Thursday, February 26, 2009

Flight Of Fancy

Flight of Fancy
watercolor and acrylic on Fabriano watercolor paper 8.25 X 7
please enquire to purchase

quiet, quiet....I have the best intentions to write more but I'm not certain that the daily routine of dog walking on the beach and tea (Assam or Darjeeling ) making and paintingpaintingpainting, punctuated by drawing and forays into town would make for worthwhile reading......the daily routines of others, however, seem much more driving by houses at night and catching glimpses of the interiors of strangers.....the light spilling out so alluring.....little snapshots of domestic perfection, as seem from the outside anyway.

I am working on the projects I can't post so I painted the above kitty portrait, the way I recall Fancy, the tiger striped kitty of my childhood...... to have something to show. I've decided to offer the original for sale, so just ask.

It appears that Winter is loosening his (her?) grip a bit, although snow is forecast up in the mountains and the surrounding area.......this time of year in the Pacific Northwest is fickle, Camellias are about to bloom and the Witch Hazel is blooming her little honey scented heart out....

primroses and crocus dot the greening lawns with spots of bright color and daffodils and narcissus are pushing up out of the loosening of all.......scent has returned to the air! I LOVE that.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Rousing Shower of Applause

Blogapplause I've been pretty quiet blogwise recently because all the projects that I'm working on are "secret"...I've agreed to nondisclosure until publication so it just appears that I've suddenly become mute and am goofing off. Al reality, I'm painting, painting, painting...burning the proverbial Midnight Oil. Night Owls know this special quiet, this luxurious span of uninterrupted hours....punctuated only by nightbirds, snoring dogs and the breezy tinkle of windchimes. Oftentimes my best work is created in that span of time between midnight and 4 am .....and often, I'll finish a piece....or even a whole book. This finishing, this putting down the brush for the last time and knowing that I'm finished, finally really finished is a moment of personal deliciousness. At that moment, if I were a musician or an actor, the lights would dim and there would be ( one hopes ) rousing applause........however, for solitary illustrators with vampiric schedules...this magic moment is met with deafening silence. One expects the clouds to part and heavenly choirs to warble a small tune at least, something...but no, just that deep, velvety quiet. Everyone that might cheer and give me an upturned thumb or a pat on the back is this moment can be a tad anticlimactic. In response to my complaints about this, my musician husband created a loop of the enthusiastic sounds of a rapturous audience who sound like they've gotten their money's worth.
To give yourself the cheering adulation you deserve, play:

I've played this several times in the pale pre-dawn and it's always made me giggle and sigh with gratitude, able to waft off to bed with a smile of appreciation on my lips. There are other times we need a hand, during the populated hours of daylight when all sorts of things may occur...not all of them what we might wish for, or even if we finish that masterpiece during the day and no one's for all the times we need a bit adulation and/or recognition I've decided to share this instant moment of gratuitous adoration with everyone.

Have fun, play often, you deserve it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pet Portraits.....In Memorium

Painting portraits of pets who have euphemistically crossed the "Rainbow Bridge" is something altogether least this one was.
When I was first asked to paint the portrait of this cat who is no longer "here", I thought of angel wings and cavorting amongst the clouds....but I was told "no", that this cat never loved anyone but the woman shown here holding him......and that it was very poignant how he had his paw on her arm. A border of brightly colored catnip mice was NOT going to work for this portrait!
Then I heard that the photographs that I was to use ( the portrait below was painted using two separate photos ) were taken at a gathering, a sort of farewell gathering of friends of the woman and her cat.... he was gravely ill and she was saying goodbye to him.....and he to her....before she let him go.
S and LB
I finished this portrait 3 days ago and am only now posting it. While painting it, and for a few days afterward, it haunted me.
I think I felt the way I have heard that psychics and healers feel after touching objects or visiting places that are emotionally charged with the energy of a living being traversing what we call "here" to whatever may be "there".
As I painted this portrait...I was drawn in, and a lot of something.......... energy, vibrations, emotion.....came rolling off the photos in waves. I felt like a witness to a very private and intimate moment and my best hope is that I have been even a little bit successful in honoring that. Thank you Annie for trusting me to paint this.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Some People Portraits of Authors

Since I've spent so much time painting and writing about pet portraits recently, I thought I'd show a few of the people portraits I've done for authors and their book covers/web sites.
Here is the portrait I painted of Aaron Shepard, the author of the picture book
The Baker's Dozen / Atheneum Books for Young Readers / which I had the honor of illustrating, and many other award winning books for both children and adults.
Here is another one of Aaron, a few years prior, for a book he wrote on flute playing:

And this one is of Anne Watson and her cat, for a book she wrote,
Smart Soapmaking, The Simple Guide to Making Traditional Handmade Soap Quickly, Safely, and Reliably:

I am finding that painting portraits...of pets people, people with their pets is really satisfying, something I really enjoy doing.
If you would like a portrait of yourself, a loved one or several, a person or an animal, or a combination......with a plain colored background or a "real" one or one completely imagined in your dreams, please let me know........I can paint you in a tropical forest with your favorite dog and a parrot, asleep on a cloud with your baby , your child playing with a baby elephant, your Grandmother dancing beneath the stars......
now, it's your turn.......