Dream of the White Rabbit – February 2016
oil on aluminum,
5″ x 3 3/4″
Completing the eleventh miniature painting in a series of twelve continues a great journey for me and my rabbits.
Each one of these paintings I’ve been completing once a month over the last eleven months brings my rabbits and my mind further out of the studio and into my imagination. I’m fascinated by the progression of the works and how they have evolved and at the same time, stayed confined into the original idea: create and release one new miniature painting each month for one year of my house rabbits (complete with hand-finished antique frame).With only one more to go in this series, deciding what to paint last will be quite difficult.
I do plan to continue the Monthly Miniatures after March, but the theme will be different – details to come! Perhaps the rabbits will make a comeback for 2017. I’ve loved working on the series more than I would have ever expected and already have ideas drawn up for a dozen more! Until then, I hope you’ll enjoy the new series just as much and there is one more rabbit painting to come next month.
Studio Rabbits – September 2015, oil on aluminum, 5.25″ x 3.75″
A glimpse into the artist’s studio, halfway through the “Monthly Miniature – Rabbits” series
I live on a quarter acre just north of Seattle and this is where you’ll find my studio, in a converted garage at my house. I love having company in the studio while I paint, and some of that company is very furry. My dog Mona curls up neatly behind me and keeps me warm (it can get chilly in Seattle), and rabbits Charlie and Ellie lie on the rug at my feet. It’s a good thing I wear grubby painting clothes anyway, because the rabbits nip at my pant legs to remind me when it’s dinner time. There are plants and birds to see out windows on two sides. Today there are stellar jays feeding on sunflowers.
Though they have the run of the house, the rabbits spend most of their time in the studio. When not under my desk, Ellie naps in her favorite blue chair. Charlie likes to flop on his side on a rug near the wall. And they both like to sit in the windowsill looking out. I love when I’m picking strawberries in the front yard, and I hear people walking by exclaiming, “Oh my gosh, there’s a rabbit in the window!” Sometimes I open the back door and let them roam the yard, but Ellie has become a cunning escape artist, so they’re on house arrest until the yard is better secured. It would also help if the neighbor behind us could resist tempting them with carrot treats.
At 17′ x 24′ it’s a big space for someone working so small, but it’s very full of framing supplies and tools, painting and drawing supplies, lots of art books, and printers. The walls are lined with finished paintings and works in progress. I usually have around six paintings at various stages of completion, in addition to handpicked frames and prepared metal surfaces for at least 20 more. In this month’s “Studio Rabbits” painting, you can see three paintings from my “Open, Closed, Away” series hanging in the background.
I finally convinced my soon-to-be husband (and editor, web developer and photographer) to move his office from a spare room to a corner of the space in here. It’s a big room, and he doesn’t seem to mind having a giant mat/glass cutter mounted to the wall in his area. So far it has been working great, but I hope we’ll be able to keep it warm enough in the winter. My little space heater can only do so much! But we’ll figure that out when the time comes. The bottom of his pants are as yet mostly intact. (There’s a cozy rug under my desk, and I give them more treats.)
The White Rabbit
oil on aluminum
4 1/2″ x 3 1/4″
I’ve been following the white rabbit down the social media rabbit hole, and with every post, I’m growing out of my social media dread.
Until this past year, my social media presence was limited to a Facebook account with 5 posts, ever. But a lot has happened since then, and I’ve started a Facebook business page, this blog, an Instagram account and registered as a business on Yelp and Google+. Most recently, I have even started a Newsletter to help friends, fans and fellow artists follow my Monthly Miniature rabbit paintings or get updates on my blog. Phew!
I love people, but putting myself out there on the internet was an emotional hurdle. As a social media novice, the first few posts were extremely difficult, and the “post/publish” button would fill me with dread and anxiety. But with time and practice, it has gotten MUCH easier. Reading other blogs has taught me that consistency makes a huge difference and I’m finding it’s not just for the typical reasons such as people looking for new content. Constancy also helps keep me on track and allows me to think about meeting my goals instead of thinking about my fears.
Now I actually feel pretty good when I get something up. Connecting with people in a real world kind of way is part of what I live for. The sharing is starting to feel much less like I’m exposing myself and more like I’m connecting, largely due to all the support that I’ve gotten from everyone out there. Heartfelt thanks to everyone looking, sharing and buying, and to everyone enjoying my newsletter. And special thanks to everyone commenting and leaving reviews. It lets me know I’m on the right track.
If you are a beginning blogger or artist, or you are thinking about starting a blog, my advice is to dive right in. Do the best you can this time, and then do it a little better next time. There is so much to know that you can’t learn it all ahead of time, and so much is just conquering your fear.
Ellie, oil on aluminum, 4 1/2″ x 3″
This miniature painting of a rabbit marks the beginning of a big commitment.
It may not seem like much in the world of countless artists hosting “daily painting” blogs, but it’s a big deal for me. While continuing to make all of my other, larger works and commissioned pieces, I will make one miniature painting of a rabbit every month.
This first miniature is of my bunny Eleanor, who sits under my desk with her brother Charlie when I paint. House rabbits are a bit of work to keep out of trouble (chewing anything from cords to sofas) but once you get them trained and your house bunny-proofed, they’re a lot of fun. Having a rabbit run and leap onto the rug in front of you makes it all worth while.
Thanks for looking and I hope you check back the first Monday of the Month to see more of the miniatures as they progress!
Hand Finished Antique Frame
Each of the paintings of rabbits will be framed and ready to hang when posted. Although they are very small, they sometimes take a surprisingly long time to paint. I’ve also been known to spent almost as much time on the frame, so it adds up to a lot of work. The frames for this series were sent to me from my sister, Theresa, who found dozens of unfinished, dirty and wonderful wooden frames from the 1920’s. Below you can see what the frame on Ellie looked like just before the wonders of the french polish.
Antique Unfinished Frame – French Polish in progress