March 25, 2013

The Jennifer Pose, Again

This was my last chance to work on this painting with Jennifer in front of me posing.  I still have to work on it to fix the unnecessarily busy skirt and the definition of her arm against her back and the balance of the warm color on her leg.... and so on.  But I feel like it's going to work, at last.

March 23, 2013


"Haunted" sold today at the Foundry Gallery!  I also delivered the repaired painting to Quatermaine's yesterday, and they've commissioned another painting for their Bethesda coffee shop.  I'll be participating in a painting exhibit at the National Cathedral May 3-4 during its Flower Mart and then at Gallery B in Bethesda for the month of May.   It's going to be a busy next few weeks!

March 20, 2013

Portrait Painting in 30 minutes & Self-portrait

I had to rush this morning (as always!) but I got in 30 minutes on the portrait of Kinita.

 At home tonight, I took a stab at a self-portrait.  It is really hard to keep an expression while you are going from mirror to canvas -- and, as always, I see  magnified the unevenness of my features.  The commercial portrait painter has to get a likeness for his/her client's satisfaction.  For me, I just want to make a good painting and the likeness takes a back seat to what I may need to do to make the painting work.

March 17, 2013

Yikes, this is progress?

The sweet painting of Jennifer wasn't working for me.  I knew I had to make the white square at the upper left into either a painting or a window and integrate it to the painting by lowering the bottom edge.

Once I did that, and painted in a window shade, the painting suddenly was no longer a painting of Jennifer, but of a figure alongside a still life.

Drastic measures were called for -- or at least a lot of black paint.  I have put Jennifer into shadow and played up the light on the still life and outside the window in contrast.

Now I have to work the shadowed figure to reduce the mass of the draped skirt.  And I may have to put a shirt on her.  I'm not being prudish, but something about the breasts aligning with the lemons -- ugh.  I think I'll try first to deepen the shadow, but if that doesn't work, it will be time to cover her up.  As I am working through this, it's a pretty big contrast to my "alla prima" way of working -- instead of one fast session, I have been back and forth on this for two weeks and I'm sure not done yet.

March 12, 2013

Jennifer Painting Evolves in the Studio

Yesterday, when Jennifer was modeling, I started my 2nd painting of her.. and found that once again, I'd centered her in the painting (see yesterday's post).  At the time, it was intentional, really!  I thought about making the line along her back an important part of the painting and wanted to keep that when I set up her placement.  As the painting went along, though, I wasn't really satisfied with that idea, as it didn't work with the emphasis of light as it washed the scene.  Her back was largely in shadow, just a flicker of light along her hip.

Today in my studio at home, I took yesterday's and last week's paintings of Jennifer and used them as source material to start a new painting, putting her at the right side of the painting.  This is the start, much better I think.  My sketched in pose tried to get a bit of the bottom-heaviness out of the figure, but she's stiffer than she should be, which I'll work out when I get further into this.  Unfortunately, we have a different model (the gypsy-bunny model will be back) tomorrow so I am going to have to do more thinking than seeing to get this done.  Maybe that says something about my balance of thinking and seeing.  Yet another thing to think about.

March 4, 2013

Model w/apple, still life, first impression

I just had 30 minutes this morning, so I was glad I was "warmed up" from painting the still life over the weekend so I could get the pitcher and lemons in place in a few strokes.  We'll have this model and pose a few more times and I need to think about what I need to change when I have more time to consider the painting.  The model is just lovely.

March 3, 2013

Gallery B Bethesda, May 2013, still life

I'll be sharing an art show with 6 other artists at Gallery B in Bethesda in May 2013.  One of the ideas that we're working on -- in addition to showing our individual works -- is putting together a work that combines pieces we've each done and auctioning/selling that combined work to benefit a local children's center.

This is the 9 x 12 still life I've been working on for my part in the combined work.  While I've painted still life works before, it's a pretty rare thing and even rarer that I set up the still life myself.  The glass jar that the rose is in came from Silly Cow cocoa mix, the rose came from a bouquet my daughter was presented with after a play performance, I won the pitcher at a fundraising event auction several years ago, the cloth is a napkin from my mother as an anniversary gift last year... and the clementines are just, well, fruit.  Sadly, that green background is actually the color of the walls in my studio.

After I finished the first still life,  I realized I still had a lot of paint left on my palette.  I hate to waste it, sometimes I just mix it all up to make a new ground for the next painting.  Instead, I decided to switch things up a bit and paint another still life.  Changed the pitcher for a Japanese imari bowl, moved around the clementines.