Wednesday, March 31, 2010

23rd Annual Coastal National Juried Exhibit

Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend myself, but two of my paintings will be in the gallery... just a stone's throw from the pier on St. Simons Island.  Please go by the show if you get the chance and let me know what you think.  There are some super artists every year in this much anticipated coastal show.  I'm so honored to have been juried into it this year!

Good news from EBSQ

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Pat Burns

by Amanda Makepeace on March 30, 2010
This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is a fellow Georgia artist with a passion for nature and wildlife. More recently she’s turned her attention to capturing moments in life that sometimes go unseen, but no matter what she’s painting her art is full of heart.

Wow... thanks, Amanda!  Click here to read my interview yesterday with Amanda.

Carrot Top

"Carrot Top"
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite

I snapped a few pictures of this fiery redhead several years ago at an outdoor festival being held on the street where she and her rather rotund cat lived.  Actually I had a booth set up right in front of her house.  This cat was fearless... weaving in and out of everybody and everything.  Even the live jazz band didn't phase him.  Her dad asked her to put him in the house for fear that he would get lost or wind up packed away in someone's stuff at the end of the day.  What a great pair they make!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunset Tom

"Sunset Tom"  ...a 'Spirit in Stone'
18" x 28" acrylic on blue shalimar

This is another of the stones that I have reserved over the years for display.  The relief and textures are absolutely amazing!  That God can carve out these creatures in perfect conformation and allow me to see them just amazing... I can't think of a better word.  It just gives me goosebumps to find such a stone as this!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pink: with Attitude!

"Pink: with Attitude!"
6" x 6" acrylic on gessoed masonite

Our cat, Morris, has perfected the "drop dead!"  look.  I had intended on painting the background of this little 'funsie' green to match his eyes, but that look just begged to say, "So I like pink...wanna make something of it?!"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pond Jewels - modified's a good reason to have a blog.  Once I posted the picture and really looked at it and read what I said, I thought "Well, if the sunlight needs enhancing on larger piece, couldn't it stand enhancing on this one?  And that crazy little goldfish swimming right out of the bottom of the painting needs to go!"  So, instead of just editing my post, I edited the painting and re-posted to let you see what those changes look like.  Another very frustrating thing when you work with dark transparent glazes: the scanner loses so much of the subtle color going on in the shadows, but if I take it outside in sunlight, I lose the details in the flower and get reflective bounce all over the place; so you'll have to imagine it somewhere in between.  One of these days I'm going to set up a photo box!

Pond Jewels - a study

"Pond Jewels"
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite
I must admit that I spent quite a while on this one trying out different water effects... ultimately trying to get too much information into such a small format.  I never bored with it, though, and have decided to use it as a study for a larger painting.  Water needs to be "swished" and that's hard to do for me on such a small scale. Give me a small brush and I get carried away with the details!  I do love all the dark shadows and that one spot of bright sunshine, which I think could be enhanced in a larger piece.  My goldfish are much larger now.  I've got one that is about 5 years old that my son says is ready for the frying pan. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010


20" x 36" acrylic on blue shalimar
...a 'Spirit in Stone'

Here's another BIG stone!  I can see this one embedded in the rock of a fireplace above the mantel, can't you?  The relief on the eagle is a good half inch or more.  Even the antlers are in relief.  There are actually two winter-beaten wolves in there... do you see the second shadowy one?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lion King

"Lion King"
24" x 26" acrylic on blue shalimar

This large 'Spirit in Stone' has also been a part of my private collection .  It has been great a display piece when I do demonstrations at schools or art associations. He just oozes 'majesty'!  Again, it's nearly impossible to appreciate him without feeling the texture and the 3-D relief of the stone.
If you want to paint on stones, let me suggest that you scrub, rinse and dry them really well.  I do not prime them, preferring to use as much of the stones natural color and texture as possible.  I use Winsor-Newton finest artist's grade tube acrylic.  Other brands do not adhere well.  Allow to completely dry then give it a coat of poly-acrylic to seal the stone.  If it will be displayed outdoors, you will want to add more coats and seal the back and sides as well.  I've got one that has been in my garden for 10 years with little sign of wear.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Four Seasons in Birds


All of these are 8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite and I plan to frame them alike for the upcoming show.  That way, they can be bought as a set if desired.  I chose to paint birds and flowers as I find them in my own yard here in Georgia during the four seasons.  I'm presently working on a larger piece that has this same warm lavender background that I find yummy... I even have two walls in my livingroom in it!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

EBSQ Art of the Day

"School Days" was selected as 'Art of the Day' on the EBSQ site today as they close out a week of highlighting the color yellow.  As such, it was emailed out to over 12,000 subscribers... WooHoo!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Out of Africa

"Out of Africa"
18" x 28" blue shalimar stone mounted on 24" x 36" panel
...a 'Spirit in Stone'

This is an older of only six stones that I have not put up for sale because they are so difficult to find in this size.  Please do enlarge and check out the texture in this old bull's is amazing!  I mounted this one (no easy feat due to its' weight) because the stone gets thinner at the edge of the ears and shalimar will break if dropped.  The edges can also cut you if thin, as I have found out.  I have enjoyed this in my home for about ten years and I'm considering making it available at the solo show in April, along with several others that I've enjoyed as long.  It's a hard decision, though, as this old boy has become a member of the family.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

'Spirits in Stone'

For the past two weeks I've been painting 'Spirits in Stone' for my upcoming solo show.  Let me explain.  I take a stone as I find it in nature and look at the shapes, textures and colors that I find... much like looking for images in clouds.  Then I paint what I see without altering the stone... no chipping allowed!  I hesitate to present them in photographs because the only way to truly experience them is to put your hands on them.  Feel them.  Each stone is a gift, waiting to tell us something of our connection to the Earth, to Time and to the Creator... I am just an interpreter.  Here are a few:
"Avoiding the Badger"
8" x 25"
"Elephant Walk"
8" x 14"
"Polar Scent"
10" x 18"

So far I have 14 with high hopes of having 24 to offer at my show.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The foxes are finished!

"Georgia Red"
30" x 40" acrylic on deep gallery-wrapped canvas

After applying the marvelous suggestions from Deb Pero and Debbie Anderson, I'm calling this one finished.  I like the way the colors harmonize now.  I removed what Debbie called a 'cinnamon bun' root that was distracting as well as adding the warm reflected light that Deb suggested.  Thanks, you two!  I really believe this is a much stronger composition than the original and I certainly learned a lot by going back into it.
This painting, along with about 50 others at last count, will be available at my solo show in late April at Art on the Avenue in Macon, GA.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Deb Pero's helpful critique on the foxes

Friend and super-artist, Deb Pero, sent me this fabulous critique with the above photo-shopped image:

Hi Pat, this is a really interesting piece. I like it quite a bit, and have spent some time really comparing the before and after versions.
I like the simplified foreground, and I think the new pose of the mom makes quite a dramatic difference - much more focused and intense center of interest.

Here's my thoughts.  Since sunlight is warm in temperature, the reflected light bouncing back up onto the mother fox's neck and head will also have some of that warmth
in it.  I think if you added some warmer temperature color into that bounced light, then there will be a greater feeling of sunlight.  The kits, being in the shadow, will be cooler, but they almost look TOO gray to me.. perhaps a cooler version of their light reddish/gold coats - yellow ocher or some alizarin mixed in.

I tried to simulate this in photoshop, but it's like painting in gummy worms (as Stapleton says) so it's pretty crude. the white arrows indicate places where you could have some of the warm light bouncing up, and the blue circles are places where you could have a cooler version of the kit's golden coats, instead of all blue shadows.The right color was hard to find there just drawing it in, more subtle than I could do with the brush tool, but maybe you can get the idea.   I also blurred it so that the abrupt color changes of my blobby scribbles were less noticeable.

Well, you asked for thoughts, and that's mine. I  hope it is helpful.

It will probably be Monday before I can play with these great tips, along with a few from Debbie Anderson, another great artist friend who saw it in person to critique.  Thanks to both of you for taking your valuable time to help me grow!  I know these tips will help others, too, so I share them here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Revisiting "Georgia Red"

One of my goals this year is to revisit a few paintings as part of the learning process.  I've been playing with this 30"x 40" acrylic on deep gallery-wrapped canvas one for the last two days... see the 'before' below.  It's still a work in progress, but I need to sleep on it and look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow.  The funny thing is that I thought I liked this painting when I finished it back in 2008.  Sometimes it's best to gesso over a problem painting and go at it fresh, but I have learned a LOT from this one by tackling some weak points. Critiques are very much welcomed in the comments!  

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Miss Peck with Chicks

"Miss Peck with Chicks"
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoed masonite

Yesterday I showed you these same three chicks at the half-grown stage.  Stands to reason that I would now show you these cuties about a week old.  Miss Peck made the greatest mother.. nothing, and I do mean NOTHING ! ... could come close to those chicks without being confronted.  We have eight cats and every one of them would cross the yard to avoid getting anywhere near her baby bits of fluff.  As a result, all of her chicks grew to adulthood and are now supplying us with bug control, eggs and entertainment.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bug Patrol

"Bug Patrol"
8" x 16" acrylic on gessoed masonite

These three half-grown chicks take a hard look before they leap.  If it had been their mother, Miss Peck, that grasshopper would already be gone!