Susan

Gretchen’s Horses

The painting was quite advanced when I snapped this photo, but not finished;
GretchensHorses (1)And now, the finished painting.  I was so happy with it, I love the color of Two Socks. 
 Bet you can guess which one he is.
GretchensHorses 006

Kobe and Geisha

Honored to be asked to do a  portrait of Hagood’s siblings.  Some of the photos I was sent are not exactly giant;
kobeGeisha (3)I did have several, and made a composition.  Here is the very beginning;

KobeGeisha (5)

And the finished painting;
KobeGeisha (1)You too can have a portrait done!  

Yellowstone River

Recently I have been making a little sketch with dark and light shapes before starting to paint.  Thought I would share it with you here;
clark 019And now the painting;
clark 017 (2)

The JOY of Plein Air!

I am just so so happy to have some weather above freezing where I can be comfortable going outside to work!!!  Went to Bridger, chasing a group of Plein Air Painters from Billings, Mt.  Couldn’t find them, so settled into a lovely afternoon of painting by myself.  I love these little “Granny” houses; their old proportions and shapes.  And in Bridger they are more isolated.  Wonderful fun.  Here’s a house I’d love to own (on about twenty acres, away from this noisy neighborhood.) Bridger 025 I set up across the street and began.  Here is the painting about half way through.

Plein Air Impressionist
And my set up.  Looks like an add for Best Brella.  I would DO one if asked.

Bridger 028And finally, the little painting, photographed at home.  I love it.  Oddly, it is so much easier to correctly see colors outdoors.  SO happy to be there again.   Everything looks grayer, on this painting.  But somehow, so much more real.
Plein Air ImpressionistI love my life.

Trees

Finally!  A  little study I truly like.  Been struggling for months to figure out how to paint these wispy trees without leaves.  The exceptional frost that glazed them like icing possibly helped me finally to see them as shapes;

trees 002This tiny little study is only 4 1/2 by 8 inches.  I like it so well I have started a big studio painting
BIGtreesThis is 12 x 16″ and the photo shows the state after one session.  I already like the patterns. What do you think?

Happy Customers

Here are some photos taken by happy customers of large portraits with their subjects.  First is Jakey Foo foo
happycustomer (1)

happycustomer (2)And below is Brianne, with her three fur friends.  You too can order a portrait!  Just write to susantant@nemont.net
HappycustomerBrianne

Madely and Thyro

Just look at these two happy (?) stars from Germany!   They are surely the best dressed bullies in Europe!
GermanYour bully too can be a fashion icon!

GERMANMadelyn and Thyro

Check it out and be ready for Spring and Summer!

The Nursery Project

 

From time to time I am asked to create something by sewing.  This is a welcome break from painting, and very familiar, as I used to work full time in fabric.  I was commissioned to create a crib skirt, window valence, six pillows and a quilt.  I have never met the mother in person, but through bulldogs I feel I know her.  I could have knocked this out on the machine.  While there is a great deal of machine sewing to keep the seams strong, there is not one visible machine stitch on the entire project.  All apparent sewing is done by HAND.  I’m nuts.  I go above and beyond.  Enjoy:  First the quilt.
KimNursery 010Above you can see just a portion.  The quilt really is pretty large!

KimNursery 013When I was “done” photographing I saw the quilt where I had placed it on a chair. Now, below, you will see the crib skirt, or tailored dust “ruffle.”   It is fully lined, meaning, again, not one machine stitch visible.  Also means it is totally reversible for a differt look; two in one!
KimNursery 017The reverse side; hanging off my dining room table;
KimNursery 020And now to show you some of the six pillows.  Each one has a zipper, set in by HAND.  I’m nuts.
KimNursery 028KimNursery 023

KimNursery 021

KimNursery 032

KimNursery 026

KimNursery 035

As I hope you can see the little squares set out independently are hand appliqued with tiny, invisible stitches. Then the pieced blocks are hand-quilted with colored pearl cotton.   

All Blessings on this lovely Mother to be, and her baby, Harrison.

Striving

 

Ok, here are examplesmainstreetnebraska of what I am TRYING to achieve.   Above by Karen Jurick.
grandisland
Another brilliant painting by my teacher, Karen Jurick.
storefrontwithtruckAnd finally, a brilliant simple painting by Tim Horn.
Now my pathetic efforts;bummerDifficultweek 031Ok, not too shameful yet.  But I finished it, and really became depressed;
bummerDifficultweek 032 This is HORRIBLE.  It is overworked.  The colors are not pretty.  What a mess.  I did a notan sketch and started over, once more.
houseefforts 008
Ok, finally not shameful, but still bad, and a very pale example next to paintings of artists I admire.  Why oh why am I even showing this?  Not sure it’s a good idea, really.  As much as anything it’s for myself.  What is wrong?  What is different?  As I look at my effort this morning I see that my composition is cramped.  The colors are crummy, not attractive.  Now, I did leave it yesterday, intending to add more refinement, some touches of color this morning.  I left it because it’s an architectural subject, painted very small (5 x 7″).  And it’s difficult to place tiny touches onto lines that need to remain straight.  One “Brilliant” conclusion I have come to is that my architectural subjects will never have the charm I see in the animals.  Yet I see that in the other artists.  I would LOVE to own any of the three paintings above by others.  I guess it’s a good thing to make an honest evaluation and search of where I am falling short.  But it sure is depressing.  I can FIND the subjects just as attractive as my heros can.  I see that.  Somehow I cannot get them down well.  Feeling horrible about it.

Why am I down on myself??

I think it’s because I have been pushing myself, doing work this week that is difficult for me.  This is all in preparation for the Scott Christensen workshop.  I have long planned to be OUTSIDE this week, working en plein air!!!!  But it feels like 40 below, with a biting awful cold wind.  The snow line is lower, on the 17th of April, than I have ever seen it in January.  Mid-winter, awful weather here.  So I work on landscapes in the studio.  I’m not satisfied.  Part of it is I think I dislike this busy, busy subject.  Too much going on and so very difficult to simplify into large simple shapes.  Tons of rocks are a bugger.  And there are, in effect, several “Horizon” lines with the bank, then the rocks, then the trees.  But I kept at it in case we are set in front of such a subject.

bummerDifficultweek 007Yeah, ok, nothing shameful, nothing super exciting. Then I did;
bummerDifficultweek 009Bit better, because it doesn’t lack the darker accents.  Still not happy. Tried again, forcing myself to pretty much do a color Notan;
bummerDifficultweek 021So far the best of a bad lot.  I went on to refine it, add more detail which I’m not sure helped;
bummerDifficultweek 025I get so down on myself.  Again, not shameful work, but not what I want to achieve.  Back into the studio.