A couple weeks ago the husband of a friend purchased a rabbit print from my etsy shop. He knew this particular print called "Poppy" was one that his wife had wanted for a long time, and he wanted to surprise her for Christmas. I was happy to oblige and promptly sent it off to his relatives to hold until the Holidays.
Poppy is a print I created by scanning in a drawing of mine into the computer then digitally painting it. It depicts a somewhat romantic white rabbit leaping for joy in a field of orange poppy flowers.
A few days ago, this same friend decided to treat herself and purchase the Poppy print she had been wanting for so long. Without knowing it, she had just purchased the exact present for herself that her husband wanted to surprise her with!
That put me in a bit of a quandary. Do I tell her? Do I just send the items and play dumb? I sent a frantic email to the husband asking what he wanted to do. A little while later I got an email back from him saying that just as he was reading my email, his wife mentions that she just bought Poppy for herself! He couldn't keep a strait face. The cat, or rather, the rabbit was out of the bag.
All's well that ends well. My friend will not only have a Poppy print to call her own, but a sweet story of true love to go along with it.
I paint bunnies; brown and black, spotted and lop eared, running, jumping, sleeping, playing... but mostly I paint a character I call the little white rabbit or "LWR" for short. The number one thing people ask me after seeing my art (well, they *tell* me) is that I should write a children's book. Well, I have written one, I just haven't heard back from the publisher yet. Yes, it's about the little white rabbit.
The thing about getting a book properly published is that it takes time. Publishers want exclusive access to the manuscript, meaning you can't send it to every publisher you can think of in hope one will want it. And most publishers also get tens of thousands of submissions every year, so you can imagine how long it takes them to say "no thanks". It takes even longer for one to say "yes".
I am sure the stories of the little white rabbit will be published someday, I believe that. But in the meantime, he's got things to do, places to go, games to play. Some of those escapades I will share with the world right now, and some will go into the next book or seven after that.
I make no secrets about artists I like, I practically drag a soap box around with me to shout at people about it, at least in my head. In this blog I plan to periodically drag out and show art I have collected and treasure, and I hope you enjoy the ride.
One of my first major acquisitions on Etsy was from a then relatively unknown creator called the Mincing Mockingbird- the brilliant brainchild of California artist Matt Adrian. Now he much admired for his caustic, sarcastic, and at times very poignant bird paintings, but I feel myself to be very lucky to be the proud owner of an original disaster painting called "Good Day L.A./Apocolypse Begins Near The 405".
I have no idea why I love this painting so much. The subect itself is pretty horrible in fact, but the painting only hints at it. The brilliant blue sky, the linear geometry and the unexplained collumn of white and gray smoke. Only after the initial view do you realize there is a car in the air to the very left of the canvas. THERE IS A CAR IN THE AIR.
I think part of the appeal is the honestly of it, to me, that's how disaster really hits you, in the absurd details that don't make sense right away. Stuff off to the side your eyes see but your brain doesn't believe. Fire and smoke we understand, projectile autos, not so much.
In any case, this painting has hung in my studio a couple years now. I see it every day, and once in awhile I find myself staring off into space and look at it and think THERE IS A CAR IN THE AIR. I love to have art that constantly says something to me, and I am thrilled that the artist has had such great success with his work.
I had a customer who bought my art comment once that I must have lots of white rabbits and spend all day watching them to be able to paint them with so much life and character.
Well, in truth, I don't have any rabbits. I did have one a long time ago, and he wasn't even white, he was brown. Don't get me wrong, I would love a yard full of them, but unfortunately, so would my dogs and cats, and not in the way that would be nice for the rabbits.
Two of my crazy dogs.
A lot of my inspiration is other people's rabbits, but as I paint all out of my head even I am never sure where these bunnies come from. Or why they are hugging birds, stealing horse carts, flying to the moon or hanging out with the odd android or Grizzly bear.
It may sounds cliche but I *do* sometimes wake up first thing in the morning and go- "Oh! A little white rabbit eating supper with a mouse and drinking carrot wine!"- then go paint it. The stories behind the painting comes during the painting process or after the painting is finished. Of course the mouse and the rabbit are old friends, and they have dinner together all the time because they are lonely and don't get along with other mice and rabbits. It makes perfect sense.
SO, had a fabulous time at the opening of City Trees Furniture and Gallery (4616 14th Ave NW, Seattle, WA), thank you everyone who made it out! I have a whole room of paintings and sculptures for those who missed it, the gallery is open Thursday through Saturday 10 am-6 pm and Sundays noon to 6 pm.
Although everyone complimented me on the paintings and sculpture, it seemed that I got even more attention for the new pendant I was wearing. This piece is an extension of my latest obsession for rabbits holding things (birds, mice, other rabbits...) translated into a fun silhouette pendant. The bird in this case is completely cut out, making use of negative space.
Not sure where the bunny and bird thing is going, but it's fun to see the relationship develop between the two. Here is the painting I finished today, which also incorporates my *other* new obsession, fog and trees. I guess all my art is a little obsessive come to think about it, it's always a journey of some sort, I am never sure where I am going to end up.
ACEO stands for Art Card Editions and Originals. They are cards of artwork measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches (6.4 cm x 8.9 cm), the same as a standard playing card. These small original works of art are great for collecting or displaying in small groupings.
About three years ago I started making small ACEO landscapes. It started, in a way, as a relearning process; I remembered things while making them I hadn't though of in years, because I hadn't really painted much with water colors since high school in the 1980's. My small studio and increasing sensitivity to oil paint fumes has since steered me away from the paints I loved into new ground. Or new old ground.
Yes, the titles of my recent landscape paintings are all songs from the eighties. During the 1980's I lived on a farm in a very rural area of New York State. There wasn't much to do for fun, except ride my horse over all the farms and woods, or on the endless dirt roads. Many of the landscapes and skies I saw back then were the inspiration behind these paintings- and like most of my work; they are painted from memory, not from life or photographs.
As this series continues I am beginning to run out of song titles. I may have to go into the 1990's, or better yet, go back to a simpler time 1970's? 1940's? I don't think there is a such a thing as a simpler time. Time is never simple, and neither are memories that resurface as vague watercolors.
I have always been fascinated by animation, every since my sister showed me how to make a simple moving animation by drawing on the corners of the pages of a notebook. I played around with computer animation in college, back before there WAS computer animation programs like Maya and Studio Max or even Flash... it was an Amiga system, for you geeks out there.
Well, fast forward to this week, when I woke up holding on to half a dream I had of a bunny and blue bird comic. As I lay there waking up I began to think about where that idea could go and hit on the inspiration to making a series of my bunny paintings, then scan them into the computer and edit them with my basic movie making software. The result of that little experiment is here. Inspired by my first success, I made another one today.
They aren't animation in the true sense, since there are not enough frames to make them actually "move" (if I recall right, film is 24 frames per second). But the mind tends to fill in the gaps, like seeing something with a strobe light on. The fact that these are composed of only a handful of actual paintings (14 for Blue Bird and Little White Rabbit and 16 for Bunnies Go Boum) is somehow very satisfying. There was very little computer manipulation, other than flipping some of the images and editing them together. A bit old old school animation, a bit of the new technology.
Now what to do with all the paintings I made for these almost animations...