new art

oil painting of red yellow orange wyvern hunting a caterpillar among branches
Wyvern Hunting, 11"x14" oil painting

Lunch or dinner?

I finished this piece back in May. Wyvern Hunting is now varnished, framed, and ready for display at Gen Con. Loose prints area available through my online store, and I will have both loose and matted prints with me for sale at Gen Con.

Read on for a peek at some of the process.


This piece was initially inspired by a photo I took YEARS ago on a trip in Arizona.

photo of bird in a bush by christine mitzuk
This photo I took while on a trip in Arizona inspired my Wyvern Hunting painting







pencil on vellum drawing of a wyvern type dragon sitting on a branch staring at a caterpillar by christine mitzuk
An initial idea for Wyvern Hunting. Pencil on Vellum.

Here's a VERY early version. At this point I decided the gesture and design of the creature needed something more. I decided the "lying in wait" pose wasn't interesting enough, it needed to be more dynamic so I thought about how some birds sort of waddle down a branch and how their heads and necks move in relation to their bodies.

As part of the process for this piece I went on a "field trip" to a local reptile shop. They kindly gave me permission to take photos, without flash, of their critters. I found this extremely helpful because I could then study a variety of reptiles from different angles.

pencil drawing on vellum of wyvern type dragon hunting a caterpillar by christine mitzuk
Pencil drawing on vellum

I did studies of skulls, scales, and various animal skeletons in an effort to better understand what might be going on with my Wyvern. Then I came up with this version.

Something wasn't quite working. I'm thankful for the input I received at IlluXCon from an artist who specializes in creatures. He suggested a few body mechanic changes and suggested I create a maquette. (A while back I posted about the maquette I created for this project).

pencil drawing on vellum of wyvern type dragon hunting a caterpillar by christine mitzuk
Pencil on vellum.

Here's the final drawing. I created a line drawing on Canson Vidalon Vellum, scanned it in for later use, then completed the drawing with values on the other side of the vellum.

(The drawing is currently available for purchase. Contact me with inquiries).




drawing of wyvern type dragon hunting a caterpillar among branches by christine mitzuk
Wyvern Hunting drawing on vellum (various pencils used: graphite, white Conté, and Creatacolor Nero).








Digital color added to scanned pencil drawing of a wyvern hunting a caterpilar
Digital color added to scanned pencil drawing

This time around, I made a few digital color studies. They helped me get the color idea in the ballpark and then I just decided to dive in and paint.



random oil paint textures on prepared birch plywood
The random textures I started with. Oil paint on prepared birch plywood.

In my efforts to loosen up and trust my imagination more, I decided I need to strengthen my creative intuition, trusting my gut and follow where my imagination takes me instead of putting on the brakes too soon and following the "rules". I think it's important for me to have a blend of the judge and the playful art monkey. A blend of rule following and exploration.

Inspired by a landscape I saw at the Minneapolis Institute of Art by Max Ernst titled "Landscape with Lake and Chimeras" c1940 (I think it was this one). The description next to the painting pointed out that it was "created by putting paint down, sticking a sheet of glass or paper to it and then removing the sheet to make 'unexpected textures' ". Surrealism and Dadaism were two of my first artistic loves so rediscovering an artist from that era feels lovely. Being at MiniCon this weekend and seeing Jon Arfstrom's work again, I realize that some of his imaginative works also had a hand in inspiring me to do this. Hopefully I'll have more on Jon Artstrom at a later date. If you haven't seen his work you're in for a real treat.

A few weeks back I had leftover paint on my palette and was feeling adventurous so I put some paint on some prepared boards, added a little solvent, and then stuck a sheet of glass on top. I decided to make them color themes (reds, yellow+green, and blue+black+white). I smushed, tipped, and twisted the glass-board-paint stack. What I ended up with were some very interesting textures.

This week I took some time to explore and follow my intuition instead of going through the planning phases. Here's what happened. I'm calling them Foundlings. These three will be with me for sale at Spectrum Live next weekend in Kansas City, MO (hopefully dry). I will be set up at Artist Table #14. Stop by and meet the Foundlings.

Edit: these and a few more will be with me at the IlluXCon Showcase 2017.

oil painting of a blue and black winged lynx-like beastoil painting of a strange caterpillar monster belching flamesoil painting of a smoke puffing red demon dragon monster watching and waiting





digital painting of blue and purple water elemental with female head and torso and fish serpent tail playing a shell lyre with orange and red flames coming out of it by christine mitzuk
Water Elemental

I'm excited to finally release this image online with its companions! This piece is fourth in my series pairing each of the elementals with an instrument. Here the Water Elemental is paired with a harp or lyre.

All 4 elements are available individually as limited edition prints. You can find them in my online store as loose prints. They will also be for sale at various shows as matted prints or loose prints.4 Elementals

See Water Elemental >
See Earth Elemental >
See Air Elemental >
See Fire Elemental>

Unicorn Art Show 2, Opening April 7, 2016

digital painting of a unicorn at the top of a hill on a winding path through the woods
"Glimpse of the Unicorn", digital painting, 12"x16"

I'm pleased to announce that I will be participating in the second annual Unicorn Art Show.

My piece, "Glimpse of the Unicorn" is inspired by a special place in northern Minnesota. It is a digital painting and I will be offering limited edition prints in two sizes.

The large image size is a 12"x16" Giclée and is printed on 13"x19" fine art archival paper using archival inks. The run will consist of 10 Artist Proofs and then 25 limited edition prints for a total of 35 prints. There will be a matted and framed large print on display and for sale in the show.

The smaller version will be 5"x7" and printed on heavyweight, bright white, matte paper, using Epson DuraBrite Ultra inks. This smaller size will have 5 Artist Proofs and then 45 limited edition prints for a total of 50 prints.

Date and Time of Show:
Thursday, April 7, 2016
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Edit: Casket Arts First Thursdays are actually 5 to 9pm but the opening lasts till 10 pm.
After 9pm the doors will be closed and no more shall be admitted.
Being First Thursday there will be a lot of awesome things happening in the building, including music!

Leg Up Studios - Casket Arts
681 17th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413