Here is the piece I did in Vie Dunn-Har's workshop last week. I am extremely pleased with it and am going to endeavor to use this technique in more of my animal paintings. This was so much fun to do. I've used abstract backgrounds in my animal paintings before, but this was much stronger than I was used to, and it works so much better. Vie does masterful botanical paintings and I would not even consider coming close to her lush foliage, but this gave me some ideas of how to present animals in a more interesting background.
This was done on 20"x 24" linen canvas, and we used a medium, unlike I normally do with my landscapes, where I use the gessoed panels and only turp to work the oil paint. It certainly made the paint flow freely.
I struggled the first day with the medium and the canvas and the subject matter, but learned a lot from that effort. The second day of the workshop I was able to start this and it suddenly became much more than I had anticipated. I did most of the finish on it the second day and tuned it up a little in my home studio this week, but I think it's done now and it is going to hang on my studio wall as a reference for future paintings.
The cat is our own Zelda. I used a photo of her sitting smugly on Steve's knee in front of the burning fireplace this winter. Steve's knee became the tree branch but the arrogance only cat's can produce is all Zelda.
I sure hope you all like this as much as I do.