All Played Out
Pastel on Sennelier Pastel Card
Image size 7 x 9
Animals have the most expressive faces. While they don't express themselves with words as we humans do, it is not often difficult to know what they are thinking or what they want to tell you. This little pup, like most babies, had played very, very hard, and suddenly realized he was past due for a nap. When they are puppies, they simply drop wherever they are and take a snooze. Later on, they have their own special blanket, pillow, or space on the couch, and they absolutely must turn around three times before they lie down. I have read that is a throwback to when they lived in the wild and had to make sure the area was secure before they slept. Don't know if I buy that, but it does make an interesting story. This little one, though tired out, looked very content and happy. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels always look happy to me. They are one of my favorite breeds to paint, and if I had room for one more dog in my house, I would like one of these.
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*WIP = WORK IN PROGRESS
**WOMEN= WHAT'S ON MY EASEL NOW
It isn't often that I share anything on this blog except finished works, and there is good reason for that. My process is not the usual step by step kind that is taught in art schools, work shops and DVD's, with each step following the previous one in perfect succession, beautiful harmony, the end evident in the beginning well diagrammed layout. I work intuitively, though some have unkindly referred to my process as "convoluted." Some days I make great strides forward - step one, step two, etc. - but there are times when it all falls apart. I see a passage that maybe needs just a little adjustment, a tweak. Three hours later I am still "tweaking" and somehow I know that it will take three more days of work just to bring it back to where it was before. And don't let anybody fool you - you can't pick up a house painting brush and expect to create a masterpiece in twenty minutes. It only works that way on TV.
Having said all that, I would like to share with you the painting that is currently on my easel, a landscape of the rolling hills of southern Iowa, my husband's home base. It has been a while since I have tried a landscape of this size, because so much of my time is taken up with commissioned portraits and my work with Art Helping Animals - plus various family obligations - so it is really exciting for me. For me painting a landscape is like meeting an old friend that I haven't seen for a while. It will take us a while to get re-acquainted, but eventually it will be just like old times again. In anticipation of a show we will be doing this fall, Art of the Prairie, I will title this one Prairie Song.
I know that many artists periodically show works in progress on their blogs - many even include videos of themselves actually doing the painting. I applaud them for their organizational skills and their courage but have no fear, you will not see anything like that here. This may be a work in progress or it may be a work in regress, I am not sure. If it is ever finished, I will share the completed painting with you, but there is no guarantee that you will recognize it. It is early days yet, so all that remains to be seen. Or not.