Saturday, April 23, 2011

One Moment

Well, I've wrapped up this painting just in time for the entry deadline to the West Virginia Watercolor Society show. I've been working on this for about eight weeks, including the drawing, so I admit that I've reached a level of fatigue that says it's time to stop.

This is only my fourth portrait painting, so I'm still struggling with some things, but I am certainly pleased with how her face turned out. In the post where I had included closeups of their faces at an earlier stage, you can see how the lines and texture of her face were created with little bits of color.

It looked rough at that point, but a simply wash over a larger area melted all the bits together into a realistic portrayal. I'll try to scan the faces again so in a new post you can see a close up view of what I'm describing.

Honestly, I had a lot more trouble with his profile. Not having the lines and features of a face made it more difficult, and then there was the problem of creating a sense of texture in his weathered profile. My first washes were very much like my previous portraits of children...very smooth. And for him that was completely wrong. So it look a long while to build up enough thin washes to create the illusion of a mature adult's skin, but it finally worked.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Accepted at VMRC

Wisdom Watching

Shall We Gather

I received my letter from the VMRC annual exhibit this weekend, and I'm so surprised and pleased that I've had two works accepted in their eighth annual show!

The Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community is the host for the multimedia show, which is advertised in most of the national art magazines and artist call websites. I attempted to enter it once before, but I've always thought that my work was too ordinary to ever make it. The panel of jurors usually includes university faculty, and selections cover a wide range of styles and approaches.

Exhibit coordinator Anne Finlayson included some statistics in the notification letter. There were 532 entries made by 189 artists representing 31 states. The exhibition will include 103 pieces by 97 artists from 23 states...and I have two pieces (Wisdom Watching and Shall We Gather) included!

The exhibit will run from May 29 to June 30 in the Park Gables Gallery at VMRC, Harrisonburg, Va. More on the exhibit can be found on their website:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beautiful brush vase

I'm sorry this post has little to do with painting, but I had to share my wonderful find!

I went to Tamarack last weekend to pick up my paintings from the "Architectonic" show. Tamarack is mostly a showplace for fine craft, with the Dickirson Gallery as a revolving space for fine art. So I love to wander about the different sections to see the glassware, ceramics, jewelry, etc.

In the ceramics section, I decided I wanted a beautiful piece to hold my brushes. I've always used random coffee mugs, and they're never quite large enough, particularly with several flat wash brushes in the bunch.

So here is my find! It's made by a young potter named Lindsay Philabaun who lives in St. Albans, W.Va. This pattern has been her signature design, but she's adding some floral patterns into her product line. You can see her work at her website:

Friday, April 1, 2011


I've included some close-up shots of my latest painting in progress. I can't decide how well it's really going because I swing from optimism to pessimism every few moments as I work.

It's not turning out quite as I had intended...but I press on, determined to learn what I can from my mistakes.

UPDATE: I had to go back in and update the photos for this post because they were so badly taken. So these images better represent where I'm at in this painting now.