Monday, February 1, 2016

Brotherly Love


Brotherly Love
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

This is painting of My son, Jason, currently serving in the United States Air Force and his two sons.  Jayden is the older brother and Riley the younger.  It was such a precious moment captured in a split second on film.  I have painted these three numerous times and I am sure they will be the subject of many paintings to come.  

What I really loved about this composition is the differences in the body types and gestures.  The adult in the background is leaning forward and holding up the youngest child while the older brother leans forward to give a quick kiss on the forehead.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

I am so very sad


The Saddest News

NFS

A year ago today I posted on Facebook "I am so very sad".  I remember it vividly.  I had just received the phone call that my father had passed away.  I remember walking around my living room not knowing what to do with myself.  I was so sad, I was alone...I felt gutted.  I didn't know what to do.  I sat on a chair and cried...still not knowing how to handle this flood of unwanted emotion.  I thought I must look pitiful sitting here crying...curiosity got the best of me.  I took out my phone and took some "selfies".  My goal in my artistic journey is to portray emotion and I was compelled to chronicle my own emotion.  As the year anniversary of that fateful day approached I knew I would paint this picture.  I knew it would be a sketch that I didn't spend much time on...but I knew I would paint it.  

My Father was everything I want to be.  He never followed the crowd...he always followed his own convictions.  He was funny...loved to joke around and love to sing.  He knew more oddball, offbeat songs than you could ever imagine.  He was always singing.  He was always in a good mood.  He was accepting.  

One of the best things my Daddy ever said to me was " look it up".  Whenever I asked a question he made sure I found the answer, figured out the solution, used my brain.  Of course when I was a child I hated it when he didn't just tell me the answer...but today I realize that I am a problem solver because of his insistence that I "look it up".  

I could fill volumes with stories about how wonderful my Daddy was.  I love him so much.  Today I am melancholy...I am reminiscing...I am sad....but I am so very happy to have had my Daddy for as long as I did.  




this is the pencil sketch I did before I painted my sad portrait.  


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hair Hair!


Michael Bennett Hock
 16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

NFS

My oldest son, Michael, has the most fabulous hair!  It is thick and curly...just fabulous.  I love painting hair and love it when he lets it grow so it gets really curly.  I am constantly asking...no begging... anyone in my family to sit for me.  Every once in a while I wear them down!  Being snowed in I have been able to get my husband to sit...though he does fall asleep.  I guess hiring a professional model would be ideal...but not always financially viable. Suffice it to say I have been having a great time, experimenting, painting and planning with no pressure or expectations.  My favorite way to paint.  




Saturday, January 16, 2016

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter 
20 x 16
Oil on Raymar Panel


A while ago I was fortunate to attend a fabulous photo shoot featuring women dressed in period outfits from World War II.  The women posed on steam engines, in railroad yards depicting railroad/engineering work that was typical of the day.  The shoot was in Pennsylvania.  It was a wonderful opportunity to not only take some great action shots, but also to learn more about the history of these great women who held down the fort and contributed to our fight for freedom.  The shoot was arranged by Lerro productions.  It was very well done with plenty of opportunity for close ups, figurative, and action shots.  The models were professional and played their parts perfectly.  The day could not have been more perfect.  

This painting is the result of one of those shoots.  I had a great shot of the machine and background...the model looked great.  To get skin tones and hand gestures I still rely on myself...mirrors...life...to get the gesture just the way I want it.  I am learning so much.  


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Salute - Steve Campbell and Colonel William "Wild Bill" Campbell


Salute - Steve Campbell
20 x 16
Oil on Raymar Panel

This Salute portrait has particular significance in many ways.  The subject, Steve Campbell is a veteran and currently works as a pilot for commercial airlines.  He is a friend of my brother, Mike Bennett, who is also a veteran and commercial pilot.  I met Steve at Mike's retirement ceremony.  I was excited to meet a veteran at the retirement ceremony and then I found out Steve is the son of a Tuskeegee Airman!  How exciting!  His father was Colonel William "Wild Bill" Campbell.  You can see a short video tribute to his father here.  He was an amazing man and our county owes him great respect for all he did for us.  

This is my first post of 2016 and I am very excited to begin the year with a  tribute to two heroes that served our country.  

If anyone is not familiar with the Tuskeegee Airmen you can see a short clip here.



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Boots on the Ground


Boots on the Ground

8 x 8
Oil on Raymar Panel

James Gurney is sponsoring a challenge.  The challenge is to write a story using only 6 words and then illustrate the story with a painting.  The most famous 6 word story was written by Ernest Hemingway.  "For sale: baby shoes.  Never worn."  Hemingway's story is poignant.  Baby shoes...never worn.  Such a sad tale.  

When deciding on a 6 word tale I started thinking about what would also be poignant.  I often turn to my life and what affected me.  As a child, a military brat, my siblings and I would count down days.  Days to the next duty station, days to the next holiday, days to any significant event.  Then I thought about who else would also count down...I can only imagine how many military members have counted down the days till they get to go home and see their loved ones.  It came to me.  Boots on the ground...counting days.  The days until the deployment is over and they can return home.  That was it...that was the story I would tell.  

I began by distressing the panel I was using.  I used some burnt umber and wiped it to look used.  Then I put lines...4 down and one diagonally across. A traditional counting tool I have seen used.  I used these lines to cover the background.  A visual depiction of counting days.  Painted the boots in the middle of the panel and put the lettering down on one side...down to the ground.  Counting days goes across the bottom and leads your eye off the panel.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Rosie the Riveter


Rosie 
11 x 14
Oil on Raymar Panel

I attended a photo shoot in Lancaster County ,Pennsylvania that featured models dressed in 40's and 50's clothing reminiscent of "Rosie the Riveter".  Rosie was an iconic figure during the World Wars that showed women working in traditional male venues.  They worked on aircraft, automobiles, tanks, heavy equipment filling the void wherever needed.  Amazing women who help secure our freedom.

The shoot was great fun...it included models and lots of period props to include and old steam engine.  The shoot was set up by Lerro Productions.  I have hundreds of source photo and I use them for references for different scenarios...but this one was done just for fun. I love the look on her face.  I can see her looking for something "more."  I was working on skin tones and shapes.  When I work from photos like this I often use my own features to check planes of the head...I try to set up lighting to mimic the scene.   So if she kind of looks like a relative...that would be why.  When I can't have a model in my studio I am amazed at how creative I can get to try to learn as much as possible with my limited resources.