Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Beast

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!!! Can you tell that I am a snow lover??? We recently have received several inches of the wonderful white stuff and I have been so busy that I've hardly had time to enjoy it. Today I decided to take Maggie out and play a bit. We went for our walk this morning and I decided to make a snow angel. Big mistake! Maggie assumed that because I was on her level that it must mean it was play time! Needless to say my snow angel is a little misshapen because I was rolling around trying to avoid having frozen dog drool in my face! When I finally got back to my feet I tripped and bashed my shin on a rock hidden under the snow and now there's a huge bruise decorating my left leg. But my spirits were not dampened and we trudged off to find our next challenge..... a small, snowy hill. I grabbed Maggie's collar, hollered "mush!" and assumed she'd help me climb the hill. Wrong! My glove made it up the hill with her, but I slipped, banged my right knee on yet another hidden rock and crawled on my hands and knees to the top of the hill where Maggie waited wagging her tail and looking at me as if to say, "What fun! Can we do it again?"

After that little adventure I decided to head home since I was running out of limbs to injure. Back in the safety of my yard I grabbed my camera and headed outside again with Maggie and tossed a ball out into the snow. Of course, the ball sank deep into the fluff and Maggie jumped in after it, her head buried in the snow and rump sticking up in the air. She snowplowed along and came up snorting and pounced on the ball again. Eventually, she got a hold of it and went tearing around the yard gleefully, then tossed it and the whole process started over. When she was done she had become a "snow beast" with fluffy white eyebrows, a pile on her nose and long, frozen "droolsicles" hanging from her jowls. Lovely!

Now we're back inside and thawing out. Maggie is curled up in her favorite Lazyboy and I'm thinking hot chocolate and a warm, fuzzy blanket sound good. My thoughts are starting to turn to the wonder and beauty of the season and the true meaning of Christmas. I love this time of year!

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Labradoodle by Catherine Temple

Introducing Hannah, a Labradoodle! I have always wondered just what a dog with this kind of breeding would look like and now I know! Actually, after I got this commission and started talking with her owner I found out that Labradoodles vary alot in what they look like. I was given several photos of Hannah with various different hair cuts and she looked like everything from a Poodle to a Sheepdog. The only Labrador part that I could see was her color. This pose shows her with an in between style.

I decided to take a little departure from my usual colored pencil works and paint Hannah with gouache. I felt that this opaque watercolor would best capture the soft fluffiness of her coat and the interesting shades of pale peach that I saw reflected in it. I also wanted to create a very loose, abstract background and this can best be done with a watermedia technique.

I must say that I really enjoyed painting in just a little looser style than what I normally use. The colored pencil is wonderful for control and detail and I often use it in tandem with a water medium to tighten up or bring out certain details especially in the eyes. I have been playing a little more with other painting mediums and have been studying some watercolor artists that paint more loosely and this commission gave me the perfect opportunity to put what I'm learning to the test. I am pleased with the results.

Well, it's time to be off to finish my Christmas cards or before I know it the holiday will be here and they'll have to be New Years cards! Thanks for your interest in my art!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Brittany by Catherine Temple

I can hardly believe that it's already the 1st of December, the holidays are upon us and the end of the year is only 30 days away! Wow, what a year! Time went by faster than I can ever remember it moving and, oh yeah, I'll be the big 50 in a few days. Now that's really something! I don't know if I'm excited or apprehensive......haven't decided yet. Actually, I've been too busy to even think about it which is probably a good thing. Don't want to be dwelling on unpleasant thoughts or things I cannot change!

Anyway, I have been working on Christmas commissions trying to get those done with time to spare so I have time to enjoy the holidays as well. I have also been teaching myself to sell on Ebay and have a few items listed. My seller name is 2dogartist and my listings are under " ACEOs - animals" which stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals. These are miniature artworks done at trading card size which is 2.5" x 3.5" and they can be original paintings or reproductions. Currently, I am doing prints of my artwork as I'm not sure if painting that small wouldn't make me crazy. This is kind of an experiment for me to see if selling this way is a viable option. So far I've sold the first two I listed last week so that was exciting. This particular size seems to be good sellers on Ebay and they are very collectible. There are even websites devoted to just paintings of this size. It's a good way to get your art in front of people and very affordable for them as well.

I also have placed some of my art in a local frame shop/gallery for the past few weeks. It's been quite some time since I've had my art hanging somewhere. For those readers that are local to me the shop is Art and Frame by D & J at the old Kling's store in downtown Lewiston, Id. My art will be hanging through Dec. 13th and I will be at the store from 1pm to 4pm on that day demonstrating my painting. Again, this is just another way to get my art and my name in front of people.

This painting I have posted today is a commission I did for Christmas last year. The dogs name is Maira and she is a Brittany. This is a hunt, point and retrieve breed. She is very much loved by her owner who shared a special story with me about their bond. When she was a puppy she was attacked and badly mauled by a coyote. It almost completely severed her front leg. Instead of amputating the leg the vet told him that he would try to save it, but that it would take a lot of physical therapy for it to ever function properly. The therapy consisted of the owner fashioning a harness for her which he then attached to a fishing pole ( a large, heavy sturgeon rod to be exact). He then placed her in the river every day and let her swim. This allowed her to work the leg without putting too much weight on it and kept her from floating away. I can just picture the strange looks this man must have got with his dog attached to a fishing pole, but the therapy worked and except for the leg bending a little funny when she points she has full use of it today. Situations like this create strong bonds between people and their pets. That's one of the reasons I love what I do so much. I get to hear stories like this all the time. I get to laugh with folks and I cry with them a lot as well when they share with me stories of special pets long gone. It's a special privilege to be included in these precious, private stories.

This painting was done in colored pencil and is representative of the subject matter and direction that I'd like to take my art in as we move towards next year. I have recently purchased a large format printer so that as I complete these pieces I will be able to offer larger quality prints for sale to the general public. Though it may not be their dog in the picture often times they are enthusiasts of the breed and collectors of sporting breed art.

Well, thanks for looking today. Enjoy this most blessed season and don't forget the reason for it, the birth of our savior Jesus!