Gwen and her husband John have been my friends for a very long time - actually since Gwen and I were 10 years old. They are Scottish but are now living in England. Recently Gwen and John rescued Tilly from their local pound and she immediately wedged her way into their home and their hearts. This photo was taken one day just after John and Tilly had exhausted each other with the big red ball in the backyard. I just love the story this photo tells, the color and the composition so I immediately reached for a canvas and painted the scene. The painting is 18x24 oil on canvas. Today I shipped it oveseas to Gwen for her August birthday. It will be a complete surprise and I can hardly wait to hear her reaction. I sure hope she (and John and Tilly) like it!
"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I spent a recent afternoon with 100 works by Toulouse Lautrec at the San Diego Museum of Art. He has always been a favorite of mine but I came away with renewed appreciation for his work. There are two incredibly beautiful oils in the collection - one on canvas of a night scene with figures that I had never seen anywhere and an oil on board of a nude lady on a disheveled bed - the layers and subtlety of color were so awesome. But I was very taken by the small delicate pencil and crayon drawings - they seemed so spontaneous and honest. I could easily imagine Lautrec sitting at a table in the Moulin Rouge doing these quick sketches. I have included two examples of his work. The horse and jockey has been a forever favorite of mine and I was thrilled to see it in person. I must say that I came away so inspired and have begun working on a large steeplechase painting in my studio. I find it refreshing and renewing to surround myself with the work of the masters every now and then, either through books or museum visits like this. It was an unforgettable exhibit and I highly recommend it if you are in San Diego. Here is a link to the museum site: www.sdma.balboaparkonline.org/art/exhibit/toulouse-lautrecs-paris
Serendipitously, recently I did several paintings of Lautrec. The first shows him asleep in a lawn chair at his mother's home in France, Malrome Chateau. It was done using a black and white photograph as a reference taken in 1900/1901 shortly before his death. The other is called The Artist and His Muse and is 36x24. I cropped it to show Lautrec in his studio in front of his own painting In the Salon of the Rue des Moulins (1894) with his model Mireille. She is the main subject of his painting and can be seen sitting on the salon sofa with her knee drawn up. The entire uncropped version can be seen on my website in the Figurative Gallery http://www.susansmolenskyfineart.com/ . This one was also done from a black and white photo taken around the time his painting was completed in 1894.
I decided to post a crop of the male online challenge figure since he was mentioned in a comment on the Pink Lady yesterday. If you would like to see the entire figure, you will find him in the Figurative Gallery on my website at http://www.susansmolenskyfineart.com/. The part I like best about this figure are his feet, so be sure to check them out!
Monday, July 12, 2010
This was done from a photo challenge in an online workshop. Its a figure of a large nude woman on her hands and knees but I cropped it for my blog in order to just show the face. The original is 12x12 oil on canvas panel. There was something so compelling about this pose and the challenge of painting so much flesh. The pink background kindof decided itself and I think it worked! I am posting this study today because I recently sold this piece to another artist whom I respect incredibly. Thank you, Kevin! By the way, if you would like to see Pink Lady in all her glory, you will find her on my website in the Figurative Gallery http://www.susansmolenskyfineart.com/
Monday, July 5, 2010
"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures." Henry Ward Beecher
Back to the steeplechase subject. This one is 10x20 oil on canvas panel. I decided to play with color today and this is what it led to.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Something a little different - but maybe not so much. My steeplechase paintings attempt to suspend a moment of great motion, energy and intense physical presence while maintaining the connection between man and beast, even emphasizing it. This little study attempts to do the same between men of immense power and determination.
Friday, July 2, 2010
I am honored to have been invited to participate with a group of artists who are not only very accomplished, but who I admire and respect. We call this group 10 Everyday Painters and our mission and philosophy is this:
Ten American painters...working outdoors and in studios on both coasts and points in between. By coming together in this joint display of their work, these ten artists offer a look at the diversity of realist/impressionist painting in America today.
Their backgrounds are as diverse as their art. most of them, while harbouring a lifelong interest in art, spent years in other professions before turning to painting fulltime. They have all, over time and through dedication to their craft, developed a uniquely personal approach to their art.
I invite you to follow the link to read more and to experience the exceptional artwork of this dedicated group. http://teneverydaypainters.com/
Sold! This is 18x18 oil on canvas - painted a while ago but always held a warm spot in my heart. I remember painting this and making up the background and the white sunflowers so it would have a definite Alice in Wonderland fantasy feeling to it. The buyer sensed that and fell in love with the playful, colorful energy of this paintnig. Its going to a wonderful new home today and I could not be happier!