Best of the Clubs 2018 | Exhibition at the Lighthouse Artcenter

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.

Best of the Clubs: Exhibition at the Lighthouse ArtCenter

I attended a lovely reception at the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta, FL, Thursday night, celebrating the Best of the Clubs exhibition, which features the works of artists from thirteen country club communities in the area. While I enjoyed many of the paintings and the 3-D art, there were countless photographs that were impressive and a few that looked more like paintings—remarkable manipulation now possible in this world of digital photography.

Film Noir

 

 

 

 

I entered Love Me Tender and What’s Love Got To Do With It as a diptych called Film Noir, hopefully evoking those black and white movies of the 30’s and 40’s that I’ve watched ever since the 50’s (remember Million Dollar Movie?) and continue to see on Turner Classics. Just call it nostalgia…

Ménage à Deux

Room 503

Room 503

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.

Secrets and Lies

Let's Get Out of Here

Let’s Get Out of Here

I  like to paint series.  My earliest paintings were of food—pears, apples and oranges, salad vegetables—mostly meant to be displayed together.  And after I had painted my first tango dancers from the legs down, I painted four more couples, so that I could hang them all together.  My pop portraits were originally intended to be shown in threes, and I painted three versions of the same lotus plant and then that plant in bloom!  So it should come as no surprise that Shh…Don’t Tell Anyone has inspired me to paint more couples whispering secrets (or lies) to each other.  Let’s Get Out Of Here is my newest addition to this new series.  Watch for more…

Blurred Lines

Shh..Don't Tell Anyone

Shh..Don’t Tell Anyone

 

I do love a painting class. There’s usually a teacher or two there, someone to engage you in a dialogue about what you’re doing, what you want your painting to be and how to get there. And when you step back from your own painting, as you must do and often, you are surrounded by other artists and the myriad of subjects that they’re painting. You learn so much from other people’s work! Sometimes it influences you; sometimes you might even steal something.

Almost a year and a half ago, I stopped by the Acorn Gallery during the Marblehead Arts Festival and saw Lexi Baliotis (getting married next week, she’ll be known as Alexis Kereakaglow) working on a painting of a girl on a beach.  I was completely enchanted by it—a back and side view that featured the girl’s ear in close up detail.  You could have reached out to touch that ear or at the very least whispered a secret!  So this year, I painted Shh…Don’t Tell Anyone with the image of Lexi’s ear in my mind’s eye.  I’d call that inspiration.

  

About Girlfriends and Birthdays

I have a bff who was approaching a “big birthday” about five years ago.  Her husband was throwing a surprise party for her, and I was thinking about what gift I could give to a woman who really does have everything.  Of course, I would paint something for her, but what?  After awhile, it came to me…

Since my girlfriend and her telephone are never very far apart, I decided to paint a telephone keypad for her, with every number and symbol representing something personal about her.  To make it physically look like a keypad, I painted twelve 8” X 8” canvasses, each an inch and a half deep, to look like buttons.  The result, in its own way, is a portrait of her (I told you I think of all my paintings as portraits).  I’ll explain:

Number 1 is painted on a house.  She’s a very successful realtor and has been the number 1 producer in her agency for most of her career.

Number 2 is a conversation bubble.  She’s a talker.

Number 3 is a nod to our girl golf trips to Aruba and her enjoyment of the craps table.

Number 4 celebrates the game we love to play together.

Number 5 is all about makeup.  Did I say she’s a looker?

Number 6 is a conversation hearts candy.  See number 2.  Her favorite food is candy.

Number 7 is a ticket stub.  She loves plays, musicals, and concerts and is the social director for a group of friends who rely on her to get them tickets too.

Number 8 is a triangle.  Remember the ones you got to play in kindergarten?  She has one.  It makes her happy to play it sometimes.

Number 9 is a mah jongg tile: 9 dot.  Girlfriends like to play games.  See number 3 and 4.

The * key is a magic wand.  She has one and uses it when she thinks she needs it.  See number 8.

The # key is a scale (get it?).  She organized a group that worked with a nutritionist to lose weight and eat healthier.  See number 6.

Operator is a CD.  She’s a big fan of music (see number 7 and 8) and often gifts friends with CD’s she’s burned of her favorite singers.  If you play the notes on the music staff below the CD, you will hear Op-er-a-tor (Jim Croce).

Telephone Keypad

Telephone Keypad

Of Parrots and Palm Trees

I have a wall in my condo in Florida that was perfectly suited for a mural.  Now, I’m not really a fan of murals—I’ve never seen any that I could imagine on my own walls—so I started thinking about what I might paint myself.  The rug in that room is a needlepoint of parrots and palm trees, so I had to come up with something that wouldn’t conflict with it.

I was sitting on my patio, late one afternoon a year ago last May, just relaxing, playing word games on my iPad and listening to music, when I noticed the shadows of the palm trees in the yard on the building next to mine.  The fronds were moving in the breeze, and it was somewhat soothing to watch the motion on the wall in front of me, a little hypnotic.  I thought how cool it would be to have a palm tree inside, on my wall.  The dimensions of the wall (9.5’ X 12.5’, then an arch over the bedroom doorway and another 9.5′ X 3′) wouldn’t allow for a painting of those palms that had inspired me, so I decided on a Bismarck palm, a variety of the fan palm with a short trunk and sage green fronds.  I photographed one at my friend Judith’s house, because it was the perfect shape for my wall, then painted it last summer on a proportionately smaller canvas, as a sketch for my mural.

Last November, back in Florida, I was lucky enough to have one of my painting teachers, Alexis Baliotis, a young and very talented artist, come to stay with me for a week to help me paint my Bismarck palm on my wall.  A few weeks after, I  painted inside the arch of the doorway, then fiddled around with the background for some time, until I could call it done.  It makes me smile every time I walk into my home, but it will be the only one of its kind, since I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever…paint another.

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Bismarck Palm

Bismarck Palm

A Word About Commissions…

On my Artwork page, I have displayed all the paintings I have for sale at this time.  Just a little more than half of the paintings exhibited in my Galleries are for sale; the others hang in my home or have been sold or were commissions, and some have been donated to various fundraisers.  I do accept commissions.  You may have noticed that Tango Series IV, 22” X 22,” reappears as High Jinx on a 30” X 40” canvas; Tango Series V, 22” X 22,” transforms into Submission, 40” X 30,” and …To Tango, 12” X 16,” is the same pose as It Takes Two, which is 12” X 12.”  If an image interests me, I might imagine it in a different way, as in Black Swan and Reflection: two very different works, though based on the same image.

So if you see a painting in my Galleries and it’s not offered for sale in Artwork, I will consider painting it again–just for you.  I will change sizes and even colors, if I think it will work for the image.  I paint from photographs, as well as from life, so send me an image that you want reimagined as a painting, and I will be happy to open a dialogue with you about it.

Tango Series V

Submission

Inspiration

It must have been about six years ago, when my daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters (at the time) were in Boston for a visit, and we found ourselves at the New England Aquarium.  I only had my phone with me, but I took some pictures, mostly of the smaller exhibits, filled with creatures who wouldn’t have survived in the big tank–colorful, smaller fish and creepily beautiful jellyfish.  The only jellyfish I was familiar with were the jellyfish of my childhood at Rockaway Beach or Jones Beach–round, transparent, seemingly slimy things, meant to be avoided.  But days later, flipping through my photos, I couldn’t help but be attracted to the colors, shapes and, particularly, the transparency of these denizens of the deep.

Aquarium

Aquarium