Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Paintings, Paw Prints and Proud Poultry

A few more pictures of the American Gothic painting...

I needed a pattern for the cat's dress. I really wanted it to be a paw print, but I didn't want to paint one over and over, so I carved a tiny paw print stamp!

I tested it out before using it to see where it needed some trimming,

I'm really happy with how it turned out! Check back for the finished piece!! Coming VERY soon.

It was a busy weekend. Dan and I also took a trip to Watkins Glen to visit Farm Sanctuary.

Every year they have a "Celebration for the Turkeys" where they set up a feast and let people feed the turkeys. Dan and I have been to this event many times, so we generally hang back until the crowds disperse. I like visiting with the turkeys after everyone else has gone off to the other barns.

Pictured below is Queenie who escaped a slaughterhouse in NYC and fled into the streets. Fortunately, she ended up here and has been happily grazing with the herd ever since.

And this is Lawrence, one of the sanctuary's newer additions. Lawrence is very interested in the cup of cider I am hiding behind my back.

Lawrence came to the sanctuary with Alexander and Blitzen, pictured below. Blitzen was a bit of a spaz in his early days. Check out the video. I promise, it will make you smile.

We like to participate in the Adopt a Turkey program that Farm Sanctuary promotes during the celebration. This is Skip, our adopted turkey. He was having very proud day. There was a lot of strutting and showing off going on.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Paintings

Just thought I should take you on a little tour of the studio to see what's been going on recently. I have been working on a painting for the 2012 Pawcasso Art Auction to benefit the Spay and Neuter Syracuse clinic. SANS is "a non-profit clinic devoted to the sterilization of unowned cats and dogs (shelter animals, feral cats) and pets belonging to low-income persons."
This will be a little different from my previous donations to the event. The image is going to be printed on t-shirts and posters and the current plan is to have a live auction for this piece at the end of the evening. Kind of exciting! And a little nerve wracking. I'm used to the silent auction process where I can quietly sneak a peek at the bids throughout the night!
So anyhow, here is the piece in progress...
It's based on the Grant Wood painting "American Gothic"

My helpers are always ready to assist...

Lately I've been doing complementary under paintings when I start a piece. I put down a layer of the opposite color first. I find it brings a little extra richness to the colors.

I will post more about this painting as it progresses. The next pictures are from Veteran's Day. I decided to take a break from "American Gothic" (which will need a name of its own soon and I am WIDE open for suggestions) and paint something just for me. It was a cold and kind of snowy day. The cats wanted to go out, but they didn't stay long. And here I must explain- I realize there are two schools of thought on the subject of outdoor cats. While I understand that outdoor cats are more likely to get injured or killed, and it also puts small wildlife in danger, I have a hard time looking at them staring out the window knowing how much they just want to soak up some sun. So I have a rule that they can go outside as long as they stay near me or at least within my sight. They have always been pretty good about this.

They're much less excited about going out in the cold, so as the storms started to roll in, so did the cats. I love the way the snow clouds look look so ominous...

I started this painting of the view from the studio window. Cinders is assisting.

Bandit doesn't like to stay out for long either when it's snowy.

You can see the tree with its yellow leaves that was the inspiration for this painting through the window. I loved how it looked with the purple-gray sky behind it.

Another storm appears on the horizon...

Just a few final touches...

It was a beautiful day. But I always find Veteran's Day a little distressing- everyone in my family has the day off except my father- the VETERAN.