‘Rare Encounter’, Oil on Linen Panel, 18 x 24 in

I had a painting like this in mind for several months, ever since I took the photo last fall of my granddaughter staring at parachute jumpers exiting an airplane. I liked the lighting on her, her position, and her look of interested wonder.

It seemed a fitting start for a painting for a group Show connected with our local library’s Fall Big Read–World Of Wonders, by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. The book is intended to increase people’s interest and wonder in the natural world. I read the book over the summer and appreciated many of the author’s thoughts and insights.

In my painting I made the object of her vision and wonder a Monarch butterfly, the subject of a chapter in the book. I enjoyed researching the butterfly and adding it to my painting.

The art display is up in the Terre Haute library for the month of August 2022.

Portrait Society Conference, 2022

In April I attended the Annual Conference of the Portrait Society of America, in Atlanta, Georgia. I had a wonderful time!

Before Christmas I did not even know about the Society, but when my husband gave me (for Christmas) the book by Michael Shane Neal, ‘Portrait Painting–My Point of View’, I read about the Society and then looked it up online. I found that there was an annual Conference and I surprised myself by thinking, ‘I could go!’

I met so many great people, attendees and faculty. The demonstrations were fascinating, instructive and inspiring. I went to the free critique sessions on both lunchtimes and obtained advice from four different artists. The evening free drawing session was thoroughly enjoyable; having faculty there to ask for help was a wonderful benefit.

There were so many different styles of painting represented and so many approaches, which was very reassuring! I came home with new ideas, fresh inspiration, and increased incentive to practice and branch out.

I hope to go next year.

Eden

Oil on canvas panel, 18 x 24

I painted this picture of my youngest granddaughter from a photo taken and sent by my daughter-in-law. Besides loving the subject, I loved the light on her face. The photo was actually taken in their bathroom without the toys. I adjusted the background and requested a photo of the toys to add to the foreground.

This painting is currently on display at the Link Art Gallery in Paris, IL. I was delighted to find that my painting was chosen as the one used for the promotional cards for the Show. It will be up until July 15, 2022, along with other works by members of the River City Art Association, including two more of mine.

BIG READ ‘Beloved’ Library Exhibit

‘Future Promise’, Oil and glitter glue on canvas panel, 12 x 16 ins

As part of the annual Library Big Read program (by NEA and Arts Midwest) the River City Art Association provided a visual display of works related to the theme of the book. They are on display at the Vigo County Library.

I read the book in January, and chose to represent the passage where Denver describes her birth story to Beloved. There are several aspects I find beautiful about this story, one being that a white woman helped the escaping slave, Sethe, give birth to Denver (on a boat in the middle of the Ohio River), and it was ‘done appropriately and well’. Another inspiring aspect is the description of the blue and silver fern spores in the river, each one containing information for promise of the future.

The display will be up until Friday, April 1, 2022.

Applying Lessons to Portraits II

One of my major painting goals for 2022 is to paint from life as much as possible.

After my enjoyable sessions at the live portrait group in Pennsylvania, where I simplified the process by using only the Zorn palette (yellow ochre, cadmium red, ivory black and titanium white) plus transparent red oxide, I decided to concentrate on using the Zorn palette for more portrait practice this year.

I returned to photos that I took in Nov 2019, when I asked family members to sit for me for an hour at a time during the week of my birthday and I painted 11 x 14 portrait sketches using water-mixable oils:

Now, in 2022, I’ve repainted from these photographs using a 3-step process:

  1. Charcoal drawing
  2. Oil color study
  3. Finished oil portrait

1. Charcoal Drawing

Charcoal study from photo above, 6 x 8 ins

2. Oil Color Study

Oil Study painted from photo above, 6 x 8 ins

3. Finished Portrait

Portrait, 9 x 12 ins, oil on canvas board

Applying Lessons to Portraits I

I decided to apply the lessons I’d learned from the live portrait group to some work at home.

Sadly, I did not have a live model anymore (working on ideas to find some!), but I revisited the time when I did have live models sit for me, during my birthday week of 2019 (one of my birthday wishes).

I started the 2022 session with a charcoal drawing from the photo above, 6 x 8 ins.
Then I painted two studies using the Zorn palette, plus Transparent Red Oxide. 6×8 ins each, oil on canvas
I used all that information and practice to paint this final portrait.
9 x 12 ins, oil on canvas board.
I was pleased to see some progress over the last two years!

Live Portrait group in PA, II

Here are the results of the second 2 hour session I attended. The model this time was a local veteran. He was a very patient and cheerful sitter!
A photo of the model.

At the end of the session, the model inspected the various representations of himself, with generous comments to all!

The group plans to continue painting veterans every other week, and in Nov 2022 have a display of all the year’s portraits of veterans at the VA hospital. At that time each veteran may choose one portrait of themselves to keep. I thought that was a great plan!

Oil, 9 x 12

Several months later, I painted the same subject again (from my photo), on a larger canvas and with a more expressive background.

Live Portrait Group in PA, I

During our fall stay in PA, I went to a couple of two hour live portrait sessions at a local art center. On one occasion we painted a class member and on the other, a veteran. There were 6-8 artists present, using a variety of media.

On the first session I attended we painted a class member. I started in charcoal, and was pleased to find I could make a decent likeness in about half an hour.

Charcoal on toned gray paper, 5.5 x 8.5 in

Then I painted the sitter again using a very limited palette of oil paints. This was yellow ochre, cadmium red, ivory black, titanium white and transparent red oxide (a modifed version of the palette used by Swedish master artist Anders Zorn).

Oil Paint on canvas, 6 x 7.75 in

I started with a very rough block-in, then painted all the shadows with transparent red oxide for the face and ivory black for the clothing. I found the limited number of colors easier to manage and mix.

I was very happy with the glow that the red oxide gave to the face. The other class members had useful comments to make about my efforts and said I’d captured his likeness exactly. It was all very enjoyable and satisfying.

Red and White Roses

Red, White and Blue, Oil on canvas panel, 9 x 12 ins

This is the final painting from Kelli Folsom’s Painting Roses Masterclass series. ( I bought this Masterclass as a stand-alone series, but now you have to join her Vital Art Sessions or Art Life School to see it).

It was so much fun to paint. For the background I experimented with ‘12 Shades of Grey’ that I bought from Jerry’s Artarama last year. It was a bit risky, since the tubes do not list their pigments, but I liked the background effects that resulted.