Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shelby and Chico

Shelby and Chico, 9" x 12" Oil on Canvas Board copyright 2013 Katy Widger

This painting is a birthday gift for a very special Veterinarian from his thoughtful and loving wife.
Both dogs have passed over that Rainbow Bridge this past year, having lived out the last years of their lives with said Vet.  Both belonged to clients, and both came to live with the Vet and his family because he has a kind heart and loves dogs.
Shelby's owner's life took a turn that made it impossible to continue caring for her, so he asked his trusted Vet to take her in, and he willingly did so, having loved collies all his adult life.
And Chico's elder owner just simply died, and the Vet made good on a promise he had made to the old man, but had forgotten about, until the call came that a little dog needed him, now.
We look to our trusted vets to provide good care for our critters, but some are willing to go far beyond that call.  God bless the man who practices in his life the good care and loving concern for critters that called him to his profession in the first place!  And Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wyatt's Perfect Day

Wyatt's Perfect Day 16" x 20" oil on hand-dyed fabric on canvas copyright K Widger 2013
Another in my series of paintings on hand dyed fabric.
Fall is my favorite time of year here in New Mexico.  It's Wyatt's favorite time, too.  Crisp, clean air, just a bit on the cool side.  Lots to do outside to get ready for snow, hopefully!
Wyatt loves to run and play hard. He's very athletic, long and lean and muscular.  His tail is always "up" and he carries it proudly.  This wonderful dog is a joy to be around. He gets up happy every day!
His enthusiasm for life is infectious. You can never be down when Wyatt is around!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hunter on Silk Charmeuse

Hunter on Silk Charmeuse 18" x 12" Oil on Hand-dyed fabric on board copyright K Widger

This is number five in my developing experiment of painting on my hand-dyed fabric. I glued a piece of canvas to prepared board, let that dry, then glued the silk charmeuse over that and folded it over to the backside and put several coats of medium over that.  The painting has the texture of the charmeuse, very subtly so.  I think you can sort of see it in the picture, and I used it  to advantage when I applied the final highlights on his cheekbones and other places, dragging a light-loaded brush over the areas I wanted to highlight.
I tried to use as much color as I could, given both the reflective and absorbent quality of a very black, shiny dog.  And I just have to say, that he is such a handsome dog!  I hope his extreme good-looks and his genial personality come through in this painting.  And, in painting him on such a "refined" surface as hand-dyed silk charmeuse, removed from nature, I also want to suggest the idea that we have removed domestic dogs from their natural habitat and put them entirely in ours.  Big, black dogs, like Hunter, still enjoy a fierce reputation, made even more believable by their training as dogs of war and criminal apprehension.  I hope here to soften that reputation just a bit.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You're Invited...

Right next to the Post Office!

Twelve New Paintings by Katy Widger
featuring Mexican Gray Wolves, Dogs and Ravens
Fine Art Greeting Cards and Giclees of select works
Show runs June 1 through July 5, 2013
Gallery Hours 11AM to 6PM Friday & Sunday
11AM to 8PM Saturday

Watching You

"Watching You"
30" x 40" Oil on Hand-dyed cotton fabric on gallery-wrapped canvas
copyright 2013 Katy Widger

This is another painting on hand-dyed fabric from my days as a quilt artist.  The Mexican Gray Wolf is a resident of Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, NM.
The aspens and lupines were not a part of the original photo, and do not exist in this particularly dry area of New Mexico, but I added them for artistic effect, and because they do exist in the Mexican Gray Wolf's native environment in the high mountains of the Gila Wilderness in southern New Mexico.  And, hopefully, in his future natural environment.
This particular wolf followed me at a pretty close range as we exited their enclosure, and I turned and grabbed a quick photo when alerted to his presence by my husband.
His stance:  tail lowered, ears erect and forward, gaze open and steady, suggests extreme curiosity and confidence, but is not threatening nor challenging.  He was simply watching me.  And now, watching you.  Perhaps he is waiting, also, for his chance at freedom.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


The Color of Wind 12 x 12

Through the Storm 12 x 12

Morning Song 12 x 12 SOLD

These ravens are all local characters, and their territory includes the airspace around my home. You're lucky if you can capture a decent photo of a raven, as they are wary of having their pictures taken, as though they believe along with some aboriginal folks, that their soul will be stolen by the camera.  Nevertheless, my husband and a friend managed to capture the souls of these fellows on film, and I did my best to express that lively exhuberance that all ravens seem to possess on canvas.  All three are oil on gallery-wrapped canvas, 12" x 12" and can be seen in person at  The Watermelon Gallery in Cedar Crest starting June 1-July 5.    I'll give more details on my upcoming show later.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sophie and Woodruff

Sophie & Woodruff 11 x 14 oil on linen board copyright 2013 Katy Widger

This is a commission for a surprise  gift for a brother's 50th birthday from his sisters and mother.
I really enjoyed painting these two best friends.  They grew up together and lived their whole lives as each other's best friend.  They're both gone now, having journeyed over that Rainbow Bridge at separate times, but with every certainty, they are best friends still.  Deeply loved, mourned in passing and sorely missed, but they live on in spirit and in this special gift.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tibetan Hues: Earth, Wind and Thunder

Tibetan Hues: Earth, Wind & Thunder, 18" x 24" Mixed Media Oil on Canvas
Before I was an oil painter, I was a fiber artist who created her own specialty fabrics by hand-dyeing, painting, printing and otherwise designing the surface on all the fabric I used in my chosen format of "art quilts".  Since I've been painting in oils, in the back of my mind I've wanted to find a way to incorporate some of my gorgeous fabric stash into my paintings.  I also designed rubber stamps for use on fabric for many years, and the idea of using some of those images was also intriguing.
This painting does all that.  I  permanently glued a piece of my fabric onto an 18" x 24" gallery-wrapped canvas, mitering the edges around the corners.  The fabric was a gold-to-purple mottled coloration that ranged from deep purples to dark browns, orange and golds and values from mid- to dark.  I used three of my ogee-shape rubber stamps from the Elements collection:  Wind, Earth and Thunderstorm.  In an abstract sort of way, they represent the three Lhasa Apsos in the painting, and I chose them to correspond with each particular dog's personality. I stamped them onto the fabric using white acrylic paint.
Next step was to gesso over the fabric and rubber stamp design with multiple coats of matte acrylic gesso, with fine sanding in between coats.  The gesso darkened the fabric a little, and it stayed that way when it was dry. 
I painted over the prepared canvas with oils, using a palette of deep purple (ultramarine blue plus Q. red) and gold (Indian yellow, mostly, along with some transparent white and some ochre and sienna)  with all the variations in color and value between those two hues that I could find.  Many of the painted layers were done using transparent washes, created with Res-N-Gel.  I used more Gel towards the end, creating thicker layers and more opacity in certain areas.    But the final layer was almost all very thin, transparent washes, however, to darken and unify areas of the painting.   The colors float around and through the color sphere from golden yellow to darkest violet, but have no true blue or green anywhere to be found.