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Monday, December 29, 2008

Tres Bon! Dinan!



As the New Year approached I was feeling somewhat ho-hum glum like a lot of other people. Gnarling over the economy, the belt tightening, and not just because of over-indulgence, and that post-Holiday feeling of putting all the tired-looking decorations away even though I am back to work already with root canal follow-ups and a daughter who had surgery today. Never fun.

As artists there are moments that change your life. I had one of those today when the mail arrived.  The letter, with scrawly handwriting and a foreign stamp that I had been waiting for, sat there for 30 minutes before I wanted to open it. I just kept painting a child's arm badly while looking at it out of the corner of  my eye.

I had applied for an  international grant award last Fall to study in France for a month, a program that has been going since the early 90's in Dinan, Brittany, and host to some artists I really, really admire like Dawn Whitelaw and Charlotte Wharton among others.

The award,  given by Les Amis De La Grande Vigne, funds an artist to paint for a month at the studio of deceased artist Yvonne Jean-Haffen. She left her estate including a studio to the town. Her home is now a museum which picks one of the guest residence artist's paintings at the end of his/her stay for its' permanent collection.  

Applying was somewhat vague. It was hard to find the right mailing address and I was told by a very kind email artist friend, who helped me enormously having received the award also, that the application must be handwritten in very polite french and on very proper linen stationary. The french are just like that and I love them for it. Hard trying to find someone who spoke really good french for cheap to help me, but even more hard to ask how 'polite' their french really was.  I  also wasn't really sure if my swish Mac Book portfolio that took me a morning to do, at least, would get there, yet alone be approved. Maybe it was a bit too Mac Book modern along with the traditional startionary?

So here was the day of reckoning and all I could think of staring at the brown envelop was it doesn't look thick enough for me to be a recipient. You know how you can tell if you didn't get into an art show via mail announcement without even opening the envelope? By how thick the reply envelope is. Slim - NO, not a chance or juicy thick,,,hell, YES!

I didn't want to feel that horrible sting of rejection as I was feeling pretty lousy already for said reasons. Well, I finally took a big deep breath, opened it and I got it. Tres Jolie! Although it took me a while to translate french and make sure I had got it.

I am so thrilled. I don't even care I have to go to the dentist again tomorrow.

Let just hope I paint better there than that kid's arm today. Thank goodness for landscapes.  At least there is no muscle anatomy involved.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FINALLY IN THE MET! (NOT)



Look what happens when you paint from life regularly. You end up in a museum!!

Joking aside...this is a neat Photoshop-y thing doing the art rounds. Have fun with your art/images at http://www.dumpr.net/museumr.php


HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL MY BLOG READERS

And you know what your art New Year's Resolution should be! Paint from life.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't Count Your Chickens...



I know this is a portrait blog, and that is what I spend most of my time thinking about, portraiture - not this blog, but I was a little taken aback yesterday when I heard a still life of mine has been juried into The California Art Club Gold Medal Show for May 2009. The portrait I had entered which I thought the BEST piece I had done all year did not. And I just put it in a really expensive custom frame. Never count your chickens before they are hatched.

I should add that in reality I have long given up 'expecting' to get into any show. That way it is a bonus when it happens.

I enjoy painting still life. I am not saying they are easy but I find them a really nice break from the rigors of portrait commissions. And I look on them as a little treat to myself between said work. Sometimes a still life set up will stare at me for weeks waiting for me to get to it. And I will kind of talk to it, telling it to be patient. I will get there. Yes, I am certifiable it seems.

I also admire artists who paint still life so well. David Leffel comes to mind. About as good as still life gets in terms of a high level of Rembrandt understanding. Sad that so many Leffel wannabes are out there though.  I get annoyed when I see that. That applies to Richard Schmid wannbes too. I like all sorts of still life painting styles to from Wayne Thiebaud  and Duane Keiser (EBAY Painting a Day Maestro) to Laura Robb, magical soft, soft edges (www.laurarobb.com). One focal point.

In my teaching class at LAAFA, I suggest that an artist must paint it all. There is so much to learn from painting a still life. And if you can paint an apple really well around value, color, and drawing, you can start to approach the head with some understanding of the task ahead. My teacher, the marvelous Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., (www.everettraymondkinstler.com) always says a portrait painter should paint landscapes and vice versa to really learn.

I don't feel I am very good at landscapes at all. I just don't really have a desire to paint them. But I make myself do it especially on trips. Easy then to squeeze something in. Especially when you have carried that darn heavy painting box (Guerilla Pochade)  through airport security and customs. You might as well get something out of it. I also paint them really small. Get in and out as fast as I can.

I post here the CAC Gold entry, Pansies and Pear, 16 x 20, and also a still life I just finished this week, Geisha and Mumms, 16x20. 





Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SPEECHLESS - WHO ME?



It is always nice when you do an interview and the newspaper prints 'anything' you say rather than not a word of what you said. 

It is even nicer when the piece is done by a terrific journalist, in this case Nicole D'Amore from The Ventura County Star, who not only got all the quotes right but obviously took the time to digest what one had said in a thoughtful way after a most enjoyable interview (she is an artist herself as well as a writer). There are very few times in life when you get to talk about yourself non-stop for two hours. It leaves you speechless afterwards...all talked out.

I really did enjoy reading about myself in Ms. D'Amore's piece. It explains how I ended up where I am so I now understand it even myself! 

Here is the link  http://venturacountystar.com/news/2008/nov/26/career-path-leads-from-hollywood-to-oxnard/

Many thanks Ms. D"Amore! And also for her photos which I reprint here that accompanied the piece.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

WORKSHOP ETIQUETTE...FROM A DIVA











Having just returned from two workshop weekends back to back, one I helped host, the other I took part in, brush to canvas, I am reminded that these things sometimes don't bring out the best in any of us. Me included.

Nerves are high. Tempers flare.  Brushes are flung down along with the art gauntlet. Workshop monitors are screamed at. And even the Master him/herself gets bickered at/challenged occasionally. Lordy Begordy.

So, I was amusing myself today driving on the 101 freeway coming up with a Top 10 (o.k. 12!) list of do's and don'ts at painting workshops based on a few years of me doing them making a lot of the mistakes myself.

1. Don't scream at the workshop monitor at any cost. He/she is not a hired hand. He/she is either really good friends with the workshop teacher, connected somehow to what is going on,  or dating/married/ having an affair with the teacher or a friend of theirs. Word gets back and pillow talk is cheap. 

2. Do take your assigned morning  "placement" painting spot with good grace, no matter what. I have had my fair share of duff calls, my last name beginning with "S", the low end of the spot call-outs. This is just the way the cookie crumbles at these things. A good painter will rise to the challenge or just watch the master teach until the spots are changed to a better one. 

3. Don't move your easel out of it's pre-arranged semi-circle to within 6 inches of the model stand.  They are set up like this for a reason. It's called planning to avoid spats.

4. Don't correct the model's placement or fabric slippage between the breaks. This is what the gracious monitor is there for. This will annoy other people who like the fact the model's head has moved 1o inches south since the sitting first began. I have made this mistake so many times.

5. Don't think people can't hear your headphone music even if you have those posh BOSE ones. 'Nine Inch Nails' is not conducive to being in the Painting Zone for some and Beethoven likewise for others,  even if you think it is. Humming along to ABBA I have done. I admit it. Sorry. But not that sorry.

6. Do accept space is tight. Don't do onions/garlic/borsch soup/wine for lunch. If you stab someone in the back with you palette edge, apologize profusely. Who me? Handle hot drinks carefully. Very.

7.  Don't comment on another workshop artist's work, EVER,  unless he/she asks for it. I have seen this happen. An artist didn't want to paint in one workshop, just wanted to watch, and then suddenly, she was critiquing everyone in the room when the master was out. That is not a good way to make workshop friends. 

8. Don't complain about the instructor EVER. Before, during or after the workshop at the bar. You signed up because he/she had something you were looking for.  If the workshop isn't going to your liking, look within yourself. Work out how you can make the workshop work better for you rather than idle, easy shot,  criticism of the master, how much she/he has ignored you; how he/she is not taking you to the next level. It is all within all of us individually. And it is a privilege to be at any workshop. Remember those rice fields we could be working in? 

9. Do leave your ego at the door. Let go of getting something perfect done. HOW HARD IS THIS???? STOP what you are doing when the master artist comes within a six-easel range of your work. I am stunned at how people carry on painting their own studies when the master is correcting another artist's work near them. We are all making the same mistakes...just at different levels of our journey. Learn from your peers, especially the ones in the workshop room you know are good. I RUN to those critiques.

10. Don't hold up a tube of "FLESH" colored paint and ask the master portraitist how he/she would mix this. That's just plain daft. Ask intelligent questions.  Rehearse.

11. Do bond with you workshop buddies. I have made dear life-long friends through my workshop experiences. Those buddies are a great haven, and give safe feedback, and a friendly hug, when the workshop gets tough and your are teary-eyed, devastated to your core, think you suck, never want to paint again. Boy have I been there. And nothing like a nice glass of wine/soda/appetizer with said trusted buddies afterward shooting the art breeze. THE ABSOLUTE BEST IN THE WORLD.

12. Do wear light comfortable clothing but especially if you are female and over the age of 45. Hot armpit sweats are unattractive in workshops. This I know to be true. As for controlling PMS rages around workshops.... I am going to write a book on that. Still researching, if you know what I mean?












Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WISH I COULD PAINT LIKE THAT!

















Master artist Morgan Weistling Hosts The Portrait Society of America's CA  Teaching Academy in Los Angeles, November 2008, Glendale.


Images copyrighted.

Morgan Weistling has long been on my "I wish I could paint like that" list. I remember the first time I saw one of his paintings of a blond child dressed in yellow holding roses. My mouth dropped to the floor and remained bruised for quite a while. I consider him one of the masters in my painting orchestra. I am the conductor but when my art baton is shaky (quite often) I pull out these greats to help me solve problems, create harmony in my work,  and I learn from them. 

I was lucky enough to do a rare workshop with Morgan a few years  ago. I left it, yes bruised again, because I painted terribly but he was, and is, one of those rare painters who can teach well. He is gracious and sharing giving his students everything he's got. Brutally honest sometimes which is for the good! He has been very kind to me over the last few years taking time to do a critique of my work once every so often when I am sure he was so super busy carrying home all his awards and shipping paintings to museums' permanent collections.

When The Portrait Society of America first approached me, in my role as a Co-State Ambassador for CA,  about the idea of Los Angeles hosting one of its national teaching Academies for the first time, and who I thought might teach it, well, Morgan was the first name that came out of my mouth. I was 100 per cent sure this was our guy! I was blown away when he agreed to do right away.  I thought I might have to do some severe arm twisting. But that is gracious Morgan for you and we were lucky to have him. And no-one got, yes, you guessed it, bruised in the process. 

Skip forward a few months, and after a lot of preparation, hard work and volunteer hours there he was doing a demo at the Brand Library in Glendale for 100 eager artists a weekend ago followed by a workshop for 32 the next day.

True to form, Morgan did an effortless demo talking, and entertaining the crowd the whole way through taking questions as he went.  Patient with a few wacky questions at that. Just look at those piercing blue eyes! No, not on Morgan, on the model. Although Morgan does have nice eyes too. However those eyes in the painting are copyrighted just so you know, as are all images here.  Most everything about Morgan is copyrighted as so many have tried to lift his award-winning work. The price that a super successful artists pay. Can't wait to be ripped off myself.

The following day he worked on each artists' canvas making his teaching statement more clear. Values: light family and shadow family, keep them apart. Five values: three for the light and two for the shadow. (Students in my class at LAFIG will be used to this!)

Four types of edges, hard, soft, firm and lost. Color and temperature. Get the value correct -color will follow. How true. Shapes...there are good and bad ones. Think "line meets curve", not wiggly Cheesit looking things. Morgan talks a lot about the importance of good drawing.

I have never forgotten in the workshop I did with him, he said the only difference between him and me was drawing. I think that a slight understatement but I got his point and those that know me, know I have worked hard at improving my drawing since. This will continue. I have also learned the value of impeccable draftsmanship from the one and only Mr. Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A. (www.everettraymondkinstler.com) See earlier posts for more on this marvelous man and one shortly to follow about HIS magical workshop in New York this weekend.

These days I drool over Charles Dana Gibson, Monty Flagg, Howard Chandler Christy, and Harrison Fisher. These are my drawing idols. There is a famous quote that Mr. Kinstler often shares about Charles Dana Gibson being able "to draw white paper". Few people draw like these guys today, in unforgiving pen and ink too! It is a lost art.  Certainly a lost level of drawing.

Morgan talked about the value of Anders Zorn etchings. They fall into the above category. Copy them...as Morgan advises. I now do. You won't regret it.

I don't think people get better at painting, they get better at seeing, observing, and quite simply drawing it with more fluidity and skill.  Students come to class complaining about their progress. I ask them, are you practicing your drawing outside of class, your forms, the structure of the features? I KNOW the answer already. I have often shared what Morgan said to me about my drawing.

For those of  you that couldn't make the Academy, go as fast as you can to Morgan's website and purchase one of his DVD's. I had someone this week tell me it was the best she has ever seen after purchasing it at the workshop. This artist is a professional herself of quite some standing. A good testimonial I would say. I also have both Morgan's DVD's and agree they are fantastic.

Morgan Weistling's website is http://morganweistling.com/

All thanks to Morgan!




Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good times in Charlotte, NC.


Well, after months of working on two large portraits for one corporate client, seeing the paintings shipped from your studio, praying they get there  (Airfloat Systems - the very best for art boxes!)  but you still never know. Fex Ex is great most of the time but I have also seen some boxes returned to me in terrible shape from competitions. I had one painting sent to the Royal Portrait Society in England lost in customs. No-one knew where it was...even with a tracking number! Numerous high anxiety transatlantic phone calls.

So it was a lovely moment to fly to Charlotte  a weekend or so ago and see these portraits unveiled in a delightful warm ceremony for the Reformed Theological Seminary, RTS, a group that trains ministers worldwide.

As I was sitting there at the unveiling surrounded by new friends I have made through the long process of making a portrait out of state, it reminded me of what an absolute privilege it is to be a portrait artist. To have someone place their trust in you to record an important person's time in place. I know it sounds cliched perhaps. But I take this honor very seriously. And it makes me feel humble actually.

I think of the greats that have gone before me, Sargent, de Lazlo, Rembrandt, et al, who  had many great unveiling's, more than I will ever have in my lifetime,  and SURELY, much better paintings than mine will ever be, but it is the same process we go through as a portrait artist today. A time-honored tradition that still exists. Ahhh.....pass the warm and fuzzies to me right now. A full plate of warm scones with lashings of Devonshire clotted cream

 But INCREDIBLE really when you think about it. We live in an age of fast-fix deliver, everything at the push of a computer Photoshop button. Great that this art form is still wanted, relevant, and appreciated.

It makes me want to work harder and get better. I will never be close to a Sargent or a  Rembrandt, or even modern masters Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., www.everettraymondkinstler.com and Jeremy Lipking,  www.jeremylipking,com, but I think I still take pride in this incredible art form that I am lucky to be part of.




Monday, September 1, 2008

Food for thought -French sauces! A La Zorn.



So much discussion goes on in my teaching class about color! What palette is best? How do you get that green on the skin just there? And why did you put it there? How come we don't see it there? Should one keep it simple using a Zorn-like palette or not? 

I have students come in with a beautiful full rainbow palette and possess an equally lovely color sense and application that I admire. Then I find they have studied with Sharon Burkett Kaiser , www. sburkettkaiser.com, one of the best around, herself trained by Russian painter Sergei Bongart, www.sergeibongart.com, unfortuanately no longer with us. Then I have had others who simply were too dazzled by that full palette to know what to do with it. Others who were getting comfortable with their palette to be then completely thrown by all that Zorn black in front of them. I had this happen just last week in class and it was interesting as a teacher. Simple sometimes is complicated. 

Anders Zorn, 1860- 1920,  was a Swedish painter,  with a wow factor bar none. Great restraint and great juicy soft painting. He is credited for this very limited palette but anyone who paints knows he put other colors out there sometimes. You can only achieve a certain amount of blue tones with black and ivory white next to orange.

The main palette I use is the one taught to me by my teacher Mr. Everett Raynmond Kinstler N.A.  www.everettraymondkinstler.com, aformentioned many times in this blog!,   Still fairly limited at nine colors or so, but it does work so well around a light and darker value for each of the primary colors. Just look at his paintings for proof. There is no-one better for the study of color in this lifetime. Sorolla in the last!  And actually, I do think Ovanes Berberian, this lifetime, really rather damn good.

Mr. Kinstler's color palette is Permalba white, cad. yellow pale, raw sienna, cad. red light, alizarin crimson, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, burnt umber (I prefer raw umber), sap green OR chromium oxide green. I like c.o.green. NO BLACK.  As all my students know, burnt sienna and c.o. green make some beautiful shadow colors that you can enhance any way you wish, a bit of purple/blue here, a bit or orange there.

However, I have found much value to experimenting with the Zorn palette, yellow ochre,vermillion and black. There is a certain harmonious restraint that happens.  And also experimenting with other three color palettes around the primaries.

Look to the beautiful work of artist Dawn Whitelaw, www.dawnwhitelaw.com,  to see what can be done with a three color palette. Her landscapes are magnificent as is her portrait work. GREAT color! She studied with Mr. K. for many years and has really made his teachings her own. Impressive. I admire this lady a lot. She is also very generous with her advice and teaches much in demand workshops. 

But really, you can choose any yellow, red and blue, plus white and black and have some fun. But go steady with the black. See if you can tone down with compliments first before dipping into the big black hole. YOU will learn a LOT about color mixing and color temperature. I know I have during the last several years of experimentation. I can now see a color before me and KNOW which way it leans temperature-wise and how to mix it.

A recent thought of mine has been to use the Zorn palette most of the way through a painting, SEE THESE TWO IMAGES, and then add some brights on top around the color wheel theory, limiting your 'brights" to the color compliments. You have to tread carefully but it is FUN. And I kind of like how it looks.

It reminds me of what an a wise old artist/sculptor said to me over lunch recently: "A painter needs greyed color much like a french chef needs a good sauce as the base for his food". 

Let me know what you think???? Just the painting, not the sauce stuff. I know the sauce I like. Cream with peppercorns all the way.

I teach Thursdays at the stellar Los Angeles Academy of Fine Arts in Van Nuys, CA., www.laafa.org. Visit the site for  more information about its' curriculum, including an impressive atelier training program in the academic tradition which Zorn would have been proud of.





Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ego-licious? Perhaps...





An art painter colleague told me last year that I would be judged on my life painting if that was all I showed. At the time I had a bunch of head studies on the wall done during my teaching class, naively thinking students would want to see what they would get in class.

I had always thought people would know the difference between an hour and a half head study demo in a teaching situation, or not, and a finished portrait, but turns out the guy was absolutely right.

I then put up a few finished pieces and actually  had people come up to me at the school and say, wow, I didn't know you could paint like that! A kind of back handed compliment if you ask me. The skill of a painter is surely in his or her fast life painting. Can't most people do something fairly decent over the course of 100 hours?

Anyway, I am being a bit ego-licious here, sharing with you a couple of the more finished commissions that were painted this summer, all 30'X40" I hope you like.  I didn't get to the beach much!




My Top Ten Tips for Painting From Life! And then some..


Here is my demo from my painting class at The Los Academy of Figurative Art last week. Painting time about one hour and a half hours. And yes, that is my hat!

1. Paint a model that interests you. Ask yourself  'what is your point of view'? before you start to paint. Talk to the model. Bored sitter, boring painting. Engage!

2. Work on a dry mid-toned canvas and a mid-value wooden palette. Think value first, color second. Most of the story happens in the mid-value.

3. Work dark to light, general to specific, thin to thick paint, broom to needle, brush.

4. Simplify what you see. Three values for the light, two for the dark.  Keep the value pattern of light and dark separate. These two families hate each other and don't like to mix.

5. Think sphere. The head is an egg. Paint it round. Look for the highlight plane,  large mass of light, transition, turning edge, reflection, cast shadow.

6. Stick with a limited palette of colors. Learn what they can do.  They are your keyboard so practise how to play them. Look at the color wheel once in a while. It is useful. Play with color temperature around the light source, warm versus cool etc.

7. Make two soups on your palette. One for the light, one for the dark side. Alter the soup a little this way or that by adding slightly different colors into it.

8. Repeat color wherever you can. A dab of purple here, well, why not a dab of purple there. Leads to color harmony even if it doesn't make sense at the time.

9.Think of your three best friends: time, distance and a mirror. Judge your canvas from a distance rather than pressed nose; look at your work in a mirror to see its' flaws; and take some time away from your painting, ESPECIALLY when the model takes a break. Art school coffee is there for a reason. 

10. Imagine yourself a sculptor...carve out those planes. Know the structure of features so you can rely on that knowledge. Learn the anatomy of the head AND from the neck down. Draw, draw, draw in between painting from life.

Portrait Painting A-Plenty






What a privilege it was to teach so many talented people at my recent one-day portrait workshop timed around my show "Something Wrong About The Mouth"! I was impressed with the talent in the room.

The day started with a talk about my five-value system, followed by a show-and-tell of the old Masters and how they used values. Color harmony and skin tones thrown into the mix. Students then did a quick one hour study in black and white copying an old master painting using five values. I was a little worried how this would turn out but everyone did a great job...see the picture of all those great little heads.

I then did a one hour features demo from my favorite model Cassie followed by a one hour demo of her head. Yes folks, the head was painted in just one hour so don't bug me about the flaws.

Then the class got to work doing their own three-hour study of the model. BRAVO to all. The different styles were impressive but that is what makes painting so much fun.

For those of you that didn't make the show, that didn't make the artist talk, that didn't make the workshop, I could say shame on YOU! Instead I will post next my TOP TEN list for successful painting from life.




Sunday, July 27, 2008

American Artist Magazine features Hall Of Fame Series.

Check out the September issue of American Artist Magazine. I am thrilled that they have just published a great feature on the previously mentioned Hall of Fame Series painted for The Players's Club permanent collection in New York.

Mr Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., painter of six American presidents now!, and a who's who of just about everything, asked 18 artists around the country to paint specific members of this prestigious great old theatre club. Mine was Norman Rockwell, and I couldn't have been more delighted to paint him and be asked. This was my second portrait for the club, the first being Rex Harrison, (My Fair Lady). Treasured memories and great to see it all recorded in such a wonderful way. Thanks to Mr. K. and AA! 


Monday, July 21, 2008

Take The Time...


I haven't posted in a while, not because I didn't want to, I just have so darn busy meeting the demands of deadlines necessary in my painting work life. My life whizzing by in a crazy way. Which leads me to my painful point.

Suddenly, in the middle of all this art/professional mayhem, a lot of it amazing, governing your time and then some, heck, your priority, shows, great commissions,  new teaching posts, etc...your breath is taken away by life making you catch your breath. And making you stand drop dead still. And think. And cry. And deeply regret.

In the space of a month, two people, both husbands of  good friends who were so much part of our earlier lives with young/teenage families, Halloween, birthday, holiday parties, trips away, carpool etc..., quite frankly all the things we did at the that time to raise our kids the best way we knew how, suddenly died in very difficult tragic circumstances.  I found myself painting very sad and shaken. 

Most of all sad that I had let painting overtake that phone call I should have made so many times. Sad that suddenly good old friend times had given way to just working, achieving. Painting in the obsessive compulsive way that I do it. I regret this. 

I feel disappointed in myself that I let friends go...and then they are gone forever. You can never pick up the phone again. You are left at their memorials. Feeling dreadful. As an artist, we work, work, work. In a solitary way.  I have at times felt myself becoming reclusive and thinking, accepting, this was OK., too tired at the end of the day to reach out to my immediate family yet alone anyone else. My art life more important than keeping ties. 

Sadly not OK.

So, in the midst of this, I found myself taking the time to finally paint something I had always wanted to paint but somehow never found the time to do it. My eldest daughter, now 22, and a delight in every way.

This photo of her had stared at me EVERY morning when I woke up. I had thought for years, I needed to paint that. Yes, it is cutesy. But that I should really do it. Not for gain. Just because...

Well, I woke up in the middle of all this yuk stuff, in the middle of intense deadlines, and just did it in five hours. Because I kinda had to.

I like it. My agency hates it. 

But that's fine. If I keel over tomorrow which is highly possible, at least I did something that I knew needed to be painted. It will be in our family forever as a moment in time that mom bothered to paint finally.

Most of all my daughter likes it....and that is the best. 

I will be taking the time from now on to make that phone call. 








Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Top Ten Tips for Successful Life Painting -TONIGHT!


Come hear my Top Ten tips for successful painting from life. Hey, what do I know? Enough to persuade you to make the drive! That's what. 

I will also give you the best treat of all..no, not chocolate goodies, but a rare showing of my first ever portrait from life.

It will make you feel really good! That is a promise.

6pm tonight, SCIART WEST Gallery, Oxnard. Address listed on invite below.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunny Side Up!

















Last time I had a show I dreamt I had egg on my face the week before in nightmares. Almost put me off doing another one. Well, let me tell you, I had a blast on this one. Yes, a LOT of work around a busy painting schedule, but some really great people helped me put on a show which left me feeling sunny side up. A souffle really. All warmed like melted cheese.

Bob Privitt, an incredible artist himself, and with a wit to warmth, directed hanging the show. He knows his stuff having run Pepperdine's Weissman Gallery in previous years. He made me look good!  He also helped me edit along with Karen Brooks, (she knows how to paint dogs far better than me). As an artist we want to hang it all. But sometimes less is more. I learned this big time on this show. The viewing eye needs a rest. I also learned my future path as all these head studies came together as a group. What wowed the crowd and what didn't. Fascinating stuff. Clarity. It is good to show your privates! Head studies, that is...

Then we get to the reception...I was thrilled so many showed up and thrilled I was actually enjoying it!

Flowers arrived, champagne was popped and people actually seemed curious about the art. And I also felt those sitters radiated through the room, a collective energy, painted from life, even if something was wrong about the mouth.

So many thanks to all of you for the support especially to Michelle Dupuy Leavitt, SCIART Gallery Director,  who helped conceptualize the show from the get-go, encouraging me all the way, and then some,  through some tough personal health times. Everyones' support meant the world to me. And in case you missed it, I am doing an Artist's Talk this Friday at 6pm. And the show runs forever until August 16th. Watch out for my interview on Arts Scene (Ventura) and a plug in 805 Magazine.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Two Buck Chuck


Well, here it is. The invite to my show. No excuses not to attend now! At least for a glass of Two Buck Chuck at the reception. You can see how I paint mouths on a good day,,, and on a bad.