Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just Kids

20" x 16" Pastel

Last week I received a call from a collector who had purchased an early pastel quite a few years ago from one of my very first shows. She was redecorating and wanted to move the painting into a room with lots of light and wondered if I would help her reframe it using non-glare glass. I can't tell you how excited it was to find this piece not only still exists but is valued! It was a bit emotional seeing it again - like running into an old friend. Resisting the temptation to grab a few pastel sticks and go back into the piece was quite a challenge since improvements (corrections) could easily be made and the work strengthened with just a stroke or two! A reminder by my husband that this lady is enjoying her painting "just the way it is" kept me at bay. (Actually he was a bit firmer than that... like... "Don't you dare!") I didn't. With fresh mats and a lovely new frame it's back on her wall without the glare and she's coming back to select another painting to hang along with it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tears of the Innocent

24" x 18" Oil on Stretched Canvas

A few days ago watching an aloof but determined pelican dive into the canal to proudly bring up a small catch, I was reminded of his relatives elsewhere along the oily Gulf Coast. He might be crying if he knew their horrible "a-ha" moment of inspiration! I was recently touched by Sherry Massy's painting depicting an oily beach also created with a heavy heart. We want to hit someone or scream but... instead we make our statement as artists often do, passionately applying our feelings of helplessness to canvas or paper.

I used a "distressed canvas" - on which I had earlier glued tissue and/or rice papers for wrinkles and texture. I knew I could work around the wrinkles for the feathers and texture would add character to the beak. The crinkles are great for water by dry brushing across the darks and letting the light bounce off the raised ridges. Horizontal waterlines somewhat offset the stark vertical of the big bird. The water is brown and black with only blue to explain the "dirty"...The tear drop is larger than the eye - because this disaster at the moment is larger than most of us can imagine. It is most doubtful pelicans (or other birds) have tear ducts? I didn't research - just painted as I listened to the news that tar balls were washing ashore in Florida's panhandle and a dead whale had just been found in the area of the flow....when and where will it end?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wanda's Pitcher

16" x 20" oil on stretched canvas

Portrait commissions are still taking most of my time not to mention traveling back and forth between NC & Fla! We are back in Florida now dealing with a roof issue - not serious - must have ridge vents replaced before leaving for the season.

I'm showing you another older but special piece. A print of this painting hangs in our kitchen and brings back a happy memory of one of our group's painting sessions at Wanda Carter's studio. She set up this still life and four or five of us painted our versions in acrylics, oil and pastel. I completed the painting back here in the studio using the above photo reference. That little flat pitcher is adorable - but it was difficult to portray as flat and not as an askewed round one! We didn't take time to paint together as a group this past winter and I missed it! "Wanda's Pitcher" is sold and hangs somewhere in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Frank's '49 5-Window Chevy

16' x 20" oil on canvas

My husband has a passion for classic autos. Right now we do not own one but he's always on the "look-out". This old truck from his past (before me) was really special to him. Except for this one photo, all pictures of the truck were lost during several moves and a divorce. A few years ago, a watercolor painting of an old truck with flowers in the bed adorned the cover of a Cheap Joe's catalog. That lovely painting was my inspiration to try and capture Frank's truck to make up for his lack of photos. The catalog is long gone and I'm sorry I have no idea who painted the watercolor. I'm glad he enjoys his oil painting as it hangs in his office and is quite a conversation piece!