Eye studies

At the suggestion of my teacher, Kari Rajkumar, http://www.karirajkumar.com, I painted these eye studies. I used free use images from http://www.unsplash.com

They are both oil paintings, 4 x 6 ins. The green eye is lit from below, the blue eye from the front. It was a thoroughly enjoyable exercise!

I have always found eyes fascinating. How can living tissue form a transparent optical material? The process of perceiving color and value and transforming that into a readable, meaningful image has seemed wonderful to me. How can cells fmake an adjustable focus lens? These were some of the reasons that led me to pursue a training and qualification in Optometry. (The others were the Ah-ha moment when I first put on glasses to correct my short-sightedness at age nine, and the benefit I received from contact lenses as a teenager).

Now I am appreciating eyes from a different viewpoint!

Time of Reflection

12 x 16, oil

This is a family member, from a photo I took several years ago. She is an elegant, well-dressed person and I feel I captured that look. However, the colors didn’t seem right until I glazed her facial shadows with what seemed like outrageous yellows and oranges and suddenly it came to life!

Master Copy II

Copy of a painting by a Master, oil, 12 x 12 ins

This is another painting completed in a series of lessons with Kari Rajkumar. The original is a self-portrait by John Singleton Copley, a famous and well-established Colonial artist, who moved to London in 1774. I’m afraid I made him look slightly chubbier in the cheeks than he painted himself, but the process was absorbing and instructive.

Mask II

You Can’t See Me, Oil, 11 x 14 ins

I wanted to portray the amusing idea that children have of not being visible if nothing is visible to them!

This painting was based on a photo of my granddaughter in one of her special dresses, although in the photo she was wearing large green glasses frames. I bought this children’s ‘llama’ sleep mask especially for this project and modeled it on myself, taking selfies in a similar light to the photo. It was fun.

Once I’d finished the painting I gave her the sleep mask.

Arts Illiana ‘Masks’ Exhibition

I was happy to have two paintings accepted for the current ‘Masks’ Exhibition at the Arts Illiana Gallery, Terre Haute, March 5-May 21, 2021. The first one I painted is a self-portrait, although I am so masked that it could not truly be called a portrait!

We flew to Albany, NY twice in Dec 2020, first to visit a sick relative and then to attend her funeral. I wanted to have a rest on the flight, so I put on my eye mask, and then thought this was peculiar–my face was now totally covered! With some experimentation I was able to take some selfies with my phone and painted from these after we returned home.

Flying 2020, 8 x 10 ins, Oil on canvas panel

Apple Candles

8 x 10 ins, oil on canvas panel

Every year at Thanksgiving (November) I use cored Red Delicious apples to hold candles for the table decoration. It seems in line with the pioneer spirit and using what is easily to hand.

A few days after Thanksgiving last year I still had these on the table and was sitting contemplating the world when I noticed a beautiful morning light on them that really brought them alive, even without flame in the candles! I quickly took several photos and painted this from one of the photos with my Geneva oil paints.

Leaving the Nest

Leaving the Nest, 8 x 10, oil on canvas panel

As I was raking up the leaves in the fall, I found this small and beautiful nest on the grass. All sorts of fibers are wound into it; pieces of grass, trash and even animal, and possibly human, hair. It is such a marvel of skillful engineering that I wanted to celebrate it in a painting.

I placed it with a maple leaf (from our lawn) and an oak leaf (that probably blew across the street from the neighbor’s yard) and gave it a title that is in line with our stage of life-they’re nearly all gone!

Painted with Geneva Oil Paints.

Ducks

What’s Up, Duck? 8 x 10, oil on canvas panel

When we lived in Bath, England for 8 months in 2006-7, we used to walk past a music supply shop called ‘Duck, Son & Pinker’. Since ‘Duckie’ is sometimes used in England as a term of endearment, my husband thought this was an appropriate title for me, our 4 year old son and baby daughter!

From that time, the name stuck in our (half-British) family too. This male duck (from a photo I took in Holland, MI last year) seems to be talking to his mate with some concern, echoing both a marital communication and the famous line from Bugs Bunny.

New Paints!

Some of my sons gave me a new set of paints for my birthday, (something they’d noticed from my birthday wish list)!

They are the Essential palette of Geneva Artist Oil Paints from Geneva Fine Art, made by Mark Carder in Texas. I had been watching videos by Mark Carder on DrawMixPaint.com, and on YouTube. I liked his limited palette ideas, his method (drawing on a mid-toned neutral background, careful paint mixing and placing color shapes in their right place from the beginning), description of his paints (high pigment load mixed with slow-drying medium), and his finished painting results and those of his students. I have been using them ever since then and am very pleased with the results.

Here is the first painting I did with them:

More about this painting in the next post!