Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Painting from Life

I've been blessed to have a variety of volunteers who are willing and able to sit for me at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI during my time as artist-in-residence on Tuesday afternoons. I paint much more quickly when I'm able to do it with a live model or in the open air, as in landscape painting (plein air). The paintings shown here were completed in about 4 hours. Painting from life puts the color and atmospheric conditions right in front of me. I don't have to second guess what a photograph is telling me to interpret. But painting from life also gives me the much-needed practice of seeing the reality that allows me to get a stronger interpretation of what I'm seeing in a photograph when I have to paint from a printed image or from my computer screen.

When I first decided to pursue portraiture, I began by taking week-long workshops with established portrait and figurative artists. In the first workshop I attended, the artist told me that I would have to paint 200 portraits from life before I would begin to feel like I was making progress. If that didn't discourage me, nothing will! I still have a few openings left in September and October if you have the time and are interested in sitting for me at the museum on a Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Milwaukee Domes Arts Festival

I'll be showing my work and plein air painting this Friday-Sunday at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservancy Domes, aka The Milwaukee Domes. This will be my third year at this well-run arts festival. It's a beautiful venue, and there are many talented artists and musicians there. For more information check out their website at Shown here is one of many paintings that I recently finished. Come out and see them for yourself!

Monday, August 13, 2012

In honor of Alphonse Mucha

This painting only resembles the work of Mucha in the way I've handled the background. I had every intention of creating a Mucha-like image, but as I progressed, I didn't want to lose the likeness of my lovely model. So this will go on the books as an experiment. I hope to be able to view the Mucha exhibit in Cedar Rapids, Iowa before it closes. Perhaps I'll be newly inspired! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dressed to the Nines

A few minor tweaks, and voila! As promised here is the final painting of Bonnie from this week's effort at the Neville Public Museum. I'm happy to have several weeks in a row of live models offering to sit for me at the museum. My niece will be there next week (Aug 14), and my sister on Aug 21. If you are interested in sitting for a few hours on a Tuesday afternoon, please contact me. I paint every Tuesday afternoon as artist-in-residence until the end of October.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Painting a Victorian Lady

This is the result of my efforts today at the Neville Public Museum. If you are new to my blog, I was given the opportunity to paint there as artist-in-residence every Tuesday afternoon until the end of October. I am so blessed to have supportive friends who are willing to sit for me as I paint and talk to visitors. And just as blessed to have friends come there to support my efforts. I'll be "tweaking" this painting a bit, and will post the final image soon!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pick Me!

I painted these sunflowers last week during my time as artist-in-residence at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI. It's completely palette knife painted, with paint so thick I was worried about getting it to my vehicle, let alone all the way home. The actual size of this piece is 30 x 36.  Despite what preconceptions you may have, the life of an artist is never easy. I have my highs and lows, as everyone does. I'm always thankful for the little "joys" that come my way that remind me to keep trying. I've grown dramatically in recent months, and will be forever grateful to my mentors and friends who have been so encouraging. And, of course, to God, for this gift. I'm painting more than ever, and I see development in every piece I finish. But times are tough. And not only for me, but for many artists I know and love. To all the established artists who are able to make a living doing what they love, I salute you! I'm selling more art than ever, but with my husband's unexpected unemployment and both of us now trying to make it as artists, an uncertain income is difficult to get used to. As I try to consider a closing line, I think of all the people who need prayers now. I've been so fortunate. Please take a moment of silence for all who are hurting or in need.