I've been finishing up on a second miniature for the summer show at the Paint Box gallery. This one features two rabbits hopping over earth in the shape of a heart.
5x5 inches, mixed media
These gilded miniatures don't photograph very well, because the gold leaf is reflective. I like the rabbits - maybe I'm associating them in my mind with spring - but I had to go back and intensify the lights and darks to make them pop against the gold, since the value was originally too close that that of the background. The little heart-shaped globe worried me also, since it certainly isn't particularly accurate, but I finally decided that doesn't matter much. The piece is just playful and decorative.
So, now it needs to thoroughly dry, and be varnished. Then it can be sent off to Door county.
Spring has arrived, at least according to the calendar. We had a nice warm day a week or so ago. My husband dragged the patio chairs out of the garage and I hauled to pots of sedum and hens and chicks out of the cellar and into the sunlight. I'm back photographing old headstones at the local cemetery for Find a Grave, despite the mud, and it is fine to be back tromping around outside. The new found warmth did not last, however - today we're all back in long sleeves and wooly socks, which is how things go here in southern Wisconsin. Gotta be flexible.
Spring is also when I hear from the little gallery I usually take small paintings to in Door county. I received my annual letter from the owner recently. Her miniature show is back after a year's hiatus. This year she wants miniatures with a theme of hearts. There is real potential here for more cuteness than usually appeals to me, but I sat down and started a couple ideas.
This is my cow portrait. I bet you can find the heart. My dad raised purebred holstein dairy cows, so I have first hand experience with the creatures. The gallery owner suggested I send some of my little paintings with gold leaf, so I painting a cow portrait and gilded the background.
One of my friends said she looks angry, but I think she is just projecting something in her life into the cow. Cows cannot really smile.
I'm also working on a slightly more whimsical piece with rabbits, but it isn't close to being ready to show the world.
The winter is limping along, and my immune system apparently is giving up. Last week I had something like food poisoning that left me horizontal on the couch most of the day, content to watch the shadows move across the hillside across the street, and this week the worst cold sores of the century are making my mouth look and feel like I ran into the doorjamb.
But, I have been working a little on my newest mixed media piece - two men and their dog. There will be a simple white farmhouse in the background, eventually. So far I have some collage pieces of wallpaper adhered to my canvas, have a thin layer of gold acrylic paint over that, and have begun the first layers of the dog and men. It is fun to work a little at a time, watching the image develop before my eyes.