Monday, January 26, 2009

Out of the Marsh

This is a re-work of an older piece that was never quite right. I have photographed it without its wood box to let you see it without the glare of glass on the front. All of my pieces will now go to Shelly Schmidt to be professionally photographed for posterity and record keeping. I started with a large shoe box, painted the inside, and built the log, rock and water. The water is one layer of mirror, then inks, then a layer of glass to give it real depth of water. The pony is made of paper and painted with acrylic and oil pastel, and mounted with a paper tab behind the pony, allowing the pony to be suspended above the log. The marsh reeds are wispy peacock feathers. This was a really fun piece and I'll take it to Shelly to photograph with the box completed and all mounted. Also, along the top, you'll see a row of little lights so that the battery pack you see below, which all disappears inside the back of the box, can be switched on to provide interior viewing illumination. I'll post a photo of the fully assembled piece later. I'm tired, so I'm off to feed the ponies, put the chickens to bed, feed the doggies, and then treat myself to a well deserved light beer! (I'm a cheap drunk, so a light beer is all I can handle!)

Timing Is Everything

I just had to take a day off Sunday to do farm chores, including ground driving the little Shetlands in preparation for driving them as a pair someday soon. Doggies needed more attention, made sure that the broody hen is happy with her comfy feathers acting like a comforter on her eggs. So, I made up for missing a day of keeping you up to date on paintings by working extra hard today. Here is Timing Is Everything, finished, I think, although one never knows. Everyone has the appropriate number of legs...but if you see something missing, please let me know. Thanks, all of you, for your encouragement on this one. It was a particularly difficult piece.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Timiing Is Everything

I think I'm a day away from finishing this piece. I'm stressing over not being able to get the colors just right. The real painting looks a bit different than this image, otherwise I would ask you all for suggestions. Or you can have fun and send them anyway!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Timing Is Everything

Hello again. Now we're getting somewhere. The light and shadows are shaping the contours and I'm puzzling over how to treat the foreground and background to be interesting but not distracting. So much problem solving...and so much fun!
And congratulations today to the purchaser of my painting, "Quick Change" (you can see it on my website, I hope the piece will bring many years of pleasure and smiles.
I'm hoping to finish Timing Is Everything tomorrow, so check back again and send comments with suggestions to make it better.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Timing Is Everything

Ah, the light is pouring on and what fun! This one will, I hope, be finished for a Sporting Art show coming up soon. Also, congratulations to one of my wonderful collectors who has invested in the purchase of "Friendship", the painting of the two horses in a communal cuddle a couple of pieces ago as shown on the blog. Back to work and tune in tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Timing Is Everything

I've made a bit of progress in getting the basics in and can't wait to see how this piece surprises me with its own special challenges. Has anyone had trouble getting to this blog? Let me know, as someone had problems, and I'll see about straightening it out. Ruffles had her pin taken out of her leg this morning and she's doing great. See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let's Ride Diver Dogs

Here it is finished. However, all artists will torture themselves over whether or not a piece is really finished, or if something could be done better. Well, I've signed it in the bottom left corner and I'm on to the next one. Do, please, let me know if I missed something, left something out, or that I need to beef up contrasts or values.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Timing Is Everything

This, I know, looks very startling, but you'll see how it works later. The under painting is put in according to the final colors I have planned and the relationship to each one's neighbor color. These were laid down in acrylic and oil pastel will go on top.

Let's Ride Diver Dogs

The cowboys are coming into view, but they will, hopefully, always be noticed after the Diver Dog...a fun little "aha" moment when the viewer gets the gist of the painting. This piece is also much brighter and crisper in person.


 This is the last change I'll make to this one. It looks so much better in's hard to get true colors on the computer, and everyone's monitor colors are going to be different.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Timing Is Everything!

Hello and we're off to a new start today. I used a medium on Let's Ride Diver Dogs that has to dry a bit before I can paint more, so here's the beginning of "Timing Is Everything". I have transferred my drawing to an 18" x 24" gesso board and will get right to laying in the base colors. This will be a scene from the saddling paddock at the Aiken Steeplechase where the trainer is attempting to give the jockey a leg up onto the horse. Usually, the jockey gives a little hop and the person giving the leg up uses that momentum to boost the rider. Sometimes the two get their timing wrong and one lifts up when the other isn't quite ready to hop. Embarrassing...HA! This necessitates another attempt, but, in the meantime, the jock looks like a one-leg-hobbled frog! Meanwhile, the horse is ready to go and impatient with all the delay and scuffling beside him.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let's Ride Diver Dogs

The painting is getting more color and shape, and the details will be put in next. If any of you are wondering, Chloe is my model and, yes, she really is that long when she stretches out. She's a longer than usual Corgi! She actually loves swimming, and will take a flying leap off a diving board for a thrown toy. She's a larger Corgi, weighing in at about forty pounds, and almost thirteen years old. She's hefty enough to carry several cowboys!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Let's Ride Diver Dogs

Well, here we go! Yipee! Ride that Diver Dog! My favorite part is the little fluff of tail sticking up in full extension.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Let's Ride Diver Dogs

Here's the next step of laying down the base image and trial colors. The cowboys watching and waiting their turns to ride are on the left. Can you imagine what fun this would be if we could really ride diving dogs?


I think Friendship is finished, unless you see something glaring that needs fixing. It's signed and is an inexpensive decorative piece that is more affordable at $250 (framed) than the large pieces.


As you know, Ruffles is recovering from a broken right hind leg. Here she is resting on the stairs, just taking it easy...for a change. She's a tiny Corgi, weighing just nineteen pounds, and she can fit nicely on a stair step.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let's Ride Diver Dogs! 1

Are you ready for something silly? This is the beginning drawing of Let's Ride Diver Dogs!, a new sport that is a take off on riding bucking horses. OK, stretch your imagination a will be good for you! This is 24" x 48" and I'll do it in oil pastel. This is going to be fun!


Here is the new version: I have made some changes to the overall color scheme which gives this little painting a whole new feel. Can you tell that the horse facing us has his tongue out? Let me know if it was clear to you. This one will be finished soon, and please send comments, if you like. I need all the help I can get!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Hello, everyone. It's good to be back. All the holiday guests have gone home and I can now get back to work. I have had to put the Dancing Tree aside for the moment as I was asked to participate in a sporting/animal art show and my deadline is Jan. 30 for five new paintings. Here is the beginning of a small piece, oil pastel on board, of two friends scratching each other's withers and necks. This communal scratching is a sign of endorphin releasing comraderie and is typical behavior of horse pals. With the painting being so small, about 8" x 12", I'm hoping to be able to show that the far horse will have actually grabbed the near horse's crest of the neck with his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth! Maybe too tall an order for someone who paints with oil pastels that don't make a point for tight detail! I'll still try, and you can tell me a bit later if it doesn't work out well and I'll change it. Hopefully, this one will be finished soon so I can start on the next one, a very unusual painting of a Corgi, as you will see!