One of the great things about where I’m living is how close it is to DC and DC’s museums. I’ve been making a habit of visiting the National Gallery and the Smithsonian. Additionally I’ve been doing some reading on art history. Mostly, about the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.
The National Gallery had exhibits on photography and on pastel drawing. The photos displayed were a little later then the daguerrotype, discovered in 1939. They were on paper, instead of silver plates. It’s still fun to see all those people in bowler hats and the landscapes that photographers were drawn to. Also interesting to note that several photographers in the show were painters.
The pastels displayed from the end of the 19th century (and a few from the 20th century) and some of the paintings from the museums permanent collection were fun to look at too. And Degas and Manet create such engaging subjects. I’m assuming they used photography. And of course it was fun to see the museum’s permanent collection as well.
I’m not sure how all of this is influencing my art except to say I feel less guilty about using so many photos. I think I will be sticking with portraiture for awhile.
“Mystery” acrylic on canvas
The end of 2019 has been really exciting for me. I had one solo art show in Brookland, DC and participated in a large group show in Silver Spring, MD. In keeping with this trend I am starting the new year with a group show in Annapolis, MD. It is a privilege and a thrill to have my painting, Mystery, accepted into Maryland Federation of Art’s Winter Member Show. There were 61 entries accepted out of 438. The reception will be January 12th from 3 to 5pm. The exhibit is up from January 4th through the 20th. The address of the gallery is Circle Gallery, 18 State Circle, Annapolis MD 21401.
I am looking forward to the new year and hope to pursue more art related activities. 🙂
Recently I’ve been trying to figure out what to do for another series. It’s been hard to come up with ideas so I’ve been carrying around my camera and taking photos. Here is some of what I have.
In this past year I have been drawn to painting my friends and family. I paint from photos. I think I like them because they connect me to past moments. That is why I like the snap shot instead of an official looking portrait.
I am currently working on a double portrait of an aunt and cousin of mine. For me it’s nostalgic. It’s from a visit we had when I was a child. I found it looking through old photos. I don’t remember what was going on at the time but my connection to the people in the portrait draws me in.
Kristin’s Valentine to Life
I painted this portrait of my friend Kristin. I am constantly inspired by her and feel so fortunate to be her friend. Below is her description of her struggles but also, I hope, a testament to what she has overcome.
Was very ill and had several unsuccessful surgeries. Gradually lost ability to walk, developed cerebellum damage, and went into organ failure. After a final life-saving surgery in 2014, have been in recovery, relearning how to walk and function. Because was so ill, recovery included developing epilepsy. Very frequent seizures caused further damage in left temporal lobe, making it impossible to continue 12-year career in international development and so changed careers. Currently an LMT in WV.
Recently I was contacted to participate in a group show at the Fillmore in downtown Silver Spring by RAW Natural Born Artists. The show is on October 24th from 7 to 11pm. I’m super excited to be in the show with 59 other artists. There will be a lot to look at. If you are interested in supporting me in the endeavor buy a ticket on my profile page.
For anyone unfamiliar with the Fillmore, it’s a music venue. It’s very easily accessible by metro. There are also many parking garages around it.
Well, I’m hoping to talk to some new people and old friends. I hope to see you there!
There are many times when I do not know what to draw or paint but I have the urge to make something. These drawings were made when I had a train ride. Sometimes it’s easiest just to do something simple.
For me, sometimes things are more beautiful in process than they are finished. It’s about their potential. When I’m working on something I don’t know how it is going to turn out in the end. Sure, I have an idea and I might even be trying to emulate something I see. But there are endless decisions in the process of making art, and painting and drawing allow a lot of spontaneity.
This painting took a long time to figure out. I’ve included the different steps and the finished work in the post to give an idea of how the painting of Ben was made. I do multiple layers. A lot of times the first steps are just getting something down that I can work with. You can see that I painted over a lot of details that I initially had.
Sometimes when I paint I get attached to the photo(s) that I’m working from. When I first started I thought getting my painting to look exactly like a photo was the best thing ever. I still feel that way a little but I’m branching out. Recently I’ve been thinking more about what suits the painting. What should go into the painting and what should come out. I’ve also been thinking a lot about my process. When is a painting done? I think there are multiple points that a painting can be done and that I can stop. What keeps me going is the image in my head and what I’m aiming for.
I was talking to a friend about making larger work verses working in my sketchbook or doing small watercolors. She asked me if it’s more stressful and if I worried more about messing up when doing larger work.
Thinking about it, I understand where she is coming from. A lot of people worry about what is going to come out when they paint or draw. They say “I can’t even draw a stick figure.” or “I don’t know what to paint.” The trouble with being an adult and doing something you’re not used to is that you worry that you are going to do something wrong. But with art, you have the opportunity to do something just for the sake of doing it. If you can learn to enjoy the process nothing is wrong or right. It’s just taking you on the path to where you are going.