Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lani's Penny

The world is enormous with billions of people cruising around on its surface so I find it fascinating when a person crosses your path that you instantly become pals for life with.  Lani is one of those rare people.  And it is a mathematical fact that if Lani is rad then her dog, Penny, will also be rad.  Well, I can attest that Penny is indeed an amazing creature.  Lani asked me to paint a Penny portrait and I said hells yes.  As always, the journey began with research.  And coffee.

The wheels begin to turn...

My museum gig provided me with a very unexpected direction:  A Sotheby's African, Oceanic, and Pre-Coloumbian Auction Catalog.  I instantly knew I wanted to collage some of the images from the catalog into the Penny portrait.  Why you ask?  For three reasons:  1) The artifacts are sacred, rare, beautiful, and valuable just like Penny is to Lani.  2) The rich earth tones of the pieces are similar to Penny's coloring.  3)  My pal would never in a million years guess that I would use ancient African artwork in the portrait.  WILDCARD!


First move was to build a panel and then...SURPRISE!  A turquoise under-painting?  Why yes!  (I wanted the background to be a cool brown to contrast Penny's warm brown fur.)

It was challenging to choose from so many amazing artifacts.

And the painting begins...

Stage One

Stage Two

Stage Three

 Ta-duh!  Here is the final portrait...

Penny, acrylic, 18"x14.5", 2015

Final stage:  Penny girl gets shipped to Phoenix.