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Horsing Around with Prints


My latest paintings have arrived. Both Gold and Midnight Blue have been signed, packaged and are ready to ship. You can find them in the online store, along with 45 other available images.

These are hand-signed 11″X14″ digital poster prints, packaged with backer board and artist bio in a cellophane sleeve, printed in Canada.

I’ve sized all of my prints so that it’s unnecessary to spend a bundle on custom framing. Most stores that sell off-the-shelf frames will offer 11″X14″ as it’s a standard and popular size.

I’m always happy to answer any questions, so feel free to drop me a line anytime.

Click on the images to go to each print, or follow this link to the online store.

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© Patrick LaMontagne
Follow me on Instagram @LaMontagneArt
Sign up for my newsletter which features blog posts, new paintings and editorial cartoons, follow this link to the sign up form.

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Midnight Blue


Another horse painting, finished earlier this month.

I took the reference for this at the cabin a couple of years ago, the same weekend as the previous horse painting. While my recent Gold painting was a warm colour palette, this one is colder, a black horse in a winter scene. Each presented its challenges, though I find warm tones easier to paint.

Black fur is difficult. Using pure black or pure white in a painting will rob it of any life. For the darkest shadow areas, I’m careful not to use absolute black because it will appear as a flat spot in the image, especially when printed. There’s always a little colour in it. Even Sire, my black and white lion painting, is just shades of de-saturated blue. If it were pure black, white, and grey, it would appear lifeless, at least it would to me.
The lighter areas on black fur are often warmer or cooler tones, reflections of the environment and ambient light. The same goes for white animals, the shades and shadows made up of whatever light is present.

Since my artwork isn’t supposed to be an accurate representation of the animal, I push the features to get a whimsical expression. Not quite caricature, but not real, either. I often do the same thing with the colours, which is why this horse looks very blue.

I’m confident I’ll paint more horses in the future, but having painted two in the past couple of months, I’m ready to move on to something else. Thankfully, I have a massive archive of reference photos, so no shortage of potential subjects.

Cheers,
Patrick

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© Patrick LaMontagne
Follow me on Instagram @LaMontagneArt
Sign up for my newsletter which features blog posts, new paintings and editorial cartoons, follow this link to the sign up form.

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Where Does the Time Go?

It doesn’t seem like too long ago that I took a break from the blog, newsletter and Instagram. I realized this week, however, that it’s just a few days shy of two months, which feels like long enough. I’ve got a longer post coming shortly about the break, but I figured I’d ease into it today with a few updates.

New Paintings
I’ve completed two new paintings over the break, with a third that I’ll finish in a day or two. Here’s the first one…Gold.
I took the reference for this painting over two years ago, while up at the cabin that friends and I rent near Caroline. As with many of my paintings, there’s often quite a bit of time between taking the reference photos and using them. I found this painting a little intimidating as I find horses especially challenging, but I’m pleased with how it turned out. This was completed about a month ago.

As always, if you’d like to share my work, please do, with my thanks.

Here’s a closer look.

Masks
In recent weeks, many communities have made it mandatory to wear a mask. A month ago, I often felt like a conspicuous minority when wearing mine in the grocery store, but now it seems like anyone not wearing one is the outlier.

I’m at home most of the time, but Shonna has seen quite a few people wearing the masks featuring my artwork. I’ve had friends, family members, and newsletter followers send me pictures, too. From displays at stores to family outings in full mask regalia, I’ve enjoyed seeing those.

Many have said they get compliments on the masks (I have as well), and people are asking them where they can buy some.
The initial pre-orders went well, the first two resulting in substantial orders, the third one quite a bit smaller, but a clear indication that those who follow my work got what they needed. Lately, I’m receiving more inquiries.

While I could do another order, I don’t think it’s necessary. You’d order masks from me; I’d place an order with Pacific Music and Art, they’d ship them to me, then I’d send them to you. At the beginning of this adventure, the printing and delivery pipeline was shaky, there were bugs to work out, and we were all still learning the ropes. In that climate, the pre-ordering worked well.

Now, Pacific Music and Art has a streamlined system for efficient ordering and delivery, both for individuals and retailers, and I’m advising people to buy directly from them. You’re still supporting my artwork because I get a royalty from each sale.

Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canmore has a nice selection of my masks, and I’d encourage Bow Valley residents to support that local business.

Shonna’s Mom and her husband came down for the day on the weekend. When they came over for dinner, they said they saw my masks in some stores in Banff.

A friend of mine (thanks, Fred!) sent me this photo of one of the large mask displays at the Calgary Zoo. They’ve got a few new designs, too.
With all that in mind, I’d encourage you to support these and other retailers currently selling my work, rather than do another order myself right now.

If you’d like to order from Pacific Music and Art directly, here’s the link.


Cartoons

Even though many of my newspapers still haven’t hired me back, I’ve been drawing the same number of cartoons each week. My clients are used to having a wide selection to choose from, so it didn’t seem fair to deprive them of that, especially since they’ve kept me in groceries this summer. While I draw them every day, cartoons are posted weekly on my site, either on Wednesdays, Fridays or both.

You can see them all on the Cartoons page.

Instagram

As you read this, I’ll have re-installed the Instagram app on my phone and iPad to start posting images again and see what’s been going on with my friends and fellow creatives. I’m not looking forward to being back on social media, but promotion is part of the business, which will be the subject of a forthcoming post, possibly in the next few days.

You can follow me there at @lamontagneart

I hope you’ve all been well, as we adapt to…whatever this is becoming. With the US election powered up, the Canadian Parliament prorogued, the ongoing debate about masks, COVID cases up and down, and whatever other steaming piles of excrement 2020 has yet to serve up for our consumption, I’d ask that you ponder the following.

This is tough for everybody. Each of us is dealing with our unique challenges. Before sharing passive-aggressive memes, angry political rants, and self-righteous nastiness, please reconsider. Given how social media works, chances are you’re only sharing that stuff with people who agree with you anyway, preaching to the choir as it were.

Speaking from experience, you won’t make yourself less angry by feeding that insatiable beast. Consuming and sharing bad news every day will make you miserable.

Play nice, would ya?

Cheers,
Patrick

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Sketch Painting Offer

Anybody who has ever run their own business knows that it’s all one experiment after another.  In this day and age, our attention spans are shorter than ever so if you’re in the business of sales, you need to be looking for new ideas of promotion and catching people’s attention.

As an artist, the best way to do that is to continually produce new work.  It keeps you in the collective short term memory of those who have found it worthwhile to follow you.  The last thing an artist wants anybody to say about them is, “hey, whatever happened to that LaMontagne guy?”

While it’s true that I produce new editorial cartoons almost every day, many of the people who follow me on social media and my site are interested in my painted work, so it’s important that I keep them coming back.  It’s not enough to tell somebody where to find me; I’ve got to make sure I make it worth their time to do so.

My Totem and commission paintings take a great deal of my time to complete, mostly because I have other work to do at the same time, like those editorial cartoons I mentioned.  There can be weeks and sometimes (much to my horror) months in between finished full detail paintings.  That’s a lifetime in the online world.  While I’ll often post work-in-progress images during the process, I can’t always do that, especially if I’m working on a commission.  Ruining your client’s surprise gift is bad for business.

To improve my painting skills, satisfy my desire to work on new things and to keep that new work flowing, I started doing what I call ‘sketch paintings’ a while ago.  Some have taken exception to that title because they’re really not sketches and I’ll concede that.  I call them that because in my mind, they’re not finished pieces, meaning that they don’t contain the meticulous obsessive detail of my other work.

I’ve recently realized that people don’t care and it does me no good to disagree with them when they say they like a sketch painting as is.  That’s always good for business…tell your customers they’re wrong.  I’m a slow learner sometimes, but at least I eventually get there.

A number of people have asked about prints of the sketch paintings and I’ve declined to offer them because the work isn’t finished.  Again, somebody wants to give me money for my work and I’ve been telling them no.  This Canadian cartoon guy isn’t too bright.

So, in order to correct my error, I decided to order up of a small selection of sketch paintings and offer them up for sale.  They’re giclée professional quality prints, same paper and printing as my matted prints, but without the mat, bio, or clear sleeve.  An 8”X10” print, which includes a ½ inch white border and each is hand-signed.  They’re $15 each + shipping, which will be minimal because the print fits into a standard business envelope between two pieces of cardboard for protection.

This time around, only four of each was available, so it was first come, first served and newsletter subscribers had 24 hours to order before I posted the offer here.  As a result some of the images below are already sold out and there are only one or two of the others available at the time I posted this.  As they sell out, I’ll update this post to reflect that.  I already consider this a success as some sold out quickly and a few early responders still didn’t get the ones they wanted, so I will do this again.  Newsletter subscribers will still get first crack at them, so if you haven’t subscribed and want a shot at any future prints of this nature, I would encourage you to sign up at this link.

To order any of the available images below, send me an email to lamontagne@nullcartoonink.com with your mailing address and indicate whether or not you’d like me to send you a Paypal invoice or want to pay by Interac e-transfer. You can order as many as you’d like, while supplies last.

Hawk

Camel

Horse

Hummingbird

Hare

Rooster

YellowBird