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Friday, March 28, 2014

More White Rabbits

As I continue with my rabbit paintings, I still fight a battle between subtle, meaningful art and mere perceptive art. Mostly the bunnies turn out "cute". They are the ones painted from pets that I know and the family has owned. I moved away from the cute label when I started to paint the stone rabbits I have seen in a garden. I had these observations from Cathy Gatland:

 Yes, perhaps a little threatening, but also a little lost and vulnerable, not being able to see...and especially in the top one, the marks around the figure suggest other senses in full use - listening, sniffing, ready to act. 

Reading this, I think I have reached a more serious plane with the sculptural rabbits.

The following rabbits leave me very uncertain! Do they "say" something? This time I gave them eyes, hoping it would work out. Incidentally, the lines are all very straight, but the camera caused some extortion in the photos. The soft peach color and all the blues are true to the originals.

Rabbit with a Baroque design border 1

Rabbit with a Baroque design border 2


  1. I do love your rabbits. I especially thought Lola and Vanilla looked great in your garden.
    We have a ton of rabbits in AZ. We are seeing them more now that the weather is in the 80's again. I see at least 10-20 on my daily walks.

  2. Thank you, Manon, Rabbits are not, what I know of, wild all over in South Africa. Where I live on the West Coast we do not find them. I go to animal farms here to see them, or visit my kids who keep them as pets. Yes I would love to live where they just run about! (this is an irresponsible wish, I realize)

  3. Ooh, I'm honoured to have my comment posted Marie - sorry I haven't been keeping up here... I don't think you have to try to make your rabbits say something, they do just because of your affinity with them and your desire to paint them so beautifully. Baby rabbits ARE cute, so if you don't want to have them labelled as that, other mechanisms such as you're doing with the sculptured and porcelain rabbits work well I think. Personally I don't think the decorative borders add anything to the work, though they too are so well painted.
    I've been doing a painting course with Greg Kerr which really pushes you out of your comfort zone so I'm interested in this topic of meaning. We aren't to invent meaning or symbolism, but he makes us draw our subject matter intensely and repeatedly, in various ways and mediums, including 3D ones like wire and clay - then photographing those with varying shadows and light effects until we get a completely personal and unique result. Hard to explain in a sentence or two, but I'd say keep on doing what you're doing with the rabbits - only more!

    1. Cathy, thank you for taking the time to ponder my images and trying to understand. Yes, the bunnies are cute and as an illustrator I can go into greater cuteness. But, no, it is time to follow my instinct to make them serious. Your tips from Greg's painting course are surely exactly what I should strive to accomplish. I will try each of those steps. Thank you for taking the time to explain that wonderful process!

      The above rabbit paintings are difficult to judge. I placed the borders there to get a type of tension between relief sculpture and 3-D. Also the tension between decorative and fine art. I may not repeat this idea,especially as the camera distortion does not allow the lines to appear as straight as they are.

      Once again, such encouragement as yours make me feel that I can test ideas and throw them out there for feedback!

  4. Yes, that could be a workable could incorporate the relief sculpture in another way perhaps, that isn't as decorative as a border - perhaps having them sitting on pedestals, or in a setting that contains classic sculpture. Greg also has us building 'sets' with our 'characters' and photographing them, again with shadows and light effects to paint from - see this post:

    1. Those are wonderful ideas, Cathy. I could not open your link last week, but will try again.

    2. I just saw some of Greg's work, Cathy! I am hooked and will look out for a course that I can attend!


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