Congratulations, Kris, you won a free pack of custom greeting cards! (I’ll be contacting you shortly to see which paintings in the Available Paintings gallery you’d like to have printed for your cards. In the meantime…)
I want to sincerely thank each of you for taking time out of your busy, over-scheduled lives to enter the giveaway and say hello on my blog. I realize I bribed you to do so with a freebie, but still.
It was fantastic to hear from both past clients and new folks—I was truly overwhelmed by all the thoughtful and funny sentiments in the comment section.
If I learned anything from this giveaway, it is this:
1. I have an incredibly kind and fun group of people following my career
2. Bribes work
By the way, if you’re wondering how Kris won the giveaway, I used the random number generator at random.org to pick the winner. She was the second person to comment on the blog, so as number “2,” she won.
This was so fun to do, I think I’ll do another giveaway in the near future. So if you’re already subscribed to my newsletter, you’ll be the first to know.
Until the next painting, thank you for following my work!
First, an admission…
Would you care to guess who commented on one of my more recent blog posts?
My own mother.
Just her. That’s it. (If you don’t believe me, go here.)
These are clearly troubling times…
The good news in my world right now is that I love most of what I do: creating, painting…writing about creating and painting. When it goes well, and even when it doesn’t.
And one of best parts of all that is sharing it with you. I truly enjoying writing the little blurbs—like the one you’re reading one now—to accompany my painting announcements and studio news. Then I get to send all of it out into the electronic ether…there it goes!
But do you know what I love even more than sharing words and pictures with you?
I love hearing from you!
Unfortunately, this brings me back to my mom and that whole sad state of affairs…
I know it takes a little time and effort to come over to this blog and say hello, but I so appreciate when you do (at the very least it helps me to know you’re out there!).
So I’m sweetening the pot…
This is my unabashed bribe to encourage you to pipe up and say howdy…
I’m giving away a set of FREE greetings cards of my new work!
These cards happen to be super high quality, with a satiny feel, printed on heavy stock with matching envelopes.
And if you win, you get to pick which paintings make it into that set. You want 8 Baboon cards? You got it. You prefer to mix it up with a few Cows, an Otter and a Bear? Fine and dandy. You can choose any of the paintings in the Available Paintings gallery. Here’s a few examples:
Here’s how you enter…
1.) Make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter. You can do that by clicking here.
2.) Leave me a comment below by April 30th at midnight (PST).
The winner will be picked at random on Friday, May 1, and announced in the next newsletter (I’ll also contact you directly so you can select the paintings you’d like to have printed).
Keep in mind that your comment can be a question about my painting process, feedback on this newsletter, ideas for the blog itself—whatever you care to ask or say.
I only ask that you try to keep it clean. After all, my mother will be reading…
(In all seriousness…I truly look forward to hearing from you, and thanks in advance!)
Cash (sheep) | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 40in x 60in | Acrylic on stretched canvas
If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a bit of an animal lover. In addition to painting them as my chosen career, I like to do my small part by helping those who help animals, specifically animal welfare organizations like Farm Sanctuary and The Humane Society of the United States.*
So in honor of the 2015 Year of the Sheep, the latest painting is portrait of a handsome Farm Sanctuary resident in New York named “Cash.”
I’ve painted three smaller goat portraits for Farm Sanctuary, but this is my first sheep resident. He’s also almost life-size at 40 x 60 inches…
My intent was to donate Cash directly to FS for fund raising purposes, or even auctioning the piece off myself (with all proceeds going directly to FS). But now we are putting our heads together and other fun ideas are percolating!
So if you’d like to help a great cause, and are interested in purchasing this piece for your home, please email me directly and I’ll personally put you on the list for info as it becomes available.
I personally think it would look fantastic at the end of a hall, or even in an entry way, such as this beautiful space designed by Cynthia Collins in Dallas (pic is just a fun mock-up for size).
“Cash” holding court in a beautiful entryway.
Until the next painting, thanks as always for reading. For more information on Farm Sanctuary please click here. For the HSUS click here.
*This year I’m donating a good portion of each sale to animal welfare organizations—the ones I love, or the ones you love. If you have bare walls, appreciate original art, and love animals, I’d love to hear from you.
I’ll admit it: being mentioned in the press makes me more giddy than finding free parking in LA. So big thanks to our local beach cities paper, The Beach Reporter, for printing a nice little piece on my work last week!
I restrained myself and only grabbed 5 copies at the local Starbucks…
The Bighorn and my teenie tiny likeness even made the cover…
The Beach Reporter – cover page
If you don’t live in the area, you can check out the online version by clicking here.
Thanks for reading,
Highland Cow (2015) | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 48in x 60in | Acrylic on stretched canvas
QUESTION: If the eyes are the window to the soul, how do you paint a soulful portrait of an eyeless cow?
ANSWER: [Sound of crickets…]
I’ve been dying to paint a Scottish highland cow (or “Heeland Coo,” as they’re called in Scotland), for over four years. Technically speaking, they’re not eyeless. But I want my subjects to emote, so animals whose eyes are hidden beneath extensive fur pose a challenge. And much like the Otter, I’d have to find a way to make it at least as dramatic as it was cute, else it might come across as a stuffed animal.
Then I heard myself wondering how a painting might come across, and recognized it for what it was: the Kiss of Death for an artist. That thought, or concern, is truly one of the worst creativity killers I can think of. It also leads to mediocre work. Which is one of the scariest things I can think of.
So, newly fueled by the fear of mediocrity, I dug up a great photo I had tucked away (taken by Gail Johnson of her aunt and uncle’s cow) and got to work.
In the studio with Highland Cow (2015) | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 48in x 60in | Acrylic on stretched canvas
I’m happy about the way Highland Cow turned out, and I learned a few lessons in the process.
First, I was reminded that it’s crucial for me to question the low but familiar din of worry in my brain, as it pertains to what I paint and how I paint it. I often forget how sneaky and incessant all that background noise is. Being able to notice those auto-thoughts—and deciding to ignore a few here and there—is really important to my work and growing as an artist.
Highland Cow – nose detail | aimeehoover.com
Second, it turns out I can goad myself into painting just about anything by telling myself it’s a “just a study.” This tactic works because it takes the pressure off creating a M-A-S-T-E-R-P-I-E-C-E (add an echo and that’s how it sounds in my head) every time I step up to the easel. It frees me up to have fun with it. And by fun I mean keeping the painting loose and more immediate, which is exactly how I want to paint.
Highland Cow – leg detail | aimeehoover.com
And third, I can remind myself that the impact or weight of a painting is not 100% based on its subject by simply looking at other artists’ work. Dramatic lighting, interesting perspectives, composition, and color all play a part. Which means that even animals who look like stuffed animals have the potential to make strong subjects.
Highland Cow – face detail | aimeehoover.com
Of course, I think we can agree that some subjects are best left as photos to coo over…
And really, what kind of artist would paint a stuffed animal anyhow (say, in 1997)?
Until the next painting (a sheep for farmsanctuary.org), thanks for reading.