Last week I attended a life drawing session hosted by Artlink Gallery. It has been a very long time since I've had the opportunity to draw a live, nude model and I expected it to be a challenging evening. A friend had said it would come back to me like riding a bicycle and happily, she was right. I'm hoping to do this more often and to improve these skills. These drawings were done with a mix of pencils I brought along including pastel, Prismacolor, and a range of leads. They weren't an ideal mix, so next time I'll know to use more congruent materials.
It was good to become reacquainted with what different effects you get with various paper textures and the soft and hard pencils. The entire session was three hours during which the model gave us five, thirty, and forty minute poses. All three of these poses were held for approximately 40 minutes and the time flew by.
I needed to do a portrait today and our friend Mike was the perfect subject. One of his occupations is being a luthier, which means he builds and repairs instruments. He's also a terrific musician. I took the photo I used for this portrait, when he was doing some work on my banjo. I love the great character in his face. And he IS a character and a good guy, so this will be a gift to him.
My sweet husband Scott brought me beautiful roses for Valentine's Day so I popped one into my favorite art nouveau vase and did this quick little painting. This was the first time I used the light and shadow box I built using Carol Marine's design which is available here.
Last night was the artist's reception for the Valentine's Day show at The Castle Gallery of Fine Art and as always, we had a wonderful time visiting with friends, enjoying gorgeous art, and even jamming a little music. My painting "Be Mine" looked great in it's new frame and though this isn't a good photo, I wanted to share it. It was actually beautifully lit as well.
After finishing the last larger, more detailed piece of cut glass, I needed to loosen up with some quick paintings. I did a couple small ones including this guy which was an older one that was started and set aside. I totally enjoyed doing both in quick, broad strokes with lots of linseed to make the paint nice and juicy. This little magpie duck with the tufted head feathers reminded me of the fancy updos of the early sixties, (when I was a kid!).
Valentine's Day is coming and I had it in my mind to do another painting with glass, maybe Ball jars, but in pinks. Obviously as I started setting up my arrangement it morphed into something quite different, but it's glass and it's pink. I have never tackled anything quite like this, but it was enjoyable.
This is going into the Valentine's Day show at the Castle Gallery in Ft.Wayne, Indiana.
Launching the kayak on a sunny day. I particularly liked the sun glowing through the plastic body of the boat. We don't need many excuses for getting out in our yaks, no matter the season, but we do need this ice to melt. Every year about this time, I just repeat to myself, "spring's coming".
A painting of "The Spirit of Music", a sculpture by Albin Polasek, commissioned to honor Theodore Thomas, the first conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It sits now in Grant Park across from the Spirit of Music Garden where she oversees Chicago's Summer Dance series.
A portrait of my sweet mother, taken from a snapshot. My parents passed away at a young age and so suddenly, we don't have any formal or even very clear photos of them. I was telling a friend how surprised I was to find myself remembering details as I painted this. This was done because of a challenge to "paint your parents" posted on the Daily Paintworks site, and I'm grateful for it because it's something I've wanted to do but have put off for a long time. So, on to Dad.
This gentleman was good enough to pose for a picture standing by his vintage scales at a summer farmer's market. There were many fun things to tackle in this painting besides the figurative work. The portrait, the fabric folds, the big smooth enamel finish of the scales, the jars of honey, the onions, and the plastic covered bread and lettuce, each carried separate challenges. I enjoyed the process so much, I almost regretted finishing it. Well, on to the next one.