Thursday, November 14, 2013

Meghan Morongova 1

This is the first portrait I did of Meghan in August from a two hour sitting. The second one is below.  Just the slightest changes in proportions and placement of features make them look very different from each other. I had to give this to Meghan to hang in the show when I wasn't quite done with the mouth and it isn't even varnished but she tells me her husband has it hanging proudly over his desk. I think I captured her essence a little better in this one but style-wise I prefer the second one. Which works out great because I get to look at it here in my house :-)  This is in oil on a panel and is just slightly smaller than the one below but I don't have the exact dimensions at the moment.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Harley and Freelee

13 x 17 oil on board
There's a health movement out there that is centered on fruitarianism.  That is, people who eat a diet of almost all raw fruit, with fruit, salad and greens at night.  I've been experimenting with following this lifestyle the last six months and I feel good and have lost weight. There are people on YouTube who make videos touting this way of living and these are two of them:  Durianrider (Harley Johnstone) and Freelee the Banana Girl. They're shown here at the Woodstock Fruit Festival which was all last week in New York. I'm thinking of doing a series of portraits of other gurus in the raw vegan movement. Not sure what I'll do with them but I'm trying to tie in my painting with other important interests in my life, and health is sure one of them :-)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Portrait of Meghan Morongova

16 x 12 oil on canvas board, NFS

  This is the second version of my commissioned portrait of photographer/teacher/model Meghan. The first version was tighter and less colorful and still needs work. I think this one looks more like her. She wears her very long hair in this Frida Kahlo-like style sometimes and I took some liberties with the haircolor and detail. She was here at my house posing and we talked most of the three or so hours and that was a new thing for me -- beginning and attempting to make good progress on a portrait while simultaneously talking with the model. I'm so used to painting a quiet model or doing a portrait from a photo but it was certainly more interesting, I'm just not sure it helped the first painting. This one will be on display in the gallery of the play Art Show/Model Show that opened in Austin, TX last night at the OffShoot. It is part of the Fusebox Festival and runs Thursday through Sunday for this and the following two weekends. Meghan is one of the producers of the show which we got to see tonight. The five member group poses and tells stories over an hour and the audience is encouraged to sketch them, while watching other artists down on the floor who are drawing and painting them. I was happy and honored to have three of my paintings up on the walls there amid those of some of my favorite Austin artists.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jen Reclining

14 x 18 oil on Ampersand board
Here is what I got so far from a 45 minute pose by the model Jen last night at AS/MS (Art Show/Model Show) painting group.  The colors here are adjusted on Photoshop but still aren't accurate.  The blues aren't that iridescent and underneath there is an overall much more warm gold cast coming through. (the orange-y color on her chest is actually in the background of the entire painting)  The last few weeks I've been taking pictures with my phone since my camera died, and it always dulls the colors like crazy and I have to try and bring them back with Photoshop.  I'm about to resolve the camera situation but until then I have to adjust as I can. Anyway I came away with three other smallish paintings and was happy with 75% of what I did.  The group is now going to have clothed sessions instead of nude since their landlord requested that.  That's fine by me; I like the challenge of painting fabric and furniture, and it adds color variety.  This group usually has mainly one light source, which is great for helping me paint the volumes more accurately.  My other painting group uses light from all sides and you can see from the portrait in progress below how it minimizes shadows so I see it all as more washed out.  Hmmm, I'll just need to adjust my vision for the differences I guess.
Thank you for stopping by to see what I've got going.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Portrait of Jayne in Progress

24 x 24 oil on stretched linen
In our Friday painting group most of us started over on our portraits of Jayne today.  This was to be the second of three days we would all work on them.  I had a side view last week and was painting on such a small board that I got frustrated -- I don't like making tiny strokes but especially not on a figurative piece.  Today Anne Nelson Sweat and I switched places so she had a more 3/4 view and I had this more frontal angle; we were both happier with today's perspectives.  At this stage the values and colors are too close so next week I intend to increase the value contrast as well as refine the arms and hands.  I left the painting at Anne's house so I wouldn't alter it without looking at the model.  She is young and I will need to give her face more softness and less angularity.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunny Nap

6.5 x 6.5 oil on cradled hardboard
This week I've had my easel set up in the kitchen with a bunch of small prepared boards.  I thought it would be fun to paint my rabbit whenever I see him sitting still or asleep and this is one I did today.  He had positioned himself right under a sunny window, snuggled up alongside his favorite stuffed animal Shamu. I could see the golden sunlight coming through and illuminating his ear, and the painting shows that in real life but didn't come out in this photo.   He looked so warm and blissful and it was like meditation to paint him napping.  It reminded me of having a young baby the way we were tiptoeing around trying to not wake him up -- funny.  I have starts on about seven other paintings of him in various poses and I plan to get them all more finished as I find him posing each way for me again. I'm also working on a portrait in group sessions with some other artist friends the next couple of weeks so this will keep me on my painting toes between times.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rescued Pig in Haybed

9 x 12 pastel on paper, matted  $59 incl. S/H
More playing around with pastels.  I saw an image on the internet of a very contented-looking rescued pig at an animal sanctuary and was very taken with her sweet face. The thought of a rescued animal helps me focus on the "glass half full" aspects of it all.  Pigs are really intelligent and sweet (if treated well), and that's part of what helped me give up bacon and ham, which I loved to eat as much as anyone.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow Morning on Davis Hill

25 x 19 pastel on paper, $95 + S/H
Still working on getting more accustomed to pastels. I thought as long as I was still out of my comfort zone in the medium I might as well work on my area of least experience which would be landscapes.  I found this photo of the morning it snowed here last year (of course in central Texas we can only count on it every few years at most, even once).  Artists who live near snow are so lucky because it reduces the scene into big shapes and values, which we artists are always seeking anyway.  There's such a purity about those big forms and the rhythmic negative spaces they can generate.  I may... maybe... might also paint this same scene and compare the two pieces, the pastel and the oil version.  Same size. No promises but I like that idea.  Ideally the oil version would be done en plein air.  Next snow morning (several years from now most likely) I will try to plan on that.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

First Pastel Figure Work

19 x 25 pastel on paper
The Art Show/Model Show group had a drawing session yesterday. This piece was done from a one-hour pose. Starting from square one again I decided to extend my recent media switch from oil to pastel -- not a permanent change but am just branching out -- to figure work and on a larger scale of paper. (the pastel still lifes I've done have all been in the vicinity of 8 x 11)  And this is where, in my little blurb here it's tempting to start listing all the new challenges presented when a change is made in one's approach. The result is that you just sound like you're justifying whatever mediocrity/stinkage. I'll just leave all that out and say, look, I'm still trying. :0) But I *will* say this, to quote Ringo Starr: "it don't come easy..."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Green Tomatoes With Peppers

9 x 12 pastel,  SOLD
Well, hello there!  It has been a while, yes.  So I was trying something new for me the other day and I found out that pastels present some unexpected challenges.  Not as easy as it looks, as is the case with so many things in art, and life...  These are some of my green tomatoes my husband thought were just ready for picking!  Uhhh, no, honey.  But when it came time for a still life I was glad they weren't red.  As far as my pastels I used a set of Rembrandt oil pastels that I bought in college back in 1979... glad I'm a hoarder and hadn't thrown them out for lack of being used.  Pastels are fun and I'll do more after I get some more paper.