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!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dream Chapel

Last week I dreamed of the shape of a church or a chapel against a dark sky with a  light glowing foreground.  The chapel shape literally seemed to glow and shimmer against the sky. 
I like to think of this shape as a Sanctuary.  Which according to Dictionary.com is among many definitions; a sacred or holy place, a place of refuge, asylum.

I'm reading Sue Monk Kidd's new book, Traveling with Pomegranates.  Sue Monk Kidd is one of my favorite writers and I'm so happy to be immersed in her new book which is co-written with her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor. What I like about her writing/thinking is through her various quests to gain understanding about areas like the Feminine Divine or The Black Madonna is the honor she gives symbols in her life.  Whether they be from dreams or  'chance' encounters.

I've been thinking about the chapel image from my dream.  The word Sanctuary is meaningful.  What shall I place in  this holy, sacred Sanctuary?    Why have a Sanctuary?
To have a place of refuge, not a place to hide, but a place of serenity.  A place to lay out ideas, joys, sorrows, dreams, laughter, troubles.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Painting from a Dream

About a week ago, I dreamed of a landscape somewhat like this.  It had a mauve sky, and a dark green treeline.  I don't recall the foreground so I improvised.

(In real life this painting's sky is more of a mauve, the camera doesn't relay the color accurately.)

oil on panel 8 x 16

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Legacy from my Father (Christmas Gifts)

My Dad wouldn't like it if I was "making a fuss" over his work. But, I have to! I love his drawings. As far back as I can remember, he was always sketching, especially comics. He created characters and played around with the punchlines. He taught us how to draw our own comic characters. There was a steady supply of scrap paper and pencils on hand. My sisters drew paper dolls and designed outfits for them.

My Dad went to The Cleveland School of Art before it became The Cooper School of Art (now closed) for a year.  Then our family started growing, so he set aside art school but he continued with a lifelong interest in art and in bettering his skills.  About 15 years ago, he took a pen and ink class at BayCrafters (now BayArts) in Bay Village, Ohio. The works shown here were produced during and after he took the class.  He loved Pen and Ink!  After Dad died, I was given his sketchbooks.  This year for Christmas I framed 8 of his drawings and gave one to each of my siblings, keeping one for myself.  I loved how they turned out and I wanted to keep all of them!  The hard part was deciding who should have which piece.  Eventually I fugured it out; matching the drawings to personalities and interests.  It was so exciting to give everyone their drawings and see their reactions!  Which were wonderful!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Skeleton in the Classroom

This friendly fellow (seems male to me, don't know why) is part of a still life that is set up for my AP Studio Art Students.  I decided to work alongside the students.
What I re-learned....Sketetons are hard to draw!!
The one on the top is done in watercolor and oil pastel on gessoed backing board and the Smiling Fellow  is done in waterbased oils and oil pastel.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Collage in 3-D

This artwork was created for the DiscARTed show at the Geauga Park District.  I could only submit two entries and I made four.  The two that were entered are a cigar box which I call Bird Box and a book which I altered with collage, painting, stitching and sketching. Pictures will be posted when the show comes down in January.
For this one I assembled pieces and parts of old paintings, collage materials, and plexiglass.  It's mounted on a stretcher frame from an old canvas.  The little popsicle stick figures were made by my daughter when she was about ten years old.  They're meant to symbolize us--the human race, the owl represents wisdom. I placed the people behind the plexiglass with the idea that it represents a barrier.  The barrier for when we aren't connected to earth.   The circle in the background symbolizes  the circle of life, our life path. The hands are painted with symbols which I read about in a National Geographic magazine.  Hand prints were discovered on a cave ceiling in a remote area of Papua New Guinea.  They are ancient and thought to be ceremonial, ritual handprints of an ancient culture.  The amazing thing is that each handprint was painted with a different symbol.  Who knows what they represent?
So I was trying to link the ancient world with the 21st century (popsicle stick people); the birds represent our beautiful earth and the inhabitants of the natural world. The Owl being wisdom, linking the old with Now.  My prayer is that we are wise enough to honor and love our earth.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gray Day

After spending an hour or more working on this; the commission piece that is taking its good old time reaching any sort of resolution, I switched over to a fast painting over an old painting. 
(a side note about the commission:  the buyer saw one of my smaller paintings (8 x 10) that is soft and moody.  She wants a larger work, about 42 x 36--soft and moody.  At this point, I'm beginning to get the softness, but its been a challenge to take what is so easy to capture in a small piece and bring it to a large format.  There are some compositional kinks I'm working on, and I'm struggling with the trees in front.)

Today was a Gray Day.  Rain, rain and more rain. 
The fast painting over the old painting is below. I plan to work some lighter grays into the sky. 
I like to paint Gray Days. I find it a good challenge to capture just the right colors for gray sky.
(my camera hasn't captured the colors with accuracy)

We were driving to a Christmas dinner at dusk. The white barns in sillouhette against the white sky were striking. After painting for several hours today, my seeing eyes were charged up. I wanted to turn the car around and go home to paint the white on white.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

From Here to There (sketch to painting)

This summer I spent a few days with my sisters at the beach in Vermilion, Ohio on the shores of western Lake Erie.  I sketched a bit one afternoon, loving the variety of blues in the water.
For the last two weeks while "trying" to paint a commission piece--which isn't going so well--I started and finished the painting above.  I usually work on a couple of pieces at the same time, if a painting is too wet, I'll move to another.  It also keeps my energy for the paintings fresh.  This time I think I was using other paintings to avoid the commission, but also in hopes that I could take my enjoyment from the other works and infuse it into the commission.  So far its not working. ugh.  Fortunately there isn't a huge rush on the commission and I plan to get to it when I figure out what is blocking my creativity. (maybe I'll post a pic of what's happening so far)
So about the sketch and painting pictured here. In the painting I ended up turning Lake Erie into a landscape. Initially I had painted water, but I came back to the canvas a day or so after the water was in and it kindof morphed into landscape--which I know so much better than water--simply because I don't see the Lake on a daily basis, whereas I do study my little corner of the world everyday.
I painted a few pieces this summer which have a similar composition to the painting above.  I'm toying with the idea of painting a Horizon Line series.  I love the meshing of color, verging on abstraction; still landscape.