One of the fun commissions I was honored to do, and I'm now able to post it :-) I felt it was appropriate for New Year's Eve. We should all hug the ones dear to us and wish for a peaceful and kind 2016.
This is my last post before Christmas, but before I sign off for the Holiday I want to thank you all for making this such a great art year. I really appreciate your interest in my work and all the commissions you have entrusted me to do, as well as the positive feedback you have shared with me throughout the year. You have all enriched my life. Merry Christmas to you and your families. See you soon.
Meet Brooklyn, one of the sweetest dogs owned by Lesleigh Cook. Brooklyn's painting is a thank you for all she does for us (Tallulah in particular). I keep saying this because it's so true, but without Lesleigh's training and patience with us, we might not have kept our most wonderful dog. However, I must add that Lesleigh MUST stop laughing at me when I get out of the back seat of the car with Lula. I have to sit next to her to keep her from barking at all the cars that go by...Perhaps another training class...probably for me :-)
I have been feverishly finishing up all the commissions I have been asked to do, and have enjoyed them more than I can even say. I'm still working on a couple more and will have them ready to go for Christmas giving. I don't post them all at the request of the customers. This is Stuart, a beautiful yellow Lab. This one was an honor to do because Stuart died suddenly not long ago and a friend of Stuart's owner asked me to paint his portrait. I shipped it off a few days ago. The colors here are not exactly accurate; a little faded out for some reason. I hope the painting brings Stuart's family some comfort at such a hard time.
A scene from my recent visit to The National Gallery of Art in DC. The Sir Peter Paul Rubens painting "Daniel in the Lions' Den" depicts the Old Testament profit Daniel giving thanks to God for being miraculously saved from the lions. It is said that Rubens described the painting as "Daniel among the lions, taken from life. Original, entirely by my hand." The North American lions Rubens used as his models were kept in the Royal menagerie at Brussels.
This is my third painting in my museum series. The original painting is quite large and is awe-inspiring. I kept being drawn back to it. Painting it was certainly a challenge. I found it the most difficult thing I've attempted, but learned so much in the process. Rubens and I became good friends :-)
During a recent show of his pottery display, "78 Tea Bowls", Andre Namenek took a break and sat back to take in all the activity. I've been drinking out of my two purchased bowls and love the texture and warmth when I hold them. I had to wait in line to purchase them...That's how crowded and busy it was. A successful show and a happy potter. I really enjoy talking to Andre and loved painting him. I was so pleased that this painting was sold at our Old Jail Hill Art Space show.
I was so lucky to go to the National Gallery of Art on a Sunday when the Drawing Salon was in progress. The John Singer Sargent room was full of artists young and old intent on sketching Sargent's masterpieces. I would have joined in, but was on a mission to see as much of the incredible art as I could. Next time, I plan on joining in. What a treat!! This is my second in what I hope is a never ending series of paintings of museums and art patrons.
This is the first in my series of paintings based on my recent visit to the National Gallery in Washington DC. What an awe-inspiring visit! To be in a room face to face with an original masterpiece is so wonderfully inspiring, and humbling :-) This young woman was enthralled with Amedeo Modigliani's 'Nude on a Blue Cushion.' I was, too....
A patron checking out Warhol's soup cans at the MOMA! This painting and lots of other new ones will be at the Old Jail Hill Art Space Exhibit at Goose Creek Studio in Bedford, VA. The show begins November 13th and runs through the month. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello :-)
These people owns a beautiful inn in Maine that we stayed at. I caught them here pruning their gorgeous flowers and shrubs. I loved the composition and gave it a go. The shadows and sunlight was what I was after.
I'm so glad I am able to post this painting now that Graham's painting is in its permanent home. Thank you, Lesleigh, for the opportunity to paint this gorgeous dog. I hope this brings his owners much joy now and in the future.
These buildings are in the process of being renovated unfortunately...or fortunately. I love the quirkiness or them and that tilted telephone pole. Everything is uneven, the boards different colors, and that great bright roof.
A patron studying John Singer Sargent's "Eugenia Errazuriz" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. The subject was a Chilean patron of modernism and a style leader of Paris, according to information I read about her. Sargent painted her a number of times.
Here's Magnum, a beautiful yellow Lab commission I just finished. I've been busily balancing, (or trying to), my animal commissions and other assorted paintings. I'm loving all of these chances to load all that paint on my brushes. Each and every painting is a joy, and I'm so thankful to have people interested in my work. I know I've said it before, but thank you all for giving me the opportunity to paint up a storm!
Just a quick update on the painting I did of "The Rescue". I sent an article to our local paper, "The Smith Mountain Eagle", and was connected to the person who helped us out when our boat motor died. I am so happy to be able to thank him properly and give him the painting (which you can see in the post below). THANK YOU SMITH MOUNTAIN EAGLE, and the wonderful Editor, Rebecca Jackson, for printing the little article. I really appreciate your help.
On Labor Day, we were out on our boat with friends enjoying the day when suddenly an alarm went off and our motor died. As we sat bobbing around we discussed what we would do. It was late in the day, and there weren't many people on the lake at that time. We were about to call Sea Tow, when a really nice man came by on his jet ski with his beautiful dog on the back. He asked if we needed help and towed us all the way back to our dock. His dog didn't seem the least bit concerned, even though it was hot and there wasn't much of a breeze. What amazes me the most is what wonderful people live here at Smith Mountain Lake. Actually, all over. With all we hear about the horrible people in this world and the horror they cause, it is nice to remember that the majority of people are good and kind, and just trying to live a decent life.
Sitting on the rocks above the ocean, listening to the crashing waves, smelling the salt air, feeling that cool breeze; there is nothing like it in my opinion. That's why I keep painting it :-) This is a group of artists enjoying the moment.
This is a quick rendering of one of my favorite places. The angle is a little quirky because I took the reference photo as we were driving by. It became a challenge (all those angles), but I gave up stressing over them and just painted them by eye. That probably contributes to the quirky-ness. If you are passing through Bedford, VA, stop in. Great framing, Great art, Super Great Owners :-)
This painting just seemed to happen. I'm always amazed that some paintings work so easily, and some are such a struggle. This was one of the easier ones for me. I also think it has to do with time and place. If your mind is somewhere else and not in the moment, things just become much more difficult. I guess that goes for everything.
It's been a really busy summer. I'm working on a few commissions and have not had time to paint just for the sake of painting, but am starting a new one tomorrow (I hope). So, here is a flash from the past. I thought it would be a good one to post since baseball season is almost coming to a close. Fall is coming! YEAH!!!
This is the third little painting of Tallulah's "fun" day on the floater. Try and try again, she simply wouldn't go off into the water; that is until she had a little help. Once in, she was happy and retrieved her ball, but we gave up and didn't make her try it again. The water in these three paintings is the same color but shows up a little differently due to the time of day they were photographed. They look really nice in sequence. In my eyes, she's a STAR!
If interested in purchasing one or all of these, please email me (link on right).
This is the second in the series of three paintings of Tallulah. I already posted this on FB, but want to keep them together on my blog, so here it is following the other I just posted. When I post them all together, it will make more sense...I hope.
This is one in a series of three paintings I did of Tallulah being tempted off our floater dock. They work really well in a series so I will post each individually, and then all three together in sequence. She eventually went in, although not entirely the way we had planned :-)
I've been a little slow at posting recently due to busy summer happenings and lots of commissions. Here is one of the completed animal portraits. I've never owned cats, always dogs, so painting them is always a little challenging. Fun but challenging. For me, the animal's personality, or what I perceive as their personality, is what I'm after.
Summer storms come out of nowhere. This was one of them. We were lucky to pass through the impending deluge and not be affected by it. But that sky!! The sun had a green cast to it creating strange lighting and emphasizing the dark clouds. I tried to capture it here. Moody...Yes?
...And now for something new :-) These are two of my pieces hanging at Portiuncula Guild Gallery's show entitled "Naked and Not Ashamed: The Human Figure in Narrative. I must say, I really enjoyed this project. The work was to be related to Genesis.
Here is my thought process for the painting of Adam and Eve: The story goes, Eve offered Adam the apple and caused the downfall of all humankind. I empowered Eve by having her eat the apples herself and not offer any to Adam. She is no longer guilty of bringing on all things evil, and therefore feels no shame in her nakedness. This simplifies it a little. I could go on, but won't.
For "Museum of Antiquities..." I'll leave you to decide :-) What fun I had with this one....
Anyway, the show was wonderful. Lots of really creative offerings there and so many talented artists to see and talk to.
There is nothing as comforting as seeing lights shining in a window at night. It is as if they are beckoning you to come in to safety. We were fortunate to be able to spend time with our friends at this beautiful beach house before the busy summer season began. Returning from a walk on the beach at dusk, "our" house was the only one with lights shining, and it looked so lovely. Just another day in the life.....
Day's End at Shining Sails Inn on Monhegan Island. The last light hitting the flowers behind the inn. One wouldn't think that flowers would grow so beautifully on Monhegan , a rock in the middle of the ocean off the coast of Maine. It is truly an enchanted place and a feast for an artist's eyes.
Growing up, each summer we would rent a beach cottage for a week with aunts, uncles, and cousins (even though we lived by the bay and ocean). It was such a wonderful, free time...My cousins and I, out in the early morning to gather snails, (I'm not sure what we did with them once we had them), water play during the day, jumping off the deck into the dunes for hours on end, lots of seafood, and roasting marshmallows by the fire before bed. Ahhh...the good old days! This house (although much more upscale) brings back all those memories.
The beach was deserted this particular morning, except for this beautiful woman walking slowly through a tidal pool that had formed. The early morning sun reflected off her body leaving just form with little detail. I loved that and really love the way this painting came out!
This scene is a moment of Zen for me. I could move right into one of those cottages and be very happy looking out at the water or simply smelling that salty air. Another painting using a very limited palette and quick strokes. The image didn't photograph too well because of the wet paint, but it's pretty close to the original.
If I don't get to post before Saturday, HAPPY, SAFE 4TH everyone!!
I set this still life up to paint as a study for a larger painting and to work out all the kinks, but now that it's finished I really like the size, looseness, and spontaneity of it. I'm enjoying working from life. There is a totally different feel to my paintings, I think. I'm also still amazed at the colors I can get from those three primaries. I now realize that I didn't need to purchase every paint color imaginable from the Blick catalog :-)
Here's Tallulah, swimmer extraordinaire.... She never went near the water except to chase the geese, and even then she wouldn't go in, only run up to the edge of the water and come back in. The geese knew her and would jump back into the water and just wait until she returned to the house. They were totally shocked when she bounded down and jumped in right after them. We were afraid she would keep on going, (which she did for quite a while) but thankfully returned to the shore. We've created a monster, but we so love to watch her joy when she swims. This is the first in what I think will be a series of swimming paintings. I hope you don't get bored :-)
Our dock house is a mess so my project the other day was to clean it up, but before I did I took a few photos. The colors and textures really interested me. If it wasn't so hot, I would have brought my easel down and painted then and there, but the AC was calling me back to my studio :-) Thus, the dock house clutter in oil....
Storms come out of nowhere here at the lake. It can be perfectly sunny with no rain predicted and suddenly the dark clouds roll in, the wind picks up, the lake gets choppy, and the rain appears in the distance and works its way towards us. I always think I have to paint this but never rush to get my Gorilla box and paints. This time, I did! I tried to capture the misty, hazy, windy aspect and am pleased with the results. Sometimes the spontaneous ones work the best for me.
A few years ago we planted a few daisies. Few being the key word. This year they have taken over almost the entire front flower bed. Guests have to push them aside or plod through them to get to our front door. I decided to cut them and bring them in, so here are just a few that I stuck in a little vase. I painted this as a fast study in preparation for one of the larger bouquets...Yes, I do have a number of larger bouquets all over the house. There are still more out there that haven't opened yet. Anyone want some daisies???
This is a gift for a wonderful friend who grooms and watches over our Sproodle, Tallulah, when we are away. The portrait is of Dakota, her beautiful Golden who recently passed on and will be missed. Animals add so much to our lives and it seems doubly hard when they go, but their memories linger on forever.
This is a plein air I painted this week just as the sun was setting over the lake. There was a haze in the distance lifting off the lake, and a few fishing boats were finishing up for the day. Peaceful and quiet. Then comes the weekend (like now) and boats are flying all over the lake pulling children on floats, jet skiers are zipping around, and the waves from the boats bang against the dock. Just another perspective on things. Still good...Just different :-)
This is part of a beautiful bouquet from our community supported agriculture farm. Not only was it beautiful to look at and paint, but it smelled so fresh and herbal. It was a surprise to see what kinds of flowers I would get along with my vegetables. Can't wait until my next pick up!
Another beach scene...Appropriate for Memorial Day weekend, I think. This woman was power walking along the shore with her dog who got distracted easily. The dog would get pretty far behind and then have to race to catch up. It was really cute to watch. A beautiful, fun day at the ocean.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend, Everyone! As always, thanks for checking in on my blog and for your encouraging messages.
Empty beach, sand, sun, beautiful beach houses, waves crashing, seagulls talking....Ahhhh! Truly a moment of Zen. Summer at its finest. I really find that when I have a passion for a subject, the painting seems to flow. I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but it's so true, for me at least. When I was painting this, I really felt like I was placing actual sand on my painting surface rather than paint, and I could feel the softness of the clouds...It's definitely Zen.
Looking back from the water towards a beautiful sunset at Emerald Isle...What could be better?! Wouldn't you like to own one of those beach houses and visit on a whim? I know I would. Since it was mid week, most of the houses were empty, but I'm pretty sure as it gets closer to summer they are occupied all the time. I'm enjoying painting these studies. They seem to flow and I think it's because the memories are fresh in my mind. Ever since I began painting, I notice that I automatically try to memorize scenes that interest me.