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!!  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Reese - An angel

11 x 16
Oil in Raymar Panel

This is a small portrait sketch of a little angel.  Reese is the granddaughter of a dear friend.  She courageously battled a horrific illness...always with optimism...always with a smile.  She is now pain free, flying with the angels and watching out for all of us.  

Monday, May 12, 2014

Marissa - Study for a larger piece - featured on Design in Third Person's blog

Marissa - Study for a larger piece
10 x 10
Donated to the March 150 show

This piece was painted on a wooden panel and donated to the March 150 fundraiser for the Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory.  I have been painting and donating pieces to this cause for a couple of years now and I am pleased that my paintings have all sold.  This year  Linda Kotis purchased my work along with some other pieces which are all featured on her blog Design in Third Person.  You can see the blogpost HERE.  Thank you so much Linda for featuring my work on your blog!  

Here is a link to more information about Linda and her business Design in Third Person.  In a nutshell she writes a website and blog that will provide information and resources related to home design derived from Linda’s core principles (Buy Local or American-Made; Use Original Artwork; Understand History of Design; and Embrace Value Propositions).  Well worth a look! 

Marissa - Study for a Larger Piece 2
10 x 10
Donated to the March 150 show

This is the companion piece to the one above.  When I do these small studies my goal is to see if the composition works and to make sure I line up the figure correctly.  It really helps for planning purposes.  When working on larger pieces I am more aware of placement, darks and lights and defining edges.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

I Hope You Dance - The wedding, the bridesmaid and the flower girl.

I Hope You Dance
36 x 36
Oil on Canvas


This is a painting I did a couple of years ago.  The source is from a relative's wedding.  I took lots of photos that day, but this one was priceless.  The woman in the foreground is one the of bridesmaids and the mother of the young flower girl.  As the flower girl danced with no inhibitions, twirling and swirling across the dance floor her mother lovingly watched.  I can just imagine the thoughts going through the mother's head...I hope you dance...I hope you dream...I hope you live life to the fullest!  What a wonderful moment!  I am happy to say this painting is headed to its new home...

This is the first piece I painted as a copyist at the National Gallery of Art.  It is one of my favorite paintings by John Singer Sargent titled "Beatrice Townsend."  I loved painting it and it graced my living room walls for about a year until my open studio in November.  Someone saw it and just couldn't get it out of her head...she stopped by last month to purchase it.  Though I was sorry to see it go...I am glad she found a new home and she looks lovely gracing the mantle.  AND...I can always paint another!  

This is a recent copy I painted at the National Gallery of Art titled "Masked Ball at the Opera" by Edouard Manet.  I loved painting it though it was a challenge with the dozens of black top hats across the canvas and black tuxedos under those hats.  It was fun to create the shades of black and gray needed to give the painting dimension and life!  I am proud to say it now adorns the wall over the mantle of a dear friend's home.  I love that she wanted to purchase  it...there is no better compliment to me.  

It is always nice to see my work find new homes and I love when the new owner sends me a photo.