I stand by my personal label as Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian.
I will deny forever that I am a good photographer. Clearly there is more to learn about photography and Photoshop. How, for example, should light reflections be eliminated without deeply hurting the underlying image. How does an amateur photographer contort herself to get a square or rectangular photo without acquiring permanent back injuries. Make a list for next week.
Come to the Dow Art Gallery to see these works (and many more).
I apologize in advance to the artists whose work I’ve Instagrammed and reproduced here.
Today is the last day of the Art Crawl. The Gallery is open from 12 to 5 p.m.
The group lives and practices in Saint Paul, in a home with a very-well sound insulated practice room. The group has stopped out from their first World Tour to appear at the Dow Art Gallery.
The Dow Art Gallery and the Art Crawl
40 artists share the beautiful light-filled space at the Dow Art Gallery, 2242 University Avenue West, Saint Paul. Start your Art Crawl journey in the Dow, then hop onto the Green Line for a complete Saint Paul Art Journey.
Multi-task: Explore Saint Paul’s Art Community, Visit the Dow Gallery, & Ride the Green Line for Free
Dow Art Gallery: a bright-light & art-filled gallery at 2242 University Avenue West
Up up and away! Come to the Gallery at the Dow Building for the St. Paul Art Crawl. See the work of 40 Gallery Artists, and then, as a bonus, visit the artists in the Dow Building itself. One stop for lots of great art!
Where is the Gallery?
It faces directly on University Avenue, and gives you access to the rest of the Dow Building
In 1996, a now-shuttered lumber yard in Saint Paul cut the flamingo from a piece of plywood, made a dozen sets of bookends, a random kidney-ish shaped piece, and 24 8-inch rounds. I painted and beaded the flamingo, and the rounds have aged like fine wine in a stack under my stairs.
It is now a pink gesso-covered Cave Flamingo which was part of my Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul installation at the WARM (Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota) Mentor-Protegee final show, Beyond the Surface, in late 2014.
New life for the wooden rounds
Two years ago I bought a dozen 12-inch round sheets of a fine artist paper whose brand is lost in the mists of time. They sat comfortably in the package until I decided to use gesso, the key ingredient in Cave Paintings, to attach the round papers to the wooden rounds.
Wooden rounds meet tiny Flamingos
How this piece was made:
I used gesso to attach the paper to the wooden round, and trimmed the excess.
With a spatula, I splodged gesso onto the paper, and then pressed it with the Ax-Man Gizmo #2, a tube with wire mesh that makes a scaly-sort of pattern. I let it dry overnight.
I sponged color onto the now-patterned gesso. I recommend acrylic paint (as opposed to watercolor), which won’t move an inch when you cover it with acrylic medium. I learned this lesson the very very hard way (subject of another post when I’m over my disappointment.)
Having made dozens of tiny flamingos as ornaments, bookmarks, and gift tags, I am surrounded by them. Three volunteered to be encased on gloss varnish for this project. I glued them onto the round, and waited patiently while the glue dried. (Really? Why are you telling me this? Because I have a life-long history of being too quick to move on to the next step, and I want to save you from the abject misery that will follow a string of bad words.)
Inspired by Dar Bunde, an amazing artist-member of the Northstar Watermedia Society, I used Liquitex Gloss Medium because I want this piece to be SHINY!!!!! I poured it on and set to to dry overnight.
I painted the sides with acrylic paint and covered the sides with gloss medium
I attached a hanger on the back so that this can hang on the wall.
What’s inside the Dow Building? Lots of artists and a great gallery.
What’s inside the Dow Building on University Avenue? Khanh Tran of Frame by Frame opened a huge light-filled gallery for Dow Building Artists (and others), and the Whimsical Wildlife and Geometric Abstractions have a new home.
Only delusional artists believe that everything works out perfectly first time and every time.
Day 17 didn’t work so well.
I had a good idea which was to paint a black and white striped rooster. There are many examples in breeders books and in art. It seemed like a good idea. It didn’t work out as well as I would have liked because (1) I didn’t plan or practice; (2) and I didn’t pay close attention to what I was doing. Which is not to say that it wasn’t fun to paint. I love tiny spaces, and this Rooster has a lot of them.
It’s always a good idea to practice, advice that I dispense all of the time. This feather effect needs a lot of practice.
First Black and White Rooster
Framed Black & White Rooster
After scanning into Photoshop, I made some adjustments to the First Black and White Rooster. I cropped out his back feathers to get rid of the mess. I used the Cross Hatch brush strokes filter to adjust all of the black and white feathers. Neither adjustment moved this experiment close to the effect that I was aiming for.
Leslie Saeta challenged artists around the world to join her in a 30-paintings-in-30-days challenge. I am always up for a challenge. But for a glitch in my access to this blog, I would have posted these images daily. This is catchup.
Each image starts with a drawing and a watercolor painting. After that the images go in many directions including being (1) scanned into Photoshop and manipulated, or (2) slathered with acrylic mediums, cut out, and placed on real or digital backgrounds.
Click on the image to see it larger-than-a-thumbnail. They are all in a 30-paintings-in-30-days gallery at the small friends website. Click on the tag line under each image to take you to the small friends page that tells the story of each image, and welcomes you to purchase (or not, as not all are for sale), or to find that some of the images are on cool products at my zazzle store.
What luck for a Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian to live on a well-traveled path and flyway through my living room studio in Saint Paul, MN.
Robert The Tap Dancing Rooster famously stopped by for a portrait and some career counseling before heading off to Broadway to become the World’s First Tap Dancing Rooster. (I am still waiting for backstage passes.) Robert’s original portrait and prints are available at ETSY. His tribute to his idols, The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, is a Mug-with-three-Roberts, available at zazzle.com.
Now visiting the studio: 3 Cats and 11 Flamingos: an acapella group in search of a name (and snazzy outfits)
The 3 Cats and 11 Flamingo’s first gig is on New Year’s Eve, and they are finally getting close to having costumes for the show.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Knowing that show-quality singing isn’t created in 15 minutes after someone says “Hey Kids, let’s do a show,” but from consistent and dedicated hard work, they have been rehearsing for months. They have spent most of that time in a conference room in a large nearby animal shelter. Although you might imagine that the sound of 3 Cats and 11 Flamingos working out complex harmonies might have been unpleasant enough for someone to call the Sound Police, no one minded the noise.
Name this group, please.
What they need — desperately need — is a name. They have persuaded me to give a signed print of their portrait to the winning submitter of the group’s new name. On their behalf, I thank you. Please leave your suggestions in the COMMENTS box below.