My Little Herd

It feels so satisfying to bring paintings to completion, the multitude of little drips and details, the compositions, colors, textures, flow and glow and expressions – right down to my squiggly signature. Finding the right title is fun too – Unwilding, Periphery and Hinterland – thanks to author and friend Christy Ann Conlin for playing the name game with me!

My little herd.




Liminal Deer – work in progress

Lots of time to waffle on a title for this quadriptych as I try to claw back some time time in the studio! I see these leucistic deer as liminal figures in a dormant California winter landscape that is cut through by a highway – traces of which have caught the deer’s attention as the headlines of an oncoming car approach.

in- + spirare

Inspire comes from the Latin:  in- + spirare – to breathe.

So I breathe. I take deep lungfuls of clean forrest air, fragrant with bay laurel and dry brush. I am quiet so I can hear bird feathers beating against the breeze. I am still to gaze at the deer who freeze and gaze back at me before bounding away. I look for the lizards fleeing from my shadow. I take in every hue and texture and form of the dormant thickets that lace the woods. I take sensory notes and digital photographs. All of this will inhabit my paintings one day, some of it already has.

Picchetti Clouds - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Clear blue sky and raking clouds.

Picchetti Birds in the Persimmons - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Birds feasting in the persimmon tree.

Picchetti Pear trees- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Old pear orchard flaming red and gold.

Picchetti bounder - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Deer bounding through the silvered grasses.

Picchetti Dormant Forrest - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Dormant forrest rich with texture and subtle color.

Picchetti - Blue and Emerald Dormant Forrest- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Here in emerald and blue…

Picchetti - Green curtain over Lavander- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Here in a green cascade over lavender…

Picchetti - Gray Tangle Dormant Forrest- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Here in a gray tangle…

Picchetti - Golden Tunnel Dormant Forrest- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Here in a tunnel that leads to golden sunlight…

Picchetti - Desiccated Leaf - photo Marie Cameron 2014        Picchetti - Seeds Taking Wing - photo Marie Cameron 2014        Picchetti - Poison Oak - photo Marie Cameron 2014       Picchetti  Dried Thistle - photo Marie Cameron 2014

And here in the details of a desiccated leaf, seeds about to fly and the warning of poison oak and a dried thistle.

Picchetti me in a tree - photo OP 2014

Live oak lounger.

Picchetti Walker - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Walking through light and shadow.

Picchetti Clouds - wet leaves Marie Cameron 2014

Soft and hairy leaves still clinging to water droplets.

Picchetti deer in the green forrest - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Quiet visit.

Color High

I was quite taken with this riot of retro color going on at Three Sisters in Willow Glen! All this glittery, dazzling, saturated, kitsch was set up in an alcove the size of a phone booth. I felt like I’d entered the land of Dr. Seuss!

Marie Cameron with Orange Antlered Deer

While not particularly a fan of orange, I fell in love with this little deer with her vintage coral beads and crazy orange antlers (oh, I guess she’s a he and I had wanted to call her Cora)! I thinks it’s the unexpected surprises that makes it all so fun.

Color on Crack Ornaments - Three Sisters 2013

The tree is all about complementary colors, contrasting textures, static shapes and sprays of movement. It’s vibrant and happy, I think I need a cocktail!

Pink Felix - Three Sisters 2013

My eyes are still darting back and forth (like the pink Felix the cat clock). So much stimulation, it will be interesting to try and break down these elements that I find so compelling and playful here and try to draw creative inspiration from them!

Open Door

Open a door and nature will follow.

Buck under Arbor- Marie Cameron - 2013

My studio overlooks a beautiful ravine and while I love living close to nature I also love my roses so I have a jasmine covered fence which keeps the “wilderness” both in view and at bay. This way I can watch the deer take afternoon naps as I work or I can watch them romping past in the evening.  Occasionally I’m careless and I leave the gate open or I underestimate the persistence of wildlife and I get a visit that’s close up and personal. I only regret these visits if I don’t have my camera in hand!

Buck with Ball - Marie Cameron - 2013

This visitor was a Columbian black-tailed deer, as opposed to the California mule deer which are also native to our area. He came with a doe but she was much more camera shy.

Backyard Buck - Marie Cameron - 2013

This young buck is so lovely,  You can see the blue reflection of the sky and the green of the leaves in his antlers, a detail I wouldn’t have imagined without this close observation.

Buck's Ears - Marie Cameron 2013

Likewise, I could not have imagined his  illuminated whiskers and backlit, translucent pink ears with their delicate red veins. All really superb reference material for paintings!

I must remember to keep the door wide open more often!