Brooklyn Blanket, Color Pencil on LinenRead More
Here is Preston the Welsh Corgi, 12x14" colored pencil on linen, my reference photos. This was a custom portrait created for the best of clients who expressly encouraged me to paint whatever made me happy; thus the unusual angle and wet fur. The client, myself and her two dogs, spent hours walking and photographing at two different locations, until I had many beautiful reference shots from which to choose. My art needs a story and Preston provided one when he unexpectedly followed his housemate, a Labrador Retriever, straight into the river. Corgis are all chest and no legs. Preston had never been beyond wading. He sank like a stone, then bobbed to the surface. The swimming technique, newly minted, added to the hilarity of Preston's alarmed expression, but he arrived safely to the water's edge soaking wet and disgruntled.
You know, this is the most fun I've had in months! And the most interesting part is it is a custom portrait, not something I'm doing for myself or a competition. This is a WIP of Preston, a very wet Welsh Corgi that just discovered that water can swallow you whole. During the photo shoot we took a stroll along the bank of The Little Miami, East Fork Branch. Preston followed his Labrador Retriever housemate straight into the river without a thought. He'd never been in water over his head. He sank like a stone, then bobbed up with an expression of pure shock! Pres isn't entirely sure water is to be trusted ever again! This piece will eventually be 12x14" Painted on lovely blue linen mat with CARAN d"ACHE Luminance, PRISMACOLOR and DERWENT COLOURsoft pencils.
"Departing" is soon to be exhibited in its fourth show this year! The fun part is the exhibition is hosted by my old boss Doug Eisele, owner of Old World Restorations, (where 20 years ago, I learned patience as an art restoration technician,) in his gallery: Doug Eisele Gallery of Fine Art. Talk about full circle! This should be interesting, right?
Something I'm working on... Anubis. So far 32"x24" on Crescent Rag mat board with Prismacolor french grays. My ref photos taken in Cape May NJ. I have always been fascinated by Horse Shoe Crabs. They used to litter East Coast beaches, where I spent many happy summers as a kid. Creepy and a little like Darth Vader's helmet, they are ancient. We are a mere aggravation on their long, long, time line. The idea of this figure as Anubis, (you might want to look this up- the god Anubis, often depicted as the scale of justice, decides who gets into heaven or hell,) has been percolating in my head for three years. A disadvantage of a back-burner, (forgive the cooking metaphors- I didn't eat breakfast,) a slow cooked idea, can go many different directions. It can be simple and to the point like a good crusty bread, multilayered like marinara, or tricky like pie crust. Then I get it started on a new piece of board and see possibilities start poking holes and burning the edges of my plans.
This latest drawing -painting uses all my technical tricks to tell a story. You will notice the rich color and texture of the red coat in contrast with the barely there background. It is 27"x20" colored pencil on rag mat board. I haven't decided on the title. For now I'm calling it "On The Bridge" It was conceived while visiting The Brooklyn Bridge last November. I came upon this scene and found it interesting. The bridge itself is an amazing place to visit- all those cables slicing patterns through the New york sky. But it was the gush of human traffic over the bridge, people from all over the world, some commuting, some tourists, some on foot, some on bikes, I found most fascinating. In this scene you have the juxtaposition of three self absorbed young girls taking a group shot with a smart phone, while a serious young woman photographs scenery with her SLR and zoom lens. The progression of technology- what is gained what is lost? The three girls capture three faces, together in the place, in the moment, while the more mature woman takes photos of what is beyond.
In addition, I like the humor in this scene. You have me taking a reference photo of a young woman taking a photo in front of three younger women taking a group selfie, all of us standing on the same bridge seeing completely different things!
This has been such an exciting few weeks! I've just sold "Fly BY" to an amazing woman from Germany who works with cancer patients. She intends to hang this on the wall of her office, to share with her patients. How wonderful to know that my imagery might give someone a needed reason to smile. This is the second item she has bought from me, which makes it all the more fun. She seems to like my fantasy cats, proving that its okay for me to step off the well worn path into the weeds and paint what I like. I don't have to worry about confusing my audience with an occasional change of approach. I paint all kinds of subjects, from landscapes to facetious young women, some realistic, some fantastic and as long as I stick to the story, people continue to enjoy my work and I don't get bored. And trust me, this girl thrives on challenge!
"Departing," 18.5 x 25" various lightfast colored pencils mixed with solvents on 4 ply mat board. The reference is from a series of photos I took as my 25 year old daughter prepared to board her plane to California. The painting is about leave taking and letting go. I may have gone a little crazy with all the details, right down to the turtle charm bracelet, which she has had since she was small enough to collect everything turtle, the safari bag she found in my closet, her high school back pack and the thrift store suitcase. I include these things because they are necessary to create an accurate portrayal of this cunning, free-spirited artistic person, whom I love beyond measure, in her moment.