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!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This is the 200th post for Orion Art at White Dog Studio!  It's true!

 I've been looking over my blog from when I entered blogland on June 23, 2007 to the present.  At times an art journal and at times a personal journal, either way I've enjoyed sharing my thoughts, ideas and art in this space.  For a while I considered closing this blog, mostly because I couldn't give it the time I felt it deserved.  But, when I realized it was ok; that I don't have to be a daily blogger or even a weekly blogger.  No rules.  I can just blog, whenever...allow for the ebb and flow of life. 

Here's to more posting, paintings and life!

Last week my AP Studio Art Class finished up a unit which incorporated the figure into textural acrylic paintings.  My goal was to utilize some figure drawings they'd done while exploring surface texture on canvas.  We used acrylics, gesso, newspaper, mediums added to the acrylics, pencils.  Individuals added whatever other media they felt inspired to add. They scratched into the paints and added to the paints. While working the students were thoroughly engrossed in the process and I believe they are happy with the results.

Here's a few of the student works:

This last one is what I produced. 
I really had fun playing with the textures, juxtaposing flat areas against raised portions.  The color palette was toned down and limited compared to what I usually use.

Until  # 201, wishing all a season filled with Peace and Love!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

An Outpouring

Light Behind
Oil on Canvas
30 x 40

Thanks to a couple of shows this December, a beautiful barn down the road and the incredible Autumn light, I had a painting outburst that from which I  produced four paintings that I'm really happy with.  
Light Behind is just what the title implies.  As the shadows grew longer this fall, the light behind this barn was...well...so many things.  A visual, soulful feast. 
I've been soaking up the views of this barn for many years, but nothing emerged until now.

Oil on Canvas
30 x 40

Same barn, just zoomed out. 

Red Sunset # 1
Oil on Canvas
22 x 28

The last two aren't of the barn, but instead are landscapes of nowhere in particular.  My focus and goal was to work real loose using the canvas as an exploration in messing around with color and texture.  With Red Sunset #1, I had lots of fun with layering colors, then scratching into the surface, then laying glazes on top, more scratching.
I haven't used glazing much in my paintings, so this was an interesting and different approach for me.  I called it Red Sunset #1, because I enjoyed the process and end result enough that I plan on painting more red paintings. What is it with red lately?  I think our taste or desire for certain colors is like food cravings.  For the last few years, I've been using, loving and craving reds (especially raspberry reds) in my art and life.

Home Fields
Oil on Canvas
22 x 28

The second of the two landscape in my head paintings.  
My apologies, the photo isn't the best.... but I think it relays the essence of the piece. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Products of workshops

Long time no post.  I think that's how all my posts will have to open these days.... For a number of reasons.  A slow computer; which leads to frustration when I'm trying to do just about anything on it. I'm giving it a go tonight, hopefully with success.  The school year has been busier than usual which has led to minimal time for artmaking and blogging. 

However, I've had the chance to attend a few workshops and produce a few little pieces.  I took my AP studio art students to a Plein Air workshop which was sponsored by our local Park District.  The students spent a morning painting after time spent with local artists who shared their knowledge and experience of Plein Air painting with the group.  The afternoon was spent critiquing results.  It was a great day for the kids, I was happy with the work they did and I think they were too.  While they were painting I took an hour or so to paint, producing this:

Last week I attended a workshop for art educators called Walking the Path.  It was a chance for art teachers to spend time reconnecting with their creativity through yoga, journaling, introspection, creating art and interaction with one another.  For the art component we were given a slice of wood from a fallen tree, a myriad of art materials; including paint, pastels, glue, hammer, chisels, nails, wire, string, yarns, fabrics and much more.  From this we created a piece which reflected where we are on our path--art path, life path, educator path---at this point in time.  I produced this:

I began this post on Sunday, today is Wednesday.  I was only able to upload the first image and then the computer froze.  Urggg. But, I was able to upload the last two pics tonight.  I was hoping to post one more pic, but the computer isn't in the mood. Again.  harumph!  Oh, well, some other time : )

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's Been a While

There has been lots and lots happening at Orion White Dog Studio.  Where to begin? 

As of the last post, things were being wrapped up for the show at BAYarts. The show went well, 3 paintings were sold, including the one shown here.

The staff at BAYarts is fantastic, a special Thank You to Erin who invited me to have this show, then tremedously promoted the show along with hanging the work beautifully; showcasing every piece.  Somehow I managed to paint about 20 new paintings this summer.  Phew!  Lots of time spent outdoors painting in the morning and the evenings.  Every minute and brushstroke wellspent.  Even when the brushstrokes were off, still valuable. 

Yesterday, I picked up the work from BAYarts and brought some of it along with some paintings from home to Carnegie Kitchen and Dining.  The owner of the restaurant asked me a while ago if I'd like to hang my work in his restaurant; which opened this year.  The food is wonderful and so is the atmosphere.  Now that 25 paintings are hanging on the walls, well.... I really do love how my paintings look!  My son, daughter and sister helped me hang the work yesterday. (Thanks : )) It took a few hours, but the Cleveland Air Show was going on while we were hanging, so we were entertained by the Thunderbirds flying over the entire time.  I love to watch them! 

I was planning to put a few more photos of the paintings hanging at Carnegie Kitchen and Dining, but this old laptop isn't obliging my request.  To see more, if you're a Facebooker, go to this link:  Carnegie Kitchen and Dining and you'll be at their FB page. 

What else?  Oh, yeah.  Here's a link to an online magazine called ARTZINE that covered the Natural Light: Paintings by the Ohio Plein Air Society exhibit at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus in which I have 5 works included.  The show is very, very nice, tastefully curated and the space is full of light which makes all the beautiful paintings even more beautiful.

School has been back in session since August 16th, so there hasn't been much time to paint.  But the days and weeks are developing a rhythm which will allow for some personal art time.  I'll go out in the next few weeks to sketch, paint and gather information for some paintings that are resting for now in my imagination. 

Last, my apologies to my fellow bloggers.  I've been reading your blog posts, but haven't been able to leave comments.  I don't know if it's my laptop or Blogger.  I've installed some updates, so we'll see what happens.  I'm following you!  Just not saying much : )

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Four to Go

Windowsill II
10 x 12
oil on panel

This is the final piece I painted for the BAYarts Exhibit.  This and the second to last painting ended up being paintings of my kitchen windowsill, thanks to my right knee.  I strained it about a month ago and it got progressively worse until it was extremely uncomfortable and painful to walk far.  So, no going out in the field for this painter.  C'est la vie!  On the bright side the knee is getting better. 
Also on the bright side, the two windowsill paintings turned out to be bright, fresh and colorful.  I just loved painting the light, the shadows and the rich colors  of the fruit.
The opening for  "Summer Color" is Friday, August 12th at BAYarts in Bay Village, from 7- 9 pm.
The show runs through August 31st.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Three to Get Ready

Orchard Path
Oil on panel
6 x 8

This little piece was painted last Friday morning, another one for the show at BAYArts this August.

This photo doesn't do enough justice to the juiciness of the paint application nor to the beauty of the colors.  The painting 'happened' after I spent an hour fixing another painting--which is so-so.  I guess I needed to loosen up.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Two for the Show

This summer's paintings are being generated for a solo exhibition in August at BAYArts.  I'm painting like a madwoman, trying to create works that are energetic, colorful and ideally with a focus on morning and evening light. The show is titled SUMMER COLOR,  I know I'll get the color part down, since I really do love working with lots of color. 

This one was completed last week. It's a view from our property looking at my neighbors barns, which were built by my husband's grandfather.


Yaro and Yaro
Oil on Canvas
16 x 24

Sky Song
Oil on Canvas
30 x 40

Friday, June 24, 2011

Springtime to Summer

24 x 30
Oil on Canvas

Okay.  Hello.

It's been quite a while, but here's some paintings!  

( I wish I had posted sooner.  I've missed posting!  Things, stuff, and busy-ness interfered : ) )

The one above was started at the end of April when the first bright yellowy lime greens were happening in the leaves, contrasting against the reds and browns of the tree bark and leftover winter/fall color.

Russell Park I
8 x8
Oil on Canvas

Russell Park II
 8 x 8
Oil on Canvas

These two were completed last week at one of the local parks.  They've been donated to BAYArts in Bay Village, Ohio for a fundraiser to raise money for their art education program.  The show is titled 553.  500 artworks for $50.00 each, sold in 3 hours.  All artworks are 8 x 8 inches in size.  It should be an interesting show to see.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I went to Marco Island and I saw....

a really cool bug. what is it?

beautiful shells.

brown pelicans. 

peaceful sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico.

On a side note and a sad note, before we left we had to say goodbye to an old friend.  Little Kitty was with us for 18 years.  Here she is with her new pal Larry.  Larry has been acting oddly since she left, animals really do know, don't they?

Friday, February 25, 2011

1. an ice storm 2. a snow storm 3. a dead computer

1.  Sunday night an ice storm hit Ohio.  From Sunday night until Wednesday morning we didn't
 have power.   Despite the inconvenience of not having electricity, there were bright spots too. Sitting by the fire at night, reading by flashlight/candlelight.  We have a generator, so we had one lamp and two space heaters running. And of course coffee too, unplug the space heater, plug in the coffee.
The real gift was the day after the ice storm when the sun came out.  Magic.  My students said it looked like Narnia.  Trees covered in ice, fleshing them out as if they had grown white foliage.  Incredible.  The ice stayed for days, beautiful the whole time.

Snow Storm Painting
Oil on canvas
36 x 48

2.  Last night (Thursday) a snow storm blew through Ohio.  Still blowin' now.  The plus is a snow day!  The downside of that is it's our 7th calamity day this year, which means we have to make up days missed as we're over the limit.  I started this painting a few weeks ago, finished it today, or almost finished it.  The snow is blowing hard out there with intermittent calm spells. 
What I enjoyed about painting this was painting snow, which I rarely do. The variety of grays, blues, yellows, pinks, purples, violets.  hmmmm. yum.  All in muted grays. A beautiful challenge.

3. Our laptop died last week.  I'm working on an old laptop of my daughter's. (Thanks, Ali)   I adjusted the value and colors of the painting a little bit, but I don't think this photo does the painting justice.  I like it better in real life.  But maybe this laptop isn't showing me a good image?  I just took another picture of the painting and made some adjustments and it looks better. Plus I took some closed ups showing the lovely grays.  But...this laptop isn't cooperating and I can't upload the image!  Oh, well. maybe another time.
I hope we can revive our laptop enough so I can recover pictures and music I have stored on it!  I have some things backed up, but unfortunately not everything.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dabbling with abstraction...Paintovers

Well, it had been so darn cold and snowy here for such a long time that it was...just sapping our energy. 

While it was cold, I had the desire to paint but no particular subject in mind.  But there were colors all jumbled up inside my head.  I took some old landscapes and did a few paintovers.

oil on canvas
12 x 16

love the colors here, the shapes too.

oil on canvas
16 x 20

I left some landscape elements in this one.  When I started this, the colors were driven by a new color I bought, Van Gogh, Azo Red Light.

 Oil on Canvas
20 x 20

Not sure about this one.  I plan to draw into it more, might change some color.  Might paint the entire painting over!  Who knows? 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Figure Unit

It's that time of year again, when I spend a week or so with the AP students drawing and painting the figure.  I love this unit!  I forget how much I enjoy drawing/painting people until I sit down with the kids and draw.

So here's a sampling of my figure studies:

Lesson two.
Double portrait.  Emphasis on contour line using waterbased marker, then value/form emphasis by adding water to the marker lines plus watercolor washes.

Lesson four.
Acrylic washes to lay in values, then worked into with oil pastels.

Lesson two.
Water based marker, contour line drawing, watercolor washes for values/form.

           Lesson three.
Broad washes with watercolors on yupo paper (nice hard polypropylene paper, very smooth finish; leading to real cool effects with the watercolors) laying in lights and darks, then working in the details as needed.  The students came up with some beautiful results on this one.

For lesson one we spent the classtime (about an hour and 15 min) exploring gesture drawings using charcoal and conte crayon; we moved from quick gestural studies to longer poses. 

Finally, just for fun...this picture of Larry, who says hello!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hi, it's me...here's something new

Ok, so it's been ages since I posted and I bet everyone has been chomping at the bit.  Waiting. And waiting.
I flatter myself...hmmm. 
I have been reading other blogs, gaining insights, laughs and good ideas. (Hallie, you are my laugh place, you make my day and mood lighter)  Just laying low, taking a time out, I guess.  Reading. Resting in the winter quiet. It is comforting and soothing to nestle into the dark and cold winter nights with a good book or a movie.  Popcorn, hot tea. 

I have been working on a few paintings and have this one image to post, the others are in different stages of done or not done or going to the paint over pile.

This painting is derived from a photo I took this summer of a row of trees that intrique me.  Every time I drive by, I look at them. Year round. I'm not sure what kind of trees they are; I think they're some type of poplar or willow.  I took artistic license with how they really look and put my own spin on things.  I was going for the light around and behind the trees, which is what grabs me whenever I see these trees.

With a nod and a thank you to Iona, who mentioned "Singing Trees" as a name for my last painting that I posted, I'm calling this "All Singing".