Posts Tagged ‘portraits’

” 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:

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!

Tagged Under the Palm Tree

January 25, 2008


— Until I established this blog, admittedly later than many but earlier than Grandma Moses, I had no idea what it’s content should be, or it’s slant, or even WHY I should do it.

Then I started to view some fine examples of what this medium is so good at representing and providing. I’d go back to see what made them stand out and make me want to bookmark them for fear of losing them in the Bermuda Triangle of ” oh no, where did that go and how will I ever find it again?!”.

They had to, of course, be visually stimulating, which for me is often an eclectic selection. I knew I didn’t want my blog to be about my every thought, how I like my coffee or a journal of self promoting blather. I wanted to find models of intelligence, generosity of information, wit and kick butt inspiration.

There are hundreds, probably thousands of blog sites belonging to incredibly talented artists, so for now and until someone takes the Gregorian Calendar and adds 2 private months to it that no one knows about but me, I want to acknowledge with a loud tip of the brush, the artists here, whose sites are wonderful and whose insights are just as grand.

The deliciously expressive and masterfully hued figuratives and landscapes of Brad Bisbey . He’s shared so much information about color mixing and technique with me. Most of all, he’s reminded me to listen to my own voice.

Karin Jurick- a favorite on so many blog lists and I share those opinions. Her small jewels of paintings within paintings and everyday subjects are rendered with dazzling beauty.

The beautiful portraiture, and light filled landscapes of Nancy Moskovitz whose succinct and snappy writing exemplifies what I’ve been writing about here.

Drawing the MotMot– wouldn’t that turn your beak if you loved birds?
Debby Kaspari is the impressive artist of birds, and so much more. She writes with great humor and devotion to her art and love of the natural world.I was drawn in by the title of her blog and have stayed ever since.

Ancient Artist- Developing an Art Career after 50- the wisdom and creativity of Sue Smith. Sue has taken this model and shown us so many templates for pursuing with smarts, talent and vigor, the business of our craft.

A bit of an iconoclast, I thought rules were only suggestions but I like the rules of tagging here.

Not on my profile but should you want to know more, ( even though it does contradict rule #4….) here they are:

Things you didn’t know about me.

1. Since moving to St. Croix, my tolerance level for insects has grown proportionately to the length of time I’ve been here.
When I first arrived, a fruit fly in my nightstand water glass received a nocturnal heave-ho down the drain and the glass’s contents immediately replaced. ( Even the glass was rinsed out with soap )
Now, if I can’t feel it on my lips, down it goes.
Guess I’ve been here long enough.

2. So far as I know, I’ve coined the phrase, “ Outside Begins With OW”. Living in this environment, danger lurks everywhere, band-aids are the new fashion accessory and scars are the new liposuction.

3. The first chapter in the book of the above named coined phrase, will be “ I Used to Have a Concierge, But Now I Have a Machete “. Not a term often used in New York City. I may or may not get to the book, if I keep at this blog and squeeze in an occasional painting.

4. As I’ve reached a certain age, I prefer to listen more than I prefer to talk about myself. It’s become the foundation of some great friendships.

5. Someone recognized me three years ago from 2nd grade! Said he’d recognize me anywhere, and that I hadn’t changed! ( That was 47 years ago ).
Perhaps HIS eyeglass prescription hadn’t changed either!

6. I disbelieve most everything I read in the newspaper, or hear on the evening news -especially when it’s reported by spineless anchors with plastic grins.

7. I teeter on the fine fencepost of live for today and plan for tomorrow. How’s everyone else doing with that equation?