Here in the valley we have Jack Rabbits and they always make me smile when I see them hopping along in the pasture. Their ears are long but I decided to paint this little Jack Rabbit close up to show off his big brown eyes. "Jack #1" is the first in a series of three Jack Rabbits for a triptych series. Finding this little Jack Rabbit made for, "A Painting Day".
This winter, I've been aching for peaceful, snowy days that make the world a lot quieter and hot chocolate all the more delicious.
Since it's mostly just a rainy mess out here in Washington, I found a lot of my atmospheric inspiration from reading a poem by Joanna Klink called "Porch In Snow." It helped to put me in the right mindset for this painting. Originally featured in Klink's amazing book of poetry called Circadian, I first came upon "Porch In Snow" in an absolutely outstanding anthology called Montana Women Writers: A Geography of the Heart (seriously...this is an amazing book. I highly recommend it). Klink is a professor of graduate creative writing at the University of Montana-Missoula.
I just want to share a few lines here to give you an idea of how lovely it is...but you should read the full version via Google Books' preview of Montana Women Writers here. I hate to excerpt from poetry, since the poetry gets so mangled as a result...it's especially hard to share a brief excerpt of Klink's poetry, since every line is so darn good.
"There you are, snow filling the air,
in the midst of silence [...]
Winter, there is no prayer but this,
to hold fast in the time of few choices.
An animal moves through the backyards, its eyes
precise and lit, the premise of everything I believe"
-Joanna Klink, excerpted from "Porch In Snow", from Circadian (Penguin: 2007)
Isn't that just stunning? I hope you'll check out Klink's work and find as much inspiration in her poetry as I have.
I have a soft spot in my heart for chickens. We keep 4 hens in our backyard, and besides the delicious fresh eggs they provide, they also make surprisingly great pets. We've handled them since they were chicks, so they're incredibly tame and like to follow us around the yard when we let them out of their enclosure. David & I have even recently started a blog about our chickens, since we've been getting a surprising number of emails with questions about raising an urban flock.
Sandhill cranes are attentive parents. We watched the family for a few hours as the parents poked about for marsh voles and other delicacies placing them a few feet away from the youngster and watching to be sure the meal was eaten.
Silent Witness acrylic on canvas 24" x 12" $525 + $30 shipping (contact)
This was my first attempt at painting a cougar. It's amazing how much my own housecats resemble this impressive animal. Cougars are the largest cats that can purr (to the best of my knowledge...scientists are still debating, apparently).
For my Seattle show in December, we hung this painting right next to Little Bighorns...it was a bit eerie but had a pretty interesting visual effect.
He crouched low and long on the road, Low and long and golden against The leaves, watching pensively, A damp sphinx of the woods. -Keith Holyoak, from "The Cougar"