Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Greyhound painting is finished!

Retired Racer
11 x 14" oil on canvas
© 2010 Kathleen Coy

I thoroughly enjoyed this painting from start to finish. Not only are brindle dogs very beautiful, the brindle coat pattern is a lot of fun to paint! Here are a few photos of the process:

The toned canvas and underpainting:

A shot of the reference photo in the background. The background is started, along with the top half of his head:

Coming along nicely:

And once again, the finished painting. I love the colors, his expression, the gold metal on his collar, and the silver tag.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process of this piece.

Much love,

Monday, November 29, 2010

New studio furniture, new art, and a Greyhound painting in progress

It's been a very busy November! I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I'm very thankful for my husband and the new studio furniture he built for me. I have much more workspace now, as well as file cabinets and drawers, vertical storage for paintings, and shelves. It spans two whole walls of the studio, and the tops are covered in glass so I don't have to worry about getting paint on them!

I love this time of year, and enjoyed several days of hiking in the Loess Hills.

The fall colors of the prairie grasses never fail to take my breath away. I took two separate Plein Air outings (painting on location) to paint at 300 acres of restored native prairie and oak savanna that belongs to the neighbor of a friend. Like most of Iowa, the surrounding land is agricultural fields, but when you're standing alone on this restored landscape with prairie surrounding you as far as you can see, they might as well be a million miles away. It's very surreal, like stepping back in time. I'm very thankful for the hard work and care the landowner put into restoring this land, (and for allowing me to paint there!)

These photos are from the first day I painted there. I was actually waiting for an overcast day:

And the finished painting:

12 x 9" oil on linen
© 2010 Kathleen Coy

The next day I painted there, I walked a little further for a different view:

Since this is the first year I've painted landscapes, I'm still experimenting. This one took an abstract turn... I wanted to try to capture how it felt to stand there surrounded by these beautiful tall grasses and oaks, with no sound except for the wind, and the thoughts of how agriculture has changed the land of the Midwest. It was haunting, and I tried to capture that.

20 x 10" oil on canvas
© 2010 Kathleen Coy

And finally, here's the Greyhound painting I'm working on. It's not finished, still a ways to go, but I'm having a lot of fun with this one! His name is Petro. It's 11 x 14" oil on canvas.

He should be finished in a day or two. I'll post an update with more photos.

Until then, much love,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cat Portraits - Sen-Chan and Yuu-Chan

The portrait commission of two Abyssinian cats are finished and I love how they turned out. This is Sen-Chan's portrait, and the background may be my favorite I've painted yet:

Sen-Chan, 12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas
© 2010 Kathleen Coy

And this is Yuu-Chan's portrait. I love the back lighting:

Yuu-Chan, 12 x 12 inch oil on canvas
© 2010 Kathleen Coy

Both of these cats have left us, but they will remain forever young in their portraits. I hope the paintings bring happy memories to their human every time she sees them. I know she misses them terribly.

I got to deliver the portraits in person, which was great fun for me, as many buyers are not local, and their paintings are usually sent by mail. She lives very far away, but was visiting a town near me last week for a horse show, so it worked out perfectly!

Here's a photo of the two of us with the portraits. "#1", as she is known on her blog, is a brilliant, charming, and fascinating woman, and I'm so glad we got to meet in person.

Much love,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bittersweet works in progress

I was contacted by a fellow blogger about portraits of two of her Abyssinian cats who had passed away - Sen-Chan in 2009, and very recently, her beloved Yuu-Chan.

The portraits are both 12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas. I've started with a monochromatic underpainting. This is Sen-Chan:

And this is Yuu-Chan:

I'm blocking in the color on Yuu-Chan in this photo. Once that's finished, I'll go back and refine and add detail. Still lots of work to do. I love the colors, and the backlit ears:

I'm honored to be chosen to paint these two gorgeous, and very loved companions. I love being able to create art that has such meaning for someone, art that brings a smile and helps to ease the pain of loss. I know that the portrait I painted of my dog Benny has been a great comfort to me since he passed last year.

Her blog is called The Poupounette and it's one of the most charming blogs I've ever read. When I have time, I plan to go back and read it through to the very beginning.

Stay tuned for more progress on the portraits...
Until then,

Much love,

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Rat Terrier painting - Keeping Watch

Keeping Watch
© 2010 Kathleen Coy
10 x 8 inch, Oil on Ampersand Gessoboard

This is my first dog portrait in oils, and it definitely won't be the last. I'm very happy with this painting, the richness and the bold composition mirror Cloud's personality and intense gaze perfectly.

For those who don't know, this is my Rat Terrier, Cloud, and he's a favorite subject of mine to paint. This is my fifth painting of him, but my first in oils. (The others are in acrylics.) I decided to try oil paints this month because I was getting frustrated with the acrylic paints drying too fast when I paint on location.

So why did I choose acrylic paints over oils in the first place, anyway? True story - my mother paints with oils and I had to be different than my mother! That's it. Dumb reason, I know... **blushes**

Well, the oils really are great and I do love working with them. Oh god, I'm just like my mother...

Just kidding, my mother is a wonderful person! I love you mom!!

I thought you might enjoy this photo I took as I was working. The painting, the reference photo, and the sketch together. Three steps of the process:

Much love,

Monday, September 6, 2010

Landscape painting - Late Afternoon Hay Bales

Late Afternoon Hay Bales
8 x 8 inch, acrylic
© 2010 Kathleen Coy

I took some photos of hay bales last month driving through western Nebraska, thinking how much fun they would be to paint, and I was right... they are. This may be the beginning of a hay bale obsession...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My largest painting to date - Bear Medicine

Bear Medicine, 24 x 30" Acrylic on canvas
© 2010 Kathleen Coy

I started this Black Bear painting in March, but put it on hold for a while and just now finished it this week. I wanted this painting to have a very dreamy and otherworldly feel to it. Bear symbolizes awakening, and has been seen in many cultures as a spirit helper. I knew this painting needed to be very large and bold, to help convey the bear's size, strength, and power.

This painting is very textured throughout, some of which you can see in the photo. Once again, my beloved earth based color palette came through for me. I love painting with only a few colors!

I hope you enjoy it, too!

Much love,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Martin's portrait is finished!

Martin © 2010 Kathleen Coy
11 x 14 inches Acrylic on Ampersand Gessoboard

Martin's portrait is finished. It was an honor to paint this beautiful boy. In case you missed Martin's story, he was one of 28 greyhounds and mixes that were seized in a cruelty case in Texas. Everyone who saw the photos of these dogs was horrified. And as more photos became available, everyone fell in love with Martin. Along with his extraordinary beauty, his eyes radiated pure love, even after everything he had been through.

Even though Martin's poor body was too weak to recover, for three weeks he got to know what it meant to be loved. To have a home, to have toys, good food, and a soft bed. He got to know that people are good. To me, Martin represented the face of 'The 28.' This painting is a tribute to everyone involved in pet rescue and fostering everywhere.

Auction and print details to come...

Much love,

Saturday, August 21, 2010

More work on Martin's portrait

I've done some more work on Martin. If you recall, I had sketched him on the canvas, then changed his ears to make them look less pained and afraid. Despite his circumstances, I want this painting to be a remembrance that he got to experience the love of a family, even if it was oh so briefly, before he passed on.

I'm happy to report that many of the other dogs seized in the case are improving greatly! See the previous post if you missed the story.

Now, on to the progress photos of Martin's portrait:

First I tone the canvas to create a beautiful soft glow:

And start blocking in the dark areas:

Starting his eyes and nose here. Those eyes that look right through to your soul. Those eyes that still loved people even after the abuse he went through. The eyes that made people around the world fall in love with Martin the moment they saw his photos...

Starting on his muzzle and refining his fur patterns here:

Working on his beautiful coat and starting on the background. There's still a lot of work to go, and once everything is blocked in, I'll go back and refine things.

I'm extremely happy with this painting so far. It feels like it's coming straight from my soul.

Hopefully the next post will show his completed portrait. Stay tuned...

Much love,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Martin Greyhound

Martin was one of 28 dogs seized in a high profile hoarding case in Fort Worth, TX. Sadly, Martin and three other greyhounds didn't survive. He did get to know love, kindness, good food and comfort in his short time with his foster family.

This painting is dedicated to everyone involved with the rescue, care, fostering, and financial support of these dogs. I chose Martin to represent the 28, because there was something very special about him... he touched so many people's lives with his extraordinary beauty and sweetness. Thank you to his foster mother for allowing me to use his photo.

I sketched him on the canvas with his ears as they were in the photo. So sweet, but also troubled...

I decided to change his ears and perked them up a little. I want this painting to represent the love and hope for the future that these abused dogs found, and I think these ears help to portray that...

Martin is now ready for color! Stay tuned...
Painting specs: 11 x 14 inches, acrylic on Ampersand Gessoboard.

If you haven't heard about this case and want to learn more, you can find info here, but be prepared, there are graphic photos.

May all dogs be loved...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer is...

This Summer is...

Painting on location:


My husband and Cloud going for a walk in the clouds:

A campsite with a view:

If you're awake to see it...

Flowers and butterflies:

A boat ride with friends:

A beautiful sunrise:

And gorgeous sunsets:

The weather in most of the country is incredibly hot right now, but Summer will be gone before we know it. I hope everyone is having a good one...

Much love,