Monday, November 3, 2014

New Self Portrait - Proverbs 31:17

My newest self portrait, "Proverbs 31:17 (Self Portrait at 29)," is the inevitable sequel (one of many, no doubt) to " The Wait and the Reward ." Like "The Wait," it was a painting that required great patience and even physical endurance. Because of Cecelia's nap schedule, my limited studio lighting, and other responsibilities that took me away from the easel, I only had a few golden moments throughout the day to work on it. It took several weeks to complete. Cecelia is about 5 1/2 months old in this painting, and quite the wiggle worm. Somehow I managed to do most of the painting from life, in a mirror, with a couple of photo references for getting Cece's exact likeness and pose. This piece is an attempt to convey my sometimes obsessive drive to "… Read more »


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Painting Little Hands

My almost-six-month-old, Cecelia, is as perfect as perfect can be, and when I paint her, I find myself grasping at that perfection, unattainable and just out of reach. But that is the joy and the challenge of painting, and that is why I decided to rework this little painting, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep." "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" (original version) - 6x6" inches At only 6 inches square, the piece was a response to some comments on an Instagram photo I posted several days ago. Cece was sound asleep in her car seat, on the way home from an art show. When we stopped for gas, the overhead lights at the gas station illuminated her face and hands perfectly. It was one of those moments I couldn't have reproduced in my studio if I tried. The little painting was com… Read more »


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Recent Demos and Paintings

I've had the opportunity to work with some really amazing models lately.  Some of them have posed for demos in my fall alla prima painting workshops, and others have posed for independent projects. Ann modelled for my monochrome workshop in August. I've painted her before in color; either way, she is fantastic. "Ann in Monochrome" (class demo in titanium white and Rembrandt transparent oxide brown) - 14x11" - oil on linen panel Varya posed for my color portrait workshop this past weekend. She was born in Moscow, and the fair skin, red hair, and dignified carriage so characteristic of her Russian heritage were a real treat to paint. "Russian Girl" (class demo) - 16x12" - oil on linen panel Speaking of visual treats, this recent work, "Fire Dance,&qu… Read more »


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Sharing Secrets" - A Progression

Here is one of my most recent paintings. While I still don't have one particular method that I use for starting and completing a painting, I share here the process I used for this  painting. I hope it can be of some benefit to other artists. Stage 1: I drew some basic shapes for the composition on the white canvas using vine charcoal, and immediately began blocking in the painting using a thin wash of Gamsol and Rembrandt transparent oxide brown. I allowed some of the drips to stay, and dabbed some of the others with a paper towel. I also left some of the white of the canvas showing through (once you lose it, you can't get it back!). I was working for the first time on lead-primed linen (commercially prepared), which I found to be too absorbent for my taste. However, even though I… Read more »


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Daily Victories... a Few Square Inches at a Time

I used to work on half a dozen projects and once, and finish at least one painting a week. These days I'm lucky to finish one painting a month . I would like to think I'm pretty good at focusing, even with interruptions, but when the interruptions happen all day long, with only twenty minutes of peace here and there, well... the days go by quickly. Still, she is worth it. Cece is three months old today! Cecelia is my new full-time job. I nurse her, I change her, I burp her, I rock her, I read stories, I sing and dance and act goofy to get her to smile, I carry her around when that's all she wants... next thing I know, the day is gone and I've got nothing to show for it. I realize that motherhood is the most important job in the world, and I am taking mothering very seriously… Read more »


Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Wait and the Reward - My [Wide-Eyed] Response to the Response

It's been a week since I put this painting in the public eye, and wow... what a response! I never expected it to go viral, but it has, and hundreds of thousands of people, from all over the world, have seen this painting and responded to it with great emotion. I am so humbled and grateful for all the comments, likes, and shares around the social media universe. :-) While this piece was incredibly personal to me (and I originally considered NOT posting it publicly), I'm glad that it has touched so many. Perhaps there is a young mother out there who was considering an abortion, but saw this painting and decided to choose life for her baby instead... if that is the case, I would love to hear from her! :-) "The Wait and the Reward" by Anna Rose Bain - 30x30" - oil on lin… Read more »


Saturday, June 14, 2014

New Self Portrait - "The Wait and the Reward"

"The Miracle of Love" Before you were conceived I wanted you Before you were born I loved you Before you were an hour old I would die for you This is the miracle of love. Author: Maureen Hawkins When I first came up with this idea for a maternity self portrait, I didn't realize how difficult it would be to pull off. In many ways, the patience it took to conceive and execute the painting was a direct reflection of the patience it took to get through pregnancy. Not only did I have to wait to start the portrait until I was "big" enough to look REALLY pregnant, but I had to wait until after my daughter's arrival to complete it. The entire project was a test in skill and patience, two things that every artist spends their lifetime trying to perfect. How does one capture … Read more »


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Recent Portrait Commissions

Before you scold me for being a workaholic, let me begin this post with a disclaimer. First of all, I am enjoying every moment with my daughter, but she does sleep quite a bit, so that's when I paint (and I wear her in a sling while doing so). I'm like the artist version of Sacagewea. Second, these commissions were both begun earlier this spring while I was still pregnant, so I had a pretty good head start on them.  In the couple of spare hours I have each day, I've managed to complete these commissions, and even take the time to write about them! Many of you ask about my process with commissions. I wish I could say that I'm a total purist and only work from life, but that just isn't practical when it comes to working around everyone's busy schedules. While I try t… Read more »


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Babies and Blooms - "Diary" of a New Mom

After four wonderful weeks with my newest little family member, it's safe to say that things will never be the same. I am breastfeeding full time, which means there is actually very little time for me to spend doing other things. Thankfully, friends and family have provided us with meals and help during this crazy first month with Cecelia, but many other things have fallen to the wayside as I grasp at spare moments throughout the day to sit at my easel. I've worked on my commissions a little more, but there were a couple of times when I sat down, intending to work... and as soon as I looked down at my sleeping daughter, I knew my plans had to change. I had to paint her instead. The following paintings are an artist mother's diary, I suppose. I can't put these in her baby … Read more »


Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Mother and Artist's Heart, Overflowing

I wasn't ready.  At least, I thought I wasn't. I had commissions to finish, and a myriad of other painting projects that my stubborn mind thought needed to be completed before you would be allowed to enter this world. But, having inherited your mother's tenacity, you decided to do what YOU wanted to do... and that was to arrive twelve days early. All the anticipation, education, and testimonials from other moms couldn't have prepared me for how I would feel when you, Cecelia Joyce, were placed in my arms. I thought I wasn't ready. But when I finally got to meet you for the first time, there was no looking back. I was completely smitten! That first night in the hospital, they tried to lay you in a cold plastic bassinet. I missed you when I wasn't holding you, and f… Read more »


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Feel Better: Paint Something!

There was a moment (okay, several moments ) of self-pity this past weekend as I perused Facebook and saw most of my artist friends living it up in Washington, D.C. at the annual "Art of the Portrait" conference. I so wanted to be there, taking it all in, talking about art, and learning from the best. But it wasn't meant to be. So I painted something. Slept in. Walked the dog. Enjoyed the gorgeous weather. Spent time with my husband. Caught up with old friends. I may not be counting down the days till my due date (the daily baby emails I get are doing that for me!), but I am keenly aware that life is about to change VERY soon. Something tells me I'm not quite ready  yet. I still have a couple of paintings to finish. I've enjoyed working on several commissioned portraits… Read more »


Thursday, April 10, 2014

For Love of the Demo

March was a busy month for me. With my third trimester well under way, I was a little concerned that I wouldn't have the energy for it all. But the passion and drive didn't wane, and I was able to accomplish a lot in spite of the need for much more sleep and the irritating plague of heartburn that happens when you're carrying high. Between my two-day portrait workshop and painting at my gallery during Fort Worth Spring Gallery Night, I happened to be working in the public eye a bit more than usual. On Gallery Night (Saturday, March 29), I set up my easel in a corner of the gallery and collectors could come and go, or stay and watch while I worked on a current painting project. Many of them commented, "I don't know how you can stand having people watch you work!" … Read more »

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