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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy Anniversary Blogger!


The Unknown Children, 16 x 20; oil
The commission that gave me a shove into portraiture in oils.

Self Portrait #1, oils
My first Little Practice Head of 2012

No grid systems were used, just free hand  alla prima impressions done from photographs--the informal kind, not the kind that the unknown children's patron handed me. I like the look of people caught going about their business unaware of a camera.

My best model of course was me. I learned about lighting. With my first
effort I learned about controlling the lighting for the photograph. One light source will do instead of the two that are in this one fighting with one another. But it is an interesting look.

Self Portrait of A Computer Addict, self portrait #2. oils
I like this one.  It's casual. It's gestural. It's me.
Ellis, 8 x 10, Graphite
I won't bore you with all of the practice heads I've done this last year. I will tell you that I added charcoal and graphite studies to my process either when the poses I shot were tricky or the values needed studing because the photo was less than wonderful. I added the practice of reproducing those photos shot of work in progress in black and white on the computer as well to better read the values.

This computer addict finds Jasc Photo Album to be of great service in seeing what I've been up to and what still needs improving. While I stand way back often during the painting process and squint till I worry about wrinkles, the computer rendition  backs me away further by transferring the painting to another medium, which increases my objectivity.It's a marvelous tool to use while work is in progress as well as to keep art records.

I also spent time studying John Singer Sargent's charcoal drawings. No other practice showed up how dark shadows should be than this one. I might move on to copying other well know artist's portrait work with charcoal too. It's an eye opener.

A Charcoal copy of John Singer Sargent's Mrs. So and So.
I didn't really care who he was drawing, just how he was drawing.
Actually, I think she looks like Angela Landsbury. 
JD  in shadow, a 15 minute
study in oils
Then I took a workshop--first one ever.  Standing for fours straight nearly killed me, but I came away with full understanding approaching painting via shapes and values. It was a good addition to my year. I immediately applied what I learned to the little head I was studying for a larger project.

I also bought the most expensive art book ever: Richard Schmid's Alla Prima. Would you believe I haven't finished reading it yet. After three chapters, I had to set it aside to let the information set in. Of particular interest to me was his listing of the common things we all do wrong the most.  From that list, the shadows are not dark enough, is  the one I've been working on. It's scary. I'm afraid if I go too dark too quickly, I won't be able to back out gracefully. Again, I'll say this is a book worth buying with the proceeds of one small painting sold for a hundred.

AND NOW I'M HERE with a full agenda for my New Year:  Finish what I started. I call the unfinished works cluttering up my studio UFBs, unfinished business.


JD, charcoal study for I've Gotta Crow

Taylor X Four, 20 x 20", charcoal montage study.

The painting never got done due to mylady's preference for her cat.
Being that I used it for my business cards, I think I have to carry on.
The painting will be large: 36 x 36"

My Guys, work in progress (UFB), oils, 30 x 18
When I started this portrait, I was overly ambitious; I still am. This
painting will take priority over JD. This one needs a lot of work, lucky I love these guys.

LANDSCAPES:  Before dedicating myself to portraiture, landscapes were big with me--and these two UFB landscapes escaped  finishing.  They will be a good side attraction.

Rain, work in progress, 36 x 60, acrylic

This wasn't working in acrylic. The paint dried too quickly. I will
finish it in oils. It needs the smear to achieve the blur look I want.
As you see it, it's been pretty much scraped down.

Woods on Fire, work in progress (UFB), 36 x 36", acrylic.

This will be finished in acrylics, impasto, water spray bottles, on floor, Pollock style.
Ellis hates it. I love the gnarled look of our woods in Fall. this photo  rendition
doesn't do it justice.   

IT'S GOING TO BE A GREAT YEAR!  I've got balance in my work. The freedom landscapes offer and the discipline of precise measurement that portraiture offers. Happy third blogging anniversary to me. Beginning this blog three years ago today was the best idea. I've come a long way since this first entry 1/06/2010

My Purse, pastel pencil sketch, January 6th, 2010

My timid first drawing was my  first, bold entry in a  blogging journey that lead to actualization.

You know you've arrived when you'll take a webcam pic of yourself just as
you looked when you got out of bed. I have no shame.TG for the blurriness! 


  1. Wow, a great year! I love your portraits! Happy blog anniversary! Cheers!

    1. Thanks. I hope to improve over this next year. I also am pleased that I finally freed up 41.8 GB from my laptop. I ended up dumping the photos into an Inbox file and all my documents into a Document file. At my leisure I will go through and sort out and file and delete as I feel like it. It was getting grueling as you can tell from my webcab photo taken during one of my cleaning sessions. I was obsessed. Now, maybe I can get back to visiting all the blogs I follow that I have been neglecting. See you soon Judy. Cheers back at you.

  2. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary. Looking forward to seeing what you do in the year ahead, if it is anything like last year, it will be a very good one.

    1. Thanks Ann. I am so grateful for having found my ground. I don't feel like I'm floundering anymore. Love the feeling.

  3. Great post to begin the year. Some wonderful portraits and you usual chatty text that is always a super addition to your images.

    1. I was trying to keep the chat down Mick, but alas, I'm as verbal as I am pictorial. :-)

  4. Dear Linda, Happy Anniversary! It '  a pleasure to follow your life, your Art work and your writings, trough your blog so rich of EVERYTHING!
    Best wishes for another year (and beyond...) full of health life, fabulous painting and brilliant posts!Cheers!
    Warm hugs,Rita.

    1. Thanks Rita. Going through my picture files was informative and very gratifying. The time spent gave me the opportunity to evaluate my work and reinforced my decision to follow the path I've chosen, I highly recommend file cleaning. Now to clean the studio.

  5. You are a busy lady. Happy Anniversary! We have enjoyed your year very much. Thank you.

    1. What are you kidding? I'm busy making myself busy. As much as I like the writing, I'm thinking of cutting back my posts by not showing works in progress, only when they are done.
      I am busy planning how to sell this stuff. Designing and printing up a business card is easy; it's hard handing them out. One rather reclusive person (me) must find a way to get social. Lots of stuff going on in my head. I think I have to join the Jewish Center. There are lots of grandparents there who love art and need oil paintings of their grandchildren. After my knee thing, I'm going to take water aerobics classes, by the second session, acquaintances should be established. A Book club may be of value too--but then I'll have to find time to read something other than your posts and art books. It is going to be a busy year. Trying this and trying that. Watch. I'll end up doing the same old same old.

  6. Here is to a whole year of nothing but good your way: good lighting, good growth, good health, and good spirit. BTW - for me, UFB's rob me of my joy and energy. But that is just me. I often toss, but I am an odd one.

    1. I know what you mean. Why did you not finish them in the first place when you were filled with excitement? Guys got interrupted by a number of things, a workshop, out-of-town company--life. JD did too. And the landscapes ? Woods on Fire was a physical thing. It's hard on the back bending o er the painting as it lays on the floor and yet that's what this one needs. It and Rain were caught just as I really got interested in oils. Being acrylic, I lost interest in them. As I worked with oils, I realized Rain needed to be done in oils. Woods, could be too? I did fall in love with the finish of oils somewhere while working on these. Then there was another issue. small paintings versus large. I let you all who do paint small influence me. My little oil heads were small. That was okay, but not for these two landscapes. I decided over the last months. I don't like small acrylic or oil landscapes. It was a self actualizing year for me about how I think art--my art should be. And the funny thing is: I think it should be as I always thought it should be BEFORE I started blogging. Trust yourself.

  7. Hey ... you look good on webcam. And you have had a year of amazing work and great learning. Good for you, Linda!!!

    1. Thanks. How did I miss you when I was doing my replies? Changing a load of laundry (the other craft I do regularly, but not as expertly) probably?

  8. Congratulation for a creative 2012 and I wish you a creative 2013.

    1. Thanks Roger/ You had a pretty creative year yourself without you doing a review/mission statement. It's been a pleasure and I'm looking forward to more of the same. But given my new path, I don't think I'll be blogging as often as I have been. Portraits of size are not painted in a day--at least by me. So, I'm thinking of blogging by the finish, each painting is complete--or at least hanging on the observation wall--but I'm going to write about that today. Later.

  9. Awesome review - loved it. love your work.
    A quick thank you for your insightful comment on my blog. i really appreciate it.

    1. My pleasure Julie. Your work is consistent and outstanding, two attributes I've set my sights on over the next year. You are a role model. Thank you--and thank you.

  10. This is the best blog post ever!! Love seeing it all in one place - I think they are all so good, even better than I expected - I am blown away! You really shined in 2012!! And I can't wait to see what you do in 2013!!

    1. You're not so bad yourself kiddo. Relax and enjoy your talent. There's great painting ahead.