Welcome to the Creative Catalysts web site. Blog of Artist Marion Corbin Mayer about her art and other adventures.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Catching up

Rasha, commission, 16x16 oil on canvas

This is one big doggie! Its a Leonberger.   It's head is bigger than my dog.  I am always happy to receive requests for pet portraits & unusual breeds are even more fun..

Wow. I crashed the 30 in 30 after six, then got cracking on this portrait commission. I plan to be painting once we arrive in Florida later this week. The big snow storm really threw a wrench in our travel plans. We are gonna give KY & TN an extra day to clear I-75 & hit the road Monday instead of tomorrow. Here's a video from a band stuck on the road: 

I am grateful that Cincinnati was spared with barely an inch of snow.  Lucky us. Now I'm dreaming of rum drinks and Jimmy Buffet songs.

Gosh, I should call this the "Lots of Links" post!

Stay tuned for more paintings. If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, see http://marioncorbinmayer.weebly.com/pet-portrait-commissions.html for details.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Thursday, January 07, 2016

6 of 30 - Birds of a Feather


Birds of a Feather, 6x6" oil on panel
6 of 30

Still running one behind.  I spent today planning a pastel to start tomorrow in class so thought, what the heck, why not do a sunset?  I have been saving the reference image for a while now, I just loved the bird shapes. This time I played around with a palette knife and cold wax medium. It was really fun.

I have also signed up for an online workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry.  It looks like it's gonna be a blast. You can find out more here. There's a private Facebook group & for one of the fun ideas we are posting a "mug" shot. Here's mine:



Stay tuned for more paintings. If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, see http://marioncorbinmayer.weebly.com/pet-portrait-commissions.html for details.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

5 of 30 - Cujo, 6x6", Oil on Panel

Cujo, 6x6" oil on panel
5 of 30
My goodness, Pomeranians are fluffy! Cujo is part of the family of Koda, so I co-ordinated the background. Since these are gifts to sisters I kept the size consistant. Yes, I had a struggle to get those eyes right. On a 6x6 the eyes are tiny!

Cujo as a youngster

How I cropped it for the painting

here's the painting in the panel holder

My painting space. I use a glass palette for mixing and a stay-wet palette container to keep my paints fresh in the freezer.
I am blessed to share a 1400 sq ft studio (25x40 ft) with a friend. My painting area is approximately 15x15'.  We have an area to teach classes & a gallery area. We are in an old sewing factory that has been subdivided into 100 or so studios. Its a great spot to be creative!

Stay tuned for more paintings. If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, see http://marioncorbinmayer.weebly.com/pet-portrait-commissions.html for details.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Monday, January 04, 2016

4 of 30 "Koda Jean"

Koda Jean, 6x6" Oil on Panel
4 of 30
I learned a valuable lesson with this painting. 6x6" is just too darn small! I thought I would never get those eyes right! Koda's light buff coloring was a challenge as well.  Face it, painting is a freakin challenge!

Today was an exercise in procrastination. I got to my studio at 9:30 am & didn't start painting until after two.  Wasn't really doing much of anything, just reading and futzing around.  I even went home for lunch! If I wasn't participating in this challenge I may not have painted at all.  I am grateful I finally settled down with my paints and got busy.

I am enjoying my new "Lori Putnam" set of Rosemary Brushes (click to see)  They really are different. More flexible. Of course, using a larger surface would also help...

Stay tuned for more paintings. If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, see http://marioncorbinmayer.weebly.com/pet-portrait-commissions.html for details.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Sunday, January 03, 2016

3 of 30 - Back to Oils - Ginny's View

Ginny's View, 8x8 Oil on Panel
3 of 30
Today I was inspired by an image sent to me by my friend, Ginny Roush McKinney.  Ginny lives in a 30 ft. RV along the Ohio River (unless she's on the road.)  Her blog posts can be found at www.facebook.com/marshmallowranch where she shares her journey.  She started out blogging about her jewelry business but content shifted dramatically when her husband (Mr. Virgo) died suddenly.  Now she blog about dealing with the process of living into widowhood and beyond.

Ginny & I went to Parkersburg High School (class of '71) We are looking towards a 45th reunion in 2016.  Both of us are grateful to be alive and reasonably well, as so many of our classmates have left this earth already.

Anyway, when I sent out my call for submission on Facebook, Ginny responded with this image.


Transparent underpainting

Opaque layering


I am using a panel holder create by Leslie Saeta. It works like a charm to keep small panels steady.

Stay tuned for more paintings. If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, see http://marioncorbinmayer.weebly.com/pet-portrait-commissions.html for details.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Saturday, January 02, 2016

2 of 30 - branching into pastels

Abby, phase 1
14x11, pastel on Ampersand board

Today I decided to play with my pastels. What I discovered is, I am way better at doing dog portraits in oil.  *sigh*  I will continue to mess with this one. I think the eyes need to be larger and the right eye should be higher.  It's a learning curve, for sure. This little dog is relentlessly enthusiastic and has a magical coat.  When groomed the apricot disappears, yet reappears once the hair gets longer.  How can that be?  I think she's a small doodle of some sort. She sure is cute!

reference image


work in place on my Heilman box easel

I do love working in pastel, usually doing landscapes. I need more fur practice, fur sure!

Stay tuned for more paintings. If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, see http://marioncorbinmayer.weebly.com/pet-portrait-commissions.html for details.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Friday, January 01, 2016

1 of 30, And so it begins again...

Technicolor Puppy, 8x8" oil on panel, SOLD!

Ah the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge. I got a jump start yesterday so I am taking it easy today & taking down the holiday decorations. We finally have some sun after a week of rain & gloom.  So nice to start 2016 with a beautiful day.

I have had this painting drawn out on a panel for over six months.  This seemed the perfect time to dash it out. Polly is a black and white tiny dog with a BIG personality, so jazzing up the color palette seemed logical.  She's really not pthalo blue or purple, but just black is so 2015...

Source image

Transparent underpainting

Starting the opaque layers

Ta Dah!
I will probably adjust the eyes a bit more.  I've been told they are a darker shade of brown.  Her family loves the painting, so that means it must be done!

I also used my time in the studio to defrost the freezer. It had accumulated two years of ice.  It took quite a while to make a dent in the ice berg, but it's transformed now. I mostly use it to store my oil paints between sessions.  It really helps keep the paint soft and usable.  I hate to throw away my paint piles!

I was blessed with commissions for Christmas and really enjoyed creating these paintings:

Buddies

Mackey

Jody

Sail Away!

Max & Petie
Stay tuned for more paintings. If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, see http://marioncorbinmayer.weebly.com/pet-portrait-commissions.html for details.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can