Raven Painting

Posted on July 22, 2015
Raven | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 16in x 16in | Acrylic on wood

Raven | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 16in x 16in | Acrylic on wood

Ravens are super smart birds. I’ve been drawn to them for years because of their intelligence and strong (somewhat menacing) faces. A couple weeks ago I finally found a photo that I loved enough (taken by Stein Arne Jensen) to use one as a subject.

Initial sketch

Initial raven sketch

Raven is the first painting I’ve ever done on a wood panel. It initially felt odd to paint on a surface that had no “give” to it, like stretched canvas does, but I ended up really enjoying the process. The wood itself is really beautiful so I kept parts of the painting loose so it could show through.

I also experimented with a much smaller format that I normally use…there’s quite a size difference between the previous piece, Flamingo and Raven

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I’ll definitely be using more wood panels, avian subjects, and smaller formats and in the future. At the very least, it’s great to paint a piece that fits on my easel again!

Raven on the easel

Raven on the easel

Until the next painting, thanks for reading…

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I’m current having a moving sale: recent work is 40-60% off. Click here for more info!

Relocating the Studio = Moving Sale!

Posted on July 22, 2015

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Well, folks…

The building my studio is in will be meeting with a large wrecking ball in the coming months, so it’s time to relocate!

But before I go, I’m having my first ever Studio Sale…

Recent, original paintings are now 40-60% off (until August 22, 2015).

(Please know I’m trying really hard not to say the super sales-y “My loss is your gain!” Though, if you’ve had your eye on a particular piece, it’s possible that my relocation could be your wall’s salvation…)

So if you’ve been staring a big blank wall, or just want to refresh a room in your home, it’s a great time to pick up a painting. Here’s a mock-up showing how a large-scale piece can help “finish” a room…

View More: http://americandreambuilders.pass.us/adb

Live in the LA area? Please come by and see the work in person by scheduling a private studio visit! To make an appointment, just shoot me an email.

For more info on the sale, including pricing and an available paintings list, please click here.

Thanks & hope to see you at the studio!

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Avian Painting: Flamingo Portrait

Posted on July 16, 2015
Flamingo | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 48in x 60in | Acrylic on stretched canvas

Flamingo | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 48in x 60in | Acrylic on stretched canvas

Flamingo is my first ever avian painting. It was inspired by yet another great image by “Tambako the Jaguar” (otherwise known as Emmanuel) on flickr.

I think I tend to be a little too wordy in my blog posts occasionally (who, me? no!), so I thought I’d mix things up by packing this post with lots of pictures instead of words.

So here’s a bunch of photos of the entire painting process, including a few alley shots of the painting enjoying itself in the sun (it’s summer after all). What’s not included are all the botched photos I took dodging cars in said alley.

Hope you enjoy!

Initial background and very slight sketch

Initial background and very slight sketch

Initial painted outline

Initial painted outline

Initial blue underpainting

Initial blue underpainting

Dodging cars in the alley while Flamingo dries

Dodging cars in the alley while Flamingo dries

Close-up alley pic

Close-up alley pic

Putting the darker background in

Putting the darker background in

Darker colors going in

Darker colors going in

My palette

My palette

Final painting (48in x 60in | Acrylic on stretched canvas)

Final painting (48in x 60in | Acrylic on stretched canvas)

Studio shot of Flamingo

Studio shot of Flamingo

I really enjoyed painting Flamingo and definitely plan on doing some more avain portraits in the future.

So bird may indeed be the word for a while.

One last note…

Last night, after I finished the painting, my friend Heather told me that the inventor of the plastic pink flamingo lawn ornament, Donald Featherstone, just passed away. Apparently he was a sculptor and trained in classical art. While I didn’t know this before I choose to paint a flamingo, I like the idea of this painting being dedicated to a fellow artist.

Until the next post, thanks so much for reading…

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Horse and Rider

Posted on July 7, 2015
Horse and Rider | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 41in x 52in | Acrylic on canvas

Horse and Rider | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 41in x 52in | Acrylic on canvas

I was obsessed with horses as kid. I never had my own, but I went to a few summer horse camps (utter heaven) and adorned my room with collections of those barbie-sized, plastic horse figurines.

Though I’m still in awe of equines, I’ve been reluctant to paint them for a couple of reasons…

First, horses are incredibly difficult to paint well. (Case in point, I’ve tried and failed at two in the last year.) I’m not exactly not sure why this is. But it probably has something to do with the fact that their specific bone and muscle structure makes it tough to “wing it.”

Second, although they are incredibly photogenic creatures, horses tend to be portrayed/painted in just a handful of popular positions. So if I was to paint one, I’d want to portray him or her with particular energy, at an unusual angle.

Enter Instagram…

While perusing my favorite procrastination inspiration spot, Instagram, I came across the feed (ie., photos) of Howie Guja. Howie is a commercial photographer, real estate broker, and from what I can tell, just an all-around cool guy. What initially caught my eye was not horses, but his photos of old, beautiful homes in Bellport, NY (on the East End of Long Island) and surrounding areas. Here’s a small sampling…

Some of Howie's photos

Some of Howie’s photos

Then I scrolled down and to my surprise, there was an awesome picture of a horse. It was what I had been picturing for years. I immediately contacted Howie and he was nice enough to give me permission to paint it.

Howie's photo

Howie’s photo

Horse and Rider is one of the first portraits I’ve painted on un-stretched canvas (Cow No. 1 is the other), as well as the first portrait I’ve painted with a *hint* of a human in it.

Really, what can't duct tape do?

Really, what can’t duct tape do?

It’s also another piece in the looser, more painterly style I’ve been developing over the last few months, with some parts rendered completely, and other parts left loose and sketchy.

I’m looking forward to painting more horses in the future, and thank Howie in particular for the inspiration this time around!

In the meantime, here’s a few more pics from the studio…

Working on "Horse and Rider"

Working on “Horse and Rider”

Extreme close-up

Extreme close-up

Detail of "Horse and Rider"

Detail of “Horse and Rider”

Until the next painting, thanks so much for reading…

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Plott Hound Portrait

Posted on June 19, 2015
Good Morning  (A Plott Hound Named Boozer) | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 30in x 30in | Acrylic on stretched canvas

Good Morning (A Plott Hound Named Boozer) | ©Aimée Rolin Hoover | 30in x 30in | Acrylic on stretched canvas

Believe me, having painted my “last dog portrait” in 2013 (and reminded you of this every other newsletter) no one is more surprised than me that there’s a brand new dog painting floating above this sentence.

But the saying is true: you never know when inspiration will hit. And when a dog named Boozer stopped me in my virtual tracks on Instagram, I decided to heed the call of the hound. A plott hound to be specific.

Painting detail

Painting detail

After painting dog portraits for 13 years, I definitely pride myself on recognizing just about every breed out there. My friends often quiz me on this…[pointing at dog passing by] “What’s that one?”

But I had never seen a plott hound until I came across Boozer. Which was probably another reason I was inspired to paint it…in addition to it kind of being the perfect, soulful, well-lit, well composed photo it already was. (Boozer’s human posts fantastic shots of his pooch. I’m not the only one who thinks so, seeing that he has close to 17,000 followers. Give his feed a look if you’re a hound lover.)

This painting also represents the direction my work is going in. It’s a more loose and painterly style, with some areas depicted more tightly, and others areas left more gestural (ie., sketchy).

So, what does painting another dog portrait mean? Am I back to doing pet portraits officially?

The answer, to be honest, is that I’m not sure yet.

But I’ll tell you what I do know…

Unlike before, when I emphatically “announced” that I was moving away from dogs as subjects, I’m just going to be open to whatever critter inspires me to sprint to my easel.

Boozer drying on the easel

Boozer drying on the easel

Maybe inspiration comes from a dog, or a lizard, or some other wonderful creature. Ok probably not the Aye-aye…

The Aye-aye, ladies and gentlemen

The Aye-aye, ladies and gentlemen

Big thanks to Boozer and his human for being my muse this time around.

Until the next painting, thanks so much for reading.

Always love to hear from you so feel free to comment below!

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