Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Catching up

It has been a while since I posted on my blog and I’m behind with images I’ve created! Below are  some images since my last post in 2017.  As you can see, I have continued using expressive images, generally lighthearted images of people. They may seem a little at odds during a more somber time right now, both in the world and in the U.S.  But maybe we need to be reminded that there are gentler, less serious aspects of our human experience.  Besides, the expressions are a challenge as well as fun to do. 

 Title:  "O-o-o-o-!"  11" X 14", (Model:  Me)

 Title:  "Oh, dear...", 11" X 14"

Title:  "I've GOT to tell SOMEone!", 11" X  14"

 Title:  "Some medicine is hard to take", 11" X 14"

 It's been a while since I did a conplete still life.  This was for a gallery show called "The Relationship of Things" at the Davis Gallery in Austin, Tx.  I showed it along with several of my earlier multi-panel still life paintings.  Title: "So much depends on the red shoes beside the white pearls.."  (Catch the reference to the poem, "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams?),  14" X 40"

 This is a combination of figurative and still life.  Title: "Over lunch.", 14" X 20"

My latest painting, done for a group show at the Davis Gallery in Austin opening July 28, 2018.  This one took a longer than I expected!  Five faces was a big challenge. Again, a bit of a combination of figurative and still life.  I consider this and the above "Over Lunch" to definitely reflect my affinity for Norman Rockwell-type of everyday, lighthearted scenes.  
Title: "The Happy Hostess", 15" X 22"

Monday, May 1, 2017

Two new expressive portraits and thoughts about painting them

 My husband has been a great model.  I call this one, "The Jokester".  That was the pose I asked him to take.  However, the image also kind of captures his personality.  He has a good sense of humor and he's always fooling with people, teasing in a way that makes them laugh.  People usually seem to remember him, even if they've met only briefly.
This is my husband again, posing.  I call it "Ouch!".  I really enjoy doing these expressive portraits.  I think I need to figure out how to make them even more expressive, to grab the viewer and make them smile, perhaps.  I may never find a market for them, but I'm having a good time and certainly learning a lot about capturing extreme expressions.  They're more about major subtleties in the turn of the nose or lip, or shapes of the eyebrows than I ever imagined!  (Why do I keep discovering this truth with every painting?!)  
The more I'm into these and others of my paintings, like "That's nice, dear" or "Two guys and three beers", the more I realize how influenced I am by  Norman Rockwell's illustrations of our daily mundane existence.  It seems that most serious portraitists or figurative painters go for more somber, quiet expressions as a way express the "soulfulness" of their sitter.  Many are great at that, and I often love their work. But life is both more and less than pathos, and I'm drawn to trying to depict those aspects, too.  Sometimes we're in a playful mood, having fun, and sometimes we're self-centered and offended or bored, or even mean.  ......I'm probably just not as deep as a lot of other artists.  I say that sincerely, and I'm not bothered by knowing that.  We're all who we are.

The difference a background in a painting makes

Here is "Figuring it out" with a blue background.  I like it better.  The face pops out from the background, compared with the earlier version.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Figuring it out

This is the latest expressive portrait, "Figuring it out".

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Portrait Commissions

Becky, one of the models for my new series "expressive portraits", commissioned me to do a set of three portraits of her.  Makes me think that a triptych such as these would be an interesting format for other portrait commissions.   They are below.  All are 16" X 12".
Becky chose "Kiss me!" for one of her triptych.

Expressive Portraits

During 2016, I started a new series, "expressive portraits", inspired by the great head sculptures of  the 18th century artist Franz Messerschmidt, example below.
 I was amazed to see such work done prior to the advent of the camera, as well as work that looked so contemporary despite being about 250 years old!

My own painted portraits are, so far, less extreme expressions, but aim to capture emotional moments, with a gentle comedic edge to them.  They have been fun to create and I'm working on more.  Here they are, so far:

Title:  "I'll be the judge of that..."
(model:  the artist)


      Kiss me!
The Scold