Friday, January 31, 2014

Artist's Alley

If you are planning on going to the Virginia Beach Conference Center this weekend to see the Flower and Garden show make sure you see the Artist's Alley exhibit.  It consists of paintings, prints and note cards with the theme of landscapes, gardens and flowers.  These are the paintings that I have in the show this year. The Succulents are framed as a triptych.  It will be nice to visit the gardens inside the Conference Center while the snow is still out side!

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Here is my daughter Kristin's portrait that I recently painted. It was different from painting my daughter Kim's portrait and certainly just as challenging. Even though their features are so similar; their coloring is very different.

I have been working on portraits on and off for a couple years now.  I can certainly see improvement in my work but I don't feel like I'm there yet.  (Of course I don't think you are ever where you want to be as your expectations continue to grow.)  Recently I've been struggling with making the portrait look like the person.  This may have to do with painting people that I know.  Like my daughters.

Amy Snowden had talked about painting the shapes of the nose and other parts of the face.  Then a nose or whatever you are painting starts to look like what it is.  This is very helpful advise.  I have really worked on copying the shapes of my faces and they do begin to appear.

But then there is the gestalt of the face, the expressive feeling of the person that you are looking at.  It seems to be more than a summation of shapes.  It seems to come from within the person and gives the face life. This is something that I see when looking at someone or a photo but I do not know how to capture.

There are many moments when painting that I am just performing techniques.  Some of them have gotten easier and some of them are more of a struggle.  Then there are those times that I go into the zone and the painting starts painting itself.  I think this is where I will find the way to expressing the feeling of a person or maybe it's the feeling I have about the person.

Friday, January 3, 2014

My First Oil Portrait

I want to say Happy 2014 to all my readers.  2013 was not a very good year and we are hoping for a better year.  I hope that everyone's holiday season was joyful and that we can carry the good feelings into the new year.

I'm not really making any resolutions but there are things that I hope to accomplish in 2014.  I am planning on making some changes with my blog and I'll explain them as they develop.  I am also going to redo my website which is very out of date.  I'm planning on continuing my painting and hope to continue to develop my skills.  I also hope to be able to use my techniques to support my ability to become more expressive in my paintings.  I'm hoping to expand my teaching skills and I have some ideas of directions I can go in.  This is a wonderful journey I am on and I hope it continues a long time.

This is my first oil portrait.  I started it at the workshop with Suzanna Winton.  I had tried an oil portrait many years ago and could not get the skin tones.  Comparing this portrait to the one Suzanna had started her colors are much warmer than mine.  I painted mostly from the photo.  Painting this portrait was so much fun and very frustrating.  I loved the feeling of the oils on the canvas.  I liked that it allowed me to lay down paint and if I did not like the results I could just paint over it.  (Like I did a million times with her eyes!)   But it took so much longer to paint than I'm used to.  I'm sure if I do more oil portrait it will get quicker.  I really like way the hair and the dress turned out.  I am overall pleased with the results being it is only my first but I certainly can see areas that need improvement!