Friday, December 31, 2010
8x10 oil on canvas panel
This is my contribution for Some Texas Artists Like to Paint for this month's chair theme. Cowgirl (who was supposed to be a petite little lap dog, now weighs a whopping 26 pounds at 10 months) loves to do important things like watch for dangerous activities out the front windows or the back french doors...dangerous activities like neighbors walking pets and heaven forbid, leaves blowing in the wind!
The last couple of posts have been so difficult to photograph without a chalkiness or glare upon the image, please squint and pretend the chalky colors are actually rich and deep. Now that Christmas has passed, I can begin to share some of the commissions I have recently completed. Thank you for your comments and visits, I wish each of you a very Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
oil on canvas 8x10 sold
Do you remember Trooper (seen here)? Trooper's family rescued Duke and he has a story to tell, as well.
Duke was discovered one stormy night, when my client received a phone call from her boss. Duke had wandered onto his property and was attacked by several of his boxers. Her boss placed Duke safely in a horse stall and called her because he knew she rescued animals. She and her husband drove over immediately and discovered Duke huddled in a corner of the horse stall, covered in blood and shaking from both the thunder and lightening and the recent attack. It was obvious Duke was hurting bad, he whimpered and cried, but never once bit either of them. He was placed way in the back of the SUV where she held and comforted him, all 65 malnourished, covered in ticks and fleas pounds of him. During the car ride to the Emergency Vet, Duke never stopped licking her hand. It was discovered that Duke was heart worm positive and had numerous lacerations and puncture wounds all over his body.
As he was healing, he was given the name Duke, fliers were put out in the area where he was found, but no one came to claim him. My clients decided that because of his submissive, almost frightened personality, they did not think it wise to foster or adopt him out, it would be best for them to keep him. They simply did not want to traumatize him further and besides, they were in love with his sweet demeanor. Duke was home!
Duke lived with his new family for 9 years, he recently passed away from Pancreatic Cancer. They are not sure how old Duke actually was, he was the best dog ever, never once harming the numerous cats and dogs they owned. For 9 years his family loved him and he loved them. One of Duke's favorite thing was to spend hours and hours roaming the pastures and chasing and "treeing" squirrels. Duke got along with all of the family pets, even the cats, which apparently on cold winter nights, Duke could be found with all the cats huddled close to him keeping warm; Duke was home!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
approx. 8x10 oil on gessoed moleskine
The current moleskine I had the pleasure of painting in for The Flying Moleskins was for Dean Haven. Earlier this year Dean lost his sweet little poodle of 17 years. I really wanted to work directly from the photo he posted of Dolly, but was unable to see enough detail. I just happened to finish a little commission project that included a white poodle. I had rejected one of my reference photos because one eye was completely covered in fur; well, little did I realize that that smiling photo might just work as a reference for Dean's Dolly.
I appreciate your comments so much. I have been very busy painting away, but just not posting as frequently as I should...more paintings to come. Take care and I do hope you are enjoying this beautiful Fall weather!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
8x10 oil on canvas sold
Here's a little commission I just recently finished (yes, I've been painting, just neglected posting) for one of my favorite clients. You might remember Bandit, the Blue-Eyed Brown-Eyed Wonder Dog, Bandit's Mama and I teach together and she so kindly commissioned another portrait.
Now, first off you have to love a dog that is so special she has a first name and a middle name. Now imagine Honey Pie's name spoken with the sweetest little Southern Mississippi accent, well it doesn't get any sweeter than that. Honey Pie's story is funny in that my client and her brother grew up "pet-less"...no hamster, kitten, or even a goldfish, never mind a DOG! After the kids were grown up and gone, Mom decided she'd buy herself a little birthday present...a 6 week old Cocker Spaniel...imagine her husband's surprise/shock when he came home from a game of golf to find her birthday present. As you've probably already figured out, it wasn't long before Honey Pie wasn't Mom's dog, she was Dad's dog!
Honey Pie's favorite word is CHEESE! Not too long ago, she tore out of a screened porch to chase a squirrel. Can't you just see her family running around the neighborhood looking for Honey Pie, all the while yelling CHEESE, CHEESE? Honey Pie promptly returned home and, of course waited for her promised cheese reward. Although her days are spent with her Mom, at the end of the day, she faithfully waits at the back door for Dad to come home. Once Dad is home, it's all about the two of them, even though Honey Pie is Mom's dog, don't forget she's really Dad's dog.
Happy 60th Birthday, Ken!
Love, Cam, Jordan, Adams...and Honey Pie, too! :-)
Friday, September 17, 2010
8x8 oil on canvas board
Dave is one of my plein air painting buddies and a man of many talents, not only can he catch his own fish, he can cook them up, too! This is another one of my little 1 hour painting studies and was so much fun to paint. This month's painting challenge for Some Texas Artists Like to Paint is fish, take a look here for more paintings on this subject. Thanks for the photo reference, Dave!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
8x10 oil on sketchbook paper nfs
This painting is for Vern Schwarz for The Flying Moleskins. Actually this painting is incorrectly titled, it should read: Henry, My Nemesis! I met Henry while painting plein air a while ago. He walked up to me wearing a blue on blue polka dot choker collar, he had a sleek short hair cut, and the wildest pompadour, complete with a topknot. His owners graciously allowed me to photograph him; Henry was obviously comfortable in front of the camera as every shot of him was perfect, all ready for a painting.
Now, for the nemesis part. Henry has been the most difficult dog I have ever painted, I should know, this is my 4th painting of him. My other 3 Henry paintings...ready for a bonfire come winter...include his full body. Something about that wild hair-do with the sleek body did not make a lovely painting, too much of a textural weird contrast or at least that's how I've justified those 3 bonfire failures. My husband (thanks, honey) has assured me "not all dogs are supposed to be painted and this one is just ugly".
I still don't know why I selected Henry for Vern's book, I just felt compelled to paint this dog and succeed for once. Cropping that wild pompadour with the topknot and focusing on Henry's face was a huge help, I am pleased with my 4th and I guess final painting of Henry.
Monday, September 6, 2010
6x9 oil on canvas
Taking Flight is a companion to Tolerance. On my summer break I tried a little exercise of limiting my painting time on smaller canvases. This is one of those paintings where I layed down the brushes when I reached 45 minutes to an hour, a very difficult thing to do for someone who likes to fuss over details. I think the color seen here, at least on my monitor, is closer to the true painting than what is seen in Tolerance.
I've tried a variety of palettes and my favorite is the grey disposable palette, I like that I can write directly on the paper with a sharpie. For a while I saved those palettes because there were important notes I liked to reference. Well, that soon became a pile of papers that was difficult to flip through and I eventually trashed it all, including my notes. I just happened to have an extra moleskine and realized that would be the most perfect place to include color studies and my notes. So two fruitful things this summer, limiting individual painting time and recording my color studies and notes in a more organized manner. What did you learn this summer while painting?
Thursday, September 2, 2010
6x12 oil on canvas board nfs
A while back I posted my first painting of Great Aunt Tee (seen here). Some important things you should know about Aunt Tee, she loves the Lord, loves to fish, rides a little grown up tricycle and a scooter with a license plate that reads "Here Comes Trouble", and has been known to take a shot or 2 or Crown Royal! Oh my, did I really just share that?
The original Great Aunt Tee painting brought a very pleasant surprise to my family. A very long time ago my father and his siblings lost touch with a cousin that they had not seen in 60+ years. That cousin and his wife were each on a computer one night working on different search engines searching for any relatives they could find. They had very few names to work from, but the one name Michael could remember was Sister Charlita Wills - Aunt Tee. He typed in her name and my blog came up referencing my painting. Michael took one look at the painting and knew immediately that that was his Aunt from his childhood! They contacted me through my website, I put them in touch with my Dad, and I believe there is a plan to get together next summer. You just never know what happens when you post a painting!
Thanks to my brother I have hundreds of photos of Aunt Tee doing what she loves most. Here is a short little article and a wonderful picture of Aunt Tee on her tricycle, which just happens to be fully loaded for the unexpected fishing excursion! I do hope you read the article, it's a quick little read and she's oh so cute!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
6x9 oil on canvas
A few months ago we adopted this little puppy (6 months old this week) from the Tzu Zoo Rescue group, which we found through Pet Finder. In addition to painting during my summer break, I also took a lot of breaks to house train, play, clean, play, pull things out of her mouth...the same mouth with the very sharp teeth...play, house train, and play!
Her name is Cowgirl and we love her. My summer break is over, but when I come home, Cowgirl is waiting for me with her whole little body wagging, and we play, play, play!
If you're thinking of a new pet for your family, please check out Pet Finder, it is a great way to find a rescue group near you.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
8x10 oil on canvas panel
My husband is pretty tolerant of my need to photograph things as we are driving and this painting is an example of his patience and tolerance. Several months ago we were driving back home and stopped in central Louisiana at the same restaurant we always stop at for breakfast. Just off the interstate, across from the restaurant, is a winding road that we've always wondered what was down there.
Score! We discovered horses and cows grazing, beautiful aged barns, old rusted trucks, and a swamp with nesting white herons...a plethora of painting opportunities! After an hour of picture of taking, which felt like 10 minutes, it was time to continue the 7 hour drive home. This home with its private dirt road, and the rickety little fence was among one of my favorite shots. I wonder what is waiting to be discovered on all of those other off roads?
Friday, August 6, 2010
This is for Edward Burton's moleskine of The Flying Moleskines and my response to his music theme. Until I read Edward's introduction in his book, I had no idea what I was going to paint for his music theme. When I read "people dancing", I knew immediately I would attempt this painting.
At my school, after studying Pioneer times, 2nd grade has a day where they celebrate the Pioneer life of long ago. The children are dressed in period costumes and have fun experiencing Pioneer times. One of our grandmothers dresses the part and tells "stories" of her travels West. After her stories, she plays her autoharp and the children dance. This is Jules dancing with one of our parent volunteers. I don't have favorite students, instead I have a whole school (250 students) of favorites. Jules is special, she loves art and I love her!
I posted this video not too long ago, here it is again, you can see a real quick shot of Jules drinking milk in the dining hall and then later eating a sandwich. As sad I as I am for my summer vacation to end, after watching this video again, I cannot wait to see my students!
Saturday, July 31, 2010
I don't know a lot about Duffy, but I do know Duffy has a very important job. Duffy goes to work everyday with his owner, offering snaggletooth smiles and hugs to the customers...at least that's what he gave me when I visited their incredible antique store this past Christmas in Opelousas, LA.
This was my first Pomeranian to paint, there sure is a lot of hair on such an itty bitty dog, and not just long hair, but very, very thick hair. Anyway, there had to be a perfect balance of showing Duffy with not too much hair and not too little hair, all the while showing the depth of his coat. My brother deserves a great big thanks for taking new pictures for me (when I met Duffy he was a young pup), thanks Shane!! This portrait is going out in the mail this week so Duffy and his Mom can enjoy it together!
Thank you all for your comments and encouraging e-mails. I have more pet portraits to share with you, it was a very busy summer with lots of pets on my easel. I would love to take a break and do a little plein air painting, but painting outside is impossible in 100+ temps. I hope wherever you are the weather is a little cooler and you are enjoying your summer. Take care!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
8x10 oil on canvas sold
Before I begin this story, let me explain that this memorial portrait is for a family that lives in SW Louisiana where many people speak French.
Many years ago a puppy was needed for the perfect Christmas surprise for my client's daughter. A visit was made to an older gentleman's home and my client sat with all the puppies trying to make a difficult decision. Can you imagine them climbing on top of her, playing with each other, and giving her sweet puppy kisses, you can only have one, but you want them all! One puppy in particular caught her eye, this puppy stayed close to her mother and was very, very calm. She asked about that puppy, and the gentleman responded, "Oh, that's my Jolie Blanc". He went on to explain that she was the only blonde puppy in the litter full of darker colored puppies. He named her Jolie Blanc, which is french for Beautiful Blonde. She was the perfect Christmas present and her name would remain Jolie, because she was the most beautiful dog this family would ever know.
Jolie remained a very calm dog her entire life, she was easy to train and brought her family years of love and enjoyment. One of Jolie's favorite things to do was fetch the morning paper and deliver it to her Dad each morning while he remained in bed. I don't think I've ever met anyone who keeps a bag of dog treats right beside their bed, but there they were kept and every morning Jolie enjoyed her Beggin' Strip while Dad enjoyed his morning paper.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
8x10 oil on canvas sold
Trooper was on the euthanasia list, weighing in at only 31 pounds when the most wonderful family adopted her and gave her the loving home she deserved. She was one of many rescues this family would grow to love, but she was the most loyal and loving dog this family has ever known. As her family rescued countless puppies and kittens, Trooper was known as "mother" to each rescue that came to live with her. She was incredibly intelligent and infinitely patient with the entire home, from critters to kiddos, this family could count on unconditional love from Trooper; she even once protected the house from an intruder. Trooper weighed 100+ pounds when she died of leukemia, never letting her family know how badly she felt until the very end.
I love painting memorial portraits, but they can be some of the hardest to paint because I usually have limited photos to work from. I am including a close-up scan of Trooper's photo, surprisingly she was easier to paint than I thought, perhaps she was mothering me along because happily her painting seemed to just happen. Thank you so much for looking and reading Trooper's story.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
8x8 oil on canvas
For those of you who were wondering what my husband looks like, here you go! This was painted for the Summer Time theme for our new blog, Some Texas Artists Like to Paint. You can read why Jay became a subject for this little painting here.
My summer is going by so very fast, once July gets here it's time to start thinking about returning to school. Last week I had lunch with some great blog friends: Gwen Bell, Ann Rogers, and Nancy Medina, after lunch we checked out the awesome art at Southwest Gallery. If anyone has an extra $40K, there's an incredible John Cook painting I'm coveting! To see Mr. Cook's paintings on the SW Gallery website, click on events, then his name, you won't be disappointed, I promise!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
6x9 oil on canvas
You might see more paintings of this couple, the cow did not change her posture very much, but her friend flitted about displaying her fine plumage for all to see.
Isn't summer great? My summer has been filled with a lot of painting and a lot of lunch dates with friends. Today began with a few hours of painting, then a 5 hour lunch with a long lost friend. Later this week I am joining some very special blogging buddies for lunch, two I have already had the pleasure of meeting and two I look forward to meeting.
Like I said, summer is great...painting and lunching...lunching and painting! ;-)
Saturday, July 3, 2010
9x12 oil on canvas board nfs
Summer before last a wonderful friend came for a visit and she brought her granddaughter, Bella with her. Bella arrived dressed in her little ballerina outfit and happily posed for the camera. Not only was she creative with her poses, she had most expressive eyes that seemed to match each pose she struck. For once I enjoyed painting a hand, especially her little knuckles.
Happy Fourth of July to all of you!
Friday, June 25, 2010
8x8 oil on board nfs
It's my turn to paint in Sheila Tajima's book for The Flying Moleskins and Sheila has requested we paint something that we love, for me that would be cows! I have always loved cows, but it was not until we moved to Texas that I fully appreciated longhorns. Of all the different cattle breeds, the longhorn breed is one of my favorites; they are massive in size and so elegant with their huge set of horns, to see them up close and in person is amazing. Thank you for visiting and please visit here to read more about this particular longhorn lady.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
8x10 oil on canvas
I'd like to introduce a new blog called Some Texas Artists Like To Paint . We are a small group of Texas artists who have agreed to paint and post monthly challenges established by each other. This month, our first month, has 2 themes, I have chosen to paint something for our Anything Texas theme. We'd love for you to visit our blog and become a follower to see what else we will be painting in the weeks and months to follow.
This Cowboy Artist was quite the character, he was dressed in complete cowboy attire, all the way from the spurs on his boots to a turkey feather in his cowboy hat. In addition to his beautiful art, he even had his white horse saddled up right next to him at his booth. He definitely knew how to draw a crowd to his art. I have quite a few references of him, so I plan on painting a little series of this cowboy artist. Thanks for visiting!
Monday, June 7, 2010
I don't have the opportunity to paint a lot of cats, so when my newest client approached me about painting her 6 cats, I was more than pleased! So as not to overwhelm you with all 6 paintings, I am showing you the first and the last one that I painted.
At 3 weeks of age Scarlett, with the olive green background, was an itty bitty thing living on the side of the road at a vacant general store. My client's family was passing through Kendalia, TX as a major thunderstorm was approaching when Scarlett and her brother, Paxton were discovered. Too tired and weak to even try and run away, they were rescued and are now 3 years old.
Goliath (light blue background) came to live with this family only 6 months ago. Goliath is about 12 years old and came to live at a local vet's office after his owner died and his foster mother fell and broke her hip. He is arthritic and has several medical issues, but he can rest easy because he has found a wonderful forever home.
There were many challenges I had to balance in this assignment. Because I do not have as many cats under my belt as I do dogs, I really had to concentrate on the individual and unique features of each cat. This collection will hang as one group and the client requested that each background be a different color. In addition, I had to make sure that the cats were all about the same size so one would not stand out from another. Whew, I learned a lot about cats and certainly fell in love with each of these precious babies.
Thank you for visiting and commenting on Gus' portrait. I will post and share the companion portraits to Gus one day soon. If you hear any whooping and hollering in NE Texas, it's only me celebrating because school is out and I can be a full time painter for a little while!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
8x10 oil on canvas sold
This is one of 3 portraits I recently painted for a client. Without a doubt, it was difficult for me to part with this portrait. As I began my blocking in process and began to see his portrait develop, I could not help but feel that it had an old fashioned and nostalgic quality to it. I loved his one floppy ear, his warm eyes and the way the light fell across his face.
My client's children found this bulldog mix sleeping next to a gas pump at a gas station outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The owner of the station thought he had been dropped off by a trucker. They tried unsuccessfully to find a shelter that would take him, but there was no room for him anywhere. The only thing they could do was bring him home to, you guessed it...Mom in North Texas. Promises were made that the bulldog mix would only stay with their Mom for the weekend and then first thing Monday morning they would contact the Dallas area shelters. Somehow this bulldog mix dog knew he only had the weekend to win this family over. He got along beautifully with their little terrier, bonded with Dad on his evening walks, and Mom, admittedly a sucker for a cutie, fell in love with him. Well, come Monday morning, this bulldog mix had found a home and a name, Gus.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
February 12, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
My commissions come from many different sources, but I have to say receiving a commission from your daughter’s long time friend is a first for me. My daughter is 19, soon to be 20, and I've known her friend, Laynie since she was a little gap-toothed 5th grader. Laynie commissioned me to paint something from her mother's mission trips to Africa.
Cyndi received her painting on Christmas Eve and very kindly shared her journal entry about where the original photo was taken for this painting. As I read her journal entry, I was in tears thinking of my own family, how very different our lives and circumstances are and it’s only by the grace of God, I live in the United States and not someplace else.
Through Cyndi’s church in Dallas, Watermark Church, she and a group of lawyers go to Africa annually on a mission trip in the fall. Among many things, their mission is to assist Congolese lawyers, visit prisons, and spread God's word. The following is an excerpt from Cyndi’s journal upon visiting The Women's Sexual Violence Treatment Center:
"We stopped in front of a small house with a sign in front and picked our way carefully down the rocky slope to the front door. There were people to meet us at the door, and a happy group of women who clapped and sang their welcome to us after we had found a seat in the tiny gathering room. It was hard for me to wrap my brain around the reality of their circumstances. They were counselors to the women who had been violated, but my gut tells me that they too had been brutalized as well. Shara opened the suitcase full of bears and blankets and explained why we had brought them, and they were so appreciative - again they sang and clapped their thanks. Then Rick stood up to speak for us all and explain why it was important to us to be there with them, that we wanted to remind them that God had not forgotten them, that the world had not forgotten them. Then he pointed to a box of Healing the Wounds of Trauma books, to which again we heard the clapping song of gratitude. And then he leaned over and opened an ordinary looking cardboard box packed with Swahili translations of the Bible. And the women literally leaped for joy, they squealed with excitement, they were exultant, and their gratitude was uncontainable. I began to cry and did not stop crying for a long while. We prayed together and one of the women prayed for us. She sang the prayer, and the women joined in the refrain. I joined hands with a woman with a beautiful infant swaddled to her back. Our eyes never met. One squeeze as we said "Amen". I never heard the translation for this but I knew for certain this to be true, GOD was in that place. He was filling their hearts, our hearts, with His Spirit, and the conviction that His word is true, that there is power in His work and that He is able to accomplish His will with those who seek Him and trust in His word.
I was humbled and convicted. They knew what I often forget or take for granted, that the LORD God has revealed Himself in His work, and His greatest desire for us is to seek hard after Him, whether it is at the kitchen table in the suburbs, or the desolation of a place like Goma."
I know this was a long post, thank you for visiting and commenting. Thank you Laynie and Cyndi!