While in Paris last year I visited a friend who had this great antique french military hat sitting on a bureau in his living room. Being an enthusiastic hat collector myself, I was compelled to photograph it for later transposition into paint. I was also amused to think how this chapeau would not last 10 minutes on a table in my house as the bright red plume would prove to be too much of a temptation to my rambunctious resident felines.
This is the first time I have painted a wire haired terrier. The afternoon sun was high in the sky creating some fun back-lighting. I tried to have some fun with the paint - pushing copious amounts of it into the highlights.
Last year I went to "Wine and Wags," a fundraiser at the Maryland SPCA. Ostensibly it was an event to bring attention to the plight of so many dogs and cats in need of loving homes. On the grounds outside, dogs of every size and shape romped together in enclosed dog runs, bobbed for hotdogs in wading pools, made paw-print paintings and basked in the sun while their owners sipped wine and conversed with fellow animal lovers. Inside was not so cheery as forlorn pooches like this one vied for attention from the many visitors that were on hand. The Maryland SPCA is a no kill shelter so hopefully more than one lucky dog or cat found their forever home that day.
I recently started a series of portraits of cats and dogs who, through no fault of their own, have wound up in shelters here in Maryland. I won't use this post as a diatribe against those insensitive owners who turn in their pets for such lame excuses as: "He peed outside the box," or "My boyfriend/girlfriend didn't like him/her," or "He's sick or old," or, God forbid, "She scratched the sofa," et cetera, et cetera. It breaks one's heart to see these little guys and gals staring out of their cages with imploring eyes, their paws reaching out for a touch. This tabby was at the Maryland SPCA. According to the tag her name is Kirei. They are a no kill shelter so I know this girl will land on her feet. A portion of the sale of this painting and all from the "Rescue Series" goes to them to help with their efforts.
Oil on museum quality Ampersand Gessobord panel
8" x 10" Sold
While cleaning my palette yesterday I chanced to scrap some cadmium red light across the dried black, ochre and grey pigments which glistened on the surface from the previous day's effort. I was reminded sharply of some images I had taken at the Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens here in Baltimore last summer. I have always been fascinated by the intense colors and kinetic energy of koi and goldfish.
Here in the Northeast the fish in my own koi pond are hibernating at the
bottom or huddled solemnly around the pond heater, waiting for the
spring thaw. Realist that I am, I seldom allow myself the freedom to be this joyously exuberant with the paint but this was crying out for a loose brush. I like the bubbles.
Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel
6" x 8" Sold
This is Jack, an occasional visitor to what my friend Dan called "Tom's Cafe", a refuge for wayward felines. He has been a regular patron, showing up every couple of days. He devours a can of Friskies then lounges around on top of a custom-made cat house on a heated sheepskin-covered cushion for the rest of the day. Life is good. Then he's off again. Go figure.