Artists for Conservation Annual Exhibit

In 2009 I became a juried member of an exemplary group of international artists who, through their art, help support the conservation of wildlife and natural resources worldwide. Artists for Conservation holds a multi-day art and environmental education festival, featuring a world-class conservation themed juried art exhibit and expo in Vancouver, British Columbia. I have submitted my work to the jury for the art exhibit only twice. I was accepted for the virtual exhibit (website only) in 2011, and I’m happy to say that this year (my second time to submit), I was accepted for the live exhibit in Vancouver, BC in September. “What Was That” is a 14 x 18 acrylic painting of a Canada lynx. The lynx is also native to the state of Illinois where I live, so rather than a typical western setting, i.e., mountains etc., I choose a more Midwestern background for the painting.

Lynx

There were 85 pieces from 80 artists chosen by the jury for the live exhibit in Vancouver while the virtual (online) exhibit will feature 200 pieces from 143 artists. I am honored that my work was chosen by the jury for AFC’s prestigious annual event. Thanks to the jurors whose task, I’m sure, was a difficult one!

  • Brent Cooke – Artist and AFC Board Member;
  • Michael Dumas – Artist and AFC Member;
  • Pollyanna Pickering – Artist and AFC Board Member;
  • Holly Swangstu – Art Institute Director, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum;
  • Debra Usher – Publisher & Editor in Chief, Arabella Magazine

Pieces chosen for the traveling exhibit and award winners will be announced soon.

“Preening Heron”

Great Blue Heron

 

My latest painting of a preening Great Blue Heron. The reference photos were taken at a nearby waterfowl refuge. I watched him for quite a while perched on that little log, on a windy day. His feathers were blowing about in the wind and I was amazed he was able to maintain his stance. This is a 12 x 16 acrylic on canvas painting. I’m still tweaking things a bit, as I always do when I “finish” a painting, but I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. Once I’m finished “tweaking” things, I’ll add a larger image to the bird gallery.

“Summer Fun” – Whitetail Fawns

Whitetail FawnsIt seems I didn’t follow up on the work in progress for this little painting so here is the finished piece. Originally it was on a 12 x 16 canvas, but I decided to make it a 12 x 12 inch. This is the final painting – a minimal style that showcases the fawns. There is a larger photo in the Mammals gallery. © Marti Millington 2016

WIP – Summertime Fun

Whitetail Fawns

This is a crop of a new project I’m working on. This is an acrylic painting of two whitetail fawns (twins) that played in my yard one summer afternoon. The doe lived in the woods behind my house and for the several years that I lived there, she had at least one fawn. Most years she had twins. This was the second set. The painting is 12 x 16 in acrylic and was originally to be a quick little “sketch.” True to form, I got rather involved in painting the details and now it is anything BUT a quick little sketch. So I will work on it as a detailed painting so far as the fawns are concerned and we’ll see how it turns out in the end.

“What Was That?”

“What Was That?” The lynx painting is finished! I’m pretty pleased with the results, although I may tweak a little thing here and there.

Lynx

 

The reference photos for this painting were taken in Montana, but lynx are native to Illinois, where I live. In fact, two of them live at the local wildlife park. The painting is 14 x 18 acrylic on canvas – available for purchase. There is a larger image in the Mammals gallery. © Marti Millington 2016

 

Two New Paintings – 6 x 6 inches

I’ve been working on a 15 x 30 painting of a leopard and its been tedious so I thought doing some small 6 x 6’s might boost my energy. I was right! They are so fun to do, because you must focus on the subject. My realistic painting style makes a large painting a very slow process. But these 6 x 6’s go much faster, even with the level of detail I like to put into each piece.

Both are done in acrylic on stretched canvas and are available for purchase – unframed. Contact me if interested in either painting using the Contact link.

Hunting the Fence Row - Fox 6x6 Acrylic $300

Hunting the Fence Row – Fox 6×6 Acrylic $300

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran

“The Hunt Begins” Juried Into IAA 2015 Wildlife Art Show

Canada Lynx

The Hunt Begins

The Hunt Begins” has been awarded 2nd Place – Water Media at the Irving Art Association’s 2015 Juried Wildlife and Domestic Animal Art Exhibit in Irving, Texas.

This is one of my larger paintings – 18 x 24 inches – and features a Canada Lynx in a winter scene. The lynx wasn’t the most time-consuming part of this painting – it was actually the snow! There is a lot of snow! I photographed the lynx at Animals of Montana while there for a workshop in 2000.

The show will feature wild and domestic animals in oil, water media, pastel, pencil, and photography. Many thanks to juror, Helen Bailey, for selecting my work for an award!

The show opens on August 30th at the Association’s gallery, Jaycee Park Center for the Arts, 1975 Puritan Dr. Irving TX 75062 with a reception and awards ceremony on September 13th from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. To see a preview of the exhibit, visit Irving Art Association’s blog by clicking here.  To learn more about juror Helen Bailey, you can visit her website by clicking here

Life.Is.Hard – Bobcat

Bobcat

My goal with this piece was to show another side of the animal kingdom. It isn’t always pretty out there in the wild; animals struggle every day to stay warm, find food, and shelter from the elements. This little guy is cold and miserable, wet, and most likely hungry. And that is the way of the animal kingdom. It’s an uphill battle to stay alive, and most times, Life.Is.Hard. The painting is 12 x 16, acrylic on canvas and is available for purchase.

Back at the Easel

WIP-Bobcat

It has been over a year since I painted anything. Several personal life events, a lot of confusion, and uncertainty about my skills as an artist, have all kept me from even thinking about painting. The passion for painting had disappeared. It wasn’t fun anymore – it was more of a chore. Artists are full of self-doubt, and while we may receive tons of positive reinforcement, there is always one who constantly comes at us with negative critiques that adversely impacts our self-confidence.  I was far too focused on whether my work was “good enough.” And listening much too much to that “voice.” I had a long talk with myself, and came to the conclusion that the negativism wasn’t about me, my work, or helping me to advance. It was about that person’s own insecurities.

Steve Jobs said it best:  “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

And he’s right! The only way I’m going to improve is to stop listening to the naysayers, and pay more attention to the people who are TRULY trying to help me grow – and there are many of them. I found a sketch and reference photos that I have always wanted to paint. And what a joy it is to be painting again! It’s exhilarating too that, instead of looking at my painting and thinking if it will be “good enough” for this or that exhibit, I look at it and ask myself, is that the right color, the correct attitude I want, etc. I find that I am much more focused on the actual act of painting, itself.

The painting above is a Bobcat that I’m currently working on. This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve progressed quite a bit on it. I just can’t post it yet, as it will give away the “surprise.” The painting is done in acrylic, and is 11 x 14 inches. And it such a pleasure to be Back at the Easel!