There aren't quite as many dogs as hares in Keno City ... but close! This adorable husky pup was lounging in the middle of the road (it's Keno no worries) while her owner was working in the museum. Keno City has a fantastic Mining Museum full of fascinating history and includes outdoor exhibits with antique machinery used throughout the storied "Hills of Silver"
I had never seen a Yukon Hare prior to my trip to the Yukon, but in Keno City they were omnipresent! Even still, getting a photo of these furtive creatures was challenging and with winter's arrival they were already sporting the beginnings of their winter coats, making a photo even more desirable.
I undertook a big adventure this summer; I was a cook in the Yukon for a mineral exploration company for whom my oldest son also was working. Although it was the most difficult job I have ever done, I am richer for the experience. I was chief cook and bottle washer (hardest part), cleaning and laundry lady, plus, First Aid attendant (most stressful part).
The challenges were many, among which was navigation, should I have to respond to an emergency in the field. I was not familiar with the lay of the land ... enter Charly! A Keno native, Charly is an outdoor enthusiast as well as an amazingly capable, thoughtful, and kind individual who, among all her other duties, was my navigator. This painting pays homage to her spirit, youth and beauty.
How do you like me now?
6.25" x 7", oil on panel
When visiting my friends farm in Cache Creek a number of years ago, this Peacock was gawking at me thru the bathroom window. When I painted him again just a few days ago, I realised that it was not I that was the object of his affection, it was his own reflection.
The exercise of revisiting an old painting was brilliant in that I could see exactly what was wrong with the original painting in both technique, design, colour value and temperature and thus, how to paint it better. I have learned so much over the past 10 years which was very enlightening in and of itself.
Although I was really stoked by our model's pose and costume, I struggled with composition and drawing - some days are just like that. When pondering the failed painting back in my studio, I realised that both orientation and medium had been poor choices. Having observed her live for 4 hours and taken photos, I simply started again with the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) on newsprint, horizontal and with charcoal to capture the wonderful contrasts in this lovely costume and elegant beauty.
The advantage of slowing down is seeing the details. Not so every feather can be painted, but so that the important elements can be captured ... and there was a bee in her bonnet that I missed - how fun is that! Now I have a strong composition and look forward to doing a finished piece on good paper.
Preparing for a gallery show and then back east on family events meant no painting for a month, so when the opportunity to paint a live model in a sustained pose for 4 hours came up just days after I arrived home, I jumped on it! I was conscious of the tendency to be tight and insecure in a large group, but with 4 hours there is plenty of time to relax and explore a bit. Stayed loose, enjoyed the music and was very inspired by our lovely model.
"Get back Stare" words from a favourite song by the Jets - Are you Gonna Be My Girl
For an artist, "back to the drawing board" is a good thing! For me, drawing is just so liberating and this time has led me to discover new techniques in charcoal.
In the spring when the rains flood the fields below our property, it makes nice ponds for waterfowl. The above peaceful couple were enjoying that exact scenario when yours truly with her camera made too much noise and the scene changed dramatically. A second charcoal rendering "Wild Goose Chase", depicts the ensuing cacophony and was the perfect opportunity to explore additional new charcoal techniques ...
These charcoals and a few oil paintings of Chickadees in my pyracantha are available at Gallery Odin.
We have an abundance of birds on our property, despite the feline population, and the chickadees are by far THE most curious and bold. Their antics and their perfect contrasting little cap make them a beautiful subject to paint. I am smitten and working on a flock of them.