Posts

Stupid Fat Hobbitses

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One of the things I enjoy painting is known as "altered art" what that means is that I find an unwanted painting at a yard sale or second hand shop, and I alter it, adding in an element of pop culture, normally. Usually I only alter part of it, and try to keep the additions looking like they are part of the original piece. Sometimes, if the painting was really amateur, I will enhance it a little, before adding another element. For this particular piece, however, it started out as altered art and just became an original painting. I started on a thrift store painting that was never finished. It was a tree with the outline of a child peeking out from behind it. It was just barely sketched in, with a little green painted in the background.  Some pieces just tell me what they need to be, and this one rasped, "Gollum! Gollum!"So I researched, and ended up using three different reference photos of Gollum and Andy Serkis, to draw out my Smiegol. I am not the greatest land…

Supernaturally Inspired

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As a portrait artist, it's challenging to find a way to demonstrate to the public my ability to create an accurate likeness, using private commissions and studies, because, well, nobody knows who these people are unless they are friends or family. They may be done well, may be a perfect likeness, but if you don't know them, you are not going to know if it truly captures their essence.This is one reason why I have created celebrity portraits. The majority of people can recognize them. Even if a portrait is done poorly, you can still get a likeness; but if you are really good at what you do, people will see and appreciate that.Right now, we are looking at the end of a 15 year television series being filmed this week. I am speaking of Supernatural. If you don't know what it is, it's about two attractive brothers, Sam and Dean, who are "hunters". They track down ghosts, vampires, werewolves, demons, and other things, with the help of their angel buddy Castiel. S…

Trophies

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Trophies is an original still life oil painting, that was painted in 2015 while I was still in art school, in an advanced still life painting class. I was able to choose my own subject matter, and wanted to do something different than the traditional fruit and pottery that often defines the still life genre. My husband and son are passionate hunters, and so I took inspiration from their pastime to create this one of a kind still life. This painting shows the tail feathers of a turkey shot by my son (good eating although somewhat tough), and an elk antler from a kill, from either my son or husband (also good eating!). It was really fun trying to make the feathers soft, the antler bumpy, and the gun shells look like shiny metal.This painting is available for sale from my website, www.dancingelephantart.com .

Night at the Baker Heritage Museum

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--This piece was originally published in 2015 but has been updated for the new blog format.
Early 2015, I received an invitation from Crossroads Carnegie Art Center, to come tour the Baker Heritage Museum. I, along with many other artists, went, and found inspiration for art in the artifacts, exhibits, stories, and people dressed and in character, at the museum. Upon entering the museum, one of the first people I met was a woman wrapped in a red feather boa, with a feather fan in her hand. Her real name is Elaine Logsdon, but her character's name was Diamond Lil. I imagined she had been a burlesque dancer in her youth, and now perhaps ran her own saloon and theater. I am sure she could tell some very interesting stories! I knew I had to paint her, and knew her personality would shine through on the canvas.


I decided with the other paintings I made for the museum, to be more creative in the composition. Instead of painting the entire object, I chose to crop it in a way that would be…

More Marbles

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Here are some more of my marbles. These were painted on 8x8" wood boards for the Little Big Show in Baker City, Oregon. Some of these sold, but some are still available at www.etsy.com/shop/AmyVanGaasbeckArtist . It's the perfect size canvas for these marble paintings. It's always so fun to see each marble turn from just shapes and colors to marbles. This one is called Big Blue. Many of these marbles were from a collection owned by one of my oil painting students, an elderly woman, who had a large jar full of them and they had been in her family for decades. This particular one was very old, and not perfectly round...just a little bit off. As an artist, I have to judge when to idealize and perfect something, like remove a blemish, leave out a few wrinkles, make someone thinner, or leave it in and embrace the imperfection. I decided to leave in the flaw in this marble, where you will see my others appear perfectly round, this one feels just slightly off, just by a hair. It&#…

Who Was Mona Lisa?

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There have been many theories as to the identity of Mona Lisa, the portrait painted by Leonardo Davinci. Some think it is a feminized self portrait. Some say it's DaVinci's lover.

I found an article in The Artist's Magazine that makes a very good case for the identity of LaGioconda. The article is called Who's That Girl? written by Katherine Mesch, in the June 2005 issue of the magazine. I read this many years ago and thought it was very interesting. I recently rediscovered the article and thought I would share it.

In this article, the author explains that "after 17 years of research, historian Maike Vogt-Luerssen ...claims that the Mona Lisa is really Isabella of Aragon, the former duchess of Milan." The paintings themselves give clues, as well as documents from that period in history,

She goes on to explain: "The woman is wearing heavy mournful garments (Isabella's mother died a year prior to the painting of the portrait--she would have still been …

Losing My Marbles Over Marbles

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I have recently fallen in love with painting marbles. The challenge of getting them perfectly round---not just round but getting these little glass globes to look like they have form. Distorting the image of what is behind its round surface, and making the surface look smooth and shiny. Oh, then there is the reflected light on the ground surface that is fun---the intense light in the center and the colored shadow surrounding it.

Prepare to see more of these types of paintings from me. They are intense. Each marble can take two hours to paint...so you can imagine how many hours any of these took!
Check out more of my work at www.dancingelephantart.com or go straight to my Etsy store, https://www.etsy.com/shop/AmyVanGaasbeckArtist .