Thursday, November 24, 2011

Portraiture in Oils

I recently attended a workshop at the Art Students League with classically trained painter and portraitist Brandon Soloff. The intense workshop gave me a great shove towards painting in oils. I love the fast drying time of acrylics and the challenge of taming watercolor but like the flexibility and the feel of mixing and applying oil paint to canvas. I'm not aiming to become a portraitist for the rest of my days but it is a great discipline and an incredible challenge. I have never actually done a portrait before. I copied detailed photographs of Hollywood heroes when I was a teenager (that were actually pretty darn good!) but I haven't attempted one since and have been concentrating on capturing the gesture of the whole figure in quick sketches at recent life drawing sessions. To do a detailed study of the head from life in five afternoons at the League was quite a revelation to me. My drawing skills won the day. I was able to maintain the strong and pretty accurate drawing throughout each layer of the painting. I think that helped enormously. Full credit to the model though. He has amazing character and an ability to be still and maintain a pose throughout a week. Bravo!
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Another Year, Another Charity Postcard

Congratulations to Max who purchased my charity postcard for Incognito, a fund raising charity event that supports St. James Schools and the Great Ormand Street Hospital in London. I confess I didn't want to part with my art card called 'Body and Soul' but I'm glad it's going to a good home! There are still many beautiful art cards for sale. 

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Au revoir Frederic

My dear Parisian friend and fellow artist Frederic Choisel is heading to California after a two year stopover in New York! I will miss his company at various life drawing venues around the city, his critique and advice regarding my work, his vast knowledge of art history but most of all his humor and kindness. I feel like I am losing a friend and teacher to the West Coast! C'est la vie. New York is a transient place where many people pass through for a few years. Others, like myself, can't live anywhere else. To quote John Updike "The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding".

Here is a 15 minute sketch I did at the Society of Illustrators while he was drawing the models.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Capturing Life in Watercolors

On Wednesday nights I attend watercolor class at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I'm very excited to be studying with Jacqui Morgan after discovering her work about a year ago and hearing her name again and again at various life drawing venues! I have to keep practicing so sketch night at the Society of Illustrators is a great venue for me to experiment. Here is art model and performing artist Jeremiah Van Wagenen in two twenty minute poses. He is a joy to draw and paint.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

More Photos on Facebook

To see more photos of my show in Kent:

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Get to a Higher Place....And You Shall Have Peace

Choosing names for paintings is no easy task.....but these names (above, respectively) came naturally. They are both 6 x 24 inches. Acrylic on panel.

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Exposed to the Elements in Kent CT

After many hours of painting while listening to NPR/BBC and the tumultuous events around the world this year, or listening to all sorts of very loud music, my paintings for the 'Elements' series were finally finished. Bark Frameworks, based in Long Island City, expertly framed some of them in wood or aluminum. It was a great experience to work with such professionals and a learning curve for me in the art of framing. The Good Gallery is located in Kent, Connecticut and my exhibition will be up until 28 August. Many thanks to Tim Good and his daughter Sarah for their hard work, to Diane Stimson for calming my nerves and to Charles Miller for his unwavering support and faith in me.

The Good Gallery, 13 Railroad Street, Kent CT 06757, Tel: 860 927 5065

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Think I like Ink!

When I started using inks, I didn't really take to them. Difficult to control and too fast drying. Now I think I like ink! They are still a challenge but I find it fascinating the way the color bleeds, allowing for interesting effects. These are twenty minute sketches that I did at the Society of Illustrators on Thursday 14th July, 2011. The models were professional and imaginative.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back to Sketch Night - Society of Illustrators

After a little break from Sketch Night due to another class falling on the same evenings each week, I dipped my toes back in last night. It was inspiring and energizing as always. The models were terrific, the jazz band exceptionally good and a larger turn out than I expected on such a warm, balmy night here in NYC. Here is a 10 minute ink sketch that I rather like.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Life Drawing and Fashion Illustration

Going to classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology was liberating. Two evenings a week I sketched frantically in a fashion illustration class. The longest pose was 20 minutes but these were rare. The models posed mostly for 3, 5 and 7 minutes. I had to throw out the rule book, well a lot of it, for life drawing and adapt to fashion illustration rules. As it turns out, working so fast for fashion will help me with my fast poses in classical life drawing and the classical life drawing certainly influenced my pursuit of expression in fashion illustration. In the end, I realized that one feeds off the other. Both great disciplines to have and I have a passion for both. The class consisted of fashion design students, professional fashion designers and others with a love for fashion illustration like myself. Having written my degree thesis on the subject years ago, it was wonderful to be in the company and under the influence of a tutor who worked at Women's Wear Daily in the late 60's, early 70's.
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Life Drawing at Grand Central Academy of Art, NY

Finally, after far too long an absence from life drawing, I finally decided to rise above my fears and go back to classes. I started with Dan Thompson and Jon DeMartin at the Art Students League and then continued classes with Jon at the Grand Central Academy of Art. After a sticky start, I finally got into it with brilliant guidance by Jon and the input and influence of the other students. However, there is still so much to learn. Anatomy, expression, technical technique. It can feel overwhelming but mostly it is exhilarating. The classes gave me the confidence to try 'Sketch Night' at the Society of Illustrators and then embark on a fashion illustration course at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
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