Friday, November 22, 2013

Small Works, Principle Gallery

Proud Mama
11" x 14" 
oil on panel

Henny Penny
14" x 11"
oil on panel

Circus Dog
16" x 12"
oil on panel

Principle Gallery 
Small Work Show 
December 7th, 2013.

I am honored to be featured among 
Michael Lynn Adoms, Jorge Alberto, Rett Ashby,
Mia Bergeron, Candice Bohannon, Ryan Brown, Casey Childs,
Scott Conary, Elizabeth Floyd, Kelli Folsom,
Felicia Forte, Douglas Fryer, Greg Gandy,
Lisa Gloria, Tanya Harsch, Tara Keefe, Jeremy Mann,
Brian Martin, Lisa Noonis, Larry Preston, Cindy Procious,
Paula Rubino, Robert Stark, and Terry Strickland.

For for information visit
208 King Street
Alexandria, VA

Henny Penny

Henny Penny
14" x 11"
oil on panel

Children love chickens. 
They are puffy soft when they are chicks, 
and very humorous when they are grown up.
For a while we lived next door to some chickens.
 I will never forget when our daughter, 
who was maybe 1 1/2 years of age
discovered that chickens, well, that they poop.
For some reason she couldn't believe it.
That was her favorite funny line for a few years, 
guaranteed to get a belly laugh out of her.

I started to think about pull toys. 
They were created for small children
so they could  walk their little animal friends. 
Then I wondered. . .
Would people walk real chickens on leashes? 
That is the next step to the pull toy.
Walking the real thing right. . .

Yes, yes there are people who walk chickens on a leash.
Pictured above is a chicken from Sydney, Australia who is walked. 
This chicken also looks simular to my Henny Penny.

I also found an article at Blue Egg Blue Egg 
that tells you how to train
your chicken and what kind of harness to use. 

The toy featured in my painting is the
1958 Fisher Price Cackling Hen No. 120.
When you pull her along her wings flap and she cackles. 
Mine is missing her pull string.

I really like the idea of painting these toys as a portrait.
The same way one would paint a portrait of a person, 
cropped to the shoulders, trying to capture their personality. 
In the case of these toys, showing their wear and tear and age.

oil on linen

One other time I painted a toy portrait 
in this way. Above is Moo from 2011.

Henny Penny
14" x 11"
oil on panel

Henny Penny  

Henny Penny
will be showing at
Principle Gallery
Small Works Show
Opening December 7th, 2013
208 King Street
Alexandria, VA

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Circus Dog

Circus Dog
16" x 12"
oil on panel

Growing up we had a lot of animals around. 
A pet dog Frank, a kind of grumpy Irish Setter,
 and barn cats who I think would have done anything 
for food that wasn't mice or dry cat food.
I was so intrigued about circuses, 
especially circus dogs and circus horses. 
I gave up on Frank learning tricks. 
We later got a little dog named Buttons.  
She was very smart and learned many tricks. 
SO fun. She would sit up, beg,
roll over, and play dead. I felt especially proud when 
I taught her to jump through a hula-hoop.
I would have her perform for my parents in the living room, 
with me pretending to be in the circus.
It was great!

This is what the Ringling Circus Museum 
has to say about the history of circus dogs:
"Performing dogs were often strays or purchased from the pound, because these mixed breed dogs were usually very intelligent and learned tricks quickly. The dogs traveled in special accommodations. Wagons 99 and 98 were designed specifically for the dogs, with each animal having its own space in the wagon. In between performances, the dogs were kept in outdoor kennels."


I may not have a dog that knows how to jump rope, 
or a circus horse to do riding tricks on,
but I have not lost hope of either. 
A girl can still dream.
But I do have my toys for creative inspiration.

This red circus dog is a 1950's Cracker Jack 
toy prize made by NosCo. Cracker Jack's had a whole series of circus animals and acrobats.

Setting up for this composition 
I made the flags and created the 
box with the curtains.

completed painting
 Circus Dog

detail from painting

Circus Dog 
will be showing at 
Principle Gallery

Small Works Show
December 7th, 2013
208 King Street
Alexandria, VA