I've been wanting to explore and illustrate the human/animal connection for over a year, and a recent magazine submission nudged me to actually put pencil to paper and brush to canvas. I can't share that one yet, but I hope you enjoy this one, which is second in the series. It is more vibrant than most of my work, but the kingfisher demanded that the human and background be just as colorful.
Oil on birch board, 24" x 12"
I'm Mailing these 3 entries to the Single Fare 4 Show, September 16-17 at Highline Stages (441 West 14th St, NY, NY). All artworks use single fare MetroCards as canvases, and 30% of the sales go to the New York Academy of Art's MFA program. Here's to the next generation of artists!
Oil on MetroCard, 2" x 3.25"
I don't know a single family that hasn't been touched by cancer. When I was young, it was considered fatal. Thank God for medical advancements, so that more people are not only surviving a diagnosis, they are thriving.
I used "kintsugi" (the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold, thereby making it more beautiful) to show how we can become stronger and wiser after surgery.
11" x 14," Oil on Linen
Marc Ching and his organization Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation just completed their 14th trip to Asia to save dogs from the dog meat trade. Last week they saved over 800 dogs during the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.
These trips come with a heavy emotional cost to Marc and the other volunteers. They are often put in harm's way as they confront owners and workers in these inhumane slaughterhouses, where dogs are tortured, boiled, and skinned alive.
Earnest Hemingway wrote, "we are stronger in the places we've been broken." So very true. I use the concept of kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold, to express the beauty and strength of those who've suffered and become even stronger through adversity.
Marc is a warrior with a giant, gentle heart, which is why I used gold leaf over his heart. This piece is oil on linen, 16" x 20."
I painted a portrait of Frida Kahlo last August, but wasn't thrilled with her skin tones or the background, so I pulled it out again and reworked it. Her skin tones are warmer now, so she doesn't look like a vampire! I used a limited palette (blue, red, yellow, and white), and made the background more subtle. Overall, more harmonious and successful, I think.
I'm usually not fond of do-overs, but this one was worth saving. So happy I revisited her!
The first weekend of the tour was so fun! I got to see a lot of dear friends, and meet new ones. Connecting with people is always the best part of shows for me. I'm not a great salesperson, but I love meeting people!
If you live in Austin, and have a chance to studio hop next weekend (May 20-21), please make Blue Genie Art Bazaar one of your stops! We have 47 artists; pretty much something for everyone! A real treat for me was getting to see sculptor Dana Younger live demo, using my friend and fellow artist Rebecca Wood as his model. Blue Genie will be hosting a party on May 20, from 6 - 9 pm.
This commission of a mother and a baby zebra is just in time for Mother's Day! So many species besides humans form family bonds. Zebra mothers take their offspring away from the herd to bond with them, which makes them more vulnerable to predators. My client (a young mother) provided the reference photo, which I found so heartwarming.
20" x 16" Oil on canvas
Pete is a friend of a colleague of mine. My friend is a watercolor artist, and she thought Pete had a great face for a portrait, so she snapped a pic and sent it to me. I think his face really tells a story of his interesting life. Hopefully I can meet him one day and hear all about it!
10" x 10" Oil on linen, available.
Every Easter I paint a rabbit or hare, as this is the time of year I start to notice cottontails on the greenbelt behind my house. Sometimes we have backyard visitors, which thrills me to no end. I decided to do a bit different one, just for fun. If we get a cottontail visitor soon, I'm sure I'll paint a proper rabbit, but for now, I hope this brings a smile.
11" x 14" Oil on Board
The statistics for African American youth are shocking, and disheartening. They are far more likely to be arrested than their white classmates. We've seen the video clips of them being mistreated, and even killed by law enforcement. They often are poor, and understandably feel the system is not on their side. So different than my upbringing. My heart breaks for these young boys and girls, who have the decks stacked against them from day one. Black lives absolutely matter, and we need to do more to insure their equal rights.
Rhea Groepper Pettit
New works, new ideas.