Archive for the ‘portrait painters’ Category

” Reverie ” – New Painting

May 5, 2011

” Reverie ” 9 X 12 oil on Ray Mar Panel

A few months ago, we were treated to a world class concert by musicians Dennis Cahill and Martin Hayes. Fiddle, guitar, Irish Folk and Try To Sit Still music. Hypnotic and contagious, I was taken with Dennis’ focused, calm intensity.

Working from a photograph taken that night by the talented Ted  Davis of D & D Studio, St. Croix, I tried to capture that mood. Thanks Ted.

How it began:

Ted’s photo, my sketch.

I like the unfinished, under worked quality of the piece. As hard as it is sometimes to lay down the first brush stroke, it’s often as hard to know when to lay down the dang brush and call it done.

These characters always know when to call it done. It’s usually after a snack, before a snack, after a walk, before a walk, and when we’re in the bed.

Cloud has her own particular Reverie and it often looks like this:

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” Morning Brew ” – Finished Painting

January 17, 2011

” Morning Brew “ 8 X 10 oil on linen

 

This was the burnt sienna wash shown in the last post.

Here’s what happened with the Elevens recently. My solo show at Bassin Fine Art Gallery, St. Croix, opened on December ELEVENTH. The show closed on January ELEVENTH. And Shazamm, I sold ELEVEN paintings. With great and bowed thanks to collectors, friends, unexpected walk-ins,  architects of secret surprises and other random appreciators. And to the delightful and professional gallery owners who provided a stunning stage for viewers and paintings. Thank you all.

Dick Blick and King of Frame– I hope your operators are standing by, I’ve supplies to replenish.

 

THEY are not standing by………..

Doing what they do best: laying or lying by. Standing is for when there’s food or promises of beach.

Attention humans in need of an exquisite place of your own to lay around in or beach at:

Take a look around Southern Breezes Villa here on St. Croix. Swoon. Then rent it and come for a visit.

Paintus- Interruptus

August 24, 2010

I’ve been working on this piece, expecting to have finished it today.

” La Reine Market Seller ” Oil on Panel 11 X 14

Started it with a Burnt Sienna / Ultra Blue wash and a loose drawing with the brush.

I’ve been mesmerized by the works of Joaquin Sorolla and his depictions of his subjects under the hot Madrid sun. This site has a slide show of his complete works.

One should not get so hypnotized by muse or self that one doesn’t pay attention to how one wipes the unwanted paint off a palette knife.

They do not call it a palette Spoon, or a palette Fork, but a palette KNIFE!

Hence, Paintus Interruptus.

When well used, they are more like a Palette Shiv.

This experience must fall under the proverb employed by motorcycle enthusiasts:  ” There are two kinds of riders-those who’ve wiped out and those who haven’t wiped out yet “.

Too bad I didn’t need to add crimson to this piece- I could have had an endless supply. My thumb is in the shop for a few days- enough time to look through more pages of my Sorolla book.

This guy doesn’t have to be concerned about a useless thumb.

And neither does Chili Pepper…..he’s almost flaunting it in my face……

Almost Got My Goat…. New, Finished Painting.

August 3, 2010

This painting almost beat me down but it didn’t ” get my goat “.

” Win A Goat ” 18 X 24 oil on linen stretcher canvas

” A commonly repeated story which purports to explain the phrase’s origin is that goats were placed with racehorses to keep them calm. When ne’er-do-wells who wanted the horse to race badly removed it, i.e. they ‘got someone’s goat’, the horse became unsettled and ran badly. That’s just the sort of tale that gets the folk etymology juices running.” ( Thanks to the Phrase Finder )

Now that I’ve squinted enough to really see the value contrasts this needed to make the shirt come alive, I’m probably an excellent candidate for Botox, Dermabrasion and a Wrinkle Fix. Crows feet, nothing: I’ve turned Pterodactyl .

But that squinting thing really helps see the large value areas. Thanks Leslie, of Leslie Paints  for suggesting I disregard the design-y thing on his shirt. I didn’t do the bib overalls but your suggestion got me here. I’m pretty pleased with the finish.

From behind, it looks like I really DID get my goat, but that’s just the long little doggie Cloud, cooling her nether regions on the tiles.

Her rear end looks more like it belongs in a package marked Tyson, yet there’s that rabbit tail, or whathaveyou extraneous goat parts hindquarter that defies a category.

These two don’t seem to care that it’s too hot to be enveloped in fur:

Nevermind- she dif” furs “.

“Enough, don’t you realize how hot it is? You tryin’ to get my goat ? “

Trinidad Market Girl Sold

April 16, 2010

But not indentured.

She’s going to grace someones’ wall on one of our sister islands, St. John also one of the US Virgin Islands. Thanks to the exposure by a new home design company here, Coco Design in Christiansted, this piece was introduced to her client and she’s now left my home and is on her way to another. Thanks Jennifer!

Of all the paintings I’ve posted on this blog over the years, she’s had the most hits of any of the others.  I’m hoping to find the looseness that birthed her as I start another one. You can approach the canvas the same way, with the same intentions every time. Sometimes it’s a real struggle, sometimes the magic genie controls your hand and brush and sees to it that your angst never wakes up. This was just that for me.

From a chapter in the book that someday may chronicle my passage from NYC to the Virgin Islands, you can better understand the title: ” I Used To Have a Concierge, And Now I Have A Machete “.

You can’t take down a papaya from a tree with a butter knife dearies:

It’s the all purpose tool for the modern city dweller who can no longer ring the intercom to request a repair.  If at first it doesn’t work, hack, hack again.

And because I know how fixated you all are on this little face, consider Cloud, as seen by Rousseau.

And Chili Pepper, as seen by the Sunkist company, if their ad men only knew where to find him:

He said forget it, he’s not selling out.

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother

January 18, 2010

She begat me and I became her. As a teen, I resisted, as an adult, I’m honored and hope to fill the toes of her shoes.

Wise, gentle, compassionate, I never heard her yell or be rude. Always makes people feel welcomed and wanted.  And at almost 90,  I still have her in my life. At the prodding of a friend,  I thought I’d try a portrait.

First a rough sketch in willow on linen.

Pre- toned canvas, light sienna wash.

Trying to work out the main features in a general way.

The real mom.

Thought I had a good ride with this one so far and then. Then. It all went south and I think I forgot how to paint. Can you forget? Can you forget how to apply the paint. Seems that’s where much of my angst lies. It’s either too thick, too thin, too muddied, too overdone, or just too wrong.  So this tribute to be is not to be. It’s been duly scraped and scrapped.

But let me paint a portrait of her for you with some of her/my favorite expressions and quotes that I still find myself parroting today.

” I’m too light for heavy work, and too heavy for light work “

” One mother can care for 10 children but 1o children can’t care for one mother “

” When in doubt, DON’T “

” The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know “

” For a marriage to work, the man should love the woman a drop more than the woman loves the man “.

” A woman needs her own pishka * that no one knows about ( * translation from Yiddish- a private stash of your own money – kept even from your husband )

( Hope my husband isn’t reading the last two but if he is…. Hi Honey!  You know I don’t listen to my mother ).

” After 70 there are only two things a man is looking for in a woman- a nurse or a purse, and I’m not going to be either one ” ( This said after my father died )

And after my  commenting doubtfully on a boyfriend much shorter than I, she added ” laying down, they’re all the same height “.

How can you not love the simple truth and beauty of her take on things!?

She is the source of my inspired love of painting, decorating, and general festooning of anything. She has painted walls, lampshades, shoes, canvases, and toilet seats. The latter with thick applications of acrylic paint in the form of flowers thinking we were all asleep.

Some of ” we ” were not. And sat down. And stood up with the seat still stuck to my sitbones.

But seriously, what am I going to do about getting paint onto canvas without suffering the perpetual ” Scrapenheiser Disorder “? Really. Help.

I’ll ask them, see if anyone here can lend an ear.

Surely someone HERE can lend an ear- just look at them!

Post Partum Post Script

September 8, 2009

This isn’t primarily my news although I’m involved, I’m not the focus. The focus is a new person, 8 and a half pounds new. Born on Labor Day Weekend. And one of the surprises that I couldn’t reveal on my last post.

Some may remember a painting I did a little over a year ago called CaptuRED. You can read the complete post here.

CaptuRedblog

It was bought as a surprise by a friend for his lady who had admired it. She was told for years that she couldn’t bear children and had resigned herself to accepting  that as final.

The night the painting arrived, she made liars out of a Rolodexs’ worth of doctors’ names. Women know when ” something happened “.  Little Quinn was born 9 months later.

Now on her way to having what she calls ” Irish Twins”,  she was expecting their second baby right about now. This time SHE contacted me and said she wanted to buy another painting as a surprise for her man, knowing she was having another boy. This is the one she thought he’d like.

shallow water for ToniShallow Water

So Labor Day Weekend, her labor produced a brother for Quinn. Since they both read my blog, and tried to get a leg up on the mysterious lack of detail in the last post, HE thought SHE thought that HE was surprising her with another painting.

She had the last laugh and probably the last full night of sleep for the next 18 years.

I think the next painting I do, should be of a full time nanny accompanied by a houseman.

Bet they’d fall over themselves to buy it first.

Congratulations Sean and Toni! And thank you too.

Thinkin’ Bout It- A New Painting

July 31, 2009

Don’t Just Do Something, sit there!

Thinkinboutitblog

We’re used to the opposite edict.

Hurry, do something, clean, paint, organize life’s relentless messes, write letters to Congress, save a life, call your mother,  but do SOMETHING!

I’m going to do what she’s doing. My doppelgänger, above.

ˈdäpəlˌga ng ər| noun
an apparition or double of a living person.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from German, literally ‘double-goer.’

It’s high summer, and low motivation. Why do I  think I can be Superwoman in the Tropics? Why am I the only senseless organism  still pushing it at 3 in the afternoon when every other mammal in the house is sleeping off the mid day heat?

Because we were supposed to Not Just Sit There- We were supposed to Do Something.

So I did this 6X8, loosey goosey, alla prima, fear of green painting. I’ve photoshopped for corrections in sharpness, but fear overcompensating and losing it completely. She really looks sun sprinkled in the original.

As I expect to be this week. A good friend arrives tonight from NY for a weeks’ vacation with us. And I’m going to show by example, how taking your time is not only essential, it can garner you extra attention.

Maybe a manicure though……..

One Digit Off

April 27, 2009

intheshadowblog-copyIn the Shadow 6 X 8 oil on linen panel

A recent upgrade in our phone lines resulted in a mandatory change of my phone number. I am now one digit off from an ” after hours spot ” known as a getaway for husbands and wives- not necessarily those who are there together.

At least 3 or more times a week, often in the wee hours after midnight, my phone rings next to the bed. It’s like a de-fib machine, startling me awake, with some voice asking if this is the club. Are they kidding? Why are you calling a club at 3 AM? How can you not know what number you’re calling at that hour? I’m not changing my phone again- I have cards, mailers, printed material and am not going to re-do everything.

Our other phone, which is a business number that rings in the house was also one digit off from a local electrical service company. Every day, we got calls from people looking to hire electricians.

Pre-dating these occurences was  my time at home in my teen years when after finally getting my own phone, I was yet again, one digit off from a well known dance studio and fielded more wrong numbers.  Usually resulted in slamming the phone down, feeling hugely disappointed that it wasn’t the object of my teenage heartbreak angst.

A funny pattern to follow you through your life, don’t you think?

I was careful not to have the lady in the shadow, above, have any digits off. She probably needs them all to dial my house at 3 in the morning when she’s looking for her boyfriend.

Maybe I need to release a few of these in the club to clear it out and allow me a good nights’ sleep……………

glowing-night-gecko

The title was not intended to refer to the case of the careless carpenter. He’s probably at the club too. Or working for the electrical company.

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

April 10, 2009

Body Language is the the generic and universal version of Berlitz.

untitled2Untitled 10×12 oil on linen panel

Untitled because we could all read something into her position which I can’t really describe as a pose. She’s in a position. And who hasn’t been?

I started this in the workshop I took two weeks ago and finished it in the studio. Funny how being away from the easel causes you to lose your brush muscles and painting confidence. Workshop paintings are started quickly and best moved along without too much anguish or you lose the feeling.

I used too much turp and the final piece, when I got it home, seemed flat and lifeless, well, almost like this subject. Fellow blogger, writer, and prolifically wonderful artist, Jala Pfaff offerred some great and generous advice. Describing it as ” oiling out “, which was to wait until it was no longer tacky to the touch and gently wiping a soft cloth with cold pressed linseed oil over the painting.

It came to life, alas, unlike the figure, who really had a bad day.

I used the same limited palette I’d been using during the workshop:

Alizarin

Ultramarine

Viridian

Yellow Ochre

Cad Yellow Lt

White

It makes for much less confusion and eliminates the ” Las Vegas All You Can Eat Buffet ” syndrome that ensues when you open every color tube like the days of Crayolas first box of 72. Whos’ skin color was that Flesh, anyway?

Here’s a gal who has no troubles with the heaviness of being……….

hula-hussy-blog