Monday, September 27, 2010

Visit the Prisoner

I've spent the day on Visit the Prisoner. I'm using the concrete floor in the garage as a go by for the floor, and worked on the dog inside the cage and the cardboard scrap he's laying on. After a break, I tackled the visitor - a Blenheim I borrowed from the neighbors. Her name is Ginger. There is probably going to be a rawhide bone added at some point

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bones and dirt, two more dogs

Inspired. Found a visual reference of dirt with a root that looks like a rib bone. It was in a corner of a photo I took of guys burying a sprinkler system. I added it to the lower left corner. Added black to fur. Changed angle and length of forward paw. Added dirt behind paw. Extended ears. Lengthened bone into the ground and added and deleted clods of dirt.

Went to breakfast at HomeGrown.

Then did a first pass of the two dogs in Comfort the Sick. Painting Moochie was a pleasure, the pup a revelation in how pink her underbelly is. Compared to painting dirt, the wheelchair should be a snap. 
I took a couple of hours to read and nap, so I can stay up late (um, 9pm) to attend daughter's performance at the High museum tonight.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On a mission

Started painting at 9:30, didn't look up until 1:30, and then realized I'm wound tighter than a tick. My inner timer went off and it's dinging like crazy - hurry hurry hurry.
My next show at Mason Murer opens November 19. I just counted the days left to paint and I'm in get it done, deadline mode.
Painted the chair, shins, crevices, fur and fingers on Clothe the Naked.  Not in that order.
Needs shadows under the fur here and there, and all the blue highlights redone, plus a little work on the paws.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Start of 'Comfort the Sick'

Great painting day.
Decided on the background and table top colors for Comfort the Sick. What's really in the background is a wooden matchstick blind (no way) and they are on top of a pine table with a piece of Lexan (like glass) that reflects (double no way). I went with a couple of values of a chamois color for the top, and a few variations on gray (conjured from purple, ocher, sap green and white) for the table. Mixed 'em up, spread 'em on, blended with a big brush, then wiped most of it off. Works for me. The white parts are the little puppy looking up on the left, and daughter Robin in a wheelchair with Moochie leaning against her leg and the wheel, looking up on the right.

Then I revisited Bury - it needed another layer on the background - then hit the darker places on the dog.

That took the morning, 9-1, after which I ran to the grocery store (cupboard was bare), the drugstore, and home. Chillaxing now, eating duck breast and mango salad (take out). Considering the benefits of a nap.

Just broke open the fortune cookie which reads, I am not making this up, 'You should be able to undertake and complete anything you desire."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Harvest+Time + blue skies

After trying various backgrounds, including a view of  a cabbage garden, which turned it into the painting equivalent of the tv show Hoarders (Too. Much. Stuff.), I went with blue. Bit of violet at the base.

Happy now and back on schedule to be done for the November show. While I was up I added the directions on the compass and a bit of texture to the burlap drape. Still needs feathery carrot tops, and possible some layers of glaze on the leaves, but after languishing behind the drying room door for months, it's on the home stretch.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Feed the Hungry

Her ears might need one more round, but I'm hanging this in the drying room for now. Two down, five to go.
Close up of the pups

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jumping around

Jumping around today. Signed the Hambidge Harrow, which I hadn't gotten around to, and added a few random blades of grass.
Painted the two gold rings and necklace/saints medal to Clothe the Naked.
Worked on the dog's face in Thirsty - pulled his muzzle forward and over the hose just a smidge  Image

Added lots of specific bits of fur, adjusted the shape of the fur around his eyes, lots of darkening and highlights on the ears, fur to his body and legs, more paint on the collar and tag. Also goldfish got a good going over.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Headstone gray

Still painting variations on white fur. Added little shadows under the rosary. Worked on her eyes. Here's a detail

The big change is changing the grass green background to Bury the Dead. I made a color I'm calling headstone gray.
I'm much, much happier.

I heading for a nap now, and when I get up I'm going to draw Visit the Sick. There are two dogs, part of a wheelchair, and legs in striped pajamas involved.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Painted Blenheim fur all morning, layer after layer. Softened the edges of the halo. She's started to develop the expression I remember. I'll be working on shadows tomorrow.


Thursday, September 9, 2010


Today I painted fur, especially his ears
Here's a detail.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

skin tones

Today all I painted was skin.
The legs need to be darker below the knees, but the hands are close to done. I love the blues and teals of the veins.
Once this dries really, really well, I can start pulling the edges of black fur out where it drapes over the body. Also add the gold wedding band, thumb ring, and the saints medal on the gold necklace.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

In honor of all who mother the orphaned


Today I added the edge of the dresser, the rosary, and another round of detail on the eyes and muzzle of the mother dog. I need the dresser to dry before I add the anchoring shadows to the beads. Going to research halos a little more before I start on hers. The mother was losing her fur from the stress of feeding so many, thus the pink patches of skin showing through here and there. Lots more fur to build up still.

The rosary has anchored me to this painting. I like the way it highlights the values the painting references - sacrifice, nurturing the orphaned, the sustaining necessity of faith - over the simple charm of puppies. And there are personal references for me - specifically of a woman who offered to say a novena for me when I was pregnant with my third child and having miscarriage symptoms. I can't adequately express how comforting that was. And in a more oblique way, the fact that foster parents took care of me for nine months while my birthmother resisted putting me up for adoption. I don't know their names, and have no way to thank them. This painting, in a small way, honors them. And the obvious - this is the dam that suckled my puppy when her own mother died giving birth to the litter.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bury the Dead

ImageHere's Bury the Dead.
I now have paint on 99% of four canvases. I pledge to not start anymore until at least two of these are in line for varnishing. Maybe by the end of September? Then I might get two more started and done before the November show. I'll get a better idea when I've done a round of painting the fur (vs just blocking in the shapes). It feels like I've got momentum and velocity just now.
The background will remain hazy, but the ground beneath the dog will be quite detailed - both the lighter color of the cracked, hard crust, sun-baked Georgia red clay and the darker, dense, wet clods of red clay. And then there's the femur.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Feed the Hungry, Bury the Dead

Today worked on the white areas on the puppies and blocked in the Mama. I knocked the red hue down on the far right pups. I'm going to add a rosary across the front that will drape over her paw and over the lip of the front edge (not painted in yet), and put in her halo next. Needs lots of value pushing and, the part I love, individual hairs curving out here and there.


This is the start of Bury the Dead.