Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Grand Canyon Weather

Oh boy, this white girl is gonna feel some heat.... breaking out the SPF 30!  Now that we're back to March around here, heading south seems like a good idea, even for me (as long as we'll be on the water anyway!)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Blessings of Being a "Sketcher"

john ruskin
seeing clearly and telling plainly
John Ruskin, Ferns on a Rock 1875
Image copyright The Ruskin Library at

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world
is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way.

Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think,
but thousands can think for one who can see.
To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion - all in one.

John Ruskin, Modern Painters Vol iii
Let two persons go out for a walk; the one a good sketcher, the other having no taste of the kind. Let them go down a green lane. There will be a great difference in the scene as perceived by the two individuals. The one will see a lane and trees; he will perceive the trees to be green, though he will think nothing about it; he will see that the sun shines, and that it has a cheerful effect; and that’s all! But what will the sketcher see? His eye is accustomed to search into the cause of beauty, and penetrate the minutest parts of loveliness. He looks up, and observes how the showery and subdivided sunshine comes sprinkled down among the gleaming leaves overhead, till the air is filled with the emerald light. He will see here and there a bough emerging from the veil of leaves, he will see the jewel brightness of the emerald moss and the variegated and fantastic lichens, white and blue, purple and red, all mellowed and mingled into a single garment of beauty. Then come the cavernous trunks and the twisted roots that grasp with their snake-like coils at the steep bank, whose turfy slope is inlaid with flowers of a thousand dyes. Is not this worth seeing? Yet if you are not a sketcher you will pass along the green lane and when you come home again, have nothing to say or to think about it, but that you went down such and such a lane.
~ John Ruskin, quoted in The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

Quote source;

Saturday, May 18, 2013

South Rim Sunrise

5x7 acrylic, see DPW for purchase information
I thought I'd revisit some old reference photos from a 2002 trip to Havasu and the Grand Canyon before I head back down to collect a river runners perspective.  This upcoming adventure is the closest I will get to a class reunion with some vet school classmates, most I haven't seen for, whew, 30 something years.  No doubt, it will be an interesting trip!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Naked Truth

My first painting sale to a collector in Australia, sent out today!  Guess it just took someone from down under to appreciate the naked truth!  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Horsin' Around

6x6" acrylic 

I went to two horse shows this weekend, how fun!  The first one was an Arabian breed show.  This is Tez... not sure if that's short for Tez-manian Devil or???  A larger format painting would be fun to catch that devilish glint in his eye, but this is what I had time for :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lei's Story

This is a large "story" portrait that I've been working on.  Lei is a matriarch into her 30's now, but just as classy as ever, teaching youngsters (both human and horse) the ways of the world.  A diverse and impressive resume, she performed in harness, western pleasure,  Arabian costume class, jumped and made a couple of gorgeous and talented babies... to name a few highlights.

It always seems to me that these great animals need their whole story told.  Not just a "floating head" portrait, but one anchored in their past and present accomplishments and tied together by the history and personal associations of their owners.  Lei is a perfect subject.

In Lei's head portrait I hoped to show the depth and wisdom of her past reflected in that inscrutable, intelligent gaze.  The goal of the background is to show recognizable images and symbols that are meaningful but don't compete too much with the main study.  It's a challenging process, with an often long evolution, but so rewarding to paint.  This is the third one I've created, each have been great learning experiences for me as a painter and as a person allowed to learn the backstories of inspiring animals and their people.  I hope to do many more.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Good Mother

11 x 14 acrylic, see DPW for sales information

So many puppies and one tired (but attentive) mom!