This one is for the birds

And for every other creature, so unique, so beautiful, and so fit for it's environment. I was reading last night, The Seven Wonders of the World, and one wonder is the animal kingdom. So brilliant. I learned about differing animals' ways of locomotion, temperature control, light, etc, and it blows my mind. Camels have a higher concentration of fat in their humps where the sun beats down directly, allowing for less fat in their neck, belly and legs where more heat can escape, because it's not in direct sunlight. And lizards. To stay an even temp, they will position themselves parallel or perpendicular to the suns rays depending on whether they want to heat up or cool down. 

I just think it's all brillaint. These beings, so perfect. And we spend our days thinking of money and cities and fame. Sometimes I'd rather be a snowshoe hare.

I am sharing with you today, a painting of two beautiful creatures, Melvin and Chippy. These two are the lucky pets of a good friend of mine who commissioned a painting of them for her boyfriend for Christmas. Since I'm not always good at recording process, I thought this one would be a fun one to show. It was a different process for me, as Im not used to working from photos. 

Here goes! After first skecthing out some roughs of the cat and dog, I then drew directly on the board and covered it with a layer of transparent red acrylic. 

I then filled in the background to bring the figures to the front, and proceeded to fill in the lighter areas of the animals. I usually start with the lights see where the bulk of the figure is going to be. 

Here's a close up of the white and yellow layer. 

Here's where the letters and the dark are filled in a bit more. This is all acrylic and graphite.

Notice the dog's eyes are two different colors. He really is a beautiful thing.  Here's a detail of his eyes..

I then went back in and put individual gray hair details around the eyes. This was where it started to get challenging. My paintings are usually pretty flat, and I hold myself back from doing a lot of detail. I try to keep the paintings fresh and not overdone. But I wanted this painting to feel realistic to a point..

Here's a detail of the dog's eyes with the added hairs. 

Here's the painting with little Chippy filled in. 

Here's a detail of the cat's face. He has a pretty cool pattern on his face so I tried to capture that.

Keeeetty. 

The bottom wasn't working out so much for me, I didn't really care for the banner. So, I repainted a solid color on the bottom, redid the words, and added some little colorful flares. 

And voila! Here is an image of the finished painting! 

Here are a couple of other paintings I did for Christmas commissions. I was so happy to have been asked to make work for gifts. 

And here's another...

This was for a dear couple, who are both so lovely. I was happy to have been commissioned to make a piece for thier new home.

Also. One other cool thing: I found the coolest AM Oldies station last night, 1480 AM if you're in GR.  I love oldies. And when the second song I heard was Leslie Gore singing, my heart sang too. So thank you 1480 for bringing me amazing tunes while I cleaned my apt last night. 

And I suppose that's all I have for you tonight. I hope your holiday was brilliant.  More to come soon. I haven't even posted all my work from the GreenLion show yet! yikes!

 

 

The squirrels are getting fatter

Pretty soon they will start rolling around if the snow doens't start falling. I will sit on my porch and watch them roll and I will feel warm in my heart. Little squirrels rolling around. Man.

I am finally getting caught up with projects and shows, and realized I have so much work, that I haven't put up online yet. So I am going to share it with you little by little. 

Here is one called, "A city of their own"

And here is one called "This is Home"

And that's all I have for you today. 

More to come soon. And some exciting projects coming up in the new year: Festival psoters, book projects, large commissions and gallery shows. But for now, focus on the Holidays and your family, and how important they are to you. 

And if you see any squirrels rolling around, please contact me. It's something I'd like to witness before I die.

 

The CraftSanity Paper Doll Print Collection has arrived!

Say hello to Priare, Celia, Lucy, and Charlie!

 

Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood of CraftSanity and I recently did a collaboration to bring you the Paper Doll Print Collection. You might recognize these little jewels from the first four issues of the magazine. If you cut them out when you got the magazine, do not fret! This limited edition archival print set includes all four paperdolls. Each one is 8x8", ready to frame, and hand-signed by both Jennifer and I. You can buy them here!

 

If you have any questions about purchasing the prints, or are located in Grand Rapids and would rather buy them in person, I would be more than happy to arrange that. 

On my way to paint! Our studio is feeling warmer than ever. Well yeah, because we got the heater turned on and the gas leak fixed..but also! Because having an event in your space makes everyone get cleaned and organized. People leave lanterns in there (thank you!) and the coffee table we rigged from an old broken dolley in the hallway made a great addition to the space that we just could not get rid of. Voila!

Happy day! Try and pretend the raindrops are snowflakes.