Fine 320/321 Mostly Ferret Artwork

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The first 4 paintings here are projects done for FINE 320 (advanced painting), taught by Will Gorlitz. There are 5 paintings for the whole term, but I was really unhappy with one of them, which isn't shown here. The theme Will set for the term is personal and social issues, neither of which I'm terribly interested in. But I managed to find something that fits in with ferrets.

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.




Size: 9" x 12"
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: September 2000
Status: hanging in my office (probably still drying)

This is an exercise in doing a really thick painting. The thickest part of the painting is probably about 1/2 an inch thick. Have never done anything like that, and likely never will, though it was kind of fun. Thick paintings take forever to dry, and it was still squishy when Will hung it for the third year show for the assignment. He dropped it by mistake and caught it with his thumb, leaving a huge dent near the middle. Will was pretty upset, but as my supervisor says, the best profs always leave their mark on their students' work!

People ask me where the ferret is, and is shocked when I say nowhere. The painting had to be based on a newspaper clipping, and I wasn't able to find one with a ferret in it in short notice. I end up taking a few layers of newspaper, singing some of it and arranging it. The top layer is an image with a birch tree in it, so I suppose you can say Birch is in the painting!




Title: Mustela nigripes
Size: 48" x 24"
Medium: oil on stained canvas
Date: November 2000
Status: fate to be determined

This painting was inspired by a visit to the zoo, when I attended the Ferrets 2000 Symposium organized by FAST. I guess it was kind of sad that the black footed ferret is endangered, and display in a small enclosure to educate people. The good thing is that the BFF breeding program is pretty successful, so hopefully they will make a full recovery some day and return to the praries they belong.

I tried a new technique, by first staining the canvas to create a prairie background and then sealing it, and then painting the zoo enclosure with oil paint on top. I wanted to make things semi transparent, so you can't tell whether it's the enclosure or the prairie that is real, but it wasn't very successful. The gray and white mess the ferret is lying on is supposed to be bedding in the zoo, not flowers in the prairie :).




Title: Reflections
Size: 30" x 40"
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: November 2000
Status: hanging in Richard's ferret room in Yakima, Washington. Proceeds sent to Ferrets Unlimited.

I wanted to capture the spirits of ferrets who are heading towards the the rainbow bridge, so I painted a lot of vague ferret shapes heading towards the sky. But I think they must miss their humans down on earth, so one of them is turning, looking back at his life on earth.

The entire painting is many different shades of blue, none of which is reproduced properly on the slides I took. This problem is even worse in my next painting.

Thanx to everybody who emailed me with suggestions for naming this painting. I finally decided on Reflections suggested by Sandy (a.k.a. Kez Fizzygig). I think it represents the intent of the painting really well!




Title: Crossings
Size: 50" x 40"
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: December 2000
Status: hanging in Barb Griswold's house in Corning. Proceeds went to ferrets ADV research.

This painting was supposed to be related to my previous one, and originally I was going to paint something very similar. However, I was working on my miniatures at the time, and painting a lot of moons, so I decided to put a big fat moon in the painting, as a place that the ferrets pass when they cross over. I think that it must be fun for the ferrets to encounter all sorts of strange things when they cross over, and they are so curious they must make quite a few side trips! The ferret shapes are even more vague in this painting, perhaps only a ferret lover will look at it and imagine ferrets frolicking in the moonbeams...

I had even more trouble reproducing the blue in this painting. The sky, which just look dark blue, actually changes quite a bit from an almost greenish blue to a dark purple. The painting is also varnished, and minimizing the reflections wasn't trivial either. I plan to make one more attempt to capture the blue, and then will probably give it up as a lost cause.




The remaining paintings are done for FINE 321 (advanced painting), taught by Art Green. Art is the greatest prof (I want to grow up to be like him!). I'm pretty happy with most of the paintings I did this term, however, only 3 finished paintings are shown here, I still have to complete my fourth and fifth painting and take slides of them.


Title: Study for sleeping ferret
Size: 8 3/4" x 11 7/8"
Medium: acrylic and oil on canvas
Date: January 2001
Status: sold with Sleeping ferret.

We started the term by doing 6 different studies. I chose this one turn into my first painting. I love the way Sprite curled up into a tiny white ball when she sleeps, so she is the model for the study.




Title: Sleeping ferret
Size: 30" x 40"
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: January 2001
Status: hanging in Sonya's bedroom in Albuquerque. Proceeds went to ferrets ADV research.

This painting end up being quite different from the study. I was trying to make the ferret less visible and work it into the craters of the moon. It ended up being very dreamy and more surreal than I expected. A lot of people didn't realize there was a ferret int it, but it is pretty obvious once you saw the study.




Title: Exuberance
Size: 36" diameter
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: March 2001
Status: hanging in Barb Griswold's house in Corning. Proceeds went to ferrets ADV research.

My supervisor told me this looks like ferret shot and falling off a tree, but I much prefer Art's exclaimation of it is so exuberant!, which is where I took the title. I wanted to paint sort of a spying on a ferret doing its dance under the moonlight. The silhouette is taken from a video capture of Storm jumping so high that she fell down backwards. The moment is when she just started falling.

I really like working on a circular canvas, although I got kind of sick of painting leaves.




Title: Solar Dance
Size: 36" diameter
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: March 2001
Status: at Thanh's waiting for her sister Mary to pick up.

This is my favourite painting for the term. I just like the idea of ferrets war dancing on the sun!

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Last updated: Sunday, 29 September 2002 @ 18:00:08 EST
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