Monday, July 7, 2008

Peony Weasels

My peony weasel painting is finished! While I struggled with the peonies and had a hard time getting them to look luscious enough, I am pleased with the final result. The chiaroscuro (dark and light) makes them glow with some of the theatricality that draws me to peonies (Click on the painting if you would like to see it bigger. The original measures 2 feet wide or 65 cms.)

This was a commission for my friend Regan who had seen an earlier painting of dancing weasels and asked for one with peonies. These weasels have become more realistic than the old ones and the whole painting has taken on a carnival like feeling that I am happy with.

People who know me will understand that I am quite a serious person who worries about the world around me. (global warming, war, parenting, baby birds, flower pots crushing pill bugs etc.) so these weasel paintings started as an antedote to my worrying. Here is the first one which I painted a couple of years ago after a period of suffering the blues and painting depressing images of vulnerability. I needed a change and called this break-through painting (below) "The Dancing Weasels of Joyful Possibility". And they were. I have had a lot of fun with my painting since that. This new painting might be called "The Dancing Weasels of Gleeful Irresponsibility" which is a mouthful. They just look like they are a bit naughty, eating peony buds and dancing wildly. And they don't worry about anything.

Here is the inspiration for the original painting. It is from of a pair of iron gates in the Seattle Asian Art Museum's fabulous art deco building dating from the 1930s. The artist was Samuel Yellin from Philidelphia. Thanks SAAM. Thanks Samuel.

I hope eveyone has a joyful, gleeful, dancing weasel day.


  1. They are fabulous. So glad the Paeonies worked out in the end, they are beautiful, impressionism influence or no.

  2. I am sorry I have not kept up on reading your blog as frquently as I should as I have missed much.
    I am left speechless with this.
    your technique is incredible, but the meanings and delight takes it to a very inspiring place for me.
    I just have to stare at this painting and commune with it.