Fine 220/221 Ferret Artwork


The first 3 paintings here are projects done for FINE 220 (oil painting), taught by Art Green. I didn't only paint ferrets for this course, but of my other paintings, 1 didn't photograph very well, and the other 2 aren't that interesting, so...

The images are scanned from photos and slides of the artwork, so the colour, size etc is probably more than a little distorted. For some pieces I was unable to get rid of the glare from the varnish as well. Click on the images for a larger version of the painting. Comments, suggestions, criticisms are more than welcome! If you wish to know when my artwork is updated, let me know and I'll notify you when I add new pieces.

Title: Litter box blues
Size: 30" x 40"
Medium: oil on masonite
Date: October 1999
Status: in my parent's living room, hung about 2 inches from the ceiling, and with the plastic protective wrapping still on! my dad is odd

This is a painting attempting the style of analytical cubism, more or less classified by duller colours, leaking shapes, and multiple viewpoints of an object. The content are ferrets (for curves), their litterboxes (for cube and triangular shapes), and wire cages. There are 3 ferrets in the painting.

This painting would probably be better if I have sketched in a bit more of the ferret body, instead of just head and paws. I like the colours okay, and got it framed recently, which improves it a great deal. The title is a really bad pun, but I just couldn't resist.

Title: Ferrets, tunnels, and packing peanuts
Size: 40" x 30"
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: December 1999
Status: hanging in Steve Mann's Office

This is a painting attempting the style of synthetic cubism, kind of shapes made out of textures. The experience I was trying to synthesize was what happened when my ferrets got into a box of packing peanuts that came with the new tunnels I got them. Being ferrets, they of course enjoy the packing peanuts way more than the tunnels, and I still find the occasional packing peanut in my room. I did not enjoy the clean up.

Not fully understanding what synthetic cubism is, I probably took the texture part a little too literally, and end up painting lots of different textures. My biggest mistake was deciding not to repeat textures, I should have repeated them up to 3 times. I tried to use animal and other natural textures. I'm still undecided as to whether I like the final result. It's definitely the first time I painted something this loud.

There are 7 ferrets in the picture. Have fun finding them.

Title: Dreams
Size: 40" x 40"
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: December 1999
Status: hanging in my room
close up

This is my second self portrait. I hate painting humans. What I depict here is an exaggeration of a good start to the day. I love waking up and finding all my ferrets squishing me. Of course, I don't actually have 21 ferrets (yet), but hey, I needed to fill the canvas.

I don't know what possessed me to paint so many ferrets. I kind of ran out of time, so the ferrets nearer the edges of the canvas aren't painted as well. There is also a splotch on the upper left, thanx to one of Ina's cats. I intend to fix it up sometime, but I always intend to fix my paintings, don't know when I will actually get around to it. I should also fix my face, I use a mirror, and forgot to account for reflection, so all the marks are on the wrong side. Shape of my face isn't right, either. According to everybody who knows me, my other self portrait is much better. The ferrets here are painted after the ferrets living in my apartment. I like the idea of this painting a lot, but I'll probably like it a whole lot more if I weren't there.

Take a look at the close up to see the real Sand against the painted Sand.

The remaining paintings are done for FINE 221 (acrylic painting), taught by Doug Kirton. I told Doug I was only going to paint ferrets for the course. Fortunately, I don't think he was too unhappy with the results...

Title: Ferrets in the sky
Size: 24" x 24"
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Date: January 2000
Status: hanging in my hallway

This is a hard edge painting, my first try at one. I consider this one of my best paintings, but it was painful to put together. I didn't want to do any abstract hard edge paintings, so I did a representational. There is a ferret looking up at the night sky. I tend to think of the ferret as out camping with its humans (since everybody knows you don't get ferrets in the wild!).

Even though it is hard edge, I couldn't stop myself from blending. I'm a compulsive blender. The one thing wrong with it is that the ferret's nose is practically at the middle of the canvas. Couldn't believe I did that.

I had problems thinking of a good title for it, then Kat Parsons from the FML told me a story about how ferrets became stars when they die, and their friends on earth look up in the sky to see them. The idea goes wonderfully with the painting, and I love the title she suggested. She also directed me to some poems and stories by Sandy Repper, who kindly gave me permission to put them on my site. The painting matches Sandy's writings really well. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version of the picture together with the poems and stories.

Title: All in a day's work
Size: 54" x 28"
Medium: acrylic and misc ferrety items on canvas
Date: February 2000
Status: hanging in Ina's living room

This is a tribute to Firefly, my roommate's ferret. She was the most notorious kleptomaniac I have known. I had to make Ina clean out the underside of my bed every month to get rid of the stolen goods that Firefly hid. The painting is sort of a painting inside a painting. The outside shows line drawings of thieves at work, and the inside shows the mess the robber left behind. If you lift up the scarf, you will find the thief sleeping there, all tired out. You can just see her nose peeping out from underneath.

This painting was a mixed media painting, most of the 3D materials were actual things ferrets steal. I had to get baby socks so they will fit on the painting. The water is created using resin, and I have attached a few inches of the tunnel they play in as well (some of my dumber ferrets try to go up it later, and we had to move the painting out of reach). The ferret food is real (the cats tried to eat it), as are the wood pellets and soil. The scarf is a real scarf I don't wear because Storm chew holes in it -- yes, all the holes in it are ferret generated. And of course, a ferret's home is never complete without the all important duct tape. The actual box itself is also filled with stolen goods.

Painting still needs a bit of work. I couldn't do a good job of the ferret in acrylic (acrylic sucks!), so I plan to redo Firefly in oil sometime. I like it okay, but I don't think I will attempt another mixed media painting for a while.

Title: War dance
Size: 48" x 60"
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Date: March 2000
Status: sold to Melanee Ellis, moved from Juneau to Eugene? procceeds went to F.A.S.T.
close up

This is probably my second favourite ferret painting I painted. It is done with staining, a technique I enjoy so much that I have decided there is hope in using acrylics after all. The idea is that there are some ferrets war dancing around a camp fire under the northern lights. The northern lights are a bit harsh around the edges. I made the camp fire green to match the northern lights, and to get a ghostly sort of effect. I really like the way the ferret dancing behind the fire turned out.

Title: Tomorrow, the world
Size: 18" x 24"
Medium: acrylic on masonite
Date: April 2000
Status: given to my brother Hubert. in his room somewhere in California.

For this project, I had to use a photo and incorporate it into a painting. The photo is one I got when I took Birch to a pet portrait place, she was standing on a blue carpet against a sky background. I thought it might be fun for her to sniff at a moon. I like painting fantasy settings, so I chose colours to reflect a blue moon. The hard part of the painting is mixing colours to match the photo, especially since acrylic dries a lot darker.

I like the way this painting turns out, but it feels a little like cheating because I didn't actually painted Birch. The prof also suggested it might look better with a bunch of smaller paintings in a similar setting around it, and I agree.


Last updated: Sunday, 11 August 2002 @ 20:34:36 EST