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Many of these pictures are printed as Christmas cards!

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The Best Works Gallery

I have volunteered to paint an 8' x 8' mural at Burning Man on plywood in the hot sun, and the theme is "Da Vinci's Workshop" this year. What better than to paint the Mona Lisa... as the Mona Weena?? This is my prototype, a 3' x 3' canvas. I hope to use math to extrapolate once I'm out there and carefully recreate it. I'll definitely post pictures of how it comes out... or even better, maybe you'll see it on the internet!!

Friends of mine are getting married in August and they asked me to paint their dog. I love doing pet portraits and volunteered quickly. My friend mentioned that it would be funny if the dog was in a Star Trek uniform, and I took off with that idea. I painted a hole because Tramp loves to dig holes, and after much careful thought, I put a skunk in there too (with a space helmet of course.) The unicorn in the background is just pure whimsy to make the painting silly. I'm looking forward to their expressions when they see the painting!

My friends just had a lovely baby and named her Wren, and asked me to paint a painting for her nursery. I decided to paint the 4 main types of wrens we frequently see here in Boise, and carefully drew in some colorful backgrounds. Then when done with the acrylic, I used a permanent calligraphy pen to write in each type of bird and their latin name. I hope she enjoys it for many years to come!  

I recently delved away from my typical canvas art and painted a few mailboxes (they're on my site under the acrylic art.) Painting mailboxes isn't hard, but getting the paint to STAY on the mailbox properly is. I have now perfected my technique; I sand the mailbox entirely (use find grain, the rougher stuff will scratch the paint too deeply.) Then I apply flat black or white paint. Then I paint my design with outdoor acrylics. Then I apply a few coats of cleacoat on top to make it shiny again.

I went on a spree and added 3 new watercolors, all of which I've done this month. First is "where's my son", which I did watercolor and pen and ink for a very good friend of mine. It's based off a picture in a magazine that he gave me and I painted it so he could give it to his dad.The other two drawings, Clutch and Davey Jones, are paintings I did for friends of mine for their birthdays; Clutch asked me to paint something that represented the saying "whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there", so I painted half a compass and half a clock.

I am thinking about doing a series of emotions now that I've completed this acrylic, Rage. I personally love the Hulk character and I've often wondered what would happen if I just Hulk'ed out at work and began throwing desks and chairs and busting through walls (ok, it's a fantasy, I admit it.) This one is a bit of a self-portrait; I painted a version of myself in the foreground, wanting the Hulk behind me to represent my true feelings of rage and what they look like. Both faces (the girl and the Hulk) took the longest to get right. 

I painted this for a friend of mine who tries to make it to Burning Man every year. This is acrylic on canvas, and was actually made from 2 pictures; one of the sunset and one of the burning man. The sunset was rather easy for me to paint- it was a nice peach contrast behind the black mountains.

It's been a while since I've done some art to post on the site (I've actually been painting the kitchen cabinets, which is not going to be posted here, ha!)I saw a picture of a Chinese dragon online and I thought OMG... those are kind of the same shape as a ween- long and sleek! How funny would it be to make a Chinese dragon ween, with floppy ears? I also looked forward to doing a really colorful picture. The last one I painted, with the snow and the weens playing in it, was very pale and hard to copy without a professional copier.

My poor sister in law Suzy just lost her wiener dog Ranger. He was a very sweet and very spoiled dapple dachshund. She sent me a few pictures and asked me to do a "in memory of" portrait of him. I had a lot of trouble getting the eyes just right on this one- he had his head cocked quizically in the picture, and the eyes kept wanting to be crooked. This was watercolor, no ink. I think it turned out very well- I wouldn't have sent it to her otherwise. I wonder what it would have been like in acrylic? I might do another one of her pictures in acrylic just to see.

I just completed another acrylic painting, this one entitled GARVEE monster. There's quite a story behind this one. A good friend of mine, Amy, works with me, and was in charge of the entire GARVEE program. It was a bonding program in my state where she was tasked with spending the bonds to produce huge projects chosen by the Legislature on time and under budget- no easy task! It was a multi-million, multi-year process and she did an incredible job with it.One day I was talking to one of the engineers I work with and he jokingly referred to Amy as the GARVEE monster.