Category Archives: art

New Frontiers

bison guitar complete final edit

“Can you do a painting of a buffalo on a guitar?”  This request came from a friend, asking for her significant other.  She wanted to know if I could meet with him to discuss the project as he had very specific ideas about what he wanted.

I had questions…  Did he want a painting of a “picture” of a guitar with a buffalo on it (which I didn’t really want to do), or did he want me to paint a picture of a buffalo on an actual guitar (which I REALLY didn’t want to do)?  Since it was a close friend asking, I decided to at least hear what he had to say, even though I was quite certain that I did not want to take on this project.

He wanted me to paint on an actual guitar.  I said no. He had put a good deal of time and thought into a presentation with examples of exactly what he wanted.  It was to be a parting gift for his boss, who oversaw the Buffalo, New York region and was transferring to another state. He was a musician and guitar enthusiast, hence the buffalo on the guitar.  I said no – I had no idea what to use to paint a guitar, and I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good musical instrument – layers of paint would certainly affect the sound quality of an acoustic guitar.  Still, he persisted.  It was to be a more of a wall ornament, not to be played, and he would buy a low-end guitar for me to use.

Then something shifted.  I was swept up in his wave of enthusiasm.  I had an idea:  I knew I didn’t want to paint the guitar, but what if I were to use color pencil and oil pastel?  I was confident that I could achieve the look that he wanted using that medium.  However, he would have to find a guitar with unfinished wood in order for it to work.  He agreed and we had a plan!

After two failed attempts at procuring an unfinished wood guitar (although they looked like unfinished wood, they had some sort of laminate that had a plastic-like surface and would not hold the pencil colors), he found a woodworker that was able to apply a thin wood veneer to the front of the second guitar. Finally, I had a base on which I could work.  The rest of the project went very smoothly and was a rather enjoyable experience and I was quite pleased with the finished piece.  My friend brought the guitar back to the music store from which he purchased it to get it re-strung and tuned.  The best part of all – even more than I could have hoped for – the musician who tuned it for him said that it had the nicest sound of any guitar she had ever played!

 

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In Memory of Tessy

tessy-completed“In Memory of Tessy”
Acrylic on canvas – reference photo by Lisa Giberti.
When I first saw this picture I knew I wanted to paint it. The lighting is so lovely, and it captures the peaceful atmosphere of Lisa’s farm. And yes, part of her ear is missing – she came to Lisa’s farm that way!

Great Horned Owl

Many years ago my brother found an injured great horned owl in the woods.  It had been shot in the wing.  It was alert and able to perch, but could not fly. We brought it to a wildlife veterinarian, but sadly, they were not able to save it.

I’ve wanted to do an owl painting ever since then, but lack of a decent reference photo and being intimidated by all those intricate feather patterns fostered my procrastination. I finally got around to it, and I’m quite happy with the result:

owl final with watermark

 

Great Horned Owl – 8.5 x 11 color pencil and pastel.

(Reference photo for owl used with permission from Crystal Stacey of Edged Feather Photography .)

 

Formerly the neighbor’s cat

 

 

Formerly the neighbor's cat

 

“Formerly the neighbor’s cat” – 11 X 14 acrylic on canvas… This one needed more than just a title, so in honor of national poetry month:

Formerly the neighbor’s cat…

With quiet persistence she would steal away from the noise, from the clutter, to a place of sweet serenity; the rhythmic sound of her contentment complimenting the stillness.

This is a portrait of my cat “Panda”.  She was neglected by her owners – our neighbors – so, little by little, she relocated herself to our farm.  The owners have since moved away and left her behind, so she is officially ours now!

(Comments and constructive criticism are welcome, valued and appreciated.)

 

 

 

Getting back to the studio

After a long hiatus from studio time, I’m ready to get back to it. I’m starting small, so as not to get overwhelmed and procrastinate. I’ve chosen a picture of a garter snake that I took last summer in the horse paddock. It was patient enough to let me have a photo shoot, even while I was crouched on the ground in front of it to get different perspectives. Thank you little snake!

I know snakes are not a popular subject matter, but if you can overlook the “creepy” factor, they really are quite beautiful.

garter snake ??????????

I will be portraying this little garter snake in graphite. I’ll add updates as I go along.

garter snake 1a

I was a little impatient and jumped right in before doing a complete detailed line drawing.  A good start though, I think.

Feb 17, 2015   I haven’t had much time to work this week. Got a little further. Trying to decide just how much detail I want to put on the ground. I don’t want it to be too busy, but I want it to have texture.

??????????

March 5, 2015   Not much progress – a bout with the flu left me with no desire to get much of anything done.  But I’m on the mend and getting back to work.  I find myself getting a little cross-eyed on this one.  So many little scales!

3-5-15 web  3-12-2015 004 web a

3-21-15 004 a web cor

One of the hardest parts of any drawing for me is knowing when to stop.  I think this one is finished, for now.  I’ll put it aside for a week and then give it one last tweak.  I can see that I have to work on photographing my work to have more consistency in the lighting.  Constructive critiques are welcome!