No artist I know ever stops observing, never stops studying. I’ve been away from this blog for a while, but I’ve been constantly working, studying. The dissatisfaction with at least one element in every finished piece always drives the next piece. Above are a few studies I’ve been working on, trying to “fix” something that didn’t gel in a previous effort.
Edges are a constant concern. Softening, firming or losing them in a back round. It’s something I’m always pondering. Transitioning of values from one passage to another, is another thing I’m constantly thinking about. Dramatic lighting changes up the way I think about edges and transitions. And color often runs away with my intentions.
I’ll be posting more soon. These will be finished works that will no doubt drive the next bunch of studies:)
One piece that I was pretty happy with (“Tommy”) when I finished it, was awarded sixth place in the Portrait Society of America’s Members show in the Non-Commissioned category. I’m thrilled, humbled and very excited! Click on the “Portrait Society” link and enjoy all of the excellent work!
Oil on Linen 11″ x 14″
This week I will be posting work realized during my long blogging hiatus. This is the first of several portraits of red heads. I love colors found in the skin tones and hair highlights of red heads.
11″x 14″ Oil on Linen
“Cloaked” is essentially the next- generation in the “Divide Series”. Much like the original “Divide Series”, there is a barrier-a separation between the individual and the world. In this new series, the divide takes the form of a headpiece. Its connotations may or may not be religious, from a time long past, or a time yet to come.
9″x 12″ Oil on Canvas
The surface of each painting is both textured and glossy, much like the feel of old Flemish portraits. Sorry I’m unable to show you here, but I’m sure you get the idea.
12″x 16″ Oil on Linen
I’m pretty excited about them:)
Ribbon Study Oil on Canvas 16″x20″ A study, for another ribbon themed piece.
Yesterday was a great day. I ‘m still a little glowie. Many many thanks to the amazing friends who came to see the show and celebrate with me. Dear friends traveled many hours to be there. Wonderful friends I hadn’t seen since high school came. Former students, current students, neighbors, family of students past and present, dear friends and family were there as well. So were four of the young women featured in the portraits. I had the opportunity to meet enthusiastic art lovers and many of the very distinguished artists showing at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in the “Women Choose Women Again” exhibit. This terrific show opened yesterday as well, and we shared the opening reception.
VERY special thanks to the curator of both shows, Mary Birmingham and Katherine Murdock, assistant curator. It was a glorious afternoon.
I’m still working on this series but with a little less vigor, since I’m distracted by and doing battle with the “Blood and Vapor” series. So many paintings to make, never enough time.
I LOVE to paint portraits, people, figures, gestures. In the hands of a skilled and thoughtful artist, Old Master or contemporary, there is no subject more compelling for me than a portrait. But, paintings of people can sometimes leave me less than satisfied. They can sometimes appear to me, too pretty, or too gimmicky, too separate from the viewer, or too…vacant. I wondered what would happen if I pushed all of these notions? So, I did.
With this third painting, I decided to glaze with opacity (a paradoxical notion), in order to create a ceiling, if you will. A separation between subject and viewer, like the photos I’d taken of debris, still, under a frozen pond. This painting is no longer a portrait because it does not reflect what I know about my subject. Here, she is merely reference for a painting. It speaks for me, not for her. Got to say however, that I enjoy this outcome:)
The three experiments in oils have helped me come to some conclusions about the way I like to work, what practical methods I find satisfying, and the thought behind what I want to make. I think that now I’d like to further explore both my appreciation for portraiture and my personal prejudices about portraiture, to see what might happen next.
Thanks for your kind comments and interest! I’ll keep you posted;)
As a portrait painter, my new challenge in watercolor is to quickly capture a natural likeness.
When I work in oils, the process is forgiving, because I am able to walk away, reevaluate, and layer corrections to please both myself and the client. The loose watercolor portraits of sisters above, were executed very quickly. And because they were not commissioned work, I had the freedom to get very close to the likeness I’m always after, without worrying about nailing a likeness. The upside is that with watercolor, the paintings are quick, and I can make many. I’m hoping that in a relatively short amount of work time, if I paint several watercolors of a subject, I will be able to yield at least one likeness that will hit. We’ll see;)
In honor of my Dad, for Father’s Day, I will be posting separate Pause pieces originating from the oil on wood studies of my parents, above.
I have not identified my Pause models before, but I feel that I’d like to acknowledge my parents with these pieces and the several Pause depictions yet to be posted. I am indeed fortunate to be able to include them in this series.
Happy Father’s Day Dad, and Happy Father’s Day to the rest of you wonderful dads:)
It’s been many years since I’ve worked on a self portrait. It was time. I’ve decided on a limited series, in order to experiment. This first oil painting is pretty straight forward, but distortions abound. It’s a manual facelift.
Here’s the progression. The changes in expression are awfully funny, (at least to me). I’ve used lots of glazes via Gamblin Neo Megilp with my oil paint.
All of you creatives who commented on my last post, aiding focus and offering your thoughtful opinions, thank you!
I am pleased to report a common thread, with one image the majority favorite. I’m flattered that it has been referred to as classical.
I am also delighted that opinions varied widely and for a variety of different reasons. These three were all chosen more than once….
The unintentional Elvis look-alike
The “crown of thorns”, ( never occurred to me), but I love the association.
This last one is more distorted than the others but seemed to elicit interest as an image associated with pain. I can see that.
You’ve given me plenty to think about. THANK YOU.
Two more from the Pause Series.
Gallery + why and how coming next week…….thanks for hanging in……..
HAPPY NEW YEAR! This is Pause 9, the first of 2012.