Thursday, May 23, 2013

Painting at the Dallas Heritage Village

The Dallas Heritage Village (which I had never heard of until about a week ago) is a collection of Victorian and pioneer homes, located on the south side of Dallas. This fall, the village will be hosting a plein air painting exhibition and competition, so today I decided to join up with some other painters and check this place out. Entry is free for artists (I guess we make them look good!), so I was able to walk right in, find a spot, and get to work. It would have felt like I was stepping into another time and place, were it not for the Dallas skyline peering over the little village. And with the droves of schoolchildren there, and the muggy post-thunderstorm humity, I wouldn't exactly call the setting "peaceful." Still, I enjoyed every minute of it. We don't have many… Read more »


Monday, May 20, 2013

An Artist's Signature

What's in a signature? I had some interesting discussions over the past couple of months with several different artists, on the topic of signatures. The doctor's signature is stereotypically illegible; the teenage girl might sign all of her 'i's with hearts instead of dots (a running joke from an artist's panel I attended last month), and the size of the signature could have a lot to do with that person's own feelings of importance or self-worth (e.g., "John Hancock"). But what about artists? Why is an artist's signature so important? Over the years, I've carefully observed how artists sign their paintings. Some of them take care to scratch their name deeply into the wet paint, so that it can never be forged or scraped off. Others line up their let… Read more »


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Staring at the Paintings on the Walls

Still no A/C. Our air conditioner has been out for almost a week now. And if you've ever been to Texas in late May, you would know just how miserably hot it can get this time of year. We have someone coming on Monday to fix it, but until then, my engineer-husband's temporary solution has been to put a window unit in my studio. He could have put it anywhere else in the house (the heat affects him  way more than it does me!), but since I'm the one who spends most of my time at home, he was kind enough to put it in "my room." Still, my legs stick to my office chair, I wear the lightest clothing I can find, I drink iced coffee instead of hot, and it's a relief to go to the grocery store and hang around the refrigerated foods section. But there's actually been some… Read more »


Friday, May 3, 2013

All About Blonde

"Self Portrait in Profile" (painted from life using two mirrors) 8 x 8" - oil on linen panel It has taken me a long time to figure out the nature of hair, particularly, blonde hair. I paint self portraits regularly in an attempt to experiment and learn more about it. Here are some things I've learned so far: Hair is transparent, so individual strands do not cast shadows, but locks (masses) of hair do. Blonde hair is usually very fine and must be painted delicately. There is usually a lot more green in blonde than yellow (unless the model looks like Lady Gaga here! This is no!). The shadows in blonde hair are much darker than you think they are. Get the values right and you'll still be able to create the illusion of "blonde", even if it's very dark. The fine … Read more »

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