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Monday, February 23, 2015

Grant Street Winter Murmuration Sketch

Grant Street Winter Murmuration Sketch Katherine Kean
graphite 8 x 8 inches

Another imaginary murmuration, I obtained a photograph of the house we grew up in from my sister, photographed by a friend of hers - and permission to use it as reference - thank you kindly Kris and Mark.

The house, built in 1896, is a historical building and has had some restoration. The enclosed second story sunporch was my first art studio. The depth of the snow and the wintry feeling are as I remember New England winters to be.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Storm Study

Storm Study Katherine Kean
oil on gessoed paper 4 x 6 inches
A quick small oil painting of local mountains and storm clouds. The palm tree probably gives it away.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Vertical Sky

Vertical Sky Katherine Kean
graphite on paper 6 x 4 inches
"It is more natural to me, lying down. Then the sky and I are in open conversation..." 

I'm trying to decide which piece to send to the Twitter Art Exhibit in Moss, Norway. It'll probably be this one, because it is right in front of me and it must go out now if it is to get there in time.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Suburban Murmuration 2

Suburban Murmuration 2 (working title) Katherine Kean
graphite on paper 8 x 8 inches

Another in a series of bird murmurations in the skies over suburbia. All made up, of course. The first sketch can be found here, and the finished painting from that sketch here.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Fishscale Clouds, Field, Trees Study


A tiny 4 x 6 study in oil on gessoed paper - still shiny wet when photographed. It's been cool, which means oil paint dries oh - so - slowly.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dream Sketch: Books, Chair, Fire, Water

I've been drawing from dreams, choosing a few that stand out, especially after much time has lapsed. Many of these dreams are long and segments of them overlap, so in each I've decided to focus on selected key parts. In this dream what stayed with me was this scene. A chair in a narrow room with art books stacked on and around it. The left wall is on fire and through the right water comes into the room. I am mesmerized watching to see which; the the fire or the water, will reach the chair and the books first.

I drew it first as I remembered, getting all the essential elements. The feeling is there, although the scale seems off.


I allowed some distance in this sketch and still retained much of the feeling of the dream scene. While I like the openness and shape of the window on the right, the perspective is wrong.


More distance and better perspective and the chair is far away. I begin to wonder if it wouldn't be more elegant to simplify.


Better? I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with how the books are arranged. They seem to lead the eye in a semi-circle and out of frame. Also, this way it is more of a still life instead of an interior landscape.
I'll likely do both, but in the meantime another sketch or two, or ten, is on order.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Animals On My Mind


Animal have had a place in art for as long as there has been art. From the paleolithic artwork of the Caves of Lascaux to contemporary depictions, animals have long been part of human culture, myth, and symbol.

Sojourn Pamela Murphy
What do animals mean to our psyche? Many earth based cultures consider animals as spiritual counterparts, as messengers, and as partners in life on earth. Jung stated that animals were a relevant symbol of our psyche and often  represented the self.


Tiger Tiger Travis Louie

Theriomorphism: the ascription of animal characteristics to humans.

Stilts (Adaptation) Martin Wittfooth
There seems to be a resurgence of animal imagery in contemporary art. One theory for this is that we are compensating through art for a loss. As humans grow more urban our involvement with non human animals becomes increasingly rare. With the exception of those animals doomed to be commodities; as food, as pets, and used for entertainment - which could include animal sanctuaries and parks, as well as zoos - natural encounters with animals, wild or tame, are few and far between. The occasional encounter with deer becomes an almost magical moment, and happening across a coyote, bobcat, or bear, or even a wild turkey or goose, often causes fear or confusion. 

Mixed Metaphor II Robert McCauley
Anthropomorphism: the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object.

Intermission Theresa Elliott

The questionable practice, in my opinion, of using live animals as art has unfortunately also surged. As I write this, an Ibizan Hound is part of an exhibition at LACMA. This practice to me is an extension of perceiving animals as commodities. None of those images appear here, or of taxidermy based art, as these are simply, to my mind, further forms of animal exploitation. The very same mind set that allows people to feel comfortable with exploiting animals, may also allow them to feel comfortable exploiting people.

Enassamiian Tom Uttech


"There are some who can live without wild things and there are some who cannot." 
 - Aldo Leopold "A Sand County Almanac"