Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Cremello Foal


The Cremello Foal, oil on canvas, 36 x 6 in. gallerywrap canvas

Blue eyes, pale creamy coat, reflecting the green grass of summer, and the blue sky. This colorful Morgan foal fills this tall narrow canvas, coming over for a friendly sniff.

I enjoy these unusual formats--contemporary, eye-catching, and fitting so nicely into a narrow wall space. The painting continues around the edges of this 1.5 in. thick gallerywrap canvas.

As 2011 comes to a close, I have been reviewing my inventory for the year. Sometimes it seems as if there is no time to paint, and yet this year, I have added more works to the inventory than ever before. This has also been a banner year for commission work, and I look forward to the commissions of 2012. This is an excellent time of year to start thinking of a portrait of your favorite horse or pet. Horses are best photographed in the spring and summer. Dogs may be photographed at any time, and often look best in their winter coat.

In light of the economy, although my costs for materials and heating the studio, etc. continue to rise, I will not be raising the rates for commissioned portraits this coming year. Prices start at 200. for a mini-painting (5 x 7), with custom sizes available up to 36 x 48 in. I hope that I will be painting your special animal in 2012.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Painting for the Cure



It was a happy Christmas delivery today of the last of this year's portraits. It's always nice to see the grin on the face of the recipient, and the words, "I love it--it looks just like him!"
Meet Nagid--the beautiful black Arabian owned by the Platinum rider at this year's Komen Ride For the Cure. Cheryl raised over $7,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and in return, she recieved this custom portrait of her horse. There is something striking about a black horse trimmed with pink ribbons, and I'm glad the owner wanted the ribbons included in his portrait. I am happy to be able to contribute to the Ride for the Cure in this way, and during the day of the ride I was able to set up a booth and see all the horses and riders and meet some wonderful people.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Alphadogs!



It's here! Alphadogs!
My Horses From A to Z has been a popular item for the last twenty + years. And Alphadogs actually started out as a t-shirt design some years ago. After some local inquiries about it, I decided it was time to produce to poster. A bit more refined than the t-shirt design, the Alphadogs will make a perfect companion to the Horse alphabet.
The poster is at the printers now and will be ready to ship by Dec. 3.

Take advantage of my Small Business Saturday deal (actually a Friday, Saturday and Sunday deal) and get all three posters for only 15.00, or any two posters (can be two of the same) for 10.00. Go to aleciaunderhill.com for the Saturday deal.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Artists in the Country




What a beautiful weekend we had for the annual Artists in the Country show and sale. The weather gods smiled upon us and the two days could not have been more perfect. It's always a concern when setting up a tent for two days and displaying paintings and works on paper, notecards and the like. Wind can actually be more of a concern than rain, as even a light breeze can wreak havoc on a display. And bright sun can cause condensation on things that are wrapped in plastic, prints framed under glass, and even notecards in clear stationery boxes. None of these things were a concern this weekend! It was so lovely meeting people, talking with fellow artists, and listening to the wonderful entertainment throughout the weekend. Many thanks to all the volunteers that helped out, delivered lunch to the artists, were available for breaks, etc. This show is such a treat--I look forward to participating again next year.

I love to watch the little ones' reactions to my animal paintings. When you have a booth full of chicks and pigs and sheep and cows and horses...it seems to draw the attention of the toddlers, who love to practice their animal sounds while admiring the artwork.

On a totally different subject...this seems to be the year for commissions. I still have a little room for new bookings before Christmas, but the schedule is filling up.

One recent dog portrait has involved a bit of dialogue back and forth about the color of the fur and the amount of wrinkles on the face, and I cracked up one day when I realized that the ads on the right side of my g-mail window were for things like "get rid of dark circles", "skin lightening in 14 days", and "best makeup for aging skin".
Those targeted ads have no idea that the e-mail discussion was about a dog!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Objects of Beauty



Sage is a beautiful German Shepherd dog, recently completed on commission. It was a challenge to capture the right look of this dog, a serious, contemplative look, without being too intense. Her owner has such intimate knowledge of her expressions, and was specific about what sort of look he wanted in the portrait.

A dog portrait can take on many moods--playful, serious, goofy, noble. It all depends on the dog and the owner's relationship with the dog.

My post title, Objects of Beauty, perhaps should not pertain to a dog, if you are offended about a dog being considered an object. However, even human beings are often considered objects of beauty, so I meant it as merely being the subject of a beautiful painting, and it was inspired by the title of the latest audiobook to which I am listening in the studio...Steve Martin's "An Object of Beauty".

I highly recommend this book as a dead-on depiction of the Art world, with a capital A.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Little Jersey



Little Jersey Calf, acrylic on board, 5 x 7 in.

This little Jersey calf is one of several new little works in acrylic and oil that I will be bringing to the Garden City Center Arts Festival. (Saturday, June 11th, 10-5., in Cranston, RI)

I have been enjoying working with acrylics lately. It's that time of year when I am much more pressed for studio time, and it's nice to be able to complete something, all the way to the signing, scanning and framing stage, in a much shorter time frame. Acrylic paints have come a long way since I last worked with them, and although I'm not sure that they would suit my painting style for a large piece, they are great for these little paintings on gessoboard.

Come out and see the Garden City Arts Fest! This is a new festival...looking forward to getting out there next Saturday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fluffy Duckies


The latest additions to our little farm are an adorable pair of ducklings. Since we already have chickens, it was a natural addition, and we assumed that we could house the ducks in the chicken run, with their own doghouse-turned-duckhouse for a shelter.
Of course, the way projects often go...we realized that the chicken run would be unsuitable for the ducks and we decided to build them their own enclosure. The doghouse--suffering from a bit of rot, required considerable renovation, and now will sport a new red metal roof made from scraps from the chicken coop, and a clerestory window, with a hinged roof section for easy access.
The ducks have grown inches every day, and at four weeks old today, they are at least five times their original size, and growing feathers.
Swimming practice has taken place in the bathtub, a large plastic bin, and muck buckets.
They should be old enough to swim on the pond now, but cold rainy weather has delayed the duck housing construction, and so they'll happily remain in their temporary barn enclosure under a heat lamp for the time being. This little 8 x 10 oil study is the first of many duckling-inspired paintings to come.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Piggies.


"Piggies", 8 x 10 oil on canvas

Everything off the easel lately is seems to be an 8 x 10 canvas. That is because I found a deal on a ten-pack of 8 x 10 canvases, and I toned them all at once, so they are ready to paint. It's a convenient size, made even more so by the fact that I found a source of 8 x 10 floater frames at my local art supply store, so that when these little paintings are finished, I can frame them up and they're ready to go. I have painted these piglets before, but I loved this pose of them snuggling in together. Piglets seem to love being one of a crowd, a foreign concept to someone who grew up as an only child.

Speaking of being in a crowd, I had the privilege tonight to start rehearsing with the ensemble for a local production of Sweeney Todd. As someone who likes to sing, but cannot sing well, it is a treat to participate with a cast of at least 30 voices, and to hear them all harmonize, even mine--since I cannot hit the high note, I drop down an octave when necessary. The music is tricky for Sweeney Todd, but our music director can work miracles. I was looking forward to doing this again since last summer's experience with Oliver, and I need something to replace the endless soundtrack of Food, Glorious Food that still pops into my brain whenever I cook dinner.
After doing Sweeney Todd, I may have much more horrific images in my brain when I cook dinner. Meat pies, anyone?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chicks and Peeps




"Easter Chicks", oil on canvas, 8 x 10 in



"Peeps", oil on board, 5 x 7 in.






These paintings are so new off the easel, they're still wet. But I wanted to post them in time for Easter. Since I've been enamored of baby chick paintings for the last couple of years, and since our baby chicks are all grown up, I had to settle for the marshmallow variety to paint. I thought it would be fun to combine a live chick with a peep, and then I had to do a study of the peeps themselves. Thank-goodness they went stale while under the studio lights, so I didn't have to eat them. I've never been a fan of Peeps for consumption, but I love the look of them with their curled over marshmallow beaks and little beady brown eyes.



"Chocolate Eggs", oil on board, 5 x 7 in.

And this last one had to be completed quick. You must know how difficult it is to stare at three foil-wrapped dark chocolate eggs for several hours. I thought of changing the painting to include just two wrapped eggs and an empty foil wrapper, but I restrained myself until the painting was finished. Those were the last of the chocolate eggs. Now if I want to do another painting, I'll just have to buy another bag.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Experiments


Part of being an artist is experimenting with new things--new media, new subject matter, new ways of looking at things. My recent experimentations were with a new blogging site. I thought maybe I would start a fancier looking blog, something I could customize more, and the results are that I wasted a lot of time that could have been better spend painting. The new site was achingly slow to use, and I finally decided to stick to the familiar, and use my time on more painting.

I'm also signed up to teach a beginning drawing class, and in preparing for the class and thinking a lot about the process of drawing, I was inspired to get out some charcoal pencils and render some chickens. The dramatic contrast gives a whole new look to the chicken portraits.

And my third latest experiment is music. I had taken a few years of piano lessons as a kid, and though I never really had much talent for it, I enjoyed the ability to make some form of music, and I missed having a piano. The classic spinet piano that I slaved away at for many hours had been given away to another family--as I had no space for it in my home. So it occured to me that I could purchase an electronic keyboard--small, portable, but it would serve the purpose. So for a mere seventy dollars, I finally acquired a "piano". I set it up in my studio, and while photos are downloading or images are printing, I can exercise my brain by trying to play the piano. I had to dig deep to remember how to read music, and lo and behold, my fingers still have some memory of playing "The Entertainer". I will never be anything but a lousy piano player, but I think the brain exercise is probably a good thing. Maybe in some way, it will even make me a better painter.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Buried

We're feeling a little buried here in Northeast Connecticut. This is more snow than I have seen in my lifetime. With more to come this week, I am hoping the weather pattern is going to change soon.

Cheerio is still up for a game of fetch the jollyball, no matter how deep the snow.
video

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Afternoon



As I sit in my studio wishing for a snow day tomorrow (and all reports seem to indicate that it will come to pass), I am also in the process of organizing, sorting and purging computer files. This involves sorting scans of all my artwork into folders, deleting duplicates, and archiving certain files. It is only in the last five years or so that I created the system I have now, so there are an assortment of miscellaneous digital files of artwork that are uncategorized simply because they are a few years older. The library worker in me is driven nuts by the disorder, and so I am trying to neatly compartmentalize all of it. This was all brought on by the necessity of having to clear some space on my hard drive.
In the process, I encountered this painting, a 1997 oil on canvas titled "Winter Afternoon". I still have this piece in my possession, and it has been in storage for a while. This was a gelding that was boarded at a place I used to keep my mare. He was a very handsome Morgan, a dark seal brown with a gloriously long mane, which you can't see in the painting because it hung on the other side of his neck.
I would like to see this painting go to a new home, so I offer it for sale, unframed for $400. To purchase this painting, go to http://www.aleciaunderhill.com/small11.htm