Posts Tagged ‘painting’

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.



One of my dog portrait commissions. Here is another:



and one more:



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.


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Summer is always a busy time in Minnesota. Since it is so short, we have to squeeze a lot of busy-ness into it! This summer is no exception. We have put many hours into finishing up the kitchen project, and we are almost done. Just have to install the kitchen bar on the back of the center island, and hook up the dishwasher. Here is a peek at the project that has kept us busy for so long.

Our new kitchen island, with cupboards and stove beyond it.

We had to take some time to put a steel roof on the shop — the shingle roof was leaking, and since we were getting a lot of rain, we had to get that taken care of right away!  I have been out in the shop working on a commission of two steel benches, which I will post when I get them put together. I am still cutting the designs into the pieces, then I will be able to start construction.

Tomorrow my art critique group, Studio 10, will be hanging an exhibit at Dunn Brothers in Bemidji. If you are in town on Friday, we will have an opening reception from 2-4 pm. The exhibit will be up for the whole month of July. Then on Tuesday I will be helping install the “We all Love Paul” exhibit at Neilson Place, which is in celebration of the 75th birthday of Paul Bunyan as an icon in the town of Bemidji. Should be a fun exhibit, with art and photos from many artists. The opening reception for that one is also on Friday, from 3-4:30 pm. This exhibit will be available for viewing through October.  Here is a look at my entry in the exhibit: “Paul and Babe, the Early Days”

“Paul and Babe, the Early Days” Acrylic/Mixed-media on canvas, 24″x18″

The hot weather has arrived along with the beginning of July. We won’t complain too much since so many are dealing with such difficult problems — flooding in Duluth, wind damage out east, and huge fires  out west. Hope all that gets resolved soon.

We had a cute visitor in our backyard the other night — I will share a picture!

Evening visitor in the backyard. Mom and twin were there too, but they stayed back in the brush. This little guy came out on the lawn where we could get a good look at him. 🙂

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This piece was a lot of fun to work on! I started it last fall when a film crew came out to my studio to film me at work, and I ended up carving a linoleum block for the painting that I planned to do of a Border Collie puppy. The painting was just a sketch in my idea book at that time, but I knew I wanted sheep in the design. So, I carved a sheep on my block, and then Christmas, other paintings, and general busy-ness stopped my progress for a while.
When I got back to this idea I printed a bunch of sheep on a thin textured rice/mulberry paper and tore them out individually. I painted my background colors on the canvas, then collaged the sheep in place with matte medium. After that I adjusted the background with glazes, added some text, and began work on the puppy. I developed the fur and the details, then finished with some metal leaf highlights. “Destiny” was complete! Hope you enjoy it.

"Destiny" 18"x18" Acrylic/Mixed media on Canvas

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I have another painting finished — this one just asked to be painted. It is my cat, Groucho, looking out of his little cat tree house. He has such a royal attitude all the time, so I dubbed him the king of our household, and gave him a crown and scepter. Hope you enjoy it!

"The King Will See You Now"

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Finished painting

Work on this painting has continued — I next added texture and color to all of the fur of the husky.

Texture and color added to the fur.

Adjustments were made to the fur and the eyes were started. I also paint the nose.

Adjustments are made, nose is painted.

My last (and favorite) part is to paint the eyes. That is when the animal comes alive in the painting. After the eyes, I let it rest for a couple days to see if I needed to tweek it at all. Then I added the metal leaf accents, and a coat of varnish — “Ready to Run” is completed!

"Ready to Run" -- the finished painting

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We had our first snowfall this week and ice is forming on the lake. I would say that winter is about here. I completed my classes at the Boys and Girls club in Bemidji, and we put up an exhibit of the students work. If you have a chance, stop in and see what the kids have created.

As promised, I will be putting up the painting I started during the cruise, so you can see it progress. After sketching the design on the canvas, I started with a light lavender/pink wash over most of the background.

First layer of paint.

Next, I masked off two design areas where I didn’t want texture, and used a thin wash of Smalt Blue over the whole background and immediately laid down some plastic wrap to create an over-all texture. When it was nearly dry, I removed the wrap and let it dry completely.

Step two -- texture

I now used a white glaze to define some of my background shapes and define a light path through the background. I also started laying in the Eskimo design elements (they were inspired by the designs on my parents parkas, which they had made back in the 50’s when they lived in Alaska).

Third step -- defining background elements.

I will continue with the painting progress in the next post!

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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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Wow! I can’t believe it is over a month since I had time to write. It has been crazy busy around here, but now should calm down a little. 🙂

This past weekend was the Studio Cruise in the Bemidji area, and this was my first time as a participant. Since we live pretty far out of town, I wasn’t sure how many would come — but it was good. We had 170 visitors, the weather was fine, and all in all it was a fun time. I especially liked meeting all the art lovers and having a chance to visit with them.

Some of the work on display at my studio for the cruise.

Another corner of the studio.

Carving a block to print and collage onto my painting.

Applying black gesso to the canvas.

Sketching out the composition.

Here I am working on my demo piece:

Be watching for the finished painting sometime in the future!

Friday was so nice that my sister and I went for a canoe ride as soon as the “cruise” was done for the day. It was so pretty out, and perfectly calm.

Out on the lake.

Swans, who flew off when we approached.


We took in the movie “Secretariat” on Sunday evening — it was good! I highly recommend it. (Of course, it has some beautiful horse footage in it, so that makes it in my book!)  We’re having a non-stop rain day today, so I was content to stay in and play with our new kitten, and put my studio back into working mode. Tomorrow I start in on a commissioned portrait of a standard poodle. I’ll post it when I get it done.

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We have been busy with a different kind of ‘art’ lately — landscaping. Earlier we had moved our wooden deck out to the dog arena area, and we wanted to have a small patio area by the house where we could sit with a cup of coffee or have a picnic supper. We made our plans, and finally got it done!  It was a lot of work, digging and leveling, pouring sand and setting paver stones, but we are happy with the results. We still have a few stepping stones to lay, leading to the table area, grill area and also to the driveway, but the hardest part is accomplished.

New walkway and patio area. I plan to plant some flowers next spring.

I will also share a few photos I took at the Renaissance Fair when we were there a couple weeks ago. It was very hot that day, but a few days later we were having highs in the 60’s, and chilly nights, so I think fall is upon us. My favorite parts were the knights’ competitions and the Arabian horse show.  Maybe you’ll see one of these horses in a painting some day!

Competition -- ring spearing on horseback

Arabian horse, all decked out

A couple of the horses who showed their gaits to the admiring public.  🙂

Arabian in action

Musicians at the Renaissance Fair

Here are  couple of the actors -in- character who populate the show, and help give you a ‘time travel’ experience.

The trees are already changing colors!  I will be returning to my ‘Business of Art’ class next week, and I’m making preparations already for the Studio Cruise in October. It will be my first time as a participant, so I’m excited to see how it goes. My sister is coming to help me out, which I am excited about too! I need to get busy and get a few more things painted or welded up, so the visitors will have plenty to see.

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This was a good week for getting things done. I finally finished the new metal tree, and placed the nest into it’s new home. Then I repainted the base, and now just need to transport it back to Neilson Place. [For that I will need some Man power. 🙂

"Future Unknown" lives again!

The bright metal will rust to match the already rusted parts. I had to purchase some new metal for the project. Here’s another view:

Another view of the sculpture.

The other piece I finished was a new painting on canvas. I am trying to get a few new ones for my exhibit at Dunn Bros. in August. This is another in a series of Draft horse paintings, based on photos I took a couple summers ago. I will be putting up a step-by-step of this one soon.

"Gentle Touch"

I had a fun time visiting friends and seeing all the art at the annual Art-in-the-Park in Bemidji on Saturday, and Sunday was the car show in town. We then spent the afternoon putting up a canvas “garage” to make it easier to work on our kitchen remodel. Dave will be able to have shade or shelter when he is cutting flooring, etc. and not run so far from house to shop.

Now, I must jump right into my next painting, because I only have two weeks left to get ready for my show.

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