Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sunshine

Sunshine
24 x 36
Oil on Canvas

I usually paint from life or my own photographs.  Often I will start from life then finish up with a photo reference.  Sometimes I think I am smart enough to finish up with no reference but I soon learn I still need guidance.  It is a good exercise for me and  I am constantly learning and pushing myself.  I mention my methods because this painting was done from a photo reference that is not mine.  My brother, Dan Bennett, is a photographer and I love his work.  When I saw this photo I was so happy with the gesture and composition I asked if I could please paint it.  After checking with his model I was given the go ahead and set out painting.  I changed a few things but left the girl and umbrella essentially the same.  I love the bright yellow shirt and blue umbrella.  Getting to paint the blue hair and profile was a bonus. 

Painting challenges me and I am constantly experimenting to improve my work.  I have been working with a limited palette lately and really enjoying it.  It has forced me to work on my colors more...to really figure out which colors I need to mix to achieve my goals.   Right now my palette is
Cad yellow light
Yellow Ochre
Cad red light
alizarin crimson
cerulean blue
ultramarine blue
white

I sometimes put some black on my palette but find I do better without it so I am trying to wean myself from it. 

You can see some of Dan's work at http://www.shotophoto.com/f700133950 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Whispers


Whispers
36 x 24
Oil on Canvas

Recently I hosted a "model  party"!  It was such fun.  I invited 5 women over to participate.  I was a bit nervous having not done this before and not really knowing the models well.  Some I had just met, two I had never met and two I knew but had only brief encounters with.  I just had a feeling they would all get along and had a feeling that they were up for some fun. 

I welcomed each of the ladies and had prepared some light snacks, wine and non-alcoholic beverages for them to socialize and enjoy while the photo shoot took place.  I thought a relaxed atmosphere would lend itself to helping everyone get acquainted and relax.   I am fortunate to have traveled to Japan to visit my dear friend Carrie Roets Waller...accompanied by my travel buddy Debra Kierce...while there I was able to pick up some fabulous kimonos so I had a kimono for everyone.  They tried out different colors...I photographed them in two's three's and four's and the grand finale of all 5 in their luxurious fabrics.  It was such a fun experiment for me and, I think, for them too as I got many offers to return for another photoshoot! 

This painting is of sisters...they are both young with fabulous, thick, curly hair.  Every thing I suggested they were enthusiastic about.  They were so natural and the connection between them is undeniable. 

I do paint from photographs, obviously, but I paint from life as often as I can.  When using the photos I often refer to life for particular body part.  I will check out my hands in a mirror to see joints and  shadows.  If I need to see someone holding hands or a position I cannot see while I am painting I ask neighbors or friends to come over and let me see how a certain angle looks in "real life".  Studying anatomy has also been a great resource.  If a photo is fuzzy or out of focus I know what a body part usually looks like so I can put together things that are missing or hard to see.  Most of my work is a conglomeration of photos, life and what is in my mind. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cover

Cover
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

Continuing my hat series...This is my brown bowler.  It is one of my favorite hats and one of the first hats I bought.  It is symbolic that the hat is either being put on or taken off.  My hat is the last thing I put on before I go out and usually the first thing I take off.  I wear one primarily to protect my eyes from the sun.  I had cataract surgery many years ago and have done all I can to protect my eyes ever since then.  I have lots of hats and always wear sunglasses when outside. 

I called this one "Cover" as a nod...or tip of the hat...to my military ties.  A hat in the military is called a cover. 



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We Can Do It!


We Can Do It
16 x 20
Oil on Canvas

This is a continuation of my "Rosie the Riveter" series.  These amazing women took over when the men were called to serve overseas.  They held jobs traditionally held by men...not glamorous...but they saw and need and rose to the occasion.   

The war touched everyone's lives in many ways.  My Grandfather, Uncles, Aunt and my Dad were all active duty service members during World War II.  My grandmother wore this blue star pin. 



It has one star for every family member she had in harms way.  While the men, and some women were fighting overseas my aunt Adrienne worked as a mechanic...along with scores of other women picking up unglamorous jobs that had to be done.  Everyone did their part for the war effort.  I do find it amusing that my Aunt Adrienne could fix and engine but never got her drivers license!

I feel it is important to remember how much these women did during the war, they sacrificed, worked hard, and kept our county running...doing their part to help win the war. 
 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

PCS...Permanant Change of Station

 

PCS=Permanent Change of Station
24 x 30
Oil on Canvas

Permanent Change of Station or PCS is what happens to military families every 2, 3 or 4 years.  It is a way of life. 

This is another of my Military Spouse Series.  I began this piece so long ago I can't even remember but I always thought it needed something else.  It has been critiqued by more people than any other piece I have even painted.  It has been reworked time and time again.  I tackled it again this week and decided it is done.  It is depicting a mood.  It is a place I have been many, many times as have millions of other military spouses.  It is moving day.  It doesn't matter if the moving is to or from the current location...the feeling is the same.  It is a feeling of being overwhelmed.  It seems like unsurmountable obstacles in the path to move forward...but it all gets done...it will be fine. 


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Top Hat


Top Hat
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

Why, yes, I do have a leather top hat!  My obsession with hats started after cataract surgery.  I had to protect my eyes from the glare of the sun...so I started wearing hats.  I started with baseball caps and moved on to bowlers, fedoras and now the sky is the limit!  I just love this leather top hat.  I found the green tinted glasses at an antique fair.  I am always looking for interesting props to add to my collection.  I love having model dress up for painting sessions and photo shoots.  This painting is the first of a series of self portrait featuring my hats!



Sunday, September 18, 2016

China Doll


China Doll
Oil on Linen
24 x 36

$2400

Recently I was fortunate to be able to travel to Japan to visit Carrie Roets Waller a dear friend that does magnificent water color paintings rich in colors that reflect her impressions of her travels.  My traveling buddy Debra Kierce joined me on this venture and we enjoyed all the art, sighseeing and shopping we could fit into our short visit.  Debra is also an amazing arrists who specializes in painting miniature works...some as small as or smaller than a business card. 

During my time in Japan I purchased as many kimonos and obis along with other interesting props and costumes as I could afford!  I mailed home boxes of treasures.  It was just like Christmas to get home and open all the great finds. 

This kimono, worn by my great niece Ellen, was one of the many Kimonos I purchased...along with the precious little doll she is holding.  She is a marvelous model and I look forward to painting her again.