Monday, October 18, 2010

Admiral Bird and The Fox

My friend Diana K. commissioned a painting of her "Admiral Bird", a Cochin Rooster.
Diana had seen some of my chicken paintings from earlier in the spring. She told me how the Admiral had protected her free-range chickens against the fox on several occasions.
When I first saw the Rooster, he had no tail at all, having lost it in his latest encounter with the fox.
I live in Up-State NY, in fox hunt country, mostly an equestrian event, chasing fox and coyote on horse back. There is a lively market for sporting art on this subject including many fox paintings.
I liked the idea of presenting the fox in a different role, but one that it is really known for. The fox in the hen house, the bane of the farmer!
The interaction between any two individuals,  be it animals or humans has always fascinated me. You can use the distance between glaces as a real compositional element.

When I finished the painting, I thought it would be most enjoyable to present the painting to Diana at my studio, and invited some of my friends.

My studio is not a public place or an art gallery. I really had to think about who I would invite and decided that I could only have friends who have been to my home or people that already owned some of my works. They are the only people I could feel comfortable showing those unfinished or unbaked works that live and linger around the studio.

Sharing the finished Admiral Bird, before it went to live on Diana's wall made for a great day.
My wife Holly put out a most beautiful spread of wine and cheese.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Old Drawing

In the summer of 1971, as a beginning art student. I would draw portraits outside, at fairs and festivals. I drew in vine charcoal, on newsprint and sprayed them with hairspray. I think $3. - $5. was my going rate. I really loved to draw and I could stand and draw for hours, without a break.
A portrait, from that time, has resurfaced. A very special drawing too. This is John K., my best friend through High School.
It is the best I could draw at that time. What I am most pleased about, is that I did capture the "likeness" and "spirit".
Later I moved away from the pressure of "likeness" and concentrated on trying to draw the best "head" that I could, but spirit is and will always be the most important.
Speaking of spirit; This drawing was sent to me by John's son, who I have never met.
John died of kidney failure in 1977 after a life with Nephritis.
I really could go on and on...