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

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Roux & Cyr Gallery Grand Opening and Art Mash 8

Having just returned from a trip to California to help my daughter move into her new apartment in San Mateo, I was delighted to find so many nice comments on my previous post. Thank you to all who follow my blog and for so many generous and encouraging comments - they help keep me going for sure!

Today is a very exciting day for me as it is the grand opening of the new gallery in Portland, Maine. Susan Roux and her business partner Paul Cyr have worked so hard to make this venture a success and I have no doubt that it will exceed their expectations! All are invited to the opening festivities - please do stop by if you are in the area!

Roux & Cyr International Fine Art Gallery / 48 Free Street / Portland, ME 04101

The gallery was recently featured in a wonderful blog post on the Portland Old Port blog site: http://www.portlandoldport.com/france-texas-roux-cyr-finds-fine-art-portland/

Lissa / oil on linen panel  / 18 x 14

This portrait of Lissa was painted from life last Sunday during open studio at the art museum. The model was Lissa who was costumed as a fairy with a garland of ribbons and pearls in her hair. During the sitting, she was reading a book about fairies so her eyes were downcast. I had great fun painting her brilliant red hair and all those white ribbons!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Daryan at the Portrait Society

Daryan / 18 x 14 / oil on linen panel
Feeling very free with both brush and paint, this alla prima figure study was done from a photo taken of model Daryan at the Reno Portrait Society. I loved her clothing and tall black boots, I loved the way the light caught her features and her hair - and well, I just loved painting her!
And, by the way, congratulations to California Chrome! What a magnificent horse!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ballerina #32 and Happy Mother's Day

Ballerina #32 / oil on canvas panel / 24 x 18
 A lovely, quiet day spent in the studio today working on Ballerina #32. At one point the sky clouded over, thunder rolled and the next moment it began to snow heavily - on the 10th day of May! What a surprise! It snowed for about 20 minutes then the sun came out and all the snow melted!

My daughter also surprised me by sending this little book as a gift for Mother's Day. I have yet to look through it but I know I am going to be delighted as I was so captivated by his paintings that I recently saw in Washington.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's - may it be filled with love and joy!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Life Portrait and Toulouse Lautrec

Meghan / oil on linen / 12 x 12
Meghan, with her rosy cheeks, strong chin, silver earrings and dimpled smile, posed for our portrait session. I painted her on a linen panel as I have all but abandoned working on corrugated cardboard during the life sessions. I am dismayed by the ridges that are apparent in cardboard due to the underlying corrugation. Even with several coats of gesso on the surface, these ridge lines remain prominent. For  quick practice, I may still use cardboard, but now that I am gaining more confidence in painting from life, I want a more professional looking surface - just in case the painting turns out decently! I wish I could find a stiff cardboard support that is non corrugated but have not been able to after multiple internet searches.  Both Degas and Lautrec used cardboard supports - often unprimed - for oil painting. I do love how the surface grabs the paint and is absorbent and  wish I could find the kind of flat, smooth cardboard that they used.

Toulouse Lautrec / Alfred la Guigne  / oil on cardboard
This painting, at the National Gallery of Art, is done on cardboard and Lautrec left the entire jacket of Alfred unpainted, using the pre-exisiting color of the support as the color of the suit.

Toulouse Lautrec/ Rue des Moulins
 Another Lautrec masterpiece painted in thin oil paint on cardboard. And close ups of the extraordinary faces on the women. I fell in love with these faces.

 After seeing a room full of Toulouse Lautrec paintings, he remains one of my favorite artists. I am in awe at the honesty with which he painted.

Lautrec gallery at the National Gallery  of Art in Washington DC

Monday, May 5, 2014

Life is a Whirlwind - Art Mash and an Award!

I have been so preoccupied this entire week with helping my son move into his new apartment, wrapping up our month long anniversary celebration and getting ready for a trip to San Jose next week, that I completely forgot about the Women Artists of the West show in San Diego until my friend sent me this photo! Ballerina #3 won the President's Award! That was a big surprise and only a minute or so after seeing the photo, I received a personal call from Christine Drewyer, President of the WAOW organization, and she had such wonderful things to say about my painting - things like beautiful handling of paint, exciting subject matter, setting the bar higher - so many things that my brain was in a whirl and I can hardly remember anything from the conversation!  I am just thrilled and delighted to know that my large ballerinas are being appreciated - and I will no doubt have time to seriously consider this series once my excitement settles down.

Yesterday was Art Mash day at the museum and we were fortunate enough to have Kimberly once again as our model.

Kimberly / oil on linen / 16 x 12