Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Exhibition Winners

The winners of the Whistler House Museum of Art Members Only Exhibit have been announced, and I am very excited to have won second place! See the award winning pieces here:

The exhibition continues until December 31st; see www.whistlerhouse.org for more details.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Whistler House Museum of Art Reception

The exhibition continues through December 31st at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, MA. See http://www.whistlerhouse.org/ for more information.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Exhibition in Lowell

The Whistler House Museum of Art 2009 Annual Members Exhibition commences this Saturday, November 21st with a reception from 2:00-4:00. My piece Resolute will be on display, along with a variety of other artists' work in oil, watercolor, mixed media, and more. Regular museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11am-4pm, and the exhibit runs through December 31st.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Amira wins award

I was recently notified that my painting Amira, shown above, has won the President's Award for oil and acrylic paintings at the American Artists Professional League 81st Grand National Exhibition. The show runs through Friday, November 13th at the Salmagundi Club in NYC, and includes various works in oil, acrylic, watermedia, pastel, graphic and sculpture in the style of traditional realism.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Self Expression

I recently completed another self-portrait in oil, shown here. I find it very convenient to use myself for a subject not only because I can take unlimited photographs, but also because I can use a mirror to check skin tones and see what the camera missed.

For this piece, I set up a camera using the timer to take several photos of myself set against a mostly white background. I wanted to create a feeling of being overwhelmed or desiring to hide in one's surroundings, and decided to call the final piece "Eclipse".

Friday, October 9, 2009

Portrait of Amira on Display in NYC

It's been a while since my last post, as I have been busy searching for a new home and studio. I should be back painting and drawing this month, so stay tuned for more artwork and news. In the meantime, I would like to share that my oil painting Amira, shown above has been accepted into the American Artists Professional League 81st Grand National Exhibition (http://www.americanartistsprofessionalleague.org/). The exhibition will be held at the Salmagundi Art Club from Tuesday, November 3rd through Friday, November 13th; open to the public daily 1-5pm.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sonia - Portrait in Colored Pencil

Above is my latest portrait done using colored pencil on Pastelbord. The surface is rough, so it accepts several layers of colored pencil; I like to build up the darks using many different colors. Despite working up many layers, the texture and color of the board remain visible in many areas of the portrait, but I think I like how the grey color contrasts with her warmer skin tones.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Art Kudos Finalist

My piece Resolute was selected as a finalist in the 2009 Art Kudos International Exhibition. The show represents 132 artists and 15 countries. To see all of the finalists and award winners, visit http://www.artkudos.com/.

Monday, August 3, 2009

CPSA 17th Annual International Exhibition

This past weekend I attended the Awards Banquet and Artists' Reception in Duluth, GA for the Colored Pencil Society of America's 17th Annual International Exhibition. I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of the artists and see the work in person; all of the work exhibited was of such high quality. Above is a snapshot of me by my piece in the gallery.
I was also tremendously honored to receive an Award for Oustanding Achievement. The Award Winners are posted to the CPSA website: http://cpsa.org/GALLERY/WINNERS2009/AG2009.html

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Rumor

The Rumor, 12" x 16", colored pencil and watersoluble pastel on board

I recently finished another still life, this time going back to working with colored pencil. This one's kind of humorous, and I had fun with the bold colors. I'm not sure yet whether I'll try another still life next or go back to portraits/figures... we'll see!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Starting Still Life

Family Secret, 9x12, oil on panel

I recently finished my first still life shown above, and I am already beginning another. I am enjoying a change of pace from portraits, though faces and hands are still my favorite subjects. For this next still life I decided to use to colored pencil on a sanded surface (Pastelbord), with an underpainting with watersoluble pastels (Neocolor). Also, my next still life is simpler than the one shown here - no dolls, just fruit! I should be finished with it sometime in the next few days, and will post an image shortly thereafter.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Salmagundi Club Non-Member Show Reception

This past Friday I attended the reception for the Salmagundi Club 32nd Annual Juried Painting and Sculpture Exhibition for Non-Members. I was really blown away at the high quality of work on display, and the drew quite a large crowd of people. Below are some photos of the event (including one of my model next to his portrait):

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Amira Revisited

About a year ago I completed two portraits of a girl named Amira. The first was done using colored pencil on panel, and the second was done using colored pencil and water soluble pastel on sanded board. I recently decided to revisit the subject, and the finished painting is shown above (12" x 16", oil on board).

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I just returned from getting the portrait of the Storyteller scanned (see image above). I forgot to mention that this was my first time working on Gessobord, though I found it to be very similar to painting on Pastelbord. This piece is 36" x 24".

Friday, June 12, 2009

Portrait of a Storyteller

I am nearing completion on a portrait of a woman who is a Storyteller, and I wanted to post a photo of my work area along with reference photos. In this case, I had several photos to work from, but I still chose a combination of three to use for the portrait. I don't have Photoshop, so the combining process is more creative than technical. In general, I used the photo on the top left as a reference for painting her face, while her hands and the book were based on the photo on the bottom left. The photo to the right of the portrait is one I used as inspiration, as I felt it showcased her personality. Though the portrait is not quite complete, I am satisfied with the likeness, as I feel it represents her essence better than any of the reference photographs.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One from Last Week

I am taking the week off from painting, but I realized that I have not yet blogged about my latest painting that I finished last week. "Etude", shown above, is 30" x 24", oil on linen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Down Time

This past Memorial Day weekend was a busy one for me, starting off with a half marathon (Boston's Run to Remember) that I ran with a friend who was visiting from Texas, followed by a trip to NJ to visit with family. Now I am in recovery mode, taking a few days off from painting and running, as I am paying the price for a lack of training for the race and a lack of sleep. I could probably force myself to start another piece, but I think it's best I wait until my mind and body are revitalized.

In the meantime, I have three art shows now and in the near future: the Francesca Anderson Fine Art 26th Annual Portrait Show with my pastel pieces Allison and Cate on display, the upcoming SCNY Annual Non-Member Painting and Sculpture Exhibition where my oil piece Resolute will be on display, and the upcoming CPSA 17th Annual International Exhibition where my colored pencil piece Self Portrait with Tea will be on display.

Friday, May 22, 2009

After the Rain

I just returned from getting a scan of "After the Rain", 24" x 18", oil on Pastelbord. This image is much more like the original than the photo I posted earlier... thank goodness for Image-Tec!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

26th Annual Portrait Show

Yesterday I stopped by the reception for the 26th Annual Portrait Show at Francesca Anderson Fine Art Portraits North (I'm standing by my two pastel portraits of Allison and Cate, above). The show is a beautiful arrangement of some of the most amazing oil, pastel, watercolor and pencil portraits I have ever seen. The artists represented are listed on the gallery website, along with contact information to schedule a viewing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oil Painting on Pastelbord

I finished the oil painting on Pastelbord and took a quick photo, shown above. The experience was very different than working on canvas - more "delicate" as I couldn't apply too much paint or it would get streaky. The background in the reference photograph was lacking because at the time the trees didn't have many leaves yet and the flowers hadn't really bloomed (not to mention that there was a big barn-like shed in the background). So I got my ideas for the background while on my morning jog, taking note of the variety of spring colors in the trees and flowers. To make sure the colors were accurate, I also looked at the trees outside my studio window while painting. Since it has been raining so much, the background ended up taking on a wet look, so I decided to call this "After the Rain".

Friday, May 8, 2009

Salmagundi Club 32nd Annual Non-Member Exhibition

I just found out that my oil painting Resolute, shown above, has been selected for the Salmagundi Club 32nd Annual Juried Painting and Sculpture Exhibition for Non-Members. The exhibition includes oil paintings, watercolor, pastel, acrylics, mixed media and sculpture, and will be held at the Salmagundi Club in NYC from June 29th through July 10th. For more information: www.salmagundi.org.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Exhibition News

Today I found out that Self Portrait with Tea, shown above, was juried into the Colored Pencil Society of America's 17th Annual International Exhibition, to be held in Duluth, GA. I also found out that the same piece was accepted into the American Juried Art Salon 8th Biannual Juried Show (online). For more information on these exhibitions, please see my Events page.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Learning from Mistakes

Everyone has different learning styles, but I am the type of person who likes to dive in and do it my own way. For my first oil painting, aside from following the "thick over thin" principle I had read about, I pretty much just threw a set of paints haphazardly onto a palette and started painting using a few brushes I had on hand. Yes, I had read about the different types of whites, about pre-mixing colors on the palette before beginning, and how one must have a full array of brushes to complete a successful painting, but I found all of the advice to be overwhelming and often contradictory, and I decided that I would learn the best from actually trying it myself.

Aside from the thick over thin principle, What I learned from this experience is that it actually is quite helpful to premix some colors that you know you will be using, though I don't exactly follow any prescribed methods, and my palette seems to change a little each time I mix the paints. Had I followed someone else's palette and methods exactly from the beginning the process might have been easier, but I think that the lesson would have less meaning to me.

Now, working on a piece smaller in scale on Pastelbord (work in progress shown below), I am learning the value in having more sizes and types of brushes, as I struggle to get thin lines and fine textures.

Occasionally I find that following my own instincts is very helpful in developing my own techniques and style. But other times (and perhaps more often) my mistakes help me to really learn the value of the lessons and advice given by seasoned painters. So I continue on, happily learning and growing from my mistakes.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spring Work in Progress

I have a few client/model meetings scheduled in about a week, but in the meantime I decided to do a relatively quick piece trying oil paint on Pastelbord. Working with oil on Pastelbord is very different from canvas, which is probably still my favorite surface. Nevertheless, I'd probably use this board for really small works that require a lot of detail.

This piece is 24"x18", and you can see a part of the reference photo in the image below. In the photo there is a shed behind me, so I am instead painting the background using the landscape I see out my studio window. Of course, this is a work in progress and the trees are nowhere near done. Also note that the hand on the viewer's right is still in the rough phase, whereas the hand on the left is mostly finished.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Portraits North 26th Annual Portrait Show

Francesca Anderson Fine Art Portraits North is holding its 26th Annual Portrait show, and my pastel portraits Allison and Cate will be on display. The show runs from April 30th through June 7th, with between 50 and 60 portraits on display as samples of the portraiture from artists across the Northeast. Francesca Anderson Fine Art Portraits North specializes in helping people select artists to paint executives and public figures, children and families, and pets.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Two New Oil Paintings

I just returned from scanning my two latest oil paintings, shown above. The first is called Timeless, and the model is a woman named Sylvia from Salem, MA who owns an antique and jewelry store. The second painting is the one I've been blogging about recently, my self portrait done from the mirror. Now that I have that one under my belt, I feel more comfortable about painting others from life.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

SP from Mirror Almost Done...

Here's a snapshot of my in-progress self portrait from the mirror, just about complete. Tomorrow make final tweaks and get a better image to post to my blog and website. This was a huge challenge for me, and I learned a lot (including that I have a lot to learn). I struggled at first in part because I had the canvas illuminated from sunlight filtering in through two windows, but my face was completely in the dark, and too difficult to see in the mirror. I remedied this later on with a small artificial daylight lamp. In addition, I believe that I was focusing too much on details too early on, at a time when the proportions were not yet established. Luckily, oil paint is great for making changes!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SP Work in Progress Continued

Here you can see my progress on the self portrait I'm painting from the mirror. This is much closer to what I want, though there are some real rough spots still. I think that perhaps one more day should do it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Alternating Medium

I recently completed and delivered a colored pencil portrait, and I am working on another now. Much of what I learned from working in colored pencil has proven very useful in learning pastel and oil, and now I am finding that the opposite is also true. Working in pastel has been eye-opening in terms of creating subtle gradation of color, something that I am now paying more attention to in my colored pencil work. Oil allows me to work in a way most intuitive to me; starting with large shapes and blocks of color, and working in details, contrast, and highlights as I go along. This is also something that I would like to try to incorporate more into my colored pencil work as well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

SP from Mirror

An update on my self portrait done from the mirror... I think this at least looks like me. I'm working on a commission too, but this was bothering me so I decided to attack it one last time.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Last Post

I had to delete my last post because I really was not happy with the proportions of my self portrait from the mirror. The challenge of keeping my head at the same angle each time I glanced in the mirror was really getting the best of me. This does not mean that I'm giving up, though - I'll get back to work on it as soon as I finish the other tasks I'm working on!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Painting Just About Complete

My painting is just about complete, and I'm posting my own snapshot of the finished piece. Please excuse the glare on the right hand side... I need to get this professionally scanned (probably next week).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oil Painting Preview

Above is a preview of my current work-in-progress. I've actually changed the face a bit since I took the photo, but this shows the point when I had laid down most of the color.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Two Oil Portraits

I have been working on a cp portrait commission, but also recently finished two oil portraits that I thought I'd post here. The first portrait is of Brian (my favorite model and test subject) and is on canvas. The second one is on Rtistx pastel panel. For my first oil portrait, I kind of just dove in and didn't pre-mix any of the colors, but rather mixed them as I went along. My palette was a complete unorganized mess for most of the time I worked on this piece, but it was a good learning experience. For the second portrait of Caitlyn, I tried pre-mixing a few colors I knew I'd use, but I also worked in a somewhat chaotic manner as I had to wipe all of the paint off the board after working for several hours because the panel did not absorb the paint in the same way that the canvas did. All in all I really enjoy working in oil because I tend to like to start with basic shapes and blocks of color, developing detail as I go.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Goodbye to Winter Blues

Just in time for spring, I have sold Winter Blues and it is now officially in the hands of its new owner! I vividly recall creating this piece at a time I felt overcome by the blues and greys of the landscape, and I was very much yearning for spring. Still, I've heard people say (and I agree) that this piece has a bright and optimistic feel. Perhaps the spring bloom will inspire a future outdoor figurative painting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Two Year Anniversary

This past Monday, March 9th marked exactly two years since I began my career as an artist, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to look back at my progress thus far. I am so thankful for the support and encouragement of my husband Brian, who also happens to be a very good model. Over the past two years, I have drawn/painted Brian in various techniques and media. Here I have posted a series of portraits of Brian, starting with quick sketch from 2006 and ending with a snapshot of an oil portrait I just finished.

pencil on paper, 2006

colored pencil on bristol board, 2007

colored pencil and water-soluble pastel on sanded board, 2008

pastel on sanded paper, 2009

oil on canvas, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Faces of Spring Reception

The Faces of Spring reception was a great success, with numerous portraits on display and drawing a large crowd. I am pictured above standing by my portrait; the other shot is of the crowd and gallery. In addition to the artwork on display, exhibiting artists provided portfolios of their portraiture. The exhibition will be on view through April 19th, 2009. For more information, see http://csopa.homestead.com/FacesofSpring2009.html

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Colored Pencil, Pastel, and Oil

I recently completed two miniature portrait commissions (David and Isabela), and I found that working in colored pencil was well suited to achieving the detail I wanted in this small format. Although I have completed some larger portraits in colored pencil (Self Portrait with Tea is an example), I find that working with the small point of a pencil on such a large work can be tedious when working on areas of the painting that I wish to be less detailed or resolved. I do not usually start my paintings with detailed drawings, but rather simple sketches that provide the basic framework for the painting. Also, I find that my preferred method is to work very loosely in the beginning laying down broad shapes and colors, and becoming more resolved as I go. I was able to employ this method with colored pencil by using water soluble pastel crayons to create an underpainting in works such as Winter Blues.

Recently I have also been working in pastel, which I find more conducive to my style of laying down large areas of color. I use soft pastels almost exclusively, and can create smooth sweeping strokes or textures very quickly, and use the edges of the pastel for detailed work. Once applied, pastel can be blended very smoothly, a quality that I find especially useful when rendering children (Cate and Allison are two examples of my portraits in pastel).

This week I started my first oil portrait, and despite the huge learning curve, I am finding that it is quickly becoming my favorite medium for rendering portraits. Oil seems to be the most versatile, as I can start with an underpainting in sepia tones, or lay down large blocks of color, and still get the detail I want. I like that I can easily move the paint around the canvas, and come back to the piece the next day with the paint still wet. In fact, it’s so easy to manipulate, that I find it difficult to call it “finished”! Another benefit is that I work on an easel, which allows me to easily step back and continuously evaluate whether or not I am capturing the likeness.

My subject for this oil painting is Brian, who I also recently painted for my first pastel portrait. Next week I will post a photo of my progress on the oil portrait, and show a comparison of Brian in pastel and oil.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Drawing Show Art Review

An art review of the recent National Drawing Show in the February/March issue of Art New England mentions my piece A New Day, which was on display at the exhibition and won an Award of Merit. Click on the image above to read the review.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Faces of Spring Exhibition

Self Portrait with Tea, shown above, has been juried into the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists Faces of Spring 2009 Exhibition. Distinguished jurors are John Howard Sanden, and Robert A. Anderson. The exhibition, which includes about 50 portrait paintings and sculpture will be held at the Goodman Gallery at 90 Old Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut, and runs from March 6th through April 18th. An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, March 6th from 5pm-7pm. For more information, please see the Faces of Spring web page: http://csopa.homestead.com/FacesofSpring2009.html