Guest Blogger: It’s a Dome Life – How to Paint “Prince Charming”

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Today I am honored to host the talented, lovely and modest Lillian Connelly, a New Mexico mother of one, a painter, survivor of McDonald’s playland and a member of tribe of people I refer to as “some of the nicest people I have never met.”

Lillian recently sold her first piece at an art show, so she’s gonna be famous, peeps! She also shows her works at her online studio gallery. Along with being a wonderful artist, she’s pretty good with the words too. You can see her blog site here at It’s A Dome Life. The long and short of this piece she painted for me is that I love roosters. But I want you to know she paints beautiful wildflowers in watercolors and southwest sunsets and landscapes mixing in media to bring depth and dimension to the works. Not having seeing anything yet in my hand, I feel like some of her work reminds me of more sophisticated Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar). Enough of my blathering!

I’m gonna hand off to Lillian here…

Prince Charming And Old McDonald: The Painting of A Rooster

I’m like old McDonald over here. Seriously, between the chickens and the dogs and the cats and the people and the toddler singing, “e-i-e-i-oh,” we might as well go ahead and call this place a farm. Molly and I became friends one day through a mutual stalker convention on Facebook.

I stalked her fan page and then she stalked mine (or vice versa) and we’ve been laughing at (or with) each other ever since. She knows my life is crazy. She reads my blog. She’s seen the pictures. That’s why when she asked me to paint her a rooster I had a good, long laugh. Not so much at Molly wanting a rooster, but at the fact that my daughter has been practicing her rooster crow for days, weeks, and months (I can’t say years because she hasn’t really been alive that long yet) now.

I just knew painting a rooster was going to make my daughter crow even longer and louder morning, noon and night. I just knew I’d have to sing Old McDonald Had a Farm at least twenty times a day. I was right. I am sure Molly knew that too. I bet she is smirking the good smirk right now. You go ahead and smile, Molly. One day revenge will be mine. Well, not really, but I may record my daughter singing and force you to listen to it. I will think of something. Anyway, this is Molly’s rooster, finished:

Cock-a-Doodle-Doooo! this is the finished product. You can see that because it’s got the signature. Read more below to see how it started…

I really need to give him a name. Molly suggested a name that was “something-something gonads,” but I am thinking something more suitable for the ears of children might be a little more appropriate. I found some old sheet music in a piano book I have with a music selection called, “Prince Charming” and that seemed a much more appropriate name for this Mr. Rooster. So, I glued it to the back of the painting and now Molly can never, ever deny that she is in love with Mr. Rooster. He is her prince charming after all:

The sheet music is still a little wet in this picture, but after a few coats of gloss it will be shiny and old looking (mostly, because it is old looking). It’s from my grandmother’s music magazine “The ETUDE” and this piece of music was published in that magazine in 1907 (it’s over 100 years old). I am hoping Molly’s son will play it for her on his guitar or slide whistle. It will sound timeless either way.

So I promised Molly I would share the making of Molly’s “Prince Charming” with you, so here goes:

“Prince Charming” started off as an 11″×14″ hardboard panel. I used the back of a paint brush to scratch up the surface so the gesso and paint would stick to it better.

Then I applied a layer of gesso and a layer of white paint. The gesso is like a primer for the surface.

With a cock-a-doodle here and a … agh… forget it.
Once the panel dried I sketched the rooster’s head. I made him a little ornery looking because roosters are like that. Also, because that’s how I felt after singing, “And on this farm there was a roo-ster…” for what felt like the millionth time that day.

Then I started filling in the color and after a while I added gel medium to attach some paper to give a nice feathery look and add dimension. Because you know, this inanimate rooster might be stuck on hardboard, but he’s gotta strut his stuff no matter where he is.

I hope you enjoy your “Prince Charming,” Molly! I certainly enjoyed painting him.

How can I NOT enjoy that rooster?! He’s awesome! I am waiting on a Lillian Connelly original and I am very excited for him to get here. I know that once he does, these photos won’t do him justice. My downy feathers are all a’ruffle.

Thank you!

12:30pm – UPDATE 10/24/12: HE’S HERE! MY PRINCE CHARMING IS HERE! i LOOOOOOVE HIM!

i’ll never figure out this facetime / take a picture of yourself thing. but there he is! woohoo! (is that a vacuum behind me?)

About Grass Oil by Molly Field

follow me on twitter @mollyfieldtweet. i'm working on a memoir and i've written two books thus unpublished because i'm a scaredy cat. i hail from a Eugene O'Neill play and an Augusten Burroughs novel but i'm a married, sober straight mom. i write about parenting, mindfulness, irony, personal growth and other mysteries vividly with a bit of humor. "Grass Oil" comes from my son's description of dinner i made one night. the content of the blog is random, simple, funny and clever. stop by, it would be nice to get to know you. :)

44 responses »

  1. Pingback: Tiny-Small Wants a Motorcycle - It's A Dome LifeIt's A Dome Life

  2. I love how collaboration (and blog-stalking) creates great posts, and excellent works of art! A more “sophisticated Eric Carle” for sure – Lillian, illustrating kids’ books in your future, perhaps? Adding paper for feathers = brilliant. Thanks to you both!

    • Hi Catherine – great point! I think she should illustrate kids’ books too – the painting arrived today and (about 10 minutes ago) and what you can’t see are the details of what Lillian goes into with all the texturing. It’s really “art” not just a one-dimensional image on hardboard. It’s nice. I can’t wait to frame it.

    • Thanks Catherine! I am really into texture right now. It adds dimension and fun. I would love to illustrate kids books…and write them! Or, maybe Molly can write them…nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

  3. Molly, what timing for the painting to arrive today of all days! I want to steal that picture of you with it. Also, I love your belt!

  4. I love this collaboration! I had only just discovered Lily’s blog a short while ago, and now through her, find yours, molly. I so enjoyed this read, and that Rooster1 I LOVE the colors and the attitude1 You are gifted – both of you! One with great painting talent, and one with a terrific rooster all your own! Not to mention what sounds like a pretty amazing friendship! 🙂

    • Hey Kat, thank you for stopping by! Lillian’s pretty great. I think everything she does is inspired. I love her work. If you have any curiousity, my blog is riddled with random posts. One is about a snippy finger model, another is written by my dog and youngest son. Then there are just the usual ramblings. I look forward to cruising your site too! -molly

  5. 1) Insert cock joke here… I get the feeling all the good ones have been done lol.
    2) Ho. Lee. Crap! You’re an amazing artist!
    3) Is that a SEAT BELT belt you’re wearing… WITH bottle caps??? You’re too cool!

  6. So cool! I love your art Lily! And hearing about the process is fantastic. 🙂 On a slightly related/unrelated note in regards to Old McDonald… My uncle used to live on a farm…and he had some goats and wild albeit loveable (sometimes) devil step-children. So my dad and I used to sing… Uncle Bobby had a farm…with goats and devils spawn…instead of roosters and chickens and cows.

  7. Pingback: Weekly Wrap Up, Blog Changes and Housekeeping « Grass Oil by Molly Field

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