Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's Pine Car Mania!

On March 30, I will be participating in my first Pinewood Derby. My son is in Cub Scouts, and when I heard that parents and others could enter in the 'wannabe' category, I just had to build my own car. I am just not one to do things halfway, so I set out to make a pinecar that would be a little work of horse art. My car may not be the fastest...but I was determined to make it one of the prettiest!
I'm calling it "Horsepower" (of course).
The medium was a bit of a challenge. I planned to originally use oil paint, so I primed the car with several coats of gesso and sanded it smooth, then added a base coat of oil color. But the three-dimensionality of the car proved to be a problem with slow-drying oil paints. So I wiped off the oil paint and started over with some inexpensive wood-craft type paints that I purchased at Wal-mart. If I had a working set of acrylics, I would have gone with those, but my box of tube acrylics dates back farther than I'll admit, and I ended up having to chuck the whole lot of dried up tubes in the trash.
I still need to get some holes drilled in the bottom to add some weights, and I'm hoping that these little horses really make this car fly!

To end on a funny note...I just had to post this picture of our loveable Maizy. This cat is sort of a big blob of fur that settles and spreads where it plops. The other day she was watching the birds in the window, and the dog came up to bother her, and in the process, the potted amaryllis bulb ended up on the floor. As I'm sucking up the dirt with the vacuum, she's still sitting and watching the birds, while I'm moving the vacuum nozzle around her. Any other cat would have high-tailed it outta there, but not Maizy. She's not going to let a little thing like a vacuum cleaner ruin her enjoyment of the chickadees.
For cats, watching the birdies must be like us reading gourmet food's enjoyable, and makes your mouth water, but you know you're never going to make any of the dishes.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

oil on canvas
30 x 40 in.

Well, it's been a while since I posted and I'm happy to finally post the first of my larger scale paintings. Since my work has been going in the direction of these close-up angles and graphic compositions, it was crying out to be in a larger format, and so I'm getting used to working with these big canvases. Honestly, it didn't take much getting used to...the process is the same--just using bigger brushes and a lot more paint.

This foray into larger formats is in thanks to the owner of Polonaise Art Gallery, on the main street in Woodstock, VT. He has a selection of my work on view there and he wanted to see my work larger, so I gave it a try and it really worked! So if you are in that area, stop in. He has a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary painting and sculpture, and these new larger paintings are something that must be seen in person to be really appreciated.

"One Looks"
oil on canvas
36 x 48 in.

"One Looks" is sort of an equine landscape. I liked the juxtaposition of these three horses in the three different colors, and I liked the depth created by the bodies of the foreground horses. The first piece radiates action and tension, while this one of the horses unhaltered, untethered, free of restraint, is all about peace and tranquility.