Another first for me....a dark background. It is almost black but not quite. I love the contrast that the dark background creates against the pink peonies. I have wanted to paint peonies for a long time. They are one of my favorite flowers, as is true for many people. But, they are very hard to paint because of the many petals. I included two buds as well, and think that the buds are just as pretty as the flower. "Midnight" in the title, of course, relates to the dark background and "Awakening" pertains to the bud and the anticipation of the coming flower. The painting is now in a juried exhibit at The Artists Gallery in Virginia Beach and won the Award of Excellence.
Unlike the above painting, I am looking forward to a very colorful and busy year. This black and white painting was completed in 2018 with a desire to complete a painting not dissimilar from my underpainting. I love the outcome, but I am back to color in 2019.
This year, I decided to write "Intentions" instead of "Goals" for the new year. Just seemed more relaxed and doable rather than rigid and demanding.
My intentions were formulated after reading an article in a small newspaper/magazine published and distributed in my area entitled Tidewater Women. My intentions are first to do one activity at a time....no more multi-tasking. That is a hard one for me. An even harder task for me is to complete one thing before starting another. (Notice that I am writing this at the end of January instead of at the beginning....so, not doing so well!??) I have a bad habit of jumping from one thing to another and then back and forth...you get the picture.
So, there you have it and now I have it in writing!! It may not seem like a lot, but it is two important intentions for me.
Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ recently wrote a blog post about Decorative Art vs Fine Art. There was an interesting discussion of how they differ. Check out his blog and read how he defines the two.
I began thinking about my own paintings because I know that a buyer may purchase one of my paintings to decorate a specific room or spot in their home. And, I understand and appreciate that. But, I also hope that is not the only reason they chose the painting.
Recently a buyer brought an amazing and beautiful artwork that they had purchased back to the gallery because it did not fit in their space. I say if you love the work.....find a space.
Don't choose a painting just because it matches your duvet, or it goes with the colors in your bathroom, or it looks great over your couch. Choose it because you have fallen in love with it and can't live without it. Choose it because it helps you to see, understand and appreciate the world in which we live in a new and profound way. Choose it because the artist has taken a mundane subject and elevated it to a thing of beauty and wonder. Choose it because it brings back a memory of a special person, place, or event in your life. Choose it because you appreciate the artist's insight and amazing skill. And it can also look great over your couch!
Any of those reasons would make me feel as though I had accomplish my goal. As Jason says, "art is in the eye of the beholder". Choose what you love.
For my Fabulous Forgeries entry in this year's exhibition at The Artists Gallery in Virginia Beach, I chose Audrey Flack's Strawberry Tart Supreme. When I was teaching high school, this painting was one of my students' favorites. I like to choose a woman artist for my entry and since Audrey Flack works from photographed still life objects on a large format, she was perfect for me to copy. My painting is only 18" x 18", but the original by Audrey Flack is 54" x 60 1/4".....huge!
Audrey Flack is an American painter and sculptor, born May 30, 1931. She is a Photo-realist painter and was one of the first painters to use the projection of a photograph as an aid to painting. Her paintings, although realistic, also carry a sociopolitical message. Other paintings of hers that my students' loved to talk about and interpret are Royal Flush and Marilyn.
Strawberry Tart Supreme is monumental in size and when we behold the original, we are overwhelmed by the luscious desserts. The viewer salivates over the gleaming surfaces of sugary glazes and fluffy icings. And then, the after effect of so much sugar can make us quesy and a little sick........seductive and repulsive at the same time.
If you want to see the orginial, it is located in Oberlin, OH at The Allan Memorial Art Museum on the campus of Oberlin College.
The exhibition at The Artists Gallery runs the month of January and the Opening Reception is Friday, January 12th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hope to see you there.
I have written before about painting wedding bouquets for friends, friends of family, and sometimes as a commissioned work. I love doing it and I always hope that the paintings will be a wonderful, lasting memory for the bride and groom. I have a dear friend who remarried after the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband. It was a heartbreaking event that will take years to mend. Happily, she found someone to share her abundant life with and remarried. Her new husband is an avid and experienced gardener who grows many beautiful flowers and plants. Their wedding reception was decorated with these beautiful amaryllises from their garden. My gift to them was this painting. It can not compare to the real thing, but hopefulllly these painted ones will be a lasting and year round memory of their happy day and new life together.
This is Nolin. It is a painting of my precious grandson, Nolin Thomas Hofler, created for the exhibit, "Seeing Red", at my co-op gallery in Virginia Beach. Nolin is two years old and has beautiful red curly hair that is not really red, but orange, or some may call him a ginger, or carrot top. According to Wikipedia, only 1- 2 % of the population has red hair, so he is pretty special. Red hair is also associated with light skin color, light eyes, and sensitivity to the sun. A common belief is that redheads have fiery tempers. Now, I won't say that Nolin has a fiery temper, but he does have his moments when things just don't go as he had planned. After all, he is two years old.
The Opening for the exhibit, "Seeing Red", is this Friday at The Artists Gallery, 608 Norfolk Avenue, in Virginia Beach, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hope to see you there.
I so enjoyed painting the ornamental cabbage. I have had the photograph that I worked from for many years and for some reason it just became what I had to paint. I love the three dimensional effect and the movement in the leaves, the contrast of light and dark, and the variation of colors in the finished painting.
As I was finishing the painting, I happened to glance at a Van Gogh calendar that was in my studio and hanging beside my work table. It had been there for several months, as I was a little behind on flipping to the current month. I was surprised by the similarity of color, as well as, Van Gogh's use of movement created by the undulating lines and brushstrokes. I know that without realizing it at the time, that painting had seeped into my sub-conscious and I believe influenced by painting.
Above is my painting of the cabbage and below is the painting, entitled The Olive Trees, Saint Remy, painted by Van Gogh 1889. This was one year before Van Gogh's death. He was hospitalized at Saint Remy and only allowed short supervised walks around the grounds. These walks led to paintings of the olive trees and cypresses.
Influences come from many places and at different times in our lives. What are you influenced by in your creation of art?
I thought that when I retired, I would have so much time to devote to painting. Instead, I have found that my time gets taken up by many other things.......grandchildren, gallery business, church activities, and house and garden duties. So, I have ended up painting at night, just like when I was working full time. The day's chores and activities are complete and I can concentrate on just painting.
This is my set-up. I have several lights including a pole lamp with daylight bulbs on the right side of my canvas, a professional artist''s daylight easel lamp, and a small desk lamp that I use on the left side of my painting area. My studio is not very large, so that amount of light mimics daylight as best I can. So, if you have a small space and only the nighttime to paint, it can be done. It is important to have a designated area for painting and to have it set up all the time so that you can just walk in and paint for a few minutes or for hours.
The Art Co-op that I belong to was recently asked to create an artwork in response to Virginia Beach MOCA's current exhibit, Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose. My painting, along with approximately 30 artworks will be on display at Towne Pavilion II in Virginia Beach from August 5th to November 19th. The Opening Reception on August 5th is from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free to the public.
I was inspired by the artists who used children and child-like images to convey their message to the viewer. I was particularly impressed with Ron English’s painting, Combat Rising. He used the image of a child in his painting to make a statement about our society I was also influenced by the work of Mark Ryden who used images of children to express deep meaning in his work.
In my painting, Oh, Baby, I have chosen a doll as an image to make a statement about the abuse and exploitation of children. I read an article a number of years ago about workers at a refuse and recycling plant who found the body of an abandoned baby while sorting the trash. The child’s body was headed toward the shredder when one of the workers spotted the child. She said it looked like a doll.
After reading that article, discarded dolls from the Thrift store have become an allegorical subject in my paintings. They are used to portray moral and political issues dealing with children.
Marbles have become a favorite subject of mine for nostalgic reasons and also for their surface properties. They display beautiful swirling colors, reflecting shiny highlights and elongated oblique shadows.
The earliest marbles were made of stone or clay. There have been many found in archeological sites from Rome and Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to other parts of the ancient world. Glass marbles were first made by the Venetians. But, it was not until 1846 when a German glassblower invented marble scissors that they were mass produced. In the United States, the first mass produced marbles were made in Akron, Ohio by S. C. Dyke. Today, marbles span in size from 1/3 inch to over 12 inches in width.
Marbles made by hand are much sought after as collector's items and are increasingly scarce. I love them because of their aesthetic beauty and variety. They are spherical works of glass art and as a subject for painting, they allow me to transform my canvas into a surface of light, color, and form.
I am a retired art teacher and now a full time professional artist who loves to paint and share my paintings with family, friends art lovers and patrons.