Thursday, August 17, 2017

This One's For You, Peggy Jo

Back in April, when I debuted my series "Alley Cats & Junkyard Dogs" for my October show, dear reader Peggy Jo emailed to say she'd like to send me pictures of her beloved dog Tuff as painting inspiration. I, of course, said "Yes, please!" and soon, the sweetest photos of Peggy Jo & her companion popped into my inbox. I held on to those pictures and in recent weeks, finally got to use Tuff as my model for an 8x8-inch canvas. Now, bear in mind that Tuff is not bright orange; in real life he is all sorts of shades of lovely gray and he is also much more congenial-looking...not a snaggletooth or irritable glare in sight. However, Peggy's photos were an incredible reference for painting a truly hairy dog, something I had not attempted up to this point. And I will always carry with me the story behind this piece. Thank you Peggy for reaching out and sharing your devoted companion!

UPDATE: Apparently Tuff does have a snaggletooth! So funny that I couldn't see one in his photos but just assumed he needed one. It is also important to note that Tuff was paid in Greenies for his modeling gig. Fair pay for a fair day's work I always say!

(Note: In this photo, I was still working on detailing the hair so he's almost but quite complete here.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Elephant and the Songbird

Here's the final version of the latest Lost Aesop painting I previewed last post: "The Elephant and the Songbird." This was a fun one to paint and I am in love with this color scheme.

The original Aesops' fables were mini morality plays starring all sorts of animals, birds, and even insects. At the end of each story, a summarizing, one-sentence moral was provided (in case the lesson wasn't already clear.) For all of these paintings, I have a moral in mind but I am keeping that secret; I want each viewer to find his/her own moral in the painting. I'm curious...what moral do you see here? (Just for fun, try to encapsulate your moral in a single sentence.)

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Mad Scramble

Now is the time when a return to work, prep for the October show, and continued healing from surgery come crashing together with a great flurry of activity inside the studio and out. As summer winds down, I scramble madly to utilize the uninterrupted free time available to me. I am woefully behind (can't actually remember when I was ever ahead) and sometimes I feel the pressure and stress like a smothering weight upon my chest. I juggle lesson planning, sample & step-out making, painting, doctors' appointments, and physical therapy, all while trying to fit in some down time before school resumes.

The show goes up the first week in October and I know that when I go back to teaching, I'll only be able to manage small pieces so I have been working on a few larger canvases since the beginning of August. After moving rather happily and briskly through the first two works in my "Lost Aesops" series, I stalled on completing the third with the intervention of surgery recovery into my daily life. Once I was able to sit with my foot down for more than 15 minutes at a time, I got back to painting. I finished that third canvas (which I'll share in the next couple of days) and surprised myself by launching into the fourth canvas I had visualized in my sketchbook. Titled "The Elephant and the Songbird," it has a bit of exotic flair with lots of rich teals, warm quinacridones, and golden yellows. As my Parkinson's tremor is progressing, I painted much of this sitting on my left hand to minimize the impact of its constant shaking on my right/dominant side. It is getting harder and harder to manage this type of high detail work and I think perhaps in a year or so, I might not be able to do it at all. However, no sense in mourning that which I haven't yet lost so I continue to plunge onward through life, flinging paint and wielding pencils. My days are often hectic, sometimes frustrating but always rewarding in some way.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...