February 27, 2013

Kimono, with Wallpaper

Here's the final of the kimono painting I've been working on.  It started out with just the model in the kimono, then I added the mirror, added the wallpaper, then the plant, and finally switched around darks, lights, warms, cools to arrive at this.  What I hoped for was luminosity and a rich variety of patterns to unify the painting.   What I resisted -- painting the face, painting the kimono's very intricate patterns and sacrificing feeling for detail.

February 25, 2013

Kimono, Reflected

I took the earlier painting of the kimono and used it to create this new painting, placing the figure at the right and adding a mirror to reflect her image.

In the studio today, I was able to add the placement of her hand in the reflection, but decided against adding more details or getting deeply into the kimono patterns as I did in the earlier painting.

Instead, I was thinking of Vuillard and his use of patterned wallpaper and fabrics to tie a composition together, so I added the patterned wallpaper and mirror decorative edge.

February 24, 2013

Museum Inspirations

I went to the Hirshhorn Friday to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit in its last two days.  It was alternately mind-altering, amazing, provocative and occasionally ridiculous (he's even done a video parody of Gangnam Style).  What I was most struck by as a work of art was the imagination and craft of the Moon Chest, 7 of 80+ tall cabinets with round cut-outs that lined up to reveal the phases of the moon.  The other thing I can't get out of my mind is the juxtaposition of the works that reflected the rubble and human devastation of the Sichuan earthquake with Ai Weiwei's own smashing or painting on top of ancient pottery.  

Today I saw the Anna Ancher and Skagen Art Colony exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and attended a gallery talk about Ancher.  Much more within my comfort zone, although during Ancher's time, it was a rare and radical woman who became a painter.  Ancher could do so because she lived at her family's hotel and was able to leave the "woman's" duties -- cooking, etc. -- to staff at the hotel.  Her work was beautiful and emotionally rich and her love of the effects of light went from a supporting element to a dominating one in her paintings.

All very inspiring.  Now, back to my studio.

February 20, 2013

Kimono Painting

Great morning painting a kimono.  I had a smallish 18 x 24 canvas, and I think this may call for a really big painting.  The model will be posing for 3 more days and I just might have to get out a 5 ft tall canvas to really get into the kimono.  I will have to check my supply of cadmium red light.

February 13, 2013

Not my favorite costume...

We've got this model posing for the next four days.  In this costume that evokes "gypsy-Playboy bunny."  I think she has some feathers in her hair.  Ugh.  I know great painters have painted gypsies, clowns, ballerinas and all sorts of garish garb.  But thigh-high fishnets?  Really?

The costume has very rigid upper bustier parts, which I am fighting with -- the model is more relaxed in the chair than her outfit would have you believe, so I need to work on that.

February 11, 2013

Portrait in the Studio

It was a quick one, but it made my afternoon.  The paint is shiny, so there's sparkles of light in the photo that aren't really there.