etsy shop.

I've been seeing a lot of farm animal art showing up in very modern kitchens lately, and I really like the look, so I'm going to continue with it for a while.  Plus, I just love painting farm animals, too, so that helps a lot.

I just took quite a few photos of some of our own "chickens" a few days ago and will be painting at least one of them, one of the "chickens" who turned out to be a rooster!  He's quite saucy and sassy, and the photos I took just scream to be painted.

I'm also doing just a few custom paintings for a while, too; so if you're interested in getting in before I take another break, now is the time.  I'll probably stop taking custom orders around early September.  There's a page here that gives you all the particulars if you're interested.

I'll also be listing some in-progress paintings I've been working on lately, too, including the completed ones as soon as I get around to finishing them.  I've got so much going on lately that it's time to start finishing up a few projects.                                                                                                                                                        

This is the same cow but with white markings on her back.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Really enjoying the ceramic clay work after a long break

 These are just a few of the pieces I've been making lately.  The bottom photo is a sushi dish set that I made for my son-in-law for his birthday -- with home-made sushi on them, of course!!  I'll be making custom sushi sets before long and will list them in my Etsy shop,
(Hope that link works!)

I've also been making a few larger animal sculptures, too.  I've done a dog, which is about a foot-or-more tall, a cat, which is around 10 inches tall, and I'm working on a larger dog, which is around 1 1/2 feet tall.  They're a bit slow-going, though, because I'm out of practice at sculpting -- but getting better!

I'm missing painting quite a lot lately, too, so I'll try to do that as soon as I get a few more ceramic pieces done.

I tried retiring for a while some months back, but I just enjoy all my art"work" too much to think of quitting -- but I have to pay for my materials and new toys, too, so I have to keep making at least enough to cover my costs.  I'm even thinking about getting a new potter's wheel, too.  I haven't done that in forever!  (except for a few hours I have spent at one of the art galleries here in town where I can rent time on a wheel)  Life is good.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Another Sweet Jersey Cow, this time a young one

A very pretty little Jersey cow that I met on one of my photo-shooting trips to a small dairy farm in Oregon.  She's quite young but was out with the older cows in the field.

As usual, the original and the prints are listed in my Etsy shop.  Her name is Lark, by the way; she had a name tag on.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Ceramic Dog and Other Animal Masks

I've been receiving numerous inquiries about the ceramic animal masks I have done for years, so I thought I would finally respond here in hopes of answering some of the questions I've been receiving.

No, I do not have any available at this time.  I intend sometime this coming spring to make a limited number of them and will list them online when I do.  I'll let you know here where they'll be listed when they become available.

If you've lost or broken one that was really special to you, please get in touch with me and describe what it was like, preferably with photos, even of the broken piece if you have them.  I do my best to replicate pieces that were really special to someone.

Regarding my silence on my blog:  I am still working constantly on trying to master at some small level the landscape painting process.  It's a lot harder and much more complex than I had anticipated!  I work daily, so I am beginning to see small progress.

To give me a break from what I see as multiple disappointments in my landscape painting attempts, I am occasionally doing an animal painting.  I'll post them when I get a few done.  And eventually, I'll post some of my landscape attempts if for no other reason than to create a record of what I hope is a progression from not so good to some pretty good paintings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Had an Artist "Melt-Down" last evening

Okay, as you know, I've begun trying to do landscapes, and I've found it's really, really different from doing animals.  In my defense, I see landscape artists who try to do animals, and for the most part, they do pretty well, but they just don't quite get it.  So I understand that there are "tricks to every trade," even when it's still the trade of painting images.

I'm a perfectionist by nature (no, I don't like it; I think it's a major character flaw), so I'm trying way, way, way too hard at these landscape paintings.  Last evening, I was painting pretty much for the third time (on the same canvas, by the way) a painting I'm working on of a pretty scene near where I live with a falling-down shack, sitting by a creek.  I was really having some problems with color and light and too much detail.  I keep a timer so I'm forced to stop every five minutes to step way back and assess what I'm doing and where I'm going with my painting.  But I think I need to shorten it to three minutes, maybe.  I made a couple of bad strokes with way too much light on my brush, got absolutely disgusted with myself, and slapped paint all over the canvas, probably saying a few words that I ought not to have said.  Then in a panic, I tried to wipe all the offending marks off, which, of course, made a muddy mess of the whole thing.  Anyway, I acted in a very childish way and swore that I was never going to paint again, that I was a failure, etc., etc.  And, of course, too, I was awake most of the night, thinking about what I should have done differently.

Yes, I have a love/hate relationship with painting.  But again, as I've said many times, I'm compelled to keep trying.  We'll see.  I'm giving myself one hour today to get some sort of painting done of this pretty little shack, and I will list my result.

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Painting of the Yakima River as viewed from the Iron Horse Trail, Ellensburg, Washington

As I've said recently, I'm going to be doing landscapes for a while now, with probably a few farm animals thrown in here and there.  I'm intentionally throwing myself into an area in which I have almost no experience, and it's hard.  But I'm going to keep working on it for quite a while.  For one reason, this beautiful area that I've moved to would motivate even a non-painter to at least pick up a camera.  It's astonishingly beautiful here.  Even the most ordinary pathway has a palette of colors that forces even the most jaded person to stop and wonder at the beauty all around.

The painting below is, I know, not a great painting, but I'm going to post it anyway, perhaps to document my (I hope) progress in mastering at least somewhat the landscape.  This scene we see every few days as it's along one of the many trails we take on our daily walks.  This particular trail is one that crosses almost the entire state of Washington.  It's called the "Iron Horse Trail" (or in this specific area, it has been named also the "John Wayne Trail), and it is one of the great "rails-to-trails" projects that have occurred in the past few decades, turning no-longer-in-use railroad tracks into trails for hikers, bicyclists, horse trail-riders, or just happy walkers.  We're lucky to have it pass extremely close to where we live.

The photo left the painting a bit blurred, and I'll be doing a better shot of it very soon.  I wanted to go ahead and add it, though, before I got too afraid to do so.  At this point on the Yakima River, there are various channels coming together and creating quite a bit of rough water.  Beautiful, though.  There were a couple of fly-fishers there, but I chose to include just one.

I am now working on another painting, also of an area near our property, of a really old, falling-down shack sitting next to one of the large irrigation creeks/ditches in this part of the state.  I'm really enjoying painting it and look forward to sharing it.

Friday, November 6, 2015

An Update on the Theft of my Images

I am happy to report that after my having contacted Amazon, they have had me file a formal/legal complaint against the people who stole (and altered by removing my name) my images.  I expect that at the very least, the stolen images will be removed very soon.  I don't know if any sort of charges will be filed against the people or not; I hope so because I want this kind of theft to stop.  We painters work very hard to create our paintings, and it's a personal violation (as well as a financial one) when someone stoops to stealing and even selling the stolen images.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I've been pirated -- again!

My artwork has been pirated recently and is for sale on Amazon.  If you see any prints of my paintings (my signature has been edited out, by the way), please don't buy them from these thieves!  I've reported the problem to Amazon, by the way, and am still awaiting a response. So far, I've found only my cow paintings, and I have no idea where the thieves found large files to steal.  I have a few ideas, but I have no way of knowing exactly.   Here's one of the listings:

Really, really depressing!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why the cost of paints doesn't matter

This morning, I did my quick sneaky perusal of Facebook to see how much greater my family's and friends' lives are than mine, and I came across a post that made me think a lot about why I paint.  It was a photo of a few tubes of paint, and the poster was complaining about their price, which paint prices can be quite steep.  I almost never comment on Facebook, but this time I had to say a little something.  I said something along the lines of "Think of all the wonderful paintings you can do with these tubes of paint; then they don't seem so expensive."  That made me think about why I paint at all.  There are many other "careers" I could still have, but I'm somehow driven to paint.  And the cost of the materials is relatively irrelevant.

Well, I still don't know why I paint exactly, but I can give a bit of insight into it.  I paint because I am internally driven to do so.  Maybe there's a kind of personality that causes some people to push themselves to excel at something, not to compete with others but for the sheer satisfaction of knowing they're doing their best.

I have two main activities that I pursue in this way:  One, of course, is painting.  Painting is as necessary to me as eating or breathing.  I don't think I'm a very good painter -- better than many and worse than many, many more -- but I truly don't compare myself to others.  But to myself I'm not good enough yet.  Maybe that's what drives me to keep trying and trying, that I don't think I'm YET a very good painter.  I want to be the best painter that I personally can be, and I think I can be better.

I also have this overwhelming drive to master another language, in my case, French.  Unfortunately, I don't know anybody well who even speaks French, so this pursuit is for the most part unknown to those outside my family -- whom I drive mad with my constantly speaking to them in French.  (I am teaching my little granddaughter to speak French, though!)  But I think the same drive I have to paint is what motivates me to continue to improve my ability to speak French -- even if it's for the most part something I do "in a vacuum."

So, yes, the cost of the paints and all the other materials necessary to create paintings is high, but the personal rewards far outweigh the costs.  Plus, on a more practical note:  A tube of paint can go a long, long way in creating many paintings.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Brown Cashmere Goat Painting

Here's our second cashmere goat that I've painted.  I think she's a beautiful animal, and I really enjoyed painting her -- especially that foreshortened ear above her eye!  That was fun!  Hope you like her.  I've forgotten her name, so I'll add it later.

Due to a lack of interest currently in my goat paintings, I'm going to hold off painting the other, grey, adult goat and get on to some other paintings that I've been getting requests for.

The next one I'll be doing is a painting of a Holstein cow (I'll have to go search for one around here because I don't think there's one in the field across the road) lying in front of the beautiful old barn across the road.  Obviously, I'll have to combine the two of them onto one canvas, which is always a bit difficult for me because I have to get the perspective done perfectly, or it doesn't work.  We'll see . . . .

Another "As Promised." Some Photos of our "Really Old Complex of Buildings we Call Home" now

 This is a shot from the back of the old white farmhouse, with some of the out buildings on the left side, while the photographer is standing in the field behind the buildings.
 This is the small front yard of the farmhouse from the front porch.

This building is what I'm calling my "Ellensburg Blue."  I'll explain:  If you look, you'll notice that this place is really, really in great disrepair! And that's an understatement, too.  This is the second large building on the property, and it was kind of "thrown in," with the likely possibility that it would have to be destroyed.  Well, to us, my artistic family and I, it was studio space, lots and lots and lots of studio space, lots of rooms to explore (it has around 30 rooms in it)..

So back to the "Ellensburg Blue" appellation:  We are just outside the town of Ellensburg, which is the unique home to a beautiful robin's-egg-blue agate.  It's highly sought-after and very difficult to find, but I'm told that if one is very diligent and tenacious and has lots and lots of time to search, one might find an Ellensburg blue agate (aka "Ellensburg blue")  in any of the myriad rocks lying all around this place.  The outside of the rock that houses the agate I hear is quite ordinary, often described as a shriveled up old potato; but when the rock is broken open, the beautiful wonder lies within.

So it's the same with this old brick building:  On the outside, it's not a pretty sight at all, but inside there are beautiful studio rooms to work in and lots of places to explore and someday fix up as the place deserves.

Here's a photo of one I found via Google from around here.  And, also, here's a story about the Ellensburg-blue agate, too, from the Seattle Times newspaper:

This coming summer, I'll be painting upstairs in an airy, very-well-lighted part of the building that needs a lot of work.  The basic structure of the building is sound (we've had it inspected after purchase), and except for some damage done by rain and snow and human mistreatment over the years, it's in pretty good shape.   Well, it has "good bones" for the most part.  It's going to need a lot of cosmetic work to get it pretty good looking, both inside and out, but it's worth the time and effort -- and cost!!  I have a ceramics shop in one room, and my other family members have several rooms that they've claimed for their studio space.

I'll add a lot more photos later when I have more time, including photos of the insides.  Plus, I'll be sure to include photos of the landscapes around here (breath-taking!) and of the old red barn just across the road (not a part of our property, but it is a part of the original complex of buildings here that go back to from the late 1800's to the very early 1900's.