So, what if you were the last one of your kind on earth?
It’s strange to think about; almost inconceivable (i.e. hard to wrap ones head around). I am adding more work to my series called The Last One Standing?.
I started the series when I was in graduate school. It’s paintings of animals that are on the Federal Endangered Species list. They are on the brink of extinction. One of them may really be the last one standing. It’s a sobering thought, to be the last one.
In the grand scheme of life on this planet, species come into, and others go out of, existence. I feel sad when it is we humans who are responsible for their demise. However, I use a question mark in the series title because some species have come back from the brink. That’s nice.
I live in Oregon, so I am painting Oregon endangered species (I painted Connecticut birds when I lived there). Why birds? No reason. I will include other animals in the future.
The first two I chose are the Marbled Murrelet and the Western Snowy Plover. I incorporate printed information about the animals into my paintings; their habits, habitat, and so on. They are oil on paper, 12 by 12 inches. The photo shows them still on my easel; just finished!
In my studio – Endangered Species
I have returned to a theme I love, wild animals. I created a successful series of endangered birds while I was in graduate school in Connecticut. I live in Oregon, now, so my first few paintings will be endangered birds in Oregon. You can see them in my artwork pages.
The first two I chose are the Marbled Murrelet and the Western Snowy Plover. I incorporate printed information about the animals into my paintings; their habits, habitat, and so on. That’s what’s in the photo, along with a drawing of a Marbled murrelet in my sketchbook.
Today’s Studio Photo – California Poppies
I’m not sure these are finished, but that’s all for today.
I took a holiday, not to Munich, but to the little town of Mount Angel, Oregon. It’s their 51st year of celebrating Oktoberfest. They are really into it: 3 beer halls with entertainment and lots of good food that benefits local schools, churches, etc. I didn’t eat all day so what does every artist do? I ate dessert first! Then, of course, was beer. Back to making art tomorrow.
On the way to Mount Angel…
The first order of business…. then on to see how much Oompah music I can listen to. Note to self: Don’t try to drink the fox’s beer. She will bite.
Back home. All partied out on way too much Oompah music.
I had a great time at the markets, once again. I took Foxy to the Sunday market in Hillsboro. She was a hit and met children who also had little foxes. I sold one of my favorite watercolors – it’s a scene of Decision Point Lighthouse in Alaska. My flower paintings also continue to go to nice homes. I must paint more of them!
Oktoberfest – It’s that time of year again. I’m not in Germany this year so I’m going to the one in Mt. Angel Oregon (www.oktoberfest.org). I’ll send a photo!
I’m still working on my series of watercolors of Portland landmarks. This one is the Portland sign at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Broadway.
Portland Sign (Michael Liebhaber, Watercolor & Ink, 11 x 14 inches, 2016)
What do I look at? When in Phoenix … I visit the Phoenix Art Museum (PAM). I saw some old favorites and new things, too. The Heard Museum is great, too, just up the road, but it was a PAM sort of day today. Here is a bit of what I spent my time looking at.
The highlight was the traveling exhibition of Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads: Gold by Ai Weiwei. It was very worth the trip. It’s a conceptual exhibit, so one has to read about it as well. Ok, one does not have to, but it helps. Another place for info is Ai Weiwei’s site (http://www.zodiacheads.com).
I spent a lot of time studying the painting by Edouard Vuillard. I looked his brushwork, the layers of his colors, how he placed colors to create the illusion of shapes, and more. I also visited a bronze by my favorite sculptor Barbara Hepworth. It was class Hepworth, a powerful piece. I did not like where it was placed, on a shelf across a staircase, too far away to get its full impact. I also noticed a dreamy image by Agnes Pelton. It was almost a bit too surreal for me, but it was well done and its imagery pulled me in. My photo doesn’t do justice to her painting. If you cannot make it to the museum, take a look online at http://www.phxart.org. Oh yes, then there was Rodin.
List of images
· Ai Weiwei Exhibit (http://www.phxart.org/exhibition/zodiacheads)
· Madame Lucy Hessel Working at a Dressmaker’s Table by Edouard Vuillard, oil, 1908
· Aloe by Barbara Hepworth, bronze, 1969
· Kiss by Rodin, bronze, 1880
· Day by Agnes Pelton, oil, 1935