Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Cat Needs a Home

Ok...all you bloggers out there. I need your help! My cat Pixie needs a new home as I am moving house,  living close to water, with very little backyard,  which she won't like at all.

Pixie is a very independent and pretty 14 year old cat. She is not really a people person. Her preference is to explore the great outdoors during the day and be put in a warm garage at night. 

She does like to be around people, will meow and talk to you, but doesn't like to be bothered with all that petting stuff.

However if you have a piece of cheese in your hand she will come to you and lick your fingers. She never hisses or anything like that.

Can anyone help?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thanks y'all...again.

Again,,,so many thanks to those who made such a big effort to show up and  'wet' my new studio in the far-off shores of Oxnard, especially on a late Friday afternoon/early evening.

I won't do that again to you again, I promise.  I really appreciated your support. It meant the world to me. It was great to see some old friends and new. And painting there is now going so much more smoothly. 

Thanks also to my talented artist friend and  co-host of the open house,  Gregg Arbenne, who I share the building with.  His contemporary artwork is pictured here. It's fun to be in his art company. We learn from each other...different approaches  and styles but the same passion.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Warm all over...

This was my class demo at The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art yesterday, 20 x 24.

It was a fun class all around with a lot of laughter in the room and some great paintings being done. I think everyone was inspired by the FLAPPER get-up and wistful pose.

I chose to work on a warm ground rather than my usual cool. I find it more of a challenge. It is easier for my eye to judge color and value at the beginning of a sitting on a cool ground. Don't ask me why. Maybe it is just because I am just used to that although I vaguely recall Richard Schmid saying that somewhere too in an article. Hard to work on a very warm ground with skin tones.

However, I really like the effect of a somewhat muted warm ground showing through, for instance, in the shadows of the hair and breast area.  I also really like a very warm ground in landscape painting, say Burnt Sienna.

I chose to really push the sitter's skin toward an overeall cool rather than warm even though she was really quite olive in reality. But I wanted cool in the light, warm in the shadow to make use of that warm ground. I had a plan!

One of my students commented that it must be great to get to the point in painting when you are able to be more interpretative of what is in front of you. To give yourself permission as an artist to make it how YOU want it to be.  I liked that thought...

Monday, August 10, 2009

All Right Gov'!

AS in 'All Right Governor!'  British Cockney 'cheeky talk' on the weekly market stand when you buy a pound of potatoes or a punnet of something or other juicy.

 I am certainly not talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Governator must be stre$$$ing right now with CA being in the Poorhouse.

Haven't posted a portrait sketch in a while. This is a head study from teaching demo this week at LAAFA...I think it turned out palette. I think it  has a little 'tude!

Let me know what you think.

This will be for sale on Ebay next week...

I am happy to say my class demos are selling on Ebay. The purchaser of last week's demo said she was surprised I would want to sell it. As in, it was nice!!!  Not a throwaway.  Hurry, I might change my mind...

Check out this week's class demo for sale

But actually, I am kinda liking the idea.  Feels good.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Going green..

I have been painting quite a bit of green recently. Over the next couple of days I will post a few landscape 'quick study' sketches from my recent trip back east to do nothing but paint green in the most delightful landscpe spots. Most were done in an hour or so, sometimes four a day just to catch the feel of the scene.

I had a blast even though I don't really like to paint green and often joke "I don't do green!"

Here some  random things I think about green:

. I don't like tubed greens preferring  to mix from UM Blue and Cad Yellow. White cools it nicely.  I also admire artists who do green well from bright to muted. Everett Raymond Kinstler, Dawn  Whitelaw, Ovanes Berberian and Jeremy Lipking come to mind. 

. I don't like to wear green. I have a red undertone to my skin and it doesn't act like a compliment at all. It makes me feel Sappy Green all day if I do. Only red-heads look good in green it seems to me. And even that can be touch and glow.

. I hate it when my highlights go a funny shade of green in swimming pools from chlorine.

. I need more green $$$ always. Chromium Oxide Green must be the one they used on banknotes?

. I like green food  particularly seaweed wrapped around fish. Terre vert? But I also like yellow too (french fries). If I was famous, I would hire a green food chef. This I am totally serious about.

.  I have just more gone green...just did the car "clunker' deal buying a more fuel efficient car. I now worry about too many plastic bags in the world (long before Oprah talked about it), Subway chain restaurants that don't recycle a darn thing, and I carry my own plastic fork to re-use at lunch. I am learning a lot from my environmentalist daughter. 

. I like a dried green ground to work on for my portrait sketches, mid-toned, as it sets off the pinks in the skin nicely. As hard as I try to move away from it,,,I find myself returning. It makes a lot of sense why the old guys used that Verdacchio technique in portraiture with the green and white under painting. However, in landscapes I prefer a warm ground of burnt sienna.

. I like it when portrait deliveries get a fast green (teary-eyed) light...that is one of the best feelings. I also like it when I get green lights on the freeway entrances.

. Green leaves seem to be very hard for students to paint. And me. As hard as the actual flower itself. Someone once said your still life  painitng will be judged by the quality of your leaves and I agree. I look for that now in my own work and others. Trying to take more time on them.

. I don't like it when I get 'green eyes' toward others work or see it in others eyes/words toward mine.  I think the art world is competitive and it is easy to get green sometimes. I have to watch myself on this front and think more red,,,as in painting from the heart.

So this brings me back to my quick little studies. They are far from perfect but they were painted from the heart with my painting pal. And we had the best time! Red all the way painting that green.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

No such thing as free wine and cheese...

Sometimes us artists wonder why we do what we do outside of our own personal painting life and commission deadlines.

Weekly semester teaching comes to mind (teaching takes a big time commitment if you are trying to do it well) along with volunteer work for The Portrait Society of America over the last three years in my role as CA co-state ambassador,  and just recently a studio open house alongside a  student show with mini takes an awful lot of time away from one's own easel (cutting into the FUN painting time) and actually costs a bit of money. There is no such thing as free wine and cheese. And endless phone calls/emails have to be made on all the fronts. ENDLESS...

So when a nice Bella Sinclair blog tribute/award for art inspiration comes along from an artist I admire and have had the privilege to teach and watch grow it is a nice warm moment. Thank you Marian  Fortunati 

I also know it is worthwhile and am rewarded by seeing so many  gracious art friends who came to Friday's open house showing support for my new studio.  A terrible time of day to drive across the freeways of L.A. . I hardly dared ask!!! My studio is a long way from anywhere, I was touched by the effort many made.  Old friends and new. Thank you. It was wonderful to see you all.

I do think the "nibbles" were good however.  NO Trader Joe's. THANK YOU  again to so many who 'wet' the new studio. It meant a lot a to me....

I no longer wonder why I do what I do...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Class demos for sale on Ebay

After quite a bit of thought, I have decided to put more of my class DEMOS for sale on Ebay.

Unlike my portrait commissions and gallery pieces, which take MANY weeks to execute, these are super fast studies and VERY affordable, priced deliberately so. 

A chance maybe for people who weren't able to take class from me recently, around a wretched economy, to purchase a study piece that they might find useful. Or students who just liked something I did in class while watching me paint it.

There are also other people out there who might just like 'em and it fits their budget, period! That's nice too.

I should point out, these are not finished pieces, that seems pretty obvious,  but ALL done in a single demo session for students at LAAFA, CAI, or my own private classes and workshops around Los Angeles over the last few years.