My painting, "Eyes Show the Soul", is part of this great show in Dunedin, Florida at the Fine Art Center for students, members and faculty. I am a member of the Dunedin Fine Art Center.
In the portraits I create I always explore faces by distorting them: leaving parts out or adding parts that aren't usually there. In this painting I focused on the eyes as more than eyes and made different shapes for each eye and within each one. Freud said - and I am paraphrasing - that eyes are the pathway to the soul. I thought about that a lot when I was painting this face. The colors of the face are what I see when I am at the ocean - the different colors of the sea, the sand, the grasses on the dunes, the colorful umbrellas that people bring, and all the different beach towels. The shapes of the eyes are sort of like surf boards and boards that people stand on to paddle in the water. I took many liberties with the shapes but that was what I was thinking about.
My painting “I Had No Idea” is one of three in a series I made in 2020 exploring faces and painting over old paintings of mine that were not successful. I am an abstract oil painter and I think this is why it works for me. My primary subject matter is portraits and in this painting there are two people in conversation. The viewer sees the face of one of the two people while the other face is almost not on the canvas. I used large horizontal color blocks around the two faces to link them and show there is a connection between the two. I have been taking liberties with faces for many years and in this painting I took a cue from a cartooning class I took once where we learned to exaggerate facial expressions (big eye and raised eyebrow to show surprise). The abstract flower petal like shapes around the eye are based on a picture I saw in a magazine of a model wearing a cap that had what looked like flower petals all over it and it framed her face. It really stuck with me, so I added abstract petal shapes because it looks cool. I used ocean colors throughout because in conversation people are usually floating along on the words and sometimes conversations wash over us like waves coming to the shore and withdrawing back to the ocean.
Yesterday I got to see an amazing Juan Gris exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Fine Art. Sadly he died at age 40 in the late 1920s and I wonder in what ways his work would have evolved if he had lived a longer life.
I have always liked his still life paintngs because they are abstract and the composition is very tight. The composition size is perfect for the size of the canvas, he doesn't have too much or too little negative space, and he balances color in each painting. He uses bright colors the way a Fauvist would and he also uses neutral colors in a way that reminds me of Morandi's still lifes.
This painting (Still Life with Flowers, 1912, oil on canvas) is my favorite from the show. The card by the painting said his use of horizontal and diagonal lines in the composition to direct where the viewer looked. The composition is rectangular and his placement of the top of the guitar to the upper left corner breaks up the flow and I like that a lot. This is a large painting and I like how he used a limited palette. Sometimes limited palettes make a painting look boring, unenthusiastic, and uneventful. In Gris's work, I feel calmness in his neutral pieces, a sense of balance, and quiet aliveness.
In November I will have one painting in the Target Gallery Fall 2021 Salon Show. I am thrilled to be a part of this because the gallery is focusing on local artists to help collectors see just how much art is made locally and hopefully to help connect artists with collectors.
The show will be open from Wednesday, November 10, through Sunday, December 12. The reception will be Sunday, November 14, from 4pm to 6pm. Please come see all the great local work!
I just started two large scale oil on canvas paintings (30" x 40") of imaginary women. After painting so many beach paintings, I am going to use some of the bright colors with a Florida vibe in each one. I am excited about them and about painting on a large canvas again.
The top painting is of an independent woman - she is both feminine and powerful. The bottom painting is of a Mother and her young daughter. The mother is loving and a "mother nature" figure. Let's see how they look when I am done!
In fall 2020 and winter 2020-2021 I was in Dunedin, Florida and the pandemic didn't allow for indoor socializing so I walked around taking pictures of the beach, the bay, and sunset. I was mesmerized by the palm trees, the beautiful sky, the clouds and the colors at sunset.
Painting landscapes is new for me because I am an abstract portrait painter. I have never done landscapes and have been wanting to try doing it. I did about ten paintings and then decided I could do this and knew that I wanted to approach them from a portrait perspective. Instead of painting a person, I approached the beach (or sky or sunset or trees) as the subject of my painting (the sitter) and am really happy with what I have done so far.
I am studying Fauvism because the colors are bright, fresh and fit perfectly with the colors of Florida. In the begining I studied John Marin's beach paintings for inspiration with my oil pastel paintings. What works for me is to mix colors because using them straight from the tube doesn't always give me the Florida look, feel and color that I want. For inspiration I am using the photographs I took plus a few other photograhs I found with compositions I like - none of my paintings look like the photographs because I changed so much.
My paintings will be in a show exploring nudity. The question to artists was, what does nudity mean to you? For me nudity is when we are at our most unique and vulnerable self. Most people we know don't see us nude so the people who do get this chance are very important to us and a meaningful part of our lives.
The show will run from May 12 to June 6, 2021 and is in the Van Landingham Gallery inside the Torpedo Factory (105 S. Union Street, Alexandria, VA - 3rd floor).
I studied her work for over a year trying to learn to paint portraits delicately and imitate her lyrical style. She was a contemporary of, and exhibited with, Pablo Picasso but was not a Cubist. When I see her work I am most struck by the soft colors and the way she composed her figures so that they look like gentle shapes of color that end up as people (as shown in the link attached below).
I greatly admire artists who remain true to themselves and their style. Marie Laurencin is a reminder to me to express myself through my art, and remain committed to my artistic voice.
My paintings - Passion and Last Embrace - will be on display (and for sale) at Tysons Corner Center in Northern Virginia from April 19 to May 3. They will be on the lower level across from Traveling Players.
They are bookends really - the beginning and end of all great love affairs. In the middle is love, life, and so many experiences (good and bad) that we forget. When I started these paintings I was thinking about couples and relationships but decided to focus on romantic, intimate moments that outsiders don't see. I think the magic of a great relationship is intimacy - connecting with each other and re-connecting after being apart. Intimacy is the glue and without it the relationship falls apart.
Oil - 24x36
Oil - 24x36
This painting came about because I wanted to try out for a portrait contest and they seemed to be looking for a painting that would address some of what happened in 2020. So, I gave her half a mask to represent COVID-19 and how terrifying the disease was (and still is) but made the other half of her happier and hopeful.
This is an oil painting on Arches oil paper. I love it. The texture is smooth and the paint easily glides on to it. Arches prepared the paper so the oil will not seep through. For framing, I will need to mat it and put it behind plexiglas so the paint doesn't touch it. The paint looks bright and deep and I am thrilled at how well it photographed.
I am very intrigued by maintaining balance when weight is not evenly distributed. When I practice balancing on one foot sometimes one side is stronger than the other and sometimes I can barely balance on either leg. In this drawing, I am working on a face drawn without a sense of balance. The structure is tilted left but the eyes are lined up facing the viewer but it works as a face.
My first time to combine a face with a landscape in one painting. I literally made the landscape (the building) part of the face. The canvas size is 6" x 8".
What I was thinking while painting is showing what dreaming looks like - to show the actual elements in a dream. So I put part of a face in the composition but spent more time adding the landscape that the person was thinking of. The result is interesting but I think the next time I will use a larger canvas so I can put more dream elements in it so the viewer gets a better sense of what the painting is about.
On November 15, Georgia O'Keefe would have been 133 years old. I am not just a fan of her work, but also the manner in which she lived her life. The shapes of bright and vivid color on large canvases, of flowers so large that it is not obvious it is a flower. We, the viewer, just enjoy the feeling of being mesmerized by enormous, gorgeous works of art. I loved that she worked to find her personal style. She was not content to paint just like everyone else was. Toward the end of the 1920s she traveled around the US looking for inspiration; studied at several art schools and with well-known artists. I greatly admire how she made a decision to learn and set out doing just that during a time when women didn't routinely have much autonomy and it was almost unheard of for a woman to earn her own money and have a career.
Three ladies out for a day of shopping (14"x18" oil on canvas panel). Several years ago I took a fashion illustration class and now and then I add that vibe into my work. It was a fun class and learning to draw/paint fabric, even in an abstract style, gives me more to work with in composing a painting. I paired that style with an abstract background of color shapes. When I studied painting, the teacher taught us a way of painting with color to create shapes instead of depending on lines. The fun/challenge was making it work without adding too many lines.
This is a painting of the Jones Point lighthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. The size is 6"x8" oil on canvas panel. I really enjoyed painting the lighthouse from this position because it was a painting in basically three pieces. The fun and challenge was to make each piece interesting while blending into the whole composition.
I am thrilled to announce that I was recently juried into the Torpedo Factory Artists Association (TFAA). This is a great group and I am lucky to be a part of it. Until October 18, there is a new juried member show at the Torpedo@Mosaic Gallery (105 District Avenue, Fairfax, VA). Please come check out the show!