Here is my next quick study! These are challenging, not only because of the time frame I've set, but I've gotten used to painting a certain way, so loosening up is something I'm working on. It takes a lot of practice.
New apple and cherries painting! I love the squat striped apple next to these bright rainier cherries! Also, black and red look great together...I've never tried a rainier cherry...it's silly, but I guess I drank too many shirley temples as a kid..the only cherries I like to eat are maraschino!
I just finished this piece, which is part of a series I started years ago...The subject matter of the series is very personal, but this is a cathartic experience for me..I'm feeling motivated right now to work on these paintings again...I'm looking forward to everything coming together. A couple of years ago I was at a crossroads in my life...I was visiting my mother and I remember her bringing home this naked baby doll that had been run over and left in the middle of the road in downtown Jacksonville.
I'm finding a lot of great new produce recently! I brought these tomatillos home and googled them after I finished this piece. Apparently, they're a fruit used in mexican cooking that can turn yellow, red, and purple. I love the paper husk that surrounds them.
I found this great yellow pear with all of these neat markings and decided to paint it along with a couple of cherries and a plum. I've never painted these three objects together, but wanted to mix it up a little bit and was drawn to the color combination. I've also been working on some other pieces with different subject matter (self portraits, street scenes) and realize how much these small still lifes have helped with my speed and ability as a painter.
I decided to start experimenting with the carnival series...here is a close up of a ride in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. I wasn't sure how I was going to approach painting this. In real life there were badly painted skulls and a spray painted grim reaper, which I think adds to it's charm. I love stuff like this...it reminds me of a movie I loved as a kid...KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park, which is so over the top and tacky that it's good, and for me nostalgic.
I found this tiny silver bowl in an indian grocery store months ago when I painted the skinny tall peppers I also bought there. I've never painted a silver bowl, but thought it would look beautiful with some red cherries. It leant itself to a grayish background.
I really enjoyed creating the last apple and cherries painting, so I decided to do a similar one with a pear and cherries. I think the dark background really makes the objects pop! The fruit is beautiful this time of year!!
This is a close up of a study I just finished for a larger painting...I can only reveal a small portion of the study right now. I have learned that a skull is one of the most difficult things to paint!
This is the second study in my carnival series. I had a lot of fun with this one! I've always been terrified of clowns, from a very young age (before I knew about IT or Attack of the Killer Clowns)...I would have to sit waay up high in the bleachers when my parents took me to the circus and once around the same time period my mom took me to the mall and there happened to be a clown convention...traumatizing. I'm not really afraid of clowns anymore, and I love this little scene!
This is the first in a series of studies from the fair that Clint and I went to in Port Saint Lucie recently. It was fantastic! Among the attractions, half woman, half snake, smallest woman in the world, and a haunted mansion..lots of fun. I've always loved fairs and carnivals...although there is an element of fun and innocence, there is also a darkness that draws me in...
I recently found this green perfume bottle and thought it would look nice with red cherries and a purple background! It took me a little while to match the bright greens in the bottle. I like the gold accents..I'm always looking for unusual objects that I can paint!
This is the first time I've ever painted a mango! I bought two at the grocery store. I cut up one, but decided to paint the other one whole. The color transition was tricky, but this little painting makes me feel happy, mostly because of the bright tropical colors.
I wanted to do a blog post on Mary Blair, who has been a huge influence and inspiration for me since I was a child. For those of you who are not familiar with her work, she and her husband were artists who worked with Walt Disney for many years. Apparently her husband, Lee Blair worked for Disney first and she later joined him. She worked on major motion pictures, such as Peter Pan, Alice and Wonderland, Cinderella, and Disney's attraction It's a Small World. She later went on to do freelance illustration and set design. She died at age 66, leaving behind her husband and two sons.
The last two images on this page are studies of a Mary Blair painting for Alice and Wonderland. My goal was not to copy her, but to study her work and try to understand her process better. I noticed things I would have never noticed before, such as layers of subtle images and color changes layered delicately on top of one another. Even her line work has this amazing rhythm. I LOVE her use of color and her eye for design. From what I read, she used watercolor and then switched to gouache, which apparently is similar to watercolor, but more opaque. It was used primarily by commercial artists for things such as illustration, graphic design, and animation. I haven't worked with watercolors in years and have never used gouache. I may do another study in the future to try to learn more.
The grapefruits here have been beautiful lately...bright pink when I slice into them. I love painting cherries, and thought the pinks and reds would look really nice together. I still struggle a bit painting citrus fruit...it can be tricky getting the inside to sparkle and have that translucent look to it, but I feel like this is the best grapefruit I've painted so far!
I finally finished my carousel painting! I've been working on it on and off for quite some time now, but pushed recently to get it done! I posted some process shots of this painting a few months ago on my blog, explaining that I began it while I was living and working in a gallery in New York with Clint.
I found some onions and radishes at the market and knew I had to paint them! They had a lot of personality(wonderful flaws!) The first one I sold months ago(very similar with a different onion that had an oblong shape.
I decided to venture into a tiny indian grocery store up the street and found all of these wonderful chili peppers! I've included a few extra pictures to give a clearer idea of how I work on these small still lifes.
I usually start with a very loose drawing...
Here is a picture of my set up...I always work from life on these small paintings. In general, I will always work from life if I can. I believe it's much better practice, forces you to work in a different way, and I also like the results better!
I worked on this painting for a client...I gave him two options because I didn't know what kind of peaches he wanted me to paint. I had never painted peaches before...very tricky with texture and value changes, but I feel like I learned a lot and I'm happy with the results.
While in art school I was selected as part of a small group of students, to go to Italy with my professor, Louise Freshman Brown. It was an amazing experience and I created a series of paintings when I returned. Even though these paintings were made early on in my career, I never really had any interest in selling them. I just enjoy them as memories of my trip and fondly remember the style I was working in at that time. Those of you who read this blog know that lately I have been painting still lifes for practice and because they're highly marketable. A restaurant with an art gallery theme called Taste in Jacksonville asked if I would be interested in having some of my work displayed there. I am well aware of the difficulties of showing artwork in restaurants and/or coffee shops but the director was a friend so I figured what could it hurt to show a few paintings. I thought still-life's of fruit and vegetables would be perfect, but I also thought these Italian Street scenes would fit nicely.
After visiting the restaurant recently I noticed one of them was missing. My first thought was that it sold. I never thought for a second anything would happen to them! As it turns out it was not sold - It is missing! No one is returning my calls or emails.
Somewhere Near The Trevi Fountain 18x24 Acrylic on canvas
This piece was based on my walks near the Trevi fountain. I decided to put a photo in between the two doorways...felt like there needed to be something there to fill up the space...I am very disappointed to find this painting "missing" and really hope that somehow I get it back. If any one knows of it's whereabouts please contact me. I'd really appreciate it.
I initially started this painting with a gold owl necklace I found in an antique store...I picked out this background for that painting, but quickly realized I wasn't excited about it and thought two mushrooms would work much better. I'm happy with the end result...really enjoyed painting these guys!