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," was a breath of fresh air and a departure from my usual style and subject matter.  It was an experiment in broken color and energy of brushwork in order to convey the feeling of motion. I particularly enjoyed painting the colorful background and the model's flowing hair. Her jewelry accents were great fun, as well. I took a look at some Sargent paintings before painting these details, as I wanted to make sure I painted them effectively in as few brush strokes as possible!

"Fire Dance" - 50x40" - oil on linen

"Fire Dance" (detail)

"Goddess" (color study for "Fire Dance") - 18x14" - oil on linen - Private Collection

Above is the color study I did from life in preparation for "Fire Dance" (although I ended up pushing the color in "Fire Dance" just a bit more). A wonderful collector took this piece home with them during Fort Worth Gallery Night earlier this month!

Sadly, the fabulous model for this painting moved away shortly after I completed it. This has happened to me at least 4 or 5 times. Too many good models don't stay in Dallas! Well, I'll just have to keep finding new ones! :-)

Some people have commented that my work has gotten better since having Cecelia. I think they are right. My time is much more limited now, and whenever I have a moment at the easel, I paint with a sense of urgency. That urgency can be a hindrance at times, but when I channel it into intense focus, it can be the best thing! You can read a recent online interview about juggling parenting with being an artist on Debby Bird's blog here.

I continue painting my favorite little model, my baby girl. Here is an 8x10 portrait I did for her 4-month birthday. She sat for almost 45 minutes in her Bumbo, enjoying the eye contact and one-on-one attention, and later, when she had reached her limit (!), I finished it from some photos. I think it captures her curiosity and innocence, and it's the first painting I've done of her NOT sleeping!

"Cece at 4 Months Old" - 10x8" - oil on linen panel


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