Thursday, December 30, 2010

Carr Commission In-Progress

(Session 2)

(Session 1)
Above is the progress for a commissioned piece for Ms. Carr. The background is from my most favorite vintage wallpaper sample book. These two pieces are intended to be hung separately but work together; one feminine and one masculine. Next step…glazes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dos Birds

2nd to last holiday commission. Check.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ogee & Omar. Check.

Learned a lot by working on this piece. I will definitely continue to experiment working on wood panels. I really prefer their stability in comparison to canvas. Another one down...four more xmas commissions to complete. All of this hard work is for you New Zealand adventure!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ogee & Omar Progress

Stage 4

Stage 3

Totally dig working on this commission. It's a bit of an experiment. I really want to incorporate the integrity of the wood panel. The wood is very porous and absorbs thinned paint easily. I'm basically just staining the wood with layers of oil paint/Liquin washes. I've blocked out the lightest areas with gesso so it retains a sense of a highlight. It makes for a very soft feel.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ogee & Omar

Stage 1

Stage 2

This is Omar. Ogee is the cat that will soon live on the face of Omar's tag. Trying new foundation ideas with the charcoal base on Omar. I want to utilize the natural wood of the panel in his coloring as well. So far I've used gesso, charcoal, and yellow ochre oil.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All Aboard the Way-back Machine

Authenticity check....yep, it's the real deal.

My mom came across this old drawing I did when I was 11. Birds, really?! I’ve gotta think about a new subject… I totally remember doing this sketch at The Fort Worth Museum of Science & History’s Museum School.

I attended Experimental Art Classes at the Museum from age 10 until I was 18 and it was the most positive, wonderful experience of my childhood. I was a Museum School teacher’s assistant all throughout high school and later worked at the Museum’s Omni Theatre box office. I lived there! As a kid, when I wasn’t working or going to class there, I’d have my mom drop me off so I could spend time in the exhibits. Nerd alert!

The art classes were cancelled my senior year but Mr. Hailey, one of the art teachers, held the class in his private studio. Sadly, I don’t think the classes continued much longer. Mr. Hailey if you are out there, I’ve been trying to get in touch with you to say thank you for such a wonderful experience!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Landscape III: Done and done.

Landscape III

Landscape III. Check. You can see it's progression in earlier posts. I really want this series to contain at least a dozen paintings but I don't have time to work on any more before I head to NZ. I'm very anxious about letting this project sit for 2 yrs - I just don't see myself finishing after so much time will have passed. I would carry on with it in grad school but I will be focusing on New Zealand wildlife and landscapes for my MFA project. Oh Wyoming landscapes, I will miss you so...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Zealand...What?!

This week has been nutso in the most beautiful of ways. I had my first grad school interview, celebrated my 35th birthday, and was accepted to grad school. Wait, what?! Yeah its official, I’m totally going to grad school.

When I started selecting schools, I decided to choose one “reach for the stars” school. If someone handed me a plane ticket to go anywhere on the planet, where would I go? I immediately knew exactly the place I wanted to experience and began researching schools.

See the little orange swiggly sliver of land in the bottom right hand corner? That my friends is New Zealand. Massey University Wellington is located on that beautiful sliver of land and it will be my new home for the duration of Massey’s 2 year MFA program. And to think I have an entire two months to plan this move to a land so far away that it is already tomorrow there.

What’s on my to-do list? Passport renewal, sell truck (I am extremely sad to have to part with Baby), find NZ housing, pack stuff in storage, fine tune my MFA project idea, go back to Tejas to see and say adios to the fam, investigate unfun stuff like opening a NZ bank account, cell phone service, etc., and then I need to come up with a ridiculously large amount of cash to cover school, living, and getting my ass on the other side of the world.

There are other cool things to sprinkle in as well like learning the metric system, brushing up on currency exchange rates, and working full-time. Putting the sarcasm aside, there is truly nothing I’d rather be stressed out about. New Zealand, are you ready for this...cause I'm headin' your way.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Barn Owl III

So apparently barn owls are in this season. I have Barn Owl II in the Casa Grande Art Museum show (which sold - thank you baby jesus) and was commissioned to do a similar barn owl painting. Above is Barn Owl III. It's not a fully accurate depiction...the eyes are larger than they would be in reality but I'm going with it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Landscape III Progress...

Landscape III stage 5
Making progress on Landscape numero 3. I darkened it a bit with a raw umber wash and added some tree-type things. I adore working on the rocks. Next Below are some areas that I really enjoyed working on.
rock-like items

(They remind of little, wobbly thumbprints.)

tree-like items

These poor little guys were washed away a few times in a solvent rain shower. I just kept pulling them back out. All of the shadows were done with smudges of charcoal and I then painted liquin over them to make them permanent.

There is something about these 3 little dudes that I really like. They are totally friends.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Short-eared Owl

Barred Owl

Barn Owl

In Fives II Studies (in-progress)

Yesterday I hit the library up for some inspiration. I walked away with a fantastic book on owls - Intriguing Owls by Stan Tekiela, 2 books on modern wildlife painting, and Condors and Vultures by David Houston. As you can see I already dove into the owl book. The weather is fantastic so I sat on the back porch and sketched it up owl-style. Still working on the In Fives II Studies. I added the Superb Fairy Wren which is the little blue guy in the bottom left hand corner and yes that is his god-given name and for good reason. I just need to finish the Kea in the center and I can get started on sheet #3.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Fives Studies

I would have been a fool not to have taken advantage of the weather yesterday....TOTALLY DELIGHTFUL! My original idea was to make a painting spot in the backyard but after clearing an area I realized it would require a pack mule to lug out my paint gear. Solution...make a sketching spot. (Much more travel friendly).

When working on my In Fives series I began sketching studies on the old mark-filled 24"x36" sheets of butcher paper that I use as drafting table "drop cloths". (5 subjects per sheet of course). I really love the unintentional marks and random notes scribbled on each sheet. Perfect project to break in the ole outside sketch zone!!

I began the study of this Great-horned Owl about a year ago and decided to continue.

Bare-headed Rock Fowl

My first completed sheet of studies for the In Fives series

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Progress

Landscape III stage 4

Landscape III stage 3

Making progress. Finding it wicked difficult to stay focused. I need to chain myself to the easel. I turned off my computer and phone. Rocking the ipod but find myself everywhere but in front of my painting. Dear proper studio, I'm ready to have you in my life. I will take good care of you and show you much attention. Where are you located? How do I get to you? Sigh....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Landscape III Progress

Once again I apologize for the janky quality of the photos. Having said that, here is the progress of Landscape III. This postcard was sent to LP. It is one of the beautiful dirt roads I saw when we went on a ranch tour in WY. You can't see it in the pic but the wallpaper design is in the sky.

Landscape III stage 1

Landscape III stage 2.5

Between Stage 1 and 2 there was a very dark and angry stage which was semi covered in stage 2. (I went ape shit with some charcoal action - it felt good). But that is what this series is about - just different layers being covered or revealed. Not too concerned with the image being seen as "accurate". I truly love getting lost when painting the rocks. It's fantastic and much needed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Turkey Vulture in Yo Face

Tukey Vulture, oil on vintage wallpaper, 8"x8", 2010

Installation. Check.

So last Saturday I installed my show at Casa Grande Art Museum. The paintings and I hit the road for our hour long journey and we made it without incident. I dragged my loot inside, locked the door, and cranked up the tunes. It was nice to have the place to myself. After 4 hours my mission was complete. Installation. Check. In case you can't make it, below is most of the work...

The Facade of Dorian Gray and The Character of Dorian Gray...the ones that started it all. These 2 pieces were assignments while at ASU. Midway through the project I had a mountain of ideas and painting birds and wallpaper together became my obsession for the past 3 years.

It looks like Spotted Thick-knee in Icebucket and Magical Meat Carpet are not on speaking terms.

The Yellow Wallpaper - in yo face!

Thanksgiving. Gobble. Gobble.

Happy Hour. Cheers.

Bird Brain, Home Alone, and Waiting for the Train: Friday...keeping the print rack of sketches company. So sweet.

Here's the main dude, Bashful. He was chosen to be the frontman for the show. Be brave Bashful!!

Barcelona Chair and Hover are my latest larger scale babies.

A Night in 1982 is one work from my first solo show. (That little kid is yours truly).
These 8"x8" little numbers have been my latest projects. If you don't have the space, tone down the size.
Stay tuned for pics from the opening which is this Saturday, October 16th from 4pm-6pm!!

Fancy Pigeons cont.

Fancy Pigeon IV
Fancy Pigeon III

I can't get enough of these fancy guys! I mean come on, look at them...I have no doubt that they are on their way to pigeon prom. (Mom, do you recognize the top dude? He's a Taganroger Tumbler). There will more to come in this series. I just got back from re-checking out the stellar Extraordinary Pigeon book.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fancy Pigeons

The below sketches are inspired from this AMAZING book. I mean, Extraordinary Pigeons?! And indeed they are extraordinary.
Fancy Pigeon I

Fancy Pigeon II

Let's face it...pigeons have a bad wrap. They are the dirtbags of the bird world. Or are they? After reading this book (filled with about 200 amazing images) I see pigeons in a new light. They are truly lovely.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Taking Over the World One Small Town at a Time

Oct. 16th – Nov. 14th

Opening Reception
Oct. 16, 2010
4pm – 6pm

Casa Grande Art Museum
319 W. 3rd Street
Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Where is Casa Grande you ask? Well…Casa Grande is a small and lovely town located pretty much dead center between Phoenix and Tucson. The Museum is a renovated historical home in Casa Grande’s “downtown” area. I’ll have the whole space to myself and will start installing next week.

For me this show, comprised of 25 oil paintings and approximately 40 pastel & charcoal sketches, is a retrospective of sorts. Not that I’m giving up the birds but it’s the last hurrah for this body of work to be shown together…I think.

Receptions aren’t my favorite thing but I know it will be fun. Tryin’ to scrape a crew together to head down to Tucson after the reception for the night. Hotel Congress anyone?

Monday, September 20, 2010


Barn Owl

Three Bar-shouldered Dove

Black Vulture

Gambel's Quail

Carolina Wren

Pigeon Feather

Bout time I busted out with some sketches. There is nothing that pulls these pieces together other than that I was drawn to their photos in one of my favorite books, The Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. I'm stocking up sketch-style for my solo show next month at the Casa Grande Art Museum.