Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Figure Drawings and Paintings

Stop me if I've said this before...what a a WONDERFUL session of figure drawing last night!  A packed house, an awesome model, and so many beautiful poses.

After a series of gestures we worked on a 45 minute pose with no breaks -our exhausted model was so grateful for a lounging pose! -  But I'd say we got the better end of the bargain.  This is blue, silver, and brown watercolor pencil on watercolor paper mounted to foam core.  (Her head was resting off the edge of the stand)

We followed that up with a very complex pose where she leaned forward onto a long wooden staff, her arm stretched out overhead.  Two 20 minute sessions.  I used Nupastel on a light dusty rose Colourfix paper, 13" x 19".  I mat have gotten too heavy handed in the shadows, but I do like the shapes of her ribs and hips and she folds herself forward and into the staff.

And today I returned to the studio just to do some light cleaning and organizing, but got sucked into this painting, because I had to fix her leg.  

It's getting better (I took the photo while some paint was still wet, giving it an odd shine where her hip meets the fabric) but there's still an issue with the cast shadow and high light on her knee.  The focus is definitely on her shoulders and hair, but the leg shouldn't feel awkward.

And  - I don't think I shared this yet - I keep putting finishing touches on the model holding a wine glass.  I think her gaze is finally right, or right right now, next time I have a brush in my hand that could change!

I almost forgot!  My little Arianna was also very busy in the studio today...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May in the studio...

I haven't posted in a while so I pulled up my photos from the month of May to see what I haven't shared with you yet.  After skimming through all of my pictures, I suddenly realize why I am so wiped out.  May was really, really busy!

I worked on several commissions, lots of new nudes, and some portraits.  I have gotten off to a great start on my series of paintings based on photographs taken around Woodstock, close to my studio.  And, of course, had four very productive Wednesday night sessions with our figure drawing group.

One question I get asked all the time is "How long have you been painting?"  The truth is it feels like forever!  But in a good way - I guess what that really means is that I don't remember a time where I WASN'T painting!

The other expression I hear often is "I want to paint like you!"  And flattering as that is, I can't teach you how to paint like me.  I am me.  You are you.  You will bring your own style and inclinations to your own work.

But what I CAN tell you, is that when you take stock of what you have done each month, you should feel a little bit overwhelmed: you should be drawing and painting as much as possible.  Seeking out inspiration, trying new materials, viewing great work, introducing yourself to new artists, developing your style.  A little bit every day, a LOT on some other days.  There's no other way around it - to improve, you have to work.  You have to be painting or drawing or sculpting as much as possible.  Each piece will MAY NOT all be successful in their own right, but they will be part of the bigger picture - your growth as an artist.

Now go draw something!

From last Wednesday night and a little more on Friday - oil on mounted Wallis paper, 16" x 20".

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pinterest Pin Board: Inspiration

One of my favorite boards on Pinterest is my Inspiration Board - these are a variety of pictures of artwork, photos, my own work, etc. that just Inspire me to keep painting, keep exploring, keep experimenting, keep pushing!

Inspiration can come from anywhere, and it's amazing how the more Open you are to it, the more you will find!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Painting in the studio...

I've been painting a lot.  That happens every May as the children approach summer vacation.  I'm in panic mode: too many ideas, not enough time to paint them all!  And to make it worse: I keep taking MORE pictures and getting MORE ideas!  I can't even finish a series of paintings before I want to move onto the next one.

Deep breath.

In addition to some of these you see here, I'm finishing a few commissions as well, and starting new commissions next week.

Let me know if you'd like to babysit so I can finish :)

From Wednesday night.  Lovely model posed like she's on a very boring date.  She's holding a glass of red wine.  The working title is "Boredom Buster"

The MOST fabulous young lady was walking near my art studio and I forced myself to go up to her and ask her if I could paint her - isn't she wonderful?!

Then when I was shoe shopping this adorable pose was struck by a mom and her baby girl - she's actually laughing in the picture because that's a really awkward position when someone shouts out "Hold it! I have to paint that!" and then it takes me three minutes to turn on my iphone camera...

And when I'm not painting, I'm teaching - and my students are doing so well!  A couple works in progress...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

How Kids React to Nudity in Art

Once a month, my studio is open to the public during Friday Night Live - a street-wide event on Main Street in Woodstock, GA.  I've had the chance to witness the same scene dozens of times:  a family will walk into the studio, the parents and children will walk up to the wall of paintings, the parents will see a nude in one of the paintings, then immediately steer their child away from the wall and exit as quickly as possible.

My kids have grown up with nudes in art all over the house and in my studio.  I have never felt odd about them seeing my work.  My nudes are not sexual in any way.  Ari can even be a pretty good critic when she looks at my work!

Back in March I hosted ten of Ari's closest friends for an Art Party at my studio.  There were flowers hanging from the ceiling, fun pink table covers, lots of art projects.  And in the corner was my friend Matt Lewis' amazing nude sculpture that he was close to finishing.

One of the kids went right up to the sculpture of the nude woman, looked at it up and down, squinted and peered with great interest, and said

"Is that play doh?"

(My Jack leading a round of Simon Says at the party)

Now I totally agree that some nudes are NOT appropriate for children (even for many adults!) But there are some beautiful studies, paintings, drawings and sculptures that can teach children the beauty of the figure, with a great deal of respect that Artists bring to the subject.

When your child goes to a museum, gallery, or flips through an Art book, how do YOU explain nudity in Art?