Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

 (Watercolor on paper, 4" x 5", nfs - collection of the artist)
I appreciate every one of you! Thank you for writing, cheering me on, commenting and basically being interested!
Have a wonderful Christmas and don't eat too much! (now where's the fun in that? have an extra cookie for me!)
Live Creatively!
Liz

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cougar II (Mountain Lion)

I painted from this reference photo a few years ago and it is one of my most popular paintings. I thought I'd give it another whirl and see what I did differently.

Mountain Lion II



4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
SOLD

 
I'm very happy with the way this turned out. I like it a lot better than the first one :)

I'm working on a pub sign that I'll show you soon.

Live Creatively!

Liz

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bano - Portland Police Bureau - Donated Portrait

 
BANO - Donated K9 Portrait
4"x6" Oil on Panel
Portland Police Bureau

From his partner: 

Bano is a German Shepherd trained to trail and alert on fresh human scent. We have worked together about 7 years and he is currently 8 1/2 years old. He is a powerful and  sweet dog who really enjoys work.  Throughout  our time together, he has apprehended approximately 180 "bad guys."  Bano has also located multiple articles such as firearms, knives, drugs, ETC. during his course of duties.
Thank you Officer Elias and Bano for all you do to keep us safe :)

If you are a member of K9 or Mounted patrols, please send me a photo of your animal so that I can donate a portrait to your Department. I also donate paintings to Search & Rescue handlers & Military dogs. There is absolutely no charge, so get in touch with me, or forward this to someone you know who would like a painting.

Today, I received an interesting email from Jasmine Murray asking questions about my work. I thought I'd post them here.

The problem is that I truly love all kinds of art and all kins of painting mediums, so most of my answers are pretty generic. I did go through and pick out a few examples, though, do I get points for that?

Here are the questions from the email:

What media do you like to use the best and why? 

I have painted in just about all media at some time or another. I love them all, they are like people, each with their strong points and drawbacks. I love anything creative! Besides fine art, I make artisan jewelry & stained glass (WackyPup on Etsy) recently got a kiln so I can try my hand at some small sculptures, quilting, woodworking and even a vinyl cutter.  Obviously hard for me to narrow down my choices for being creative :)

I don't use watercolor very often, but I love the way that the colors intermingle with each other of their own accord. This is the only medium that does this, and it's beautiful. Unfortunately, because of this, things don't always go the way you planned. Watercolor is the least forgiving medium.



English Bulldog in Watercolor - NFS - Privately Commissioned Portrait

Pastels are strong and bright and offer immediate gratification, but they're more difficult to frame, and more fragile if you leave them laying around :)


 Tiger in Pastel - Ruby @ Roanoke, VA Zoo


 Portrait in Pastel - NFS - Private Commission

Quick Plein Air Pastel Study - 5x7 or so - if you'd like to add it to your collection it's yours for $50

Occasionally, I use gouache, mostly when I travel. It is more durable and less variable than watercolor, and easier to travel with than oils. Some of my absolute favorite paintings are gouache.

Little China Doll
4" x 5.5"
Gouache on Illus Board
Sold




 Orange Spice Tea
6" x 4" Gouache on Paper
Sold - Private Collection

 I like acrylic, and I like the bright paintings that I create with them, but I'm terribly allergic to them, so I don't use them very often. Which is too bad because Chroma acrylics was going to sponsor my site, but I can't use their wonderful paints without being very careful.

Texas Spring 
4" x 6" Acrylic on Panel
$100
This painting is unframed. If you would like it framed in a nice gold easel back frame, let me know and I will add it to your order for $25. 
I guess my favorite medium is oil, mostly because it's totally forgiving. If things aren't going your way, you can just keep going until it submits LOL. Or even wipe it down completely and start over. Most of my portraits and paintings these days are in oils. It's also easy to frame. The drawback is that they're more expensive, and harder to travel with.

 Bird on the Table
4" x 6" ~ Original Oil on Panel ~$100
  What aspects of nature are your favourite to draw? 

Faces without a doubt. I love faces of people and animals. There is so much in a face, memories, dreams, past experience, or hope for the future.

In landscape, the most interesting thing to me is shadows, especially the way tree shadows fall onto buildings.

Do you incorporate different media together in your work?

 I don't do many mixed media pieces. Sometimes I underpaint in acrylic because it dries quickly, but usually, I like everything to run together and soften up a bit.

Where's your favourite place to create your artwork? 

Hmm, I love camping, but I don't do much painting when I'm there. If I could make myself get out of the kayak and actually open up my art supply bag, I think I'd love it. At this point, most of my paintings are done in my beautiful (messy) studio that has just had two large skylights installed. My studio has a small kiln, a bunch of clay, tons of stained glass, and oh yes, canvases, oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, panels, easels and my desk & files. Yup, it's a mess, and FULL!

Oddly enough, green is not one of my favorite colors, but going over paintings to see what to include in this post made me realize, I paint a lot of green!

 Now, I must get off this computer and get some real creative work done! I'm working on Christmas quilts (plus a few portrait commissions)

Don't forget to LIVE CREATIVELY!

Liz

Please become a fan of my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Liz-van-der-Werff/136309593758

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cleo


Mason-Dixon Rescue Dogs
Search & Rescue Dog (Retired)

From her partner:
I began training Cleo when she was about 1 1/2 years old, after she had gotten pretty used to the relaxed life of being a house pet (as opposed to a working dog). I spent a very long year working with her, building her drive, convincing her to enjoy the toy so much that finding it would be enough motivation for her to search for a total stranger. I was told she would never make it as a search dog. That person that told me that was wrong! Yes, we had to work a lot harder than most others, but we did it. We became a certified wilderness area search K9 team.

One night, we were on a night search for a missing woman, who had Alzheimer's and who wandered from her home. We searched out area for two hours and on our final pass through the area, heading back to the road, I saw Cleo's light in the distance bouncing back and forth between two spots about 20 feet from each other. It was odd enough that I started to walk towards her (she was about 150' away from me, outside our sector. She kept going from one spot to the other, but as I got closer she stayed at one spot and began to bark - giving her trained indication on the missing woman. I tended to the woman and called in our coordinates to base. When I was sure the woman was okay, I walked over to the other spot where I saw Cleo. There, the woman had laid her shoes and glasses. I had never trained for a scenario where my subject partially disrobed. The woman's scent was so close, I suppose it was enough to cause a bit of confusion. Cleo in the end figured it out, and her behavior was enough to draw me in, but I began working that into mine and other's training regimens from that day forward. This was our first find, one of my proudest moments with my girl!

One of the funniest moments happened at one of our weekly night trainings. I gave my subject a general area where I wanted him to hide, and then began working the area. We ended up near an old large stone fireplace attached to a pavilion. My subject was inside one of the cubbies where wood was stored. Just outside that was a trashcan with a mop inside it, placed upside down so the mop head was sticking out. This was the old style mop head that looked like a really bad hair day :) Knowing that the dogs learn to trust their noses and not their eyes, my girl Cleo decided there was enough scent that she began barking at the mop head like it was a person about to give her the toy! I was laughing so hard I almost had a hard time directing her in closer to the subject. When she passed the cubbie she caught scent of the subject and worked into him, again giving her bark alert. That was probably 7 years ago, and we still laugh about it today!


If you are a member of Search & Rescue, K-9 or Mounted Patrol, please allow me to paint a small oil portrait for you at no charge, in gratitude for your service.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Morgan - English Springer Spaniel - West Jersey K-9 SAR

I completed a couple of the portraits that I donate to search & rescue & K9 handlers - Here's Morgan - a beautiful English Springer Spaniel

Morgan

Search Dog (Retired)
West Jersey K-9 SAR

Note from her partner: I'm a dog handler with West Jersey K-9 SAR. My retired partner, Morgan, will be fourteen this year. She's still active and healthy aside from a little arthritis here and there and having lost her hearing. At 13 1/2 though every day together is especially precious now.
For a little background on my girl, she is a black and white tri English Springer Spaniel. She's a good girl. She's certified in air scent, water and human remains detection. She has been on a lot of searches in her career, including 9-11 and hurricane Katrina.

I painted Morgan tired, happy and dripping with mud and water, her favorite way to be.

Morgan was one of the winners of the of the seventh AKC Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE), presented by the American Kennel Club. The award isdesigned to commemorate loyal, hard-working dogs that have made significant contributions to their community. The ACE awards are given annually to dogs in each of the following five categories: Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Therapy, Service and Exemplary Companion Dog.
Search and Rescue Dog: “Morgan” from Lebanon, N.J.
Morgan, an English Springer Spaniel, is a certified wilderness air scent, water and cadaver search dog. She and her owner, Katrene Johnson, have participated in over 50 searches nationwide. In September 2001, Morgan and Katrene were called upon to search for DNA material in the debris from Ground Zero. Morgan faithfully searched the quarter square mile of debris that had been deposited at Staten Island’s Fresh Kills Land Fill. Her contribution helped to give numerous families the answers they sought about their loved ones. In 2005, Morgan was instrumental in the relief efforts of another catastrophe. Hancock County, Mississippi called upon search and rescue teams to help track down their missing citizens after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. Morgan and a few other teams were responsible for clearing neighborhoods before residents returned to survey the damage to their homes. With Morgan’s help, Hancock County completed its mission of locating all missing citizens.

If you are a member of Search & Rescue, K-9 or Mounted Patrol, please allow me to paint a small portrait for you at no charge, in gratitude for your service.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mrs. Lola's Kitchen


Mrs. Lola
16" x 20"
Oil On Canvas
Private Collector

Allow me to introduce Mrs. Lola. This is a recent commission for a client that will be opening a restaurant in Oklahoma City. The restaurant will be named in honor of his grandmother, Mrs. Lola and the portrait will be displayed there.  I'll let you know when it's open for business!

I've been busy and have a lot of other portraits and paintings to share, but especially wanted to show you this one.

As always - Live Creatively!

Liz

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bird on the Table

Not sure why I've been gone so long. I think I just got tired of technology (although I still check my email 500 times a day)

I've been busy in the studio, got some portraits and dog paintings to show you, but today it's still life time. I love glass birds. I've picked up a couple new birds to paint, and today I painted this adorable little sitting bird.



 Bird on the Table
4" x 6"
Oil on Panel
$100
It was a lot of fun to paint. It's available for $100. You can use the paypal button or just email me.



If you'd like it framed in a nice gold frame similar to the one shown above, just add $25 to the painting.

Thanks for stopping by.

Live Creatively!!

Liz
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