Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stick a fork in it -- it’s done

Dog Tired © 2009 Karen Mathison Schmidt
12 x 12 x 7/8 • acrylic on cradled Gessobord
sides painted dark umber
cradling allows for hanging
flush against the wall

gloss varnish for protection
& easy cleaning • unframed

$300PURCHASE this
fauve puppy dog painting

FINALLY! Here are our four beloved redbones, stackin’ up a few Z’s on their favorite blue plaid blanket after a morning jam packed with a hearty breakfast, squirrel chasing time, seeing who can bark the longest and loudest, and running for the sheer joy of running. After about 2 hours they’ll wake up and do it all over again until suppertime. It’s a dog’s life!

Here are some brushwork details, and below these are all the work-in-progress pics:

(I'll add a few notes on these after lunch, so check back!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Almost there ...

OK, this one is oh-so-close to being finished!


As I get closer to finishing, I’ve started working on each dog in detail, finishing that one before proceeding to the next. Now I think they’re all done, except for Matilda (far right), and I’m tweaking the blanket a bit. I’m contemplating the background, too -- I think it needs to be a little lighter, and maybe tinted a little more toward the teal. We’ll see.

I SO much wanted to finish this today; it was hard to stop myself from rushing through it, racing against the fading light. I was up a little too late last night (I have a part in a local theatre production of a Christmas comedy, The Trial of Ebeneezer Scrooge, and I was at rehearsal until 9:30, then a long drive home), I got a bit of a late start today (lazy, rainy Saturday morning, you know) and the light faded even earlier than usual because of the overcast sky.

I know, I know: excuses, excuses!

Here, let me distract you with a picture of some pretty lilies ... ooooo!

What? Lilies in November??

See ... you were distracted, weren’t you?

But anyway, hopefully if all goes well you’ll see the absolutely finished painting tomorrow ...

Good night, all!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dog Tired work in progress

Just a “hit and run” post tonight ... to show progress on this painting.

I have high hopes of finishing this one tomorrow!

Later, taters!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Love those dogs!


This is a 12 x 12 painting I started yesterday, and I hope to finish today. The plaid blanket is going to be a challenge, but I'll just break it down into shapes and colors and maybe it won't be quite so scary.

Last Friday morning after breakfast, Matilda and Buster (far left and far right in the painting) spotted some critter or other out in the pasture beyond our fence that got them really excited, and before we knew it they had dug a hole big enough to squeeze out under the fence and they were off on a grand adventure. Those stinkers!

We weren’t super worried about it, because they’ve done this before, but they always show up back home at the end of the day, sometimes tired and hurt, sometimes just tired, but they always come back. Blue and Sophie didn’t follow because they were too big to go through the hole, plus they’re not really diggers. I fixed the hole and put a big rock in that spot.

Well, Buster and Matilda didn’t come home for supper. We called and called and banged their bowl with the measuring cup (a sure fire come-to-dinner signal) but to no avail. And they didn’t come home at bedtime. And they weren’t waiting by the back door for their breakfast Saturday morning. I drove all up and down the road early Saturday morning to look for them, but saw only empty pasture with a smattering of cows.

Periodically since they had been gone Friday morning, I had been praying for God’s protection for our two wayward hounds. They’re just dogs, but we love them. And we have four others who weren’t missing, plus three cats, but we love each and every one of them. At lunch time Saturday, Paul and I prayed together for their safe return. And we kept reminding each other that, after all, these two had survived almost nine months on their own down by the bayou before they came to live with us.

In my Bible reading Saturday morning, I had read
I Thessalonians 5.
And all day verses 16-18 kept coming to mind.
Be joyful always;
pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

It was really hard, but I prayed for God to give me the heart to be thankful, even though sadness was the overall feeling of the day. God knew we were broken hearted, but He faithfully helped me to be filled with gratitude for my life, my work, our home, all our other pets, friends and family. And I knew whatever happened, He would help me through it. And I kept thinking, they’re just a couple of silly dogs. But they’re our silly dogs. And if they don’t come back, we’ll miss them terribly.

Then God put it on my heart to pray for people all around the world who have going through and are going through much worse, much more difficult circumstances. And I prayed for them. And I was uplifted.

Saturday at dinner time, getting ready to feed the dogs, I laid four bowls on the counter instead of the usual six, and I just burst into tears. They’ve never stayed away this long since they came to live with us, so we started thinking that they may have gotten hurt and and couldn’t make it back, or one was hurt and the other didn’t want to leave him or her, or they ran into a pack of coyotes (the last time they were gone all day, we took Buster to the vet because of a big scratch on his chest, and the doctor dug a coyote tooth out of the wound!)

Saturday we went to bed with heavy, heavy hearts.

About 5:30 Sunday morning, I awoke from a dream in which Matilda was barking at some cows, and I heard Paul saying, “I think I hear Matilda barking.” I sat up and said, “I thought I dreamed it!”

We hurriedly threw on our coats and ran to the kitchen door, calling “Hey dogs, hey dogs” (our way of collectively calling everyone at once) and out of the darkness and into the kitchen ran Buster, followed closely by Matilda, shivering and hungry and kind of scratched up, but otherwise just fine. Paul says that’s the first time in his life he’s cried actual tears from happiness. (I love that man!) We both prayed prayers of gratitude and joy and praise.

I fed our prodigals an early breakfast after which, without any prompting at all, they gratefully went straight to their bed in the laundry room with Sophie and Blue. Then Paul and I, wide awake and filled with joy, had ourselves a hearty early morning breakfast. Scrambled eggs never tasted so good.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I fought the color and the color won

Shady Road © 2009 by Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 • acrylic on Gessobord

SOLD • private collection, Salem, Massachusetts

Well, when I came to the easel this morning, I had the idea that I was going to tone down some of the color intensity of this fauve-a-licious little picture. When I started painting, however, the colors stubbornly insisted on remaining bold and bright.

As you can see, I decided to pick my battles and let the color have its way in this one. (Yeah, that’s it ... I let the color win.)

Here are some close-up details, and following that are some more photos I took during my walk around the park on Wednesday. What a glorious day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maybe it was the lunch ...

stained glass style autumn landscape • WORK IN PROGRESS ...

I don’t know if it’s all the sunny days and autumn tree colors, or the kiddie lunch I had today (grilled cheese, chicken noodle soup, carrot sticks, cherry jello), but I can’t seem to stop using these bright, beautiful colors!

I got a late start today, and now I’m losing the light, so we’ll have to see how this one comes out tomorrow ...

November’s bustin’ out all over

As promised, yesterday was beautiful, bright and sunny, and I drove to town to take some photos around our old neighborhood, where the trees are old and majestic, and the yards and gardens are faithfully manicured. (As opposed to our yard out here in the country, which is mostly wild and randomly manicured.) I took some pics in the neighborhood park, too, which I will post tomorrow.

I love this little gate. It leads to just the kind of yard I love, too: charming, romantic, and just a little scruffy around the edges.