Every day I will be proud of my creative choices

Monday, October 3, 2011

Corn and Sunflowers  oil on canvas  34 by 20

The blue cloth is a sari I bought in Inda. Everytime I see this painting I think about the book of The Count of Monticristo that I was listening to when I was painting. This was the first still life I did in a long time. I want to do more of them this year and try not to over work them. I want the lessons I've learn from doing the short figure paintings to transfer to my longer works.

This is a mother and child from India, titled  Yellow Hat  oil on canvas  24 by 18.  I love to paint young and old faces in the same painting and I especially like it when kids are dressed up in quirky hats. He looks a little like a daffodil, so cute.

This was a comission from a fellow artist which made it more stressful for me to finish, knowing that artists I respected were going to see this.  I worked from their photo which I never do so I dealt with a double lighting and a little distortion from the camera lense. This boy is so beautiful,  his long eyelashes and curly hair were so fun to draw, I didn't want it to come out too sweet, it was impossible not to make him look like an angel. Pastel on Rives paper

Amy in White  22 by 16  charcoal on watercolor board
I used water and charcoal dust in the back with a brush.

Lunchtime   oil on Museum board   15 by 20
These children were sitting in front of a church in Lima, Peru.

seated Nude  charcoal on rives paper  30 by 22
I used water and charcoal dust with a brush to make my darks

Spanish Dancer   pastel on rives paper  20 by 18

She worked as a flamenco dancer at a famous restaurant in Florida. I loved the dramatic lighting on her face, although it hard to know how much to do since she had fake eyelashes on and dark red lipstick. It is hard for me to paint or draw someone that has a lot of makeup on.

sarah dear

Sarah dear

I did this painting in memory of my friend Sarah who died october, 2010 of brain cancer, her favorite flower was orchids and her favorite color was purple. I started the painting a few months after she died, put it aside and finished it few days ago. It took me a while to do the final touches because I knew when I did I would have to write about her and put the painting up on my blog. I met Sarah years ago when she called me to talk about workshops Scott and I held at our studios. She was so enthusiastic about art and could talk a mile a minute about everything she wanted to paint and all the places she wanted to travel. She lived about an hour and a half away from us and would drive into our Saturday morning drawing classes when we held them. She also would take our week or 10 day workshops that we hosted. Her husband Art was totally supportive of her dreams and ambitions. She had more energy then anyone that I knew. As I got to know her more she would open up about all the health issues she dealt with over her life time. She amazed me with her positive attitude and humor about all the road blocks that got in her way. Maybe because she was sick so much she could appreciate painting in a more intense way then most people. She first learned to do printmaking and woodblock prints in
England. She and art lived in Germany and England for years because of Arts job. Those were the happiest days of her life. I love her block prints and think she was really talented with her graphic designs. It seemed as though life was finally starting to go her way, she dealt with the health issues that came her way and she was happy and productive. She attended our 10 day workshop in June 2009 in Winston Salem, I was dealing with some weird problems that doctors couldn't find a reason for and Sarah was a true friend. She would call and email me cheering me up with her humor. She was so strong, what I was dealing with was nothing like the trials she had gone through over and over. I found a doctor I liked that was about 30 minutes from her house and at one of the first medical IV's I had she sat with me and brought me lunch. I saw the doctor a lot for about 6 months and each time I went I usually visited with her. I felt very grateful for her friendship. In September a couple of months after the workshop I got an email from her husband Art that said Sarah was taken to the hospital and they discovered that she had brain cancer, the kind that people don't recover from. It hit me like a truck, I cried and cried. Scott and I visited her after her surgery, she looked more beautiful than I had ever seen her before, it was hard to believe she was sick. She had such a positive attitude and hope about the future. They gave her 12 to 18 months, she lasted 13. I visited her over the year and each time she was enthusiastic about art and planning a trip to Europe. They put her on constant chemotherapy and radiation. They also tried some new stuff on her, she never had a break from it, because of that she was too weak to leave her house or paint. She always put a brave and happy face on for me, I like to think I helped her in some small way, at least to let her know that she was important to me. I will never forget her joy for life,her humor, the funny way she would phrase things and her love of art. Art gave me some of her painting and drawing supplies and each time I use them I give a silent thank you to her, Scott has done a bunch of paintings using her canvases, each one brings Sarah to mind. She will live on through our hearts and our work. She was in her late 40's when she died.

When she first started to study art in Europe she focused on block prints. We have the one below hanging in our kitchen.

Sarah collected costumes and lots of hats. We visited Sarah at her house and she posed for Scott while he did a drawing. We video taped the drawing in progress and had her talk about her love of art and her travels through Europe.

She commissioned me to do a drawing of her in one of her amazing hats. It was 18 by 24  pastel on pastel paper.

Most of her paintings were whimsical.