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, March 25, 2010

What Looks Like a Stormy Day

At an apple orchard last Fall I took this picture with my cell phone. What I love about cell phone images is the distortion that occurs.  For the last few years I've been using cell phone pics as reference material for paintings.  Because the images are "bad photos"  there is less to be tied to when I start painting.

Stormy Day
Acrylic, Oil Pastel, water-based Oil on board.
18 x 24

For this week's lesson in Ap Studio Art each student is using their own cell phone pics as reference for a painting. For a ground we're using backing board (used in matting art work), then a gestural pencil sketch , followed by an acrylic wash to lay in general color and values.  After the wash the students can either continue with an acrylic painting or begin working on to of the acrylic in oil pastels. 
For mine I started in acrylics, began working in oil pastel, then because it seemed better to work in oils; I used water based oils along with the oil pastels. Kind
of a back and forth thing with the oils and oil pastels.
So now I've opened up the oils option to the students. The assignment is due next class, I'll post the pics soon after. They're doing great so far, it'll be interesting to see where they end up!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Art's Barn  Oil on Canvas (16 x 20)

A couple of summers ago, my sisters and I visited a friends home which is an old farm situated on a pretty piece of land about 15 minutes from home.  I took several reference photos that day, with every intention of getting back to spend some time painting on site.  I never did. 
Every so often I'd come across the photos.  Last week I began this painting of her barn and I finished it today.  It's such a great old barn, kinda weathered and falling apart.  Most intriquing to me is the opening from the door in front through the back door, you can see through to the view behind the barn. The whitish rectangle in the painting is the opening.  In my reference photo the view is from back to front so the white I've shown is actually her house.
 That day carried the weight of summer-- heavy with moisture plus the sounds of a summer afternoon. Looking through that opening, the negative space was the frame for the sensations of that day.
This summer I'll paint en plein air at her house, painting the view through the opening to the back.
 (Linda if you're reading this, can I come and paint at your house again?)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Painting in Acrylics~~~Haven't used them in a while!

Acrylic on Canvas  24 x 24

While the students were painting their figure paintings I painted this portrait of one of the student models.  We've been using acrylics for this assignment.  Its been a while since I completed a painting in acrylic.  Wow, sooo different than working in oil.  I didn't realize how accustomed I am to using oils. 
I started painting with acrylics when I was in college; which is when I discovered how much I love painting.  I also  painted with oils, but I didn't begin to truly 'get' oils until the last 10 years or so; when I dedicated all of my painting to oil painting.
I only used water to move the acrylics, so they were drying quickly...at times good, and at times frustratingly bad.  I could have used a medium to push the flow and moisture of the paint.  Hindsight is 20/20!
I enjoyed painting with the acrylics and loved painting a person. 
Yesterday I used acrylics as an underpainting for a large oil landscape.  The results so far are exciting. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

For the love and mystery of Crows

About ten years ago I had a dream about a crow sitting on my left shoulder.  I sculpted this terracotta piece after having the dream. (it fell off a shelf a few years ago, excuse the cracks and glue!) I wrapped a Great Blue Heron around my back and shoulder.
I included a computer drawn image of the dream in the center of a collage, the image shown above is zoomed in.

After talking about crows in my last post and I found that there is a kindred feeling many of us share towards them.  I love their smart, canny ways. The crowish way they move and walk. That certain tilt to the head.
Crow lovers know what I mean and could add much more.
So I got to thinking about the crows I have at home in my own art or others.
My Picasso postcard from the Cleveland Museum of Art, of  Woman with Crow. (One of my most favorite paintings!)
My stuffed felt crow made by the woman who runs the fabric shop out in Amish country.
I have more crows in garden art, on ceramic pieces from other artists...I wasn't aware of my crow volume until I took stock!
Thinking about it even more, crows are used in art quite often.  Leafing through art magazines, you can find crow imagery frequently.  Ubiquitous.  Why?  Is this part of our Collective Unconscious?

Not a crow, but a raven from a larger painting of mine. Now there's a bird I love and I've never seen one!  But I will.

What's your crow story? Do you have crows in your art?