Orion Art at White Dog Studio

Welcome to the Orion Art at White Dog Studio Blog!

Look around...Enjoy the sights.

All artworks are for sale, contact me via this blog or at
maryann@orionwhitedog.com for inquiries. To see more of my paintings visit my website at http://www.orionwhitedog.com/

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Sketchbook Paintings

Happy December 31st and a Happy Birthday to my brother Mike!

Following up on the last post's content I thought I'd post a few more images of works inspired directly from sketches.

This one is titled "Home in the Woods". There was a theme developing this year with the concept of HOME as its center. The typical house shape began to emerge in my sketches; sometimes with the triangle other times with a circle (which I began to consider a moon) and other times somewhat realistically in the landscape--more to come there.

This painting is titled "Do You Know Where You Are...Part 2" (not sure how I feel about part 2 in the title, I might retitle it). This one is the second of two paintings, the first shown in the last post. (the ideas behind the paintings are also discussed in the last post)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Visiting my sketchbook

When I paint I use my sketchbook as a space to wipe my brushes. Later I draw, write, add media or paint into it. The painting below is derived from the sketchbook page above. Regarding content; in the sketchbook I was still processing my Dad's death. At the time the sketch was made, I'd begun to tuck all of 'it' into a place in my heart. Nestled in, tucked in. The little circle is the tucked away space.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

In the Mood to Paint

The post Christmas quiet has settled in the house. The kids are back to their homes and lives. Today is one of those days where I have the strong desire and energy to work in the studio. But,I do have to get going in an hour or so for other commitments outside the home. I'm looking forward to tomorrow as a studio day!

The piece above evolved from two sources which are probably the same place now that I think about it. The triangle is a shape I find myself drawing and painting at random. You know how when we doodle the same things emerge? Like a personal sign we all have. I draw other shapes, it seems to depend on something that's happening way inside the psyche. I was such a shape user this summer at the AP Studio ARt Workshop at Columbus College of Art and Design that they gave me a book on shapes. It's called SIGNS OF LIFE- The Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them by Angeles Arrien. Another book I picked up at Half-Price Books is called HUNAB KU-77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit bye Karen Speerstra and Joel Speerstra. I've only begun to look at this one.

The second source for the triangle in the painting is from a dream. In the dream the triangle was hovering/shimmering directly in front of me. I painted this painting very soon after the dream.

For now I'm off to enjoy the incredibly balmy for December 27th in Ohio Sixty degree air.

Monday, December 22, 2008

When we bought our Christmas Tree

When we bought our Christmas Tree, I couldn't resist taking pictures of the barn at the tree farm. Like many of the barns in our area (probably a reflection of the passing of an era across the country) this one is falling down, dilapidated and very cool to look at. Great colors, textures and sky holes. It was built in the early 1800's and was a home before it was a barn.
I only had my cell phone with me, so the pics are cell phonish. The owner says I can come back to take more pics. (I'd like to bring my son who'd love it, plus he has a great camera.) The owner also said that people used to come to draw and paint the barn. (Before it was in its intriquing, beautiful state of disrepair and I think; unfortunately it is dying unless someone saves it.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jack Frost

When I was little, I believed that the mysterious artist who came in the dark cold night, etching windows everywhere with intricate lacy designs truly exsisted. In the mornings after he came, I traced and studied the designs with my finger. Jack Frost was here!

(click on image for a closer look at Jack's artwork)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finishing a painting (Why I love Spring)

MY SPRING 36 x 48 Oil on Canvas

(Because I love color and can't resist lush use of color, I played with the colors when I painted this. They're intensified. Hence the title)

When I started this painting there was snow on the ground, but it was February of this year. There was just a hint of that color the trees start to show as the buds prepare to bloom later in the spring. Which is one of the things I love about Spring. Every day brings a change in color which in turn changes the perception of the landscape. The change is so subtle at the start and also so dependent on the weather and the light. (in contrast there are the long shadows of autumn and the sparkling light) Some other things that are great about Spring are the bird migrations; there is always a new bird's arrival to anticipate and to see. Even now in the quiet of winter, the Great Horned Owls are beginning to nest. LIFE always.

As the winter solstice approaches, I take comfort knowing that after the shortest day of the year, the light increases every day. The sun ascends higher on the horizon and the light makes magic in the air, on the trees, on the land.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

White Winged Crossbills

Determined to go out and get some fresh but cold air yesterday, I took my binoculars, my camera and Woodie Dog Sedivy out back for a small walk. We've been getting snow consistently for the last few weeks with one Alberta Clipper after another bringing wave after wave of Lake Effect snow. I've decided we live in a snow globe. (It's really the snow belt, one of only 5 in the world) Despite the sometimes difficult driving and constant snow removal, it can be beautiful.

While admiring these apples, I saw and heard a new bird for my yard. In fact, this is a life bird for me (one I've never seen before.) While this photo isn't the best (would love a new camera with more zoom, this is just a small point and shoot), it does document the White Winged Crossbill. There were and still are about 2 dozen in and around my yard. This bird is an irruptive species. Meaning that they don't normally winter here (common north of here, in Canada) but will move for food as needed. (food source is low) Right now in Ohio, there are postings daily on the Ohio Bird List Serve from birders allover the state who are seeing these beautiful birds. I hope my flock takes up residence for a while.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Studio is a Mess!

Too much stuff!! My fear is that when I move to the larger studio space in the barn, I'll accumulate more stuff!!!
Today is the start of organizing, sifting and cleaning in el studio. When I'm feeling really bad about all the paintings stacking up and feeling sorry for myself for no sales and I'm totally losing perspective on this "art life"; I dramatically say to myself that the solution is to just stop painting, give all the paintings, supplies, materials away!
My inner, wiser, saner and rational self steps in and tells me how painting is inherent and integral to who I am. How I'll never stop painting even if I never sold a single thing again. I paint to paint. For the sheer joy of it. The pleasure of playing w/ colors, textures. Capturing the landscape of Ohio in my way.
How the colors change daily. EXQUISITENESS (don't know if that's a real word but it works)
Off to clean!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Dumplings. This daughter of all Irish descent on both sides (we have beautiful family names; Cavanaugh, Callahan, Fitzgerald, Walsh, O'Connell) grew up eating traditional Thanksgiving meals with the usual menu. It wasn't until I married into a Czechoslavakian (also known as Bohemians or Bohunks) family (Sedivy means gray in Czech) that I was introduced to the Dumpling--the main event at Thanksgiving. This food was a mystery to me. But revered by the Sedivy's. The irony is that my future mother in law made the dumplings. She, Mary Jane Mulcahy, a French-Irish girl from Providence, Rhode Island. She made them well. She learned from her mother in law who immigrated here from Czechoslovakia.
Served with Sour Kraut, gravy. No mashed potatoes necessary. I fell in love with dumplings! They don't really have a flavor, its all about the texture.
28 years later, she oversees and taste tests while her son makes the dumplings aided by her grandchildren.
2, 2 and 2. or for the big meals 6, 6 and 6. (flour, eggs, potatoes.)

The food is fantastic!!


Dumplings sink. Digesting is sooo necessary before round 2. Dessert.

Woody and I felt just fine.

I really love Pork instead of Turkey with sour kraut and dumplings. I guess I'm Bohemian through osmosis or in some weird gastronomic way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Paintings (that didn't go to the Holiday Open House)

Okay, it's the worst when you cram too much into a short time period. I thought I was fully prepared for last Sunday's Holiday Open House until I painted this painting on Friday night. I liked it enough that I decided it should be at the Open House. By Saturday night it was dry enough in most areas to apply a coat of liquin. Which I applied. A few areas started to smear, so 'wisely' I decided to do the rest in the morning before the show. I got up early, allowing a few hours before I had to leave. (read the Sunday paper, drink coffee, do some yoga). I applied the liquin in the areas that needed it and the painting was still wet. Smear. I touched up the areas that smeared and left it alone. Even though it was still wet, I decided to bring it anyway and I put the painting face up in a shopping bag w/ handles. I got the car loaded w/ all my stuff and grab the bag w/ the painting and head out the door, realizing on the way out that I'm hungry. I grabbed a few chips ahoy and started munching on one as I'm headed out the door. Get to the car, put the bag in and glance down at the painting to see it covered in chips ahoy crumbs. urgggh. I was able to flick most of them off, but then scratched the paint surface. This painting wasn't meant to be sold on Sunday. It needs some restoration work...what is seen below is pre-'mar in a hurry and hungry'.

Oil on panel 6 x 12 175.00

In my hurry to leave for the open house, I left this painting sitting on the easel in my studio. Freshly framed, ready to go, all liquined and dry to boot. Another painting not meant to be sold or seen on Sunday.

Oil on Canvas 17 x 21 Framed 350.00

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holiday Open House

Jewelry is the stuff I make to help support the painting habit. Actually I like making jewelry and have made it on and off for a while. Occasionally I'll do a show or art festival where I'll sell jewelry and paintings. Today only jewelry sold. It's ok that paintings didn't sell--I'd like it if one or more had--but something usually comes from a show where there seems to be nothing. It might be a connection, an invitation, a future sale.

A friend (Liz) of my sister's has an annual holiday open house at her home in westlake. Always a nice event with great gift items and really good food. Liz is a caterer, she had a delicious black bean hummous, gorgonzola cheese pie, green beans with a delicious curry dip....Marilyn (my sister, but not the one who is a friend of Liz) enjoying the great food surrounded by well, my art. Marilyn is like a manager to me. She helps with all the shows and seems to like doing it. (do you, Marilyn?)Today she helped me and another sister (not the one who is friends with Liz--that one was home on her couch with a flu bug that is lasting for days)at the holiday open house. Kathy, the other sister Marilyn helped sells beautiful photographs, most often images of Ireland. I'm happy to say the three of house have travelled there together, along with Kathy's daughter. Kathy took pics, I painted. Marilyn took pics too--hers are good!
Today the three of us had fun selling our art, but mostly being together, I wish the 4th sister had been there too!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Following a Dream

muggsi is one of my best friends. she has dreamed and talked about living in the arizona desert for as long as i've known her...(i was sixteen, waiting tables at a local coffee shop. she was a horse person. she offered me a peanut m & m, i preferred plain she claimed the plain ones aren't real m & m's. the beginning of a long friendship started.) we raised our kids together, swimming, camping, taking them birding with us, canoeing, and to pow-wows. throw in a couple of blues festivals too. she is an artist, music lover and has a great singing voice.
she was always ready to do anything at any time. she lives life in the moment.
now she'll be living the moments in her beloved desert outside of tucson. the dream is a reality. next plan is to build a straw bale house and use the spare room as a b & b. invite the birders and artists to stay...she'd act as tour guide....hmmm....birding and painting in the southwest. i don't know about you, but i'm there! and knowing muggsi, she'll have that b & b built before you know it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Veil

I will sing for the veil that never lifts.
I will sing for the veil that begins, once in a lifetime,
maybe,to lift.
I will sing for the rent in the veil.
I will sing for what is in front of the veil, the
floating light.
I will sing for what is behind the veil---
light, light and more light.

This is the world, and this is the work of the world.

(ahhh...such lovely words (excerpt from Work by Mary Oliver))

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Headlands Again

Headlands East, 6 x 12, Oil on Panel
Another painting resulting from the birding morning on Sunday. In this case this painting is done on one of those new panels that are in the stores now. They're called The Artist's Panel made by Ampersand. (probably other companies marketing them too) Basically its a masonite panel on a wood frame. Kindof a gallery wrap look. The surface is intriquing to work on... Its smoothish as opposed to the feel of canvas. Paint moves differently on it. I enjoyed working on this painting and on the surface. The oil maintained translucency and was easy to work into. So I bought 2 more panels tonight. I can play some more!

Tracy Helgeson (www.worksbytracy.blogspot.com) works on birchwood panels. Besides the fact that her paintings are amazing and I am lucky enough to own one due to a Pay It Forward venture via artist's bloggers last summer; the panels lend a dimension to her work. Plus there's no framing involved!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mentor Headlands

Sunday morning, October 12 at Mentor Headlands State Park. Birding with friends. (Birds of note: 500+ yellow rumped warblers...crazy, crazy there were so many! Winter wren, white throated sparrows, hermit thrush, juncos and more)
Along with the birding, soaking up the beauty of the day, taking many reference photos.
Working from the photo above, I developed this painting. I didn't print out a picture, just used the camera screen as reference. The goal being not to literally interpret what I saw, but to capture the essence of the light and color of the morning at the dunes. The softness of the dunes.

(contact me if interested in purchasing this painting, 8 x 10 unframed, 14 x 16 framed, oil on panel)

Monday, October 13, 2008

16 year old Cat

As a kitten Little Kitty (aka scarlett jasmine rose, as my now 22 year old daughter meg named her when she was a 6 year old) often played with the water in the tub. Today I washed the shower curtain, thus giving her a view of the tub. She hopped in. I had forgotten how she used to play with water. As she's aged, she's left some of her kitten ways behind. A year or so ago she was sick enough that I thought we'd lose her.
Not so.
She is much healthier now. Entertaining me daily with her cat ways.
If only she'd take care of the mouse that's moved into the kitchen.

I have been painting lately, back to landscape..will post pics soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More 12 x 12 from the series of 12

This is titled Eight Left. My parents had eight kids. Placing the eight circles on the left led to the title but also because we are here whereas Dad has gone. Mom is still with us and I've chosen to represent her in most of these paintings as the color pink. This is always the color I think of when I think of Mom.

This one is called Blue (at least for now, another title may come to me that seems more fitting). What was interesting and fun was drawing and writing in the wet paint. Leaving marks with a lithograph pencil left surface texture which I find compelling to look at.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

No Power but Flowers Bloom

Ike hit Ohio on Sunday evening with strong winds and stronger wind gusts. Trees came down and with them power lines. (one limb fell on my car, minor damage but needing body work) Here in my neck of the woods, we were without power until last night. Luckily we have a generator, we were able to keep our food, and run cold water when needed. We were reading by flashlight last night when we noticed the ceiling fan was on. We did the electricity dance! I would have made a lousy pioneer.
At least I was in my own home and mildly inconvenienced for a few days. I would think about people who've had to leave their homes for who knows how long...and it wasn't so bad. Or imagine being in a country at war...where power outages come and go, besides all the other stuff of war that you'd 'live' with.
One day this week I took these pictures of the beautiful sunflowers and Morning Glories in the front yard.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rock Wall

This view is of the east side of the barn where Bob has built a retaining wall. Our neighbors built a barn and the rocks are remnants of the excavation for their barn. Bob has hauled rocks up every night this week using our New Holland tractor. Last count there were 140 rocks, which doesn't include what he brought up tonight. He is Superman! The wall isn't done yet, he has to build up more to reach the level where the concrete floor will sit. Crazy!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wrapping up the series of 12

Earth Shine is when there is reflected light from Earth onto the Moon. We can see the dark side of the moon in a soft reflected glow.

Earth Shine 10 x 10 oil on canvas

World Inside Out 12 x 12 Oil on Canvas

Between Suspension 12 x 12 Oil on Canvas

This summer at the AP Studio Art Institue at Columbus College of Art and Design, I started a series of paintings which dealt with the recent loss of my father. Today, I finished the last two out of 12. The workshop at CCAD was a perfect setting for starting this series, because we were provided studio space and ample time to work in it, along with the expectation that we would produce some work. I had plenty to release. It wasn't my intention to create these paintings, but they are what happened. All twelve haven't been posted here, but over the next few posts, I'll finish up.