12″x12″ (30 x 30 cm) – oil on gessobord – commission
Thorns on Paper is a second commission for Mostly Glass gallery and another painting for the Crinkled Paper show planned for this year end.
I’ve been working on this painting since April, it took nearly three months, longer than I hoped. I am happy to finish and sign it. And it did not help the matter that towards the end a scratch appeared on a finished background. Could have been Elvis’ work, or I might have gotten careless for a moment – hard to tell. I could not repair it and had to repaint the background.
About the title: Everyone who talked about this painting so far calls it “Caravaggio”, which seems to be an intuitive thing to do given the book title painted in the front. Natural that it may be I find it a bit presumptuous. I titled the painting Thorns on Paper to reflect on the painting on the book cover Crowning with Thorns.
6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) – oil on gessobord – SOLD
This little painting started last summer at a rummage sale at a church down the block. I always go and always get some great props there. That time I found 3 mismatched cups with their saucers. Mismatched and all, they still worked together very well, probably being from the same era. I asked the lady to keep them for me so I could pay for everything together and went to a books section.
When I returned to pay for them, there was Father John, the Rector of the church, standing there with these cups in his hands, and the lady explaining to him that the cups were put aside for someone else. Oops!! I don’t belong to this church, but I know Father John (and his schnauzer), just like you know people in the neighborhood. I almost had him sit for a portrait for me. Besides I did not want the wrath of God on my head… you never know 🙂 … So I said – please Father John, have these cups. And he said – no, no, you got them first! And we went on like that – back and forth – for a while, but in the end I got the cups.
Every time I look at them I feel a little guilty, but not too much. After all I did get them first. And nothing bad has happened to me either – Father John really is a nice guy :).
8″ x 8″ (20 x 20 cm) – oil on gessobord – commission
This was one of those very rare paintings that practically painted itself. It happens sometimes, not too often, and I wonder what is the reason for this. This is the second painting that did this: I am working on it… mixing and painting…, and suddenly it informs me – I think I am done, thanks! 🙂
I absolutely love my patron for whom this is painted. C.B. contacted me through my online gallery and basically said some variation of the following: I like your style, why won’t you paint something you like and I will buy it. I nearly fainted – the best art patron in the world!
Painting this was smooth and logical and presented very few problems. I did have a little bit of a fuss with strawberries – I did not nail the color right away, and the texture was a challenge. It was an interesting problem to paint graphite and pen drawing in oil. I had fun with that.
The only difficulty I had was coming up with a title. Polling family members yielded several possibles, none of which had a WOW factor. I did a crowd-sourcing thing on Facebook (again), and what a great idea it was – I got a dozen excellent titles. Combining ideas from 3 or 4 different people I came up with this – What I Drew Last Summer.
And here’s the sketch that got painted in this composition. I drew this in cafe Metropolis while drinking tea and sketching with my friend Don Colley.
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:
It was a great year – 2012. Here’s to a better one in 2013!
8″ x 8″ (20 x 20 cm) oil on gessobord panel
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.