Luke: Patron Saint of Painters. gouache illustration for Bas Bleu Bookseller
a winged ox 
from Ezekiel's mystic apocalypse
to sunlit studio
resplendent in wing and wisdom
centuries of time traversed
bringer of vision 
sure hands
show it if you tell it
eternal friend
you never fail


I painted Koby for V's anniversary present. (It turns out we have only been married 18 years.) I had a left over piece of 24 x 24 red oak from the table V made for the studio, and used it for the substrate. I used the photo I took of Koby on the last snow day as my guide and think it is pretty close. In a way, the painting is more Koby-like than the photo, possibly because I tried to compensate for the foreshortening that makes her nose disproportionately large

Originally I had a background with some surface decoration that I painted back over muting it down to some "noise". I had planned to do some kind of raindrop pattern but then I saw a woodpecker outside and decided to paint a ring of living things around her. It ended up being too bright and too much, so I decided to sand it down. That looked cool like she was painted on some old sign or something. But the sanding took off some of the background color, so when I patched it up, it didnt match because I had changed the character of the surface with the sanding.

Note the homage to Frida Kahlo with the dead bird necklace
On Friday I went back in and painted the ring of life again and changed some of the elements, making it a bit more symmetrical than what you see above. I will need to then add some deeper golden color behind it to give it dimension, and then sand it down again, but with a lighter hand. Then I might over paint the ring with the yellow background color in sheer washes to take it down further. If that doesnt work I will accept that this idea failed (or I failed the idea is a better way to say it) and start again - but the dog herself stays as is. I hope to finish tomorrow.


  1. They are both beautiful paintings, you have captured Koby's expression and I love the 'ring of life' around her.
    xoxoxo ♡

  2. Saint Luke is clearly smiling on you!

    Fabulously intelligent use of color in both paintings.

    I bet your V is over the moon with this painting!

  3. I love both paintings,but the ring around Kody is exceptional! I noticed the nod to Frida before reading the text, which proves I like to look at pictures before I read......
    Very, very nice!


  4. the sacrificial ox representing st luke. i like! a greek, a physician, an artist .. ever wonder what it would be like to talk to some of these old ones?

    and koby, right on! you have really captured the expression in her eyes. can't wait to see it completely finished.

    and you do know you have an awesome way with colors.

  5. Very nice. The chick painting you sent me has a place of honor in our living-room right now!

  6. Whoooooweeeeee. Thanks for posting it. I really love it. I also love your dialogue as to why and how you made changes/etc. It's an excellent likeness of Koby. The painting has the same energy in the facial expression. Has V seen it yet? Did he love it? Adding the ring of life is perfectly you. Nicely done! xoxox

  7. It's amazing !! I soak up all your descriptions of process, twists & turns and changes. I recently visited your web site, specifically your portfolio and your work is truly amazing ! you need to market yourself girlfriend. I think you've tried the agent route. Maybe you need to try that again.

    It's such a bonus because your more illustrative conceptual style is so perfect for editorial and I know you could illustrate for the big guns NYT (etc) (if they knew about you). Why not blitz the art directors of the world with a chickory promo piece ?!? and your paintings are just lovely, oft stunning & thought provoking pieces all on their own.

    You Rock! is what I'm trying to say.

    Merci for all the art support lately - it means the world to me. I do think I'm getting somewhere ... finally xoxoxo S, Missy D + les Gang

  8. Ande, you make it all sound so easy. Most of us could hardly draw a dog recognizable as such.

  9. I absolutely adore these both! You are such a talent!

  10. Just beautiful, Ande. I love it. :)

  11. I love the painting (the way the electric blue accents vibrate in relation to the yellow, most especially) and the insight into how you work. Writing is similar; knowing when to leave something alone is half the battle.

  12. Friendly Entrepreneur2/20/2011 7:48 PM

    You can make a living doing these for people and their pets. Pet lovers spend big $$ on their beloved's and they make great gifts.

  13. Thank you everyone, for your comments. I didnt paint again yesterday after all -we had spring fever and worked in the yard and played with the dogs and chicks. Back to the forest today -the honeymoon is over.

    Have a great week!

  14. I'm in love with V's present!

  15. At a loss for words as to how special and beautiful this is.

  16. Thanks for the art. Always makes me feel good. Don't comment much but do come for the beauty.

  17. old loving cares
    natures the tones
    in presses patterns
    wide open know's
    blows on expressions
    drifts on the wind
    shining the summer
    cheers up the spring
    swinging the goodness
    nourishing life
    wise old everything
    inspire the heights
    arise in an instant
    flying the air
    stirring creatively
    all thats aware


  18. Essence of Koby
    Nature's perfections combined
    Visual perfume


    Colorful Saint Luke
    Orchestrating painter's gift
    Inspiring results!!!!!


  19. oh yeah + a ps.
    18 years ?? Wow V.
    must be a pretty special guy.

    And you don't comment on my kids cuter stuff is it because you hate it? you can tell me 'cause I'm tuff ;-) and I value your opinions, & feedback.

  20. Congrats on 18 years together, time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it?! I'm lovin' how you've captured your doggy and I like how you've explained the little artsy things that most people don't really catch. Your style is vibrant and fun. And I think it's sweet that you've shared your work so freely amongst your blogging pals. Thank you!

  21. Aha! So you had a "happy accident" with the background of your beautiful painting? :o)
    (Remember the teevee painting instructor, "Bob" whazizname, with his "happy clouds" and "happy little trees" in "your world of imagination"? Anyhoo, he used to say, "There are no mistakes; there are only happy accidents.")

    Since you like how your "Red Monkey" ornament turned out, I think you'd get a real kick out of what my sister makes up in Beantown (and the way they're presented on the website). Big fun!

    Keep on enjoying "your world" and say "Hey!" to Tripp for me when you bump into him!
    All the Best,

  22. What a rare pair y'all is--that you would make, an' he would want a paintin' of yore dawg fer an anniversary gift.

    The image of painted Kolby is really good, Chick9.

  23. Drop by whenever you get a chance. I have declared a Haiku Winner.

  24. Thank you for not giving Koby the trademark Frida Kahlo mono-brow.

  25. beautiful, c!

    you are the master!

    × × ×


  26. awesome.

    i change your name from chicory to capture. you capture essence in the most profound way. you really do.

  27. Love this! It's sweet and funny, kinda kitschy. Koby looks quite noble.

  28. Hello Chickory I really like the painting of the stag with the three animals on your blog page. do you do prints of this? or maybe selling the original.


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