Friday, April 18, 2014

Sheep Meadow

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches -- Click here to buy

Last week visited my husband who's working at WSU in Pullman, WA. On Sunday, it was sunny and less windy. So I went to the Sunnyside Park to paint. There's a farm house with sheep barn by this park, I painted this scene from the park side. There were several mother sheep with new born babies in the field. I spend a lot of time taking photos and sketching until the sunlight got lower and the light and color turned more ideal for the afternoon ambiance. I was drawn to the golden glow of the trees that were contrasting the silver-blue roof of sheep barn.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lisa the Cow

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches -- Click here to buy

This is based on a photo of a cow I took at Bristol Flat, near Ellensburg, WA. This cow was resting on the grass. Her expression in the photo reminded me of the mysterious smile of Mona Lisa, hence the title. The gentle expression of her eye is the point of interest. I liked the complementarity of the red tag and the green background. I tried to create some variation in the white parts.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lucy the Cow

Oil on linen on panel, 6.x 6 inches -- Click here to buy

I saw this cow by the Canyon Road along the Yakima River, WA. I was drawn to the beautiful shapes and warm colors of this cow. Lucy was a name just came up to my mind. My focus was to keep the edges soft and use high key to suggest a sunny summer day. I used transparent orange for underpainting. After painting the whole canvas with brushes, I went over the canvas again with a small palette knife. I applied thiker paint for the highlights, and briefly blended the colors on canvas, I like the scratch marks of the knife and brushes in the darks, adding warm accents.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Haku and Bianca - Chicken Family

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches -- Click here to buy

While the Traveling Chicken crew enjoy a stay in the central Washington, Ms. Bianca met a Japanese Rooster, Haku (means "white" in Japanese). Haku is a plastic figure I have in my studio. They fell in love at first sight. Bianca requested an extension of her visit. Now they have a couple of baby chicks. Unfortunately, it is time for the Traveling Chicken crew to leave for Indiana, the next destination. She's going to take the baby chicks with her. She asked Haku to come with her, but he said that he needed more time to straighten things out with Ms. Duck, his current partner. Ms. Duck is another miniature figure in my studio for painting reference. Haku and Duck have been together for several years.

For this painting, I originally planned to take a photo of the still life setup, and paint from the photo, so that I could ship the TC package sooner. I also thought it would be easier to see the tiny subjects if I see the closeup photo on my tablet next to the easel. But I figured that it would be harder to paint because the color and value are so distorted in a photo. I love the subtle glow of warm yellow reflected from the baby chicks.

Haku and Bianka with the chicks enjoyed posing in the shadow box in my studio all day yesterday. The TC crew are now off to Indiana.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rooster Got Skis

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches -- SOLD

This is the second painting of the Traveling Chicken series. In the previous episode, Valentine's Day for Mr Gallo was a disaster. Gallo developed feeling for Ms Chick, but he realized that Ms Chick did not feel the same way for him. Ms Chick knows what she wants, and Gallo is not part of her vision. So, instead of staying depressed, Gallo decided to take alpine ski lessons while visiting the Northwestern United States. Then he recently got a new pair of wide skis for powder! He enjoyed cruising down the steep and deep powder slopes all day long today. I wanted to convey his excitement. To recreate this scene in my still shadow box, I cut out skis from cardboard, and drew them under his feet on canvas. To suggest ski tracks and bumps on the snow, I used two glass bowls: one upside-down to place the figure, and the other one right-side up next behind the figure. I liked the transparent and subdued background to offset the vivid shapes of rooster and skis.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Walking Around Eggshells

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches -- Click here to buy

The Traveling Chicken and the flock are here in the central Washington, the home of my happy lap chickens.

My husband and I love alpine skiing. We went to 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort, north of Spokane, last week. I enjoyed skiing on the fresh powder and bumps on my brand new custom designed powder skis. I was inspired by the those bumps on the slope, and came up with the idea to use eggshells to suggest the bumps. Our chickens lay colorful eggs hence colorful bumps. I wanted to make these ceramic chickens look like skiers. But I decided not to put them on the fake skis for this piece.

I initially set up this still life stage for Ms Chicken and Senor Gallo walking side by side. But I didn't think it would make a compelling composition. It looked too busy among eggshells. So I removed Gallo, and focused on just Ms Chick this time. I felt sorry for Gallo for not being included in the scene. But Ms Chick know what she wants. She is not walking on eggshells, she's actually walking around them. Independent chicken. She knows that Gallo will be fine.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Horse with Silver Mane

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches -- Click here to buy

This is a horse I saw at the Mule Day parade in Bishop, CA, last summer. For this piece, I played with different colors and layered them. I took so many photos of animals on that trip. I'm going to do a series of paintings from this.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Horse with Blue Halter

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches -- Click here to buy

This young horse was waiting for my friend to take him for a walk. The blue halter looked stunning on his orange-brown coat. I like the little gold carabiner accentuating the complimentary blue.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Tomodachi - Two Horses

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches -- Click Here to Buy

Theses gorgeous horses belong to my friend Hita in Vashon, Washington. I love visiting her to paint together whenever I have a chance to go to the west side. She has several horses, and I love taking photos of them for my painting reference. In this painting, I aimed at simplifying the shapes, as well as enhancing color intensity, to create a warm and friendly mood just before sunset. For this piece, I used oil colors straight out of tubes, except some Gamsol during under-painting. I didn't use any medium. Instead, I wanted to leave thick and bold brush marks. I love how the lost edges don't get blended too much with the neighboring colors.

Tomodachi means friends in Japanese.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Pensive Sophie

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches -- Click Here to Buy

Sophie is our lap chicken and model for my painting. She is a young Delaware hen, and she's still finishing up molting unlike the rest of her big sisters. I love shooting reference photos our chickens indoors, as their pupils dilate. I think they look more lovely this way. I've working on the various edges lately. I was inspired by a blog post by Terry Miura about his approach to the lost edges. The background was originally very dark, but I added another layer to lighten it. This made it easier to loose the edge around her neck. The area between her expressive eye and the beak are the focal point. The rest is not so important, and I softened the edges.