Monday, June 25, 2018

Bell and Pomegranate

"A Bell and a Pomegranate" oil on gesso board, 6 x 6 inches

I have completed many little still life paintings lately and I hope to show them in a couple different venues within the next few months. I like this painting because it is one with a bit of symbolism behind it.

I sometimes like my still life paintings to mean something to me personally. The meaning of the pomegranate goes back to ancient times and there are many traditions and cultures that use pomegranates as a decorative symbol that embodies some noble meaning. In some traditions it is known as a symbol of goodness and love. For me the many seeds symbolize the kind deeds that we can sew among others in our life.

I first learned of the symbolism while reading the book of Exodus. In the Jewish tradition pomegranates and bells are paired together decoratively on garments and as architectural ornamentation.  Some commentaries state that the seeds of the pomegranate represent the many commandments given in the Torah. The bell symbolizes attentive listening. In the ancient book of Exodus, God gave instructions for weaving a beautiful fabric decorated with pomegranates and bells on the hem of priestly garments. The bells would tinkle when the high priest entered the most Holy Place of the temple which was hidden by a curtain. Only the high priest could enter this area of the alter (also called the Holy of Holies). It was important that others could hear the bells from behind the curtain so that they would know the priest was alive and well and had not fallen without anyone's knowledge of him being there. The significance of listening for the bells of the high priest go beyond the practical interpretation because for many the high priest spoke and ministered on God's behalf.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

My Show at FCCA

My first solo show at an art gallery is finally up at Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts. I am so excited about it! Took us almost 4 hours to hang 45 pieces of art!! My husband and daughter were such a big help along with the Members Gallery director! Here is a pic of one of the pieces hanging in the show that needed a bit of editing. Formerly I had painted it with a red sword but something didn't sit well with me! I wanted to convey that love is giving and also at times sacrificial but the sword is a bit too dramatic and I don't want to convey anything that may seem to be promoting violence, so I had to change it. The thing about oils is that you can paint over your mistakes. In life it is not that easy. That's why it's so important to do the right thing the first time around. However if we do get things wrong, we are still very able to make changes in life to better ourselves. Sometimes we just need time to examine our hearts and see where we can be better people. And God is there to nudge us in the right direction if we let him. Thanks for looking!

"For You" final version
"For You" first version


Sneak pic of some of the smaller works! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Things I learned from the Portrait Society of America

So I really enjoyed going to the PSOA conference this year. Was my first time attending and was blown over by the amount of people that attendend! Also didn't realize it was their 20th anniversary so was excited to be a part of it!

So I mentioned in older post that I would write a little of what I learned while there so....

Ok a hugely important thing to remember is to write down names immediately of people that I meet and/or get card from them (my networking skills need a bit of work). I tried to remember names and didn't write them down so now I can't look up the artist from Finland that showed me some awesome work from her portfolio or a finalist who had shared some exciting things about her life. I did get info from a few people though and glad that I did.

Technical tips and advice...
Had my portfolio reviewed by 3 different faculty artists and learned that I need to rely less on photos and more from live models to get more depth of realism. Need also to work on anatomy of hands.

One of the most important things I learned is the technique of strategically depicting areas of my painting that are sharply focused and areas that fall away into a more softer focus. This actually makes painting become more alive and real... having too much tight control can actually take away from the full affect. I originally thought that I just needed to loosen my control overall and go for a more painterly, loose style but one of the master artists that critiqued my work told me it's a matter of where you choose to sharpen focus and where you soften it that really is most important. Below is an example that I think demonstrates perfectly the advice he gave me. The example is a master painting by one of my favorite artists, John Singer Sargent. The painting is titled, "Lady Agnew of Locknaw". As you can see, I circled the areas that demonstrate the softening and sharpening of focus. This was done with expertise by Sargent who is one of the most celebrated portrait artists of all time. Will share more of what I learned in later post. Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Portrait Society of America Conference: Fun + Learning = Inspiration!


I am very glad that I was able to attend the Portrait Society of America's 20th Anniversary Conference held in Reston VA, this year. It was my first time attending this conference and I learned soooooo much! Also met so many talented and friendly artists. Had wanted to attend for quite a while but was still not real sure of myself. I liked it so much, I hope to attend again when they come back to the area! Will post in the next few days about what I learned! Thx for looking!



Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spiritual Still Life Paintings and Elan Magazine



Yay, really excited to have my art featured in the March issue of Elan Magazine!! I am currently working on a series of small still life paintings based on the fruits of the spirit written about in the book of Galatians...Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. Funny, but the picture of the strawberry and sword has been painted over. Will be doing another painting for Love that will hopefully be completed for the next art show! Just wasn't happy with that red sword!  

Below is an excerpt from Galatians 5. I can be hard on myself but often I don't feel I possess many of these attributes. I think the point is that we need to use these wise words as reminders to persevere and strive for these fruits, and when we don't, we miss out on the abundant and peaceful life we were created for... 

"13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other....22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."







Monday, February 12, 2018

Working, Working, Working!

Still Life w/ Daisies, 8 x10 inches, oil on linen
So I am getting a lot of practice in oil painting since I quit my job in 2015. Now I am working from home (babysitting) so I can steel away time when baby is napping to paint and in the evenings I set up a white light to paint my still life setups after sun goes down and studio is darker. I prefer to work during the day when I have most energy but I have to take what time I can. I am always wondering, praying and thinking about where this will ultimately take me. My still life art is mostly of common items that I try to inject with beauty (and meaning from time to time). And I also do portraits...I want  my art to evolve into something else...something more telling and conceptual but not sure yet what that will be. For now I am enjoying the rendering...the technical aspects of it and I so enjoy putting sparkle and highlights in what I depict! I am doing many small paintings because I have two shows in the summer and I really need many pieces to show. Above is a work in progress.




Monday, August 14, 2017

David's Portrait


"Youth Resolute" (detail ) 24 x 30 inches, pencil, charcoal, pastel

So I thought I would show the stages of the portrait of my son David. Started out with H pencils and then went as far as a 4B and Negro pencil before adding charcoal and white pastel. I still have to add some final touches but the far right is the latest stage. I work in layers, constantly correcting. I turn him upside down and look at him in the mirror so that I can pick out flaws in proportion and depth. I took a series of pictures of David in lighting that added a bit of drama. His facial expressions are fascinating to me. When his face is resting he can look a bit melancholic even when he is not (kind-of like me). When I shot the pose of him looking down at me-- I'm only 4'11"--I really liked the look he gave me, immovable, resolute...which is so David. He can sometimes be a little stubborn (he is still teen after all) but he is not too proud to own up to short-comings. I like that he has an immovable sense of justice--doesn't like to see people taking advantage of others. He really is a true-blue kind of guy.

Bell and Pomegranate

"A Bell and a Pomegranate" oil on gesso board, 6 x 6 inches I have completed many little still life paintings lately and I ho...