Escape to Colorado

The reason for no activity on this blog for a while is simple…I went on an impromptu vacation to Colorado, to paint! Except I never did paint. Too many other things were crammed into each day.  At least I return to the studio shortly, with many photos I can use as painting reference. But it’s not the same as painting from life.

Here’s a couple photos taken on the trip and edited on my phone.

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A view from the car.

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On the road to Grand Junction

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Siamese Grumpy Cat

I’ve been picking at this painting for a few days, and I think it’s time to say, put a fork in it, it is done!

“Siamese Cat Head” 8×8″ oil on panel

Thanks to Lily-Stock of dA for the photo I used as reference. I don’t currently have a siamese kitty at home, so I had to use a stock photo as reference.

This kitty looks a bit like a Siamese version of Grumpy Cat. It wasn’t deliberate! I guess I smooshed the face in somehow, or made the kitty look extra sour, or in some other way grumpified it a bit. In any case, I still kind of like how the painting turned out.

8×8″ oil on panel. It’s on a thicker, high quality archival wood panel, primed with acrylic priming. There is no “dovetail” slot (hanging slot) in the back, so it’ll need to be framed.

I enjoyed the challenge of capturing the colors in this kitty. There was a lot of blue in the fur and highlights, as well as warm tones. I’d like to do some more paintings of siamese cats.

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Portrait of a Barn Cat (Another Cat Head)

Another of the cat heads. I’m growing so fond of painting the cat heads. I also have a Siamese Cat Head in the works, as well as a Very Fluffy Cat Head. And of course several portraits, because portraits are always fun and exciting to paint. I’ll be writing more about these in the near future.

The latest effort is the Barn Cat. This orange boy seems like he has seen many things . . . many things . . . in his rough, barn-cat life. I hope my portrait sufficiently captures the Barn Cat persona. Or maybe not? 😉

Barn Cat, 4×4″ oil on panel.

I used a stock photo as reference, and need to go through my records to track down who to credit. (I try to be always be up-front about that, as I appreciate greatly the stock photographers who allow artists to use their photos.) UPDATE: Credit goes to elusiveelegance of DeviantArt.com!

Painted on an Ampersand Artist cradled panel. It’s either got a 3/4″ or 7/8″ cradle (kind of like a “gallery wrap” canvas, but this is made with wood). There is a “canvas-like” texture to the acrylic priming on the panel surface. I kind of like this texture for painting. The panel can be framed (like you would any regular stretched canvas) or since it’s got a “gallery-wrap” type appearance, it can be hung as-is.

Enough with the art materials geekiness for now.

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Tabby Cat Head

Another cat head! I love painting the cat heads.

This one was done on an 8×8″ panel, a little bit bigger than what I’ve done recently. But it was so much fun! There’s a lot to see in the markings of this beautiful cat—a variety of warm and cool tones, textures, and colors. Who knew that a plain ol’ tabby cat could be so complex? But he (she?) is.

“Tabby Cat Head” 8×8″ oil on panel.

With this painting I used a panel by Art Boards, a maple panel with a “dovetail slot” on the back. This slot allows you to hang the painting onto a nail without framing. Or, you can ignore the slot entirely and frame the painting as you would with any other panel or stretched canvas. I gessoed the panel with some acrylic primer (commonly known as “gesso”) and tried to make some slight texture in the panel with my gesso brush. It’s not an excessive amount of texture, but kind of fun!

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“Male Profile” and my new studio

I’ve been absent from this blog for too long! That’s mostly because I’ve been busy migrating all my stuff to a new, bigger studio.

I have waaaay too much stuff, particularly art stuff, like panels, boards, paints, brushes, and other art STUFF. My previous studio, while very cozy, was too cramped for all my STUFF. One day I snapped and said, “This is it!” and decided to move to a new studio, which is far roomier.

But first, a new painting. “Male Profile,” again using my fave model, Jason Aaron Baca (photographer Portia Shao).

“Male Profile,” 6×6″ oil on panel.

I tried to go with a looser feel in this portrait and think I like the direction I’m going. The palette was simple—I don’t think I technically used a Zorn Palette, but I did try to keep it limited. Really loving the limited palette these days.

Now onto the studio—it’s not huge, but so much bigger than my postage-stamp-sized previous studio. Not that I didn’t love that studio too (got a LOT of work done there!) but I was running out of room, fast. Something had to give! And this new studio can accommodate a computer & scanner, and even a little kitchenette of sorts (hot plate, dorm fridge, and so forth). Very conducive to getting a lot of work done, I hope!

View of Studio

This is just a small view of the studio, which still needs to have more STUFF schlepped in to it. I’m trying to be sure to protect the carpet from the oil paint, as you can see with the variety of rugs and so forth littering the floor!

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