Still doing my Inktober52 pieces every week. As always I’m always finding a way to use animals for my “solution”. For “Tail” I used one of the photos I took a couple of years ago of a pair of young skunks whose mom had brought them into our yard. It’s been quite popular. If you’d like to follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss any of my drawings, you can find me at www.instagram/foxartist/
The vegetable garden is really starting to produce. Peas (Hurst Green Shaft, an English variety) are almost done. Lettuces (Forellenschluss, the original of Flashy Troutback, and Merveille des Quatre Saisons) are being picked regularly, also ‘Little Snow Pea Purple’ the first pod pea we’ve tried and it’s producing like crazy. We like to let some of the green zucchini get big enough to stuff. We had a second helping of that last night.
The “big” experiment has been to try a turban squash. We have quite a nice microclimate on our property but would there be enough heat for one to really grow and get big enough to eat?
It’s looking hopeful so far! Our growing season goes until the first frost in or around mid-October so plenty of time, I think.
New to the garden and the last lilies to bloom this year are these spectacular ‘Gold Band” lilies from Old House Gardens, a wonderful employee-owned business that raises and sells heritage varieties of bulbs and tuberous plants that are often not available anywhere else.
Finally, back to the “Art Dept”. I currently have a show up at the Arcata Healing Arts Center, a lovely peaceful venue located at 940 Ninth St. Arcata. All the paintings are from my various trips to Mongolia, sometimes in realistic settings, sometimes using decorative motifs common in Mongol art. It will be there through the end of the year. The Center is open by appointment only, but quite a bit of the art can be seen through the windows. I love how my work looks on those warm golden walls!
I got the email telling me to go the site and check the acceptance list yesterday morning at 9am. It was in alphabetical order, so I slowly scrolled down, holding my breath. And saw my name. Twice! I entered three pieces, so two out of three.
One of my goals for many years has been to have my paintings accepted into juried shows that are outside the “wildlife art ghetto” to which the genre of animal art has been foolishly and ignorantly consigned by many in the mainstream art world, even though great artists who these same people often admire also painted animals.
Clearly, the good folks at Greenhouse Gallery don’t share that bias, bless their hearts.
I’m proud to be an animal artist and know that our genre’s best work easily stands with the best in any other field of representational art. And I also know that to paint animals successfully requires a specific depth of knowledge that is not appreciated by those outside the field.
Here are the two paintings that will soon be on their way to San Antonio, Texas:
I thought that I would start to share how I put my Mongolia paintings together, starting with a subject from Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve. I had never been to a place anything like it and before I began any finished gallery paintings, I needed to learn to paint the various elements, both the land and the animals. Here are two studies of the rocks, one of a young ibex and a finished 15×30 of two argali-
Since most people are not familiar either with the species or the place, I wanted this first painting to show the kind of landscape that argali like; not just mountains, but upland areas with these rocky outcroppings. You can see the steppe down below and off in the distance. These were two rams who were spending at least part of the day together. It turns out that argali don’t form permanent harems or herds. Animals of all ages and both genders group and re-group throughout the day in numbers, at least from what I saw, from one to twenty or so and everything in between.