The first five paintings of Portraits of American Teens were a perfect fit for The Warehouse Theatre’s lobby. Here are some photos from my artist reception. Had a great time meeting new Greenville folks and catching up with friends. What a nice surprise when my oldest daughter who lives out of town showed up for the reception.
Packed up the painting series “Portraits of American Teens” yesterday for the first exhibit at the Warehouse Theatre. I hope my visitors don’t touch because the paint is still wet although all the hard work paid off. I finished the painting of Violet just in time. In fact, I had to hang the show on Monday and was still painting on Saturday and would have been painting on Sunday if it wasn’t Mother’s Day. Yikes!! Talk about cutting it close.
I think they look great in the space. Don’t miss the artist reception next Friday night, May 26th at 6 pm. Hope to see you there.
I am thrilled to be one of the accepted artists from 9 different southern states to be part of Artfields 2017. This was also the first year I applied, so it was doubly wonderful when I got the news. My painting “Francesca” will be exhibited in the Seven Monogram Boutique which is located at 130 East Main Street. If you don’t know about Artfields, it is one of the premier Art Shows in South Carolina to honor artists of the Southeast with a weeks worth of celebration, events and competitions from April 21st – 29th. It is held in a the small town of Lake City, where the whole town basically becomes a living gallery.
Hope you have time to check it out!
Finally getting around to uploading this painting, although it was finished months ago.
The sculpture was a blast to paint and I have never used so much yellow ocre in my life! Throughout the process, I was surprisingly having to bump up the intensity. Then came adjustments to the orangeness (is that a word?) of the skin tone on her right side, viewer’s left. Yellow, more yellow. . . then more yellow orange.
Compositionally, I love how the sculpture cradles her body and also contains some interesting abstract value shapes. The development of hard and soft edges allowed me to pull the focus to the front of the sculpture and to Francesca who was contained within.
I hope I captured a few things that struck me most about this lovely young woman. Francesca seemed to be wise beyond her years. She was comfortable in her own skin. Even though she was unsure of where her interests would lead her, she looked to the future with anticipation. If only we all could have such an easy going nature! I would also describe her as creative, friendly, and poised.
Last I knew, she was living in the state of Massachusetts, although I hope that some day our paths will cross again. It would be lovely to know where life has taken her.
I am getting near completing the painting “Francesca” and will be posting it soon.
In the meantime, here are recent photos taken of “Ethan” and “Megan”. I don’t know about most artists, but I find that after I sit with a painting, I usually find things I can improve. Both of these paintings called for changes to the background.
With Megan, I still wasn’t completely satisfied with how the composition was working and how your eye moved through the painting. After looking at it upside down, sideways and backward . . . . meaning I looked at it a lot, I decided to extend the dark of the tree down the right side and also darkened some areas in the grass toward the bottom of the painting. I think this allowed for two things, one of which turned out to be a happy accident. In trying to solve a compositional dilemma, I found that it also effected the mood of the piece. With the portrait of Megan, one of my goals was to allude to her anxiety, and by darkening areas I ended up reinforcing this idea. Compositionally I think it works better because the darks starting in the left hand corner lead you in a circle around the painting, up the left hand side and around to her face.
On the painting of Ethan, I made some minor changes. I removed the bleachers in the background and replaced it with a simpler landscape. I think the bleachers were a little too distracting. I have included before and after photos.
I am so excited to get started on this next painting because this girl really intrigues me! We met two weeks before she was scheduled to move to Massachusetts and despite her life being in flux, I found her to be both calm and accommodating. I envied her spontaneity as well as her go with the flow attitude: two qualities I have always admired in others but find difficult to exhibit myself. While chatting over coffee, Francesca was like an open book and filled me in about her life. She talked to me about her family, friends, pivotal moments of her life, as well as her influences, hobbies, character and personality. I started to form some loose ideas in my head about how to capture my impressions of this interesting, quirky, creative and confident girl. A week later we were out taking photographs and in a couple of hours we were done.
Francesca is an only child from a close-knit family. Her mother is Columbian and has extended family living here in the United States as well as Columbia. I learned that her very free-spirited nature is also very descriptive of her father, whom she admires and considers her best friend and one of her biggest influences. Having had the opportunity to travel, she has developed an appreciation for other cultures as well as gratitude for the opportunities she experiences as a citizen in the states. Francesca has lived in several areas of the country and it may have been the necessity to adapt to her new surroundings that has contributed to her outlook on life: one of openness, willingness to change and a desire to learn and experience new things. Some of her interests include circus performing, visual art, travel, writing, language and drama.
Although all drawing needs to be accurate to get a good likeness, so much character and personality are found in the eyes and mouth. Subtle adjustments in these areas can make a huge difference, taking a painting from resemblance to “you captured him so well!”.
Here are some close up photographs of the painting “Ethan” taken during the it’s progression. You can see how the small adjustments change the character ever so slightly but very importantly in these areas.
This is the initial sketch of Ethan done on my canvas with charcoal and ebony pencil. It is a rough drawing done as an understudy for the painting. I am the kind of painter that is constantly correcting drawing mistakes as I go. I would love to get it right from the very beginning, but this doesn’t usually happen. What I am looking to do at this stage is work out the placement of the figure, create a fairly accurate drawing, and establish the value pattern.
The first thing I noticed when I met Ethan was his confidence. He is obviously a very physically fit guy and takes pride in his athletic abilities and physique. What I didn’t know until later was he is also very friendly, captain of his track team and loves to goof around and laugh with his team mates and friends. Despite his cheerful and carefree nature, he takes his leadership role as track captain and athlete very seriously. I attended many a practice observing him in his element and saw a hard working competitor and a supportive and encouraging team member. It is all of these things that I wish to capture in my portrait of him.