Archive for October, 2010

unknown butterfly species

October 29, 2010

More butterflies.  These are inspired by Seguy.   Whether he created them in his head or copied them from life, I don’t know but there aren’t butterflies like this in my backyard.   I can’t remember even seeing a monarch this summer.  But the scraggly butterfly bushes do bring in the swallowtails. Lots of black and yellow swallowtails.  I’m guessing they are gone for the season…

Portrait Painting

October 25, 2010

These two portraits were commissioned for a memorial case commemorating the lives and generosity of the two women portrayed.  I showed the lower one last week but have worked on it a bit more since then.  They were done round to fit within a round space in the case.

While doing portraits, I feel as though I am on intimate terms with the person whose face I am probing for understanding.  These paintings were done from photographs, both of these women are deceased.  But unfortunately, the best you can strive for when painting from a photograph is making the person look like the photograph.  Painting from life is much better but it is difficult to arrange and makes the model feel uncomfortable with all that probing  going on.  Visit Gurney Journey to see a comparison of John Singer Sargent’s painting of Coventry Patmore done from life  to a photograph  taken at a similar time.  I find the comparison fascinating.

If you are interested in having a portrait  done, contact me.  I would be interested in doing it.

the girls of agnes scott

October 21, 2010

A few years back in an antique store in Tennessee, I bought 1923 yearbook from Atlanta’s Agnes Scott College.  I bought its companion, a 1923 yearbook from Staunton Military Academy.  I surmise the original owners of these yearbooks married and  their unsentimental offspring got rid of them while cleaning out the attic.  Rid of the yearbook, that is, not the owners.

Today I had a day just to do what I wanted and I have always loved blind contour drawings so I used the girls of Agnes Scott as resource material to do a series of faces.  I truly did start out with a blind contour but I admit, after I got the basis of the face I went in and “developed” and then colored the pictures.

What amazes me the most is how all these girls are so fashionable for the roaring twenties and today.  Their hair cuts and clothes would be quite stylish on the streets today.

And speaking of old photos….

I have just always pictured the period of time prior to say, 1950 as black and white.  So seldom do you see a picture in color prior to that, that it makes the pictures here even more remarkable.   Well worth your time to take a look.  It’s like going to Oz.


October 20, 2010

Here is a “practice” butterfly.  I like it so much I have decided it is practice for the one I am committed to making for a project sponsored by the Holocaust Museum Houston called The Butterfly Effect.  (I get to keep the practice one, see???)  Anyway,   participating in The Butterfly Effect project was suggested by one of my artful sisters, Karen Owen.  Each butterfly will represent one young person or child killed in the holocaust.  That is 1,500,000 children killed!  It is such a big number but I personally  have a hard time conceptualizing how big.     Seeing 1,500,000  butterflies will have just the kind of impact it should have.

Okay, so maybe I should send two.

Two Bee(s) or Not to be

October 17, 2010

Two bees I finished up this weekend.

I was playing with an edging idea on the one above.  I am going to have to work on this… I think it has possibilities.

Sorry for the overdone pun.  Comedy is not my specialty!

A Watercolour Portrait

October 14, 2010

My progress in a watercolour portrait from early this morning until this evening.This is the most fascinating part of painting.  You have this white paper and by some unknown force working through your hands, you start to mold a 3 dimensional face out of that 2 dimensional surface.  If you are lucky, you keep that same feeling throughout the whole painting process.  I wonder what God was thinking when he formed Adam.  Suppose he was amazed at what his hands did????

Added those darks to know what to work to.

Continued progress.

Sleeping on it tonight and hopefully, I will have a fresh eye in the morning to see what needs fixin’.  And hear what my client says…..

Forget Liberia, Hello San Marino!

October 10, 2010

An obligation complete.  One 12″ quilt square I volunteered to make way back in August and then missed my deadline by more than a week.  Well, not completely my fault, but still….

This is going into a quilt that has something to do with participating Olympic countries.  My country was San Marino which I knew nothing about until I picked it from the few remaining.  I still know nothing about it except what I have gleaned from Wikipedia.  It is the “oldest surviving sovereign state”  having been established in 301 AD and this is a tower called Guaita built on a summit in the 11th century.  My first choice of countries was assigned to two people and I relinquished it to the other person.  This gave me a very short deadline and ideas weren’t coming easily on how to represent the country.  The tower caught my attention.

I hope it holds its own with the remaining squares.

While in England, my family walked the halls of the Leeds Castle.  It is a little younger than this building dating  from the 12th century.  I was so awed by its history and presence, I just wanted to wander and wonder by myself.  The tour guide was more interested in telling us all about the 20th century American heiress that modernized and decorated it than to do more than rush over its earlier times.  I believe he was as awed of the Lady Baillie as I was of the building itself.

Wish there were buildings like that around here.

Avocado Green and Harvest Gold

October 1, 2010

If those words bring up images of refrigerators and ranges then you must have lived during the 1970’s.   I was stitching on a little pouch today and realized I  had chosen the very same colors that during the 80’s, I (along with the rest of the American population) was anxious to eradicate from my life.

And here it is popular again.  Along with polyester and double knits.  (Have you been shopping lately????)

Let’s just hope those colored appliances stay in our distance past.

This pouch is made from cheap craft felt.  I can’t find wool felt locally and probably couldn’t afford it even if I could.  But I found the more I handled the polyester felt, the more pliable and softer it became.  I stitched it over a piece of thin cotton batting to give it some heft.

Back in the 70’s, we had red shag carpet that came with its own rake.  Covered up those ugly hardwood floors…..