As I was nearing the completion of this painting, I was having trouble coming up with the title. Then it came to me, "Leopard!" The first thought that would come to you when you saw him, and being this close, probably your last thought.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
I knew I wanted to paint a large leopard piece. As I worked on the composition, the leopard kept getting larger and more cropped. Something about him just called to be "in your face."
At this stage, I am just starting to paint in the underlying turpentine wash.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
6.75" X 14"
Well, maybe I should say small paintings.
I find playing with sizes less than one square foot interesting. With a small working space, I can try out ideas and use different styles. This painting is loose and I worked to bring in an expansive feel in a painting less than 7 inches high. As you can see from the tiger painting Cool Stripes posted below, I used a tighter style especially around the cat's face.
Another advantage to these types of paintings is that it gives me a breather from major "statement" pieces. I can work out problem areas as I go and don't need to have all the painting decisions made before I start. For instance, in Pachyderm Parade my reference had a lot more vegetation to the right of the lead elephant. I decided to take out the dense bushes to enhance the feeling of space. When I did my underlying sketch I put no detail in that area and then winged it. I also bumped up the contrast on the elephants. Countless other decisions were made on the fly.
In pieces of a medium size, 18" X 24", or large ones over 6 square feet, I spend a lot of time in the planning stage working out just how I will tackle certain areas before I even pick up a paintbrush. These small paintings let me try out fresh and intriguing paths and let my often logical intellectual approach take a back seat.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I will be exhibiting 21 new original oil paintings at The Elks. There is also another building of fine art paintings (The Tidewater Inn), 2 buildings for sculptures, a large building for carvers, dog trials, raptor demonstrations, goose and duck calling contests, great food, and more.
For complete details: http://www.waterfowlfestival.org/
I hope to see you there!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
7.5" X 13.5"
Tigers almost demand to be painted. This largest feline has a magnificent coat and likes water. Since I adore cats and enjoy painting the many moods of water, I find the "tiger in water" painting one of my very favorite subjects.
Friday, November 6, 2009
This evening will be a bit different. Rather than singing with the Orchestra, the Chorale’s pieces will be a capella (with some organ accompaniment on two pieces), and the Orchestra will have their own pieces.
All of our pieces are sung in Latin.
Crucifixus II  by Antonio Lotti
Crucifixus A’ 10 by Antonio Lotti
Pater Noster by Igor Stravinsky
Ave Maria by Igor Stravinsky
Miserere mei, Deus by Gregorio Allegri
On the final piece, I was selected to be one of the 3 altos in the small group of 12 singing from the balcony. The main chorus, the chanters, and the small group sing at different times in the work until the end when we finish in 9 part harmony.
The Theatre holds approximately 1600 people and we expect to have a good audience tonight.
Lest you think all we do is "churchy" music, our Holiday Pops concert is Dec 4th, 5th, 6th. And, on Dec 31st, the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and the Spokane Symphony Chorale will be performing Beethoven’s 9th. (In German, of course!)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
8" X 17"
Well, maybe not fast, but loose. After completing a painting like Good Day of Hunting with lots of intricate detail, I like to change it up by working with a more impressionistic touch.
In the Ngorongoro crater bottom I saw this group of lionesses. Midday, they were taking their ease. Of course I took lots of reference photos, but more importantly, I just watched them. The challenge in the painting was to figure out which positions I would use and how many of them would be included (I left some out) to capture that siesta moment.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The sage foreground was finally dry enough so I could scan the painting. Small adjustments to the background and some overall "little touch here and there" was all I think the painting needed.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Next, I tackled the pants. It was interesting moving around the wrinkles. When I finished the pants, I noticed that the hunting vest was looking too green and needed a more canvas feel. Adding some yellow ochre helped. Then to the gun. The most difficult part was the barrel. How to get the metal sheen. I used a combination of dark browns, light blues and thick paint (titanium white with a tad of cadmium yellow deep). When it dries and is varnished, I think the barrel will read as a metallic.
Finally in this set, I painted the arm, hand, and the pheasant tail feathers sticking out the back of the hunting vest.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
8.5" X 12.5"
One often thinks of Montana as Big Sky Country. Well, after being both in both Montana and Kenya, I’m not sure which I would put my money on. The sunset skies I encountered in Amboseli, in the shadow of Kilimanjaro, were awesome.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
8.5" X 12.5"
Yes, my new perfect size is 8.5" X 12.5". Small enough that I can try out fun and interesting ideas, and large enough to enable a good amount "stuff" going on.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
"Perfect," I thought. I’d probably want to reduce the size but I could keep the same proportions. Now, all I had to do was find the size in the book. I found it. 14.5" X 18.5".
Ick! What a horrible size! Granted Bob Kuhn’s paintings were wonderful, but no matter how many ways I looked at it, the 1:1.28 ratio just didn’t appeal to me. Too square.
So, it was time to invent my wheel, my "perfect" size.
The first consideration, I wanted it less than one square foot. Secondly, I didn’t want it to be a "standard" size, (8" X 10" or 9" X 12".) After about an hour of calculations, taking boards and looking at them up close and from across the room, I got it.
So, for now, my perfect size is .........
(You didn’t expect me to tell you in this blog did you? The first of the next 5 or 6 paintings at this size will be posted in the next several days.)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Original Oil painting
13.75" X 20"
The completed painting, though it hasn’t been varnished. The spray varnish I use (Krylon Kamar) will bring out the richness of the browns and even-out the shine. Since I used a heavy hand with thickness of the paint for the grass, I will wait a bit before I varnish.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
However, something happened when my husband got a girlfriend. Her name is Hersey and she is a chocolate lab. I began to understand that unique connection between a man and his dog. And, more succinctly, between a man and his hunting dog.
Hersey and my husband have been best buddies since she came home with my neighbor as a pound puppy about 3 1/2 years ago. Wanting to see this relationship in action, I had the opportunity to go pheasant hunting with my husband and "his" dog. It was fascinating watching them work together. Hersey’s heart and nose rival the best hunting dogs. Her movements exact when she flushes, her drive to the downed bird impressive, and her joy in the retrieval - infectious.
Below is the start of the painting, The Retrieve. This is my underpainting, a turpentine wash of burnt sienna and raw sienna.
Friday, September 11, 2009
The show will run from November 7th, 2009 - January 3rd, 2010, and every piece in the show is available for purchase.
Original Oil - 4.5" X 15
$1100. (including custom framing) Penguin Party
Original oil - 8" X 13.75"
$1250. (including custom framing)
Sunday, August 30, 2009
We started in Anchorage, then headed down to Seward, "catching" the Exit Glacier before grabbing the ferry in Whittier to Cordova. We arrived in Cordova just in time to catch a day when it officially rained 5.5 inches. Some would bewail their bad luck. Not this foursome. The heavy rains meant that the rivers and waterfalls were wildly exciting.
I’m sure you don’t want all the stories from the trip, but I’ll share a few highlights. We drove about 2000 miles the first 10 days. Dad and Jim climbed up to and on the Worthington Glacier.... in the pouring rain. It rained parts of every day EXCEPT the 2.5 days at Denali when our main trip into the park was crystal clear and the mountain, magnificent.
Jim and I followed a very nice family group of ptarmigan in the tundra through the mist and low clouds. Some of the birds came within a few feet. I envision some moody paintings from that encounter.
Fortunately, we had a number of good close views of caribou (especially fun as Mom and Dad had not seen them in the wild before.) Several times we were close to cow moose with calves, and we saw some particularly large bull moose at Denali.
Birds included Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Short-earred owl, Great Blue Heron, Tundra Swan, and Grouse.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
What an honor to have my painting, Leaving the Harbor, juried in. The show runs from September 19th - November 29th, 2009.
When I saw this fishing boat leaving the harbor in the late afternoon, it had such a nostalgic feel. The nets, the warm sun on the deck, the rigging, all the contributed to a sense of timeless purpose. Men gathering bounty from the sea.
13" X 20"
The subject matter is a bit of a departure for me, but every now and then, I feel called to do something different. (I have noticed that most non-wildlife pieces I paint include some aspect of water.)
Monday, August 17, 2009
A wonderful landscape is Calvin Liang’s Gondola, Venice. The subtle lighting and brilliant use of oranges and yellows is unfortunately not apparent in the image on the web.
The still life which caught my eye was Elizabeth Pruitt’s Lilacs and Lace. The soft edges were masterfully handled.
In addition to the show reception, we had seminars throughout the day including an insightful oil painting demonstration by judge, Jeff Watts.
Friday, August 7, 2009
I am thrilled that my painting
Monday, August 3, 2009
Original Oil by Linda Besse
22.75" X 27"
Sunday, August 2, 2009
This problem was solved was by my ingenious husband who saw me struggling to paint with my right hand while it was steadied in the air by my left. He built me an easel and the best feature is that my hand now rests on an ergonomic board which can be moved vertically to any position.
(You can see the edges of the clamps on either side.)
I saw this leopard coming down the tree in the Serengeti and there was no zebra. But, I really like leopards and I thought I’d give him dinner. Also, I liked adding an element which enhanced the story.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Detail of painting.
The next step is to paint the zebra and leopard.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
What makes the purchase exciting is that our 1985 GMC Suburban with over 322,000 miles qualified for the $4500 Cash for Clunkers rebate. We purchased the Suburban from our folks in 1989 for $6500. And after 20 years and 280,000 miles, we get 69% of our money back in the trade. Amazing! And we received an additional Suzuki $2000 customer rebate, a dealer rebate, and a Suzuki "gas for the summer" certificate.
Of course, EVERYONE at the dealership had to come out to see this clunker!!! When asked what color it was for the forms, the answer was easy. Two-tone. Blue and Rust.
So long Blue. You were a wonderful vehicle and you can be proud of all the times you: pulled other vehicles out of the snow, conquered rock strewn mountain trails for geology field work, drove us to Alaska so we could camp and go fishing, and carried heavy construction loads .....without complaint. You served us well and we will remember you fondly.
I kissed the Suburban good-bye.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I thought rather than working top to bottom (as is my preference), I would "build" the structure of the painting and put the tree in next. Also, since my browns usually dry in a day or so, the green leaves of the acacia will paint nicely over the top. There will be a little mixing of color. That will give the painting a natural look, but it won’t be enough to make the greens muddy. With the tree so dark, I need that lacy, clean color to bring out the light.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
On this leopard painting, the tonal under-painting was quite complicated. I wanted to immediately get a sense of where each limb of the tree was in the depth of field. Was the composition going to work?The under-painting gives me a feeling of the balance in the final painting. Right now I don’t see any problems for which to prepare. If there does appear to be a balance issue at this stage of a painting, I make a mental note that I will need to add light or dark to an area to compensate.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The 5 categories for the competition were Abstract/Experimental, Animal/Wildlife, Landscape/Interior, Portrait/Figure, and Still Life/Floral. All of my winning entries were in the Animal/Wildlife category. I am thrilled to have this honor bestowed on not only 1 of my paintings, but three.
Original Oil by Linda Besse
24" X 48"
Original Oil by Linda Besse
16" X 30"
Giraffe & Company
Original Oil by Linda Besse
27" X 13.25"