I just finished this painting to send to Woodwalk Gallery
in Door County (Wisconsin's tourist destination on Lake Michigan.) It is 34"x30", titled (at this point) Woodchuck
Which leads me to this story: yesterday was the second day I'd spent trying to resolve this painting, which was already bolted together and more or less done, but still needed...something. I went up to the house for lunch, leaving my studio door open to allow some fresh air in. Well, I let something else in besides the breeze--when I returned and was sitting back for another good stare at this painting a woodchuck wandered nonchalantly into view, sniffing along the wall of paintings, up a few times onto its hind legs (looking like quite the art critic) and eventually meandering right past where I was sitting and into a pile of cardboard I keep at the back of the studio.
In other words, I got a good long look. And when I stared again at the painting, I suddenly saw, very clearly, the front end of a woodchuck--already there in the texture of the dark panel on the left. So I sketched in the back end, worked things over a bit more, and there it is.
I don't usually put anything that specific in my paintings, but the woodchuck is subtle, even in the actual painting which has a lot more going on than this photo. It reminds me a bit of the dog paintings I did last summer.
Oh and once I started painting I guess I made enough noise to convince the woodchuck that it was time to go.