Monday, October 25, 2010

Patty Falconer--Painter of Pups and more

I met my friend, Pat Falconer, around four years ago when she was working as a sessional proofreader in my office.  I liked her immediately. She was funny and smart, and pretty soon I found out she was also this awesomely talented painter.  Please forgive the terrible pictures, which don't do justice to her work, but I wanted people to see some of her paintings because like a lot of artists, Patty doesn't have a website.  

Pat specializes in paintings of animals, and mainly dogs.  As you can see, her portraits capture so much of the spirit and nature of the animal she's painting.    

love this one--part of a triptych


These are the "Sistine Chapel" dogs

one of my favorites

Patty is mad about Italian Greyhounds.   She's volunteered for the Italian Greyhound rescue group here in Austin and has two of the little charmers, Sally and Bobo.  Here's Bobo in action: 

and Sally

Pat did some amazing opera-themed art some years ago.  Here's a tiny bit of that work:

Patty's house is beautiful and filled with her wonderful work and her amazing collections of art, ephemera, and objects.

Patty, surrounded by books and art.
My pictures don't do justice to her home, either!

More recently, Patty has been drawing and painting chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and pigs.  I think it's her way of
drawing attention to the plight of the domestic animal.  In her drawings, these creatures are seen as handsome, noble, and even regal.    

During the last legislative session, Patty taught herself embroidery so she could create a large wall hanging of all the proofreader pets. This is a detail of the piece:

Pretty amazing, eh?

If you've ever wanted a great portrait of your pet, you should definitely contact Pat Falconer. If you'd like to learn to draw your pet, Patty teaches a "Draw your pet" class at the Art School of Laguna Gloria, Austin Museum of Art. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Look what we made!

I'd been wanting to replace our bookcase/tv stand/ugly cart audio/video situation since we set it up.  The problem was finding something we liked that we could afford.  That turned out to be a problem that took about 2 1/2 years to solve.  I kept looking on Craigs list, at thrift stores, garage sales, used furniture stores, and even at Ikea.  Then, while I was perusing a book on 60s built-in furniture I got the idea of building a simple console on legs.  Morgan and I sat down and I showed him what I wanted, and we figured out what the optimum video viewing height was, how big the inside of the piece needed to be, and the leg height.  I found the 12" legs online.  And last weekend we started and finished the project.  Morgan did a beautiful job of building it from furniture-grade pine.  Then we sealed it with shellac which is harder than poly urethane and has a nice finish. 
 (Did you know that shellac begins as a resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees in India and Thailand?   It's processed into flakes and dissolved in denatured alcohol to make liquid shellac.)
Here's the finished piece, doing a fine job at what it was created for: