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Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

This year has certainly gone FAST. I have been busy enough to neglect posting new things and hope to do better in the year to come. I have been working on a grant, learning new metal sculpture techniques, and will have those to share in the new year. I have also been doing paintings for shows, and commissions and will share a few of them today.

IMG_5146wThis piece is entitled “Knock, knock …Whoo’s There?”  Won 2nd place in Super Gold category at the annual Artists of MN spring show.

"Harley"

“Harley”

One of my dog portrait commissions. Here is another:

"Ella"

“Ella”

and one more:

"Lulu"

“Lulu”

Here I am, working in the metal shop.

"Me. at work on a new project"

“Me. at work on a new project”

and a goodby for now shot of Groucho under our Christmas tree.

IMG_2910

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Whoa! Time has a way of getting away from me. So much has happened since my last post. I will catch up on the most memorable parts —

Right after finishing my High School class in April, my husband and I took a road trip out west to visit two of our kids, and some family and friends along the way. This is one big country! Lots of miles, lots of good times. I brought a pastel portrait of my son’s dog, Kuna and gave it to him as a surprise. He said it looks just like her, so that made me happy.

Kuna

These next two paintings were my entries in the Artists of Minnesota show this spring. The one titled “Be Alert” got a merit ribbon in the Super Gold category.

"Be Alert" 30"x30" Acrylic mixed/media on canvas. [There are 5 wolves hiding in the background - can you see them?]

“Be Alert” 30″x30″ Acrylic mixed/media on canvas. [There are 5 wolves hiding in the background – can you see them?]

"BFF" 20"x16" Acrylic/mixed media on canvas.

“BFF” 20″x16″ Acrylic/mixed media on canvas.

Right after returning from the trip, I attended a week-long workshop taught by Karen Knutson. It was so fun! Learned a lot and had good visits with fellow artists. Below is one of my paintings from the workshop, taken during the final critique.

Watercolor and collage painting at Karen Knutson workshop

Watercolor and collage painting at Karen Knutson workshop

That brings me up to the end of May, and I will have to continue in the next post from there. I am glad to report that the snow did finally melt and the leaves came out. [Of course, now we have mosquitoes, but that is a whole ‘nuther story!]

 

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I have returned from a week in Minneapolis and St. Paul. I had a great time getting to know other artists from all over the state at a training weekend for “Artist Career Counselors” which is a program being set up by Springboard for the Arts. I will be the ACC here in my area, and I am looking forward to meeting with and helping artists in my area. We were able to visit some studios during the St. Paul Art Crawl, which was fun. We also learned a lot about community collaboration, and career building.

The "New" fireplace.

The 'before' shot.

After the Springboard weekend I visited my aunt and had a different kind of art project — she has a square of styrofoam in front of her fireplace to block cold drafty air, but it wasn’t very attractive. So, I got busy and painted it for her — turned out pretty good, and was fun too.

Next stop was Duluth, where I visited my son and his girlfriend. She had the opening of her first solo show at a downtown restaurant — a fun occasion to be a part of! The not-so-fun event was my brakes seized up and I had to have them repaired before I could go home. Happily, some friends of a friend were able to do it for me, and I made it safely home.

Before leaving town I finished another commission and delivered it to the clients. Here is the pastel portrait of ‘Sophie.’

Sophie -- a sweet Border Collie

My next task is to finish a metal sculpture I have started for the Bemidji Sculpture Walk. I hope we have some nice days so I can get out to the shop and work on it! (It is rainy today)

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The sun is shining and the snow is mostly melted. It seems we have finally turned the corner after the long winter, but I still don’t trust it! We may get another blast of snow before it is truly over, but even that won’t deter the advent of the growing season for long. I have seen robins already, as well as swans, and the juncos have arrived. The goldfinch males have nearly completed turning from olive to bright yellow. So off we go into another busy season of life.

I have finished the cat commission I have been working on. Next I have two dogs to do, and then one more dog. I got my watercolor horse painting finished, and will enter it in the upcoming Artists of Minnesota spring show (This Friday!) I also completed a mini painting for the show, so I am ready to go. I have also resumed teaching homeschool kids at my studio. We are making some great looking paper mache animals. One more session of adding paper, and then we paint them.

"Sunny and Murphy"

Other than art, we are still busy with the kitchen remodel. It is one of those things that takes a long time, but is worth it in the end. Our kitty Groucho is getting so big! He is feeling a bit of spring fever lately, spending lots of time staring out the windows and chasing flies.

Groucho supervising the kitchen project

We still have birds and other wildlife visiting the birdfeeder out back. One day some deer and a fox came at the same time!

A doe coming in while the fox is checking for leftover seeds.

I’ll report on the spring show soon. We are meeting at Ruttgers Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids, MN. Should be a fun weekend!

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Things are calming down now that the Holidays are over. I have been working my way through a long to-do list, and seem to be getting it under control. 🙂

I finished a portrait of Georgia, my sister’s dog, and sent it to her for Christmas. I didn’t post it before, because she might have looked at my website and that would have spoiled the surprise. Here is the painting, “Queen of the House”.

"Queen of the House" A little cutie who lives in Colorado with a great family.

I also finished a dog portrait that I started as a demo in my Acrylics class. When the class ended it looked like this:

I have put in the background with texturing, and underpainted the subject.

My next step was to carve a lino-cut of dog biscuits to print and collage onto the image. I chose some text to compliment the mood of the piece, and collaged that on as well. I laid out and painted the spots where I wanted to add metal leaf on the completed painting.

I collaged on the lino-prints, blocked in the "squares" for the metal leaf, enriched the background colors, and started the darks on the dog.

Finally, I worked over the whole subject, mostly from dark to light, put in the eyes (my favorite part — it brings the subject to life!) and added the metal leaf. Here is the finished piece, “You Lookin’ at Me?”

"You Lookin' at Me?" Acylic/Mixed media on canvas

I entered 2 juried shows, and now must wait to see if my work is accepted. I will be cleaning the studio this week, and hope to get back to a watercolor painting of running horses that I have been trying to get done for a couple months. However — with the new year comes the need to get my bookkeeping up to date and start the tax calculations, so we will see what wins the battle for my time! 🙂

More snow is falling — it is a beautiful day. Time to get on with my tasks …

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Here we are, only a week until we once again celebrate the birth of the Christ child. Hope all who read this are enjoying the season and will have some happy times with friends and family.

I am happy to have finished a commission. I am just waiting for the frame to arrive, and then I will deliver it to the patient patron who commissioned it! Here it is, a portrait of Tucker.

"Tucker"

I have also been teaching a beginning acrylics class — what a fun time. My students are eager and hard working, and we made good progress on all our projects. We started with a small landscape, then did a still life study from life, and our final project was a portrait of an animal. Here they are, hard at work.

Acrylic class students, working on their projects.

Here are the still life studies:

Acrylic still life studies from beginning acrylics class.

Another thing that has been keeping me busy is helping with our kitchen remodeling. We have now pulled out the lower cabinets, and we are working on removing the ceramic tile flooring. It is much harder than I thought it would be! We have to pry, and hammer, and shred the old plywood to get it out, then lay down new plywood to make an even surface for the hardwood flooring we plan to lay in the whole kitchen and dining room.

Pulling out the old flooring.

We have moved the stove into the dining room, and have the refrigerator on a big cart so we can roll it out of the way. We have the sink hanging from the upper cabinets, so we can still use it (for the time being), and the dishwasher is disconnected, so I’m back to hand washing , — and using paper plates more often.  🙂

Sink, still useable for now.

I have another painting started, which I hope to complete before the end of the month.   I also did a mountain scene during my Acrylics class. Here is my landscape demo from class:

"That Perfect Day"

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Time is flying by, and here it is almost July already.  I have been a student this spring, attending several workshops and classes on various aspects of being an artist. I am in a period of evaluation, and I hope these workshops will help me make decisions on what direction to follow with my art in the near, and possibly more distant future. The topics include, Public Art, School Residencies, The “Business of art”, PR – marketing and writing/talking about your work, and having an online presence. It has been fun for me to go to the sessions, but busy too.

Other events have also filled my time, such as Region 2 board meetings, painters group sessions, and the annual Bemidji Pet Expo. That is a fun event, and you should come to it if you happen to be in Bemidji next summer. I got lots of photo references for future paintings, as well as a fun time watching dogs and their people having fun together.

Did you know dogs could fly?!

I’m working on a new acrylic/mixed media on canvas, and I’m trying something new — I started with black gessso. So far, I like it. I’m also getting out to the welding shop to work on my big tree/nest sculpture for Neilson Place. It is a challenge, but I am making progress. I’ll put up a picture of working on the armature.

Working on the armature

I had a fun time this morning, doing art with one of my “occasional students”. We did some drawings of animals, some blown ink trees, and a monoprint. Hope she enjoyed it as much as I did.

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