Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Amy's Blues

The painting I started of Amy Henderson, of the Geezer Gallery, that I started at Janet Amundson-Splidsboel's Candlelight Studio. Continuing at my studio, I focused on the hats and the dreamy surreal fabrics around her. I was listening to the music of Fellini Film soundtracks, which added elements of whimsy. For awhile, I thought of this portrait as "Amy of the Spirits", as in "Juliet of the Spirits", but now I think of it as "Amy's Blues".

Sunday, December 26, 2010


When it's too cold to paint plein air, a quick prismacolor pencil sketch will do.

Living in the Northwest, any day I can see Mt. Hood is a great day, especially on a bright clear winter day with the snow crisp against a blue sky! Sometimes Mt. St. Helens is also in view, looking like a bowl of soft vanilla ice cream, with its top blown off. But Mt. Hood is my favorite majestic mountain, any day, any season.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December Drawings

December in L.A. can be warm and sunny, and I lucked out a few weeks ago when I visited the L.A. County Museum of Art with my brother, Jeremy. We lunched alfresco with a view of the zany Japanese Pavilion by architect Bruce Goff, then headed to see German Expressionists and other 20th Century European art. I sketched ink drawings by George Grosz and viewed a video of him drawing one of his fat, bald men. I was especially challenged by an oil painting by Vuillard done in soft tones with no lines.

Back in Portland, I drove through rain and snowflakes to Janet Amundson-Splidsboel's studio, where the model was Amy Henderson, founder of the Geezer Gallery. The word "geezer" was selected to improve perception of older people. The gallery not only supports older artists by exhibiting their art, but also contributes to art therapy and other programs. Amy is not a "geezer" in any sense of the word, and looked lovely in her hat and flowing blouse.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fall Figures

As the weather turns cold and drizzly, my attention has turned from painting plein air to the human figure. I'm drawing and painting from various sources to study different aspects of figures: movement, line, expression, form. I went to a show of bellydancers and sketched the dancers as they moved, silky costumes flowing to exotic music. At the Art Canvas Cafe, I painted a quick study of a clothed model before settling in for a more detailed painting, then decided I liked the expressive fluid lines of the sketch better. From a book on Gustav Klimt, I copied as faithfully as possible a portrait of Sonja Knips, soft and romantic. At the Hipbone Studio, spent several hours doing pencil studies of a nude model, and several paintings done in thirty minutes each. Finally, a "doodle" made from random brushstrokes to test paint colors turned into an abstract painting, then became an imaginary profile.