Oracle

I finally finished a large sized painting!  (Been doing lots of little ones lately)

This is from a story I found in an old book I have about cats – The duck and the rabbit were having an argument – so they went to the cat to mediate the conflict.  The cat ate them both.  It’s a pretty simple story – kind of Chicken-Littlish in it’s outcome.  Beware who you trust.  But it has that moment where you step out on a limb and make a scary decision and it’s not always the right one…

Oracle painting by Steph Toth Kates

Oracle

I liked setting it up in that Renaissance Madonna-like triangle.  The cat even has an off kilter moon halo – indicating she is special and ominous at the same time.

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Every Friday

Every Friday

Every Friday

I was reading _Mules and Men_ by Zora Neale Hurston.  This came from one of the stories in there – The bird’s friend was trapped in hell – so every Friday the bird would fly down and drop one grain of sand – eventually putting out the fires of hell and saving his friend. Persistence.

I like how the Neko Case song, Magpie in the Morning goes along with this.

 

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Yin Yang Cats

Cats – from the series I did for the Lavender 3 Album/Book

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Oldest Tree

Oldest Tree

Oldest Tree

I’ve been sketching trees a lot in my sketchbook.  I found a photo of the oldest tree and I wanted to paint it.  I have a whole series of tree work planned in my head.

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From the Flood

From the Flood

From the Flood

This is based on a story in Indian mythology – I’ve forgotten which God it was – who transformed himself into a boar and saved the wise men from the flood.  My pig is swimming out of the flood – but it’s unintentionally saved all the bacteria and other living things that exist on the world of it’s skin.  Those things are wise in their own way.

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On a Wire

On a Wire Painting by Steph Toth Kates

On a Wire

I was going for a treacherous feeling here – I like how the shape of the road below is like an upside-down tornado.

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From the Well

Finished this a while ago but I’m just now getting around to updating my blog with new work.  It’s the frog saving the golden ball for the princess.  I’ve worked with this theme before – but I really enjoy that moment where the frog surfaces from a difficult task and realizes he’s been abandoned.  It’s the moment in the fairy tale where he could accept defeat and rejection and continue life as a frog.  But he chooses to be a pain in the butt and persevere.

From the Well

From the Well

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The Owl and the Pussycat

They sailed away for a year and a day:

Owl and Pussycat painting by Steph Toth Kates

Owl and Pussycat

and that is an awfully long time to be in a pea-green boat with anybody.  My friend Tiffany purchased this painting before it was even finished!

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After the Huntsman

I’ve fallen behind on updating with new paintings.  I completed this a while ago:

After the Huntsman painting by Steph Toth Kates

After the Huntsman

When I began working on this I was inspired by the Little Red Riding Hood story, where the huntsman comes at the end of the story and kills the wolf and sets the, completely fine, Little Red and Grandma free from the wolf’s belly, but I changed the characters, so we have a mouse and a fox instead.

I wanted to play with interior and exterior.  In the painting I wanted the body of the fox to almost feel like a landscape, and begin to meld with the rest of the landscape and his stomach to feel almost undergroundish/subterranean.
The mouse hasn’t been happy to be in the fox, it’s been an uncomfortable and perhaps dangerous place, but at this moment when it’s freed and its life is retuned to it, it’s facing an uncertainty about the outside world, which is a big and scary place compared to the belly of the fox.  (of course, all this is a metaphor for facing change in our own lives)
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Now Showing – at FleishmanHillard

Last week I got to hang my paintings at the lovely offices of FleishmanHillard through ArtsKC’s Now Showing Program. The walls in the hallways are white and red – and the spots for hanging artwork are all bright red.  I really love how my paintings look hanging on such a bright color!  The work will be up at FleishmanHillard through the end of February.

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