Voice of the Wildnerness ~ Howling wolf painting

Voice of the Wilderness ~ 6″ x 6″ oil on hardboard panel
You know those days when you just can’t wake up? The alarm goes off, and your eyes creak open like a rusty door. Your body feels like a piece of waterlogged oak, and your brain feels like oatmeal? There’s no excuse, no one to blame. No late night party or bottle of wine…I’m having one of those days. My eyes are half open as I type, and I’m already on my third yawn, even before I’m done the first paragraph. The one thing that I successfully accomplished today was this painting! It seems that my brain works fine on autopilot…Yay! I didn’t have to think much at all for this one. An amazing wildlife photographer, who is a previous collector of mine, graciously offered up his artistry with the lens by suggesting I paint this photo he took of a wolf in Yellowstone. So really he did the easy part for me. All I had to do was paint what was in front of me. 
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The Prince ~ Young bull elk in velvet

The Prince ~ 6″ x 6″ oil on hardboard panel
This little guy was a challenge from a fan to paint a white elk on a white background. I initially didn’t think that I could do him justice, as my thought was that his antlers wouldn’t fit. But at this angle, with his new velvet, the proportions worked perfectly.
For sale now on Daily Paintworks ~ Click HERE to bid

You Know You’re An Artist When…

He Came out of the Fog ~ 6″ x 6″ oil on hardboard panel
Have you ever notice that as an artist, you really do see the world differently than most people?
Almost everything on this list applies to me!
  1. You know what shade of green the kale in your garden is.
  2. There are multicoloured fingerprints on your phone, computer, countertop…
  3. You accidentally clean your brushes in your coffee
  4. You actually do judge a book by its cover
  5. The highlights in your hair are from your palette, not Clairol
  6. When travelling from one place to another you spend the whole time analyzing the color mixtures in the landscape instead of enjoying the scenery
  7. When you get caught staring at people, but it’s not because you’re checking them out, it’s because your trying to figure out the value of the shadow on the side of their face, or the exact shade of purple under their nose…
  8. You long to be alone with your thoughts while others are lonely without much thought.
  9. You go to the store and wonder why everyone is staring, only to come home and realize you had red paint on your face.
  10. You consider things like showers and eating extremely annoying because they keep you from your easel.

Namaste ~ a Bengal Tiger in Hawaii

 Namaste ~ 6″x6″ oil on hardboard panel
Namaste is the white Bengal Tiger that lives at the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo in Hilo Hawaii. I have to say, I am opposed to wild animals being penned up, it is too un-natural and cruel as far as I’m concerned. But…it was an opportunity to show our kids something they would never get to see otherwise. Namaste was injured while we were there, and quite docile, but I was still able to get a few pictures of him before he decided to hide in his enclosure. 
Here is a in progress demo so you can see a few of the steps I take to create a painting like this. Usually the background of the reference photos are busy, or too colorful, or just plain bad, so I like to make a plain light or dark background. 
When I’m painting a portrait, whether a person or animal, I feel that zooming in close and getting rid of the background makes the subject the most important, and gives them a sense of individual character and personality.
The whole painting took me about 2 and a half hours.
Stage 2 ~ one hour in

Stage 1 ~ 20 minutes in

White Wolves and goats…

The Stare-Down ~ 6″ x  6″ oil on handcut hardboard panel
So…I’ve read that it is important to share things about yourself as an artist and a blogger…really, my life isn’t all that interesting, but if you’ve ever wondered, here are five totally useless things about me that you probably didn’t know:
  1. I curl my toes under when I sit. Yup, weird, eh? (Oh yeah, I’m Canadian too, can’t you tell!) I’ve done it for as long as I can remember. I have big calluses on all of my toe-knuckles…Attractive, isn’t it?
  2. I chew the inside of my cheek when I’m nervous, bored, thinking…well, for any reason, really. It’s a habit I’m trying really hard to break, because it makes me really ugly, but it’s not working. See! I’m chewing it right now! Sigh:(
  3. The sound I hate most in the world is when a musician slides their finger down the string and their nail hits it and it makes…THAT SOUND! I just got jeebed out thinking about it…(shudder)
  4. My most favourite snack in the world is popcorn with coconut oil and curry powder. I sometimes eat it for lunch. Yum…I think I’ll go make some. I’m hungry.
  5. And finally, number five…I was a total dork in school. I mean the dorky dork. No friends, chubby with inch and a half curly hair…can you say mini fro?!, and I smelled like goats…I had to milk them before school. Not a pretty picture, really. 

Well, I hope that you all still like me after that brutal confessional. If you don’t, at least I hope you still like my art!

So bye until next time…when I talk about the consequences of goat milking on teenage developement…

A Girl’s Best Friend

A Girl’s Best Friend ~ 5″ x 7″ oil on hardboard panel
My daughter LOVES cats…unfortunately, we had to give ours up when she was born because it’s favourite place to sleep was on top of her. We didn’t have a bedroom with a door, so we gave the sweet kitty to my parents where she lives to this day. The nice thing about that is we can still visit and Rhiannon can get her “kitty lovin'”.