Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My big girls

I don't often paint really large, -- but these girls are. The canvas size is 36" x 48" with a dark espresso color wood frame. I had forgotten how much time such large paintings take, whew!

I'm currently working on some 20" x 10" pieces now with my new model and a stunning dress. I'll post them in the next day or so. I suppose I should pull myself away from painting and get the house decorated, and some shopping done, but my easel keeps calling me back. LOL.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Desperately seeking names

Ack! Today I'm sending off info on three new paintings to a gallery in California, and I've been so busy painting -- I've totally forgotten about the titles. And they want the titles! So I thought I'd throw a quick plea out there to all you Katie MacAlister fans who came through so great for me before. If you have any quick thoughts for these poor nameless paintings -- I'm really open to suggestions. LOL.

You can send me a suggestion at karen at These three are all smaller than I normally paint either 9" x 12" or 12" x 6" done specifically for a December "small works" show.

Thanks so much for your quick help!

By the way sis, congratulations on the two new books released yesterday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Model

My daughter's settled at college, and I've been shooting a new model for reference photos. Above is the first painting I've done with her. It's 24" x 20", unnamed, and needs a couple of final tweaks (I often see things that bug me when I make the jpg for online -- it's just the viewing the art in a different way).

I've been asked several times over the past couple of years to teach. And I've decided to finally start. Probably a combination of workshops and some local weekly classes, starting in January in Everett. I will also be doing a demo this Saturday from 4pm - 7pm at Everett Artist Supply (9304 Evergreen Way, Everett, WA) during their artwalk. I'm looking forward to using one of those new reference shots!

I've got work in four shows starting this month, and need to talk off to deliver to the first now. . .

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Time to get going

"Ready to Go" is the title of this painting. The "time to get going" comment was for me. I took a good portion of the summer off, spending time with my daughter before she went off to college. We took her there (Washington State University), last week, and she started her classes this week. My future vet is doing her undergrad in Biochemistry, with a minor in genetics.

But now it's time for me to bring my productivity back up. I'm anxious to get painting. The paint painting above is one of my newest paintings. Don't know which gallery it's going to yet, have to get busy on the business end of my career again also. Everything took a holiday while I was spending some extra time with my daughter.

"Ready to Go" is 30" x 15" oil on canvas.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

First and Second

1st -- Riuder Up 20" x 20" oil on canvas

2nd -- A Forest Ride 20" x 30" oil on canvas

I'm doing a happy dance as I just received a call that I won first AND second place in oil painting at a national equine art show! The pieces are above. Tonight is the preview party, and they have the best spread of any art opening -- it's a huge catered event, plus free beer and wine.

The show is held annually at the Emerald Downs racetrack in Auburn, Washington, and receives entries from across the country and occasionally as far away as England.

While I'm typing I'll mention a couple of recent sales, -- a collector from Park City, Utah found my website and loved "Riding the Herd" -- I directed them to Parklane Gallery where they made the sale. Also selling at Parklane a couple of weeks ago was "Classic Red" to a local Washington couple. Needless to say that news called for happy dances of their own LOL.



Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quick Draw!

May and June are super busy months for me, so I'm playing catch up on blog entries.

In the middle of last month I participated in the 38th National Art Show and Auction in Ellensburg, Washington. I went specifically because I was interested in participating in the quick draw competition. It was a blast!

To explain the quick draw event -- it start in a large room with a circle of chairs on the outside, a bar serving beer and wine at one end and a stage with mike and announcer. About twenty artists brought their easels in and there were some tables in the center for those artists who wanted to use them.

The object is for the artist to create a painting (or wood carving, etc.) in one hour. The painting cannot be started, but you can have a light, simple pencil sketch for placement. There is a large audience filling the seats and more folks moving around talking to the different artists. Everyone is poised, with the announcer kicking it off the event at the top of the hour. He continues to talk about the artists, what they're doing, and call out the time, i.e. 40 minutes left, etc.

The event is all media, not just oils, so the watercolorists have hair dryers plugged into power to dry their work, so they can move onto the next stage. I should mention that at the end of the hour, not only does the painting need to be done, it needs to be framed! So I had my frame all ready, with the holes drilled, offsets loosely in place and wired. My electric drill was at hand, and when there were only a couple of minutes to go I popped the ooey gooey oil painting into the frame, and screwed it down.

As I mentioned I had a blast. I had gone to the event last year and watched, which is why I joined the western art association, so that I could participate this year. The one aspect of it I didn't think about last year was about the noise level when painting. It's so loud. There were hundreds of folks talking, hairdryers running, and the announcer's running commentary over the loudspeakers -- whew! To help my focus I had my mp3 player plugged into one ear, but left the other open to hear the time countdown, and answer an occasional question from viewers.

At this point the hour is up, the paintings are done. Next, the artists quickly gather their easels and stuff, rush them out of the building, the workers quickly come in, breakdown the tables and set up the chairs for the audience. This is all done fast! After hauling my easel and paints out, and dump them in my area, I rush back in a get assigned a number, (tying not to bump my very wet painting), we all line up in order of assigned number. The audience is getting seated, and the auctioneer is warming up his voice.

Because the last phase of the quick draw is that all the just produced artwork is immediately auctioned off. And then the piece is gone, taken buy it's purchaser. I'll say it again, -- what a blast!

The photo at the top of this entry is the quick draw painting I produced in one hour. I had someone shoot me holding the painting so I'd have a record of what I did, then ran into take my place in line. It was 16 x 12 oil on canvas. Needless to say the painting was not as complete as I would have liked, and the pressure was huge, but I had so much fun, that I will certainly participate in a quick draw event any chance I get.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

They're off!

The jockeys are off again!

Yesterday (shortly before the Kentucky Derby was run), I was delivering eight of these jaunty fellows to the Women Painters of Washington show titled "Wonder" at the Columbia Tower Gallery in Seattle, WA.

Some of the paintings from the show are above. The canvas size for each of the paintings is 16" x 8". All are original oils on canvas, and naturally all of them are framed in the same lovely dark espresso colored frame.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Colorado Bound

I have a new gallery carrying my work -- the Philinda Gallery, located in Edwards, Colorado, which is in the Vail valley. Yesterday I finally got three new paintings shipped off to them.

Here is one of the paintings I sent. It's titled "Big Step", oil on canvas, 24" x 18".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

working western

I'm still painting western! Getting ready for the event next month in Ellensburg, WA. Here's one of my most recent fellows checking things out. The size is 24" x 24" oil on canvas (framed of course). If you're interested drop me a line --I have no problem selling it before the show LOL!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Grit and Glamor

Untitled 20" x 20" oil on canvas

Recently I've been painting cowboys, but I've also been doing several more glamorous, elegant subjects. Such as this woman above -- and I have a confession to make -- I am a formal junkie.

I purchase these formal dresses at garage sales or thrift stores, to dress models in them for painting reference. After a couple of years of collecting (and vintage dresses also), I'm finally getting a chance to start using them. We had some bright sunny days a few weeks ago (I love the strong shadows) and I was able to get some reference pictures outside without freezing the model to death. So the recent work on my easel has been flipping back and forth between the glamor of these women with the luscious dresses, and my rugged, gorgeous cowboys.

I have hit one unexpected stumbling block. My brain seems dead when it comes to thinking up titles for these gals. So if any reader has suggestions, I'd be delighted to hear them. I am not looking for a melancholy or sad angle, that's not what these women are about.

Drop me a line if you wish to know which art gallery these paintings are going to, but I won't be making that decision for a few weeks yet.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Artist in Action

Heading Back 30" x 24" oil on canvas

Come see an oil painting demo. I'll be doing it at the Fountainhead Gallery (625 W. McGraw St., Seattle, WA) this Saturday, March 20th starting at 3:00 pm. I plan on painting a cowboy from a photo reference I took last year.

Now that spring is here I look forward to getting out to the shows and taking more shots of cowboys for reference. I had planned on doing so this weekend, but had the wrong dates for the reining show. But there will be plenty of more opportunities coming up this summer. The same actual cowboy, just different shots, can be used many times. I just change the color of clothing and horse.

Above is my most recent cowboy titled "Heading Back". This fellow will be framed in the next week or so and then shipped to one of my new galleries -- the Philinda Gallery in Edwards, Colorado (in the Vail valley). I have several new paintings going there, so if you live in that neck of the woods drop me a line and I'll keep you informed about when they'll be available.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Day After

Last night was the opening reception of my solo show, Figures & Friends, at the Fountainhead Gallery in Seattle. It was great. I saw folks I hadn't seen in decades -- and sold art -- it doesn't get any better than that! The gallery is open Thursday - Sunday, and the show runs through March 28th. So anyone who missed it can still stop by and see the artwork. Give me a jingle, and I'll meet you down there if I can.

Above is a shot of the Fountainhead Gallery at night as we were leaving.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Forest Ride

This is the last painting getting framed, (and just in the nick of time) for my upcoming solo show at the Fountainhead Gallery. It is for sale through them, an original oil on canvas, the size is 24" x 30", framed. For more information contact Sue at 206-285-4467 or

I'll try to remember and have someone take some shots at the reception an share them with you folks who.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Almost Showtime!

Next Saturday is the opening reception for my solo show at the Fountainhead Gallery in Seattle, WA. Above is the front and the back of the postcard. Since it's too small to read the details they are:

Karen McClelland
Figures & Friends
March 5th - March 28th 2010
Opening Reception Saturday March 6th, 5 - 7 pm

Fountainhead Gallery
625 W. McGraw St.
Seattle, WA 98119

If you would like your own postcard as a reminder, send me your snail mail address and we'll get one dropped in the mail to you.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Three New Works

I was taking three new paintings outside in preparation to shoot them for my website. Before setting them up I went back for my camera and when I came out decided to take a quick group show to show you folks. This is taken from my porch looking down at them.

All three are for sale. Going to different galleries. If you are interested in one drop me a line and I can give you the particulars.

It's a beautiful sunny day, but I'm off to my studio to paint. --- Cheers!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Southwest Art magazine ad

Here's something I'm really excited about. I've had ads before in different magazines, but never in Southwest Art. And next month I have a 1/3 page ad coming out about my solo show. I'm just thrilled. I'm hoping on more to follow. You folks get to see it here first!

I'm pretty much done painting for the show. I'm hoping to get the rest of the pieces shot and onto my website before I get them framed. And belive me, framing is what I'm working on now. The show will have about 25 - 30 paintings, and with so many of them being new work, framing becomes a big job. I've already delivered a bunch of the paintings to the gallery. And need to have the rest of them there by the 28th -- just about two weeks.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Figures and Friends

Curious & George 20" x 24" oil on canvas

Okay so there were other things I forgot on my fall recap, like a solo show called "Western Life" in the Ballard area of Seattle. But I'm anxious to post newer things. So here are a couple of posts to catch bring things up to date. I'll break them up so they are not as lengthy as that one.

Naturally my big focus is on my one woman show coming up in March at the Fountainhead Gallery. Here is some of the press release info.

Award winning artist Karen McClelland will have a solo show of her original oil paintings titled "Figures and Friends", featuring people, cats, dogs and horses, at the Fountainhead Gallery, March 4th through the 28th, 2010. There will be an opening reception and a chance to meet the artist on Saturday, March 6th from 5-7p.m. The fountainhead Gallery is located in the Queen Anne area of Seattle, at 625 W. McGraw St., Seattle, WA 98119. For more information contact the fountainhead gallery at 206-285-4467.

The painting above will be featured on the front of the postcard. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come to the reception and say "hi" to me. If you want your very own invitation, send me your snail mail address and we'll mail you a postcard.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New website

I new there would be something I would forget! Sure enough as soon as I hit the publish button on the last lengthy catchup entry, I remembered that I didn't tell folks about finally getting my website up and running last year. It actually debuted in about May, but didn't really have much artwork on it until late fall.

It is functional, but it doesn't have all my new work on it yet -- or even some older work for that matter. But it's getting there. Above is a screen shot of one of the pages. You can go to check it out at:


Whew! Six months have gone by

Who ever coined the phrase "time flies" was certainly right. I keep meaning to post on this blog, but never get it done. Despite hoping to change that trend in 2010, here it is February before I make a post. Let's see if I can turn it around now.

First I'll recap what happened in 2009 since my last post:

-- I won first place at a national equine art show

-- I joined Oil Painters of America

-- I chaired an all animal art show for Parklane Gallery, in Kirkland, WA, which was titled "Fur, Feathers & Fins". This was a huge, huge, (and yet again, huge) job. I have deep respect for folks who do this sort of thing all the time. The October show was great with a lot of funds going to various Pacific Northwest animal rescue groups. I also got to talk to some wonderful animal artists from across the country.

All in all it was a great experience that I wouldn't have missed, but it did have a downside. During those several months I hardly got any painting done! I was so busy working on the show, that I rarely got into my studio. But, one big perk, since there was not prior years winner for the postcard to advertise the show, the gallery said I could use one of my pieces. It was a wonderful extra for my volunteering all that time to do the show. The rescue groups involved sent out thousands of that postcard. And needless to say that painting sold! LOL. The postcard is above.

-- I did get into the Western Art Association, which means I will participate in their regular auction in Ellensburg, Washington in May 2010. Plus, the part I'm really excited about will be participating in the quick draw competition.

A quick draw is where a room full of artists (in all different mediums) create a work of art from scratch in one hour. There is beer and wine for the spectators, who wander around or just sit and watch. An announcer counts down the time. Not only at the end of the hour do you need to have the painting done, it needs to be in the frame ready to sell. So that means watercolorists, have hairdryers going, as their works are under glass. They have the mat and frame ready, dry it and frame it. As an oil painter, that means that yes, I am putting a frame on a very wet painting.

With a short break for the artists, and rearranging of chairs, the pieces created are auctioned off to the audience. I went over there and watched last year and thought it was a blast. I really look forward to doing it this year, since I am a fairly fast painter.

-- I've also been picked up by a new art gallery. It is the Fountainhead Gallery in the Queen Anne area of Seattle, (located at 625 W. McGraw St., Seattle, WA). Sue and Ron the owners are great, and they scheduled me for my first solo show in March (which is now just around the corner). Needless to say that's extremely exciting, and with the FFF show I was chairing over in October I got busy in my studio producing new artwork for the show. You'll hear more about the show when I get to my 2010 news.

I did start a facebook page, like folks have suggested. What am I doing with it so far -- nothing. I need lessons I think, and there seems to be never enough time. That should bring everyone up to speed on what I was doing in 2009. I'm sure there are things I missed, but oh well . . . .

I'll try to post again very soon with January and early February news.