From Winsor Newton Davy’s Gray

Final cave cat panel image

The WARM Show

The WARM (Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota) Mentor-Protegee Show is coming in October, but the catalog picture and info deadline is August 1. Hence, the race to produce something that either sensibly represents “work-in-progress,” or approximates “finished.”

Three of the Five Panels

Cats, Parrots, and Owls in Progress

The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul installation will have five panels: Owls, Parrots, Cats, Some Random Birds, and an Elephant. (It’s my cave, so I can populate it at will.)

The Owl and Parrot Panels are not quite finished, but the images are all recognizable owls, parrots, and the border hummingbirds (top), and frogs (bottom.)

Cave Cats In Progress

The Cat Conundrum

In life, I answer to two cats, so it would have been impossible to keep cats from the cave walls. But what cave cat panel image to use?

If you know my work, you’ll recall dozens of cats of all shapes and sizes.  I searched my image files and found one that I had used on two of my earliest paintings, Dot Cat and Striped Cat. I made three different sized templates, and “ghosted” them onto the panel with one of the most useful of watercolors, Winsor Newton Davy’s Gray.

An organizing principle? A theoretical construct? A plan!

Because the Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul are whimsical historical documents, it seems reasonable that the Cat Panel would depict some of our current cats’ ancestors. Who is to say that the Great-great-great-great-great-great-great (etc.) Grandpa of an orange-striped tabby didn’t have a green stripe?

Other Markings’ Research

The Small Friends’ Research Institute, (sponsor of the bulk of my research into whimsical creatures and publisher of The Small Friends’ Chronicles and Meet the LLLamas) tasked its entire staff with emergency research into the markings on Ancient Cats of Minnesota. I expect a report this afternoon.

Related posts, retail outlets, and a web link

Lost Cave Paintings Progress: On to the next level
Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul: for the WARM Mentor-Protege Show

Cave paintings are available at The Art Shoppe at Midtown Global Market (Minneapolis) and at Three Sisters’ Eclectic Arts (Saint Paul), and from my website.

Bright Glass Bubbles Holiday Card is a “Today’s Best” at zazzle.com

Bright Glass Bubbles

Bright Glass Bubbles: Original sold

What happens when triangles go wild?

Fans of nanoscapes may recall the 13 weeks in 2010 that I spent in the World of Fractured Glass Paintings, when I made Fractured Glass 1, 2, 3, and this glass bubble painting. These paintings are quintessential nanoscapes, as they are nothing if not examples of Painstaking Exuberance. Many steps: make a pencil drawing, paint over with Winsor & Newton Davy’s Gray paint, paint colors inside the lines, paint the “grout” lines, and, finally, paint a border for the painting. A celebration of the Double Zero brush!


The Bright Glass Bubbles blank holiday card was selected as a “Today’s Best” for June 6, 2012 at zazzle.com.



It was “…hand-picked as an example of creativity at its finest. Out of billions of products on Zazzle, your design was chosen for being one of the best!” I am honored.


Fans of nanoscapes may recall the 13 weeks in 2010 that I spent in the World of Fractured Glass when I painted Fractured Glass 1, 2, 3, and this glass bubble painting. It was fun!


Click here for the link to this card at my zazzle store.




nanoscapes’ Small Friends declare independence in new website

A history lesson:  After working in the shadow of the geometric abstract nanoscapes for more than five years, 38 small friends have declared their independence and moved to a website all their own. Find them in individual galleries for amphibians, birds, cats, fish, LLLamas, and mammals.  31 LLLamas appeared in Facebook in May, and all but Rainbow LLLama left abruptly on the first LLLamaWorLLLd Tour. Rainbow stayed behind to represent them at this new website.

Moose on a Hill: the 1st small friend
 Their first principle is WE WERE FIRST. Before the first nanoscape kaleidoscope or molecule, the Alaskan Moose on the Hill and the the first Musk Ox appeared on post cards that I made as souvenirs of my first visit to Alaska in 2003. One copy of the Moose remains in the archives, and the all of the Musk Ox are lost. These friends were painted on Arches and Canson post cards with watercolor pencils and brushes with water reservoirs.
In 2006, shortly after taking my first watercolor class, a few extra cats showed up in my studio for portraits. I wasn’t surprised because I feed, water, and obey Flying Tackle Phil and Darwin, Felinus Emeritae. Ever since, there has been a steady stream of whimsical creatures either visiting (Mary-Anna Musk Ox) or making their home in my studio. Fortunately, they don’t eat, and even the largest (Darren Dragon at 32 feet) take up no physical space.
Their second principle is USE GOOD TOOLS. They are all proud to have been painted on Arches, Fabriano or Canson papers with Daniel Smith, Winsor Newton, Holbein, Sennelier or Dick Blick watercolors using Daniel Smith sable, Winsor Newton Series 7 or one tiny Jack Richardson brush.
Their third principle is PAINT INDOORS. In our whimsical world, we share an aversion to heat, humidity and bugs.
Their fourth principle is SMILE. The small friends are proud to stand up for whimsy, to support smiling, and to encourage 10 belly-laughs per day.