Tag Archives: animals

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.

 

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


Weekly Art Challenge: OCEAN

Hey Folks!!

This (two) week’s challenge was to create works of art inspired by the theme: OCEAN.

Tony Ocean Bubbles, color pencil on paper.

“I got the idea of a floating ocean when RJ and I went to see Pan at the cinema. In the movie, Neverland is surrounded by a floating ocean with marine animals in the bubbles. And I loved the idea, so here’s my Ocean!”

I love the concept of an entire ecosystem floating inside a bubble! It reminds me of those beautiful and artsy glass marbles with swirls of chaotic colors contained within. My favorite detail of Tony’s piece is the whale’s fin skimming the edge of his eco-bubble. For me it signifies that the marine animals might be contained to their individual bubbles, but they are still free and wild creatures.

 tony ocean

 

Emily – Untitled – Mix Media (Markers, pencil and Lace) on paper

 “I was feeling a bit halloween-y so I did a Siren character that has ditched her wings and gone mermaid, holding a skull?” 

I love the bits of lace, they are a nice subtle texture to the image and references the the wings the siren ditched, beautifully! Looking at the piece, I am reminded of a few literary images. The Sirens reference Greek mythology. Her stitched transformation into a mermaid brings to mind Frankenstein melding with The Little Mermaid. AND, the skull in the hand is a perfect scene to break out some Shakespeare!

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Bethany – Love Story, mix media on paper

“The titled of this piece is “Love story” because my seven year old wrote love above her head and story upside down on her chest. He is very helpful. Most bodies of water freak me out, the unknown lurking underneath, but I enjoy them from the beach and I love to watch sail boats. This summer, my little family and I got to spend a week down in Florida. We long to return, and from the amount of sand still in the carpet of my Nissan, it seems as though we brought it back with us.” 

Bethany’s piece has this strong meditative daydreaming vibe that I can’t get enough of! I want to be this woman with the sea foam green hair and serene expression as she mentally and emotionally returns to a recent happy and peaceful moment. The soft colors only enhance the peaceful calmness of the figure!

Great job on your first Art Challenge piece, Bethany!

 

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AmberThe Voyage, mix media (tea, acrylic, watercolor, graphite and color pencil) on paper

This week, I chose to remake a piece that I had made a few weeks ago for a different challenge (Unconventional) in a medium that is more natural for me. I enjoy experimenting with new material, such as duct tape; but it is mixing drawing materials on paper that I swoon for.

The ocean is mysterious and vast. Its serene movements and calming blues beckon to our adventurous side and we can’t help but eagerly answer the call. The Voyage is about setting off for the unknown, taking chances and seeing where the tide takes you.

 

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Next week’s theme: DETERMINED


WeeklyArt Challenge: PRETENDERS

Hey folks!

This week our theme is: Pretenders

 

RJ: I’m a Fish, graphite on paper.

RJ’s piece cracks me up! I love the sly stubborn expression of the monkey as he determined to convince you, the viewer, that he is something other than a monkey. It leaves one to wonder, Why does he want to be a fish?

 

rj pretender

Karri: Daniel, the great pretender – photograph

“This week I spent a lot of time with my 7 year old nephew, Daniel. He has such a huge imagination. Playtime consists of sitting at his Lego table. There are much more than just Legos there. He can sit for hours and play with the dinosaurs and the Lego men and the army men pretending that they are real. Just one Lego piece can be a person. He is the ultimate Pretender.”

 

Karri’s piece reminds me of a well known Picasso quote:

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”.

Children have the most vivid imaginations. They see worlds within worlds and artists have spent centuries repeatedly trying to capture that innocence and spark that so rarely exists in adulthood. Looking at the photo, I am curious to know the story that young Daniel drew from collection of toys.

 

karri pretender

 

 

Amber: Untitled (for now), pen, ink and graphite on paper.

I struggled with the challenge this week. At first I was stuck on an idea that was good in theory and in my head it looked great, but the image would not manifest itself on paper. I was beyond frustrated!

After some complaining to RJ and several wasted art days, I started fresh with a new inspiration. The inspiration for this week’s piece came from a favorite and influential childhood book, The Velveteen Rabbit. As a highly imaginative child, I had come to believe that my stuff animals were in fact actually alive. In my mind they would have thoughts, dreams and individual personalities. I believed they loved me as much as I loved them. The Velveteen Rabbit, only confirmed the accuracy of the beliefs of my seven year old self.

This incomplete piece expresses that wish and belief that the games are not only pretend, that the toy is in fact as real as the child (or perhaps the toy itself) wants to believe. I mixed toy rabbits with the real to blur the line of reality and pretend. I also added the dandelions to emphasize the power of a wish.

 

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Next Week’s theme: DEGAS


Weekly Art Challenge: FEATHERS

Hey Folks!!

This week our theme was FEATHERS!

RJ: Chopstick Feather, found object.

RJ would laugh and tell you how he just did something spur of the moment so he would have something for this week’s challenge, But what RJ won’t take credit for is the creativity that one needs to think about transforming what most would see as an insignificant piece of trash – chopstick wrappers – into a piece of art.

There is the clear environment aspect of this image. The recycling of materials, the affect that our everyday trash has on the environment and our neighboring species and then there is the ephemeral aspect of the piece itself. This is a photograph documenting something that no longer exists – much like the mid century Art Happenings – and it eerily feels like a documentation of a now extinct species. A reminder that existence is ephemeral.

 

RJ feather

 

 

Karri: White Pigeon, Watercolor on paper.

“The most amazing thing happened this weekend. A beautiful white pigeon showed up at my house. Turns out it was very tame. We feed it and gave it water. It hung around all day. One of its favorite places to be seemed to be on top of my head.”

What an exciting experience and beautiful image! I love the transparent softness of Karri’s watercolors, they inspire the viewer  to want to reach out and embrace the pigeon, and be apart of this moment.  Karri’s use of  color emphasize the gentle innocence of the moment and the childlike glee of being chosen by the pigeon. Beautifully done!

 

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EmilyFeathers, pen and ink on paper

 “I tried to capture the delicacy of a feather by using dots”

I think the dots were a smart choice and that Emily did a fantastic job capturing the delicacy of a feather. The black and white image has an ephemeral softness to it, like any moment the wind will come and the little dots will scatter across the page. The more colorful feather, while still retaining the essence of a soft texture, express a vibrant charge of energy, like a dramatic movement is about to occur. Beautiful!

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Amber: The Unconfined, Pen and ink with graphite on paper.

For me the most obvious association with feathers is freedom. 

Originally I had in mind an image of a sleek cat staring nonchalantly outward at the viewer while standing within a pile of loose feathers. Somehow the image evolved from a confident predator capturing his prey to the prey confidently expressing their freedom from control and fear of the cat and cage. I had thought about including a reference to the Greek myth about Icarus by including a version of him inside the cage; but, shortly after I started the basic sketch of the image, I felt that an empty cage worked better with the idea. I chose Canaries because they are a common bird found in cages and I had recently read that they are symbolic of freedom, which seems rather ironic.

 

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Next week’s theme: PRETENDERS

 


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.

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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

 

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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!


Weekly Art Challenge: PIE

Hello Folks!

This week’s art theme is: PIE.

RJ: Chicken Pot Pie, Graphite and pen on paper – Someone has a sense of humor! As always I love the textures and mark making that RJ naturally creates. He has a great eye for detail and his work always look so effortless.

 

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Amber: Slice of Earth Pie, pen and ink – At first I had no idea what I was going to make for the theme. Personally, I hate pies! I never order one and I can count the number of pies I have eaten in my life on one hand. I was struggling for a few days until I remembered one kind of pie that I did love making as a child. Mud Pies!! I was a mud loving kid, always digging holes, playing with worms and making mile high mum pies. This piece is an homage to my childhood games and love for earthly creatures.

Its incomplete at the moment. Some watercolor and more pen work will be added along with additional ants and possibly another ladybug.

 

Slice of Earth Pie

 

 

Next theme: Flight!


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!

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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!

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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. 😦

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The next theme is: Healing!


My Very Own Etsy Shop!

After several months of many supportive friends recommending that I sell some of my artwork on Etsy, I have decided to give it a try.

I was skeptical at first. Not because Etsy is too complicated or anything – quite the opposite, they make it very easy for anyone to set up shop. I was skeptical because I am constantly on the road for work, often staying at a different hotel every night, and was unsure if I could actually pull this off. Painting custom orders while moving about the country delivering tower sections to one Wind farm or another within a reasonable amount of time didn’t seem feasible.

I’m not feeling so skeptical anymore. In the last few months I have manage to paint several pet portraits and a couple of other commissions for friends while working on the road, and feel rather satisfied with my developed painting system. I don’t suspect that the orders will immediately come flooding in and as the orders will hopefully pick up over time I imagine my system will only get better!

I can and do create much more than Pet Portraits. But have decided, for the moment at least, to limit my Etsy shop to only the pet portraits. I don’t want to put more than what I can handle into the shop and I find the animal portraits to be easy and fun to paint while on the road.

Please do check out my Palechick Studios Etsy shop    I can paint custom orders and can also offer larger sizes not mentioned, just drop me a line and we can discuss the details

Some other related Blog Posts: Sammy and Marianne

Wish me luck! 🙂