Thought I'd give watercolors a try since it's been awhile. I find that painting in oils regularly has changed my watercolor style and although I don't normally like painting in watercolors, I very much enjoyed painting this.
I thought about doing this painting for two months and finally the right time came and it was painted in about 2-3 hours, almost as though it painted itself. It went by so quickly that I kept wanting to paint more, but it was done and I knew it.
I absolutely love this painting - I feel a soul to it.
This commission is of three Shiba Inu dogs which is an ancientbreed from Japan and was originally bred for hunting in mountainous terrain in wild shrubs. They are very intelligent and are a great size, about 15" tall. Shiba Inu is sometimes translated as "Little Brushwood Dog. It is one of the few ancient dog breeds still in existence in the world today.
The four smaller pets in the frames are of dogs that have past. The client wanted to honor all of her dogs, past and present and when I finished this, I felt it had kind of a "shrine" feeling to it.
This is one of those paintings that talks back to you.
I watched a movie the other night called "Facing the Habit" about the struggle of heroin addiction and new (successful) unconventional treatments. I was surprised at the end it said that 9 out of 10 addicts never recover. I don't need to tell you, that's pretty bad odds and another figure they threw out is that 500 new people try heroin everyday. That's pretty sad.
Well this brings us to this painting. I have always wanted to do a "stacked" painting and I was looking into my file of inspiration (not metaphorically, it's a real file) and pulled out the monkey, dog and orange and thought they looked really well together so I went with it and had a blast painting it. Later, I connected it to the addiction. The monkey is the burden of addiction and the addiction needs to be fed. It'll probably mean different things to everybody, but this is what it means to me.
oil on panel Sold to a collector in North Carolina
I will be in a Big Show at CoRK Arts District in Jacksonville March 10th - Here is the information. I hope you can make it!
Saturday, March 10, 2012 6-9PM
CoRK Arts District - West Gallery
2689 Rosselle St. Jacksonville, FL 32204
The Immortals Art Exhibition features the works of Clair Hartmann, Lee Harvey, Bruce Musser and Sharla Valeski. The four artists will be presenting new paintings, drawings and mix media works in the new CoRK Arts District - West Gallery located at 2689 Rosselle St. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Following the opening reception, the works will remain in the West gallery until the end of March and may be seen by appointment only.