Caroline

18″x12″ charcoal on chanson paper

Drawing from life. I started with a gesture, and then found smaller shapes, then shadow shapes…and along cane a face from all those shapes!

Walking to School – SHOW!

24″x36″ oil on canvas

Please come see my show “Walking to School”! It will open at the Sunderman Gallery There will be an opening reception 6-8pm, Thursday, September 13th. 5100 Ross Avenue, DALLAS,TX 75206

I use my art as a way to notice something beautiful everyday. “Walking to School” has been a whimsical fun series chronicaling my second grade daughter’s daily walks to school.   My 3 older children all start school an hour before my youngest. We like to eat breakfast as a family, so that leaves Lydia and I an extra hour every morning. What I am trying to do is not waste our gift of time, the phrase “killing time” is a phrase that makes me so sad. Instead of “killing” that time I have painted it, and all the adventures and beauty that we found in those extra hours. This series is about half landscapes of what we have seen on our daily walks and half mixed media pieces of people walking. It includes: homework, tardy slips and bit and pieces we collected along the way.  In addition to many kinds of media, I have used a bit of magical realism in these paintings. For example, in “Spokes and Shadows” the light was beautiful, the shadows were beautiful, but the backdrop was generic new suburbia. In my mind, I saw a fantastic tree lined drive, with a young girl pumping up a hill onto great things. In the painting, I created the leaves with bits of homework. As the leaves fell, I could imagine the days and years and the entirety of Lydia’s childhood landing on the drive as she confidently rode into the future.

These paintings are about being present: we put away the phone, compose a rhyme or poem, talk about the day, share our hopes and dreams, plan dinner or our next family celebration.  We notice what is in bloom, when the leaves change color, or when someone repainted their front door. We have noted that all those carpoolers don’t have a chance to: meet a new neighbor, pet a kitten, do a cartwheel, twirl a tutu, pick a flower or sneak a fresh fig hanging over the fence.

In painting this series, my hope is you will be reminded of a sweet memory of when you walked with your friends, siblings, or parent to school. Or you will be reminded of when your child walked to school. Perhaps you will be inspired to be present and get out and find the beauty and life that is in YOUR neighborhood waiting for you to just enjoy and discover!  Perhaps you can grab your dog, or kid, or mom, or neighbor and embark in a simple way to really live your life…go for a walk.

Rhia

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Three hour session with a lovely model Rhia. No measuring, or rules… just finding my way through the shadows and lights, just like a landscape. Lots of squinting and correcting: lighter, darker, warmer, cooler. Attempt no. 3 painting a portrait from life in oils went much smoother than the first two. Practice works. Now…who wants to sit still for 3 hours?

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Pursuing Portaiture

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I am enjoying the challenge of painting people from life. Today I visited the Sorolla exhibit at the Meadows Museum. It was outstanding, somehow he painted huge (9×10 feet sometimes), outside with many people, and often waves in them. I don’t know much about his method, but I plan to learn. I am utterly inspired. If you don’t know his work google: Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida and look at the images, or better yet…head to Dallas before April and see the largest collection of his works gathered together in the last 100 years. The Meadows museum is on the SMU campus. I wandered the exhibit with a group of artists, and we had a special appreciate for his work, his brushstroke, color, and paint application.

Perhaps I will tackle one of those monumental paintings one day.

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Children on The Beach, Sorolla 1903

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Children Running Along the Beach, Sorolla 1908

Miriam Rose in Rose Light

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I love the way everything glows rose as the sun is setting. This painting was done from a photo under the skillful eye of artist Anna Rose Bain. I getting more comfortable with portraits and oils with each try. Thank you Rick, for encouraging me to keep trying.

Pursuing Portraiture

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I am continuing to work on my portrait skills. I took a wonderful one day workshop from the Anna Bain. I walked into her studio and was surrounded by beautiful faces: dozens of framed portraits hanging on all the available wall space. Anna’s paintings were breathtaking and inspiring. Her demo was amazing. The atmosphere was nurturing. After lunch we stood at our easels, brushes in hand ready to capture the lovely model, Misty, in oil. this was my first attempt to paint a portrait in oil. I had also never tried double, oil primed portrait grade linen as a surface to paint on (cotton primed canvas feels like sidewalk in comparison). I wish I would have had 3 more hours because I needed all of my time to establish the major highlights and shadows. My Misty looks older and more severe than how lovely and serene model actually was, but I am happy with my first attempt.