24 May 2011

Waiting at the door...

Rough preliminary ink drawing

Our friend Linda Sue Anderson has requested another painting. This one is in memory of her well loved dog, Eli, who suddenly became ill a few weeks ago and needed to be put to sleep. Linda asked for a painting of Eli waiting for her at the back door when she gets home.

Linda Sue, I feel your pain.A couple of years ago I had the heart breaking experience of having our family cat put to sleep.

Jimmy was a huge, black Maine Coon that we got from a no kill shelter for my son Theo who was 5years old at the time.
Originally from Ohio, Jimmy was found in the yard of a state supreme court judge (we did some research). After that, the big Maine Coon was moved from one shelter to another crossing several states over the two years of his short life. When we got him in Minnesota he had the name Jimmy but, according to his info, he previously went by "Jail Bird". The ID photo that came with his paper work showed this giant cat behind the bars of a tiny metal cage.
After getting him, my family made a big deal that Jimmy had finally found a permanent home. We all loved him, especially Theo.  He was friendly and liked to be pet and brushed. He liked water and would sometimes jump in the tub when someone was taking a bath.
However, after about 3 months, Jimmy suddenly stopped eating and drinking. We brought him to a vet who was, unfortunately, not very helpful. I force fed him 3 times a day, like they told me to, but after a week he just got skinnier and weaker. His heart beat was hard and fast. We had to have him put to sleep. I went in with him to provide comfort and cried my eyes out. My wife, Beth, stayed with Theo trying to occupy him. Even though we all knew what was going on, it was devastating when I came out with an empty cat carrier. I think we were all hoping for some kind of miracle.

Anyway, I've got a rough preliminary drawing above. I'm going to do my best to make this a nice tribute to a loved pet.

03 May 2011

Red Dragon And The Phoenix Fly Off To Meet Victory Or Destruction!

Here is the finished painting for Oliver! The heroic Red Dragon and his Phoenix side-kick are on their way to right some kind of wrong or,tear up some village or... maybe a little of both.

This painting was fun to make but coming up with a composition that worked was tricky. The problem with using the same format for all paintings (as I always do here) is that it limits possibilities. In this case having two figures, one long and winding and the other with it's wings spread, is not a good match for a long thin surface. But, Panda Licking on a Light Bulb is all about this kind of challenge. I placed the Phoenix further in the distance and made the dragon the focal point and it works.

But the question is, where are these creatures flying off to? Let's turn this into a choose your own adventure.

a) They are rushing to save a beautiful Chinese Princess from horrid maniacal creatures.
b) They are rushing off to capture a beautiful Chinese Princess for horrid maniacal reasons.
c) Taco Bell

You Decide.

Thank you Laura and Oliver!