Tag Archives: animals

Painted Ponies: Karen Keene Day

17 Sep

I’ve never been one of those horse-crazy girls.  You know the ones.  Oh, I read my share of Black Beauty and The Black Stallion when I was young, but I just never caught the equestrian obsession.  But we have been knee-deep in horse country here in Idaho and after seeing these creatures everyday, I can now understand the fascination.  In her paintings, artist Karen Keene Day perfectly captures the untamed beauty and spirit of American wild horses.

Moments with Wild Horses 79, 24×24

Powerful yet gentle and graceful, the horse often serves dutifully yet you can see in their eyes the longing to run free.

Moments with Wild Horses 81, 12×12

Moments with Wild Horses 116, 48×60

Through her use of simple painted line drawing juxtaposed with slashes of vibrant color, Day translates into her work the innate wildness of the animals and unique personality each one displays.

Moments with Wild Horses 84, 8×8

To see more of Karen Keene Day’s work, please visit her website.  The artist supports the work being done to keep wild horses safe by donating 3% of her commission on each sale to the National Mustang Association branch in Cortez, CO.

PS– If you’ve never seen the documentary Wild Horses & Renegades, I highly recommend it!

Artist found via Michael Mitchell Gallery.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Friday Finds: Anthropomorphically Artsy

14 Sep

These last four months of living on a lake in Northern Idaho has had its advantages, wildlife spotting being chief among them.  A favorite post-dinner activity of Mr. Forager & I is to take a long walk in the hopes of spotting a few deer, osprey, rabbits and lately, turkeys(!).  While Mr. F loves to fantasize about how awesome it would be to be a bird of prey, I tend to humanize the animals we see.  I like to think they are more like us than we realize.  Today, I’m featuring a few artists who seem to also love blending the line between humanity and the animal.

To Fall for Flattery by Nate Frizell

Beyond the Menagerie by Kareena Zerefos

Renard by Charlotte Caron

Sabrina Hornung

Nate Frizzel | Kareena Zerefos | Charlotte Caron | Sabrina Hornung 

I would love to commission Charlotte Caron to create a portrait of Mr. Forager as a grizzly bear– it would be his ultimate dream come true!  What animal do you see yourself as?

Charlotte Caron found via The Jealous Curator, Sabrina Hornung found via Lost at E Minor.  All images are from the artist’s websites, linked above.

Little Happy Somethings: Trish Grantham

8 Mar

Some days my happy mood gets kicked in the gut first thing in the morning.  This usually results from something I’ve read online that a) infuriates me, b) disgusts me, c) leaves me sick to my stomach and shaking my head in dismay, or d) all of the above, as was the case this morning.  So it is only fitting that the work of today’s artist, Portland’s Trish Grantham, is the perfect antidote for what ails me!

The Creators, mixed media, 54x24

Unapologetically sweet, Trish’s work is filled with joy-inducing imagery.  Masked-bandit-like birds, happily wise woodland creatures, smiling toast (!).. they all speak to me, saying “Hello! We’re here to remind you that the world is really a happy place filled with kind beings!”  Many of the world’s inhabitants have simply forgotten how to be truly grateful, gracious and happy.

The Creators Gather, mixed media, 24x12

Just as it is impossible to look into the face of a smiling child and not smile back, as I was looking through Trish’s portfolio, my pursed mouth and heavy heart where replaced by a light-hearted grin.

The Flight Instructor, mixed media, 30x36

This world can be an ugly place and for some reason, it seems, many of the people in it are striving to make it even more hostile, all for the sake of their fear of someone taking away something that never truly belonged to them.  We don’t own this world.  It owes us nothing.  Oh what a happier place it would be if the world were ruled by the creatures in Grantham’s work!  Instead of devouring the innocent, the wolf instead sets the baby birds free to live as they please.  Sure his belly may not be as full, but his heart will be bursting.

Free to Fly, mixed media

Sympathetic Sea, mixed media, 72x60

Trish’s work spoke to my weary heart this morning. I hope it speaks to yours and perhaps, instead of choosing bitterness and hate, you will instead choose joy.  I have.

To see more of Trish Grantham’s work, please check out her website.  If you happen to be in Portland, OR ( And if you are, how about sharing a little housing advice?  What areas are affordable but still nice & safe?  Hubby and I are looking to the future.. ), sorry for the sidetrack– you can see Trish’s work in Portland at Augen Gallery, a delightful contemporary gallery downtown.

Featured image is The Futurist, mixed media, 24×12. All images are via the artist’s website.

Fantastically Fanciful Fauna

19 Dec

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a bird-mouse..?  The work of today’s artist captures the whimsy and fantasy that defines this time of year.  French artist Corine Perier creates hybrid creatures that, despite the works’ surrealist quality seem completely real, not to mention irresistibly charming.

Le Trophee de la Chance, oil on wood panel, 46x38cm

Though whimsical in feel, these contemporary portraits remind us of the very real problem of species extinction on our ever changing planet.

Le Petit Prince, oil on wood panel, 27x22cm

Her amalgamated creatures stare out at us with wide, vulnerable eyes.  They appear kind and wise, resembling characters from fantastical lands like Narnia and Middle Earth, here to guide witless humans on their journey.

Renaissance, oil on wood panel

But in the eyes of some, there is an additional element.. perhaps fear, perhaps resignation to their fate at the hands of the very humans they wish to help?

Boule de Neige, oil on wood panel, 65x54cm

Camouflage, oil on wood panel, 27x22cm

To see more of Corine Perier’s gentle enchanters, please visit her website.  A big thank you to Myra Wexler aka YO MOMMA for introducing me to Corine’s work.  Be sure to check out Myra’s blog, too.  It’s full of awesome sauce.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Of a Mod Nature: Mary Chomenko Hinckley

1 Dec

Camisoles and combat boots.. cayenne and chocolate.. some things just don’t seem like they would go together.  Take, for example, the work of Mary Chomenko Hinckley.  This is an artist who enjoys finding the harmony in the disparate.

Golden Winged Warbler in Ellipse Field, digital pigment print on silver rag, 28x21, 40x30 or 52x40

Like pairing the detailed natural images of ordinary birds against mod-style backgrounds whose colors may echo or complement those of the bird, but the contemporary patterns give these ol’ birds a new spin.

Belted Kingfisher, Unique Variant 3/5 Digital Pigment Print and Colored Pencil on German Paper, 28x21

In her work, the artist is exposing the relationship between objects that seem completely unrelated.  By juxtaposing these seemingly incongruent objects, she finds harmony in the new relationship.  Plus, I think they give these guys the cheeky little personalities they deserve.  Birds are fun, what can I say?

Red Bellied Woodpecker in Ellipse Field, digital pigment print on silver rag, 28x21, 40x30 or 52x40

Gannet in Ellipse Field, digital pigment print on silver rag, 28x21, 40x30 or 52x40

To see more of Mary Chomenko Hinckley’s fine feathered friends and her other work, please visit her website.

Featured image is Pileated Woodpecker in Ellipse Field, digital pigment print on silver rag, 28×21, 40×30 or 52×40.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Savage Beauty: Madeleine Peck-Wagner

19 Aug

Madeleine Peck-Wagner has a way of taking subjects that could be trite and making them extraordinary.  Her latest series features mythical wolves and horses, but in Madeline’s hands, they are treated in a way that is contemporary and elegant.  The cross-hatching & precision of the lines are reminiscent of architectural drafting, giving the figures depicted a strutctural, landscaped quality.  Conversely, blots and washes of brightly colored paints call to the spiritual significance such animals, both living and decayed possess.

Fighting Hessians

Russian Winter II

Wolves At The Door

We Are All Tragedies

To see more of Madeleine’s work, visit her art blog, Art Isn’t Rocket Science or visit Jen Jones Art Consulting.

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