As most of you know I was in a serious car accident over Memorial Day weekend with my husband. This was two and a half months after my sweet mother passed away. Thank you for your patience and kindness. We are fine and moving forward with optimism and much gratitude.
I have been participating in a yearlong on-line class taught by Carla Sonheim from Seattle, WA. The focus is working in a series.
My first series was work I created using my Great Aunt Ruth’s photo album. The photos dated from the 1920s to the 1940s. Many were taken in New Orleans. My hometown.
I set parameters for my images. They would be 18″ x 24″, acrylic over watercolor color field painting, and on paper.
Before I began I tested my new technique on 9″ x 12″ paper.
I enjoyed this layering of acrylic over watercolor, so moved forward in a larger format.
I have just completed my second series which I will show you next time. Be careful out there!
This 100 day challenge has been such a learning experience. Honestly there are days when I think, “What in the world am I going to paint?” I sit down at the drafting table and look at the dreaded white paper. Sometimes I flip through books for ideas.
My mother had a series of books called Great Museums of the World published by Newsweek in the 1960s. When she begged me to take some of her books I took these. I peruse one at a time for inspiration. The first one is the Tokyo Museum.
Now I am perusing the book on the Pinakothek in Munich. This is a museum I have actually been to. It was about 40 years ago and had become the old and new Pinakothek.
Ever notice how many of my paintings have women with tilted heads? Well, there are a lot of Madonnas in my art history books from college. That seemed to be the pose of the day in the Renaissance. So the secret has been revealed, I don’t tilt my head and look in the mirror for inspiration.
I am presently on day 156 so will catch you up on the last few week’s work. Prices are now $45 for matted and archival wrapped paintings. Framed work is $100. Shipping is not included.
So there you have another 25 days of watercolors, some days mixed media, but always with watercolor included. All paintings are $45, matted and sealed. $100. for framed art. I am happy to send a higher resolution photo to you if you would like to see a better image.
It is absolutely the right time to be thinking about commissions for gifts. Portraits of people, places or pets are all popular items. To see more you can click here.
Thank you to those of you who write and/or purchase artwork and to those who quietly enjoy.
I was fortunate to receive a request for a commission before Christmas. The lovely Kathleen asked if I could paint a portrait of her boyfriend’s dog Massey.
She sent me photos of man’s best friend and I began. The blue adds to the depth in the color of her coat.
The eyes on a portrait, whether a pet or person are key to the success of the piece. The car and boat in the background are favorite things for Massey’s owner.
Putting her name on the canvas anchors the image and makes it more personal, no mistaking this is Massey if her name is there.
I added some complementary colors around the subject to add some pizzazz to the background.
Massey had a nice drive in the car while being fed some Chewy Spree so I thought, why not? They are part of her story and they add some movement and color to the painting. The car and canoe are also getting more attention as I model their shapes with shadow.
The car is now in a picture frame portraying a photo of a favorite vehicle and handy dandy canoe, adventure around the corner with that.
The delightful couple with the Christmas gift in hand. Watching Hank realize this was his dog and his present was a wonderful gift to me.
Several months ago I was contacted by Emory University. There was going to be an article in their Quadrangle magazine about the International Shakespeare program. The article entitled “Skyping Shakespeare” was going to feature the digital learning experience co-directed by Sheila Cavanagh and Kevin Quarmby.
You may remember my post from October 3, 2012. I wrote about portraits, specifically the ones I had painted of Sheila and Kevin.
Emory wanted to use these portraits in their article.
I was thrilled to see my artwork in this lovely publication. Thank you to the staff of the magazine and to the faculty who made this possible.
When I create a portrait or Relationship Painting I also design and produce a book to accompany it.
The inside cover is artwork that coordinates with the painting and continues the story. There is also a written narrative that defines the intention of the painting. That includes the reason the painting was commissioned, a narrative of why I chose the images, the colors and the elements I included in the final piece. I sign and date this to confirm its authenticity.
Is this even necessary? No.
I don’t know of any other artists that actually do this. Sometimes there are certificates of authenticity, but they are only as good as the gallery or artist’s reputation. There have been many stories of people purchasing art on cruises with the assurance that their new purchase is going to appreciate in value. There should be no such promises, nobody knows what the art market will bear.
The portraits I create, the relationship paintings I create and all of the work I create is for your pleasure, to enhance your life, to remind you of a loved one or the connection to a loved one. Your children and grandchildren can keep these as a legacy.
So few people write letters anymore. So few people print photos anymore. There are emails and digital files galore, but not much that is tangible. Nothing is on your wall or in your dresser drawer to remind you of your grandmother or your sister. You have to turn on a device for the reminder. How about turning around to see it right there in front of you as you dress for the day, or head out to pick up your children at school, or glimpse a familiar face as you turn out the light.
That is authentic. The feelings you have are authentic. A piece of paper cannot tell you what is authentic to you. My book is a little lagniappe, my 13th donut in a baker’s dozen. My way of saying thank you.
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.