I subscribe to an arts organization called See.Me that specializes in providing online profiles for artists to display and promote their work and holds real-world exhibitions every few years. Last week, See.Me featured Rising Again in Volume 4 of Art Takes SoHo on their website, directing viewers to my website when they click on the image. It’s very gratifying to be included in a juried show with artists from all over the world.
I’ve exhibited my paintings at the BallenIsles Art Expo every year I’ve lived there, but this is the first time I’ve been interviewed about my work.
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.
He 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.
I’ve been unusually absorbed in painting faces this past year, many in pairs and most on smaller canvasses or gessoboards. I love seeing a likeness emerge from a blank canvas from the moment I start the grisaille (underpainting), but the real pleasure for me lies in mixing and applying color, searching for the light and accentuating the planes of the face, even when I choose to crop the image.
Mum’s the Word
Mum’s the Word is a companion piece, I suppose, to those people I’ve recently painted who are whispering to each other. But is she keeping a secret, or has she just told one? Hmmm…
I continue to be fascinated by the juxtaposition of two faces on a canvas, most recently in the act of telling secrets or whispering sweet nothings. If painting a single portrait is an intimate act, painting two people relating to each other goes far beyond that. Are they friends or lovers? Do they even know each other? All sorts of scenarios can be imagined as their faces take shape on the canvas. And when the painting is done, I get to choose a title that gives the viewer a sense of what I’ve been thinking…sweet…and, in this case, sexy.
Dancing in the Dark
I usually paint my tango dancers on a colored ground, my focus being the image, not the setting. But over the last couple of years, my friend, Jeff Fay, a wonderfully talented young artist who specializes in architectural paintings (jhutchinsonfay.com), did a few night paintings—a convenience store, a gas station, an ice cream stand—that blew me away. I loved the atmosphere that black background created and thought it would work in a tango painting, enhancing the mood and highlighting the intimacy. It took me some time before I got to paint this, but I knew before I started that I would call it Dancing in the Dark.
After a crazy week with a Twitter threat causing my flight to Florida to be cancelled so that I could be in Boston in time to experience the more than two feet of snow from Juno, I finally got to Palm Beach Gardens for the BallenIsles Art Expo | 2015, which featured paintings, photographs, collages, mixed media, sculpture, needlework, woodwork and even hand-made Christmas ornaments. Eclectic!