Monday, August 3, 2015

Self portrait - Vivi and Miss Sweetieheart


Self Portrait

20 x 24
Oil on Canvas

$2400.00

I have been working on this piece for a long time.  I first painted the source a few years ago and always loved the position of the little girl, Vivian, and her favorite stuffed animal, Miss Sweetieheart.  Once the painting was done...Vivi visited again and I saw her looking at her portrait...holding Miss Sweetieheart in the same way.  I just love the scene.  I have painted Vivi many times...in ballerina outfits, with sunglasses on, in different costumes...She is a wonderful model.  She takes direction well and always gives me a wonderfully soulful look on her face.  I have had this picture for a long time and I always come back to it...so a few months ago I began.  I wanted it to look like she was in the studio checking out a portrait of herself.  I mocked up a studio scene and placed Vivi and the painting in it.  The painting has gone through quite a few iterations but I am happy with it now. 


This is one of the paintings of Vivi and Miss Sweetieheart.  This one is a tiny 6 x 6.  Happily it found a good home!  

The lesson I learned...the lesson I keep learning is to never compromise.  Keep trying different color combinations, change the composition, be open to whatever the painting needs to be successful.  I worked on this piece on and off for months reworking every part of the piece.  I know there are many who would encourage me to do thumbnail sketches, paint a small sketch of the piece and work out any issues before I begin a painting.  I have done that many times...but find when I begin the larger piece I change my mind.  So I will keep working on my process...keep working on my artwork...

Stay tuned...


Friday, July 31, 2015

Value Study - Maria Bennett Hock

I have been wanting to do an exercise using only black and white.  I mixed 9 puddles of paints in progressively darker values.  It was a challenge and I am not sure the puddles at the darker end of the spectrum are different enough in value...but I will work on that.  


I then blocked in my features with a middle value.  I used a photograph I had taken and printed in black and white.  I also used a mirror and made sure the light from my window was the same as when I took the picture.  I wanted to compare what I saw in the picture and in real life.  


I refined features and darkened and lightened as I went.  Working quickly as the light from the window would change soon. 


 This is my final.  I blended the darks and lights.  I am pleased with my first attempt at this.  I will probably work on it some more.  I am always tweaking my paintings to try to improve them.  Sometimes it works...sometimes not....but it is always an interesting learning experience and very fun.   



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Salute - World War II Veteran - Honor Flight


Salute - World War II Honor Flight Veteran
16 x 20
Oil On Panel

$1200

I am continuing my "Salute" Series.  I started with World War II veterans on honor flights.  I would meet them at the World War II Memorial and ask for a salute.  Witnessing the pride they feel as they salute makes me feel so good about the series.  These are men and woman that truly preserved our freedom.  Finding male veterans is pretty easy...but actually finding female veterans from World War II is a challenge  

This Veteran was at the World War II memorial on a hot summer day.  She was proud to salute and I was proud to add her to my series...as I said...finding female subjects is not an easy task.   She was also so impressed with the World War II memorial. 

Since I have enjoyed this series so much I have expanded it to include any veteran...the series is meant to honor the vets.  


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Middle Child


Middle Child
20 x 30
Oil on Canvas

$2400.00

Middle Child, as the title would suggest, is based on how a middle child feels.  It is often written that a middle child gets lost between the older and younger siblings.  I am a middle child.   I have two older brothers and two younger brothers.  Because my siblings are all male I was never really lost in the abyss that many middle children feel.  I was the only girl in a family of men...I always felt special..always felt loved and always felt relevant.  Being the only girl in a family of men helped me in many ways.  I was brought up believing I could accomplish any thing I aspired to.  I am a problem solver, a do it yourselfer, and a self starter.  

In my 50's I decided I wanted to be a portrait artist.  Most of my family was supportive and I believe they have all had portraits painted as I practice my craft.  I constantly strive to improve through daily painting, classes and studying the works of others.  I feel very fortunate to be able to pursue this dream.  I know I have a lot to learn, a long way to go...but I am pleased with my progress so far and look forward to the future.  





Thursday, July 16, 2015

Flower girl

Flower Girl
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

$1200

This little flower girl stole my heart!  She is adorable.  I love the soft wrinkles in her dress...the gentle way she is pulling at the material and her inquisitive look.

Sometimes I paint with a mission...I paint salutes, I paint military families.  When I create those pieces I want to tell a story that creates an awareness.  I want people to realize the sacrifices our military members and their families face for the love of country.  

With this piece, I still want to tell a story...it is just a story of a happy little girl at a beautiful wedding.  It is her chance to be a princess for a day.  As I said...she is adorable. 


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Smoothie

Smoothie
8 x 10
Oil on Raymar Panel

Don't come between this child and his smoothie!  He was enjoying his delicious treat and was in no mood to share!  

While I am in transition...that is in the apartment before our home is ready to be moved into...I have a plein air easel in a corner so I can still work on some small works.  This is the first one to be done in my makeshift studio.  This is just for days I can't get out.  A dear friend has generously offered to let me use her studio while I am in the apartment.  Most days I travel to her place and paint.  It is not only nice to have a place to paint...but nice to have company for a change.  I am usually alone and I find having someone to bounce ideas off of is a nice change.  


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Woman World War II Veteran - Honor Flight

World War II Veteran - Honor Flight
12 x 12
Oil on Raymar Panel

$650

I am continuing my series of Honor Flight Veterans visiting the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC.  We are free because of these brave men and women.  Women WWII vets are hard to find.  As Honor Flights visit I look for women to include in my series.  I saw this woman in her group of Honor Flight vets and sought her out for a salute.  She was so surprised!  She is 94 years old and was thrilled to be included in the series.  I am thrilled to have her included...and I thank her and all the vets for their service.

Happy Fourth of July!  As we celebrate our independence I hope everyone will take a moment to honor the all veterans.