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).
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!
Several months later, I painted the same subject again (from my photo), on a larger canvas and with a more expressive background.
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.
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).
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.
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.
After I enjoyed the lesson by Kelli Folsom so much (Terracotta Pot with Grapes, that I painted with my sister), I bought her Masterclass on painting roses. The first lesson was black and white studies of roses structure and form and the second lesson was on colors for roses.
This painting is from the third lesson. It included instruction on still life set-up, composition and colors. Kelli has such a warm, friendly and encouraging manner that it is a pleasure to listen to her, and her information is always useful. I loved doing this lesson!
I was delighted this year to once again have a painting selected for exhibit in the Swope Art Museum Annual Juried Show. My painting ‘Flying 2020’ was chosen by Juror Drek Davis from Louisiana. In his comments he said,
“While there is no specific theme for the exhibition, it seemed to me that the vast majority of the works submitted in one way or another spoke to the moment that we find ourselves in. Nina Simone is famously noted as saying “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” And while it is debatable whether that charge is an actual duty, per se, the works assembled here suggest that numerous artists in the Wabash Valley understand it as an opportunity to address some of life’s persistent emotional, social, and psychological issues. In the times that we find ourselves, for this moment, that’s important I think.”
That was exactly how I felt at this moment in the airplane! I sat there with my face almost totally covered, one mask required by the airline, one mask desired by me, and thought, “This is a strange situation we’ve come to in the world”, and was motivated to capture the moment in paint.
I painted this from my front porch this afternoon, an exhilarating experience. It was a crisp, clear, windy December day. My focus was the large maple tree in the middle of the front lawn, and the way the nearly-setting sun was lighting it, although by the time I finished (an hour later) the light had pretty much gone from the tree.
I took a lot of artistic license with the view and completely removed the houses across the street (their complexity and presence did not add to my ideas about the tree), so this is not actually the view from our porch, but my ideas about the tree and the light this afternoon. I loved doing it.
A copy of part of a portrait painting by Philip de Laszlo of the Princess Elizabeth, oil, 12 x 12 ins.
I painted this Master copy earlier this year, in a lesson with my teacher, Kari Rajkumar. I chose the portrait out of several she showed me because of my Britishness and my interest in painting children.
There are so many lovely colors in her skin! I really enjoyed trying to match them. I have focused since on understanding the warm and cool colors in skin, and I think I’ve gained some ground.
Our third Plein Air class was in the middle of very quiet Amish countryside, near New Wilmington, PA. The three of us stood within in a fairly small area but all chose different views, so came away with three totally different paintings.
I liked these big trees overshadowing the farmhouse buildings, with the big barn a little closer to me. There were numerous Amish buggies coming and going, and horses being used to plow the fields, so almost the only noise was of horses’ hooves. Altogether a very peaceful three hours of painting.