I wanted to paint and offer something "generic" enough to put up for sale but I also wanted it to be something that represents part of me. I knew it would be a landscape of some sorts. I went through my childhood memories and it hit me like a ton of bricks, er.....rocks. Elephant Rock Park in Missouri! My family and I went there about once a year for as long as I could remember growing up. So I looked through various pictures and this is what became of these memories. Oh also, my daughter LOVES Elephants and she was naturally intrigued by this place.
I was asked to do a painting from a panoramic shot of my husband's great grandmother (now passed on for many years) on the porch of her house. The photo was aged and details of "Granny" were hard to make out. I took one look and was immediately nervous and doubtful. But I like a challenge, and I knew this would definately test my talent. I stared at the picture for a good month and finally when it was nearing the end of the kid's spring break I dove into it.
The house I knew well. You see ironically the house that is in the painting is the house that my family and I have lived in for the past 7 years. It's amazing though how many things I noticed when trying to translate it onto a canvas. It was also fun to paint it how it was back then. It looks different, yet the same today.
I snapped 3 photos of the process.
Here is the first.
Here is the second.
And the finished painting.
Acrylic on stretched canvas
My husband took it over to his Grandmother and said she cried. She invited her sisters over to see look at it and they were just as emotional. I am estactic that they loved it so much. I put a lot of energy in this painting to get it right because I knew that it would mean a lot to a bunch of family. So much history and memories in this house.
This former city girl loves chickens. At one time we owned quite a few but a fox took care of that. I am in the process of building a bigger and better coop, since we have some ducks that have moved into the now secure chicken one. With that said I had super fun painting this birthday present for my mother inlaw. She loves chickens too! So what better to paint than a glorious rooster looking handsome?
Since I had gotten my "feet wet" copying off of photographs I wanted to do something different and pull something from my head. I have always been drawn to chiaroscuro art. When I was younger there was a 3'x1' painting that hung in the corner in St. Louis art museum amoung huge works of art. It was my favorite painting and it was the first place I went to. I love how the lights and darks play off each other. So much feeling is expressed in this painting. Not just subject matter but in the monotone colors. It gives me chills.
St. Francis Contemplating a Skull
Francisco de Zurbaran
I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to paint at first but something was nagging at me. Finally, I had a clear image in my head. The painting above was an influence as well as other things that drive me. This girl is no one I know but someone that I can feel for. She came to life on the canvas and spoke of sadness but hope of moving on. Mourning over the loss of a loved one, but finally moving on too. Where memories stay vividly alive in sorrow, but also where you can start living life again.
A "facebook friend" of mine contacted me after seeing some of my work to see if I could paint a dog named "Mac". It was going to be a gift for her sister-in-law. "Mac" had to be put to rest after 10 wonderful years with that family. Of course knowing how much it hurts to lose a pet I gladly took the challenge to capture this pet for them.
One beautiful warm Mississippi fall day the kids and I were out with the dogs. The two little weinie dogs were playing with our cat Spider. They all get along great. It was a game of chase and after a while the cat was up the tree. I snapped a picture with my phone because it was so cute. The picture didn't turn out to good as a photograph but it immediately came to mind composition-wise when I was thinking of my next painting. This is the end result: