With her Camouflage nearly complete (she lacks a monacle), Camo Hippo started a business. Moving swiftly, she saw no need to consult with an expensive team of MBA-trained consultants. With so many creatures in danger from poachers, sea level rising, habitat destruction, and forest clear cutting, she has no doubt that there is a rising demand for the services of a Professional Camouflageur.
Camo Hippo Catalog Samples
Inspired by Photoshop Filters and her clients’ preferences, Camo Hippo will use an innovative combination of tattoos, paint, glue, and unique textiles to create what will work best for her clients. She is assembling a team with technical and artistic skills who are excited about working to protect real and whimsical creatures. She expects to be in production by the end of August 2018.
Pangolins eat ants and termites, and Peter was allergic to them, so as a sickly little pangolin, traffickers ignored him. It was Peter’s luckiest day when he was scooped up by a Veterinarian Without Borders who put him into a tiny diplomatic pouch and sent him to her family in France. Her parents took great care to find food that he liked. He fattened up, calmed down, and stopped curling into the tiny “I’m scared” ball which is characteristic of frightened pangolins.
Peter Pangolin welcomed by a family of truffle hunters
Peter’s luck apparently knows no bounds. He had been welcomed into a family of truffle-hunters who had been living and working in France for generations. It turned out that Peter was the best of all truffle-hunting mammals: he can find them, but he doesn’t like to eat them.
Peter eat up some profits
Because Peter is really skilled at truffle-finding, Peter and his new family make lots of money. After carefully saving 25% of his earnings, he travels to Paris one weekend each month to visit with his close friend, the French LLLama. They stroll on the Champs-élysées, drink café au lait, and continue their search for Paris’ best apple cake.
Protector of Peeps® Candy Wafer LLLama is one of the LLLamas featured in Meet the LLLamas. She has a new challenge, but she’s ready.
As her fans know, she was the SpokesLLLama for a number of multi-national candy companies until senior management replaced her with a giggling animated candy bar. She recovered from that insult by joining an international nondenominational non-profit that cares for retired Easter Bunnies.
Her second job: Peeps Protection
She took on a very part-time job, Peeps® Protection, and began blogging for “Safety First: Keep Peeps® Out of Microwaves.” In the early years, when Peeps® were in stores for 15 minutes before Easter, this was a very part time job. Now that Peeps® are available year-round, she has had to up her game. None of her friends are surprised that she now has two full-time jobs.
Her challenge thrown down from AARP
A recent AARP newsletter features 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Peeps® which would be fascinating were it not for the instructions for creating a microwave to-the-death engagement between two Peeps® and two toothpicks.
Candy Wafer read the piece and cried “For shame!” She has begun a massive social media campaign to thwart this dastardly turn in the long and storied life of Peeps®.
Peeps Protection and the international water crisis
“Peeps® protection has never been more important than it is today. With a growing international water crisis, it is irresponsible to blast Peeps® in a microwave. The cleanup takes an enormous amount of water. Melted and boiled sugar is difficult to remove from easily accessible spaces, but microwaves require a long reach — especially for short people.
“Inevitably,” she added, “the culprit is not the one in charge of cleanup.”
Photoshop has been my friend for a while. At first, I used it to create an archive. Because I started “image-a-day” painting in 2010, I have a HUGE archive of images. Sometime in 2011, I discovered the magic of Photoshop and began to manipulate images.
It was easy to identify the original image as “Trilobite” from a dim memory of studying geology. It is 5×7″ and beautifully framed. Thank you, Frameworks.
Entering Photoshop’s Magic World
Once the Photoshop light came on, I spent hours tweaking this image, learning about Filters and Adjustments. (Working with Layers came much much later.) Surprise! The same person who categorically refuses to make round color wheels, declined to learn to play scales (C sharp? C Major?), also steadfastly refused to take careful notes about filters and adjustments, making it impossible to recreate any of this.
The image with the eye on the right is Teresa Trilobite. The fellow with the eye on the left is Tommy Trilobite. They are featured in The Small Friends’ Chronicles. Here is their story:
Although trilobites who roamed the oceans between 526 and 250 million years ago have long been extinct, The Small Friends’ Research Institute (which funds some of my work) found Theresa (eye on the top) and Tommy (eye on the bottom) living quietly in a small pond in Northern Minnesota.
Theresa and Tommy were thrilled that Trilobite: Four by Five (below) was selected for the Still Point Gallery’s Abstraction Distraction online exhibition (November-December 2011). They are still delighted that they were able to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by appearing in the Square Inches of Love traveling exhibition.
In 2011, this image was accepted in Square Inches of Love, a giant quilt that was a fundraiser for St. Jude. Want one for your very own? It’s at ETSY.
Yes. The first cat video festival was at the Walker. The next year it moved to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Last year it was back at the Walker. This year it is in the brand-new CHS Field in Lowertown Saint Paul.
Lots of Cat Art
Much as I would like to bring every last piece of cat art that I’ve ever produced, there is a two-hour sales window. If you get distracted by Cat Yoga or the other activities before the show which begins at 8:30, all of the images below are available as blank greeting cards. $4 each plus tax. Postage included. Prints matted to 11×14 are $30 plus tax and shipping. Max-the-Cat, the model for many of these images, reminds me that he has a lot more cat pals. He also reminds me that I should do a better job of posting this art to susangainenartist.com or to etsy or zazzle.
Cats-on-the-Fridge: new original art
4×4 original paintings packed with their own refrigerator magnets. They will be at Cat Video Fest.
Max-the-Cat urged me to make a postcard to promote my (his) cat art:
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.
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.
I stand second to none in my admiration for the skills and talents of Project Runway contestants. These people can make clothes without patterns — or, rather, they make their own patterns. If you have ever sewed women’s clothing, you know what a complicated activity that pattern-drafting must be.
PAINT EVERY DAY. I paint everyday, but I don’t finish a painting every day. I am still able to post an image-a-day because I am learning new ways for my paintings to frolic in Photoshop.
The first 2012 images were from “16 butterflies,” “7 Hippos Marching,” and “3 Fish,” with each image carved out of the whole. “Beginning and End” is a tiny painting that will become a larger, gridded work, and “Blue Crystals” is a single post card manipulated (flip horizontal, flip vertical, etc.). Next up are eight iterations of “Infinity,” and a new “Rolling Rings 1,” whose perspective I changed radically.
Opening reception: January 25, 2014.
1:30 to 4:30. 1222-4th St SE.
When the first of the whimsical creatures called small friends arrived in my studio in 2006, I had no idea that they were creating a path for their friends and families. More than 400 creatures have marched, swarmed, flown, hopped, or strolled through the doors and windows to have their portraits painted.
The SE Hennepin Library offered its walls to host 29 paintings, and Creatures of Whimsy will hang there until March 29. The opening reception is Saturday, January 25 from 1:30 to 4:30. All are welcome to see the paintings and to try out Judith Olney’s Joy of Chocolate Pound Cake and one of my new favorites, Shoo Fly Cake.
This building was designed to house a credit union by the late Ralph Rapson. Its layout, with many short walls between offices, is a gift to artists with small works that benefit from close scrutiny.
Stained Glass Rooster
SAVE THE DATE (for kids!)
March 1 from 3-4 p.m.
Susan Gainen will read from The Small Friends’ Chronicles and introduce Robert the Tap Dancing Rooster, the Frogs’ Square Dance Team, Mary Anna Musk Ox, Darren Dragon, the Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul, the Wild Parrots of Saint Paul, and Zavier Camo Zebra.
Bonus: Everyone will get to make a zebra postcard – with or without stripes!
1222 4th Street Southeast
Hours: Tuesday (9-5), Thursday (noon-8), Saturday (9-5)