Thursday, October 30, 2008

"H2O" Show Reminder

The Opening Reception for the "H2O" themed show by the New England Chapter 112 of the Colored Pencil Society of America is this Saturday from 5-7pm at the Spring Bull Gallery, 55 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI. I will have Still Life Sabotage (pictured on the left in the postcard above) as well as Coming Clean on display. Come see all of the amazing works on display by colored pencil artists around New England! For more information on this and other shows and exhibitions, please see my Events page.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Change of Pace...

I just finished a house portrait commission, which was quite a change of pace for me. I typically accept people portraits exclusively because I enjoy capturing faces and expressions so much, but I was quite surprised to find a hidden motivation to work on this portrait and to give it as much character as I do when working on people. I thought of how my house is my favorite place to be, the place where I spend most of my time with my husband, and am comforted by familiar surroundings. Our quaint New England house is certainly not large, but is rich with memories and even decorated with some of my artwork. When I think of my home in this way, I can attribute to it character and a sort of “personality”. I thought of this when working on my latest portrait of a little beach house on a lake. I tried to make the surrounding trees sway inward, as if bowing in reverence to this little home, and the white sand as a soft carpet leading out to the lake with water moving playfully in the breeze. I hope that the portrait serves as a lasting reminder of happy memories spent there. If I obtain permission from the client, I will post a photo of the portrait in an upcoming blog. For the time being, I am back to people portraits…

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another Interpretation


Above is my latest piece, done using Neocolor II watersoluble pastels and colored pencil on Rtistx 420 panel. This is a more realistic interpretation of the scene I used for Botanical Lace, in which I made the leaves look more abstract to fit the theme. I find this piece more somber than Botanical Lace, but it still fits my style. I am very interested in hearing any opinions on the two pieces!

Monday, October 20, 2008

TAG Portait Show Artist's Reception

This past weekend I traveled to NYC to attend the opening for The Art Guild's Portrait Show- the photo above shows me standing by my piece Amira which was juried into the show. The exhibit feature 58 pieces which were selected by juror Ying-He Liu, an amazing and accomplished portrait artist whom I had the opportunity to meet at the artist's reception on Friday. The show runs through November 28th, and gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday from 1:00-5:00 or by appointment. More information about this show can be found on The Art Guild website.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Portrait Exhibition Opening This Friday

I am looking forward to heading to Manhasset, NY this weekend to attend the Opening Reception of The Art Guild's 1st Annual Portrait Competition and Exhibition, where my piece Amira will be on display. If you will be in the NYC area between October 17th and November 28th, stop by and see the show juried by award winning portrait artist Ying-He Liu. For more information on this and other upcoming exhibits, please see my Events page.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ampersand Pastelbord vs. Rtistx 280 Panel

Autumn Lace
My latest piece shown above is very similar in concept to Botanical Lace, which I blogged about earlier. However, Autumn Lace was done on Ampersand Pastelbord, whereas Botanical Lace was done on Rtistx 280 panel. Because the pieces are so similar, it is easy for me to compare the supports. For both pieces, I created the background leaves by first applying “blobs” of color using Caran D’Ache Neocolor II watersoluble pastel crayons. I then went over the background with colored pencil, “finding” leaves in the abstract shapes of color. I find that I work more intuitively when I start with basic shapes and create detail as the work progresses. (That being said, I sometimes like to create pieces where control and precision is evident from the beginning, and I will be starting such a piece next). Both the Pastelbord and Rtistx 280 panel seemed to accept the watersoluble pastels very easily. The biggest difference I found was in applying the colored pencil.

Though I like Pastelbord for its durability and gritty surface, rendering smooth surfaces can be difficult as the surface is not as uniform and finely textured as the Rtistx 280 panel. The leaves ended up looking much smoother in Botanical Lace, and I found myself fighting the texture in Autumn Lace. Some of my pieces seem more suited to Pastelbord, such as Adorned with Pride, where I allowed the texture of the board to show for the background, and I also used to my advantage in creating the texture of the skin and clothing. But for creating softer looking portraits such as of children, I prefer the Rtistx 280 panel.

Monday, October 13, 2008

National Drawing Show

I recently found out that A New Day, shown above, was juried into and received an Award of Merit for the South Shore Art Center's National Drawing Show! I brought the piece to the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA this past Saturday, and it is a beautiful wide-open space for displaying art. The exhibit takes place from November 7th through December 31st. More information about this and other upcoming exhibits can be found on my Events page.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Latest Piece...

Botanical Lace
16" x 20"
Colored pencil on Rtistx Panel

I’m finally posting my latest piece, shown above. You may recognize me as the subject in this piece as well as a few others. My reason for this is simple: I’m a convenient subject! Also, I like to be able to have complete control over the pose, clothing, and expression. I sometimes set up a camera with a timer to photograph myself, but often I just ask my husband to take a few snapshots (he’s very patient taking direction from me!)

I use the photographs quite loosely, however. I like to tweak colors and shape. In this piece, the leaves behind me were much more misshapen and with lighter shadows, but I wanted to carry the lace theme throughout the piece. Also, my hair is dark, but not black and definitely does not shine blue (though it did once as a result of a bad at-home dye experience!)

I have started a similar piece – though only 12”x16” – and should be ready to post it sometime next week.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Being an artist can be lonely at times, especially in contrast to my previous career. As an engineer I was constantly barraged with feedback both formal and informal, and people seeking my feedback as well. Every issue was discussed at length, and I had little time to really reflect on how I felt about my work, and whether it was fulfilling. Contrast that with being an artist, where I work alone and make most of the decisions about my business and artistic direction. This change has been very rewarding to me, as I enjoy the sense of control over my career. However, sometimes I can feel lost, which is why I cherish the feedback that I have received from others, both positive and negative. I have solicited formal critiques from established portrait artists, and also informal feedback via e-mail, both of which I have found very helpful. In addition, some of the most useful feedback has come from jurors who have not accepted my work into an exhibition. I am human and do feel a bit of disappointment at first, but then I get excited at the possibility of incorporating the advice into my work. In fact, I have created some of my best work immediately following feedback received from rejection letters! Of course, I also love getting positive feedback, and I really enjoy reading comments on my blog or e-mails from other artists and art enthusiasts. So to those of you who have commented or written to me, THANK YOU!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Finalist in the TAG Portrait Competition

I am so happy to announce that my portrait "Amira", shown above was selected as a Finalist in The Art Guild's 1st Annual Portrait Competition and Exhibition. The show is taking place at the Gallery of Elderfields in Manhasset, NY, and runs from October 13th through November 28th. An Artist's Reception and Awards Ceremony will be held on October 17th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

The juror for this competition is Ying He-Liu, an amazing portrait artist whose work I have admired for a while now. Visit her website and view some samples of her work: