I have finished with the longhaired black and tan angel Dachshund, all except for extending the clouds out to the sides of the painting. I am really pleased, and excited because the more I paint in my "new" medium of acrylics the better I get at it. I do spend a long time because I keep thinking up new ways to improve each painting - a dab here, a brush stroke there...and the interference paints are really nice. Interference paints do not cover the paint underneath, but they react with it and enhance it.
My other work in progress, StarGazer, is a fun little piece. I am trying something new here - using gouache on top of acrylic. I'll post a more recent picture soon. I painted the background with ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson and interference blue - the affect is a slightly shiny sky, but more than that it has a real depth to it. I can almost feel the heavens wheeling around this small dog looking up at the stars. I remember when I was about 8 I asked my mom if dogs think. She said to they do, but not in real specific terms and not that deeply. She said that when dogs look at the sky and see stars they probably think "Hm, bright." For some reason that stuck with me. Maybe its part of why I feel the need to imbue my dogs with deeper lives, deeper thoughts. Don't blame my mom - she wasn't short-changing dogs, just giving a little girl an understandable explanation. I know she thinks her Dachshund Spike (my dog brother) is more intelligent than most of her acquaintances.
Another work on auction now if a Wine Dog Art Trading Card, here to the left. I am also working on a larger wine dog. This one is a red in a glass of Chardonnay with some figs and cheese. This one is destined to be a print. I had a thought when I was working on it today: how about a wine dog calendar this year? Maybe with a different breed for each wine with appropriate tasting notes. I would need to figure out how to design them in a horizontal format. Maybe if I included food pairings...
Oil painting class went much better on Monday. I was about 15 minutes late, and when I arrived the instructor had set up a still life, but this one included a skull. Yea! I am awful at things like bottles and particularly keeping things symmetrical, but something with life (yes, even a skull) always inspires me. I was so happy sketching away while most of the other students groaned over doing a skull. All of the acrylic painting the week before seems to have improved my oil technique and I am really pleased with how the painting is going.
Kelly gets to go to the speech therapist again next week. She is talking more and more. One side effect for me of exploring Kelly's late talking is that I have come to realize that some of what we have experienced is not "normal." Now, I don't want a normal child. I love Kelly as she is, a very, very special, bright and charismatic girl. However, perhaps I am realizing that sometimes it has been more a challenge, and that it is not just my failure that she can't be convinced to brush her teeth, use the potty or just let go of the kitty, please. One funny thing she did recently was go to sleep in a laundry basket. My attempts to get her to sleep having failed, she took her blankie, her big down pillow and stopped at the door to our room, said "bye bye!" brightly and then went out to the living room where she started one of her DVDs (Gumby, I think). I went to check on her later (this was around 2am) and she had put her pillow in the laundry basket, crawling in on top of it with her down comforter and fallen asleep. She's done that a couple of times now, and just gets a kick out of curling up in that basket and watching a little TV. My funny little girl. The picture to the right is how I found her, sleeping like a little laundry angel.