“Girlfriends” 11″ x 14″ Pastel on Velour
I know… I’m an animal artist. But once in awhile a reference photo becomes available with a cute little girl and her dog that I just have to paint. And here it is! This is Emma and Rogue. Emma is my grand niece and Rogue is her girlfriend. And that look on Emma’s face as she hugs her dog reminds me of… ME!
Painting children is a frightening venture. Forget the fact that if you get one small line wrong it no longer looks like your subject… but the skin tones are incredibly hard, especially with pastels where you’re not free to easily mix colors to get that perfect skin color. And it’s so easy to get a blotchy look as well… so as I learned from the two workshops on painting children in pastel I took from my friend and mentor, Lesley Harrison, smooth is the secret. My success with this painting has opened up a whole new venture for me as I start practicing more humans to include with my animal paintings. So now the search is on to find those adorable kid with pet moments that I can capture with my art. And I would like to put another thank you out there to my artist friend Kay Witt for sharing her knowledge of skin tones to help me with this piece.
A couple months ago I painted Sierra at nine weeks old. I call the painting “Puppy Power” and it can be seen in an earlier post on this blog. Since then I decided to take some time and paint my other girl at the same age so I would have a matching set of my two girls. This is Jasmine. She is one of the best highlights of my life. My husband and I adopted Jasmine into our lives 12 years ago. The day we brought her home, he told me she was my dog and he wasn’t going to get attached. It took Jasmine all of one hour to snuggle her way on to his lap… and in to his heart… and of course mine!
Jasmine became my first agility teammate and together we made our way to a couple of championship titles. Through Jasmine, I was introduced into the wonderful world of agility… a place where I have met so many great people, and painted so many beautiful dogs. Jasmine was also my first subject to paint in my art… and there are many paintings of her around our home as a result. But this painting is going to remain special in my heart as it is a reminder of the time when she first came to live with us, and change our lives for the better. She loved chard and would play with a leaf until she finally decided to eat it, and then come looking for a new leaf.
Jasmine was diagnosed with a couple different types of cancer. The vets told us to expect only another eight months. That was two and a half years ago. She is still making us smile… and cry… at times. And she is still bossing us around all the time! She still runs a little agility with me and we still go for short walks. She oversees Sierra’s training sessions and gets after her when she doesn’t pay attention. She is a dignified lady… and still one of my favorite art subjects. And I’m sure this is not the last painting to be created of this beautiful girl.
Smokin’ The Barrels, 14″ x 11″ pastel on velour. SOLD.
A lot of excitement surrounding this painting. I was invited to have my art booth at a Barrel Racing Futurity at the McCourtney Road Equestrian Center in Lincoln last month. While there I took around 650 photos of horses. As a result I decided to paint this beautiful palomino from one of my reference photos. I spent some time deliberating about the rider. I really only wanted to feature the horse in the painting… but couldn’t really delete the rider. I spoke with my friend and mentor, Lesley Harrison, and she suggested I try this method of vignette where I fade the rider out… something a bit outside the box for me. I pushed myself a bit with this piece, but I’m very happy with the outcome. I was after the excitement I felt when I watched the horses speed around the barrels and run as fast as they could to the gate… and hopefully I accomplished that. As a matter of fact, I was so excited with the outcome of the painting that I simply couldn’t put it down until it was done!
I sent an image of the painting to the manager of the ranch, and was asked to paint the four winning horses in their summer series, which I agreed to do with pleasure… and she posted the painting to the ranch website. After discovering the horse’s name as Last Thing Smokin’, I decided to name the painting Smokin’ The Barrels. I’m really looking forward to more Barrel Racers in my near future… in fact, I believe there’s one on my easel at this moment! Oh… and I’m happy to report the owner of this beautiful horse has purchased the painting.
“First Kiss” 16″ x 20″ pastel on velour
One of my latest paintings and entries for the upcoming Draft Horse Classic “Art at the Classic” This is ‘First Kiss’. I was inspired to paint this beautiful moment when I first saw the reference photo by Sarah Mae Beatty on the Draft Horse Facebook page. I immediately contacted Sarah for permission to use the photo as reference, which she gave me. Unfortunately, the horse… a white Draft named Dolly… had recently passed away and Sarah thought it would be a spectacular way to remember her. That said… I wanted to create as grand a memorial piece of this tender moment for Dolly and Sarah’s daughter as I could.
I tried a few new techniques with this painting, using colors that I normally have not tried with a white horse. I started with some yellow and purple colors in the base layers and slowly added different shades of grey and finally a layer of soft white to bring out the highlights in Dolly’s coat. Since there were so many cool colors in the background and on the horse, I decided to try to warm things up a bit with the girls dress, adding a small amount of the orange to the horse. I was really excited to see it all come together in the end and I feel very good about the outcome of the entire painting. I’m entering it in a couple of upcoming art shows… so we’ll see what the jury and judge think about it.
- Puppy Power | 14 x 11 pastel on velour
In April I attended my third High Hand Art Fest in Lincoln, CA. Once again I had a great time with several of the local artists and met a few new artist friends. The Art Fest is a working art show, where all the artists actually work on their crafts so that all the visitors can see how the process is done. This is the painting I chose to work on. This is my mini Australian Shepherd, Sierra, when she was nine weeks old… just a few days after she came to live with us. I call the painting “Puppy Power” because I was amazed at how many people commented on this painting as it came to be. I would consistently hear ‘awws’ behind me and would look up to see smiling faces. Sierra literally drew people into my booth to see all the other paintings I was showing. Several people even came back as the two days progressed to see how much more I had gotten done. I enjoy painting in public and sharing with people who want to know how I create in pastels. They can see all the different layers and the somewhat ugly stages a painting goes through during the process. Of course, I put that cute little face in as fast as I could so there would be some more impressive parts of the painting to share as well.
This original 14″ x 11″ framed pastel painting is for sale. Framed size is 18.5″ x 15.5″. Price is $525 plus shipping. Please contact me for additional information.
“Run Free” 14″ x 18″ pastel on velour
“Run Free” is another in my Mustang series. This is the same wild Mustang that I painted in “Born Free” as a young colt. This is Maestro all grown up as a spunky two-year-old. He’s a beautiful young stallion running free on the South Steens HMA in Central Oregon. I created this painting last August and was excited for it to be juried in last year’s Draft Horse Classic “Art at the Classic” which is one of my favorite art shows. Maestro is one of my favorite boys out in the wild and I’m hoping to be painting him again and again. In fact… I have another of his on my list for my Mustang series, which will be titled “Live Free”. Thank you to Terry W. Smith for permission to use his photo as reference.
This framed original is for sale. Frame size 18.5″ x 22.5″. $525.00 includes shipping. A portion of the sale price will be donated to the South Steen Mustangs to help keep Maestro and his family wild and free forever.
“Nature’s Gold”, 18″ x 14″ pastel on velour.
“Nature’s Gold” is a portrait of two wild Mustangs from the Sand Wash Basin in Colorado. Known to those who follow these magnificent horses as Can Wakan & Bobby, these two are actually siblings in the wild. When I first saw the image that John Wagner posted on Facebook I had to ask permission to paint it. The tenderness of the two drew me in, and I spent my Christmas Day creating this painting. This original is for sale and I will soon have prints available. It is framed behind glass with the frame size at 22.5″ x 18.5″. Price is $495.00 plus $30 for shipping. A percentage of the sale of this painting will go towards the Sand Wash Basin Mustang advocates in hopes to help keep these wonderful horses free and wild.
A special thank you to Wild Horse Photographer John Wagner, for all the work he does to get wonderful images of the Mustangs of Sand Wash Basin. It is through his photos that I am able to stay connected with the wild Mustangs that I love so much and enjoy painting. I hope he is able to find a way to continue his work.
2014 Calendars Have Arrived!
The 2014 Calendars featuring dogs from WAG has arrived. This is my second annual calendar containing paintings that I have done throughout 2013 of dogs from Western Agility Group (WAG), which is where Jasmine, Sierra and I train and compete in the sport of dog agility. I am grateful to all the WAG folks who have commissioned me to paint their agility partners. Agility dogs are not just special family members, but become constant teammates in a wonderful, fun and very addictive sport.
Calendar size is 4.25″ x 5.5″. They come either with or without WAG trial dates included. Price is $10 each.
UPDATE: 2014 Calendars have sold out! I am in the process of ordering more. The only option available is without WAG dates. Please contact me if you have any additional questions. Thank you to everyone who purchased a calendar for all your support.
Picasso, 11″ x 14″ pastel on velour.
I give you Picasso. This is one of the most magnificent Mustang Stallions… known as the Grand Duke of the Sand Wash Basin in Colorado. It is said this stallion is in his late 20′s, still running wild, and still siring offspring. I was so happy when Patrick Brennan allowed me use of his photo of Picasso as reference for this painting, which is part of a series of Mustang paintings I have been creating. I plan to donate a percentage of the sale of this painting to the Sand Wash Basin Mustangs.
This original pastel painting is for sale. It measures 11″ x 14″ and is completely framed and behind glass. Priced at $425, plus $25 shipping. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional information.
Picasso is also available in print, as well as a very unique MagnaChrome print on metal. Contact me for details.
In my continued attempt to update my blog with some of the paintings I have completed in the past few months… this is a commission from last February of Kermit, owned by Dorris Wiglesworth. Dorris asked me to paint Kermit as a surprise birthday gift for her husband. She told me that the surprise was a great success as her hubby loved the portrait. It’s always a great feeling to know that one of my paintings brings pleasure to someone’s special somebody.
Kermit is another of the WAG dogs that I’ve had the pleasure of painting. Sometimes I’m amazed at how quickly a painting comes together… this was one of them. There were several of different colors in Kermit’s face, but they blended perfectly for me and he just popped out of the painting.
I have been asked how I’m able to blend using the pastel medium. As I paint on velour paper, I’m able to layer different colors over each other in order to ‘mix’ my colors… as if I was using a liquid medium such as oils. Pastel uses the same pigments as oil paints, without the oil binders. And sometimes with pastels, that perfect color doesn’t exist as the colors are limited. But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve that perfect color by layering the dusts with a very light touch. The challenge in the pastel world is finding those colors to layer to get the desired color that brings the reality of the animal to life.