I know so many new babies and babies that will soon be here and the last few months I’ve been going nuts making baby dresses.  Not the kind of creating I usually do, a great obsession for the evenings.  Here are just a few things for my new niece who will be born in about a month!

Green Bee Iris Dress
Green Bee Iris Dress
Green Bee Iris Tank with Oliver + S  Puppet Show Shorts
Green Bee Iris Tank with Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts
Oliver + S Apple Picking Dress
Oliver + S Apple Picking Dress
Oliver + S - Apple Picking Dress
Oliver + S – Apple Picking Dress
Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress
Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress

Arms! Anatomy Study Club

My artist buddy Ted Helard and I have been kicking around the idea of having regular co-dependent (I know, I know, but not the co-dependent that’s bad!) anatomy study sessions where artists take turns picking the model, picking the area of study and kind of leading the group for three hours.  We all contribute but none of us are anatomy experts, just big fans who study it as much as we can.

It was my turn this week and I chose arms. My study guide included the Paul Richer book.  There is a wealth of information in the pictures, but just imagine if I read it!  (It’s on my bucket list)  We also referred to this fantastic, unbelievable artist from East Germany – Gottfried Bammes.  Check his books out – there are a few small ones in print in English, but the good one is in German, is very hard to get and seems to cost a pile of money.  Well worth it. It explains through pictures how the bones and muscles move and is clearer than anything I’ve seen. I actually don’t even know what it’s called because my old teacher bought an old copy online for a billion dollars and one of his students scanned it and we all got copies that lacked title page, etc.     Vanderpoel and Wynn Kapit’s Anatomy Coloring Book both figured in as well.  And Stan, our 3B Scientific plastic skeleton does his part.  Bottom line – I’m slowly learning what I want to know….

If you’re around Ashland, Oregon on a Thursday, come and join us (Ashland Art Center, 357 E Main St, Ashland, OR).  I’ll also put in a plug for the Drawing and Painting Class I teach on Wednesdays.  Essential basics that many, many, many artists lack – proportion, perspective, value, understanding light and shadow.  A good chance to eat your artistic vegetables.  Put your time in. Trust me, it’s valuable.

Arm Study with bones

Study of Arms

Arm Study Jeff

Lots of Experimenting Going on…

Peripheral Visions

I’ll be showing a shadow painting installation at Ashland Painters Union starting January 4 – opening party is from 5 – 8 pm.  The show is up through the end of January, gallery open 1:00 – 5:00 on Fridays and Saturdays. Q is showing sculptural prints.  Together we were goofing off at the Ashland Art Center Print Lab and screened some flyers just for the fun of it.

And on another experimental note:  my chef brother in law recently asked me to make him a drawing of his knife and fork.

Knife and Fork for Neil Clooney Graphite Drawing by Sarah F Burns
Knife and Fork for Neil Clooney Graphite Drawing by Sarah F Burns


neil clooney arms

He’d probably want you to know he needs to go back in to get some touching up done.  You’re really not supposed to go on a wilderness rafting trip for a week the day after you get a large tat.  I guess conditions were less than perfect for healing…. Worth it though, I’m sure.

Smithfields Project Inspirations

So, I have been doing construction on my studio for the past several months, we put in a wall and window in place of one garage door, (better insulated and better light), we put in the best light set up ever – I can see what I’m doing when I want to and can totally control it.  Yay!  Anyway, I haven’t been painting since September – except for a couple small landscapes.  Anyway – I have my studio in near-working order and I have a job and my batch of canvases have been stretched.  My brother in law owns a great restaurant in Ashland, OR called Smithfields.  He’s a Brit and Smithfields was an ancient meat-market in the London, making it a great name for his meat-centric menu.  He uses local produce and meats – utilizing as much of the animal as possible.  Pig Cheeks were actually a popular and tasty (if somewhat fatty) item for a while.  Anyway.  so I’m painting a group of canvases for the restaurant – subject matter is big raw hunks of meat.   The themes will be the reality of meat – which means something dies for us to eat is, which reminds us that we also die.  I’m going to include traditional Vanitas items like clocks, flowers, skulls, snuffed candles to parallel that theme.  The back ground elements will be very tonal – kind of black, grey, umber, little bits of other smokey hues and the meat will be spotlit in full fleshy gut wrenching color.  If I can pull this off, people will take notice, but won’t lose their appetites.  Kind of a delicate balance.  Below are some of the artists and pieces I will be inspired by/ripping off…

Francis Bacon John Deakin Vogue 1962 - Isn't this a fun one? Obviously the famous painting is the story here, but we've all seen it and it's burned into our memories.
Pieter Claesz - Vanitas - Dutch Still Life Paintings are awesome - I caught a great show last summer in SF, mucho inspirations.
Skinned Rabbit by Michael Grimaldi - This man is a contemporary rock star painter - my favorite teacher ever.
Edwin Dickinson - Cello Player - This piece is exactly the kind of cluttered tonal feel I want for the background elements.
Antonio Lopez Garcia - My favorite painter alive today. I can't even put into words the things I love about this piece.
New Refridgerator by Anonio Lopez Garcia - Modern and Timeless.

So, we shall see, I’ll keep you posted…