Apparently, I couldn't stop with Miss Chicken and the toys... (See previous post.)
It snowed quite a bit while The Traveling Chicken was in town. For inspiration, my husband suggested that I take her out in the snow. I was resistant because I simply did not want to paint snow. (Hence the indoor play in the previous painting.)
Well, the day I sent her off to Florida, the snow was so beautiful that I felt I should at least try the chick in the snow.
It felt SO good to be outside on a quiet snowy morning. After taking quite a few pictures, I perched the chicken on a hydrangea bush (I believe it's a chantilly hydrangea for those who are curious) next to a few dried blooms that have hung on all winter... Gorgeous.
And, I got to paint Miss Chicken with some flowers. :)
Yes, it's a bit kooky to paint a ceramic chicken in the snow, but there is exquisite beauty in all seasons - chicken or no chicken, I'm grateful I didn't miss it!
You can read the story to go along with little Miss Chicken at The Traveling Chicken blog.
The chicken has arrived in sunny Florida at Pamela Sweet's studio.
The Traveling Chicken, affectionately known as Miss Chicken or TC, visited my studio for 2 weeks. She is a wee one, but loaded with possibility!
Deciding on just what to do with this ceramic chicken was a conundrum. She was smaller and frankly, less interesting than I had imagined her to be. Also, I thought Miss chick should be sitting amidst a flower or two - to 'go' with my current florals. Ultimately, I decided to just have fun with it.
Because of her size, I pictured her amidst the many 'set-ups' my two sons create with their star wars figures, superheroes, legos, etc. I basically let the boys play with her (on a cushy carpeted floor to avoid any mishaps), while I tried to capture an inspiring photo to paint from.
The boys had a great time including her in many different scenarios. Some tension arose and we had to take turns (myself included) because we all had our own ideas for the little ceramic chicken!
Because we were indoors and we were 'playing' right before bedtime (dark outside), it was hard to get good photos. My 9 year old found a small, but glaring, flashlight that we tried to use as a spotlight. Here are some of the better shots.
The next morning, I brought her downstairs - and saw our chess set on the coffee table. Perfect! Miss Chicken gets to be the queen, good lighting was coming in from a nearby window, there were interesting textures and possibilities for a captivating composition.
Yep - but that little 4x6 inch composition was not so simple (surprise, surprise). For a while, Miss Chicken got lost (literally) in the game. Making the onyx chess pieces 'make sense' was a challenge. I pushed and pulled values for hours.
BUT working with a different subject, blending and mixing and layering the oil paint, arranging (and rearranging) the composition - all were valuable and just plain fun.
Before she left for Pamela Sweet's studio in Florida, I took some photos of Miss Chicken with her new friends.
To read about Miss Chick in more of a story form, visit my post on The Traveling Chicken blog.
The Traveling Chicken
A few months ago, I was awake early and couldn't go back to sleep, so I decided to check e-mail. I subscribe to Carol Marine's Painting a Day blog and through it, was introduced to The Traveling Chicken. A small ceramic chicken is being sent to artists all around the world as a muse of sorts. (Click on the link to check out the wonderful paintings other artists have created with this little chick.)
Well, in the wee hours of the morning, I signed up and 'Miss Chicken' will soon be on her way to me!
Have you signed up for my blog? Once or twice a week you'll get to see the latest things happening in my studio. Sign up is on the right - enter your e-mail and don't forget to respond the verification e-mail that comes soon after you sign up.
If you depend on my blog posts to see the latest work, you might think I've been up to nothin'. BUT, it's actually been quite busy here in the studio!
First, there was a house portrait done in pen & ink and watercolor. This was my client's childhood home. (We also had giclee prints made for his siblings.) It was like putting together a puzzle as I worked from 2 sets of photos - taken in the early 50's and the early 70's. It was pretty satisfying to see it all come together!
Then I was on to an M48 tank done in acrylic on canvas. Mr. B. got this for Christmas from his children. He rode on this tank when stationed in Vietnam. In order to capture the details on the tank, the position of the figure and the surrounding landscape, I worked from a combination of several photos (Including some I took at Cantigny Park nearby.)
Mixed in with those two commissions, I discovered mini 2"x2" canvases - which I turned into hand-painted ornaments. I painted about 50 during December!
Websites are great, but it doesn't beat seeing the work in person. These paintings are in group shows, so if you have the chance to stop by, you'll get to see a mix of all kinds of work.
'Hope' is at the Elmhurst Art Museum
in the Elmhurst Artists' Guild Gallery
until September 14.
'Potential' and 'Affinity & Beyond' are at The Burning Bush Gallery in Wheaton until September 16.
The show is called, Ubuntu'.
The artists' reception is Sunday, September 9th, 1-4pm
I'd love to see you.
The Lifter of My Head
acrylic on wrapped canvas
Inspired by a sweet little blue woodland flower (transplanted from the woods in Iowa) blooming in the early spring - just outside my studio window.
I finished the painting just in time (2 1/2 hours of sleep the 'night' before) to deliver it to the Wilder Mansion in Elmhurst, IL this past Sunday. It was on display for the Elmhurst Garden Club's Afternoon in the Garden luncheon.
Click here for purchasing information.
Close-ups of the painting.
I started this painting during a week I was teaching art classes. The 4 year old sibling of one of my students walked into my studio and exclaimed, "WOW!". I turned to catch his wide-eyed expression framed by his little hands up to his cheeks. I could use that kind of encouragement on a regular basis!!
At the Wilder Mansion
I've got ideas for a 'Lifter of My Head' series.
I'll write more about it in a future post - hopefully with another painting to show.