Saturday, June 27, 2009

Panther Kitty

Hello all .... this entry is just for the sake of trying something to see if it works. Many of my photos will not enlarge for your viewing pleasure. Some do, however, and I had never figured out what the difference was. So ... I am trying a system suggested to me by a blogger friend to see if I can control what works and what doesn't.

This is one of the wild black cats that are around the neighborhood. It is in the fir bushes right outside the living room window. It looked like a panther lurking in the bushes, and it wasn't so pleased that I saw him/her. So I made it even less pleased and took a picture. Several in fact. Hopefully this photo will allow you to click and enlarge it.
Gorgeous day today. Sunshine and about 80 degrees. I'm sure we will have the same afternoon/evening thunder storms. Could sure do without the mosquitos the moisture has produced, but it is really green!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Gala

Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday, but I was just plain pooped! I mean dead on my poor little feet. We were on our feet most of 3 1/2 hours, and on a cement floor. I'm really glad I wore comfortable shoes. I'm not sure I even woke up yesterday!

By the way, the picture is of a sculpture that was purchased by the 2008 Purchase Committee for the Stampede Art Show. Title, "Battle of Wills" by Jeff Gottfried. A wonderful piece of art work. This year the Committee Purchase went to Cathy Sheeter, for her "Robing Horse." It is a magnificent scratch board piece.

Beginning to sense that I didn't sell either of my pieces? Well, you are right on. No sales. But lots of appreciation.

At 6 p.m. the invited guests and buyers start arriving, and if they have a painting they want to buy they put "Intent to buy" slips in a numbered bag located by each painting. Should that one painting collect several Intent to buy slips, then the opportunity to buy that piece is chosen by a drawing between the slips. Kind of a neat and fun system. There were no slips in my bag, darn the luck. But this was the first year for me at the Stampede Art Show, so if I am invited back again next year, I'll know better what to expect.

There were 37 artists this year, and they all showed between two and six pieces of art. Some really wonderful stuff, with a wide range of prices.

After the first round of buying, the Stampede Committee served a wonderful meal. Swift and Company donated the meat, and the prime rib was to die for! There was also pork, and all the accessories you could think of, right down to the strawberries dipped in chocolate. The evening wound down at about 8:30 p.m., and I got home at about 9:00.

My gallery is The Thunderbird Gallery and of the three of us from the gallery showing, there were five or six sales. The other two artists are Becky Johnson, and Julie Kramer-Cole. Julie also won the Artist's Choice Award. So in all, we did good.

I'll see you next time, God willin' and the creek don't rise. (A real possibility around here!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mister cutie face

It didn't take very long for me to get to the bottom of Lynn's list, so best add something for today. The Meet and Greet for the Stampede Art show was wonderful. Our hosts have the single most wonderful art collection I have ever seen in one place. I saw originals that I never thought I would ever see in person. Tonight is the Gala for the show, so I'll be sure to get back here tomorrow and tell you all about it! I'm nervous and excited. In other words, I'm already bouncing off the walls.
Till then, here is a new picture of my little guardian dog Gizmo. He'll keep you entertained until I get back.

Friday, June 19, 2009


The kids have always been smart enough not to give me live plants. When they did it was lilac bushes, and they and their father did the planting. Other times it was a bouquet or a corsage. (Or dandelions)They are going to die anyway. I just don't have a green thumb. And after all these years of training, my son and his girl bring me an orchid. A plant. An orchid plant. The prettiest thing I have seen in forever, except for my daffies. So I read the care instructions and they certainly sounded simple enough. I'm to put 3 ice cubes on the soil once a week. (My new Saturday chore.) It likes a bright room, but not direct sun. Okay, I can do that. And then the house should never go above 85 degrees, nor below 40 degrees, and I can do that! My house is pretty chilly in the winter, but seldom lower than 50/55, and thought that would be way too cold for an orchid. And so this orchid became a member of my household on Mother's day, and it is still as beautiful as the day they brought it. Prettier, because the two buds that were on it opened up and now it is full of blooms. Isn't it just gorgeous?!!

I am so tickled to have such a pretty thing that seems to like me.

(Picture a paragraph here) Well, I guess I won't be here long tonight. New pills for my knee are making me dizzy and sleepy. That will not do for daytime. And not only that, blogger won't let me use my <> key. When I press it, the cursor just goes away. I always have some problem with blogger. I'm wondering if I changed the template things might be better. We'll see.

(Paragraph here) Tomorrow I have to go shopping. Sounds like a good thing doesn't it. Well, I can't tell you the last time I bought clothing for myself. I have what I need, and over half of it isn't even washed out yet for pete sakes. But the 23rd and 24th are the opening night Gala's for the Stampede Art Show, and I just have to have something nice. Two somethings nice. With my knee hurting, it is going to be even more torturous to shop than usual. Sigh ... The price of fame! HA!

(Paragra .... wait a minute ....) Let me see if it will let me edit the html ... It worked! Aren't I a smartie! .... Going to say G'nite now, and with a little luck, I'll have something to say again tomorrow night. ~J~

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cat WIP (Rikki - short for rick-o-shay)

Okay Vicki here we go. This is a work in progress of a watercolor painting. with the object of showing you how I paint fur. I'm using D'Arches 190 pound cold press rough paper. The rough texture really is a help when you are painting fur. It is, however, also my main paper choice. The branding painting was done on this paper, (300 lb) and the plaid in the shirts came out just as well. It is a matter of just the right amount of water in the brush to flow smoothly.

This is the original photograph I worked from, and this is Rikki. Doesn't she look pleased?

1.) As you can see, I have sketched in all the important parts. I have laid in black washes. The black areas fade to grey where there will be detail. Between her eyes are strokes of black, and I am leaving white paper there because there are some highlights. As a transparent watercolorist, I do not use white paint, but leave the paper clean for those places that need to be white. (Of course if the painting is nearly done and I Ooopst, I'll fix it with opaque paint when necessary. I'm an anal purist, but I am not altogether stupid!)

2.) As I move out from center, I am leaving more and more light spaces. Especially the whiskers. There is a very light wash on the right side of her face. I hope you can see that now there are more strokes than washes. I do try to get the eyes right early on so completed them. Later they were brightened and yellowed up some.

3.) Stroke stroke stroke. Building up from whites and greys to blacks. You cannot really see it here, but I am also adding a bit of Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson here and there. They are both cool colors. (She's a cool cat remember!) Actually the Alizarin Crimson will mostly be around her eyes and in the black fur between and above her eyes. I'll use the Blue in the highlights. I'm doing gray strokes over and over to build up the depth of color to the right value. Each stroke is different because I pick up a bit of other color. It is subtle, but you know it is there because it gives the shape depth and not a flat black look. Important to note, I use a fairly dry brush. I don't want puddles but even strokes. Getting some roughness in the stroke from the paper helps achieve a realistic furry look. Also I use a fairly fine brush. I want the body of the brush to hold a fair amount of pigment so it flows out a very fine point. Doing so many strokes, I don't want to have to reload my brush after every one!

4.) Okay ... I think you can see more of the strokes in this one. Always follow the shape of the animal. Each stroke has to be put down just like you were tracing the brush on a the real animal in front of you. One stroke going the wrong direction, will show up. You might not know what the matter is, but that stroke would be it. Even when you can lay down a small wash, let the paint flow in the direction of the fur. In this one, you can see the Alizarin on her left side under her eye and along the side of her nose. There is a hint of Blue on the other side along her white spot.

5.) Notice here the left side of her face, your right, that the layers of fur moving out from her eye look like they are "moving." The illusion is created by first stroking the fur away from her eyes, the next layer is curled over and in and the last layer is curled out. Creating sort of a wave flowing from her eye out to the side of her head. This eludes to motion and shape. And on that side as you go down toward her chest, you can see the layers and layers of brush strokes.

Now I have to admit here that this is a very time consuming process. I have tried many short cuts but have never been satisfied with the results. I watch the photo carefully to be sure I am moving in the same order and direction as the animal presents itself.

6.) Ears, she has ears! And too much Alizarin over her eye which will be toned down later.

7.) I love blending the white into the black and visa versa. The same stroke technique still applies for the white area. With softer grays, and more bits of color build up the defining areas of tufts with more strokes than in the lighter areas. Actually these photos, especially the finished one at the end, don't pick up the tufts of white fur, like you can see them in the original photo. But I assure you, they are there. Oh, and if I mess up a whisker, I'll take an exacto knife and scratch it clean.

8.) More and more details as she takes form. Pretty soon I have to start on the carpet barrel she is in and I am afraid of that. It couldn't be done first, so now I have to risk the whole project on a mistake in the area that looks the simplest. HA! But I pulled it off. The hardest part is laying the fur over the carpet bits. As you can see in the final picture below, I cheated and lighted out the background enough to where all you can see is the shape of the barrel, and the fur can flow freeley without having to intersect with carpet.

The customer was satisfied and pleased. That is always reward enough. Almost! :-D

Please ask any questions you might have. I'm sure I either forgot something important, or didn't say "it" clear enough to be understood. Happy to help if I can.

All art, poetry and writings are copyright & cannot be reproduced in any form without written permission from Judith Angell Meyer

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Miller Moths

This year the Miller Moths have been fierce. You are going to laugh ... but I have been herding the moths. My bathroom is completely moth free now. The family room has a greatly reduced population. The moths head for the screen door in the family room. So when I go to bed, I turn on a light near that door, and turn off all the rest of the lights in the house. (Except the Xmas tree room.) (This would be my computer room with all its many electronic lights of many colors.)

In the morning they have all gravitated to that room, so I turn off the light and open the door. Many, many fly out, and the ones that don't, I get the broom and "guide" them out the door. In the bathroom I shut the door and took the screen off the window. I shooshed them and fluffed the curtains driving them out from their hiding places. I haven't even seen one in there since.

So there you have it. The Meyer Miller Moth Round Up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Boy, is it really ever time to update my blog. I have been working feverishly over the last several weeks to complete a painting that I started quite a while ago. Have the perfect venue at the Stampede Art Show over the 4th of July holiday. It was taken from a photo I took while at the McKee ranch in Wyoming. I got the title from the old John Wayne movie "Cowboys" where he said during a branding scene, "I've been doing this for 40 years, and I never got used to that smell."

It is finally at the gallery being framed for the show. Hope you enjoy!

Now I have two commissioned pieces to complete, then I can start on what I want to do for the fall Society of Animal Artists, "Small Art Big Impressions" show. I'll need the summer to do what I want to do. Maybe when I get that far I can put it up here as a work in progress.

Been a lot of stormy weather here. Hail knocked out my satellite reception for four days until service could come and fix it. It was a five minute fix but it is going to be expensive. Sigh ...

Hope all of you are doing great out there.

All art, poetry and writings are copyright & cannot be reproduced in any form without written permission from Judith Angell Meyer