Monday, January 25, 2010

"The Artist at Work"

Finished self-portrait - 14" x 11" - oil on linen glued to board

The hints of architecture on my canvas refer to Florence, Italy, which greatly influenced my painting after I studied there for a summer.

The Artist at Work

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Currently on the Easel: "At Work (Self-Portrait)"

When models are hard to come by, there is always someone to fall back on: oneself. Rembrandt did over 40 self-portraits in his lifetime, and modern master David Leffel, who has also done numerous self-portraits, says in his latest book (Self-Portraits: A Visual Journey of Insight), that "Self-portraits are painted for a variety of reasons: the model is inexpensive with infinite time to pose; one can record the history of one's own life; and the use of the same model allows for endless study and experimentation."

I try to do a new self-portrait every year, each time with a different feeling, purpose, and sometimes, medium. Past portraits were done in colored pencil, such as this one (my first self-portrait, at the age of 13. I used a mirror)...

Anna Rose Self-Portrat Age 13

...or graphite (2005)...

Anna Rose Self-Portrait in College


...or in oil, but in some cases I wanted to paint myself with the man I love...

Quiet Kiss

The Happiest Day

...A self-portrait from when I was a newlywed. I think this one is very expressive, but is also a little bit provocative...

New Day: Self-Portrait at 23


My current portrait is small and unimposing. It may not even be considered a "portrait," as my face isn't showing - yet there is something special about this image that I like more than all other self-portraits I've ever done. The viewer sees only the artist at work, as if you could walk up from behind and stare over her shoulder at the easel in front of her. It isn't finished yet - I intend to add some paint brushes in the bottom right-hand corner, as well as finish and refine the hair, shirt, and background. I think I'll also slather some more paint on that palette, just for fun!

I've never been one to pursue the spotlight, and I'd rather be painting than doing anything else...so perhaps this portrait is truer to myself than most of the self-portraits from my past. I certainly haven't shown you them all...

I'll post a pic of the finished product soon.

At Work (Self-Portrait) - unfinished


At Work (detail)

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

About my name

Just thought I'd write a brief blurb about why I sign my paintings "Anna Rose" and not "Anna Bain" or "Anna Rose Bain."

Growing up, I always liked my middle name, "Rose." I didn't even mind my last name of "Holsclaw" - it was a good strong German name that was very uncommon. However, I always knew that I wanted to get married and follow the tradition of changing my last name to my husband's. So even as a little girl, I would sign my drawings and doodles with "Anna Rose."

Years later, I am married, with a much shorter and simpler last name (!), but I still sign my work under "Anna Rose." I think it has a nice ring to it. My first name is only "Anna," but I like it when people call me Anna Rose. That is my artist name - always has been, always will be. :-)
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Portrait from Life - Olga

My current portrait is a formal pose of a beautiful woman named Olga. She carries herself with grace and regality. She is wearing a silk blouse of an elusive color - I guess I could describe it as "mauve" - and for this particular portrait, I am including one of her hands in the painting.

My block-in took a good portion of the first hour this morning. I am using a 16" x 20" hand-primed linen canvas, toned with burnt sienna and ultramarine.

Anna Rose current work in progress
Once I was happy with her placement on the canvas, I started refining my drawing - I toned down the hair, laid in folds of the blouse, and smoothed out some of her features, keeping my colors and values subtle, since the canvas sucks up most of the paint's luster on the first few layers anyway. Here she is so far:

Anna Rose current work in progress

Anna Rose current work in progress
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