Part of the reason to document the Peace Owl day-by-day is to demystify my creative process. It really is one bit at a time. One piece at a time. Every piece looks better because of the pieces that surround it. That’s the rule.
Peace Owl Pushback
Grateful, I am for kudos and for criticism that Peace Owl has generated.
Recently, one of his fans noted that he was “becoming decorative.” I think that she was saying that the background, comprised of Peace Owl’s best friend Mr. Magpie’s ribbon collection, is distracting. A fair point.
Why is this important?
Birders know that owls are very difficult to locate in the wild, because they are notoriously expert at blending into their backgrounds. Peace Owl is no different. His work requires travel — lots of travel — and participation in lengthy (sometimes tedious) meetings. Having a safe and comfortable nest is critical to his effective participation in the furtherance of World Peace. He is fortunate that Mr. Magpie continues to create safe spaces for him around the world.
Since 2009, dozens of flamingos have visited my studio, to sit for portraits, to tell stories, and to eat my snacks. They appear in The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul, watercolor and acrylic paintings, coloring book pages, and paper mosaics. Now they have a new Flamingo Friend on a shirt and The Flamingo T-Shirt is delighted to represent his friends.
Buying the Flamingo T-Shirt
The folks at Liquid Screen Design created a 3-week pop-up shop for artists to present and sell their work on T-shirts. Each limited edition shirt is $20 — $10 for the artist and $10 for production. The shop runs from 6/15 to 7/6/2020 features the Stained Glass Coloring Card Flamingo. Click here to order. Check out the rest of the shop. You’ll find designs from many artists.
Cave Painting Flamingos Cheering the Shirt
The 3-11s: 3 cats and 11 flamingos,
an internationally acclaimed acapella group,
cheer the T-shirt.
For anyone following the adventures of my small friends during the past nine years (cats, Robert the Tap Dancing Rooster and other birds, insects, elephants, horses, a cow, two warthogs, some dinosaurs, and hundreds of other creatures), there should be no surprise that this t-shirt production has caused some commotion.
The rising tide of public opinion in screeching, screaming, whistling, tootling, roaring and other noises demanding their appearances on t-shirts is overwhelming. Have no fear for my neighbors. I live in a land (apartment structure) that is sufficiently insulated to protect the outside world from the Noise of Whimsical Creatures. Whether the Small Friends Research Institute, which sponsors and supports my Wildlife Work, will get into the T-shirt business is not for me to say. Its management is in the hands of the Creatures Themselves.
Mona Lisa Marble Cat is painted on canvas with acrylic ink. Her favorite painting is The Mona Lisa, whose eyes famously follow the viewer around the room. Mona Lisa Marble Cat’s eyes do the same. Although she has been diagnosed with “wandering eye,” she prefers to believe that her eyes are those of her idol.
What a difference a day makes to a cat: October 28
Setting this cat in a bunch of neighborhoods is NOT like setting a cat among the pigeons. He is there to remind us all that we all look better, perform better, laugh more, and do our best work when we are surrounded by those from whom we can learn, which is a corollary of “every piece looks better because of the pieces that surround it.”
I finished the pencil drawing on October 28, covered it with Liquitex Clear Gesso, and started to paint on October 29.
The Neighborhood Cat is on a 16×20 stretched canvas. His face, yet to be determined/designed, makes him part of the Clowder of Cats. “Clowder,” as you may know, is the collective noun for “cat.”
As you might imagine, Max-the-Cat — model, muse and snacks manager — is the Model for the entire Clowder. Some of the original clowder paintings are for sale. All are available as prints ($25) or cards-with-envelopes ($4 each). Contact email@example.com. Billed through PayPal.
If you remember the Underground Music Cafe and the other names under which this Falcon Heights treasure has been over the years — rejoice. It is now the Eggroll Queen Cafe. It’s here. It’s now. And it has Life Affirming Blueberry Waffles and Eggrolls the Size of Burritos. AND LIVE MUSIC.
The Flamingo from the Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul will welcome you in the doorway.
My Friends and Neighborhoods show is almost ready to come down. That it took nearly a month to figure out how to get these images onto a small enough PowerPoint is a miracle. You may miss the show at the Cafe (it comes down on October 20), but here are the images:
The Blue-eyed Cat is part of an inter-species series of creatures who were delighted (in the nicest possible way) that I spent some of 2018 somewhat uninspired. Pushing on, following the “make art every day” principle, I made sheets and sheets of tiny abstract designs. I had an Artist Epiphany in October (an odd thing for a Jewish person, but an epiphany nonetheless), and realized that even if my Dear Departed Mother were to come back to life, that no one would buy any of these patterned sheets. Luckily enough, as a Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian, I am surrounded by creatures who were delighted to say “thank you for making our new body parts.”
Cats care exceedingly about their whiskers, and Red Cat is not exception. There was an enormous amount of caterwauling while the Red Cat was at Hair and Makeup. How short should his whiskers be? Were they shiny enough? The tricky one — do they match? — came in at a resounding “no,” be he was OK with that.
Red Cat, Red Roo, (District Spotlight Winner) and a menagerie of whimsical creatures will be at The Show Gallery, 346 N. Sibley Street, Saint Paul from Friday April 26 to Sunday April 28. The Gallery is half a block from the Green Line and a block from Union Station. It is super accessible because it is on the ground floor. Come to Saint Paul. See local artists. Support local artists. Thank you.
Click Here for Free Transit Passes for Saturday and Sunday!
As the 2019 Saint Paul Art Crawl approaches, my studio has been very very busy. Cats came and went. Cats came back. Cats lined up. Cats caterwauled. Cats waited patiently and impatiently for hair and makeup. They are looking forward to being at The Show Gallery in Lowertown.
Gray and White Cats for the Art Crawl*
The Gray and White Cats have waited very very patiently for some months as they haggled between themselves and with me (occasionally) about how their hair and makeup would work. We finally agreed on a mixture of acrylic paints, and acrylic mediums (Golden Clear Tar Gel).
Two Cats on Two Canvases for the Art Crawl*
These cats are Fraternal Twins who loved their many trips to hair, makeup, and wardrobe. In their minds, their costumes are covered with jewels and precious metals. Don’t confuse them with facts.
Purple Squirrels and Multi-colored Squirrels blend fact, fantasy, whimsy and weirdness.
As a Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian,I am always glad to see whimsy validated by actual, genuine fact-based reporting. Thank you, Smithsonian. Wandering your halls a child was one magical trip after another. Now that I live in Minnesota, I rely on the magazine and the web.
Purple Squirrels, as you may know (from reading my old blog post) are candidates whose qualifications make them impossible to find, let alone recruit. Consider searching for the patent attorney licensed in four states and three countries who speaks four languages and holds 14 patents. Good luck finding her.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Giant Multi-colored Squirrels (Malabar Giant Squirrel) roam the forests of Southern India. Is this a case of fact catching up with whimsy or the collision of fact and whimsy, or something else? Where is Charles Darwin when we need him?