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'In any land what is there more glorious than sunlight! Even here in the desert where it falls fierce and hot like a rain of meteors, it is the one supreme beauty to which all things pay allegiance ... The chief glory of the desert is its broad blaze of omnipresent light.'
-John Van Dyke

Monday, January 14, 2013

What can you do: Bunnies ARE cute

I usually avoid cuteness in my paintings. Beautiful colors and breathtaking light effects seem worthy challenges and their reproduction in a painting is usually a creative process. Just depicting an already beautiful face may be a challenge, but it's not art.. The same seems true of the image of an animal that appeals mostly through its big eyes, round face, fuzzy softness... I would have the same kind of problem with the fierceness of an eagle portrait...

But now I am painting a series of hares and bunnies. Please check out my natural history blog about Jackrabbits here. The first painting showed a Jackrabbit in a light-infused grassland. I just loved the bunches of dried cheat grass glowing in the afternoon sun.

Then I needed a wildlife portrait for a series of local animals and  found the long  Jackrabbit ears a nearly impossible composition challenge.

 The next one was vaguely inspired by Duerer's 'Ein Junger Hase' and was anything but cute. I used some old hot pressed paper and was unhappy how it handled, but the result wasn't bad and the painting sold the second time I showed it in a weekend show.

The next one was all about motion, and while the anatomical study of the  hare worked out fine, I am not quite happy with the high definition all over the painting - I think it should be blurred in places to further enhance the idea of rapid motion.

But the newest painting is of a back-lit Cottontail and - it's cute, nothing I can do about that. At least I stuck to a color scheme that is based on only blue and its complimentary burned orange ...In the end I liked it so much that I gave it a special barn wood frame and immediately produced a couple of 6x8 canvas prints.

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