Monday, April 20, 2015

Kimono

Kimono
20 x 30
Oil on Canvas



Painting is all about shadows and light and there is nothing more interesting (to me) than painting light.  I am always on the lookout for a white dress or white accessories...something light to challenge myself.  A few weeks ago while at a local flea market I found this fabulous white kimono.  

The conversation went something like this...
me:  May I see that kimono (which was up on a mannequin on a high shelf)
vendor:  I only want to take it down if you really think you want to buy it. (grousing)
me: (trying to contain my excitement) I am seriously considering it (game face on)
vendor...takes the kimono down
me...whipped out cash and paid him so fast his head spun!  

I called one of my favorite models to come over and decided to put my coromandel screen in the background and began painting.  What fun! 

I am sure I will use this kimono often...and I am constantly on the lookout for other props!  


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Getting Ready - A mother's encouraging hand

"Getting Ready"
6 x 6
Oil on Raymar panel

$350

Pablo Picasso said "painting is just another way of keeping a diary."  Truer words were never spoken.  I love telling stories with my paintings...but it is not always my story.  This particular painting is a mother fixing her daughter's hair before a ballet performance.  The girl looks a little worried...the mother is calm and reassuring her daughter.  Who doesn't appreciate the confident, calm voice of reason telling you that everything will be all right...that you will be fabulous...and that the audience will love you.  It is a classic moment.  

Though this particular moment is not my story...it is representative of my mom's encouragement.  She would always tell me that everything would be all right...that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to...that the sky is the limit.  

Because of my family's belief in me I have always set high goals.  I aim high...I believe I can...


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pink Boots


Pink Boots
17x31
Oil on Canvas

$1200

Recently I was visited by a beautiful ballerina wearing pink cowgirl boots!  How fun is that?  Can you imagine how excited I was when she walked into my own home???  I was so excited!  I was able to get a few snapshots before she twirled off into the sunset! 




Monday, March 30, 2015

Thank you for your Service - Honor Flight at the World War II memorial

"Thank You For Your Service"
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar panel

$1200.00

I have been working on this painting...this concept for about 9 months now.  I have changed so many things about it.  First I had the World War II vet very gray and actually blending into the gray background.  I liked the look...but it didn't say what I wanted it to say.  It gave more importance to the younger service member.  The painting is about the World War II vet....about his story.  It is about thanking him and all the veterans for their service.          

The  concept was conceived when I visited the World War II memorial and saw the World War II vets brought in and taken care of by the Honor Flight program.  Honor Flight is a program that flies these veterans in to Washington DC and takes them to the see the World War II memorial.  It is a great program.  While at the memorial they are given ceremonies to celebrate their service and they are entertained by wonderful swing dancers who not only dance for them but also dance with them.  It is a very moving sight to see the vets remembering their hey-day!  Good times!  I walk by the monument as often as I can to see the joy and to remember the sacrifice.  

I am not totally pleased with this piece but have decided it is done and I have to move on.  I will choose another setting from the World War II memorial and paint another tribute.  The next one will be better.  Maybe none of my paintings will be good enough to express my appreciation for their service...their sacrifice...but I will keep trying.  


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Generations

Generations
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

$1200.00

It all started with a visit to see my cousin Mary Ellen in Maryland.  We get together every so often to have an art day.  It always involves lots of art, laughter and good food!  On this visit I had the presence of mind to load my car with some of my hats from my prop closet and a couple of my kimonos just in case anyone was up for a photo shoot.  My good fortune continued when I realized that Virginia, Alice and Alvah we also going to join us.  After a respectable amount of time at the work table I approached everyone with the option to add a photo shoot to the fun.  They were all game and tried on hats and kimonos and posed for me.  What fun! Alice pulled out her violin and posed and even got some great shots of her Dad playing his guitar!  When I am not fortunate enough to have a live model in the studio...I opt for my fabulous collection of inspirational photos.  

Here we have Virginia and Alice...grandmother and granddaughter.  They were both so much fun trying on hats and kimonos.  I love the relationship between these two.  The love and respect is obvious.  I worked on this off and on for the last couple of months and may work on it some more...but for now I am going to call it done. 

In other news, we are getting ready for our move to North Carolina.  I have been cleaning things out.  I don't believe my studio has EVER been so clean!  I purged the space of my rejected paintings and put things away.  Of course now I can't find anything!  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Great Grandma's Hat


Great Grandma's Hat
11 x 14
Oil on Raymar Panel

$750

Today I was working on skin tones.  Years ago when I started painting and learning about colors/skin tones/mixing colors I devised a formula of sorts to get me started...specifically for skin tones.  I used a base of yellow ochre, white and cadmium red light.  I would mix a nice pinkish color and then add in blues, greens and any other color that I thought the skin tones needed for shading and defining.  As I have learned more about color I have broadened my horizons by starting with different color combinations.  For this portrait of a little girl trying on her great-grandmother's hat I used a lot of blues and aqua colors mixed with reds and some ochres.  It was a fun experiment coupled with painting one of my favorite subjects.  A nice way to spend a cold, wintery, snowy day.  


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Resting Ballerina


Resting Ballerina
11 x 14
Oil on Raymar Panel

$750.00

Anyone who knows me knows I do love a tutu.  Anyone who knows me knows that if you bring an adorable young girl into my home I will entice her with my collection of tutus and try my hardest...in a kind way...to get her to pose for me.  This little girl was so adorable and gave me the most beautiful poses...soulful...thoughtful poses.  I just fell in love!  And anyone who knows me knows that I will use this opportunity to play with paint and see where I can take the tutu.  

I started with some really dark greens, blues and reds blocking in...and then lightened up areas with some lighter shades of the same...finally mixing in some cool white for the highlights.  I think it looks like it has been danced in all day long and the little ballerina is tired.