Tag Archives: oil paint

“Can You Make it Rain More?”

Last summer, after the passing of Rock Star Prince, a conversation began.

When Prince was to perform at the Super Bowl in Miami the skies opened up with pouring rain. He was asked what should be done about his show.

He said, ”Can you make it rain more?”

This was an illustration of his work ethic, his understanding of “the show must go on” and the meaning of being a professional.

A man in Orlando heard I was interested in illustrating this event for his art collection. He also wanted a print made of it to present to an employee who was willing to go the “extra mile”.

Our communication was through email and phone calls. I began with a series of rough ideas on lined notebook paper.

I worked on more finished sketches for him. Pastels and watercolors.

We talked about what resonated with him.

The posture of the figure.

The shadow behind the figure.

The difficult road to be traveled through the mountains.

 

Is it possible to include the phrase, “Can you make it rain more?”

Is it necessary?

A decision was made. We agreed wholeheartedly on which image felt right. #7. So the process of putting oil on  a 30″ x 30″ canvas began.

More depth, more color and the addition of cold wax in the oil paint.

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A few details.

Both my client and I were looking at similar challenges in our futures. Some we didn’t even know were ahead. Discussing the meaning of the Prince quotation was heartfelt. We both were sharing our beliefs. The beliefs we have are strong and reinforced daily by our life experiences.

The painting is on its way to a life in New York City and the print is living with an employee who was awarded it for special care and effort.

It was an honor for me to be part of this exchange of ideas.

Big Cats

For Christmas I wanted to give my daughter a painting of her cats, her big cats. She had wanted one for several years. The time was finally right. So I began with a large canvas, 30″ x 40″.

Step 1 for Big Cats

Step 1 for Big Cats

I painted the background with a yellow gold acrylic, just to get started. I sketched the cats in with a pencil then started using my oil paints.

Big Cats Step 2

Big Cats Step 2

The cats are the way I want them so it must be time to begin the background.

Big Cats Step 3

Big Cats Step 3

I began to tear paper and form what would represent an Oriental rug and feline pillows. This is a meditative process for me. Tearing and fitting and gluing. The piece presents itself and unfolds as I go.

Big Cats Step 4

Big Cats Step 4

The paper is on.

Mia and her Big Cats. copyright 2013

Mia and her Big Cats.
copyright 2013

The background colors have changed. The cats are touched up and given extra texture and color with a fan brush. A few toy mice and a piece of string are added to the composition.

Portrait

Kevin Quarmby
copyright 2012 ECR

A portrait is an image of a life.

Sheila Cavanagh
copyright 2012 ECR

As I try to define this word I know there are portraits of people, living and dead. There are portraits of pets and places.

A life is a passing of time, whether it be that of a living and breathing being or a geologic substrata.

The portraits here are those of Kevin Quarmby and Sheila Cavanagh. They have given life to the World Shakespeare Project which they co-direct. Their website says,”Experimenting with new technologies that allow real-time interaction between students and faculty worldwide, the WSP offers an alternative pedagogical experience. Regardless of location, race, religious creed or financial status, students and faculty share live interactive classroom exchange. Shakespeare’s universal narratives provide the common currency.”

This is an amazing worldwide program. I hope you will go to their website and read more.
I painted these portraits in oil paint on 16″ x 20″ canvas. The background collage is printed from handouts the two directors use in their classroom teaching at Emory and Oxford College of Emory. Sheila’s dress is a Chinese translation of a Shakespeare text sent to me by art therapist and artist Hannah Hunter. Living in northern California she says she often finds second hand books in Chinese. A beautiful texture to add to the portrait.

Below you can see one of the early stages of the portrait of Kevin. The glazes of skin tones were still to come. What is pictured here is the underpainting.