Thursday, July 21, 2011

Plodding forward ...
plus Sophie and the snake.

Napscape work in progress detail:

Today, Elizabeth McCrindle, Scottish equine and landscape artist extraordinaire, posted this quote on her blog:

“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?” ~ Winnie the Pooh

My response: Yes, frequently ... in fact lately, once a day at least!

Maybe that’s one reason my progress on this painting this week has been excrutiatingly S-L-O-W, but I’m sure my pace will pick up. I mean, it can’t get much slower, unless I stop altogether, which I definitely will NOT do. Besides, I have a potential buyer already waiting in the wings, so I’m DETERMINED to finish by the weekend, “if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creeks don’t rise.”

Plus, I already have ideas and sketches drawn out for three new large-ish paintings which I’m pretty excited about. One is a subject I’ve tackled only once before, but I’m more than ready to go in that direction now. I feel like this Napscape painting is sort of a milestone for me, confidence-wise.

There’s a photo of the entire painting thus far -- PLUS an extra added bonus: the account of Sophie’s snake adventure -- after these photos of the work-in-progress for this section (I was having fits trying to adjust the color of the photos to be consistent with the actual colors in the painting. The blues and turquoises -- especially the underpainting color -- looked different depending on the time of day the photo was taken. But if you just kind of ignore that these photos still give a good idea of the forward progress of the painting):

Here you can see in addition to painting the blanket I also adjusted the shape of Blue’s tail area. 

In case you’re trying to figure out the difference between the previous two photos, it’s the little strip of blanket under Blue’s head.

Here, in addition to working more on the quilt and blanket, I corrected the shape of Blue’s snout. This part of my reference photo was really dark and shadowy, but the morning I was working on this part I knew that there was a near-90-percent chance Blue would be napping somewhere, so I tiptoed downstairs to see. Sure enough, I found the real-life Blue asleep on the sunporch settee, and studied his head shape for a minute or two before heading back upstairs. This is a better, truer representation of his straight snout.

Here’s the whole painting so far. I’m getting so CLOSE to being finished ... meanwhile, here’s

The Adventure of Sophie and the Snake

We had a bit of excitement this week when our Sophie was bitten on the ankle by a snake Saturday morning.

I didn’t see the snake up close, so I don’t know what kind it was; probably a copperhead, pretty common around here ... it was all I could do to get all the dogs in the house once I realized that it was indeed a snake they were all barking at in the corner of the yard. And I knew that after I got everyone in, that snake would high-tail it out to the pasture. They don’t like to stay around where dogs are.

After we all got back in the house, we noticed Sophie was limping, but no swelling of any kind, and we couldn’t see a bite mark anywhere, so we figured maybe she got stepped on by one of the bigger dogs. But I called our vet and took her in, just to be on the safe side. The waiting room was plum full when we got there, but soon Sophie’s leg started swelling, and then the fang marks became visible, right on the top of her ankle, so they took her back to the treatment area right away and started the standard snake bite treatment: steroid shot, antibiotics, cleaning the bite area, etc.

While I was waiting, I starting chatting with the woman I was sitting next to in the waiting area, a fellow dog lover who has ... wait for it ... EIGHT dogs! AND three cats.

Man. And I thought our clan was huge. She and her husband have rescued corgies and beagles. Not as big as our dogs, but EIGHT! Whew!

After a while Sophie was cleared to go home, with some antibiotics and pain meds. When they brought her out her whole right front leg was swollen up. It looked like a stuffed Teddy bear leg. She was still able to walk, though she was limping, and she was really happy to go home. We went by Chic-fil-A on the way home and got her some chicken nuggets to help her make it through her ordeal. Poor Sophie.

I didn’t even think about taking a picture of her with her leg swollen up, and it was back to normal by Sunday night, so no stuffed Teddy bear leg pics. But as you can see here, she has recuperated nicely and is back to her beautiful Sophie self, none the worse for wear, always on the lookout for more adventures.


Elizabeth McCrindle said...

This is going to be an amazing painting your best yet...that I've seen. It's no wonder there is someone in the wings ready to snap it up. And thanks for the wonderful comment will have to widen the door to get my head through LOL

Anonymous said...

Your work is incredible. I am an illustrator for the children's market. I have illustrated 10 kids book. . .but have always wanted to paint like you are. I don't even care if I get paid for it, I just desire to be that free and creative. Your work is so full of life and wonderful. I just bought the book that you are in and is listed on your blog. Do you have any suggestions on anything I might read to enlighten me. . .

Karen M Schmidt said...

Elizabeth, thanks! I really like the way it's coming along ... I don't know why I keep wanting to play hooky from the easel these last couple of weeks ... maybe it's the heat. And concerning my "wonderful" comment about your work ... it's so TRUE ... I'm always looking forward to your next piece!

Hi, Sherry, thank you! I visited your website ... your work is beautiful ... so whimsical, colorful, fun and full of life! As a fellow graphic-designer-turned-artist, I know EXACTLY where you're coming from. I'm sending you an email with some info in it that you might find helpful. :)