Three Folk Art Cats – a labor of love

My oldest daughter is a sophomore in college this year.  As is fitting, she rented an apartment with some classmates and is quite pleased to have her own room after a year of dorm life and a summer spent serving at a Bible camp.

When I visited her to help her get settled, we agreed that she needed some art to jazz up the generic apartment walls.  Since she is a crazy-cat-lady-at-heart and misses our family cats tremendously, it seemed fitting to capture their essence in paper and paint.

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Work in progress – 22×28 inches, mixed media on gallery wrapped canvas

This piece is almost finished…just a few details and it will be ready to send back with her when she comes home to visit this weekend.  I can’t wait to give it to her!  A labor of love, to be sure.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Have a happy November,

Melanie

 

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Midwest Art & Lettering Retreat – days 1 & 2

I’ve been privileged to attend the Midwest Art and Lettering Retreat on the beautiful campus of Carleton College for a 4-day painting workshop with Diane Culhane.  It’s so much fun to be with other creatives and immerse my mind and hands in PAINT!

Here is my negative painting exercise, done on 12×12 inch masonite panel.

 

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Background created with warm colors and some loose Mark-making

 

And the final piece.

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Negative painting with diox purple and a dark blue.

We also started some small paintings on gessoed watercolor paper.

 

6×8 inches on prepared watercolor paper.

We started 12×12 inch “tree” paintings, as well.

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12×12 inch tree painting, in progress

 

Thanks for reading.  I hope to have exciting progress to report over the next two days.

Many blessings,

Melanie

Three cheers for the power of art!

My month-long art show at our local Dunn Bros. came down today.  It’s always a learning experience when one shows work publicly, and this month was no exception.

It was a fun and interesting month.  In addition to selling two pieces, I was asked to create a “Fibonacci Sea Otter” as a companion to “Fibonacci’s Elephant”, which was one of the pieces that sold.

 

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“Fibonacci’s Elephant” 12×18 inches, mixed media on canvas paper. 19×25 inches framed

The gentleman who purchased this piece wanted a companion “Sea Otter” in a similar style.  It was an anniversary gift for his wife, who has loved sea otters since she was a little girl.  After meeting with him to discuss format and style, this was the result.

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Fibonacci-inspired sea otter. 12×18 inches, mixed media on canvas paper. 19×25 inches framed.

One of the greatest blessings of being an artist is meeting new people and making new friends.  I was so touched by this client’s love for his wife and his zest for life.  He was also very encouraging of me as an artist, and has prompted me to think in a direction I may have overlooked if our paths hadn’t crossed!  Three cheers for the power of art!

Have a wonderful August,

Melanie

 

Stars and Stripes Forever

This piece was inspired by love for my country as well as Independence Day, which is right around the corner.  God bless the USA.

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Stars & Stripes Forever – 18×24 inches – mixed media on gallery wrapped canvas

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Stars & Stripes Forever – additional view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stars & Stripes Forever – detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This piece will be included in my show at Dunn Bros, Bemidji, MN throughout the month of July.

Wishing you a happy summer,

Melanie

Some art just has to be made…

I should be making “serious” art for my art show in July.  It is, after all, June 4th.  The days are ticking by at an alarmingly fast pace….and yet, I just had to make this piece!

It’s not “high art” by any means, but this little basset hound just stole my heart!

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A photo I took earlier this spring.

My brain automatically translates into mixed media and I don’t think it’s curable!

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“Hound Dog” – 12×30 inches, mixed media on canvas

I love to incorporate special papers in my work.

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Page from pre-1900 dictionary.

I bought the dictionary for $2.00 (USD) because the front cover and binding were falling apart. One’s person’s trash is, indeed, another’s treasure!

In all my art-related reading, there are certain quotes that stand out to me and inform my work.  The one I had in mind when I decided to create this piece was from Annie O’Brien Gonzales’ new book, “Bold Expressive Painting”.  She advises readers against mentally trashing an idea.  Wow!  That got me thinking about how many times I do mentally trash ideas…because I think they’re too infantile, or beyond my capabilities, or just stupid!!  (Oh wait, I’m supposed to be the fearless artist…..busted!)

Anyway, I’m pleased with how this piece turned out.  I always ask my husband for his opinion, and he told me he really likes how the dark glaze looks like wood.  I’ll go with that, because he is very honest!

Thanks for visiting my blog and have a great weekend,

Melanie