Friday, August 30, 2013

National Gallery of Art - Girl Arranging Her Hair after Mary Cassatt

Girl Arranging Her Hair  (After Mary Cassatt)
22 x 26
Oil on Canvas

Here she version of Mary Cassatt's "Girl Arranging Her Hair."  I am pleased with how it turned out though I could have tinkered with it for another couple of weeks.  I learned a lot painting this piece.  I learned a lot about Mary Cassatt.  I especially liked that she paid close attention to everything in her compositions...nothing was gratuitous or superfluous...everything had a reason for being included.  My process included painting in everything just to get it all in place.  I then concentrated on brush strokes.  The nightgown was painted with lots of paint and rough strokes...a lot of texture.  

Here you can see the original and my version.  The lighting is not always stellar so mine looks much lighter...but it is not.  There is sunlight coming from the huge ceiling windows and it varies according to cloud cover.  I can be painting merrily when a cloud passes overhead and the room can really throw you off.  A small price to pay for being a part of this wonderful program.  

Here I am in action.  A dear friend and fellow artist, Lydia, stopped by and snapped a few photos of me hard at work.  As always, comments were varied, numerous and complimentary.  Kids always want to know why I would paint something that is already painted...they are so inquisitive.  I love getting their perspective on the artwork that surrounds us.  

I applied to remove my painting from the gallery...I handed my paperwork to the guard, he checked the canvas and made sure the numbers matched and OK'd my request.  One more copy completed.  I have begun research and am trying to decide which piece to copy next.  So many paintings so little time!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

This one was so much fun.  I took pictures of an American Indian last weekend while walking around our nations capital. An American Indian was walking up the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial stopping periodically to have pictures taken by his entourage.  He finally ended up at the bottom of the steps and held out a sign 

Thank the creator for Johnny Depp...the last American Indian.  I am sure there is a message in there...but it is lost on me.

I arrived home and started looking at all the pictures I took and finally decided on one that really showcased the headdress...I love the feathers.  I wasn't happy that the guy had on sunglasses...but I was happily painting away.  Then I thought I can put anyones face in there...THEN I mom has always been very proud of her American Indian heritage...she has dark skin and high cheekbones...looks very found a picture of her and this is the result! When I called and told her she laughed out loud!  

Yes...I do have a good time!

Friday, August 16, 2013

National Gallery of Art - Copyist program - Girl Arranging Her Hair by Mary Cassatt

Things are going well at the National Gallery of Art.  I am continuing my work on "Girl Arranging Her Hair" by Mary Cassatt.  I am nearing the end and I think one more Friday will do it.  I hope to complete her on this Friday's session. I did a lot of detail work today...the wallpaper, darkened the furniture and worked on the background.  I still have to refine the whole thing.  I think I will try to use a palette knife to finish the lights on the night gown...the strokes seem to be pretty rough so hopefully that will do the trick.

Walking towards the gallery to begin, I was called over by one of the guards.  He said "Let me see that painting"...I, of course, obliged.  He then proclaimed "Ah, Mary Cassatt...she would be proud"!   Can you tell it was a perfect day???  What a great way to begin!  As always, people were very inquisitive, but very polite and respectful.   The kids are always the most fun. Their questions are priceless...I especially like when they ask me if I painted the one on the wall too.  One little one asked me if I was a famous artist...;)  No...not famous...just an artist...a very, very happy artist.    

Friday, August 9, 2013

Girl Arranging Her Hair by Mary Cassatt. Copying at the National Gallery of Art

Girl Arranging Her Hair by Mary Cassatt

I am continuing my fantastic voyage reproducing "Girl Arranging Her Hair" by Mary Cassatt, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  After setting up, the challenge began.  Painting the facial features was first on my agenda.  The angle of the head...the nose...eyes and lips all seemed to elude my eye and it seemed I was going down fast without a life vest...but then a glimmer of hope...the features started to fall into place.  Painting shapes instead of features led me to a reasonable likeness.  I am sure Mary Cassatt was worried...but I hope she is feeling better now.  I know I am.  There is still much to do...but I am excited...and anxious for next friday to arrive!

Comments today were numerous and generous to say the least!  One little girl about 5 years old could not figure out why I would want to paint a painting that had already been done.  She asked a dozen questions.  A two and one half year old just kept asking "why"...every time I said anything.  And there were various and as sundry "Atta girls" which I always appreciate.  There were a lot of what I call "close watchers"  People who want to see what is going on...up close and personal.  Two people tripped on my stool.  That is when I have to step back and take a break. I was leaving the guard told me I was doing a good smiling I left the gallery...anxious to get back next Friday. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Way

The Way
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

I love these nuns and I love that I was able to capture them as they were directing each other.  They were sight seeing and it was a horrendously hot day...I cannot imagine that they were not sweltering in their habits...but they must be used to it.  I followed for a while knowing that I would love to paint the black head pieces and white robes...what fun!

When we spotted the three nuns Bruce and I were taking source photos...we saw them from a distance so I took off running to catch up and possibly get some pictures!  Bruce has a torn he stayed behind...little did I know that he was taking pictures of me running after them.  I had on a red dress and straw hat so you know I looked pretty inconspicuous as I trotted in hand...trying to get the perfect shot!

Here I am...running!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rain rain, stay here and play!

Puddle Jumping
12 x 16
Oil on Raymar Panel

Today I wanted to paint something had to be had to be...well I remembered that Cracker Jacks commercial...

What do you want, when you gotta eat somethin', and its gotta be sweet,  

And it's gotta be a lot, And you gotta have it now? What do you want?
Lip-smacking' Whip-crackin' Paddywhackin' Knickaknackin' Silabawhackin' Scalawhackin' Crackerjackin' Cracker Jack!
Candy-coated popcorn, peanuts, and a prize
That's what you get in Cracker Jack!"

That's how I feel about this painting...It had to be sweet, it had to be had to bring a smile...So this is my Lip-smacking' Whip-crackin' Paddywhackin' Knickaknackin' Silabawhackin' Scalawhackin' Crackerjackin' Cracker Jack painting for today!

Just cause...just for  fun.