Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Going Western

I've been very negligent in posting my recent work -- painting like mad, but just not getting it posted. So I'll try a bit of catch up here.

I am currently working on 10 - 15 western themed paintings that I plan to have done by September. Being a figurative painter it is not the western landscapes that appeal to me, but the animals and people of the west -- both modern and of times past.

My camera and I have been at western horse shows in the past couple of months (and a wonderful pow wow last weekend, but more about that later). So I'll share some of the cowboys I've been painting recently.

This fellow was at a show in his black shirt, black jeans, black chaps, everything crisp and pristine. I wanted him to look more like he stepped out of a western rather than out of a horse show. So I livened (and dirtied) him up a bit.

As you've often seen in my work, I'm drawn to where people are going, with the body language as the focal point rather than the face. So here is my first cowboy for your viewing pleasure. I realized after taking the photo, I've yet to sign him, so I'll get that done later today. This still untitled cowboy is for sale. It is an original oil painting 20" x 16" on canvas. Until at least September when the collection is complete this painting is available through me directly. Please email me if you are interested. klm (at)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Katherine at the Faire

Time for me to varnish and then frame "Katherine at the Faire" so I thought I would take a moment and share it with folks. It has be juried into an art show and I'll be delivering it the end of next month.

This young woman volunteers every year at the Washington Renaissance Faire in August. She works at the gate greeting visitors. Last year (2008) the faire was unfortunately cancelled, so I'm really looking forward to it this year. I'll be spending the day there getting reference shots for future paintings.

If you wish to see the above painting in person the show will be May 31 - July 9 at the

Cascade Club ~ Trilogy Golf Club
23225 NE Greens Crossing Road
Redmond WA 98053-6247

Open to the Public
Daily 9 am - 7 pm

There will be an artist's reception on Sat. June 6th from noon until 3:00. I will be there painting as an artist in action along with several other artists.

The original oil painting "Katherine at the Faire" is 36" x 18" before framing and will be for sale at the show for $1,300.00.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Magazine Cover

A couple of weeks ago the Washington Thoroughbred magazine came with my painting "Working Out" on the cover. That's the result of my having won the Washington Thoroughbred Publication award at the 2008 Equine Art show.

Just thought I'd show it off.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Jockey a Day

Here's another of these fellows that I have painted for Parklane Gallery in May. Again he's very close to completion, but still needs a couple of more strokes, and of course the signature.

All the reference photos for the jockey series I took last summer at Emerald Downs racecourse. I look forward to racing starting in April so that I can go back and get some more photos. They've been a blast to paint.

As before this jockey is for sale, and won't screw anything up if he goes to a new home before May when he's due at the gallery, because I have several of these paintings I'm working on, and probably more than I need for the gallery show in May. The price (before he gets to the gallery) is $250.00, and includes a custom wood frame, but not shipping.

If your a new viewer to my blog, this is an original oil painting on canvas. All the jockeys are the same size 16" x 8" (this is the unframed canvas size).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Jockeys

Come up to the lab and see what's on the slab . . . er easel. I have to confess I was playing that soundtrack the other day when working on my new series. While the jockeys may be tan there is no blonde hair ;-).

This is the first in a new series I'm working on. They'll be shown at Parklane gallery in May. I have been enjoying painting the bright colorful silks immensely. I've chosen to do almost all of the jockeys from the back with the exception of a couple of side views. I made this decision on purpose because if I were doing them from the front, their faces would automatically be the focal point, which is not what I was going for. To me it's all about the posture, and the beautiful silks. What are they doing? What are they thinking? I find I am really drawn the to mystery of figures from the back. They capture my interest. B.C. Nolan, a fine artist who also paints many figures from the back expresses it much more eloquently -- but naturally I can't find that article when I want to. So I'll just have to leave it by saying it was a conscience decision.

This painting is done except for the signature, which I'll get done this week. So in the meantime I've got the copyright mark across the bottom.

They are for sale, each painting in the series is 16" x 8" and they are framed. The price for each one is $250.00 (plus shipping). Plus they do not need to be purchased as a set. I will probably have prints made of them, but do not have a final decision on that yet.

If you wish to purchase one of these fellows you can contact me directly until they are at the gallery (in May). After that they maybe purchased by contacting Parklane via their website at

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Salute painting

To finish up my "Salute" painting story. These are the deep gallery wrapped canvas, because obviously I didn't want a frame on them. When Salute is hung the canvases are spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. So I made block thing (from tapping several house paint type stir sticks together) that was 1 1/2 inches.

Then I could work on a couple of the paintings at a time. I'd have them stacked on my large floor easel. Naturally I couldn't work on the entire painting at the same time, although on occasion I did try. The painting was hung in my gallery from the very start, then I would take down the sections I wanted to work on to my easel. Then put them back up on the wall. Well naturally I kept seeing something I wanted to work on when standing back looking at the over all painting. So I'd forget and go up to make the stroke. Of course that didn't work. They paintings where hung, so they would tip and move all over.

I'm the kind of a artist who works a painting all at once. I also like to work alla prima (wet into wet) and with such a large piece I couldn't do that as much as I would have liked. Areas would dry before I could get back to them. Anyway I had those canvases up and down off the wall so many times. LOL

The one downside I did find to doing such a large piece was when I went to take a photo at the Parklane Gallery (in Kirkland, WA) so that folks could see it. Obviously to fit the entire thing in the frame I had to stand quite a ways back. And therefore the viewer doesn't get to see the brushwork that went into the piece. This always happens when trying to share small jpgs, but certainly I'd never encountered it to this extent.

So for your viewing pleasure (and to show that brushwork). This blog entry starts off with a portion of one of the panels - the nose.

Hope you enjoyed my "Salute" story. I'm on to jockeys next . . . . .

Friday, January 16, 2009

The start of "Salute"

Finally getting a chance to start blogging again. I've been exceedingly busy the last couple of months. Parklane Gallery in Kirkland, ( where I hang my work announced that in January they would be hanging "salon" style. Which means artwork floor to ceiling. I thought instead of hanging a lot of different pieces, would it be fun to hang floor to ceiling, one image made up of many different canvases.

What a project it turned out to be. I had never tackled anything like that before. I knew in my mind what I wanted to do. I had a eight foot high by four foot wide area to work with and I wanted to do a horse and rider. My first thought was a jumping image, but the width made me think of a horse and rider more from the front doing a dressage halt and salute. My next problem was I was really short on time to try to get out and take a reference photo. I really prefer to take my own, and of course I'm very careful about copyright. I saw a photo I was interested in taken by a wonderful equine photographer named Karen Lietz ( We came to an arrangement and the photograph was mine to use as a reference for my Salute painting.

Next was to divide up the image into the different canvas sizes. I started figuring it out using different standard gallery wrapped canvas sizes, with 1 1/2 inches between the canvases. Having done that (it was either 10 or ll canvaes, I made my trip to the art supply store. Well they didn't have all the sizes I wanted in stock. And because I was working up against the clock I didn't have time to special order the canvases. So I started redesigning my layout in the store, pulling canvases off the shelf. I ended up working it out and it turned out to be 14 canvases.

Back to the computer to lay out the image some more. Making it very accurate with the canvas size and the 1 1/2 spacing. After that the next stage was drawing the image onto the canvas. Now I had planned to do some photographing for my blog as this project went along. Since I'd never tackled anything like this before. That went down the road of "best laid plans". When I'm working I just never think to stop and take photos. Plus the fact that I would forget to take my camera to my studio.

My next step was to gesso the fourteen canvases to get them ready for painting. Obviously the finished paintings were to be hung without frames, as they would ruin the image, which is why I chose the deep gallery wrapped canvas.

Then I made a step that is not normally done until after the painting is complete. I wired the backs of the canvas for hanging. And actually hung them unpaintined, getting that 1 1/2 spacing correct on the wall in my gallery.

Next was to start the painting, but I'm going to save that for my next blog entry. At the top of this entry you will see the finish "Salute" as it is currently hanging in Parklane Gallery (size 3 1/2 ft wide, 7 ft. high, price $3,900), and I'll post how it got to that stage in my next entry. Bye for now, Karen