Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer Art: Boys, Cars, and Experimental Ceramics

"Little Boy in Summer" oil paint by Katherine Lehr,  2016

I had hoped to complete a few paintings this summer, mainly focusing on a large canvas painting of each of my twin boys and then going from there. As some travel and the aforementioned boys (now both 15 months old and getting into and on top of everything) took up plenty of my summer break, I ended up only completing one painting of M. I've outlined the second painting of Q, but given that it's also a relatively large canvas and the new school year has started I don't foresee that being completed any time soon. 

About the painting:  This is oils on a 20x28 canvas. We went to a birthday party for M and Q's friend who was turning one. In the yard Milo discovered this little plastic car and played with it for almost the entire party. He was obsessed! I snapped a photo of him with the car and looking at it later gave me a nostalgic feeling for my childhood summers. So I decided to use the photo as a reference for this painting. I'm not well practiced in portraiture, especially children, so this was a challenge for me, but hopefully I'll improve as I do more.

And then, the ceramics......

                             a close-up of the ear

I also took a ceramics class over the summer. This is definitely not my medium of choice as I tend to struggle with getting the outcomes I envision when working with clay. However, I did have a fun time doing a Raku firing with this creepy looking, vaguely Salvador Daliesque head that I created. I haven't done this type of firing before and was pleasantly surprised by the unique, metallic glaze effects. I used Pale Aqua and White Crackle Raku glazes. You can see a photo taken after the Raku firing process was finished and we began to uncover the pieces (my piece is the bottom center) at the end of this post. 

Additionally, I made a few functional pieces. I liked how this triangular dish with fern texture on the bottom (not Raku fired) turned out.

bottom of dish

top of dish

Monday, June 13, 2016

Flamingo-Summer Painting

Summer is here! I finally had some time between chasing two one year olds around to actually finish a painting. As I hadn't painted in a while, I chose to work on a relatively simple image in oils to get back into the swing of things, as they say. I went through a phase in elementary school where I was obsessed with flamingos and chose them as the topic of various reports and projects, so this is also kind of a nostalgic piece. I've now moved on to a larger, more challenging painting, which I'll hopefully finish in a few weeks.

"Flamingo Blues" oil paint by Katherine Lehr, June 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Portrait and Some Nursery Paintings

It's been a long time since I've uploaded images of my art, but that's what happens when you have twins! So here we go: 

The first image is an oil painting of my twins at five months old practicing sitting up on their own. I like capturing the moment of them sitting together and practicing a new skill while also leaving the viewer to consider what they might be observing so intently. It definitely takes longer to finish a painting these days, but the boys are certainly helping to provide some inspiration for my art.

The next set of images are acrylic paintings of children's animal illustrations that I created for the twins' nursery. These are not serious works (though truly, I wouldn't categorize most of my art as "serious" anyway) but I had fun thinking of the babies while working on these.

"Turtle and Friend-Nursery" 2015 by K. Lehr

"Giraffe Family-Nursery" 2015 by K. Lehr
"Elephant's Red Balloon-Nursery" 2015 by K. Lehr
"Owls-Nursery" 2015 by K. Lehr

"Monkey Twins-Nursery" 2015 by K. Lehr

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Snail Painting

"Gastropod with Shell" oil paint,  2014

A few weeks ago we had a little snail friend who kept showing up on our front porch (much to the delight of our dog Zoe). I know that a snail is really just a gastropod with a nice spiral shell (those without shells are commonly referred to as "slugs"--eek!), but nonetheless I think that their little squishy bodies are visually interesting and full of texture. The shell almost looks like a large hat that doesn't really belong, which in my opinion makes the snail a whimsical creature. Of course the actual colors of our snail, along with most of the snails that I've seen, are significantly less vibrant than the ones I decided to use in my painting--but this is part of the whimsy! Moreover, while we're still having beautiful sunny summer days here in Colorado, I just wasn't feeling the neutral colors and pale "pukey" shades of green that would have been a more realistic snail color palette.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bull Moose Painting

"Moose in Lake" oil paint, 2014

A few weeks ago we saw a female moose and her calf while hiking on the Isabelle Glacier Trail near the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. While I've lived in Colorado for about seven years, this is only the second time I've seen a moose in this state (seems like they were everywhere in Maine). Our "moose encounter" inspired my most recent oil painting. However, since I love the antlers on bull moose, I decided to paint a male rather than the female moose and calf we saw while hiking (see photo below). I had some fun playing around with the colors and slightly abstracting the markings and shadows on the moose's body.  The dark lines of the shadows around the bright colors on the body vaguely remind me of stained glass windows, which wasn't my initial intention, but I like how it turned out.