Kava 12 x 12” oil on board: Allison Leigh Smith
I usually photograph my reference between 11-2pm, when all the photographers will tell you never to take a piture outside. But for photos destined to become paintings, the strong light creates strong shadows and strong shadows create form. However… this little girl was waiting on a cactus plant, in the cold, on a cloudy day; waiting for me to change her sugar water. She was so unafraid, and so interested in what I was up to, that I went inside and got my camera. Yep- still there when I returned. And still interested. And so, for the first time, I painted a portrait in soft diffused light, with the most charming subject I could have asked for.
Newest Painting: Hunkered Down Hummie with a Little White Tummy, 12 x 12” oil on board, Allison Leigh Smith
Ahhh!! So good to be back online! I have been moving and attending the first ten days of an ongoing art show, but finally I am back. I have missed you Tumblr! In my first week, I had the most comments on this pink lady. I hung her near the floor and she made a terrific conversation piece. Alas she was the third painting to find a home. I think I will replace her with a little mouse and subsequent little critters that skitter around the floorboards. ‘Makes a nice counter to the avid collector who complains of having no more wall space.
“Rose” the Chilean Rose Tarantula 12 x 12 oil on board, Allison Leigh Smith
I’m participating in an art show/art market event in January called Celebration of Art in Scottsdale, AZ. It runs through March. So I’ve been painting… a lot. Here’s my latest. I think I might title it “Can I Have a Cookie?” :)
PS: I do pet portraits ;)
Gulliver: 12 x 12” oil on board by Allison Leigh Smith
Newest Painting: Pregnant Prairie Dog, Phx AZ, 20 x 16” Oil on Board by Allison Leigh Smith
Sometimes I am on a mission to get great reference of a certain kind of animal. I’ll set out to the zoo, or a rescue, or a farm on a quest to get the perfect… I don’t know… pygmy goat or something. But then, I almost never accomplish that mission. The light isn’t right. The animal isn’t there, or they just aren’t interested in being photographed for a painting. My consolation is that there is always another critter somewhere nearby just begging to be referenced.
Digging these prints I’m working on…
I may be stating the obvious here, but don’t you think Andrew Wyeth painted Robert Frost poems and visa-versa? Anyway- I bet neither one of them went to many summer barbecue and pool parties. And we are better for it.
Andrew Wyeth | Turkey Pond | 1944 & Night Sleeper | 1979
Somedays, my life and work are perfect. For instance: Saturday. I went to a farm in Peoria, Arizona and met this little fella for a painting reference photoshoot. His name is Nugget and he’s a miniature Leopard Appaloosa Horse. His shoulders stand at 34 inches high. The owner was doting and awesome and dancing around to keep their ears upright and happy. She did the craziest moves and noises while I photographed all four of her spotted horses one by one. Then she apologized that because of the cool nights, their winter coats were growing in.
She apologized that her mini horses were shaggy. I laughed and kept on shooting.
I’m doing a series of these little toy paintings: 8 x 8” oil and graphite on board. I like to think of them as miniatures of paintings that will soon be life-sized. My favorite part is sketching and scribbling and scraping the backgrounds in. I’ve never been loose before! It’s freeing. This is me: Allison Leigh Smith
Latest Painting: Red-Eared Slider Turtle 10x8” oil on board Allison Leigh Smith
I loved this little guy. While shooting reference, he would take off running, making a good shot impossible. Despite reports that turtle are slow, this kid could move. I’d pick him up and put him back in my light. He’d run again. We did this several times until I resorted to putting a finger on his back to keep him still; at which point, he would stick his head out, but not his feet. I tried reasoning with him. His reptile rescue foster father tried reasoning with him. At last he came out, stood up, and gave me this smile. He knew what he was doing the whole time.