Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 199

DeSoto Reflections, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

It's cold here in Iowa today. Really cold. So I decided to paint a scene taken from a photo at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge a few summers ago. I don't do a lot of landscapes, but it's nice to look at something green this time of year...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 198

Reclining, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Painted from life during a 40 minute pose at the figure drawing group. If you're in the area, you can see this painting (and several others of mine), along with figure drawings in various mediums, at our annual figure drawing from life group show at the Hot Shops Art Center in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Opening party this Saturday, Feb. 2nd from 6:30 til 9 pm. There are some very talented people in the group, and it should be a good show. Hope to see my local friends there!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 197

Mugshot: Linda N., 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Next up in the Hilton Head Gang lineup, we have the lovely and talented Linda Nickles. (I love her marsh paintings - they make me want to go back to South Carolina!) I'm having so much fun painting little spots of color throughout the skin and then letting the eye blend them all together. These mugshots really exemplify what my painting-a-day challenge is all about - experimenting with color schemes, brushwork, and improving my skills through a daily discipline. This is one of my favorite paintings I've ever done. (Click on the picture to view larger.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 196

Mugshot: Pepi, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Next up in the Hilton Head Gang "mugshots," we have Pepi. I really love the light purple background with the strong darks of her shirt and hair. The earrings were fun, too. Still amazed at how skin doesn't seem to come alive until I add greens and purples to it. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 195

Abstract in red, 4 x 4 inch oil on canvas
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

A busy day with two much-needed visits from friends, plus I finished a commission. A good day, indeed. For today's painting, I gave myself 15 minutes to do a quick abstract - it was all I had time for.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 194

Mugshot: Pam, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Next up in the Hilton Head Gang "mugshots," we have Pam. It was fun trying to capture her expression - the mouth is going to make or break it every time. I like the bright red background, and used a few spots of that same bright red in her face to tie it all together. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 193

Face Down, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This oil sketch was painted from life in 30 minutes at the local figure drawing group. I was trying to make the best of an uninspiring pose by playing with bright colors. Maybe I should have named it sunny side up? 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 192

Mugshot: Kim M., 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I'm behind on the Hilton Head Gang mugshots, so I'll be trying to play catch-up this week. My favorite part about this painting is Kim's hair. Her lovely strong jawline and beautiful eyes were fun to paint, too. Once again, I learn so much from every single one of these little mugshots. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 191

Old School, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

A quick still life of a vintage square-shaped Fisher Price Little People wooden toy. Just sort of playing around with loose brushstrokes and bold color.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 190

Speed Bump, 8 x 8 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

It felt about time for me to do another Cloud and his shadow painting. This one is larger than my usual daily paintings - it's eight by eight inches. There's a road near my house that was re-surfaced over the summer, and I knew I had to get some photos of Cloud against that shiny new speed bump and dark asphalt. I really like this painting.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 189

Daydream, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I didn't have much time to paint yesterday - so I grabbed a little 4 x 4" panel with the hopes of painting this horse "fast and loose," while playing with the compliments of purple and yellow. I like the abstract design of it. I could have worked on it longer, but by that point it was almost midnight and I was ready to call it a day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 188

Mugshot: Jason. 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Back to painting these little "mugshots," this is my husband Jason, the love of my life. I had so much fun with the brushwork on this piece, as well as trying to capture the textures of his beard and hair. Men naturally have more "texture," (which is always fun to paint), and I'd like to paint more of them. This is my new favorite painting... 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 187

Ginger, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

It's been a while since I've painted a cow. Cattle are always fun for me to paint - I just love their faces. This was painted from one of my many reference photos of cattle that I take whenever I'm driving around the back roads and happen to have my camera with me. I thought Ginger was a good name for her, with her pretty light red hide.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 186

At Rest, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This was painted last week at my figure drawing group. I think this is my favorite little figurative oil sketch, so far. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 185

Panel of Lions after Chauvet, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This wraps up my week of replica paintings after my favorite cave art. Like yesterdays painting, this is from Chauvet in France. Yes, Virginia, cave lions were real. Isn't it amazing to think that this cave wasn't discovered until 1994 and that these lions had been hidden for 30,000 years? And how many other wonders in the world are still waiting to be discovered? Look at the original below. This is a master work. My replica is but a tribute, as are the tattoos of these paintings that I carry on my body. My way of keeping their spirit with me, always.

Group shot:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 184

Panel of Horses after Chauvet, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Day 4 of the week-long series of paintings after my favorite cave art. Chauvet was discovered in 1994 in southern France, and contains some of the oldest known artwork - possibly older than 30,000 years. It's also the first cave art where drawings of predators were found (we'll explore that tomorrow) - there are drawings of lions and bears (oh, my!) And check out the rhino! I love knowing that artists still create with the same primitive tool of charcoal sticks - burnt wood. My rendition doesn't hold a candle to the beauty and sensitivity of the original, but I think we both say the same thing with our work, what every one of wants to say - We were here...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 183

Charging Bull after Altamira, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Continuing my week of cave paintings, here is another one of my favorites, from the Altamira Cave in Spain. This piece was a joy for me to paint. I have great reverence for bulls - not only for their awesome strength and power, but the fact that bovines represent life deep in the human subconscious. At least, they do in mine. And I'm sure they did to the first artists who painted them so often. Being a Taurus probably doesn't hurt, either.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 182

Chinese Horse after Lascaux, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

In case you missed it, yesterdays post was about doing replicas of cave paintings this week, and what they mean to me. Today's painting is the "Chinese Horse" from the Lascaux cave in France. I was interested in trying to capture the textures of the cave walls, although it looks to me more like the horse is running in a landscape... but maybe that's what the original artist intended? 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 181

Cave Horse after Lascaux, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I have some commissions I need to finish, so I need subjects for daily paintings this week that won't take too much time. I decided to paint a weeks worth of little 4 x 4s after my favorite European cave art. Cave paintings have fascinated me as long as I can remember. They reach to the core of my being like no other art. I've tried to analyze why I feel this way. Could it be the connection the early people felt with the animals around them? (The same connection that I feel.) Could it be wonder at the power of art itself - the fact that art is so important, and needs to be expressed even though every day is a struggle just to stay alive? Could it be the mystical power of a painting to capture not only an idea, but the spirit as well, a way to keep it with you? Or could it be that many times I feel I can express myself with paint more than I can with words... I think it's all of the above. The reverence I feel for these paintings trumps any other art in history. They connect me with my primal heart, free to feel fully, without civilized constraints. This weeks paintings are my tribute...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 180


Seated Figure after Charcoal Sketch, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

My figure drawing group has been on break, but it starts up again soon. I wanted to practice, so I painted this from a charcoal sketch I did at the group a few months ago. It was a little challenging to make up the colors from a drawing, but I had pretty good information from my sketch:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 179

Return Our Wings, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I was in the mood to do a figurative piece, and was looking around on for a pose that caught my eye, and this was it. Is there really any other shape that is as compelling, powerful, or precious as the female form? This is a theme I've been interested in exploring - capturing the power and emotion and movement of the human spirit with paint. We'll see what happens with this in the future, (there are so many things I want to paint!) but it will definitely be with my own models and photos. Still, this was a very enjoyable piece for me. The title is taken from from Jewel Mathieson's incredibly powerful poem, We Have Come to Be Danced:

We have come to be danced
not the pretty dance
not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
but the claw our way back into the belly
of the sacred, sensual animal dance
the unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
the holding the precious moment in the palms
of our hands and feet dance

We have come to be danced

not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
but the wring the sadness from our skin dance
the blow the chip off our shoulder dance
the slap the apology from our posture dance

We have come to be danced

not the monkey see, monkey do dance
one, two dance like you
one two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
tearing scabs & scars open dance
the rub the rhythm raw against our souls dance

WE have come to be danced

not the nice invisible, self conscious shuffle
but the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
the strip us from our casings, return our wings
sharpen our claws & tongues dance
the shed dead cells and slip into
the luminous skin of love dance

We have come to be danced

not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath & beat dance
the shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
the mother may I?
yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
the Olly Olly Oxen Free Free Free dance
the everyone can come to our heaven dance

We have come to be danced

where the kingdom’s collide
in the cathedral of flesh
to burn back into the light
to unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
to root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 178

Cloud Study 2, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Ahhhhhh, I like this version MUCH better! Yesterdays palette knife version bugged me too much - I'm a realist painter at heart, and this version is what I had envisioned all along... While the palette knife version* had its charm, there was just too much going on with the knife strokes and thick paint all over the entire surface for my taste, at least for a smooth coated dog. However, I really love this mixture of brush and knife work -  the varying textures feel more restful to the eye. The background is all palette knife, along with a few areas of his neck, and those areas really stand out and are a nice transition that bring the knife and brushwork together. This is probably my favorite painting of Cloud to date. My little buddy, I love him so...

*I made some changes to the palette knife version if you want to check out yesterday's post. There are before and after pics.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 177

Cloud Palette Knife Study, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I wanted to paint Cloud using only the palette knife. I'm not sure what I think of this painting, to be honest. I like it, but there's just SO much texture everywhere, especially on areas that I want to be smooth, like his eye. I am pleased with the amount of detail I was able to get with the knife on such a small panel (5 x 5 inches, a new size for me. I like it!) I'm going to paint it again and post the new version tomorrow, this time using a combination of brushwork and knife, more along the lines of the self-portrait I posted yesterday, and see which I like better. Stay tuned...

***UPDATE: My friend Sue ChurchGrant made some suggestions about breaking up the large mass of brick red with some blue. I think she was spot on, I'm much happier with it now, the texture on his face isn't so overwhelming. Below is the before: