Performance Art Redux

Topsy Turvy

Topsy Turvy

When I posted Polarized, in early May, I ended the blog with “More to come…,” so here it is at last, Topsy Turvy.  My dancer made it to the pole, as athletic as she was when she was approaching it, her lower body and abdominal strength in view, matching that upper body strength of the first painting.  

A shout out here to Whitney Browne for allowing me to use her gorgeous photos of these terrific athletes in action. Again, I was attracted to the sensuous curves of the dancer and the play of theatrical lights on her body…fun to paint! 

I have extolled the values of painting class before and was reminded of that the other day, when it was one of my painting friends who told me about the Brown University Poler Bears, a coed competitive pole dancing team with their own FaceBook page. If I ever paint another pole dancer, I might want to look for a male model…

Performance Art Redux

Topsy Turvy

Topsy Turvy

When I posted Polarized, in early May, I ended the blog with “More to come…,” so here it is at last, Topsy Turvy.  My dancer made it to the pole, as athletic as she was when she was approaching it, her lower body and abdominal strength in view, matching that upper body strength of the first painting.  

Polarized

Polarized

A shout out here to Whitney Browne for allowing me to use her gorgeous photos of these terrific athletes in action. Again, I was attracted to the sensuous curves of the dancer and the play of theatrical lights on her body…fun to paint! 

I have extolled the values of painting class before and was reminded of that the other day, when it was one of my painting friends who told me about the Brown University Poler Bears, a coed competitive pole dancing team with their own FaceBook page. If I ever paint another pole dancer, I might want to look for a male model…

Love and Marriage

Rabbi Rich

Rabbi Rich

 

My husband is my biggest fan and my most thoughtful critic. He was quite taken with my latest work in black and white, encouraging me to do more of it, so I decided to try to paint him. For even more of a challenge, I painted him from a color photograph.

IMG_0303He had the distinct honor of marrying our son and his bride five years ago. Licensed as an officiant by the state of Vermont, he wrote a beautiful ceremony that he performed at Stowe Mountain Lodge. The photographer took a wonderful picture of him as he walked down the aisle, and those of us who love him, called him Rabbi Rich for awhile. That’s the photograph I used to paint this portrait in black and white.

Grandparenthood

My Darling Girl

My Darling Girl

Sixteen years ago today, our first grandchild, Isabelle, was born in NYC. A natural born leader, Izzy taught us how to be grandparents, named us Granny & Rich (I might have preferred Gramps & Nance, but it wasn’t to be), and has continued to dazzle us ever since. I first painted her offering me a sweet kiss on a beautiful day—not the last time I painted her, but the only time I’ve painted me. Happy sweet sixteen, Izzy!

 

What I Do For Love

Steeplechase

One of my husband’s best childhood memories comes from going to Coney Island–just a subway stop away from his home in Brighton Beach, but still a big treat for him when he was a kid. After the Nathan’s hot dogs, his favorite thing to do there was at George C. Tilyou’s Steeplechase Park, where he would ride a mechanical pony in the horserace course that ran two miles around the park to the finish line and gave the park its name. If his father had taken him or if he had enough money of his own (sometimes he didn’t), he’d always choose to go on the mechanical horserace ride.

A few months ago, he saw a piece in the New York Times about the rebuilding of Coney Island after the disaster that was Hurricane Sandy in New York. There were a bunch of old photos of the amusement park as it used to be in its heyday, including one of the grinning face that was the iconic symbol of Coney Island. It brought him back to a happy time during a not so happy time in his life, so he asked me to paint it for him. I find it hard to refuse him, though most of the people who saw me working on it could not understand why I would paint such a weird looking guy. The truth of the matter is, a portrait’s a portrait, and the same challenges face a portrait painter, no matter who the subject or how appealing. I’m happy to have survived painting all those teeth for him, especially when I see the smile on his face whenever he looks at Funny Face.

Sources of Inspiration

Seven Veils

Seven Veils

When I met Whitney Browne this summer, I proposed a collaboration between photographer and painter…thinking we might be a good fit, particularly because of our interests in dance and in portraits. Having just spent months painting faces and looking for a change of pace, I went to whitneybrowne.com, Whitney’s website, for inspiration from her photographs of dancers. I can’t imagine how she got this shot, but the movement and flow captured in a moment made me want to paint it. I cropped and edited and took some liberties with her work, but I hope I did the dancer justice. Actually, I hope I did the photographer justice…

150616_OutoftheBlue_WhitneyBrowne-7-1

On scenarios…

Haven't I Seen You Here Before?

Haven’t I Seen You Here Before?

You feel like you get to know people when you paint them (staring into their faces for hours at a time), and when you paint two people, you find a narrative for them. Haven’t I Seen You Here Before? describes a man trying to pick up a woman with the oldest line in the world, which is likely the cause of her slight smirk.

Room 503

Room 503

Room 503 paints the woman as the aggressor…

Let's Get Out of Here

Let’s Get Out of Here

as does Let’s Get Out of Here, though that appears to be more of an invitation than a full press.

Shh...Don't Tell Anyone

Shh…Don’t Tell Anyone

Shh…Don’t Tell Anyone seems the least suggestive of this group—more a secret being told than any desire being expressed. But these are only my narratives…what do you think?