|Red Bud watercolor 13.5 x 10|
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
|Boys and Creeks oil/canvas 30 x 20 c 1.5|
During the virus, our family has kept in touch more than ever as we share photos from across the country. Seeing these daily activities, as well as coping activities, has provided us with such pleasure. From the seaside beaches of California to the shallows of Ohio's rivers and streams, we are united in the passion of exploration.
This painting was referenced from such a photo. I am in awe of their resilience and their spirit.
Sunday, May 31, 2020
|Orange E charcoal/watercolor 13.5 x 11|
In terms of photo references, I will admit that the lighting was not perfect, as the photo was taken during a Facetime chat...an amazing process, that I could never have dreamed to be possible. We take what we can get these days. Of course, for a dramatic rendering, where shadows and lights create a more interesting patterning on the face, a studio set-up with lighting and a more considered picture-taking process would have possible.
I believe that, in this case, the softer presentation of everyday lighting worked out well.
And....btw....those baby-teeth-hangers-on have now been replaced with some emerging larger pearly-whites. I love this age. Enthusiasm. A lightness of spirit. Hope.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
|Harbinger waterclor 6 x 9|
This was an additional challenge for me, as I am more comfortable with large brushes than small, large formats than small. And...retaining the "whites" is always the greatest challenge!
I am pleased.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
|Fistful watercolor 6 x 9|
Enter Spring.....I decided to do just a couple of small ditties to whet my watercolor appetite and to rid myself of the fear of the white paper. No formal set-ups....just a fistful of blooms from our yard. I was so happy to be painting this work and opposed the transparent pigments of the blooms with a more opaque handling of the background....just chalky like I like it. Fistful.
Friday, May 8, 2020
|Kick mixed/paper 27.5 x 18|
And so, given our current circumstances, I decided to give it a try. What was meant to be a tender charcoal drawing morphed into the unintended...strong, aggressive. No pigment could be moved around. The blending stump was useless. Watercolor stayed put and immediately sunk in. No ability to wipe off splatters.
I must say that in the past, I have been quite excited and stimulated by the feel of a new ground as it allows for a bit of chaos, providing a novel experience. In fact, I have prided myself on this flexibility. But here I reached my limit. The struggle was almost unbearable.
Nevertheless, I took the work to finish. While I am pleased with the result, I am not anticipating using it again.
Lesson to be learned: label all papers when you can. I believe that it was unsized.
Friday, May 1, 2020
|Ascension oil/canvas 24 x 48 x 1.5|
Actually, my brain takes MANY flights of fancy each day. I am not sure if this happens to anyone else, or to everyone. But I can say for certain, that these little mind travels are imperative to my emotional well being. It is only when my mind is otherwise occupied with sociability and tasks that life becomes, well, dull and static.
And, as sychronicity would have it, I am currently reading my first ever surrealistic work, Nadja by Andre Breton. He questions whether or not we are defined by the lives we lead on a daily basis OR by the surprises, the flights of fancy, that we take.
And, so it is that this work is a bit of, I believe, surrealism on my part. My flight of fancy.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
|Koi oil/wood panel 18 x 24 x 1.5|
Resolution of this work came very very slowly...partly because I worked on a gessoed wood panel, which is not my norm. This surface responds completely differently to stroke-making, causing a bit of tension on my part. And, I suppose, partially because there is a bit of a story here. Most of my figures are "lost in space", allowing me to meander between the figure and the ground, eliminating much along the way. But here, in this instance, when telling a story, the pieces must in more in tact. I am satisfied.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
|Kids oil/canvas 30 x 40 x 1.5|
My goals were threefold: to let the individual personalities express themselves; to sublimate the "likenesses" so that the group gesture would shine through; and to emphasize the counter-spaces between the figures to enhance the interconnectedness of the positives and negatives.
I am supremely happy with the outcome....makes me wish I were a kid again!
Monday, April 6, 2020
|Bouquet Without Stems oil/canvas 12 x 12 x 1.5|
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
|This Little Piggy oil/canvas 12 x 16 x .5|
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
|Rachel oil/canvas 16 x 12 x .5|
I have taken a liking to toning my canvas well ahead of time in a color that complements and supplements the overall palette. My toned canvas was a turquoise-y blue. This cool tone was selected in order to counter the warmer flesh tones which would lie on top. This blue can be seen on the hat, on the face, in the hair and on the shoulder areas. For me, it adds a bit of excitement, a bit of chaos, to what might become a too-tightly-rendered portrait. It seems that we all have a more difficult time with "looseness" in a portrait situation, especially when likeness is a goal.
I hope that Rachel is pleased.....because I am!
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
|Les Pieds pastel/mixed 28 x 21|
At home, I worked on these three drawings to attempt to create a unified whole...washes of water were added to create softer edges where needed. Then, using a combination of linoleum blocks, one uncut and one a pre-cut design, to print on top using relief ink. I used cut pieces of tracing paper on top of the shapes I wished to retain in order to block the printing. The final pass was spent in trying to merge both the drawing and the printing processes...searching for a bit of balance.
By enunciating the feet and diminishing the facial features, the attention was shifted to the feet. (hopefully). I am satisfied. In fact, I am pleased.
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
|Uniqke watercolor and pencil 20.5 x 13.5|
This young dancer oozed grace from every pore in her being. She had a sunshine personality and a quiet stance. She took the most simple of poses and turned it into an extreme experience for me. I believe that this simple watercolor and pencil drawing echoed her personality. No drama. No excess. Simply beautiful.
It was a rewarding experience for me.
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
|Suddenly watercolor and gouache 28 x 18|
I am convinced that looking up and looking down should be added to our visual repertoires....looking straight ahead can be limiting.
There is no way to replicate the sparkling jewel tones I witnessed that day, at least for me. But I tried, once again finding a perfect use for the handmade florescent watercolors made at Case for Making in San Francisco!
What a rush!
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
|Grace is Her Middle Name Artgraf used as watercolor 13 x 10.5|
As the light on the model washed out subtler nuances of value, I chose to go with a simple 3-value work, with the white of the paper in a dominant role.....I honestly had a difficult time pushing the pigment around. But I am satisfied, as this experiment resulted in a stronger work....stronger, albeit, than I am used to.
I admire these young dancers and look forward to their production of "Snow Queen" in March.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
|Sisters in Spirit watercolor 21.5 x 13|
In this painting, I chose to depict two seemingly innocent young girls in sweet patterned dresses, each wearing Halloween heads. That, in and of itself, is a bit disturbing. Things are not as they "should be". I decided to push the envelope by scewing their bodies slightly off the vertical. Diagonal placement leaves the viewer a bit disoriented....will they tip over? will they rock towards the vertical. In addition, the figures and the background were merged in a sameness that, in my opinion, adds a bit of other-worldliness to the presentation.
I am pleased with this work. It is not only what we have to say, but how we say it, that makes for a more creative viewpoint.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
|Sequined Skirt conte crayon/pastel 20.5 x 12|
In looking back over the past works, I see that most of my work has been a welcome exchange between the seated model and myself...a quieter, more serious kind of contemplation.
I think that when our sessions begin again in January, I will try to make more creative and dynamic works from the gesture poses.....a bit daunting....but very exciting....I love giving myself new challenges.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
|Mexican Sunflowers watercolor 13 x 10|
Fluorescent? Lucky me. Last birthday I received some watercolor pans from Case for Making, a San Francisco-based storefront that carries handmade pigments. The ones used here (as well as several other autumn projects): fluorescent orange light and fluorescent flame red.
In the working of this painting, the entangling of the blooms got to be too much, just too tedious. That is when I used a blue-tinted gouache to separate the top. This break almost reads as sky, and the design benefits greatly.
Color me fluorescently happy.
Saturday, November 2, 2019
|Doe, A Dear|
In looking at the work, and trying to understand a few of the major decisions that made this work personal, I found:
- The value of the deep woods in the background was maintained, while eliminating the texture.
- Some shapes were simplified and made two-dimensional, to further simplify
- the largest major shape (deer torso) has been broken into, primarily because I wanted more interest in the face and head
- and, as always, values were slightly pushed to a blackish-violet in some areas to further rhythmic viewing and focal point description
These decisions were made intuitively....it is only when finished, that I try to understand why things happened as they did.
Although my final work reveals more than just a glimpse, I am happier.
Thursday, October 17, 2019
|One Day oil/canvas 30 x 30 x 1.5|
I have painted day lilies before. They don't work that well singularly, but are dynamic as a group. And, yes, each blossom blooms for only one day.
While there were areas that offered up problems to be solved, the work was mostly simple in resolution. My own cemented sense of design required a dark on the left edge....my preference always being to solve with value shifts. And, yet, a heavy dark shape would have destroyed the feeling of lightness that day. So my resolution, while a bit ambiguous, is satisfactory. It definitely recalls the feeling that I had....that day....that hour...that moment.
Thursday, October 10, 2019
|Coneflowers 12 x 4 x 1.5|
In this case, this very small canvas was toned with what I would call "navy blue", a neutralized dark blue that was probably mixed with French ultramarine and burnt sienna. The background leaves and pods are closer in value to the toned ground so they fade to the background. The pink leaves were intentionally scraped and pulled back to allow that blue toned ground to become a major player.
I am pleased.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
|Bread, Wine and Turnips oil/canvas 15 x 12 x .5|
I have a belief that the power of the work is somehow divided between all of the objects in the plane....so, it follows, for me, that the fewer the things, the more power that each one holds. Big and little things arranged pleasingly on the page.
The reference for this simple still life came from a series of photos taken on my patio many years back....it was a veritable feast, a banquet. The long horizontal painting was sold, but I have so many reference photos that I can now produce several smaller works from the original, and quite painstakingly arranged, feast. This work pleases me as it has the feel that I was going for...a few simple ingredients can make a painting that I enjoy.......and, also, I think that a few simple ingredients can produce an exquisite meal. We live in complex times. I crave simplicity for balance.
Thursday, September 12, 2019
|Rorschach oil/canvas 24 x 30 x 1.5|
The most exciting part of figurative painting, to me, is the shape of the core, the limbs, and, subsequently, the diminishing of the facial features to create intriguing lines....an overall visual that is greater than the sum of the parts....gestalt!!!
This was an exciting painting to work on...I feel that it mirrors that which their young bodies were trained to do. Thank you.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
This young dancer was the epitome of intensity...of discipline.
While the sequins on her costume were fun to paint....small specks of retained white paper amidst the color to imply the multidimensional reflection of the light...sequins are just gravy here.
She could, in my opinion, be just as distinctive in a simple leotard. INTENSITY.
|Sequins Optional watercolor 20 x 12|
Monday, August 5, 2019
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
|Budded watercolor 18.5 x 7|
Final word: this is the best I could do with a difficult challenge....This small painting makes me happy.
Sunday, July 14, 2019
|Clownfish mixed/paper 19.5 x 12|
THESE DANCERS WERE AMAZING!
And...as for the highly developed sensitivity to the movements of the other....
I sometimes think that the world would be so much more pleasant if we all learned this sensitivity...we all learned to dance.
And....just maybe...we would be better drivers.
Sunday, July 7, 2019
|M as Shark mixed/paper 20 x 13|
Dabbs Greer, a bit actor, once said, "Every character actor, in their own little sphere, is the lead".
Friday, June 28, 2019
|Easy Livin' conte crayon on toned pastel paper 15.5 x 11.5|
I like this drawing very much. It was fun to do and provides the feeling that I wished to convey in a minimal way. Less is more
Thursday, June 13, 2019
|Bunch watercolor 16.75 x 9.5|
This bunch was plucked from our yard. I am basically happy with the work, but, in retrospect, wish that I had included some other varieties.
There is always next spring.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
That being said, travelling presents a problem for a person like me. It is simply not possible to drag along armloads of art supplies. And so I have devised a solution that keeps me content at the same time I am able to visit without too much offense. The latest venture was a visit for a week in North Carolina. Three very small watercolors were made on a deck providing afternoon sun. But my favorite activity is to make small drawings from life while the family is gathered around, in discussion, or in front of TV. Nothing posed. Just several drawings begun at once and keeping an eye out for the model to resume a particular pose. This trip I ended up with two small drawings that pleased me. This one took a couple of hours, but I was content to pick away. Kept my attention up. Feels good to produce something worthwhile.
And.....keeps the ants out of my pants...temporarily.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
|Majorette oil/canvas 24 x 8 x .5|
My own experience with baton twirling was short-lived. I guess I just didn't "have it". It may have been limited coordination, or, perhaps, interest.
This work of a drum majorette was inspired by a vintage photo of my husband's aunt....probably taken in the late 40's.
Figurative work is my favorite. For me, it has evolved into a sublimation of the facial features along with the placement of several focal points, established by choice, to lead the eye around the entire figure and its posture. The regimentation of the twirler is reflected in her posed stance. Discipline.
And the....there are those boots.
Some time ago, another astute artist picked up on my method at a local critique. He was quick to point out the use of the multiple focal points. We seem to love and to need a focal area in the work....why not several? They actually create their own rhythm.
Thursday, May 9, 2019
|Intensity- L. oil/canvas 16 x 12 x .5|
This painting was made at a final class session where the assignment was to create a painting by simply watching and observing someone else at work....an artist who is in constant motion while observing the subject of his/her own painting.
This assignment is tough, but allows one to get at the "nitty gritty"...the important stuff...big shapes and simplified forms. I did take a photo and did a few minor corrections at home, but was careful not to overwork the simplicity that had been achieved during the session.
I have found, over years of observing and drawing people at work, that a person will resume one of two or three positions continually, which helps with clarification, if only you are patient.
Ah, yes.......INTENSITY and PATIENCE.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
|When Sheep are Golden oil/canvas 16 x 20 x 1.5|
The biggest challenge for me was to create the chaotic texture of that marvelous wool.....as a knitter of many years, I wanted to honor the glory of the sheep's contribution to our well being. A bit of time was spent on hard and soft edges. The background was kept simple.
I can honestly say that I truly love this work.
What's not to love when talking sheep?
Thursday, April 4, 2019
|Union watercolor 20 x 11|
Vintage photos are wonderful to use as painting references! The photos can be interpreted without fear of achieving exact likenesses or making Aunt Maude look 10 pounds too heavy. I like to use them monochromatically as a study of value. By subtracting color from the mix, one is able to fully understand the great power of value in description.
The photo of the valiant soldier at the right was labelled on the back as "Pas Eisenhour", from my husband's family, who fought for the Union in the Civil War from Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
|Couple oil/canvas board 12 x 12|
One of my passions is to eliminate the unnecessary edges which represent fences that block the movement of the pieces/parts. Because all of these operations are so subjective and so personal, I spent a good deal of time on a sketch that solved (hopefully) potential errors and helped to convey my feelings. In the past, I have found that the division of space in square formats to be a challenge. In this case, it worked out......
There is much that pleases me here...right down to the simple limited palette.
In addition, the opposition of the quintessentially beautiful roses with the aluminum can completes me.
Monday, March 11, 2019
|Heartland II - Winter Cows (A Sense of Calm Given the Situation) oil on canvas 16 x 20|
The one huge thrill in all of the labor: the introduction of Gamblin's Cold Was Medium, that was mixed into paint in both the back- and fore-ground. It produced an impasto effect that was much lighter than using gobs of paint, and even more effective, I think. Used in a 1/3:2/3 ratio with paint) My first use....terrific!
Ah.....if I had only labored over a sketch. That would have been time well spent.
Sunday, February 24, 2019
|Heartland oil/canvas 30 x 48 x 1.5|
Painting a cornfield is always a challenge as it is comprised of so very much chaos.
While painted using local color, I may not be averse to glazing with transparent yellow....will need to think about it.
This work is comforting to me.....it feels like home.
Friday, February 15, 2019
|Opinions watercolor 12 x 9|
My husband and I are in the process of a kitchen makeover. We love each other beyond measure. But our opinions on so many small details differ: on the materials to be used, on the placement of components, and, yes, on the cupboard handles as well.
What better metaphor for a home improvement?
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
|Winterberries and Bells oil 12 x 9|
I try to have no expectations whatsoever in such an exercise. All in all, the background white, a gray green, pleased me.
2019 is gonna be a great year!
Sunday, January 27, 2019
|For the Road oil 12 x 12|
I have a family of coffee-lovers and, during the holidays, these beans abound: those who prefer a winter spice from Trader Joe's, those who love a cup of McCafe, and those who relish grinding their own beans, the darker the roast, the better. OK. There are a few tea-lovers as well.
And, yes, we certainly do need a cuppa for the road.
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
|Bat Marian watercolor 13.5 x 10|
Thinking sculpturally is a great advantage here where a knowledge of how a light source affects the landscape of a face helps it to read three-dimensionally. Without this knowledge, which I like to call "understanding the nature of things", any work from life without a particular light source can become flattened. Likewise working with a photo source.
Marian's mask was cast from metal....quite unusual. I am pleased with this work. I feel that it captures many of the effects which I constantly pursue.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
|Harvest Chair watercolor 20 x 13|
I am somewhat satisfied.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
|Birdman - L oil/canvas 14 x 11|
My recollection of the model was his discomfort from the overheating that it caused...imagine a hot summer day wearing a bird costume.....and more difficult yet....imagine dancing in it!
Saturday, September 15, 2018
|Nightshade conte crayon 19.5 x 12.5|
The costume for this young dancer is that of a nightshade, a dark dancer that is a kind of minion for the queen, as I was told...a nightshade plant being that which is poisonous.
Darks. Lights. Makes for a good drawing.
Friday, September 7, 2018
|Tutu watercolor pencil and walnut ink 19.75 x 12|
I started with a half-sheet of Strathmore Aquarius II watercolor paper. This sheet has many uses in that it is partially synthetic, thin and will not buckle. During the entire 2 1/2 session, I used Derwent watercolor sketching pencils in light wash, medium and dark, alternating drawing with broad washes of water during the breaks. At home, some washes of walnut ink completed the work. For me, the challenge involved the pushing and pulling of strokes to reveal what is more important to the pose; and, conversely the less important. For this reason, I have always had such a difficulty with chairs and stools, as I realize the importance of having a support for the pose, yet despise the weight given to it.
This model wore the traditional tutu, hence the title. I am pleased.
Saturday, August 25, 2018
|Little Mermaid charcoal, conte and gold leaf on toned paper 21.5 x 14|
"Little Mermaid" was drawn in charcoal and conte crayon on a toned paper. Gold leaf pieces were added later. I had actually hoped for more covering on its application, but due to the fact that the adhesive was mostly dried up, and the high humidity, a more mottled effect was the result. But I am happy.
This pose, subtle yet powerful, is, I believe the result of a strong core and a slight curving of the small of the back. I appreciate the strength and willpower of this young dancer!