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.