Farm Animal Painting Exhibition

Portrait of Silkie chicken, Emperor Vox, oil on aluminum, 8" x 8" by Rebecca Luncan

Admiral Vox, oil on aluminum, 8″ x 8″

A selection of never before exhibited paintings from the Into the Country series are on display at Gallery Frames in Seattle.

This body of work is inspired by memories of the animals my Dad kept during my childhood and from my mother in law’s and sister in law’s herds and flocks (and more). Portraits from the series are painted in a style inspired by the classical Dutch portrait, and continue a mood from the first miniature in my “Paintings of Rabbits” series. The series started with my Into the Country Monthly Miniature project which I was inspired to expand by creating several larger works including the painting above of the silkie rooster. He belonged to my mother in law and my husband and though his real name is Snowman, my husband has been calling him Admiral Vox for months and it stuck. All of the paintings in the series are in the same style, with a similar treatment to the background and how I’m lighting my subject, but each new animal brings their own unique challenges. I’ve loved having the opportunity to be able to focus on so many different kinds of creatures, exploring the different textures and expressions, and doing my best to bring a bit of their personalty to life with a pallet full of paint, some brushes and a loving eye

Rebecca Luncan's Into the Country art opening

Rebecca Luncan’s Into the Country art opening

I always look goofy in photos, but here’s one of me next to my huge painting of my rabbit Charlie.

The paintings will be on display from December 1, 2016 through January 28, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Portrait: An Unexpected Loss

The White Rabbit, Oil painting miniature by Rebecca Luncan

The White Rabbit – September 2016, oil on copper, 4″ x 4″

A Memorial Portrait: The passing of Ellie

My Ellie passed away quite suddenly this past month. The vet saw her for an eye irritation but found nothing too concerning, just a tiny scratch on her eye. But Ellie died the very next evening. We don’t know why she died so suddenly, but we miss her.

It’s a sad thing, but having so many animals in childhood helped teach me to be thankful, that death doesn’t diminish the gifts of life. Ellie was a sweet friend to her brother Charlie, and I’ll miss her hopping around the house, and snuggling at my feet while I paint. She was a great muse, and it comforts me that I was painting her portrait when she passed for the Monthly Miniature – Into the Country series.

We kept one early painting of Ellie for ourselves, and I’m glad we did. A portrait has a freshness and a life of its own that makes the subject feel close, that keeps them alive and well in our hearts. It’s a hard thing to explain why a painting should feel more significant than, say, the photo it’s based on, but I think it’s the care put into making it. Because it’s a totally unique object, we give it meaning.

Please enjoy the newest painting of Ellie and join me in remembering her fondly. You can find more paintings of her in the Monthly Miniature – Rabbit’s series.

Rest in peace little Ellie! You will be very missed.

Woman’s Best Friend, A Painting of a Dog

pet portrait dog, oil on copper, 4" x 4"

Woman’s Best Friend – June 2016, oil on copper, 4″ x 4″

I have to admit a soft spot for dogs, and I love working to capture these special creatures’ personalities in my portraits.

For my Miniature painting of the month, my mother in law’s best friend Penny posed for me, as many of her barnyard friends have done before her. All my life, a dog has been part of my household and the series wouldn’t be complete without one.

Though dogs are often working members of a farm, Penny is about as useless as my Cavilear King Charles Spaniel as a herd dog. Penny decided sheep were best suited for dinner right around her second birthday. My Mona would never try to kill a sheep, but she certainly wouldn’t dream of herding one either. In fact, when I let my rabbits out into the back yard, my cat would help herd them in. Yes, you read correctly. She was amazing and would chase them into the house. My dog would usually sit in the doorway, blocking their entrance. As useless as working animals as they can be, they are unparalleled in the animal kingdom for their loyalty and companionship and are a must for any house in the country (and the city!).

Portrait of a Belgian d’Anver Bantam (aka Chicken!)

Belgian d'Anver Bantam, oil painting on copper by Rebecca Luncan

Belgian d’Anver Bantam, oil painting on copper by Rebecca Luncan
4″ x 4″

 

A New Series brings new challenges and a new style of frame

I was excited to realize that this is not only my first painting of a chicken, but my first painting of any bird! It was a wonderful challenge to create volume from all those feathers, and I look forward to painting more birds. Anyone out there want to commission me to paint your special feathered friend?

The artist Rebecca Luncan and her painting of a Chicken - May 2016 oil on copper

The artist and her painting of a Chicken

Custom Frames for Into the Country

The multi-talented Daniel Carrillo, owner of Gallery Frames in Seattle, made custom frames for this series. If I can’t do it myself because of time or lack of proper equipment, Dan is my favorite framer in Seattle. I’m very thankful that there is a framer in town that can actually cut such tiny frames (most can’t!) with such a high degree of workmanship.
Custom frames by Gallery Frames for "into the Country" miniature painting series by Rebecca Luncan

Custom frames by Gallery Frames for “into the Country” miniature painting series

Besides being a fantastic framer, Daniel is also a very talented photographer. His recent work makes use of antique photography methods such as Daguerreotypes and wet plate collodion Ambrotypes. Take a look at his website to see some of his beautiful work.

 

‘Into the Country,’ a New Monthly Miniatures Series

Sheep painting

 

Miniature Portrait of a Miniature Cheviot Sheep

The Miniature Cheviot Sheep is an old breed of sheep that ranges wild across the hilly interior of Britain. As a lineage preserved distinct from modern, meat-producing breeds (including other Cheviot breeds), they are known for being hardy and wild, and their wool is prized for its warmth and durability due to its crimp. Very few Miniature Cheviot Sheep exist in the Americas, and my mother-in-law Margot keeps them because she values their ability to lamb and thrive unassisted. They are fast and agile, with intact instincts for motherhood and self preservation, and they were difficult to photograph!

Artist with baby sheep

Me and one of Margot’s Easter babies from a couple years ago. They’re softer than you can imagine!

I grew up on twenty acres with all sorts of creatures. When I was still very young, my father was disabled by multiple sclerosis, so my memories of the animals he kept are childlike impressions, images and feelings without stories attached. I don’t remember why we bottle-fed baby goats (my sister does), but I do remember how the goats looked and sounded. Memories of those days are warm and fuzzy in every sense, and they are all bundled up tight with memories of my dad, who also introduced me to art. Now I have a mother-in-law, Margot, with her own farmyard animals, and these animals still bring me a sense of warmth and love and the endless wonders of childhood.

“Into the Country” is my second series of Monthly Miniatures, in which I plan to develop one of several ideas sparked by painting “Paintings of Rabbits” (the first Monthly Miniature series). Each month will feature an animal from Margot’s animal family, in a style inspired by classical Dutch portraiture, with naturally-lit subjects against a dark, simple background to emphasize and personify the subject.

New Monthly Miniature Series, Into the Country

New Model!, Photo by Evan Grim

An eager model (we’ll have our people call your people, Martin)

Next up for the Monthly Miniature 

I have fond memories of the animals my Father kept during my childhood, from bees to pigs to chickens (and yes, rabbits). So when I first met my mother-in-law Margot, I was endeared by her own small farm. Having animals “in the family” now bridges my adult life with my childhood.

This second Monthly Miniature series, called Into the Country, will feature subjects from Margot’s menagerie. Each month will feature a different kind of animal, painted in the style of the classical Dutch portrait, with a simple, dark background to emphasize the subject. Even without picturing their environs or activities, I think you will find these creatures to be very expressive all on their own.