Tag Archives: Animal Portrait

Weekly Art Challenge: TIGER

Hey Folks!

This week our theme is: TIGER!

 

A friendly reminder THIS is our last post for this webpage. Next challenge is a two week challenge and will be the first challenge posted on our new site The Art Challenge Blog! If you have been following here and wish to continue seeing what we create, please check out our new site and follow us there.

 

RJ: Tiger Eye, Pen on paper.

RJ’s piece gives me the chills. That deadly expression of the eye with the small visible detail of fur and stripes reminds me exactly why Tigers are dangerous wild predators. I def wouldn’t want to be cross this tiger’s path! I love the hint of facial detail, leaving the rest of the animal to the viewer imagination.

 
rj Tiger

 

AmberEntertainment, Pen and ink on paper.

For this week’s challenge I decided to create an image that illustrates my feelings about animals, like tigers, held captive in zoos and circuses. I love animals and I strongly believe that they don’t belong contained in zoos or used as entertainment in circuses. They belong in the wild and if not there then in sanctuaries where they can live their best life in peace.

 

IMG_3451

 

Next theme is a two week challenge – due to the holiday season – and the theme is:  DREAMS COME TRUE.

Advertisements

Weekly Art Challenge: SPACE

Hey Folks!

This week our theme is: SPACE!

RJ –  Untitled,  graphite on paper

RJ was inspired to create a companion piece to mine (last piece, below) and I am so thrilled with it! There a ‘Alice and the rabbit hole’ charm about it, and I’m a little bit envious of the figure and what he is seeing beyond the space we the viewers stand.
RJ space

Dylan – Untitled, graphite on paper.

 “This is an experiment in playing with foreground, middleground, and background. Details get hazier and edges get softer as objects recede into space.”

What a Beautiful experiment! I am completely enthralled by the expression of this beautiful and noble creature, she looks so proud and confident as she gazes outward toward the viewer. Dylan’s line work perfectly captures the strength and elegance of her subjects.

 

IMG_3103

 

KarriSpace,

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

 “This has been going through my head all week as I pondered what to do for this weeks challenge. While pondering this weeks theme I thought a lot about how small we are in this universe. How unfortunate it is that we are tied down by gravity and can not go and explore the stars.”

Karri’s dreamy representation of space is the kind of image that would inspire anyone with a youthful heart to wish they were an astronaut! Karri has such a beautiful relationship with color, her layering of bold and subtle colors is suggestive of the magnitude of our galaxy and reminds me how complex and spectacular the universe is.

 

karri space

 

Emily – Untitled, drawings on paper

“I was in Amsterdam this week and then in London for the weekend! For me the theme space was about how I usually draw the things in the space around me to practice my drawings, so i’ve attached some quick drawings from my personal sketchbook that are from spaces I was in in Amsterdam” 

Emily’s statement reminds me a lot of a Buddhist teaching about being present in the moment. I see that with her images, the awareness of the moment and the details of the space that she is occupying. I am loving the red ink drawing below. Its a simple ink drawing of a window and lanterns and I find it comforting. I find myself waiting for a friendly face to look out the window and notice me.

IMG_3112

 

IMG_3113

 

 

Val Moonlight – photograph

“I took this in our sideyard and I thought the moon was pretty”

Val was inspired by the moon seen from our backyard and the space between it and herself. Her photo suggests a longing to connect with the moon, a longing that reaches back generations. Taking the photo in a familiar space invokes the emotional attachment we have with the moon.

 

IMG_3155

Amber – Stretching the Void, pen and ink on paper.

This piece went through a lot of transformation between the various thumbnail sketches and mental pictures to the final image. I started with an idea that I would fill a page with odd shaped bubbles, each containing a person struggling to stretch the bubble out. Then the image was a single odd shaped bubble with a single person and this bubble was submerged in rubble full of modern distractions and materialism. Eventually, while sketching the final piece, I realized that the image needed to be only this one person struggling to maintain her small space within a void.

It felt emotionally accurate to see this sole person fighting for space within space. The nothingness around her is both open and claustrophobic.

 

IMG_3083

 

Next week’s theme: GRATITUDE

To our readers and followers, We hope that everyone has a joyful, safe and abundantly happy Thanksgiving with family, friends and the folks that love you the most. Even if you are not in the States celebrating this holiday, we still wish you a wonderful and thoughtful day.

Peace,

The Art Challenge crew.


Weekly Art Challenge: DETERMINATION

Hey Folks!!

This week’s theme is DETERMINATION and it appears that we all were feeling determined to complete something of importance.

RJ – CowAcrylic on Canvas

RJ is determined to create a large-scale acrylic painting of this sweet jovial cow! He is in the beginning stages and doesn’t want to rush the process – slow painting is part of the goal – but will keep us informed as he goes! and THAT FACE! Who doesn’t want to be nuzzled by such a face? The bold choice of colors compliment the cheerful persona of this cow and the perspective creates an intimate connection between the viewer and subject. Can’t wait to see it finished!

IMG_2923

 

Karri – Prayer

“I posted this sculpture in a previous post when it was in its beginning stages. It has taken months to get to this point and is still not complete. There have been days when I look at it and think, “it’s made of paper, and I could just set it on fire!” Lol. Having said that I am determined to make it work.”

Wow, this piece has come along since the first time we saw it! She still so intense and focused internally, that I almost want to tip toe around her so as not to disturb her. I imagine that the intensity and focus felt by myself and other viewers is a reflection of the determination Karri is feeling while creating her. Don’t burn her, Karri! She is just as determined as you! Another piece that I can’t wait to see finished! 🙂

karri determined

 

Bethany – Determination – Pencil on Paper

“There are many things I’m determined to have, to complete or keep up in my life. Things like getting the dishes done, keeping the toilets clean, homeschooling my son and being a wife. But there is one thing WE have been determined to have….another baby. So this is my baby in the womb, holding my heart cause it’s my greatest determination.” 
There is a lot of love and longing in Bethany’s piece and statement. I like how her determination for her family to grow is expressed with a clear drawing of the child holding a meticulously shaded whole heart and surrounded by undetermined scribbled lines. The scribbled lines representing in once sense the womb and internal spark of her desire and determination, but in another sense the scribbled lines also express that little else is as important to her than both present and future members of her family. Lots of luck with your determination! Any child born into a creative loving family is a lucky soul! 🙂

IMG_2913

 

EmilyMan, Acrylic on Canvas Board

“A while back I started a painting to practice painting skin because I was awful at it, today and thanks to this challenge, I FINALLY finished it like I had wanted to. This challenge was me being determined, and thank you whoever chose this theme because I really don’t think I wouldn’t have finished it without feeling determined to do so for this challenge! aha”

Painting skin can be one of the most stressful accomplishments for an artist! Emily’s work since joining our group has continually and happily surprised me.  Just when I think I have a grasp on her evolving style she presents us with a piece that exhibits her growing talent in a different direction. I love the man’s facial expression. You see an elderly man with wrinkles, thinned hair and aging spots; but his eyes and countenance express an observant and youthful mind. Great Job!

Emily determined

 

Amber –  Nadia (Mix media on paper) and National Parks (Photographs)

This week was particularly hectic for me. I was making my final work-trip to Southern Utah and I was working nonstop on the final piece (Nadia) for a portfolio I needed for a residency application. My determination to complete the piece in time for the deadline was a success by three days! Yay me!!

Nearby our job-site are a few national parks and I was determined to see as much as I could before work took me away from this magnificent landscape – its not often that I am in this area of the country. I didn’t get to go on the long day hikes as I hoped, but I did succeed in seeing a clear view of the La Sal Mountains from where I stood at Balancing Rock – the first time I was there the mountains were hidden by clouds. I also drove through the CanyonLands and got a small taste of the adventures that I could have, since I am determined to visit again. AND I finally saw Newspaper Rock. I have seen photos of it for years, and saw the sign every time I passed the entrance to Canyonlands. I am fascinated by petroglyphs and the nameless artists who created them thousands of years ago.

 

IMG_2815

Nadia

 

IMG_2762

La Sal Mountains from Balancing Rock in Arches.

 

IMG_2832

Driving into Canyonlands

 

IMG_2816

Newspaper Rock

 

Next theme: VAN GOGH!!


Weekly Art Challenge: PARADISE!

Hey Folks!!

This week our theme is Paradise!

 

DylanDog, charcoal on paper – Dylan’s interpretation of paradise is an emotional state of being that she receives from the companionship of animals. As someone who travels often, there are moments spent with my cat or dog that top any moment abroad or any adventure.

“The wonderful animals in my life are my paradise. Despite any events around me, being around animals always calms me, centers me, and points me in the right direction. Animals bring clarity to my life in a world of indecision. They are my favorite teachers and greatest motivation in life. Animals are my personal compass and paradise.”

 

Dog

 

 

KarriPaint Brush, Watercolor and pen on Paper – I think many folks would relate to Karri’s idea that paradise is something you can create for yourself. In an era full of external distractions, many of us actively seek out small spaces or moments that are a distraction from the distractions.

“As I sat down and pondered the idea of paradise the typical thoughts came to mind. A beach on the ocean with palm trees, the sun shining… so I started to draw out a little scene of Horn Island thinking that this would be a great image of paradise that a few of my artist friends could relate to. But, then I looked up at my jar of paint brushes and realize that paradise is something we, as artists, create for ourselves. So my paradise is in my brush. The paradise that I can escape to daily.”

 

The paint brush

 

 

AmberThe Orchid, mix media (pencil,watercolor, pen) on paper: Another week with lots of ideas rolling around my head! In the end I decided on ‘The Orchid’. When I think of Paradise, I tend to think first about the details of a paradise more so than the actual location of such a place. It is in the details like nature, color or texture – for example –that will push any place from feeling mundane to feeling like paradise.

I picked the Orchid as my detail partially because I find them to be so elegant and beautiful and also because The Orchid family is vast in numbers! I once read that there were over 20 thousand accepted species of orchids in the world. Some are more common and easily recognized, but others are rare and unique – known only to grow in a small little corner of the world.

In my eyes they are a work of art and their presence can make a paradise out of any place.

 

The orchid

 

 

Next week the theme is: Where the Wild Things Are!


Weekly Art Challenge: Repetition

Hey Folks!!

This week My fellow artists and I tackle the theme Repetition.

 

RJ: Repetition Rabbit,  pen on paper – Whether he knows it or not, I honestly believe that RJ is a natural printmaker. His rhythmic lines and marks always have that linear woodcut quality about them. I look at that rabbit head and I can see it printed multiple times and beautifully matted. His little rabbit silhouettes are precious and characteristically spot on. RJ used the theme this week more as a practice exercise and study of rabbits. The piece as a whole reminds me a lot of those beautifully drawn scientific studies of plants and animals in old encyclopedias. It shows his ability to pay attention not only to visual details of a subject, but to the nature and character of the subject too.

Repetition Rabbit

 

Dylan: The Study of Human Decomposition, Mix media (Clay, styrofoam wig base (deconstructed) tissue paper, various glues, and Great Stuff expanding foam) – I have known Dylan since college and she has always had a fascination and appreciation for the raw beauty of a bruise. While most people would be put off by the sight a discolored skin, she would love every bruise and bump on her body as if they were a gift. So when she sent me her images for this week’s challenge I was not in the least bit surprised. I think her words best describe the thoughts and process behind her current work created for a local theme park..

“I absolutely adore repetition and asymmetrical balance!

In my study of human skin decomposing, I found that many things had to be taken into account such as humidity, placement of the body for blood gathering, and how long the corpse had been a corpse. Upon doing a two year death in very low humidity, I assumed the body would look like this. 

The repetitive channels and the rippling form of the flesh convey an symmetrical pattern yet have unbalanced symmetry from the direction of the small channels and lines. I am eager to study the two week, high humidity form next. It is amazing the beauty that can be found anywhere if you look through an artist’s eyes.”

 

Study of decomposition

 

dylan rep 4

 

 

 

 

 

Amber: The Cycle, Pen and graphite on Paper – I am about 3/4 finish with this piece. All week my mind was running through several ideas that reflected the concept of Repetition. First an image would spring to mind, I would mentally play with it until my thoughts about the image would lead me to another idea and so forth with the cycle. Eventually I began to see how there was a creative repetition to my thoughts. An idea would slowly formulate and bloom until the inspiration began to wane and roll over to a new idea. It’s a cycle that can easily consume an artist.

While I was playing with ideas that would fade into new ideas, I was also doodling randomness in my sketch book with pen and pencil shadings. I have always loved my doodles that combined pen and pencil work and at some point I knew that my final image for the piece was going to be my old favorite, the beautiful dandelion, combined with my preferred doodling technique.

The continuous life cycle of the dandelion seemed to naturally fit the complex creative repetition that occurs in my head every week when faced with a new art challenge.  I am currently debating adding a hint of color to the image, but I def plan to work the background so that the image pops a bit more and shading in the leaves. Thoughts?

 

The cycle

 

That was this week, hope you all enjoyed the work. Next week’s theme : PARADISE!


Pet Portrait: Sophie!!

This month I had the pleasure of painting Sophie! She has such an interesting lovable face that I was almost sad when it came time to ship her portrait to her human mom.

Sophie and the Tulips

Sophie and the Tulips – 2015, Acrylic on 16×20 canvas

 

Painting this portrait started last year when my friend’s cat, Ginger, became very ill and the vet bills to keep Ginger alive were both financially and emotionally draining. My friend then turned to a crowdfunding site to alleviate some of the incurring vet bills. To help my friend out I offered a free pet portrait as a raffle prize. Anyone who had donated $50 or more would have their named entered into a raffle.

I don’t know how many entries my friend had to pick from, but I was very excited that the name drawn from the hat was another childhood friend of mine, Magdalena! I haven’t seen Mags in years and I remember her has a kind, generous and sensitive individual. The kind of person who would literally never hurt a fly. Painting a pet portrait for her was a pleasure, especially when she sent me the photos that I would be working from! I saw the image of Sophie sitting amongst some lovely red tulips and knew THAT was the image!

I hope Mags Loves her new painting as much as I do and I can’t wait to finish the next two portraits for her!

 

If you are interesting in having a portrait of your pet painted, please contact me at Palechickstudios@gmail.com.

 


Weekly Art Challenge: Nocturnal Animals

Hello Folks

 

This week’s theme for our fun weekly art challenge is Nocturnal Animals! Sorry for the post delay folks, life has been busy 🙂

 

RJ: Owl – Rj’s use of patterns to display texture reminds me of what many folks are now calling “Zentangles”. I love that the owl is not fully visible but instead poking his head out from a good hiding spot. A nocturnal game of peek-a-boo!

owl

 

Tony: Owl and Bat – Tony’s piece immediately reminded me of the ying yang symbol. There is a energetic balance between two well known nocturnal animals as they interact with the moon. Beautiful piece Tony!

bat and owl

Amber: Lunar Moth, acrylic washes on paper – I was super busy with a grueling work schedule during this challenge and did not complete my lunar moth. 😦

IMG_4739

 

The next theme is: Healing!


Weekly Art Challenge: Upside Down

Hello Folks!!

This week’s art challenge theme is Upside Down.

RJ: upside, downside, Ink on paper – A beautiful image depicting the connection between love and death and  youth and age.  A young woman reminding us to enjoy our moments (literally stop and smell the roses) as we don’t know what around the corner. Everything eventually ends. Our beauty, our youth, even our emotions – like love, hate, fear etc etc – run their course and dissolve into something else.

Upside down

 

 

Amber: Hanging Bats, Pen and graphite on paper – One of my first thoughts when the theme was chosen, Bats! They are cute little critters and they seemed like the perfect subject with halloween just around the corner. I was on the fence on whether I should color the image, but in the end I decided to keep it black and white. I thought it worked better with both the image and around the corner halloween! 🙂

 

hanging bats


Weekly Art Challenge: Comfort

Hello folks!

The theme for this week’s challenge is Comfort.

 

RJ: The Gift , Graphite on paper – Christmas in August! I like the reference of not only physical comfort one would feel holding the stuff panda bear but the emotional and nostalgic comfort  one experience’s with a holiday that is synonymous with family and security for many individuals.  Great texture on the bear’s fur!

the gift - rj comfort

 

Amber: Cat Nap, pen and ink – This week I was rather busy with the Gishwes scavenger hunt, a visit from my niece and work. Not wanting to shirk on my creative responsibilities, I chose to be straight forward with this week’s theme. Cats have that magic ability to make any and every place they claim for a nap to look comfortable and its just not fair! Sadly, the piece is unfinished. I will repost it when it is finished 🙂

 

 

Dewey

 

Next week’s challenge: Minimalism!


Tater the Tot gets his first portrait!

Months ago my folks had to say a painful goodbye to our beloved pitbull, Simon. We had Simon for 15 wonderful years, getting another dog was the last thing on anyone’s mind, except for my mother who was home alone for months with her grief while my father and I worked.  She ventured into Manhattan on three separate occasions to look at dogs and settled on this sweet lil pup!

Tater hours away from euthanasia when my mother found him and she believes that simon led her to him. I can see it, Simon would not want just ANY dog to take his place on the couch. 🙂

tater cuteness

 

Tater has been a joy since joining our family.  He is lively, playful, social and funny. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to open my heart to another pet when my mother brought him home, but I am so happy that I did. I can’t imagine home without him.

Naturally, I have to draw his portrait and this pencil drawing is only the first of many to come. I chose one of the many photos I had of him sleeping. I wanted to depict his epic style of comfort.

 

Initially I was going to draw Tater in a more illustrative pen and ink style – hence the border and composition of the image – but got carried away with using my graphite pencils. It took me about two evenings to complete. Mom was happy and dad said that I made him look “too lazy!” hahaha.

Tater sleeping

 

Face Detail

 

Detail

Hope you enjoyed!

If you are interested in commissioning a pencil or painted portrait of your awesome pet then please visit my Etsy shop.

 

Peace,

Amber