Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Party Recovery

Here it is Wednesday and I am still trying to dig out from under all of the stuff that ended up here in my studio when we cleaned the house for Kirk's birthday party on Saturday. But it had to be done - I believe you should clean the house once a year whether it needs it or not.
The little dog in costume is my latest ATC offering, up on eBay right now: Dachshund Hot Dog Costume Original Weiner Art ACEO ATC . At right is my Nibblefest Art Contest entry for this month. The theme was Butterflies. This is acrylic on 5"x7" stretched canvas: Butter Flies Over Cows Original Art Painting NFAC EBSQ . I like its whimsy and hope it finds an audience.
Last weekend I had three pieces close: the Soaring Dachshund, much refined from the last post; Home is Where the Hound is, actually a surprising complicated piece to paint but one which I am quite happy with; and Showered with Love, a cute little ATC. I have not had a lot of time to paint with the party and all, and Kirk has been ill since the party with some sort of flu. I dread Kelly and I getting it next, as it seems to be a particularly yucky one.
My art focus coming up really needs to be on the art for my 2007 calendar, and I am hoping to come up with a fresh Halloween idea soon. I am also trying to decide if it will be in watercolor or acrylic. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I also used gouache in Home Hound and the Hot Dog Costume above. I found out why it is so chalky - it is made with chalk. Who knew?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Soaring Dachshund

Here is the most recent scan of Soaring Dachshund.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Painting ending this weekend

I forgot to put this one in the last post, and blogger is very buggy about adding pictures at different points in the process. This is my first Goauche painting. As one reader asked "What is that - it sounds like an ethnic food" or words to that effect let me briefly explain. Gouache or Designer's Gouache (pronounced gwash, like Goofy would say it) is an opaque watercolor medium. It is often used by designers who appreciate its denser texture and stronger color and its opacity. So far I find it a little chalky and inclination to "lift" as I apply layers. In watercolor jargon, lifting is what happens when the paint you are applying on top of another color disturbs the paint below. Sometimes this is desirable, but often now. So there you have it. Like acrylics I am sure I will like this paint more as I get used to its personality.
This painting, a 2.5" by 3.5" art card is on auction here: Dachshunds Sick Day Original Weiner Dog Art ACEO ATC .

What a Knucklehead!

I did it again - I forgot to remove the bidding restriction on an auction after I posted the picture and description. I was wondering why there were no bids! Duh. I decided to relist the Soaring Dachshund in any case because I wasn't done and wanted it to have a full run on eBay. I am really pleased with this one so far. I love the landscape. It was so exciting to do one in acrylic - they are hard for me in watercolor because you really have to plan them out due to the transparency of the colors, but in oil or acrylic you can layer them on and make decisions as you go. I looked at a lot of pictures of Tuscany before painting this. In the end it could be anywhere, but I do know it is a place I would love to soar over. The Dachshund isn't finished yet, but already painting her coat is a pleasure - the underbelly will be a little golden with reflected light. I am still deciding whether to add small wings or any clouds. I believe this one is going to make it into my 2007 Dachshundicity Calendar, which I had better get going on. Soaring Dachshund is on auction at Longhaired Dachshund Soars Original Weiner Dog Art EBSQ .
I really enjoyed painting a landscape like this, so I decided to look at eBay to see whether landscape paintings make any verdict is that they might, but the market is so crowded that it would be nearly impossible to sell one. eBay has this thing called a "Featured Listing" which the seller pays an additional $20 or so for to ensure that their item comes up at the top of the search. In the case of landscape paintings these featured listings take up the first two pages before you get to any that are not featured. So an artist has to spend big bucks to even be seen; the artist who does not has little chance even at the end of the auction when their listing should be at the top of the page - because the two pages of features will be shown first. Many shoppers on eBay will not search through so many pages, and also don't realize all of those pages are artificially high on the search. So probably no straight landscapes for me.
In other eBay news I have decided to keep my store open but to reduce inventory by 50%. I have put the prints I will be eliminating on sale there. I will of course have all prints available on my website at as usual. I also took the big step of listing a print on Etsy, and it sold in a day! Yippie!!!! You can see my new store at Etsy here: I have only a couple of prints listed there so far, but I will be offering an introductory price of $11 for prints there. I may also be posting more of my women and fairies there since they are listed for several months at a time rather than a week and may actually find the right home that way. It is really demoralizing to list them on eBay, pay the 70 cent fee and then have them close without a single bid. I list them under my alternate ID, so they often go unseen by more than 10 people or so.
Remember, if you have feedback for me on whether to add wings to the Dachshund Soaring now is the time to tell me!!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Star Gazing

I finished the star gazing Dachshund last night. I had decided to try gouache over acrylic, but it didn't quite have the depth and sheen of the acrylic, so the whole piece is acrylic paint. I did use black gouache to outline the eye. I must say - thank goodness for magnifying lights! I had to get in there really close to do some of the little details. This one was really fun and I expect I will do others on a like theme. Scanning the acrylics mystifies me a little - where the scanner does not pick up the texture of watercolor paper in most cases, it really pickes it up on the canvas. The actual paintings are much smoother in person. There is also a little more color correction involved. Be sure to click on any of the pictures for a larger version. This one is on auction through Sunday at

Friday, August 04, 2006

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
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.