post

Self Portrait – Expecting

The idea for the painting “Self Portrait – Expecting” came back when I was six months pregnant with my son and most of my reference images were gathered at that time. Rabbits were a big part of my childhood and I had two rabbits that lived in my painting studio. My rabbit Eleanor, was a natural addition to the painting. Not only did she sit at my feet while I painted, her species has been seen as a symbol of fertility for more than seven-hundred years.

I didn’t start painting “Self Portrait – Expecting” until my son was two and a half and after a series of miscarriages, I had recently learned that I was pregnant again. Eleanor had passed away since the photos were taken and right in the middle of working the painting, I lost yet another pregnancy, the fourth since my son was born. The act of making this painting was such a bitter sweet experience. The painting is about fertility, yet while making it, I was experiencing so much loss. I think that some of my resolve, the strength that I had to keep up for the sake of my two-year old made its way into my expression which changed throughout the painting process. In the end, the painting has become a reminder for me to be grateful and never give up hope.

This painting is on view at Arcadia Contemporary in the group show “ARC Visions 2019“ through March 2nd 2019.

Arcadia Contemporary
39 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105

post

ARC Visions 2019

New works for exhibition

I have three new rabbit paintings up at Arcadia Contemporary for the Art Renewal Center “ARC Visions 2019“, a group exhibition featuring the winners of the “Arcadia Contemporary Award” from the 13th Annual International ARC Salon. It’s an impressive group of artwork by eleven different artists and I had the privilege of meeting two of the artists at the opening, and another in Barcelona a couple of weeks before. Lovely people and extremely talented and dedicated artists. Go to Artsy to see all of the artwork in the exhibition. The exhibition is up through March 2nd.

The ARC Salon is an internationally revered competition that attracts submissions from some of the finest realist painters in the world.

The Art Renewal Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational foundation championing the revival of realism in the visual arts and is devoted to furthering the realist art movement and helping talented artists with strong technical skills thrive. Arcadia Contemporary is recognized as one of the premiere showcases for those artists.

Arcadia Contemporary
39 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105

Return to the Wild, 30" x 36", oil on aluminum

Return to the Wild, 30″ x 36″, oil on aluminum, contact the gallery for inquiries

Self Portrait - Expecting, 16" x 12", oil on aluminum by Rebecca Luncan

Self Portrait – Expecting, 16″ x 12″, oil on aluminum, contact the gallery for inquiries

A Silent Gathering (Aspen and Hare), 6" x 4", oil on aluminum by Rebecca Luncan

A Silent Gathering (Aspen and Hare), 6″ x 4″, oil on aluminum, contact the gallery for inquiries

A Silent Gathering (Aspen and Hare), 6" x 4", oil on aluminum by Rebecca Luncan

A Silent Gathering (detail)

ARC visions 2019 exhibition at Arcadia contemporary Rebecca Luncan Installation

Installation at Arcadia Contemporary

Season’s Greetings!

Season's Greetings Rabbit greeting card

 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

It’s been easy to forget all the good that there is in the world when I’m plugged into the computer, but I’ll spend my Thanksgiving offline, appreciating my little slice of happiness with my family. I wish you all health, wealth and happiness, and as much joy as I felt today, watching my (almost) eight-month-old son take his very first steps!

Now go to the store and order some of my new holiday cards, and send a bunny to someone you love. 🙂

On the Easel: July In Progress

Works In Progress, Monthly Miniatures Rabbit and Honey Bees, oil on copper, 4" x 4" each

Works In Progress: Monthly Miniatures ‘Rabbit’ and ‘Honey Bees’, each 4″ x 4″ painted in oil on copper

Busy as a bee! Working on two Monthly Miniatures at once.

Being a new mom means I really have to make good use of my limited studio time, and I have to be ready to use any spare moment. Though I am already the sort of artist to work on several pieces at once, it’s now especially useful for me to have several paintings in the works. Working in oils, one layer has to dry before the next one starts, which means lots of downtime where I can’t work, if I’m only working on one painting at a time. The drying time can be up to three days (‘Titanium White’ is the worst, it can take a week to dry if it’s cold in the studio). Though I only plan to finish the bees this month, I already have a head start on September’s miniature painting, and I’m excited to see it take form (‘Rabbit,’ above)!

Work In Progress, Rabbit Portrait, oil on copper, 2" x 2" by Rebecca Luncan

Work In Progress, Rabbit Portrait, oil on aluminum, 2″ x 2″

Even more rabbits for a group show in October at Childhood’s End Gallery

I’m really excited to be a part of an anniversary exhibition featuring small works at Childhood’s End Gallery in Olympia this fall. This little guy I found has lots of great colors in his fur, and I’m anxious to finish it! It will be displayed along with two portraits of my rabbits, Charlie and Ellie: I’ll post them all together when they’re ready!

 

artist Rebecca Luncan working in the studio on figurative oil painting

Work in progress, Oil on aluminum, 24″ x 36″

Steady as she goes! Progress on my figurative painting series

Somehow I’ve officially been working on this painting for a year! It’s large and detailed, and there has been a lot on my plate. But I am eager to wrap it up and continue with the series, so I have set a deadline to finish it by the end of the year! Expect to see more progress shots in coming months.

On the Easel in June

Black-cat-in-progress

Black Cat in progress – experimenting with background treatments

Despite my hungry little bundle joy, (i.e. my adorable, two month old son Isaac), June is off to a great start in the studio. Here’s a peak at four little paintings I’m working on right now.

The first of the lot is of Jolly Rajah, the black cat. I actually started this one months ago as an experiment related to the monthly miniature series (I considered a series of black cats). I had considered this little one finished, and originally it featured a window with a tree in the background. But it didn’t seem right to me, and I ended up going with the Into the Country idea instead. After contemplating it for a while, I’m reworking this little guy. I’m trying out a simplified background now, working to define his features a bit more, and also to create a stronger focal point at his lovely eyes.

I love the beautiful little 1920’s brass and celluloid miniature frame I have for it, so I’m hoping to salvage the painting. I’m also hoping that working through this painting, will help me get a better idea of what will work in the fourteen remaining frames I’ve been collecting in this style. Here’s a link to the finished painting!

 

Oliver-in-progress

Commission In Progress

I love painting animals, but I have to admit to a special soft spot for dogs

This little guy is my top priority in the studio right now. He’s the first of my June Miniature Pet Portrait Specialand will be completed in time for a special occasion. I have added a couple coats of paint since taking this photo, and I plan to have it finished by the end of the week so it can be shipped out to its new home right away. 

 

miniature rabbit paintings in progress

Rabbit Couple in progress

Rabbits for a group show in October at Childhood’s End Gallery

I told you there would be more rabbits! It’ll be hard to separate these two paintings, and I’m considering selling them as a pair. Once they’re finished, they’ll go in a lovely pair of matching antique frames I’ve been saving for just the right couple. I’m planning on three or four more rabbit portraits and will be on the lookout for new models! Contact me if you have a willing bunny!

Seattle Magazine Feature

seattlemag-weba copy

Check out the April edition of Seattle Magazine!

I am pleased to be featured in the April edition of Seattle Magazine.

When I sent my husband out to grab a couple extra copies, he sifted through the contents page but couldn’t find any mention of Rebecca Luncan or any Monthly Miniatures. Then he noticed the in-progress photo he had taken, very large and high on the page where he expected just a line of text!

Thanks to Haley Durslag for her very kind words about my Monthly Miniatures, and for plugging my other artwork and commissions, too! I so appreciate all the support for the Paintings of Rabbits series of Monthly Miniatures, and I hope the new series gets just as much love (or even more)! <3

Rabbits in retrospect, looking back from the final Monthly Miniature painting

Rabbit Painting

A Forest Still Life, after Matthias Withoos, March, 2016, oil on aluminum, 4.25″ x 3.25″

With the first year of Monthly Miniatures finished, I have more to paint than when I started

I often begin a series of paintings with a plan in mind, so although painting itself an act of exploration, I know roughly where I am going, so to speak. My Monthly Miniatures turned that process on its head, since when I began, I did not have a plan so much as a commitment: to make one miniature painting each month, for a year. It was only in the second month that I even decided to focus on rabbits.

Having so much freedom was hard at first, but trellised by limited structure, ideas continued to emerge and branch as I worked through the series. I began to realize that I could push my ideas further by taking my rabbits out of the studio and into new and imagined places, which in turn can creative narrative, or even pay homage to an artist or tradition I admire.

Now at the end of Monthly Miniatures: Rabbits, I have a few themes I am eager to develop in future work, and it feels great. Although the work makes no strong statement as a series, it became surprisingly meaningful for me, all by approaching the work more as a notebook or conversation than as an essay or a speech.

Charlie stands in for a 17th-century mushroom

Moon Rabbit, miniature oil painting of white rabbit by Rebecca Luncan

Moon Rabbit, oil on aluminum

Following from the painting, Moon Rabbit, I’ve placed Charlie in a romantic setting from a work of art I enjoy (“A forest floor still life with a frog and mushroom, mountains beyond”). As you can see, there is no mushroom but a rabbit instead.

The last of my first Monthly Miniature series pays homage to the 17th Century Dutch painter Matthias Withoos. I love Withoos for his naturalistic paintings, full of botanical specimens and insects and animals of all sorts. Withoos trained all seven of his children how to paint – even his daughters. It was expensive to give your children an education in the arts in the 1600’s and if you were lucky enough to be a woman trained in the field, you often worked in your fathers or husbands studio and your work was attributed to them. One of Matthias’s daughters Alida, however, is one of the rare women artist who had success creating artwork under her own name. Part of her success was likely from the fact that one of her biggest patrons, Agnes Block, was also a woman.

What’s next for Rabbits and Monthly Miniatures?

My studio walls are still covered in rabbity mockups and drawings. Although my commission schedule will keep me busy, do expect to see more and larger rabbit paintings and drawings the next year or two. As to the Monthly Miniatures, next week I will announce the new theme that will encompass the next 9 months and finish out 2016. Check back for details!

Charlie Poses as Peter Rabbit for January’s Monthly Miniature Painting

rabbit oil painting peter

Charlie as Peter Rabbit – January 2016, oil on aluminum, 4″ x 5″

Charlie posing on a garden path one sunny day last spring reminded me of the story of Peter Rabbit.

 

Rabbits are very curious creatures, and exploring (and getting into trouble) is just part of being a rabbit. I listened to an audiobook of Peter Rabbit to inspire me when I started the series and Charlie must have been listening too to strike such a pose after knocking over the watering can.

Snow Rabbit Painting is Open for Bidding!

Snow Rabbit oil painting miniature by Rebecca Luncan

Snow Rabbit – December 2015, oil on aluminum, 3.75″ x 5″

 

December’s Monthly Miniature painting auction is now live!

Half of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to Special Bunny and Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation. Please visit my Facebook event to bid and to follow the auction over the next week. The auction will close on Sunday, December 13th at 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Thank you for your interest!

An Unexpected Litter of Rabbits: The Story of Charlie and Ellie

Mother Rabbit

Mother Rabbit

The two rabbits that continue to inspire my paintings came into our family unexpectedly. But that never could have happened without the hard work of one dedicated woman and the generosity of two local organizations.

As we enter the holiday season and I finish up my ninth Monthly Miniature, I want to tell the story of how my models and their litter mates came into the world and found homes. Because without the dedication of some compassionate souls, Charlie and Ellie might not be with us today.

Charlie and Ellie came to us through my mother-in-law. She is an amazing woman. She has worked with animals for years, nursing and rescuing furred and feathered fauna of all sorts. From sleeping in the barn for days on end to be on hand for birthing lambs, to rehabilitating opossums in her bathtub, she does whatever it takes to help an animal in need.

If you went looking for Margot just before sunrise about two years ago, you would find her feeding her herds of goats and sheep, three horses, several cats and dogs, and her little black and white Dutch bunny Zorro. Rabbits are very social and Zorro lived alone, so when Margot’s friend Stacey discovered a large white rabbit hiding out in her backyard, Margot jumped at the chance to give him a companion. They figured the white rabbit was a pet that had been let go. Rabbits can be harder to keep than people expect, so they often get “released into the wild,” but sadly most don’t make it long.

It took Stacey two weeks to catch the rabbit, but when she did Margot drove over right away to pick it up. She set the newcomer’s cage beside Zorro’s for them to meet, and then went to the feed store to buy supplies. When she came home thirty minutes later, she noticed the new cage was carpeted with quite a lot of fur. Upon closer inspection, she found she had not rescued just any rabbit, but a mother rabbit! Nine blind, pink kittens (as baby bunnies are called) lay sleeping in a little furry nest. If you recall the number of animals already on her small farm, you may guess that she loves when babies are born! Taking in one bunny is however, very different from taking in ten bunnies!

Things turned complicated as the bunnies began to grow.

Baby bunny rabbit, Eleanore

Baby Eleanore

The babies would eventually need homes, and as the tiny newborns grew and their naked bodies got covered in fur, one of the bunnies stayed smooth and naked, she was completely hairless! Despite jokes about knitting tiny

bunny sweaters, we were worried. Such hairless bunnies often don’t survive. Three of the other little kittens didn’t make it to this stage, and Margot worked hard to keep all the surviving six healthy.

As their eyes finally started to open, Margot noticed that one kitten preferred to keep one eye closed. The little brown bunny’s eyelid was slightly inverted, making her eyelashes poke into her eye. It’s an extremely painful condition and will result in blindness if untreated. There is a surgery to fix it, but it’s quite expensive. A Seattle-area organization, Special Bunny came to the rescue. Not only did they raise the money for the entropion eye surgery and saved the little brown rabbit’s eyesight, they kept her and also took in two more white bunny siblings and found them all happy homes.

Margot decided to keep the hairless bunny (called Bunsy Bigglesworth) even if it meant taking up knitting tiny sweaters. But after a few more weeks, Bunsy miraculously sprouted a coat of soft fuzzy fur! And the fuzz soon thickened into a full coat of white fur, only extra soft.

baby bunny rabbit

Baby Charlemagne

The last two of the litter are of course my Charlemagne and Eleanor. I had rabbits when I was a kid and I had been wanting house rabbits for years. Two years later, my rabbits live a very spoiled life. They have the run of the house, pose for paintings, and occasionally venture into the garden to play.

Zorro recently passed on, but his remaining years were much happier with his two pretty companions, Miss Tribble and her uncommonly soft daughter Bunsy Bigglesworth. They share a stall with an old Angora goat Satin, where they dig warrens in their hay bedding. They are very friendly, and come out for treats and visits whenever Margot goes out. I’m not sure where the other three are but I hope they are just as happy and loved as their siblings.

Help Thank and Support Seattle Animal Shelter and Rabbit Haven

We owe a great deal of gratitude to Special Bunny for funding the expensive surgery to save one rabbit’s eye, and finding homes for three rabbits, and to the Seattle Animal Shelter who provided discounted spay and neuter services for Charlie and Ellie, as they do for thousands of animals each year.

To show our gratitude, half the proceeds of next month’s Monthly Miniature will be donated to the two organizations. The ninth Monthly Miniature is a seasonally-themed portrait of Charlie in the snow, and it will be sold by auction. Bidding will open on December 7th and will close at 5:00 PM Pacific time Sunday, December 13th. Please consider bidding generously, not only to support me as an artist, but also to help support these wonderful organizations. Check back next week for auction details, and follow me on Facebook, where the auction will take place!

specialbunny.org