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Friday, October 30, 2009

Caught With The Goods - Carol Chretien

oil on canvas
Caught With the Goods

A friend suggested I paint an appleheaded Siamese Cat.
Here it is...tried to keep it loose and bright yet painted on a toned canvas.
That is something I rarely do.
This morning I started the day once again in the foul gray mood this weather has handed us but made myself sit at the easel with a brush in my hand and work on this little piece.
The afternoon is for SPOTs but this one for TABBY'S PLACE will help kick off the holiday season.
You have to keep ahead of the current or you are swept away...
right now...I am treading water.
Lets see where it flows.
20%to the rescue!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Time Again...And Again...And Yet Again

oil on canvas
handstretched unframed
Original oil
I have this painting on my walls, and every year at this time I post it as a tribute to the season of pumpkins and autumn and all the things I love best about living in New England.
This painting of one of our porch pumpkins is a favorite.
I get lots of inquiries but it remains on my walls.
It has yet to find the right buyer I suppose. No loss for me as I enjoy looking at it.
Three weeks in the making, I painted this in a hyper realistic style and enjoyed the thin glazing to get the glow and the colors just right and to my satisfaction.
Should the work sell it will give a donation to a non-profit rescue.
domestic shipping is free.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Portrait(s) part II - updates!

Continued from the previous post....
Today was four hours of finding details and molding faces...did a little eye work today.
For me the MOST fun is painting eyes. I just love it. Maybe I will do a canvas of only eyes...not a bad idea!
This top pic is of Nikki she has some qualities of expression like my own Lizz-meister.
And she looks like she could have a tiny bit of the "drama queen" in her personality.
Then I did some facial molding and correcting with Cleo. She is the keeper of the clan.
And a little more eye work but nowhere near where it is going to end yet. :) I was enjoying painting her mouth. Choosing this image was about keeping her smile and open face.

And the most fun today was painting Brandie ...she is a little beauty in the becoming. What a face. I really love her eyes...they are awesome.
I am taking lots of colors from the light background for shadows. When you are painting shadows you find many colors in the reflected light. Now the trick with this is that I am making up the whole sitting so I will tie everything together with shadow and light directions and somehow make it all work.
Being an artist that paints by the seat of her pants I am often very much an observer of my own process and half the fun is not having everything planned out in detail in advance. I would be highly bored and never finish a piece if that were the case.
That is MY way and MY preference to take an idea or inspiration and unravel it or discover it as I go along.

This was the most recent work just finished and I will dive in again tomorrow.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anatomy of a Portrait(s) Commission

Four Dalmatians (one is a mixed Dal ) Phase one is about gathering images that you can work into a group composition. Not an easy task but given enough time to contemplate you get ideas!
Next the size of the canvas, 24 x 3o is the one that I stretched by hand.

Figuring out a layout I liked and the commissioner was good with...Great time to get a feel and make corrections. I made lots of adjustments and do it right on the canvas ....I am not a big sketcher...I like to see the canvas in front of me...sort of like "A blank canvas" and try to imagine the design. I wanted good faces, a pecking order that makes sense to the commissioner and of course some accuracy. There is plenty of room for artistic license but you need to be on the money when it comes to the ones who know them best.

Background was decided...a loose rendering of maybe a porch suggested in the background which gives the viewer the chance to finish the story (they are sitting on steps) that was what I was going for ....also the colors are neutral, light and will fade away from the subjects.
You can see here that I switched dogs and put Maggie down in front. The commissioner also asked that I paint her with her ear folded back as she is often seen that way.

Now I have their faces with some life in them and their eyes are more alive...nothing worse than working on a canvas with "Little Orphan Annies" watching you while you paint.
I have cleared the decks of other work and am focused on this piece. It will be ready for gift giving time. I will be updating this posting as I go and you will see the changes as they occur.
As I always say....this is the ugly phase and I warn the clients don't get will all pan out in the end.
To this day I have not heard of a disappointment ...I hope to keep that record going.
The commissioner of this painting asked that I share it here so here you have it.
Please stay we travel this road together.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The World is a Stage....

oil on canvas
Carol Chretien
Shakespeare the beagle who is a lovingly adopted
BONES beagle is the model and inspiration for this new painting.
He has the most beautiful face and huge expressive eyes.
He is beloved by his family and one of his favorite positions in life is to be held in your arms like a baby...blanket is optional.
He is advocating for beagles in need of their own forever homes.
In the spirit of Halloween I thought what better way to dress him but in a SUN costume with a halo of stars and moons.
After all he is the center of the universe in his home.
20% of the sale benefitted the rescue
is an Art Helping Animals supported rescue.

Friday, October 16, 2009

This, That, & The Other....

A few updates:
Yesterday was the closing date for CHRISTMAS commissions! I will be posting a few pics of one large one in progress. This will be a in a Blog post by itself coming soon.

If anyone is thinking they would like to give the gift of a custom piece of art from me in the form of A GIFT CARD (see my website for details) just let me know.

"Christmas Dale" 8x10 oil on panel now available with 20% to NARA rescue. Posted today on the ART HELPING ANIMALS BLOG and the DAILY PAINTER's GALLERY site.

"Rabbit's Wish on the Moon" is a 5x7 oil on panel and framed as shown. Available now 120.00 makes a great gift if you have someone who is wild about Rabbits! Haunting little piece of work with real "yearning" for a me. Of course 20% goes to with all my work.

UPDATE....... UPDATE...... UPDATE! "I Will Bee Happy" SOLD!
20% of the sale went to help sponsor DEBO's care through BONES rescue.

STILL AVAILABLE and "Debo" the beagle is still up for adoption! Just visit to read about this beautiful boy!
"A Wish on the Moon" is 10x10, inspired by Debo the beagle and his wish for a home of his own. 125.00 with 20% to BONES.

Halfway through October and the Adventure continues...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October Madness....fall cleaning!

(thought this old painting of mine made a nice illustration! circa 1981)
"The Attic"

I should have taken a picture of the IN PROGRESS major cleaning re-organizing that just was a week of my life but it was too horrible to capture in images...I emptied every room.

In reality I was in the process of "letting things go" after letting things GO for about 3 good years.

You know...clutter can build up in every closet, drawer, shelf, cabinet or cranny in the place as you "put things away" while you straighten up and do routine cleaning. In the last 3 yrs I have dedicated my time to paint for homeless animals and work on helping to make ART HELPING ANIMALS the great fellowship it is by being an active member of the team with my fellow artists.

I couldn't put off the house deep cleaning job any was time and time was up!

I now have a car load to donate to charity...VHS tapes, music, books, and bags of clothes from storage in my closets...I won't mention what is going off to the dump! Thank goodness for those roomy "contractor's bags"!!!!

Any I recuperate from the hard labor of the past week...I'm not getting any younger and there are muscles in my body that are screaming in protest, to remind me of the fact, AND I dropped into bed at 7:30 everynight to die ... the job is done. I have lightened up and let go of old things that clutter not only your SPACE but your MIND and creative processes.

Happy Day.

The Studio will be buzzing once again as I get back to business...Stay Tuned for new work and October fun!

I'd rather be painting!

cheers, All.

Friday, October 02, 2009

October Madness - FIRST LOOK FUN!


oil on canvas

Using "Shakespeare" the rescued BONES beagle as my model, this is the beginning of a fun October painting with "Shakes" wearing a Sunny costume.
When this is finished it will be offered with 20% for BONES rescue.

All paintings posted for rescue on this FIRST LOOK BLOG are available to be
all are one of a kind originals.
I am rarely doing prints anymore and mostly for 100% donations to orgs rquesting fund raisers. If you see the piece and love it and want it please contact me.
once they are gone, they are gone