Monday, March 4, 2019

ON THE EASEL Glazing, Fat, Lean & Local while Going back in Time 200 Years

So here is the completion of my Memory Project guy, what a 5 year old cutie? (you can see last post for earlier steps)...

oil on canvas 11 1/2" X8"

Also finished this from sitting and photo...she might dog sit my pooches sometime...

The Luminous Miss M
Oil on Stretched Canvas 16”x12”

She was double lit with red and blue lights so that made for some fun play of light shadow and color!


Learned a new process for these that I am in love called Lean over Fat but I don’t like the name because it is misleading.  Really fat over lean leads to cracked painting, so I am renaming it Fat Over Local Glaze.  How egotistical of me, right? ;)  But what can I say? I like direct labels, makes for better comprehension for my students.


Anyway, this new assignment is a copyist and self portrait combination...reminds me a bit of Kehinde Wiley’s Work.   I decided to go with an incredibly prolific lady artist who is about 200 years past getting her due!  Elisabeth Vigee La Brun.  

Well off, crazy talented (both thanks to support from Daddy-o), and real hardworking - this chick painted for the French royalty right before the guillotine showed up.  In fact Marie Antionette once canceled an appointment to just hang with EVB and even picked up her paints when EVB spilled them all! So when the revolution came, EVB and her kids (yup working mom here) peaced out for what she thought was going to be like 6 months tops but turns into 13 years! Don’t stress though, it all worked out okay for EVB and co. since she was able to just bounce and paint around all the royal courts in Europe. 

Hit the link on her name above to read all about it...

Anyway here is her self portrait painted in 1800 when she was she was about 45.  

Dang, I wish I looked that good at 45! 
A little artistic license perhaps, EVB?

So I went ahead and found an (oldish) photo of me around 35ish and began my work.  Here is the work in progress after the first pass using my newly named technique of Fat over Local Glaze...

So this is just glaze haven’t gone lean or fat yet...

The watercolorist in me loves the way I can keep the contour lines (at least in the beginning) and do not have to commit to the base color necessarily to the work ...I like how this technique keeps the some options open while others are tight and intact.  

PS the biggest oil I have done in a while...think might may be my new go-to dimensions, its not a monster yet I am truly digging all the extra real estate.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Memory Project Portrait Beginnings

What a fantastic undertaking to be a part of!  The Memory Project is an organization that connects with artist from around the world to have them paint realistic high quality portraits of young children who are living in less than ideal conditions.

As a part of Colin Ferguson’s class at John Tyler Community College, I get to work on painting this little guy...(who BTW loves ice cream and the color blue)

This is my first pass with this cute as a button boy...

and this is my second pass.

Colin is teaching a great new technique in which he calls “Fat Over Lean” that has to do with glazing in local color from the beginning while reserving the whites of the canvas.  Looking forward to the progression...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

First Video of My Watercolor Painting Process

Sped up 20 times!  

With special thanks to Google Images for the reference photo 
Coldplay for the “Adventures of a Lifetime” clip

This little video actually took about 15 minutes to shoot. (Then about 5 hours to edit, whew!)  I created the very professional set up of two stacks of encyclopedias on each side of the painting stage  with two thin boards crossing them that my iPhone was taped on.  

It was actually a teacher demonstration example for my Longwood education majors in my Arts Integration class.  The assignment was to select a SOL (Virginia Standard Of Learning) and make a video that teaches the concept to the age group you would like to teach. You can view their movies here, the films are so cute and several students said it was the most fun they had ever had with a school project.  

I know that mine was!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

New Classical School and Work

Have made a new discovery down on lower Manhattan...
even made a new friend. (Who looks like he is trying to make his escape...sorry David)

It is the New York Academy of Art !  Just took an amazing workshop by former medical illustrator and NYAA professor, Roberto Osti.

(forgive the poor photo quality- taken off my phone in my tiny walk up apartment)

Don't these look like notes from a med student?

I felt like I was in med school for a bit...the information was coming so fast!  

I now completely get the old joke about doctors' sloppy handwriting!

But studying that and after some gesture warm ups...

enabled me to do this...

and this....

Actually Mr Osti attended medical school while training as a medical illustrator and it definitely showed in his approach and work!  

NYAA is a definite gem for those who want to learn how to draw paint and sculpt in the classical tradition!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Art Student League Work and Life in NYC

So it really happened, bought the proverbial "one way ticket" to the big apple...

Now living in a tiny little walk up above tourist haven...

See?  Here is the bus to prove it!

Here is my tiny studio (aka coffee table) at my home for the month...

it's about 6 inches from my bed, 50 inches from my office and a whooping 90 inches from the dining room. (I think you get the point...it is tiny)

 Doing all this so I can take classes here...

Saturday, June 16, 2018

On the Easel and Heading to NYC

Hello it’s been a long time!  This teaching parenting thing is always such a time sucker...but in a good way!

Here is what has been on the easel these last few days...

Over My Head
Watercolor on Arches

Shimmering River
Watercolor on Arches

Oh and of course the latest color chart...(as part of my 2018 studio challenge goal to clarify my palette)

But now the next big adventure this summer is my extended field trip to ...

 the big apple to take classes at...
 the Art Student League!  

This is how excited I am! (And how I looked several decades ago....)

will not wait 6 months to post about this!!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Corporate Life

Hello!  Long time since I posted.  But now with my final grades for the university turned in, I have a chance to catch up, breathe and enjoy art making again.  (That is in between all the holiday festivities).

Was asked to step in last minute to come up with a team building art activity for a corporate retreat.  So after running all over town to find cheap big canvases (thank you Michael's!)

This is what I came up with!

I gridded two 36x48" canvases and color matched acrylic paint to their office decor and logo palette...

Got them going with some different application techniques (see the straw in the top half)

Then things really starting rocking as they loosened up 

The turkey baster in the bottom was used quite a bit!

Many hands working together and having fun

Not shy about the paint at all by this point!

At this point, my fellow artists in nearby studios thought I had set up a bar for these guys, they were having so much fun!  

Really, my colleagues in the building thought this was a holiday office party not a corporate retreat, 
these executive leaders were having such a great time!

And now they have a great memento to hang in their office!

Once again, loving my connections that art makes!

Happy Holidays from my studio to yours!