"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Whirled Onward by the Hours

Whirled Onward by the Hours / 23 x 23 / oil on brown paper
Straightening up my studio this morning, I came upon a roll of brown paper and suddenly had a desire to paint on it.Here is the result of a happy painting day going where ever my brush took me!

For quite some time now I have been toying with the idea of painting a nude male posed as an odalisque. The word odalisque refers to a female and in popular usage it refers to a concubine, mistress or paramour of a wealthy man. As my idea is to  paint a male, I know I am using the wrong word to describe my intention, but, nonetheless, the idea of a male odalisque has intrigued me. Recently, when I came across a vintage photo of Chauncey Morlan posed in the nude, I decided paint him. The reference photo is, of course, black and white from approximately 1890. I used a limited palette and, surprisingly, am quite happy with the result. At first I was going to post this painting on my blog, but decided against it. In any case, it was an interesting endeavor and now I wonder if I will one day attempt a larger version as the current painting is only 12 x 16.

Diana / oil on canvas / 14x11

And, lastly, this little portrait is of Diana, our model for Wednesday morning open studio.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Life Lessons Learned

Dinara / oil on cardboard / approx 13 x 13
 Unhappy with my portrait at the life session this week, I need to remind myself that painting well is not easy and I will certainly have many more failures than successes. Coming away frustrated I found myself doubting my abilities but am determined not to let this setback undermine my confidence. The model was a young Russian beauty and, try as I might, I just could not capture her exquisite soft beauty. Her skin was flawless and her pose sensitive and compelling. But my brushstrokes and color choices were too rough and I was sorry I had not brought a linen or canvas panel with me for a more refined surface to paint on. If there is one redeeming point about this piece it is that at the least, I do have a good likeness.

Portrait Practice / oil on canvas 12 x 16
More experimenting at home with a limited but interesting pallet.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Yo Ho! A Pirates Life for Me!

Sam the Pirate / oil on canvas / 16x12
I must say Sam is the nicest Pirate I have ever met! He arrived ready for action with his wonderful hat and multiple props including a saber and musket, but relaxed into this wonderful pose for us. As he modeled, Sam told us that several years ago he was involved in an auto accident that resulted in an inability to open his left eye. He had to wear an eye patch for a while and apparently had to field a lot of questions about whether or not he was a real pirate. So he decided to become one! Sam belongs to several historical clubs that research pirate lore and facts and he is very well versed in the subject. He loves doing pirate reenactments and playing the pirate for children's functions!He was a serious and authentic model and he was a joy to paint!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Open Studio Oil Portraiture

Owen / oil on gessoed cardboard / 12.5 x 14
Young Owen was a superb model in our open portrait session this morning. I don't think he even blinked his eyes the entire time - he was perfectly still giving the artists no excuses at all for not painting him well! And, at the end of the day, the room was filled with incredible portraits - some in charcoal, some pastel, others in watercolor and one or two in oil. It was a delightful morning and I came away feeling I had learned a lot.

Recently, the Reno Portrait Society asked me to exhibit a drawing I did in January of the owner of a local restaurant. They are doing a show in April centered around the 88 year history of the building where the restaurant is now located. The drawing is in graphite with white charcoal highlights on tan toned paper and it framed up fairly well.

The Restaurateur / graphite and white charcoal on paper / 11 x 14
Thanks to all for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. Your comments make it all worthwhile!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ballerina #31

Ballerina #31 / oil on linen panel / 24 x 18
Last night and into this morning, we experienced wild, torrential rain with wind was so strong that the rain hit the windows vertically as if shot from a fire hose. At times the drop were as big as marbles.  It was loud, exciting and a little bit scary as well but we needed the rain so badly. Even with this extreme delivery, it was welcome. As the winds died down and the sun peeked out, I put the final touches on Ballerina #31. I am going to dress it up in a wide silver leaf plein air frame and call it done.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Art Mash 4

Kim / oil on linen panel / 14 x 18
Open studio life sketch done yesterday at the NV Museum of Art studio. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!