Thursday, December 19, 2013

Park City and back...

We created 3 chandeliers for a client in Park City Utah – and we are just back from the delivery.

In an earlier post, I had mentioned 'lighting photos will follow, and here they are. Those pieces that were on our work tables lately - now done and hung!...


Beautiful time of year to visit Park City. This barn is one of our favorite "landmarks" -


AND - While we were in the area, we stopped by a past client’s home and took some photos of our lighting installed. This was a project we delivered a couple years ago.

It's always great to have photos with our lighting when the home is 'complete and lived in'. It's important to us that our lighting has a warm welcoming glow that sets the mood for the space. I think it's most evident with the interiors completed and furnished....

Such a privilege to add beauty to peoples lives... we strive for that through both our art and our lighting. It's a wonderful feeling to see our work being enjoyed! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Work Hard, Play Hard

We’ve been working hard lately…

On my work table (and in John’s workshop, too) are 3 large chandeliers that are just about completed - no idle hands here! (Photos will be taken very soon - stay tuned.)

On my easel are wildlife sketches and painting studies that I’ve been creating as references for my larger more complex studio paintings. Those larger paintings I have roughly blocked in and strewn throughout my studio at the moment - to be completed over this winter. But now I’m taking the time to work out references and study possible animal positions and anatomy for those paintings - An important step that is all too easy to blast right through…and regret later. Slow and steady, do the necessary work, put in the effort and the results will shine. At least that’s what I’m hoping J

Today, I did a graphite sketch of a raven at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center.
Raven sketch in graphite 
 by Shirl Ireland

I've also sketched a green winged towhee, painted a elk calf study and a great grey owl study at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center lately. Like I said, no idle hands here!...
Green winged towhee sketch in graphite
by Shirl Ireland

Elk calf study in oil
by Shirl Ireland

Great grey owl study in oil
by Shirl Ireland

 Now, it’s time to play hard….

Thursday December 5th is the Gardiner Christmas Stroll from 5 to 8 pm. We’ll have the Gallery opened with wine and chocolate AND offer great prices on our table lamps to ‘brighten up’ your Holidays.

Friday December 6th is the reception for the “Small Gems” Show at the Livingston Art Center from 5pm  to 8 pm on Main Street in Livingston Montana. I have paintings in the Show, John has sculpture and together we have table lamps too. (See the preview of our work in my last post.) The reception coincides with the Livingston Art Walk, so it should be a fun night.

Hope you can make the fun to see some of our hard work.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Let the Show begin...

Both John and I have 'small works' in the Holiday Art Show at the Livingston Center for Art and Culture in Livingston Montana. The reception is December 6th during the Livingston Art Walk - hope you can make it!

Bronze Bunny
by John Stacy

Winter Patterns
Oil - plein air - by Shirl Ireland

Autumn Bouquet
Oil - plein air - by Shirl Ireland

Winter Bales
Oil by Shirl Ireland

Morning On The River
Oil by Shirl Ireland

Oil by Shirl Ireland

AND, we have a variety of table lamps at the Show that we have both helped to create - below are some examples...

What Yellowstone waterfall was that in my last post?
Osprey Falls

(It's also a great hike to the bottom of Osprey Falls - a spectacular angle to view the falls from. You can start off from the Bunsen Peak trailhead. We like to mountain bike the 'first leg' and then hike - mixes it up and makes for a fun 'day hike'.)

Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos from our windows -

A sharp shinned hawk stopped by the property - the smallest hawk in North America... (similar to a Cooper's Hawk.) Their diet consists of mostly songbirds and mice.

With such acrobatic flying moves, it was hard to catch him in action...

Hear a sharp shinned hawk call, click here. 
(You'll also be able to learn more about them with that link.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Name that Yellowstone waterfall...

So we went for a hike in Yellowstone a few days ago.
Here are photos of the waterfall we saw.....

Do you know what Yellowstone waterfall it is?
HINT: There is also a trail to the bottom of the falls.
(We've hiked that one too... it's spectacular!)

Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos from our windows -
A couple Northern Flickers were 'flickering' around the property.
As you may have seen in my past posts, I love to try to 'catch birds'
(i.e. get a good photo of them flying)
I think I caught this one!

We also had some 'feisty' pronghorn...

I just dropped off pieces at the Livingston Art Center for their Christmas Show...paintings, sculpture and lighting. Next up, I'll preview our works to be in the show AND answer the waterfall question.

Friday, November 8, 2013

If it's not one thing, it's another....

The elk rut is subsiding and the big horn sheep rut is gearing up - so goes the action around here. Never a dull moment! 
Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos from our windows -
Down by the Yellowstone River, the male was herding a large group of females and young ones....

He 'coaxed' them up a little closer....
And right by...
The 'handsome' male...

I liked the interesting 'mosaic' they made on their way out...

With all the wildlife action of late, I've been particularly inspired to paint wildlife. With many paintings in the works at the moment, I'll be sharing some of my progress in up coming posts. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A lighting side trip

Port Townsend, Washington is a great little town on the way (sort of) to catch the ferry to Victoria, BC - so we wanted to swing by. We've been there several times and enjoy the quaint little town.

We were thinking we'd probably just grab a quick bite to eat, take a short stroll through town and move on. But 'luckily' our car broke down... so we got to stay longer! It gave us the chance to check out the Kelly Art Deco Lighting Museum.

With case after case of original lighting from the Art Deco period (1928-1938) along with a variety of other quality antique fixtures, it was 'eye candy' - especially for people like us who have created custom lighting for almost 20 years. As a visual person, I will always thoroughly appreciate functional art - a useful item made beautiful...shouldn't everything be? It was wonderful to see a collection of lighting at this level.

Privately owned, the Museum owner has been collecting for most of his lifetime....

And since it can be tricky to get car parts out there, we even got to spend the a hotel, not the Museum :)
But if your car ever breaks down any where near Port Townsend, WA, we know who to call...Circle and Square Auto Care. They were fabulous and made our 'side trip' a very enjoyable part of the journey.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bob Bateman demo

A 'photo journey' of Bob Bateman's painting demonstration...

Using Masonite that has been sealed with gesso, he started with acrylic paints to block in a wolf from his reference photograph (at left). Here he thought about the composition and where the wolf should land on the board.

Then he thought about the horizon line and the background. Blocking the background in as one large dark with a slight gradation and planning to break it up later with the foreground grasses.
Adding the grasses next, he has his reference photo to the left. Earlier, we actually went looking for a "good clump of grass" (nice form with good shadow and light patterns) to use for the painting.
Using very thin acrylic, he blocked in the general values and shapes - not concerning himself with the color yet. Paying particular attention to the overall composition and how the shapes interrelate. You'll notice he moved the horizon line behind the wolf, not liking his first choice.
Switching to alkyd oils, he started adding more details and color. Also, you'll notice more grasses have been blocked in. He often changed the grass pattern slightly, placing them 'strategically' around the wolf.
Still using very thin washes, he continued adjusting and modifying. (Notice the legs of the wolf, he changed the position slightly DEFINITELY not being a slave to his reference photograph.)
Satisfied with the overall composition, he then added the lighter grasses in front. Here he felt the major elements of the painting were complete. However, he said he would continue to work on the painting for quite some time, making further and further slight adjustments to the piece.

  To visit Robert Bateman's web site and see more of his work, click here.