Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book of Beginnings

Illusions, Aspirations & Dreams
inspired by Nora Sallows
acrylic on 7" by 9" canvas board
nfs in collection of artist

This painting is one that grows on me. I like it better every time I see it. It is very similar to one of Nora Sallows original nude series of 20 from May 2006, but bolder in color with much different brush strokes. Ms. Sallows is a well know and respected Ohio portrait and wildlife artist who's web site is Dancing Light Studio. Her painting can be seen here.

How beautiful is youth! how bright it gleams with its illusions, aspirations, dreams! Book of Beginnings, Story without End, Each maid a heroine, and each man a friend!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Time sure flies!
Good morning

Friday, June 26, 2009

Art Challenge #12: June Bug

June Bug and the Bee
acrylic on 12" by 12" canvas board
available $60 includes shipping
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There are two challenges a month at The Artist Challenge - A Private Art Club and June Bug #12 is the last one this month. I say it each time, if you like challenges and haven't checked into this one, you are missing something. Vikki North, the site administrator, is always bringing in guest speakers, finding special additions and in general making it fun to be a part of The Pub!

I just read the best article about photographing your art work by Guest Speaker Randall Bellows III, Professional Photographer. If you're not a member of The Pub, this would be a good reason to join - and it's free! Mr. Bellows has three sites, a Fine Art Site, he also has a Fashion/Portraiture site and a Blog site. I haven't checked them out yet, but will be doing so very soon. His guest speaker topic was worth checking out further.

This painting is another one of my literal interpretations of the subject. I can't wait to see what ideas the other artists present. Wikipedia gives so many definitions of June Bug. You could almost paint anything and it would qualify under one of the definitions!

I got my two bugs from a wonderful bug site, North American Bug and Spiders.

My bee is a Halictid Bee - Augochloropsis sp. commonly known as a "sweat bee", who's elongated "polka dots" in the compound eyes are optical illusions, akin to the "pupil" in the praying mantis' eyes, photographed in the wild at Winfield, Illinois by Sean McCann.

My June Bug is a Cotinus nitida, one of many beetles also colloquially known as "June bug", Photo by Stephen Friedt.
I included the original images so you could see what they really looked like, especially the bee. My painting of the bee is so colorful you might think I embellished it. You can see I did not, nature took care of that all by itself!

It is better to be a young June-bug than an old bird of paradise.
Mark Twain

What a happy time!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

In a Flower Garden

acrylic on 6" by 8" canvas board
available $35 including shipping
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This is a fun little piece that I did to entertain myself. It is done on a background painted from a previous palette. I loved these background colors.

I remember the first time I saw or smelled Wisteria. It was in Atlanta in 1957 at my Fathers Boss' home, John and Hilda Dugger. It was the most wonderful thing I had ever smelled. I've never had wisteria in my yard, but have always wanted it. I do have a great stand of jasmine on my front door pergola and it does smell wonderful when it is in bloom. I wonder, does it come in purple?


Monday, June 22, 2009

Fierce, but never low or underhanded

Babar Sher Fierce
acrylic on 12" by 12" canvas board
Sold to Ginger $60 including shipping

This is another Babar Sher. I couldn't believe how fierce he turned out! I probably shouldn't admit that, but sometimes you just don't know where things are going. The background started with an iridescent gold. I wanted to put a dark blue wash on it, but it completely covered the gold. I used a palette knife to blend the colors. I wasn't happy with the result, but hoped it would work with the painting. It did!

This is the 2nd of four new Babar Sher's I hope to finish in the next week. I have the other two canvas backgrounds ready.

I may have been fierce, but never low or underhand. Ty Cobb

Waiting for a beautiful morning

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I am sometimes a lion

Babar Sher Grande
acrylic on 11" by 14" Claybord

This is a larger version of Babar Sher, Urdu for Lion posted on May 20, 2009. I am attempting 4 variations of that painting as an exercise. This is the first completed one. I hope to finish the 2nd one tonight.

This painting has renewed my appreciation for Claybord. Claybord needs to be painted with thin washes of color layered upon layer. I usually paint with straight heavy body acrylics and apply them anywhere from thin to fairly thick. So, I got to practice using washes. I used 3 washes on the background. The first two were Soft-Body Pithlo Blue RS mixed with equal parts of blue interference and iridescent gel. The third coat was Soft-Body Iridescent Rich Gold mixed with equal parts of gold interference and iridescent gel. I love the result!

When the lion was almost complete, I decided it was too green, so covered most of the face with gold interference. That did it!

The one excellent thing that can be learned from a lion is that whatever a man intends doing should be done by him with a whole-hearted and strenuous effort.

The quote, if you are reading this, is mostly for my new friend James Parker. I take my painting very seriously. Nothing will stop me, as I do it for myself. If someone likes it, that is a gift for me! This will spill over to all other aspects of my life as I continue to grow.

I am alright! Thank you for caring!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Art Challenge #11: The Giving Tree

In Kinder Times
acrylic on 12" by 16" canvas board
available $75 + $8 shipping
email me for PayPal invoice

What a fun Challenge! The artist's at The Artist's Challenge - A Private Art Club get to help in suggesting and choosing the theme's of the Challenge. It is so much fun to listen to the ideas and then see them come into fruition. The contributor Artists are all so talented, and there is nobody nicer that the site administrator, Vikki North, she always has a kind word and is an incredible artist! If you enjoy art challenges and haven't joined this one ... yet, what are you waiting for?

Oh yes, about the topic of this challenge. Shel Silverstein wrote The Giving Tree among other titles. It is a moralistic story about the love a tree has for a little boy. I actually bought the book just to get the idea of what it was all about. It is a beautiful story, but what I couldn't understand was The Tree was like a parent with unconditional love that ended giving everything - I mean everything - to a little boy, now grown into a man, that was incredibly selfish, taking everything without realizing what the impact to the tree was. I'm sure that is an analogy to parents and children. As I researched a link to the book, I found Wikipedia discusses the controversy about the meaning. How about that!

Meet us at The Pub

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Windows To The Words - June Challenge

Old Willie in Dreds
acrylic on 5" by 7" canvas board
available $35 including shipping
email me for PayPal invoice

This is my entry to James Parker's challenge Windows To The Words for June, "Old folks...Love Them Wrinkles". I wrote about Mr. Parker and this challenge on May 22, Art Challenges.

I still think his concept is the most original challenge I've found because it encompasses a combination of writing, photography and art. In his post today, he says:

"I have started Windows to the Words, and after 4 months, the challenge has had moderate success. I'll keep it up, because it is a good thing. The artwork I have received has been marvelous...and if I get just one person who contributes and enjoys doing...then that's fine."

I can only hope he develops a following and soon. Mr. Parker is a gifted artist, educator, challenge host and unique personality. I think he deserves recognition for caring about and interacting with other artists. It takes a big man to open himself to others while, at the same time, running his own business.

So now Mr. Parker, I only have a 3 things to say about my submission:
1. My name is Beckie Saar Leone
2. the URL you associated with my name goes to "Not Found, Error 404"
3. the name of my painting is "Old Willie in Dreds" not "The Second Verse of My Song"

Well now, I feel better already!
Goodnight Mr. Parker
UPDATE: Thank you Mr. Parker, for making the corrections to my entry as soon as I notified you there were errors. I know it wasn't important to anyone but me, but I do appreciate it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Making sense of things

acrylic on 6" by 6" canvas board
available $35 including shipping
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I've been trying to be consistent in posting.  Actually, consistent in all aspects of painting, studying, blogging and networking.  Recently, failing badly!

What is it that happens to you that all of a sudden, nothing is running smoothly?  Maybe I've got to many straws in the wind right now!  That reminds me of what my Psychiatrist said to me once, "OK, you don't have a few straws in the wind, you have a few bales of hay"!  I loved that.  There are some things that just make the whole world make sense, to me, that is one of them.

The painting is small, bright and peppy.  It is another example of using my left over palette from one painting to make a background for a future painting.  If you search my blog for "palette-frwd-bkg" you will see many examples of these.

Well, it is lightening like crazy right now.  Crazy weather!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

She takes 21 words to describe

acrylic on 6" by 8" canvas board
available $35 includes shipping
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When I look at this painting, here is what I think:

Air of mystery Allure Amusement Aura Beauty
Charisma Contentment Dignity Fascination
Glamour Harmony Loveliness Magic
Mystique Personality Poise Pride Radiance
Self-assurance Shine Stateliness Wonder

OK, I like this person! I have never met her, but consider her a real friend. When I started this painting, I was going to paint it in bright colors making an abstract-type image. But I liked it this way so much, I changed direction. Another time, I'll paint her in another style.

Amina is a pastel artist who lives in Tunisia. She speaks 4 languages and is very talented. She will be having a one-person show in October.

I hope you like it, too.
Have a nice afternoon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vintage Shade of Purple

Entertaining Someone Special
acrylic on 12" by 16" canvas sheet

This is my interpretation of a painting by Rachel Deacon, Reclining Woman. Ms. Deacon is a very successful London artist. She focuses mainly on the female figure as self assured and provocative. Her work is so yummy, you must take a look!

I painted this in 2006 when I was only coping work I admired. They are never exact copies, nor were they meant to be. I used them as teaching exercises and still enjoy that process.

I love this painting, it is one of my personal favorites.

Enjoying the weekend,

UPDATE (12/15/10): support corrected from canvas board to canvas sheet

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Purple Lily

Purple Lily
acrylic on 5" by 7" claybord
available $30 including shipping
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This is on claybord. I'm excited about using a white background with nothing showing except the object. I'd like to do more of this technique.

In case you're wondering, Stella came home with me - I know - big surprise! She is just as beautiful as her picture, but completely isolated. She has found a corner to sit in but has not ventured out unless I get her. Fortunately, she does allow me to pick up - most of the time! I hope she will eventually feel safe and happy here, in whatever way that is right for her.

Thank for asking about Stella. She needs all the support she can get.

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Dog Day - Meeting Stella

Stella arrived in rescue with her four brothers. They are only about one and a half years old. They appear to be Chihuahua / Dachshund mixes. They are all as sweet as can be but appear to have grown up with very little human contact. They were very dependent on each other but since arriving at our rescue they are learning that human love and attention can be a really good thing. They have also learned that humans can open treat bags and the refrigerator where the REALLY GOOD treats are housed.

Tomorrow, I am driving 3 hours to Inverness, Florida to meet Stella. I have been wanting to adopt a special needs dog from a puppy mill or an abandoned dog. Everyone knows that Erin and Annie are my BEST BEST FRIENDS, but I know we have room for a special girl that has never know love or had a home.

Wish us luck for the trip and that I pick the right dog that needs a home. I'll be leaving home at 8am to arrive at the shelter around 11am, so be thinking of us during those times!

I'm really excited, but am determined not to come home with a dog just because. She must be in need of a home that otherwise would be hard to find. I ask you? Were are the 3 legged dogs? Or the boney, hungry dogs? Stella does look a little too good to be true doesn't she? But we shall see!

You'll get an update as soon as I get home!
Good Evening

Sunday, June 7, 2009

There is a person, be it friend or family...

Soft Pastel on 6.25" by 9.5" grey velour
nfs, my personal collection

There is a person, be it friend or family, whose devotion is so complete, that before we know our own needs, they have been attended too.

There is a person, be it friend or family, who knows the song in our hearts and sings it to us when our memory fails.

There is a person, be it friend or family, who thinks that you are a good egg even though she knows that you are slightly cracked.

There is a person, be it friend or family, who celebrates your every success, mourns at you losses and stays with you when you are in need.

There is a friend who destiny forgot to give you as a sister. This is that person!

Happy Birthday, my friend, my sister.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sail away from the safe harbour

Evening Breezes
acrylic on 12" by 16" canvas sheet
can be mounted on foam core
SOLD to Sheila $60.00 including shipping

A romantic sunset sail is a perfect way to see brilliant stars, sunsets, full moons, and meteor showers.

This painting was done with a palette knife and the sea portion is coated with glass bead gel. It is very tactile.

To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thank you for looking,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twilight, again.

Twilight. again.
acrylic on 8" by 10" canvas board
nfs, Private Collection

I enjoy using iridescent and metallic colors. I also like using red. This painting satisfied both desires. I also used the palette knife for the background. Great fun!

Twilight, again. Another ending. No matter how perfect the day is, it always has to end.
Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, 2005

Thanks for looking,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When the old woman died, there was no one left to care

Alderson Magee, 1973
China Board Drawing

Four years before Susie was born, four years before the old woman knew the love of her life, nine years before Alderson Magee would draw this picture, I joined Horizon Club, Camp Fire Girls for Senior High School. That was in 1964. The adult leader of our club gave me this picture 44 years later.

Briefly, I met Pam, the daughter of our leader (Mrs. Pat Boney), a tall, shy, classic beauty. We slowly became fast friends and as the next 45 years rolled by, we became like sisters. It is because of my precious Annie (part of the name of my Blog), that Mrs. Boney, a licensed Estate Appraiser, gave me this picture.

The dogs name was Susie. On the back of the drawing, the old woman loving wrote:

"Susie, born November 5, 1968 - died July 20, 1981, 10pm"

If the fact TOW (the old woman - [I wish I knew her name, but I don't!]) commissioned this beautiful drawing wasn't enough to tell of her love of Susie, that one line of handwritten information tells volumes. I'm sure TOW thought Susie would be remembered forever, but that was not the way it was to be. When TOW passed away, perhaps there was family left, perhaps not. In any event, this drawing was discarded into an Estate Sale. Even worse, no one bought it.

Mrs. Boney realized it was very similar to my Annie and generously gave it to me. I have to admit, I didn't think that much about it until I myself became so interested and involved in art. I took another look at the drawing and realized its significance.

First, it is a magnificent piece of artwork. Alderson Magee, Sandy to his friends and family, began doing China Board Art in 1970. He is still living, born in 1929, but I don't know if he is still drawing or not. Perhaps he is best known for his 1976 -- Canada Geese -- Federal Duck Stamp.

But what tugs at my heart, what makes me cry is knowing that Susie again has someone to love her and carry into the future the love TOW felt for her.

Yes, they are gone. but through ART, caring and loving becomes immortal. I think it is a good idea to have a painting done of your beloved pet but remember to finish the story by writing on the back. Someone in the future will find the painting and remember there once was ... and now there is again!

Goodnight TOW, Goodnight Susie

Monday, June 1, 2009

Art Challenge #10: A Road Less Traveled

Liberal, MO
acrylic on 9" by 12" by 1.5" gallery wrapped canvas
available $60.00 including shipping
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In one of my Mother's Day post, I mentioned my Grandfather Scott "Doc" Wimmer was from Liberal, Missouri. Their home was occupied until early in the 1990's. Every year, we visited my grandparents in Southeast Kansas, and always took an afternoon to visit his brothers, Uncle Paul, Uncle Archie and his wife Aunt Dessie, and Aunt Dorothy. These were wonderful trips into a time gone by. I have many memories and stories about Liberal, perhaps I should start a Blog about my family, memories and the places they lived. Maybe...

I painted this picture for The Artist Challenge #10, A Road Less Traveled. It is interesting that some of the other entries showed what was at the end of that road. I guess I am too literal, I thought a road was a road! Maybe they will have that challenge again and I can paint a rainbow! Just kidding, I like my painting and would take that road anytime!

Along with the painting, I posted the following quote. I like it, so want to share it again here.

We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road / the one less traveled by / offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
Rachel Carson

Where does that road lead you?

The Virtual Paintout - May Challenge - Paris

3 Quai Voltaire, Paris
acrylic on 9" by 12" by 1.5" gallery wrapped canvas
SOLD, $60.00 including shipping

This is the most technical piece I've done. At one point I thought, I can't do it, I'll never have it ready for the challenge deadline! After giving up, I thought, one window at a time! Isn't that the way it is? If I had given up, I would not have been able to do it. By taking it one window at a time, I'm reminded of The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper! Just never thought of myself as a Little Engine!

What makes you A Little Engine?
Good Morning