Monday, June 12, 2017

Pets - We Love Them!

Pet portraits are so meaningful and fun to paint. I've had a chance to paint some well loved animals this past year.

I use two styles. Below is a portrait of Jo in acrylic and gold leaf. I also paint in a more detailed style using oil paint. 

This is a detail of a larger painting of three bulldog friends. Acrylic and copper leaf. 

This is a portrait in oil of my own cat Opal. And some of the weeds that grow outside my studio door.

Three beloved poodles. Oil on panel.

This is the most involved pet portrait I have ever painted. Oil on panel and even the plants are portraits of this extraordinary backyard farm. Each chicken is a portrait too. And there are even bees!

Gumbo the gorgeous dog with lovely spots. 

Gabo the beautiful white cat who is friends with Gumbo. 

And most recently I enjoyed painting these sheep for Nashi Orchards on Vashon Island. They are not really pets - but I have a feeling that they really are.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

Family Memories of England

Here's a detail of a painting I made for friends who wanted to remember living in England and walking in bluebell woods with their kids. A hedgerow was added - and some ladybirds which is what ladybugs are called in England. 

It started with a flat field.

And trees came - and went. 

I added the family. 

 And finally there is a very verdant and flowery scene with a hedge of "sloe" and some wild orchids.

Raven for Orcas Island

This painting dates back to last fall but escaped the blog until now. It is a commission showing a raven and the madrona trees that grow on Orcas Island, near Seattle. I used copper leaf which echoes the color of the peeling cinnamon bark of the madrona. 

I struggled with the raven at first. This early attempt looks more like a pigeon. 

That's better!

Full Studio

My studio is very full these days. I have so many projects bubbling away. Some are large commissions - one for a school and one for a cider house. Some are private paintings of cats and dogs in various styles for various pet owners. I love working on all of them.

I go back and forth working in oil and acrylic as suits my two styles. Here you can see some of the panels with their underpainting waiting for imagery to be added.

Huckleberry's favorite time is studio time. He complains when we have to skip a day in the studio. Outside the door you can see the grass, wildflowers and blackberry bushes I love in my little alley. Also the orange cones that mark the ubiquitous construction in all Seattle neighborhoods now. My neighbors are building a new house.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Foxes' Party

This is a four foot oil painting of a group of foxes having a party surrounded by summer flowers. It's a commission for a client who wanted the specific subject matter "with pops of red" - and I can never resist pops of red. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bramble House

This was a lovely commission for a lovely new restaurant. Bramble House is situated in a historic home on Vashon Island near Seattle.

When I visited the site Lia and I discussed a painting of brambles, of course, and her childhood memories of exploring tangles and tunnels of the creeping vines that grow in their native version on the island. She also showed me a small crabapple tree growing in the restaurant garden and expressed how drawn she was to it and its many and varied lichens. She loved how the tree changed with the seasons.

So we decided to paint this little tree as a centerpiece with a tangle of native blackberry vines forming a sort of protective tunnel around it. On the left is spring with white blossom falling through the air. On the right is early winter with snow falling onto the crab apples.

The painting hangs above the mantle piece in the restaurant dining room where the copper leaf reflects the warmth of the historic wood.

Three Amazing Dogs

Copper leaf, a woodland setting and three amazing dogs. This four foot painting is a commissioned portrait of beloved pets and an equally amazing back yard of old growth trees. 

I took inspiration from this dog's wonderful spots to splash some paint around. 

I struggled to capture the expression and liveliness of this little guy. 

Huckelberry doesn't approve of me painting dogs. It doesn't stop him from spending every possible minute with me in the studio though. He loves it up there.

Wonderful Spots

In preparation for a larger painting of three family dogs I couldn't resist painting Madison on her own with her wonderful black and white spots.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Chalk Wall for a Party

I was hired to create a steam punk themed drawing for a corporate party in San Fransisco and had a ball. I love drawing in chalk.

As well as two large walls I made flower arrangements to match the theme.