I attended another lovely reception at the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta, FL, last Thursday night, celebrating the latest and largest Best of the Clubs juried exhibition, featuring the paintings, photographs and 3-D art of the many country club communities in this part of south Florida. I’m delighted that On Fire was displayed with a wonderful tropical landscape by Roma Josephs and a great portrait of a saxophone player by Diane Mittenthal, fellow painters at BallenIsles. Good company, I’d say.
When I see a photograph I want to paint, there are many decisions to be made before my brush ever touches the canvas. Just as a plein air painter might use a view finder to frame the scene he chooses to paint, I need to decide where my edges will go…how much do I crop and where…will the image fill the frame or have background…and, in the case of Rising, is it a figure or a portrait? When I first saw the photo of this powerful dancer in Whitney Brown’s collection of Dance for the Photographic Eye, I knew I wanted to paint her as a portrait. I moved her to the left, cropped off all but the upper portion of her body and counted on the negative space on the canvas to provide the feeling that she is a woman about to take flight. This version of Rising is the grisaille; the full painting is yet to come…
Looking for Love
My dear friend, Carole Goldberger, is a big fan of my work (she has several paintings of mine in her home), but especially likes the grisailles (monochromatic drawings in paint) that I draw on my canvases before I begin my paintings. In Florida for the holidays, I had a small, blank canvas in my studio, chose an image of a couple about to kiss, cropped it and painted a grisaille. I posted it on Instragram that day, with the caption, “A good start.” Carole commented, “Start? Finished I’d say.” Which got me thinking…so I got another small canvas and drew the same grisaille again. This one, of course, I actually painted. Now I can offer the grisaille or the painting, Looking for Love, separately or together. Interesting, I think…maybe even inspired!
Looking for Love | Grisaille
Suggestive, erotic, sensual…I must admit to being attracted to images of couples on the verge…of that kiss and more. I’m working on expanding my black and white portfolio this year, starting with Contact, which I painted from a color photograph. It’s an interesting exercise to paint in color from a black and white image, because it frees you from reliance on the photograph, but I particularly enjoy challenging myself to translate an image in color into the lights and darks and warms and cools running from white to black through a myriad of grays.
I’m a huge fan of black and white movies and have been since I was a kid, when I could stay home from school when I was sick (or occasionally not really sick) and watch the Million Dollar Movie all day. Fred and Ginger, Bogart and Bacall, Hepburn and Tracy, Bette and Joan—I loved them all then and still do, since they’re all featured on Turner Classic Movies these days. Those early filmmakers knew how to create atmosphere with lights and shadows, drama with highlights and lowlights, and that’s exactly what I try to achieve in my black and white paintings.
Madeleine at 15
Madeleine at 15 won a Special Merit Award, and Haven’t I Seen You Here Before? won Special Recognition!! I entered two new competitions sponsored by the Light Space & Time Online Gallery in December and just received the results for the All Women Art Exhibition, particularly timely when feminism is the word of the year and women are being celebrated for our accomplishments. These two paintings were chosen for mention from among 1005 entries submitted from around the world. There is a slide show of this exhibition on their YouTube channel, as well as all of the gallery’s past shows.
Haven’t I Seen You Here Before?
Once again, I’ve been inspired by Whitney Browne and her painterly photographs. The dancer in Double Exposure and Closeup appears once more in On Fire, completing the triptych called Triple Play. Wonderful fun to paint (I do love red), I always enjoy capturing the suggestion of movement on a static field. That most of her face is missing is reminiscent of the tangos I paint from the chest or waist down (I do love cropping an image). Thanks to Alicia Keyes for providing inspiration for the title.
Out of Reach
I just received notice that Out of Reach was awarded Special Recognition in the Nature 2017 Art Exhibition at lightspacetime.art. I’m thrilled to have this endorsement of my work and the online exposure that it provides. I was looking for gallery representation in south Florida last year and found very little support for new artists and minimal compensation for the work. A business associate of my husband owned an art gallery in Manhattan with his partner and closed it last year, because they weren’t making any money. Looking at both sides of the coin, it seems to me that Light, Space & Time Online Art Gallery represents the future of “affordable” art. It’s my honor to have been included in several of their competitions and exhibitions this year.