July 21, 2015

"Who Whooo?" little owl painting

Who Whooo?
6x6x.5 oil on cradled board

Who Whooo? 
Who cooks for you??
 While this is not this owl's call, that phrase keeps coming to mind. 

This fun little guy is an oil sketch of a burrowing owl in sitting position. He looks a bit serious or annoyed. I am playing with color combinations and there will be a larger version of this guy with a different background coming up.

July 15, 2015

Night Owls, Haiku and Imperfection as Truth.

Night Owls 18 x 18 Oil  $950 unframed    ©2015 deb kirkeeide
The vast bowl of sky
Embraces indigo dreams
Guardians stand watch

Where has all my focus gone?
....long time passing. 
Sounds a bit like a Peter, Paul and Mary song doesn't it?

This is another painting that I seem to have been working on bit by bit over a long period of time.
Flitting back and forth between multiple projects.  More exploration in textures and approaches, composition and acceptance.

Imperfection as Truth
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having a hard time finishing things. Part of that was due to this self imposed notion of perfection.

I certainly won't argue that there is never room for improvement. As we continually evolve in our experience and practice, our skills improve. But it seems to be essential to be accepting of where we are in that particular moment of our expression. Let's face it, some days are better than others and many factors come into play that effect the outcome.

And then there is this ideal of our perceived definition of what is perfection.

There are often times when a sketch inspires me to fully realize it as a painting. I love the sketch but occasionally something gets lost in translation. Many times I find I like WIP’s (my own and others) more appealing than the finished piece. After thinking about this I determined that the “imperfect” sketch was the moment of truth. It was honest, spontaneous and pure in its energy. It is the soul of the painting.

To me, that is perfection.

I think as humans, we have this innate need to strive for perfection in hopes that others will see and accept us. (okay, maybe it's just me) We want to fit in. But is perfection really necessary? Isn’t this 
so-called imperfection what makes us so unique?

Of course this is only my own opinion, but I am finding it to be a useful tool in removing some unnecessary stress lately.  By allowing myself to let go of the outcome, I find more freedom to explore and experiment and change my mind.

July 6, 2015

Thought and Desire - the painting and the myth

Thought and Desire
9 x 12 x 1.5 Oil
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

A Little Allegory

As you may have noticed, ravens are a favorite subject. To me they represent transformation and creation. They will forever be symbolic of when I fully realized my desire to be an artist. The thought was always there, but you need the desire to fully realize it.

An astute friend saw this painting on my easel in a recent studio picture and asked if it was a painting of me and my raven. At the time I hadn’t set out with that in mind, but now I think he’s right. Seems to be a personal representation of my self and the raven as my spirit animal. I love when that happens!

A Little Mythology

In Norse mythology there is the story of the two ravens, Hugin and Munin who are the shamanic helping spirits of the god Odin. The poem describes them from the perspective of Odin:

Hugin and Munin
Fly every day
Over all the world;
I worry for Hugin
That he might not return,
But I worry more for Munin

Hugin and Munin are simultaneous projections or extensions of Odin’s own being.Their names are derived from hugr which is “thought”, and munr “desire”, both of which are distinct parts of the self in their own right.

If you’d like to read a little more than my excerpt of this story, here’s a link to the site
The author Dan McCoy does a much better job of telling the tale.


June 30, 2015

Blue on Green a Blue heron Painting and musings on perfection.

Blue on Green
12 x 9 x 1.5    Oil
250.00    Purchase here
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

This piece is on cradled hardboard and is ready to hang as is or if you choose, you can have it framed.

At last....
A finished painting. It's not for lack of painting - I have several in the works, but I've gotten bogged down by this notion of perfection lately. Believe me, it hasn't been very productive.

Perfection in Imperfection

I recently came across a quote by Alice Walker. “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.” It was accompanied by a beautiful picture of a forest with bent, oddly formed, moss covered trees. Due to the conditions in this dense forest, these trees have adapted in their growth. And yet they were perfect in their imperfection.

This is the third time this message has crossed my path in various forms lately. It is a lesson in how I let perfectionism get in my way.

I am in the midst of redefining my life and have a lot of plates spinning in the air. I have become frustrated in that I can’t seem to finish many of my projects. I am close, but something stops me. And that something is perfectionism.

In some of discussions with other artists, I hear a common thread of fear that we can’t show our work to the world until it is perfect. Or what we perceive as perfect. I’ve had several paintings in the works that I can’t just seem to finish because I am keep holding them up to some impossible standard of perfection.

But what if we re frame our thinking and accept that in our perceived “imperfection” it is the honest reflection of that moment. Done. Move on to the next one. Tomorrow will bring a new perspective and approach.
Whale art by Eva.

Watch a child draw sometime. They do it with joy and abandon. And when they are done they are happy and proud. They don’t worry or over analyze. That scribble may not look like a whale or that line look like water But you know what? It’s perfect. It was done with joy and honesty and that’s all that matters. 

More thoughts on this in a future post. In the meantime I'm going to embrace my imperfections!

May 30, 2015

A Portrait of Izzy - Original Cat oil painting by Deb Kirkeeide

6x6 Oil

When my friend had to say goodbye to her beloved Izzy I knew that I wanted to paint him as a keepsake of their loving companionship. Even I miss having him grace me with his attention when I was over for a visit. He was pretty much devoted to my friend but he did seem to like me too. 

My friend loved the painting. I think, as an artist, the most gratifying part of my job is when another finds joy and meaning in what I have created. That is truly my purpose and is the most valuable reward.

To Izzy, you are missed but remembered fondly!

If you are interested in a painted keepsake of your pet I am available for comissions.
For more information and examples of my work please visit my website.

May 6, 2015

Tide Pool - Egret Painting

Tide Pool
15 x 20 Oil
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

While out in California a while back I watched this egret wading in one of the tide pools looking for dinner along the shore. I think it's fascinating to be able to observe nature in ways we don't normally pay attention to. It was that time of day where the light was just right making the experience even more perfect!

This past weekend was the Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour. Several area artists opened up their studios to the public for show and tell. It was a good weekend, meeting new people and visiting with past collectors. And my studio is the cleanest it has been in a long time! I want to thank all who came out over the weekend.

Here are a few pictures from the studio.

May 4, 2015

Eva's Best Buddy - Painting of a Pug

Eva's Best Buddy
10 x 9 Oil 
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

This is Maverick, my granddaughter's best buddy. Or, her Puppy Brother. For a grumpy old man he is very tolerant of her active toddler ways, but I'm sure he would prefer it if she liked to cuddle up on the couch and sleep instead of going non stop through out the day. She loves him very much.

I decided to start building Eva's art collection each birthday. So this is the second in the birthday series! I also wanted to paint him in a style that fits a 2 yr old's room. I think he turned out to be pretty fun. Her reaction? "Dog!"