Monday, April 2, 2018

Don't Fence me in

Don't Fence Me In
16 x 20
Oil on panel

This painting offers a nod to my Rosie the Riveter series with the red polka dot suspenders.  It is essentially about women making their way in the world.  The chair represents a fence and the woman's back is to it as if to ignore that it even exists.   She has a rather androgynous  look indicating that it doesn't make a difference...she is a person.  

Rosie the Riveter, in my humble opinion, led the way for women to enter the work force in a powerful way.  Women realized that they could do whatever they want.  There is never any question that women should get paid as much as men.  I know plenty of women that do...I know women who would not accept less.  Be that woman...don't accept less.  Don't wait for anyone to tell that you are equal.  be equal.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Blue Star

Blue Star
Oil on Canvas

This is part of my Rosie the Riveter series and it is significant for a few reasons.  For each Rosie I  like to have a story and significance to the piece.  In this piece she is reading a letter, we used to read letters.  I can remember running to the mailbox to see if I got a letter that day.  It was a big part of "social media."  The letters I got were read over and over again.  They were treasured.  So in this painting I am bringing you back in time to when the written word was so much more significant than it is today.  Of course she has her signature red polka dot kerchief on her head.  She also wears a blue star pin.  Blue star pins are worn by military family members who have a loved one in harms way...that is... at war.  My paternal grandmother had a blue star pin with 4 stars...that means she had four people fighting for our country.  They were her husband and three sons.  I cannot imagine the angst she felt not knowing how her family was.  I am proud to say I still have the pin and it is one of my most prized possessions.  The other significant item is the locket around her neck.  I painted it in the shape of a heart and my thought is that it holds a picture of her loved one.  

Monday, February 5, 2018

Karen Wooly Offutt workshop

Karen wooly Offutt workshop

Alia El Bermani studio

February 2018


I arrived at Alia’s studio at about 9:30 and most of the students were there setting up.  I only knew Judy Tacketts and was anxious to catch up with her and talk about her latest “Chicks with Balls” painting.  If you haven’t seen Judy’s work you much check it out.  As I walked in the room I was greeted by Alia and Karen…the other students introduced themselves as I walked by.  It was a welcoming atmosphere.  I noticed August Burns and remembered her from the Portrait Society Conference.  I love her work and may have gushed a bit. 

The first day we had a demo by Karen in the AM and then we painted in the afternoon while Karen walked around and gave us the benefit of her expertise.  Her comments were always complimentary…but she gently nudged me in the right direction. 

During Karen’s demo she talked about her palette.  Titanium White and burnt sienna mix her light skin tones.  Burnt sienna and manganese make a shadow.  She will mix one color for a basic skin tone and then take from that puddle of paint adding colors to make darker and lighter tones.  Karen stressed the use of optical mixing…when you create paint colors not by mixing on the palette but through knowledge of color theory and how the eye perceives colors that abut or overlay each other. 

Squint…see shapes and values…place anchor points on the figure to emphasize areas. Put in all shapes and values…use the same value but use warmer and cooler colors to turn the form.   Blend on your palette.  Colors can get cloudy if you blend on the canvas. 

A great exercise:  do a small study THEN do a larger piece using the same number of brush strokes.  It helps keep the spontaneity.

There were many quotes throughout the three days. 

Karen quoted David Shelvino “We are not dismantling a bomb here.” 

Karen’s quote 's included “always paint as if there is not commitment” “break the rules”  August Burns chimed in “know the rules…then break them” “Don’t create challenges you don’t need” “once you get to a certain point in your painting you have freedom to play” “magic happens in your intuition not in your logical brain” “Avoid Challenges”

Karen’s quote from a Savvy painter podcast “when the task and your ability meet you are fully engaged”  

And finally the long awaited Vincent Desiderio quote “Great technique is often on the cusp of collapse under the weight of its own ambition.”

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Future is Now

The Future is Now

This is part of my series of women in traditionally male roles.  This is Samantha.  She works at the United States Senate. The red and white polka dot blouse is a nod to her Rosie the Riveter sisters who wore kerchiefs of the same cloth on their heads.  Strong, independent women...cut from the same cloth.  

Samantha was kind enough to let me into the Senate offices in the Russell building and photograph her in her office, in the senate.  The history of the Russell building is impressive to say the least.  It was first opened in 1909.  This photo was taken in the conference room where countless senators have met.  Republicans and Democrats have conferred, argued and agreed.  Our country has been shaped by the decisions made in that room.

We had a great photo shoot and I took pictures of her in some very powerful and commanding poses.  Then as an aside I asked her to sit cross legged on a table.  It is not what I was going for at all, it was a lark.  When I analyzed all the pictures and tried to find the ONE...the one that would say what I want it to say this pose kept drawing me in...then I noticed the clock above her head and a light went on...that was it.  It is her is our time.  The Future is Now.  Samantha is our future.