Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Child with a Straw Hat by Mary Cassatt - Copying at the National Gallery

There is a wonderful exhibit at the National Gallery of Art featuring works by Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt.  The exhibit explains compositions, thoughts, and techniques of both artists while delving into their unique relationship.  

I am fortunate to currently be copying a Mary Cassatt piece titled "Child in a Straw Hat" at the National Gallery on Fridays.  I began by gridding my canvas and doing a rough sketch of  the piece paying close attention to the facial features.  I love the piece because the little girl's face is unusual...she does not look happy and rumor says she may have been pulled away from playmates to pose for this piece.  

When copying these pieces I find color to be the most challenging and where I really feel like I am learning the most. Once I mixed a reasonable color for the dress, I started putting together mixes for the background.  It will need some adjusting this Friday.

This is where I stopped for the day.  But before I stopped...there was an incident...
My husband works nearby and visits when he wants to check on my progress.  When he arrived I turned my back on my canvas for a moment and while I was turned someone from a tour group decided to pick up my paintbrush!!!!  OHMYGOODNESS!!!  Fortunately everyone in her group yelled at her and she quickly replaced it...but it was quite a shock!  In the SAME DAY a couple of women decided to sit on the stool and pose for pictures while I was in the ladies room!  You can imagine my surprise when I arrived at my easel to see it occupied!  Never a dull moment at the National Gallery of Art!!  


  1. Wonderful start Maria! Love watching your progress on these paintings.

  2. You won't believe this but I have my art book of Mary Cassat's work open to this exact painting. I have a collector who is thinking of having me do a commission of his 93-year-0ld mother when she was a child.

    You are coming along very well in this painting!

  3. My Maria, this is going along so quickly. I am amazed at all that happened to you in a few short moments. Whoa, to think someone would pick up your brush.....oh my!

  4. Oh Maria you have gotten a lot done in a short time and it is coming along beautifully. To think that someone would pick up your brush or pose on your stool, oh my!


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