Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Odd Couple

5" x 7" graphite sketch on paper, copyright 2013 Tina M. Welter
"Odd Couple" 5"x 7"graphite sketch on paper, c. 2013 TMW
Does anyone remember the old tv show the "Odd Couple"?  The show was about two male friends, Felix and Oscar, whose wives had thrown them out of their respective houses.  Felix liked his space painfully neat and Oscar was absolutely messy– the tension between the two friends equaled fun for the viewing audience.

When I saw the picture of Dr. Iroh, the cat with the peaceful Buddha smile and Maiyu with her intense, wide open eyes,  I loved the contrast between the personalities of these two cat friends.  I have been purposefully looking for ideas and images that have that productive tension, that "what happens next?" part of the story that keeps us interested and watching to see what will happen.

I tried a sketch first to see if I thought the image would work as a painting.  The arrangement and lighting on the cats could be a challenge, but I did like the sketch enough to consider it.  Thanks again to Jackie Gratton for this cool photo of your cats that inspired me.

If anyone else has some "cool cat" pictures of their own they want to share with me, let me know.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Elusively Allures

7"x 5" oil on "Gessobord" copyright 2013 Tina M. Welter
"Will-o-the-Wisp" 7"x 5" oil on "Gessobord" c. 2013
Finding just the right photo or idea to get me excited about the "next" painting does often feel like searching for the "Will-o'-the Wisp": "A person or thing  that is elusive or allures and misleads".   I recently spent several hours going through my photo library and then sketching from some images I found on the internet, trying to illustrate some ideas for my next paintings.

I usually prefer to use my own photos.  First, because I don't want to worry about copyright infringement, which is an issue I take seriously and second, I usually get the right light and subject if I take the photo myself.  Sometimes though, it is nice to get an infusion of new images and ideas.

In my search for copyright free images, I found an excellent blog, "Painting My World" by Karen Margulis where she suggested two sites to go to: and  These sites have images you can pay for and also copyright free images to use for artwork.  (If you use the image unchanged, you do need to contact the photographer.)  Eureka!  I felt I struck gold.

Along with other ideas, I was looking for cats that had a "story" and this little ghostly kitten captured me and made me itch to get painting.  I loved his silvery-ghostly softness and the look in his eyes that he was ready to disappear at a moment's notice... my Will-o'-the Wisp!