Animals

What Kind of Creature

If you’re asking what kind of creative this is, then maybe you don’t know about animal spirits.

whatkindofcreature

crinkled Masa paper, inks, collage on w/c paper 10 X 11″

What kind of creature is that? you ask, as if animal spirits confine themselves to only one specie. These spirits are known to take the form of imagination and keep you guessing, to move with stealth and vigor across the page even while standing still. 

This one looks you in the eye and knows you, as the mirror does. . .only more. Knows your mental undergrowth to be a brambles and yet is comfortable there.

. . .even as you in your waking state find your hair standing on end to confront that gaze.

Look, I don’t dream up these creatures. They appear out of somewhere/nowhere. This one was (partially) a demo of various ink splotchings, stick drawing etc. for the Wabi Sabi workshop two weekends ago. It needed to be liberated from a piece that was going nowhere, so I cut it out and found a home for it/him/her on another underpainting of crinkled Masa paper.

It was a real Halloween character, this pregnant bunny/deer dancing creature. Isn’t this the way we often put together a costume, feeling free to mix metaphors.  Mine this year was a combination ballerina (tutu) and pirate (hat) and probably some other elements when combined with Jazzercise leggings and shoes.

There’s more to sight than eyes

I thought I was just being playful with this one, picking up an old class demo of a kind of ink drip creature. And then, no kidding, it started to talk to me about something I needed to hear!

eyes

I can see you sitting there, thinking about your eyes, one clear and one struggling to see through spots and threads and the murky patch.

Look me in the eye and repeat after me: I can see just fine. This cage of one eye is translucent and does not a prison make. I have three eyes to take the place of the one

and the world keeps opening.

Drip creatures tend to be a combination of many species and so they exist outside the realm of waking mind where we have convinced ourselves that things are a certain way that we can explain.

Yes, my left eye has a retinal occlusion for which there is treatment. . . of sorts, and yes I must be reminded not to worry, but to notice all the ways my other senses and brain fill in the blanks, giving me for the most part decent sight. I won’t soon forget this colorful and bizarre image, like something right out of a dream, or perhaps a prayer.

Moose Guardian

mooseguardian

acrylic inks and paints, image transfer, collage, Uniball Signo pen on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

The message:  BE PREPARED!  -Moose Guardian Angel

. . .because we’re all in need of a guardian angel (or several) I like to periodically incite students to join me in creating our own. It has to be humorous, but also deadly serious. . . like this one. I’ve created many over the years and I’d like to think they’re all watching over me, or at least keeping me from taking myself too seriously.

If you’re interested in creating your own, please check out the latest issue of my Imagine With Art Newsletter, which has directions for how to create your own wacky and wonderful angel (or alter ego, or personal clown, or whatever you want to call it).

Festival of Feathers

feathers

fountain pen with Noodler’s Golden Brown ink, watercolor in Strathmore w/c sketchbook, (9.5×7.5″)

We joined the crowds at the Santa Rosa Bird Rescue Center’s annual Festival of Feathers on Saturday to practice more standing and sketching  (in a jostling crowd).  Most of the birds were relatively good posers (except for the raven) and there’s just nothing like coming up eyeball to eyeball with these elegant wild creatures. We lasted about an hour and a half and then were so exhausted we had to stop.  The sketches were done on site, the painting afterwards.

feathers2

Japanese bush pen with water soluble ink.

The raven was completely black, but that felt like it would be too much.  After “melting” the ink line to create volume I added just a touch or two of color.

feathers3

Wowl is the poster child of the bird sanctuary and my absolute  favorite!

feathers4

Forestville Banner

forestvillebanner

acrylic and collage, commissioned by Forestville Chamber of Commerce

Soon this lovely lady will be fluttering on one of the new banners in front of businesses in Forestville, CA (the closest town to where I live).  Egrets are one of the many blessings of the landscape here, attracted as they are by the river and wetlands.  I was honored to be asked to do a painting for the businesses in the town where my children so recently attended school.

Knock, Knock

knockknock

pen and ink, watercolor in Strathmore w/c Visual Journal 5.5 X 8″

I was painting in my studio and heard a knock knock at my door.  Figured it was a delivery guy who needed a signature.  Come in!  I said.  Silence, and then another knock knock knock.  I looked out the window. No one there.  Opened the door and surprised this fellow who was perched on the birdhouse outside my door.  He flew instantly to the plum tree and I got a good look him.  Such a handsome visitor!  I hope he knocks again.

Night Flyer

nightflyer

acrylic inks, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

night flyer, the one you rarely see

but know in your wild bones

the one you hear in your crackling knees

feel in the subtle touch of breeze on skin

the sharpness of claws too

this night hunter, clad in radiant garments

is a gorgeous killing machine

. . . and oh those eyes!

You know the Great Horned Owl?  She is so magnificent that she makes you shiver if you see her close up.

We were experimenting with paper textures in Monday Muses and I had such a desire to draw and painting something wild. So I put her in there and tried to stay a bit abstract. The film strip edges helped to bring it all into focus.