Tag Archives: paintings

Photos Finished

Recently I picked out a few photos to use as painting references. Here is what happened.

Railroad tracks at Norristown Farm Park. Photo and painting from September 2017.

One of the roads in the Norristown Farm Park. Photo and painting from September, 2017.

And the market garden at Bryn Athyn College. Photo and painting from September, 2017.

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Remember That Eclipse

Yes, remember that eclipse we had a couple of weeks back. I read in a couple of places that the time of an eclipse is a good moment to make a new start on something.

I’ve been distracted from doing art for some time; a variety of things have gotten in the way and I can’t seem to clear a way in my time allocation and inside my head. That has to change. I decided to do art while the eclipse was going on to mark my intention.

Here in the the Philadelphia PA area we got about 80% coverage, I think. With my retina problems, I was leery of even thinking of looking at the spectacle. Overly worried, I am sure, but I need my eyes, don’t I?

So I tried the pinhole idea and I have to say, I found it thrilling. It seemed just magical that a shadow of the event would create a crescent shape that marked what was going on in the sky. Take a look:

It never got very dark.

I was even more excited about leaf shadows. I took these pictures at the height of the eclipse.

And for fun I let the eclipse show itself through this bug-eaten leaf:

Magic, right?

All right, on to the art. I didn’t have any real idea what might be right for eclipse art. I decided to take a variety approach – several different boards stepped up to take a try.

I thought I’d use dark paints to make backgrounds, marking the unusual shadowy world the eclipse created. I used a brayer to roll on paint. The third set of boards had paintings already on them that I did not like, so I was happy to do some obliterating.

More paint.

For the 8×10 and 9×12 groups, I just painted what seemed to fit. I incorporated the eclipse in some of them and in others, I portrayed people watching the eclipse.

The 4×4 group became a selection of small portraits. I took random people pictures from a magazine and painted them with a dark eclipse background.

Another session, more paint.

Over the next few days, I added more paint, NeoColor 1 crayons, India ink, and acrylic inks. Here are the results. First, the 8×10 group.

Next, the 4×4 group. Now, I have to explain something: I took a dislike to the lady sitting on the sofa. I gave her a pink sweater:

I did other things, I painted and painted, and I just could not get happy. No reason, but when you only have 4″x4″ to work with, well, there is no hiding. So, I painted her out and did a new lady, also sitting, but different. That’s who you see in this group. Please do not tell me you like the pink-sweater lady better. Please.

Last, the 9×12 group.

I am happy with the results of eclipse painting. I hope its inspiration will carry forward. And even if I did not see the eclipse myself, I participated in it, didn’t I?

Family Home

About a year ago, a friend of mine asked me if I would do a painting of his family home. Sure, I said.

Well, time moved on, we kept talking about it here and there, but finally this summer the stars aligned and the project was done. Here is the story, and it is special to me.

My friend, John, lives in the home where he grew up. It was built more than 100 years ago by his grandparents, lived in by his parents, and now by him. It’s an end-of-row rowhome located in what was a small town about 35 miles from Center City Philadelphia.

The area is now suburbanizing and there have been a lot of changes, but the house is still as it has always been, rising up from the street in a dignified way.

As well as a doing a portrait of the house, John asked me to include his dogs: Ava, Maggie, Nikki, and Winnie. Other than that, well, it was up to me.

Normally I won’t do commissions. I dislike feeling the future owner’s hopes hovering over my shoulder as I work. I extra dislike the idea that I could disappoint the recipient. In this case, I know that John likes my work; he has been a big supporter of me, always.

But I also knew that this house means more than just shelter to him. It is the embodiment of a lifetime of memories for him and the setting for all his family’s history for a century. I felt a lot of responsibility.

But, I figured, I’ll get to work, and if it doesn’t please him, well, I’ll just…just…try again!

I want to show the process of this project, and I will break it down into its parts. Because I decided there would be paintings rather than painting.

Here are my ideas. I would do a small portrait of each dog; I’d do the house; and I’d do a picture of the front door and steps. In this way I could represent all the parts that seemed important. The house, of course. The dogs deserved their own spaces; I felt they would be insignificant inside the larger painting and I didn’t like that idea, since they are so important to John. And I just liked the front steps; that’s the way everyone who’s ever been there goes in and out, all those years!

My husband and I drove out and took pictures of the house in June. John sent me pictures of Ava, Nikki, and Maggie; I took a picture of John and Winnie in July.

Now you know it all. Here are the results.


Let’s start with the dogs.

Ava:

Maggie:

Nikki:

And John and Winnie. I met Winnie myself; John brought her to the Tinicum Festival of the Arts and I took her picture.

Here is the close up of the steps and front door.

And now. The house!

Here are the finished pieces all together…

Outdoors Under the Sky

These paintings are 8″ x 8″, done in acrylics, June, 2017.

Sun, House, House, People

Acrylic paintings done in June, 2017. Each one is 6″ x 6″ on wood board.