For many years, I’ve had my eye on The Copley Society of Art as a gallery and art organization in which I hoped to one day exhibit my art; however, I wanted a few years to “find my artistic voice” and develop my skills. At the end of last year, I decided to be brave and apply. I am so very thrilled to share the news that I have been accepted as an artist in the Copley Society of Art in Boston, following a very competitive jury process. The origins of The Copley Society date back to the 1870s. With names like James McNeil Whistler, Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent and the sculptor Auguste Rodin (to name just a few!) on the roster of artistic luminaries linked with this association, I am so excited at this opportunity to enter the mainstream art world and exhibit my art in such a storied and distinguished gallery. I’m looking forward to exhibiting my art and working with this gallery in the future. This is definitely something to add to the “Good News” jar for 2018!!
This year marks the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar and, happily, I have several ideas for new artwork featuring the wild canines we share the world with. Closer to home I have red fox, grey fox, coyotes and wolves to choose from as well as African wild dogs (aka painted dogs), Arctic fox, hyenas and the dingo, which are a bit further afield. The red fox is the one I’ve most frequently observed and photographed here in New England, so I decided to start there in my quest to paint our wild canines. This image is only a small portion of a larger painting in progress of a red fox in a classic hunting pose of leaping into the air to pounce into the snow. I was lucky enough to witness this one winter day while out exploring in the Bretton Woods area of New Hampshire.
Where I live, there are small and large family farms mixed in with village communities and large tracts of rugged, mountainous forests. You can’t drive down the back roads between towns without passing a farm in much of the northern VT and NH areas. This diversity is one of the things I love best about where I live and from which I draw inspiration for much of my animal art. I find cows very endearing and my own fondness comes from my grandmother’s love of cows. I used to take her for drives to get her out of the house and it became one of our “things” to do together. If there was a farm with cows by the roadside, we had to stop and look at them. In fact, I keep a photo of her peering through a fence at a herd of cows near my drawing table. I took the photo on one of our adventures and as a reminder of our “road trips” together. I think it would make a good painting too… an old woman and a cow looking at each other over a fence.
A friend recently asked me what my word of the year would be. My initial reaction was “What…?!” However, after giving it some thought I’ve decided that “Serendipity” will be my word for this year:
Serendipity: “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy and beneficial way”.
We’ve all experienced it. Those moments when opportunity knocks, and if we have our wits about us, we find something wonderful develops “by chance in a happy and beneficial way”. For example, in the course of my husband’s work in the building industry, he gets to know contractors on building projects. Over time, one of them became aware my husband and I have a woodworking shop/art studio, and followed up on an invitation by my husband to visit our studios sometime. He came over one evening along with a co-worker and, among other things, we chatted about my painting process. Turned out, the spouse of one of them loves owls, her birthday was coming up and he wanted to surprise her with something special. To my delight, he purchased a framed print right then and there. A few weeks later, he reached out again because his company wanted to purchase another framed print as a thank you gift for someone. In another few weeks, his co-worker contacted me to commission an original pet portrait of their dog! From a casual conversation about a mutual interest in nature, wood turning and wildlife art came the meeting and making of some new friends, as well as people who are interested in and want to buy my art. Serendipity indeed…
In recapping the good news moments of 2017: I’m happy that so many of my paintings and drawings found homes with new buyers as well as with long time collectors in 2017… thank you all!! I had two solo exhibits at two beautiful locations, a few artworks accepted into several national exhibitions and even won a couple of awards this past year. Not least of which was being named a Finalist in the Animal/Wildlife category of The Artist’s Magazine annual competition! Several of my artworks were chosen for licensing contracts and the summer art festival season and my annual Open Studio weekend were also successful. I’m feeling the love, peeps!!
In looking forward to 2018, I hope to have lots of good news to share with you regarding all things artistic. I wish you all a prosperous, healthy and peaceful New Year!!
In case you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for owls. Every year I’m inspired to create several artworks featuring owls and that interest is still going strong. I find everything about them to be fascinating and, well… I simply love to paint them. It would seem lots of other people share my love of owls because of all my art, the paintings of owls are the most popular and sell the quickest too. And, they do say if you are creating something that sells, you should keep making more of it. Hey, that works for me!
Here is the newest painting of a barred owl in the works. In the past year or so, the moon also seems to be a recurring theme for me. I’ve found myself drawn to create it repeatedly. I’m beginning to feel a little like the Richard Dryfus character in that 1977 movie “Close Encounters”, who was compelled to create the mountain where the alien ship landed. Whoa…
Posted in Works In Progress
Tagged barred owl, bird art, Bryan Memorial Gallery, NH Artist, owl, owl art, vermont artist, vermont watercolor society, watercolor art, white mountain artist, WREN gallery
Here I was, going along in the woods, thinking I was being very quiet and stealthy when this grey squirrel spotted me and started chattering in alarm. It soon returned to gathering pine cones, letting me get on with my own business, and the woods quieted down again.
A little while later, a small herd of 9 deer, composed of several doe with fawns came through. Such a rare surprise and so exciting to see!! Unfortunately, I had to stay very still and was only able to take a couple of photos or I would have scared them off. A few apples were eaten, some tender buds off shrubs and they soon moved off in the search for other food. Soon enough our resident snow shoe hare put in an appearance and I could see that it’s fur was beginning to turn from brown to white. Another sign that the times, they are a changing!
I’ve wanted to work on this painting for a long while and finally have time to devote my attention to it. I haven’t done anything quite this challenging in a while now but I’ve recently been feeling inspired. Of course, I may feel differently after I’ve been working on it for a bit! There are always those moments when I’m sure I’ve ruined it, and in the next minute, I’m convinced I’m channeling the creative spirit of John James Audubon! So far, so good and I’m pleased with my progress. I’ve applied a nice soft wintery blue wash for the sky in the background and now I’m painting in all the little branches, moss and needles of the pine tree. Lots to do in that regard still but it’s coming along nicely. I’m saving the birds to do last because it’s my favorite part but also because I’m undecided on how to capture their coloring just yet. Will have to do some “test” colors on spare paper first.
Posted in Studio news, Works In Progress
Tagged bird art, Bryan Memorial Gallery, morning dove, NH Artist, songbirds, vermont artist, vermont watercolor society, watercolor art, white mountain artist, WREN gallery
Something new off the drawing table and one I’m quite pleased with. The Golden-crowned Kinglet was a “life bird” for me this year and given that it’s one of the tiniest birds (half the size of a chickadee), I’m amazed that I even saw it! I’ve read that it weighs barely more than a quarter and can be found throughout the year here, surviving our harsh winters when so many other birds leave for warmer climates. Being thus inspired, I decided to create a painting, aptly titled as “The Little King” of the birds.