Saturday, December 4, 2010

ACEO Christmas Dalmatian

"Christmas Surprise"

What a fun time I had painting this dalmatian puppy in a Christmas stocking.  It's a festive time and puppies have such wonderful energy.  Our neighbors have a corgi puppy, 'Oliver' that visits us and he is such a delight.  I hope to paint a picture of Oliver soon too. 

Enjoy, this holiday season and don't forget to share gifts with your animal family members.

"Christmas Surprise"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ACEO Sea Turtles and Coral Reef

"Spirit of Travel"

What a wild week!  Two power outages, living out in the forest on a bay at sea level becomes 'wild' when it snows and the winds pick up.  Two 80+ foot Douglas fir trees came crashing down last night in the forest near our house.  It was exciting.  Power was out but my family was watching Happy Feet on my daughter's laptop by the roaring wood stove and candle light.  Today the power was restored, so I'm working away to list a few items in our gallery. 

My love of turtles has been with me since childhood.  I grew up in west Texas and after a spring rain - box turtles could be found walking out on the roads.  My siblings and I rescued numerous turtles and we kept a few in our yard where they fed on cicadas, June bugs and prickly pear fruit.  I worked with Kemp's Ridley sea turtles in Dallas during the mid 80's. 

Here is my newest painting celebrating 'sharing and traveling'.  Sea turtles travel the world's oceans and the females return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs.  This ACEO has some silver and blue sparkling ink added (a touch of magic).


Friday, November 12, 2010

ACEO Orca Whale Breaching

Orca Whale "Breaching Majesty"

Hello Artists, Friends and Family : )

It has been a month since I last updated my blog - shame on me. 

Here is a fun Art Card painted in watercolor and archival inks of one of my favorite marine mammals.  "Breaching Majesty" was a wonderful miniature to create of our Pacific Northwest region complete with an orca and beautiful mountains on the horizon - all viewed from Puget Sound.  I never tire of painting, viewing, or learning about orca whales.  They truly possess strength, power, intelligence and a nurturing nature for their young.  Several pods have lived in Puget Sound for eons and they feed primarily on the resident salmon.  It is always exciting to view them. So enjoy this ACEO and may the power of the orca be with you!

Breaching Majesty 2.5" x 3.5" Watercolor and ink


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ACEO Halloween Black Cat, Moon Magic, Bats and Owl


What a fun time I had creating this ACEO!  And the best part was that my kitty, Kraven (alias: The Bad Boy) was the model.  It was great composing some of my favorite October subjects into one mini painting.  We hear owls often in the woods near our house and bats live in the open garage (the house was built in the late 1800's). The painting is complete with a full moon in a deep blue violet sky.

Enjoy Moon Magic this October.

"Moon Magic" watercolor by Colleen K Carrigan (c) 2010


Kraven enjoying a sunny location - he loves to smell flowers!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ACEO Crow Raven Watercolor Painting

CROW "Visiting Pumpkin Patch"

What a fun weekend my family and I had.  The Art Chix, a lovely group of enthusiastic and talented ladies from Seattle, visited several studios in our neighborhood including ours.  Roseanne Olson took some wonderful photos for the occasion.  Roseanne's Photos

We sipped apple cider and enjoyed pumpkin spice muffins at our studio/gallery.  Then Saturday evening, we all met down the beach for Paella and wine, ginger icecream, laughs and fun!  Paella is a wonderful rice dish that was cooked with clams from the beach and tomatoes from the garden all in a huge pan on an open fire.  Here are some recipes:

Galleries Visited: (my daughter's and my gallery) (my husband and Kathryn's father, superb portrait landscape artist)  (Sculptor and Amazing woman) (Contemporary realist painter and wonderful paella chef) (Wonderful realist painter, fabulous hostess - Kurt's wife)

During the visit, I worked on a painting for the season - perfect for a fall, pumpkin spicy day:

Crow "Visiting Pumpkin Patch" by Colleen K Carrigan (c) 2010

(20% of the Sale benefits A Place to Bark)

 Rosanne Olson's Gallery

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ACEO Blacktip Reef Shark Watercolor Painting

"Gliding in the Shallows"

What lovely creatures these swift, nicely marked sharks are.  The stark black against the burnt sienna/yellow ochre is pleasing to view in sinewy gliding motion.  I have a passion for these small sharks and worked with them in the aquarium field for over a decade.  They are quick to respond when food is near and they feed on squid, fish, shrimp, crabs and other reef creatures.  Shallow water and the hint of a shadow give the feeling of a sunny, warm, tropical, soft sandy beach nearby.  Time for a siesta... 

Gliding in the Shallows by Colleen K Carrigan (c) 2010


(Learn more about sharks and view paintings.  Contact me if intereted in any signed prints of shark art.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ACEO Mako Shark Watercolor Painting

"Stunning and Supreme"

Another shark painting to add to my gallery.  This image shows the power of these beautiful predators.  My dearest friend, who lives in Queensland Australia, has spent many hours in open water photographing, filming, and diving with pelagic predators.  He writes:

"MAKO" is Polynesian for shark

"Long, sleek and deadly, the Mako always appears to me to be set on a hair trigger ready to burst into action in less than a heartbeat. You never ever take your eyes off the Mako, not even for a moment. Like most wild creatures, the shark is an opportunist. The Mako is more so the epitome of opportunism." Jim McKay © 2008

"Stunning and Supreme" Mako Shark


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Original Watercolor Painting Sandtiger Shark 4" x 6"


"Sandtiger Shark"

A lifelong love of sharks led me to create this 4" x 6" watercolor. After receiving my BS in Biology, I worked in the aquarium field for over a decade and spent a lot of time with captive tropical species. Several research projects were designed and conducted using sharks as the subjects. One study involved the operant conditioning of a female sandtiger fondly named “Mama”. She was taught to touch a target and have a buzzer sounded then receive a food reward. She did very well on her trials with 88% success. She was truly a beautiful shark and taught her care takers well - this painting is dedicated in her memory - 'Swim free beautiful lady'.

Glittering ink sparkles on this painting resembling the light reflection off the dermal denticles (scales) of the shark.

Sandtiger Shark


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ACEO Seahorse Marine Tropical Painting

Seahorse Daddy and Baby

What a fun painting this colorful art card was to create.  I love all the hues in the seahorses and the corals.  The tiny baby seahorses emerge from the male's pouch and they are little clones of the parents.  What beautiful creatures they are.

 "Magical Moment"
2.5" x 3.5"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

ACEO Hammerhead Shark Painting

Hammerhead Shark

Painting this shark was a fun process. I thoroughly enjoy the design of these creatures. In fact, evolutionarily speaking, hammerheads are more recent in nature that many of the other sharks species. The flattened head and eyes protruding from the large 'hammer' give this species an advantage. Hammerheads use their extra sensitive snouts to help locate prey and the hammer shape allows them to have more surface area for detection purposes.
This shark is swimming through the sea on the prowl for potential prey.
Hammerhead Shark "On the Prowl"



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ACEO Moon Sea Turtle and Shark Paintings

Moonlight ACEO's

This week I am working on 'marine moonlight miniatures' - how's that for an alliteration!

Here is a blacktip reef shark gliding in the moonlight. The distinctive markings on this species make it a wonderfully artistic subject.

Blacktip Reef Shark "Moonlight Glide"

Here is an ACEO of a sea turtle swimming in the magic of the moonlight. This was a fun miniature to paint and I enjoyed creating the effect of the moonlight through the water.

Sea Turtle "Moonlight Magic"

Saturday, July 31, 2010

ACEO Raccoon Painting by Kathryn

Raccoons "Afternoon Cuddle" by my daughter

This weekend my daughter, Kathryn, is painting some lovely art cards. Here is one she completed of a family of raccoons. The mother is on the far left, curled around and the three babies are cuddling up to her.

Raccoons are a favorite subject of ours and we have a resident raccoon that visits the garden often.

Raccoons "Afternoon Cuddle" by Kathryn L Bronstad


View previous post with raccoon

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ACEO Sea Turtle and Tangs

"Cleaning Time"

Here is an ACEO of a sea turtle and yellow tangs. I love these wonderful marine reptiles and enjoyed working with Kemp's Ridley sea turtles in the mid 1980's. The yellow tangs are cleaning the turtle of algae growth that accumulates because of the slow movements of the turtle. The color of the tangs contrasts nicely with the deeper violets that I used to under paint the darker areas of the turtle. I also enjoyed painting the eyes of all the creatures - it really brings the focus to the eye of the turtle which holds much wisdom. In this time of 'cleaning up the BP oil spill', turtles are a focus for many biologists and volunteers. This painting is dedicated to the continuing efforts of those helping the turtles, other wildlife and the environment.


Cleaning Time (2.5" x 3.5") by Colleen K Carrigan (c) 2010

View related Post

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sea Turtle and Tropical Fish

Sea Turtle "Entering Cleaning Station"

This week I have had a lot of fun researching sea turtles (one of my favorite marine creatures) and viewing numerous images of tropical fish to create a miniature painting. A little larger than my ACEO's - this painting is a 5.0" x 7.0". What a joy it was to design and paint. Sea turtles will seek out reefs where they enjoy a thorough 'cleaning' by the locals. The tropical fish and sometimes shrimp and crabs will consume the algae that grows on the turtles. Cleaning stations are a wonderful example of a symbiotic relationship where all the creatures benefit. The tropicals in this painting include: yellow tangs, a blue tang and raccoon butterfly fish.

Sea Turtle "Entering Cleaning Station" 5.0 inches x 7.0 inches
by Colleen K Carrigan (c) 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

ACEO Raccoon and Goldfish


Here is a very special painting created from my garden. This adorable raccoon has enjoyed a few meals of sunflowers recently at the feeder. I also included a goldfish like one that we have in a container pond near this area. Don't worry - I don't keep goldfish in the birdbath.

This is a small garden at the north side of our home and the kitchen window faces it. I enjoy washing dishes by hand while viewing the wildlife. I took photos of this 'rascal' feeding at about 10:00 a.m. one morning recently and have included a couple of them.

No animals were harmed in the making of this painting. The fish ate this morning and it is still just as gold and beautiful as in the painting.

"Fishing Bandit" by Colleen K Carrigan (c) 2010

Raccoon washing and drinking at the birdbath

Raccoon feeding on black oil sunflower seeds

This is a wonderful design for a bird feeder and can be built from natural logs. It allows numerous birds, squirrels and even this big raccoon to enjoy lots of seeds in this garden sanctuary.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Baby Sea Turtle "Into the Sea"

"Into the Sea"

Finally, the baby sea turtle has made it past the the sand and entered it's new world! This journey has taken over a year in watercolor, but I have enjoyed each new painting beginning from a hatching to now - swimming near the shore. I wonder what adventures await our little friend in the months to come...


Visit previous Post "Seaward Bound"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Great Hammerhead Shark

Great Hammerhead 2.5" x 3.5" watercolor and ink Sold

This is a special painting of a beautiful marine creature. I have enjoyed an interest in sharks for 35 years. Working with tropical species in a large aquarium setting for over a decade was a joy. Now, I thoroughly enjoy painting these magnificient animals. This painting is best described by my dearest friend, marine photographer, Jim McKay.

“She magically slips into your view – no fuss or threatening gestures. She is just there, watching, ever alert and ready to react to the slightest provocation. She is the Great Hammerhead, denizen of the open sea and predator supreme.”
Jim McKay (c) 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sea lion and Sea Otters

More Marine Mammals!

"Bubbles at Play"
This week, I have enjoyed painting more marine mammals. "Bubbles" is a sweet sea lion that I have featured in several paintings over the past two years. She is a young, fun loving, wild pinniped (suborder of carnivorous aquatic mammals that includes: seals, sea lions and walruses) and she loves to blow bubbles and play with them.


Sea Otters (Mother and Pup) "Sweet Moment"

Sea Otters have always been a favorite subject of mine to view and paint. These amazingly agile mustelids (heaviest members of the family including: weasels, river otters and minks) are so engaging. We have river otters on the bay near our home and their loud squeaks and whistles can be heard for quite a distance. In this painting, I am showing a sweet moment between mother and pup.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Manatee Mother and Calf

"Grazing Joy"

This week, I enjoyed painting another manatee minaiture. These lovely creatures have captured my heart and I hope to someday share a moment with them in their habitat. The colors I chose for this art card include: marine blues and greens with a fair concentration of violet for the shadows.

Grazing Joy original watercolor and ink 2.5"x 3.5" SOLD

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Manatee Mother and Baby

"Sweet Moment"

Manatees are such sweet aquatic/marine mammals. I thoroughly enjoyed researching them and watching several videos on Youtube showing individuals and families in man-made habitats and in the wild. These curious, very slow moving, vegetarians are in need of more protection from boaters and from garbage that pollutes their natural ecosystem.

This was a fun painting to create - the mothers and calves have a special bond. I hope to learn more about these wonderful mammals.

Manatee Mother and Baby "Sweet Moment" SOLD

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sea Turtle Hatchling "Seaward Bound"

"Sand Flying" SOLD


It's wonderful celebrating the beginning of 2010 with a baby sea turtle painting. I love painting these 'tiny wonders'. In this painting, the little one is heading seaward. Many moons ago, I had the pleasure of working with one of the most endangered of these beautiful creatures - Kemp's Ridley sea turtle from the Gulf of Mexico. What an experience it was to care for several very healthy active individuals. They grew so quickly and thoroughly enjoyed their meals of fish, squid and scallops. At feeding time - it was literally a splashing fest! The care taker was always soaked - I gave up on the apron idea very early on as it did not do much to keep my face, neck and shoes dry anyway.

Enjoy the journey and have a wonderful 2010!

"Seaward Bound" SOLD

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