Posts Tagged: mirror

Plus Two Dollars

Plus Two Dollars 10-18-2013 lo-res

Plus Two Dollars

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – SOLD

The second painting for the second show I am painting for. This one in California.

But let me tell you a story. I have this church down the block,  I am sure many of you have heard of it by now. Every year they have a rummage sale, and every year I go to hunt for props, and every time I hunt I score. A winning proposition :).

This year I went again and found a basket-full of mismachted bone china, bent silver spoons, a large shell with an ocean sound inside, and a set of 16 prints by Toulouse-Lautrec. Every object was a dollar or two. The fun started at earnest when I went to pay for my loot. The nice elderly gentleman was a singularly wrong person to manage the cash box! He decided to do the sums in his head and kept making mistakes in my favor. By the time he had 9, I had 11  and corrected him… by the time he had 14, I had 16 and corrected him again. All the while he wanted to talk about Lautrec, American realism, painting in general, and modeling for life sessions. In the end he got 18. I no longer believed him and gave him 20 – God bless!! 🙂

Here I have for you the three cups from the rummage sale… Plus the two dollars difference in our sums.

With Cherries on Top

With Cherries on Top 10-3-2013 lores

With Cherries on Top

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – SOLD

This was supposed to be the last of the three paintings for the Buck County gallery show. After this one the plan was to relax, go sketching, catch up with planning the USk Chicago Seminar, maybe do laundry… But while I painted it I heard from Randy Higbee about his spectacular 6″ Squared Show in December. I managed to miss it last year and promised myself to make sure to be in it this year. And so I need two more paintings to make it into two different shows. Pressure! Stress! Deadlines! I thought I left that kind of stuff behind when I left the corporate rat race – LOL!

I am rather pleased with this painting. The idea occurred to me in early summer, when Rainer cherries were in season. I composed my setup, but wasn’t sure of it. So I sketched it first and showed the sketch to my Sketckpack buddies. They liked it. With that I felt better and painted it :).

Aug-11 web

Memory Blocks: 9-Rabbit and e-Bird

Memory Blocks 9-Rabbit 1-21-13   Memory Blocks e-Bird 1-19-13

Each:  6″x6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – commissions

These two are commissions. The client saw them and approved, so I can show them to you. The two paintings were commissioned together to work as a pair or a diptych.

It turns out painting a pair is a fairly special project. Right away during the drawing stage I realized that blocks have to match in size – not a problem, but not something that you need to consider when painting a single painting.

When I started painting it quickly became apparent that I have to treat them as one painting. When I worked on surface of the mirrored table on one painting and then tried to match the color a few days later for the second painting – it turned out to be very VERY hard! It is much easier to do the mirror and the background for both paintings at once using the same color mix. Same goes about painting the visible wood of the blocks. Also if I painted blocks’ faces for 9-Rabbit on a sunny morning and faces for e-Bird on a overcast day – the color harmony would not work and I had to make adjustments  in my lighting.

It is a rare opportunity to work on a pair and I am forever grateful to J.D. for it.

Oh, see this really cool block with a skull on it?… I invented it. I don’t have a block with a skull. But J.D. collects skull images so I made up one for him.

A Stitch in Time

A Stitch in Time 12-30-12

A Stitch in Time

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – commission

It took a lot longer than anticipated, but I finished it this year! This is a very important painting for me and I wanted to do it right and took my time. This is my first commission. And an international one at that.

With this year almost gone I see many of my artists friends doing a recap. I read them with great interest – people have accomplished great things, painted significant works, showed work in important places, taught numerous students, and thought up amazing innovations. I thought to myself I must do a year-end post as well.

So here it goes:

  • In 2012 I painted 11 paintings and sold almost all of them. Got and painted my first commission!
  • Made my sketching a serious practice, drawn numerous sketches, traveled to Stockholm and sketched there.
  • Founded Urban Sketchers Chicago group as a part of Urban Sketchers global movement. The group is now 75 artists strong, meets monthly and has its own FB page and blog.
  • Met and friended a great many artists around the world and learned a great deal.
  • Began to understand and use social media marketing – it works, how amazing!

It was a great year – 2012. Here’s to a better one in 2013!

Fiddlesticks

Fiddlesticks 12-2-12

Fiddlesticks

8″ x 8″ (20 x 20 cm) oil on gessobord panel

SOLD

The whole time I was painting Fiddlesticks I was remembering “Odessa Tales” by Isaac Babel. If you haven’t read this, hurry – you are in for a treat … you can thank me later. It is better in Russian, that being the original language, but the English translation is very good too. I bought the English version for my husband who does not speak Russian and he laughed his head off from cover to cover :). He is still quoting from it all these years later. Anyway, “Odessa Tales” was the originating influence for this painting.

I did not have any major painting discoveries during this work. I did confirm for myself that my homemade medium recipes work better for me than various readymade mediums from the store. I make a Lean medium for my first color pass and a Fat one for my second and later passes. Now I have a collection of fancy brand mediums that I don’t use anymore.

Yesterdays

Yesterdays

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) oil on gessobord panel

SOLD

Something was right about this idea, or composition, or colors, or whatever… because it painted like a dream. Easy and smooth, without difficulties or usual anxiety, the colors and shapes just played along agreeably and it was all finished before I was ready to make a conscious decision about that. Ha! – it was ready to be signed.

But then I realized that I don’t have a title. I did not panic… so it would take me a day or several to think of it. But a good title was eluding me… I made my family think of the title… no, it was not happening for them either. After a few days of struggle with something that is usually so easy I made a decision – I would crowd-source it. So I put the painting on Facebook and called out to my friends.

In 8 hours I had 23 gorgeous titles! I had titles from as far as Australia, Singapore, Ireland, Israel, Canada, East and West coasts…. In the end I chose the title that came from two blocks away. Mary Lanigan Russo, my friend and neighbor and an urban sketcher from Chicago, suggested “Yesterdays”. A couple of hours later Jim Bumgarner, an urban sketcher from Tri-Cities WA, suggested “All My Sorrows Seem so Far Away” and thus settled any doubts. I have amazing friends!

Latest Gossip

Latest Gossip

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) oil on gessobord panel

SOLD

Some thought that I gave up painting… I don’t blame them! I’ve been posting sketch after sketch for months… but I’ve been painting too. Remember after “Unwrapping” I promised myself to avoid painting crinkled paper unless it is a commission? Well, I could not stay away – crinkled paper is addictive. I must be a glutton for punishment… It took this long and was a major pain.

This little painting had the longest “ugly” stage I can remember. Until three days ago it looked like the best candidate for recycling bin I’ve ever seen. I am not sure why I did not give up. My daughter says that I go through this with every painting. I think she is right, it is always a pain, uncertainty, major self-doubt, anxiety and confusion. I hear from my artists friends, writers friends, musician friends that it is the same for them too. So much for happy bohemian life style. I hope you like the painting though.

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