Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hopkins Honda

Once again, I have decorated the interior windows at Luther Hopkins Honda for the holiday season. This is my fourth year doing this job, and I still love it.

The guys in the Service Department adore their deer and pheasant this year. I enjoy making them smile.

  The pheasant was a last-minute decision for me, as a way to add more life and color to the snowy scenes.

This work is all in acrylic paint and flat interior white latex, for the snow. At the end of the season, it gets scraped off; that part is not my job. The paint adheres well, but only as long as it stays dry, so I imagine they wet it down before razor-scraping it off.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Painting a Custom ... Dog Kennel? Yep, Dog Kennel.

So this is where I was tonight, finishing this project for Pawz and Rest. It's a beautifully crafted hardwood dog kennel/bed, and I had the honor of designing an Arts and Crafts style pattern to enhance the top.

Inspiration came from various stained glass patterns and from the seeding plants I've been finding in my walks around town -- reminding me that spring will be back soon enough.

It's rare that I'm asked to do more graphic work like this, and I enjoy the process very much.

This took about fifteen hours from design to completion.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy night at Home For Life's "Fall Fancy Feast"

My finished fast-and-loose portrait of little miss Audrey Hepburn, which raised $350 at silent auction!  

The whole evening was splendid. I'm currently getting ready to head out for an appointment, so I have no time to write much about it, but I had a wonderful time and learned a lot more about the outreach Home For Life does -- just how much difference they make for the people, as well as the animals, that they help.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Home For Life fundraiser tonight

I'll be helping out at Home For Life's annual fundraiser tonight. Painting a quick, bold portrait of Audrey Hepburn on site at the event. Here's my beginning sketch on the canvas.

Audrey is a star, as her name suggests. An adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who lost the use of her back legs in an accident years ago. I can't wait to meet her! And of course I am taking my camera.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Millie the Glamour Dog

This is a commissioned drawing of one of the softest, sweetest dogs I have ever. Seen. Millie is a Cocker Spaniel/Longhaired Dachshund mix.

She has the most amazing eyelashes I have ever seen on a dog.

This drawing is 10 x 8", in pastel pencil, watercolor, and pastels on buff-colored cotton rag paper.

I often say that I fall a little in love with each animal I draw or paint, and that's true. Each one has something special. In Millie's case it's not just that she's so delicate and gorgeous, but that she has an expression of utter confidence in how much her people adore her.

Next up on the commission roster: a portrait in watercolor and pastel of Zug the Cat, for whom I will have to switch gears completely, because Zug was a bold, affectionate trickster in a black-and-white suit.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Catching Fall

These are both about 10 x 8", mixed media on tan Stonehenge paper, from life today in the studio.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Not everything can be about money

Yesterday afternoon I put down the two commissions I had in progress, poured myself some red wine in a plastic cup, took that and my camera (in its bag along with the Tiny Moleskine Sketchbook and a pencil) and went out walking.

On afternoons like these I don't know how old I am or what year this is. There's just now: sunlight, the rhythms of tree branches and railroad tracks, the very last sunflowers hanging on, the maples red like hot embers. There were little birds out gathering seeds.

Sketch from a cleared lot near Wabasha. Two pages of my Tiny Moleskine Sketchbook, about 5 x 7" total
 Some people think it's either/or: take pictures, or draw. I prefer both/and.

Last light on the treetops
Today, I feel better for the hour I spent wandering and sketching and photo-taking just because I could. Chances are I won't profit from it monetarily, but not every moment of life can be about paying the bills. Even artists (sometimes, I think artists especially) need to remind ourselves of that.